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 closure. Alisa 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” and 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 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 Studioand 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 Gasparilla 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.
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, re-elected in 2022. 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.
This new board of advisors began in April 2022.
Dr. Andrew Campbell is the Director of the International Peace and Leadership Institute, which provides emerging leadership research and competency-based leadership development and training programs for international, national, and non-governmental organizations. He comes to My Hope Chest to offer his vast experience in strategic growth and organizational leadership post from our pandemic hiatus.
During his career as a senior military officer, Dr. Campbell worked for the Department of Defense specializing in global experiences in strategic planning and execution, organizational crisis leadership, leading organizations in uncertain, complex, and ambiguous environments, and national strategies for learning and leadership development for senior leaders. He is a Global Goodwill Ambassador and global key-note speaker on character leadership in times of crisis, Digital Defence and more. He is widely published in national, and international journals. Dr. Campbell lives in AZ with his wife and grandchildren.
Mike is a data engineer for PwC in Philadelphia where he began his career as an auditor of privately held companies. With combined experience in both the accounting and technology industry, he has a solid foundation, the necessary preparation, and the confidence to perform a wide range of job duties.
He stresses his ability to be a resource, a manager of resources, and places a high level of significance on team building where he helps create value. Whether it is in person or virtual, Mike has continued to give back to different communities through volunteer service over the years. Breast Cancer has touched his life and is one of the reasons why My Hope Chest’s mission and vision for the future resonates with him so much.
Mike holds a Bachelor of Science degree in both Accounting and Finance from Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey - Camden. He is also pursuing his Master of Business Administration (MBA) from Quantic University of Business and Technology. In his free time, Mike enjoys traveling the world with his girlfriend, visiting breweries and wineries, attending Philly sporting events (Go Birds!), and playing with their dogs.
Bio coming soon
Katelyn is an experienced Board Member with a demonstrated history of working in neuroscience. Skilled in management, teamwork, healthcare, and leadership. Strong nonprofit development professional pursuing an MD/PhD from the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine/Fralin Biomedical Research Institute. She loves working at the grassroots level and will be a great addition to our team.