Staff

Michele Seyranian
MNO, Chief Executive Officer

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Michele brings strong leadership skills and a deep connection to The Gathering Place. Most recently she worked with Hospice of the Western Reserve as its chief marketing and business development officer. Before that, she held several executive positions at KeyCorp (KeyBank). Michele is a proven and dynamic leader whose skills and personal appreciation for the mission of The Gathering Place make her uniquely qualified to be our successor CEO.

seyranian@touchedbycancer.org
Cheryl Apisdorf
MBA, Outreach & Facilities Coordinator

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Cheryl brings years of non-profit experience to The Gathering Place. She has worked in several administrative capacities at the Jewish Community Center and has been a volunteer with many local organizations including The Gathering Place. She is delighted to now be a member of the staff.

apisdorf@touchedbycancer.org
Amy Bell
BA, Manager, Partnership Development & Warehouse Sales

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Amy has years of experience in sales & marketing in the corporate world. She has developed partnerships with clients in customizing office equipment, the sale & construction of residential homes & designing and selling furniture to create beautiful interior spaces. She is a graduate of Ohio State University, studying English, Fine Arts & Art History. Amy has been an avid shopper at the TGP Warehouse and will now combine her passion for design with her desire to help people touched by cancer.

bell@touchedbycancer.org
Beth Bennett
PT, MA, MS, RDN, LD, Chief Program Officer

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Beth brings over 35 years of experience to The Gathering Place as a physical therapist and dietitian. She enjoys helping our participants develop a healthy sustainable lifestyle with an emphasis on plant foods and plenty of physical activity for themselves and their loved ones. After 11 years managing the Exercise & Nutrition programs and services at The Gathering Place, Beth looks forward to her new role as Chief Program Officer overseeing all program components of The Gathering Place.

bennett@touchedbycancer.org
Mary Fisher Bornstein
LISW-S, Program Staff

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More about Mary Fisher

In Mary’s 35 years of practice in mental health and oncology social work, she has worked with many persons who have been touched by cancer, both as individuals and in groups. Mary served as Director of Mt. Sinai Medical Center’s Social Work, Home Health Care and Geriatric Departments. She has been working with individuals and families and facilitating support groups at The Gathering Place since it opened in 2000. Recently, Mary has been studying many healing art modalities and is a Reiki Master.

bornstein@touchedbycancer.org
Stephen Cerne
BS, NSCA-CPT, ACSM/ACS-CET, Program Staff

Stephen facilitates our eastside exercise programs.

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Stephen brings his expertise as a fitness trainer and strength and conditioning coach and his own personal family experience with cancer to his role at The Gathering Place. He looks forward to using his knowledge to empower others who may be mentally and physically fragile, providing encouragement, hope and imparting upon them an ‘I can do this attitude.’

cerne@touchedbycancer.org
Eileen Coan
MA, MLS, Medical Librarian

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More about Eileen

After a decade in the nonprofit mental health field, Eileen obtained a degree in Library Science to address the need for relevant, credible information for people in crisis. She started the first consumer health cancer library in Cleveland at Fairview Hospital’s Moll Center and has been with The Gathering Place since it opened in 2000. Eileen works to overcome the stereotypes of librarians! She also teaches guided imagery, journaling, and craft activities at The Gathering Place.

coan@touchedbycancer.org
Casey Durkin
MSSA, LISW-S, Director of Children & Family Programs

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More about Casey

Casey Durkin comes to The Gathering Place with over 30 years of clinical social work experience. Most recently, Casey was director of a school based mental health program in a local public school system. Additionally, Casey has maintained a private clinical practice serving ages 3 – 93! In all of these diverse settings, Casey utilizes an individualized, practical and sensitive approach. Casey is delighted to now be a part of The Gathering Place’s warm, supportive, and highly skilled team.

durkin@touchedbycancer.org
Aseem Garg
LPC, LMFT, Program Staff

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More about Aseem

Aseem has a master’s degree in marriage & family therapy from the University of Akron, & is dually licensed as a marriage & family therapist & a licensed clinical counselor. He has experience working with individuals & families who are dealing with trauma & grief & loss. Aseem works with adults & children & leads groups that provide support to participants and their families. Previously, Aseem worked in community mental health & was an intensive home-based therapist for several years.

garg@touchedbycancer.org
Liz Krantz
Eastside Volunteer Coordinator

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More about Liz

Volunteering in the community has always been a part of Liz’s life so her role as Volunteer Coordinator at The Gathering Place is a great fit. Liz attended the University of Massachusetts in Amherst and George Washington Law School and has experience in healthcare law.

krantz@touchedbycancer.org
Lynn Lubben
Westside Volunteer & Operations Coordinator

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More about Lynn

Lynn is the full time administrative staff person at The Gathering Place West, which also includes coordinating the Westside volunteers. She has held various administrative and counseling positions over the past 30 years, most of which were in the field of alcoholism and drug abuse. Lynn came to The Gathering Place from Southwest General Health Center, where she coordinated health center information dissemination at the information desks and volunteers.

lubben@touchedbycancer.org
Susan Marinac
LISW-S, MT-BC, Program Director

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Susan is our Program Director and has been with The Gathering Place since 2008. She is a clinical social worker and a board certified music therapist. Susan has over 25 years of professional experience in the areas of psycho-social oncology, hospice and bereavement care. Susan often incorporates the creative arts into her practice. She leads several groups including a group for caregivers and a group for young women with breast cancer.

marinac@touchedbycancer.org
Maureen Paez
BA, Development Coordinator

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More about Maureen

Maureen worked for many years as a software engineer. After taking time off to raise her children, she has found a supportive community to be a part of here at The Gathering Place. As the Development Coordinator, Maureen is responsible for acknowledging every donation made to fund our free programs and services.

paez@touchedbycancer.org
Erin Rafter
PhD, CCLS, Program Staff

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Erin completed her doctorate in 2006 from the University at Buffalo and is a Licensed Psychologist. Erin has experience working with children and adults in grief & loss, pediatric palliative care & hospice, and family therapy. Erin began with The Gathering Place in 2000 as a volunteer before joining the staff in 2011. In addition to leading groups for children and providing support to families, Erin aids participants in learning to cope with the stressors of cancer.

rafter@touchedbycancer.org
Adam Ross
Chief Development Officer

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Adam has years of development experience & comes to The Gathering Place after 9 years as VP of Development with Vocational Guidance Services. Throughout his 20 year career in the non-profit sector, Adam has been responsible for fundraising, marketing, public relations, budgeting, human resources, program development, mentoring, strategic planning, & business development. He is a graduate of St. Bonaventure University & a member of the Cleveland Leadership Center’s Bridge Builders Class of 2014.

ross@touchedbycancer.org
Sue Shane
BS, Administrative Coordinator

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Sue joined The Gathering Place because of her desire to use her skills to serve people. Her diverse background includes work as a dog trainer and 20 years of secretarial experience at various organizations. Outside of her administrative duties at The Gathering Place, she enjoys practicing tai chi and meditation.

shane@touchedbycancer.org
Andrea Sonnie
LISW-S, Program Staff

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Andrea completed her MSSA at Case Western Reserve University and is accredited in oncology social work. She has been with The Gathering Place since 2008, having a special passion for assisting people with cancer & their family members. Andrea has 30 years' experience in behavioral health, emphasizing skills to empower health-focused coping. Andrea enjoys on-going training to gain expertise in survivorship & wellness when partnering with those confronting the challenges of cancer.

sonnie@touchedbycancer.org
Simone Swanson
BS, Director of Community Outreach

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More about Simone

Simone brings her passion for community outreach and organizational development to her role as Director of Community Outreach. She also works with The Gathering Place’s young professional group, the Rising Leaders Council focusing on outreach, friendraising and fundraising in the community.

swanson@touchedbycancer.org