Karen Shayne spent over 20 years as a healthcare administrator where she has focused exclusively on development and management of healthcare facilities. Most importantly, Karen is a survivor of two different types of cancer. The diagnosis made her understand from “both sides of the desk” the importance of proper treatment, resources and a positive mental attitude as both a worker in society, a patient and as a woman.
Karen became a frequent speaker at many cancer events throughout the US and through those efforts saw the lack of resources available for specific issues related to cancer care. In the beginning, it was about children. In 2003, Karen founded “Billy’s Wish,” a nonprofit that helps children fight cancer through entertainment and educational programs. It provides age appropriate material to help children deal with the disease and what they will face through the colorful world of animation using DVD’s, CD’s and coloring books. The materials are now distributed free of charge to children with cancer and are available online and through hospitals in the United States.
It was that route and her passion for cancer patients that took her in yet another direction. In 2011, after five years of research and strategic planning and with the help of women survivors across the nation, Karen launched the National Women’s Survivors Convention and founded the Women Survivors Alliance, a 501c3.
Karen served as Tennessee State Lead Ambassador for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network as well as Survivorship Committee Chairperson for the Tennessee Cancer Coalition. In 2013, Karen was nominated for the Nashville NEXT Award sponsored by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce and the Entrepreneur Center.
Karen was also named 2011’s Health Care Hero by the Nashville Business Journal. She is also a member of the class 2011 of Leadership Middle Tennessee. She received the International Best of the Best Award by the Assisted Living Federation of America for her “On Modern Age” television show. Karen was the 2008 Nashville Business Journal Williamson County Impact Award winner; a 2009 Lifetime Television and L’Oreal Cosmetics “Women of Worth” nominee, and the recipient of the 2003 Small Business Council of America’s “Humanitarian of the Year” Award. In 2001, Georgia State Senate honored her with her own Resolution for her efforts with cancer advocacy and research.
Marcia Mule’ is a Six-time Emmy® Award Winner and Executive Producer. Marcia was Head of Programming at Engel Entertainment where she was involved in the company’s programming and development slate. Marcia’s clients included VH-1, Discovery, Lifetime, Animal Planet, Cooking Channel and Bravo. Prior to joining Engel, she was Head of Programming for True Entertainment, where she oversaw Bravo’s Real Housewives of ATL for two seasons, Style Network’s Whose Wedding is it Anyway? and Logo’s The A-List New York. In 1997, Mule’ co-founded Picture This Television, the company behind such hits as Celebrity Poker Showdown Emmy® Award-winning Kathy Griffin: My Life on the D-List, both for Bravo. Over the past decade, Marcia has garnered relationships and produced for networks such as Bravo, TLC, Lifetime, Vh1, Discovery, Animal Planet, Food Network, HGTV, Logo, Oxygen, WeTV and PBS.
Author, illustrator and international speaker/teacher Linda Ragsdale shares how the powerful skills of View, Voice and Choice can lead people through the more challenging parts of their lives with a peaceful and productive outcome. As a survivor of the 2008 Mumbai terrorist attack, her physically devastating wound validates her message of empathy and compassion over retaliation or resentment. Her work in peace education has led her around the world, empowering over 30,000 students to see and speak with a new voice, and an expanded capability of choice. These same tenets of peace offered her a safe journey through breast cancer, finding treasures within the moments of darkness. Whether the terrorist comes from outside or within, Ragsdale believes peace offers a balanced journey through every challenging event.
Rhonda Hicks, Associate Producer
Rhonda Hicks joins the production crew after participating as a cast member in Raleigh’s inaugural production in 2016. Rhonda is a wife, mother of two, corporate IT professional, entrepreneur and lymphoma cancer survivor. Rhonda
holds a degree in Business Administration Management from Meredith College. Her corporate career has been in the fields of telecommunications and IT, primarily focusing on project, account, and personnel management. In November 2009, Rhonda launched her first entrepreneurial venture – Amazing Grace Event Management. Over the past six years, she has had the opportunity to plan and manage events spanning from milestone celebrations and weddings to small business and large corporate trade shows on both a national and international scale. Her latest venture, Project She™, is her personal passion. Because she lives the life of a busy wife, mommy and business woman, Rhonda understands the challenges and stressors that can be overwhelming on a daily basis. This project was born out of those experiences and it is her hope this forum will serve as a place for women to support one another in the name of encouragement and positivity through the powerful bond of womanhood.
Jessica is Pint-Sized Correspondent with a love of life. A brain cancer survivor, Jessica has been a familiar face for the past several years at over 100 events, fundraisers, and media for – Make-A-Wish, Stars for Wishes, Monroe Carell Jr Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, Children’s Miracle Network and more…
Jessica has had the pleasure of working with many celebrities connected to these causes such as Maria Osmond, John Schneider, Jonathan Cain, Billy Baldwin, Mira Sorvino, Nick Cannon, Ali Simpson, Jason Gray Stanford, Anne Dudek, Scotty McCreery, Garry Allan, Lady Antebellum, Chris Carmack, Jo Dee Messina, Rick Fox, Leo Stakos, Zendaya, Randy Houser, Todd Chrisley, Melissa Raycroft, Hunter Hayes, Jr Master Chef Logan Guleff, Woody & Jim, Nashville Preds, Ms America 2016, Ms. America 2015, Ms. Tennessee 2016, and Ms Tennessee 2015.
Jessica uses her vibrant personality and the wisdom she has gained over the last few years fighting life-threatening brain cancer and her other medical conditions to speak to audiences and raise awareness for childhood cancer research, children’s hospitals, Make-A-Wish and messages to inspire others.
Philip Bradley, Director
Philip Bradley is owner of Artifact Creative, a creative studio based in Brooklyn, NY with a passion for content production. Artifact’s productions are known for high-quality content with compelling images and dynamic storytelling. In addition to NFN, Artifact has had the privilege to work with some incredible organizations, and have established a reputation for delivering content that reinforces brands and creates effective campaigns. Philip’s past projects have included Facebook, Porsche’, Verizon, Walgreens, and more.
Cynthia Chafin, M.Ed, MCHES
WSA Project Director
Cindy Chafin, M.Ed., MCHES is so very excited to be part of the Women Survivors Alliance. Cindy will be working as the project director for NOUmagazine and will also support efforts with SURVIVORville and My Second Act: Stories from the Stage. Cindy works as a public health project director and consultant and has served as the State Tennessee Cancer Coalition Coordinator and Regional Coordinator for the Middle Tennessee region since 2005. Cindy has been involved with WSA since the very first SURVIVORville in 2013. She currently serves as the interim director of the Center for Health and Human Services at Middle Tennessee State University in Murfreesboro and has had her own consulting business, Community Health Collaboratives, since 2007 where she manages multiple projects and grants. She is a master’s level certified health educator through the National Commission on Health Education Credentialing.
What made Cindy so interested in WSA? It started the very first time she met Karen in 2013. Having lost several friends and relatives to cancer, it was already close to her heart. Starting as a volunteer for the very first SURVIVORville, Cindy was literally speechless at the event and struggled for words to portray the essence of SURVIVORville and WSA when doing a write-up later. What she didn’t struggle with was the feeling of knowing she had to continue to be a part of it. She wanted to be a part of “that kind of crazy” and has stuck with Karen ever since to be involved in various activities of WSA. As if that were not enough, she has been dubbed “Karen’s twin” when they wear similar hairstyles and clothes. It was meant to be!
Cindy has contributed towards the development of three state cancer plans, served as primary writer and developer of the “ABC-123- Healthy Kids in Tennessee: Let’s Eat Well, Play, and be Aware, Every Day” program of the TN Cancer Coalition which won a CDC “success story” recognition and other awards, and was a founding member of the TN Cancer Coalition Student Internship Committee. Cindy worked in conjunction with the Tennessee Department of Health cancer control program director to grow a small group of volunteers into six regional coalitions with 300+ members over a multi-year period. She has a Master of Education in health promotion and education from Vanderbilt University’s Peabody College, and a Bachelor of Business Administration. from Middle Tennessee State University.