Rein in Sarcoma Annual Meeting

The Rein in Sarcoma Board of Directors reviewed the progress and impact of the organization during 2018 and approved several key items, and elected new board members and officers during the Annual meeting on January 21, 2019. Even though 2018 was a year of transition, we were able to expand Rein in Sarcoma's impact focused on our three-pronged mission of education, patient and family support, and funding research. More details will come with our soon to be published Annual Report.

Our Treasurer, Tom McCarthy, reported that the organization maintained excellent financial health with greater than one year of expenses in reserve, with expected growth in both revenue and spending during 2019 as we completed the hiring of a part-time Health Programs Coordinator and full-time Development Director, mid-2018.

The Board approved $150,000 in new Sarcoma research grants at the University of Minnesota, along with $50,000 for research grants at Mayo Clinic, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, and SARC (dependent on NIH approval of the grant proposal). The approved 2019 budget also includes funding RIS Sarcoma Scholars at both at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Medical Schools for the 2019-2020 academic year, and a significant increase in education program spending, involving the Hallie Anne Brown Educational initiative (Natural Language Programming), expanded presentations to medical professionals, and updating RIS educational print materials.

The Board thanked Julie Rose and Jeff Dobbs as retiring board members. Our Nominating Committee presented four excellent candidates for board membership who were elected during the meeting. Read about each new member below.

Newly elected officers are:

President: Blake Hastings - read Blake's message
Vice-President: Lisa Griebel
Secretary: Mitch Atherton
Treasurer: Tom McCarthy

Lisa Griebel

Lisa Griebel is self-employed as President of Crescendo Inc., a Minneapolis performance-consulting firm committed to the growth and development of healthy organizations. She has more than 35 years of experience in leadership and organization development. Helping individuals and organizations realize their Emotional Intelligence (EI) and leadership potential through coaching and training is the primary focus of her practice. Lisa has a Master of Education degree in training and organization development from the University of Minnesota and a 2nd degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do.

Lisa connected with Rein in Sarcoma in 2006, shortly after being diagnosed with Fibrosarcoma. Since that time, she has played many roles within Rein in Sarcoma; Party in the Park Chair, RIS Transition Team Leader, Board Member, and RIS Strategic Planning Committee member.


Dr. David Largaespada is an authority on mouse genetics, gene modification, cancer genes, and disease models. His lab specializes in cancer functional genomics using in vivo transposon mutagenesis and targeted nucleases. Current projects are focused on osteosarcomas, brain tumors, and Neurofibromatosis Type 1 syndrome. NF1 is a common cancer predisposition syndrome and these patients are at risk for sarcomas, especially malignant peripheral nerve sheath tumors. He has received Rein in Sarcoma funding in the past and helped with past Party in the Park events as master of ceremonies.

Dr. Largaespada is currently a Full Professor in the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Genetics, Cell Biology and Development at the University of Minnesota. He is the Associate Director for Basic Research in the Masonic Cancer Center at University of Minnesota and currently holds the Hedberg Family/Children’s Cancer Research Fund Endowed Chair in Brain Tumor Research. Dr. Largaespada was awarded the University of Minnesota McKnight Land-Grant Professorship in 2000 and the American Cancer Society Research Professor Award in 2013. He has published over 170 scientific articles, many in high impact journals such as Science, Nature and Nature Genetics. Dr. Largaespada has co-founded three biotechnology companies.

Eric Lien

Eric Lien is Senior Vice President and Regional Manager with Wells Fargo’s Payments, Virtual Solutions, and Innovation group. His sales team focuses on delivering innovative electronic solutions, protecting payment data, and helping customers improve revenue collection. Eric started with Wells Fargo in 2004 and has held positions within bank’s Corporate Banking, Middle Market, and Treasury Management sales teams. He holds a B.A. from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. He lives with his wife and three daughters in Wayzata, MN. Outside of work, he is active in Habitat for Humanity, The Sheridan Story, and Rein in Sarcoma.

“After experiencing my dear friend, Blake Hastings’ battle with Ewing’s Sarcoma and seeing the toll it took on him, his family, and loved ones, I realized that is something that I never want any human to ever experience. Joining the Rein in Sarcoma board provides the opportunity make a difference and leverage my professional experience to make a personal difference in lives of patients and their families, and hopefully preventing others from encountering this horrible disease.”

Colin Ryan

Colin Ryan is Senior Vice President for Colliers International’s Investment Services division, Colin Ryan specializes in single-tenant and multi-tenant office and industrial investments. Prior to joining Colliers International, Colin worked at CBRE Downtown Chicago as a Research Analyst. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas’ Schulze School of Entrepreneurship. Colin’s community involvement includes the University of St. Thomas Dougherty Family College Advisory Board, Children’s Hospital of MN Leadership Council, Former Chair of Golf “FORE” Diabetes.

Colin was motivated to join the Rein in Sarcoma board after experiencing his brother-in-law, Blake Hastings’ sarcoma diagnosis, treatment and the affect it had on their family. He is anxious to leverage his business skills and experience to make a positive impact for sarcoma patients.