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Rein in Sarcoma Has a New Board President

Debra Cossette

The past year has been a big transition for Pete Wyckoff as he handed off leadership to Janelle Calhoun who joined as Executive Director in July, 2017. Pete completed the transition to new leadership as he passed the Board President's gavel to Debra Cossette at the 2018 Annual Meeting. Read more about Pete and Sue Wyckoff's roles going forward.

Deb and her husband, Terry came to know Rein in Sarcoma when Terry received the Patient Starter Notebook from the University of Minnesota Sarcoma team. He is thankfully now a six-year survivor. After volunteering at several RIS events, then finding more time after retiring and with an interest to learn something new, Deb got involved in the redesign of the website in 2015.

Deb grew up in the Twin Cities, graduated from the University of Minnesota in Electrical Engineering and built a career in product development at 3M, spending a few years working in Austin, Texas. Besides volunteering with Rein in Sarcoma, she enjoys traveling to experience new places and visit relatives and friends throughout the United States.

From Deb:

I am honored to become Board President of Rein in Sarcoma at such a pivotal time in the organization. Over the past few years I have come to highly regard Pete and Sue Wyckoff and all they have done to build such a impactful foundation. I appreciate Pete and Sue's continuing involvement as Janelle and I work to make the transition as smooth as possible. I'm am always impressed by the passion and commitment of the volunteers, medical professionals, board members, committee leaders and staff who enable RIS to serve and bring hope to so many patients and families. I look forward to meeting many more of you personally over the next year.

Snow Doesn’t Stop Rein in Sarcoma Annual Meeting

Blizzard Icon

Thanks to webmeeting technology the Rein in Sarcoma Board was able to carry out business in spite of a very snowy day! We were disappointed to forego the potluck dinner and being able to meet in person, but glad we had a Plan B.

Tom McCarthy reported that the organization grew by almost 30% in 2016 furthering our mission and allowing us to make significant strategic decisions for 2017. The Board approved $148,000 in new Sarcoma research grants at the University of Minnesota that will soon be made public. Funding of a second year of research grants at Mayo Clinic, Children's Hospitals and Clinics and SARC was approved, as was funding for RIS Sarcoma Scholars at both at the University of Minnesota and Mayo Medical Schools for the 2018-2019 academic year.

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2018 – New Board Members

The following new members were elected to the RIS Board of Directors at the January 22 Annual Meeting:


Blake Hastings

Blake Hastings is Managing Director Minneapolis/St Paul at CBRE, a commercial real estate services and investment firm. He was diagnosed with sarcoma in 2017 and both he and his co-workers at CBRE actively supported RIS, raising funds with a marathon and a chili cook-off. We look forward to Blake’s enthusiasm and non-profit board experience as a member of the Development Committee and as board Vice President.

Valeria Lopez Torres

Valeria Lopez Torres is a Visual Artist, Designer and Educator currently teaching at Century College. She has been our talented go-to graphics designer since she joined the PR-Marketing Committee in 2015, recently becoming committee chair. In addition to the beautiful event posters, invitations, and programs she has contributed, Val’s graphic design students redesigned our organizational brochure in 2017.

Scott Okuno, MD

Scott Okuno, MD is Medical Director of the Oncology Department for Mayo Clinic Health System in northwest Wisconsin and Cancer Coordinating Committee chair for all of Mayo Clinic Health System. He has been supervising the RIS Sarcoma Scholars at Mayo Clinic since 2015, serves on our Medical Advisory Board, and is the key link between RIS and Mayo Clinic.

Linda Pomeroy

Linda Pomeroy has been a long time RIS volunteer active with the Party in the Park auction and garage sales. She and her husband, Rick, established the Andrea Pomeroy Named Fund in honor of their daughter who died from sarcoma. Linda sells “Andrea’s Tea Blend” to raise money for RIS, inspired by the tea room and gift shop she and her daughter owned together.

Retiring Board Members: We thank the following board members who completed their three-year term for their generous service to Rein in Sarcoma.

Sue Wyckoff - two terms, Sue will continue as Chair of the Red Flags Education Committee
Pete Wyckoff - two terms and outgoing Board President, Pete will continue to lead collaboration efforts with other sarcoma organizations.
Theresa Baultrippe - two terms, member Red Flags
Courtney Clemens - one term, outgoing Secretary
Christian Ogilvie, MD - one term, Medical Advisory Board and Red Flags lecturer

Thank you to all the Board members who serve RIS!

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