Staff & Board 

STAFF

Ashley Wagner

Executive Director

A woman passionate for helping everyone touched by cancer, Ashley is a perfect fit for WOCA’s executive director. She discovered her passion after completing an internship at the Reiman Cancer Center, and then losing her mother to pancreatic cancer in 2012. The best part of working for WOCA to Ashley is getting to see all the love and support at the annual Survivor’s Brunch, because helping those affected by cancer is what she loves most. When she isn’t working, she loves to spend time with friends and family, as well as watching reality TV, working out, and rooting on the Packers.

Jennifer Kerber

Marketing Coordinator

Almost two years ago when looking for a way to give back, Jennifer found WOCA and knew right away that it was a perfect fit. Excited about the cause, her favorite event is the Survivor’s Brunch, as it is a place to see so many strong women come together. She also enjoys the Whisper Walk in Madison, because there is such a strong sense of community. When not at the office, Jennifer enjoys traveling, gardening, hiking with her dog, and spending time with friends and family.

Mary Ann Johnson

Madison Area Coordinator

Mary Ann is a survivor of stage 3c ovarian cancer.  Ironically, she worked as a cancer registrar at UW- abstracting and staging cancer cases for the Carbone Cancer Center.  She retired shortly after her diagnosis.  She discovered WOCA on a list of resource websites while in treatment.  She was originally drawn to the STS program, and joined.  In 2016, she assumed the role of the Madison area Facilitator.

As a grateful survivor, Mary Ann feels compelled to spread awareness, provide education, and raise funds for research of this "disease that whispers."  Her favorite event is the Survivor Brunch.  She loves spending time with her lovely "survivor sisters" of her "Fried Eggs-Sunny Side Up" OC Survivor Social Group in Madison.

Susan Skiles

Fox Valley Coordinator

Susan was diagnosed in November 2017, after her primary care physician conducted a CT Scan. From there she decided to get a second opinion, and was treated at the University of Wisconsin Carbone Cancer Center.  Where they were willing to treat the entire person (mind, body, spirit) and provide the needed support for her wife.  She was able to treat holistically as well as with convention medicine. Susan truly believes that the clean eating, exercise, meditation, prayer, drinking a lot of water, minimizing stress and having a very large support group were helpful in maintaining minimal side effects from the poison being dumped into her body.  Susan joined WOCA in order to empower and encourage other women and their caregivers with knowledge and support.  She hopes to raise awareness in the medical community as to symptoms of this devastating disease and raise funds to help determine better diagnosis and treatment.

Karen Wawrzonkowski

Office Volunteer

Karen was diagnosed in 2016, and began volunteering for WOCA in the summer of 2017. She was looking for a way to give back, for all the support she received during her treatment. She enjoys the WOCA community events, and helps out with office tasks when needed.  Karen offers advice and support for those that are going through the same thing.  While there may be some commonality in a cancer diagnosis, she understands that everyone's experience is different, doctors may have different treatment regimens and everyone's response to treatment is different.  Staying engaged with other survivors and respecting those differences is important to her.  In addition to volunteering for WOCA, she also is a volunteer puppy raiser and trainer for WAGS (Wisconsin Academy of Graduate Service Dogs) out of Madison.  Karen is a dedicated volunteer, and we are grateful for her!!  Thanks for all of your help Karen, we appreciate you!!

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BOARD

Diane Hoyt

Board President

At the young age of 26, Diane lost her mother to ovarian cancer, and began getting involved with WOCA in hopes of contributing to developing a test. Three years ago Diane joined the board, and her background in marketing and financials help her contribute greatly as WOCA’s treasurer, and head of the marketing and financial committees. Very passionate about volunteering, Diane also works with the Across America Boxer Rescue to help pups in need, and also enjoys getting to as many UW Badger games as she can.

Hayley Larkin

Board Vice President

As an Executive Clinical Oncology Specialist for AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals, Hayley is professionally and personally invested in helping ovarian cancer patients live longer than ever before. She represents what was the 1st Parp Inhibitor to market (now 3 1/2 years ago!) and just recently was approved as a maintenance therapy.  She is not only proud of all of these pivotal advances in medicine for women with ovarian cancer, but is even more hopeful as we look to develop a diagnostic tool and someday even a cure. Because of her passion for these patients, she had been a volunteer at events and happily joined the board in 2017. Her background in sales, marketing and fundraising will be an asset throughout the year for the various events held for WOCA in Milwaukee and Madison. When not working or volunteering, Hayley spends time with her husband Jim and their 3 kids. As a former University of Wisconsin volleyball player, she tries to attend as many UW Badger games as she can!

Kari Diestelhorst

Board Treasurer

Kari’s mom battled ovarian cancer for almost ten years.  After seeing her journey and being with her at the end of her journey, she made a promise that she would get involved to help raise awareness for this silent killer.  She volunteered at the Mother’s Day walk to benefit WOCA with her sister and friend in May, 2016.  At the event she was able to connect with Peggy Pipia and knew that she wanted to join the board to help make a difference. Kari joined the board in the summer of 2016, and became the treasurer in January of 2018.  She loves Toast to Teal; however, her favorite event is Nancy’s Run, Rock & Stroll.  She believes that having the opportunity to raise funds for a great cause is important; however, being able to connect with survivors and families of survivors was emotionally more than she expected.  “These survivors are so inspiring and help remind me why what we are doing IS making a difference.”

She works at Catholic Financial Life as the VP of Finance.  She has been with the company for over 10 years.  Outside of work and volunteering at WOCA, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends.  She’s been married to her high school sweetheart, Clint, for 19 years.  Clint is a special education teacher.  They have two children and two “fur-babies.”  Spending time with her family traveling tops my list of favorite hobbies. 

Lori Felber

Board Secretary

After a nine month fight, Lori’s mother lost her battle to ovarian cancer, which inspired her to become involved with spreading awareness. Like many, Lori and her mother did not realize that her symptoms were those of ovarian cancer, which is something she hopes to change. Lori also volunteers to help those with bleeding disorders, so she can bring her experience there to the WOCA board. Another animal lover, she loves spending her free time with not only her husband and sons, but with her three dogs and two cats, and would love to run her own rescue one day.

Amy Borkowski

Board Member

Amy has been involved with WOCA since 2013.  She facilitates Survivor's Teaching Students sessions with UW- Madison medical students at Aurora-Sinai Medical Center in Milwaukee. She enjoys photographing the WOCA events, and loves capturing special moments with family and friends. She loves that WOCA events give her the opportunity to meet new people. A fun fact about Amy is that she assisted in birthing and socializing two litters of bengal kittens,  and has rescued and fostered bengal cats. She is a Certified Nurse Midwife with many years of health care experience in women's health.  She enjoys WOCA because she has been able to meet the most amazing women through the organization, including survivors, volunteers, and employees who are all dedicated to fulfilling WOCA's mission.

Debbie Podkowinski

Board Member

Debbie lost her mother to a tough battle with ovarian cancer in 2000, one year after being diagnosed.  Back then, symptoms for ovarian cancer were not in the forefront of discussions with doctors, a fact she was determined to change.  She started to raise awareness through hosting an annual Valentine’s Day event which included guest speakers discussing ovarian cancer symptoms and pampering salon services on site.  During her tenure of hosting this event, she knew they were making an impact and raising awareness.  Soon after, she became aware of WOCA and its mission through the founders, Sandi Wagner and Kelli Zembruski.  Their passion to raise awareness was infectious which quickly ignited her interest to join WOCA.  She has enjoyed collaborating with all the board members and volunteers over the years and appreciates the gifts each of them brings to help accomplish WOCA’s mission to raise awareness.  Currently, Debbie Chair’s the Governance committee where their team helps to guide decisions to align with WOCAs mission. Outside of work and volunteering, she enjoys cooking, gardening and spending time with family and friends.  

Peggy Pipia

Board Member

Peggy has been involved with WOCA for over 13 years, starting to work with the organization after her mother—and best friend’s—diagnosis. Her young daughter, Kathryn, made bead decorations to be sold, and have stayed involved every since. Peggy loves all of WOCA’s events, knowing that the opportunity to spread the word with each one is most important. Outside of volunteering for WOCA and her job, Peggy loves Zumba, gardening, traveling, and is a true dog lover!

Stephanie Herfel

Board Member

I made a choice two years in my journey to be an advocate for ovarian cancer, including awareness and education.  As I watched WOCA grow, and be a support system for me, I thought it would be a good way to give back.  I support their mission, and hope to inspire others to get involved in supporting our cause.  I have participated in WOCA events for the past 3 years, and more recently have joined the WOCA board. My favorite event is the survivor’s brunch.  Every year the amount of survivors that attend the brunch increases, which a complete expression of hope, and means we are living longer!

As one of the only survivors on the board, I feel I bring a unique perspective, in better understanding the needs of the survivors.  And I’m not shy. I’m a former marine.  I have a dog, named Sierra that smelled my cancer, and I’m currently in the process of writing a book.  I did 25 years of government civil service, with the rank equivalent to a colonel.  I enjoy spending time with my family.  I enjoy having new experiences and challenging myself. 

Susie Siettmann

Board Member

Susie Siettman BSN, OCN, ONN-CG is an exciting new addition to the WOCA board, bringing with her an extensive background in the medical and gynecological fields, as well as a passion for fundraising and a creative mindset!  She learned about WOCA through receiving Comfort Totes for her patients, and was pushed to get involved by the impact WOCA made on them. Her favorite event is the Survivor Brunch, as she loves seeing the special treatment her patients receive. In her free time, Susie loves biking and kayaking, as well as attending festivals. As a fun fact, her mother considered her a ‘miracle baby,’ being born 16 years after her next closest sibling! During her time as an oncology nurse, she travelled for work, once even getting to live in Costa Mesa, CA!

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The marketing committee is responsible for providing guidance and assisting in the development of the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance’s marketing strategy.  Its purpose is to increase the overall visibility, enhance the reputation, and support the mission of the Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance.

Marketing Committee

“Fund the Future”

Fundraising Committee

The purpose of the Governance committee is to ensure that the board fulfills its legal,
ethical, and functional responsibilities through adequate governance policy
development, recruitment strategies, training programs, monitoring of board activities,
and evaluation of board members & performance.

Governance Committee

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