Board, Advisory Board of Directors and Leadership

There is no greater gift one can give to another than the gift of their time. We thank the following individuals and are very fortunate for their time and support to our great cause, selflessly helping the thousands of women and breast cancer survivors counting on us to succeed in this crusade.


Alisa SavorettiHTI1445
Survivor, Founder, CEO and President
Life is what happens after we make the “master plan.”

Alisa considers herself a “serial entrepreneur” with a diverse background in fashion design and manufacturing, E-commerce and show business.  Alisa’s own story, having lived without her breast for nearly 3 years in her 30s because she lacked the means for reconstruction, prompted the birth of My Hope Chest in 2003.  “I didn’t choose My Hope Chest- it chose me.”  Feeling she could not be the only woman in this situation, she believes the charity is her calling to help breast cancer survivors find closureAlisa is passionate about her mission and has dedicated her life to helping and healing all women who desire breast reconstruction.

In 2009, Alisa relocated back to Tampa Bay. It was year 7 for her dedication to the charity, alas, My Hope Chest mission restarted in 2010.  Since returning home, Alisa has received numerous accolades and honors for her work for My Hope Chest including, the WEDU Be More Philanthropic Award, Bay News 9 Everyday Hero and Tampa Bay Lightning Community Hero Award, receiving $25,000 for the charity.  The Debartolo Family Foundation’s Spirit of Humanity Award.  In 2020, Alisa was recognized for the most prestigious charity award in America, the CNN Hero Award.  Alisa was finalist in the Non-Profit category four times for the Tampa Bay Business Journal’s “Women of the Year”

National recognition includes, ” O” Oprah Magazine featured as a “Breast Cancer Hero.”    PEOPLE  Human Interest stories recognized Alisa’s vision to begin My Hope Chest. And Reader’s Digest listed Alisa as one of the 9 Names to Know in Breast Cancer  highlighting pioneers in the breast cancer movement.

Alisa is proud the charity has been able to serve its mission as a grassroots charity and thankful for the help from the community to “Create Butterflies” andAmy Divine 1 transform lives.  However, she feels the effort and number of women helped is “simply not enough.”  Nineteen years after her own cancer journey, she continues to work tirelessly to raise awareness and funds and eliminate the growing “waitlist” and help more survivors move past this disease every year.  Her goal in 2022 is to make it My Hope Chest’s #bestyearever and elevate the organization “out of the grass.”  Alisa believes that until there is a cure for the disease, My Hope Chest’s services will always be needed.  Her long term vision for the charity is to eliminate it’s wait list and quickly help survivors in every city in America.

Outside of the charity, Alisa is a proud supporter of our military and helped start the Tampa Bay USO serving on the Advisory Board and providing the entertainment at kick off.  She is thankful to her father George, a Navy serviceman in the Korean war and long time Commander of the DAV for instilling the sense of service in her genes and pride in her work.  She credits her recently deceased mother Betty, who was a 3-time cancer survivor, family matriarch and MHC Heavy Hitter volunteer, for supporting her after cancer and helping sustain the organization to help women across America.   “Mom is a warrior and the most wonderful, self-less person I know.  My Hope Chest, nor I, would be here without her support on all levels.” Alisa lives with family and favorite kitties, Boots. Jake and Boston. Her favorite pastimes include dancing, attending the theater, being in nature and she is an avid movie buff. _________________________________________________________________

Monica Varner smMonica Varner ~Treasurer

Monica served on My Hope Chest’s Advisory Board for 7 years before moving into a Board roll as the Treasurer in 2020.

Monica has a diverse background in the workplace, with experience in both the for-profit and not for profit sectors. Her background is in accounting as well as the legal field.

As the owner of Elan Event Studio and Partner at Big City Events in Tampa, Monica has created some of the biggest festivals and events in downtown Tampa.  As a supporter of My Hope Chest, Monica sponsored decor and lighting for MHC’s signature “Boooobie Ball” and in 2018, and also the charity’s signature event, the “Butterfly glowalk, 5K FUN Run and gloW PaRty,” in 2014, 2016, 2018 and 2019.

Monica and her event planning team are an integral part of the Gasperialla International Film Festival and have been involved since 2006.  She is now the Executive Director.  As executive director for GIFF, Varner is responsibilities include managing the overall production of the festival from film submissions, sponsorships, and scheduling events and she’s also versed in grant writing.  Monica lives in South Tampa with her 2 boys and enjoys the Florida beaches with her family in her free time.


Donna Holock photo

Donna Holck  – Secretary

Mrs. Holck is a long time supporter of My Hope Chest and serves as our Secretary.  Donna is a Florida native, Seminole High graduate and Largo City Commissioner. When she is not working or volunteering, she loves spending time with her family and is an avid Lightning and Rays fan. Donna also serves on the Homeless Leadership Board of Pinellas County. Breast cancer has touched her life and why she is passionate about My Hope Chest’s mission helping survivors. She lives in Largo with her husband and her Bichion poodle, Elvis.


 Medical Advisory Board


gayosoDr. Antonio Gayoso ~ Surgeon Partner and Medical Advisor

Dr. Gayoso was the first surgeon to help My Hope Chest in the Tampa Bay Area and is one of our Doctors of Distinction. He is the owner of Gayoso Plastic Surgery.

He was born in Gainsville, Florida and he completed his undergraduate education at Duke University and the University of Florida. His medical degree was completed at the University of Miami, Miami, Florida and his surgical training was completed at the Medical University of South Carolina, both in general surgery and plastic surgery.

Dr. Gayoso is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is an active member of The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. He is currently the Chief of Plastic Surgery at St. Anthony’s Hospital and at Bayfront Medical Center. He is a member of The Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons and is a recent past president of the Tampa Bay Society of Plastic Surgeons.

Breast reconstruction is a large part of his practice and has touched his life. Dr Gayoso is passionate about My Hope Chest’s mission, attending events and he is a surgeon in our documentary short, “Breastless in America~ Still Waiting.”  In 2014, Gayoso Plastic Surgery featured MHC on a Billboard in Tampa Bay!  The office and staff of Dr Gayoso continue to show their support of our mission to provide closure and we are deeply grateful to them all.


Dr. Dallas R. Buchanan ~ Surgeon Partner and Medical Advisor

Dr. Dallas R. Buchanan is new to the Tampa Bay Area and is a contributor to My Hope Chest.

He was born in Missouri and completed his undergraduate education at Truman State University. His medical degree was obtained from The University of Kansas. He then completed a full 5-year general surgery residency in Birmingham, Alabama, followed by a 3-year plastic and reconstructive surgery fellowship in Philadelphia. After his training, Dr. Buchanan moved to Spokane, Washington, where he practiced for 4 years doing both cosmetic and reconstructive plastic surgery with a focus on breast reconstruction. In 2018, Dr. Buchanan moved to Tampa and opened his own private practice, VIVIFY plastic surgery

Dr. Buchanan is Board Certified by the American Board of Plastic Surgery and is an active member of both The American Society of Plastic Surgeons and The American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. He is a member of The Southeastern Society of Plastic Surgeons, The Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons, and The Tampa Bay Society of Plastic Surgeons. He has privileges at several area hospital systems including Baycare, Advent Health, HCA, Tampa General Hospital, and Lakeland Regional Health.

The reconstructive portion of Dr. Buchanan’s private practice is entirely dedicated to breast reconstruction. He has a strong dedication to the cause of My Hope Chest and the rights of women to have breast reconstruction and his practice focuses on helping usher patients through this very difficult and complicated process with ease.


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Dr. William A. Zamboni, M.D., FACS ~ Founding Surgeon

We recognize and honor our special “Angel” always.

Dr. Zamboni (1958 – 2015 ) was the Founding surgeon of My Hope Chest who sadly, passed away on July 11, 2015.  He will always be remembered by My Hope Chest as a kind man, and our biggest angel who had the vision and heart to bring our mission to heal women and our charity to life.  Thanks to the late Dr. Zamboni’s time and dedication, My Hope Chest was birthed and is still able to fulfill our mission and the change lives of women across America.

Dr. Zamboni is survived by his wife, Karen and their son in Henderson, NV.

 


Advisory Board


Dr. Shawn H. Robinson ~ Advisory Board

Dr. Shawn H. Robinson has nearly thirty years of experience as an educator. His academic professional experiences include teaching mathematics full-time at high school and college levels, serving as college administrator at two large metropolitan community colleges. He has also been a Florida Bar-licensed practicing attorney for more than ten years with experience in landlord-tenant disputes, wills and powers of attorney, business incorporations, non-profit board governance consultations, and contract review.

In the greater Tampa community, Dr. Robinson has chosen to advocate for early childhood development, the arts, economic development, and civic engagement. He has served on numerous community and civic boards, held many leadership positions within those organizations, received numerous awards and recognition, and served on several college accreditation reaffirmation teams. He has served as a board member of the Ybor City Chamber of Commerce, the Ybor City Development Corporation, the Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County, and the Tampa Kiwanis Club and its Foundation Board of Directors in various leadership capacities. Additionally, Shawn has served on the Phi Delta Theta fraternity’s housing corporation board, the Tampa/Hillsborough Film and Digital Media Commission, Florida A & M University College of Law Board of Visitors, and the Tampa Historic Streetcar board.

Dr. Robinson holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics Education, a Master of Education degree in Mathematics Education and a Doctor of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Central Florida as well as a Juris Doctorate degree from Florida A & M University College of Law.

In his free time, he enjoys golf, chess, Xbox, Star Wars, spending time with his kids, and riding motorcycles.


susan jacobsSusan Jacobs ~ Advisory Board Member

As the Founder of Wheels of Success, a successful social service organization in Tampa Bay, Susan brings a wealth of knowledge and support to My Hope Chest.  Wheels of Success is dedicated to providing personal transportation solutions by partnering with the community in a circle of support to keep people working and sustain their independence.  Susan’s background includes running a staffing agency and owning and operating four clothing stores in the area.  She also served on the Board of Directors for Dress for Success Tampa Bay for four years. Those business skills have given her a knack for networking and team building for success. Susan graduated from the University of Florida with a double major in Psychology and Sociology.   She was a member of the University of Florida Hall of Fame, Who’s Who in American Colleges, and Universities and Phi Beta Kappa.  She has two children and lives in Tampa, Florida.


Dan ZinkDan Zink – Advisory Board
Originally from a small town in Ohio, Daniel Zink left the farm to join the United States Air Force when he decided to hold off on college to serve in the military.  Even after a rewarding and decorated career, he has not stopped giving back to the community through his volunteer service.  Whether it is was through Habitat for Humanity, Community Radio WMNF 88.5 FM, Tampa Bay Blues Festival, Grand Prix of St. Petersburg, or My Hope Chest, Daniel, a father, and grandfather, graciously gives his to time to help support many worthwhile local charities.  Most recently Daniel has supported My Hope Chest through his event volunteer management, as well as helping to expand the outreach network.  Professionally, he has enjoyed a successful post-military career in Radiology and is currently a regional sales manager in the Southeastern United States.  Dan’s outgoing attitude and smart business acumen lends itself easily to the mission and success of My Hope Chest.  He’s also the proud parent of three grown children and two beautiful granddaughters. 


For more information to join the Board or Advisory Board, Submit your inquiry to info@myhopechest.org.