Diedre K. Alexander
Producer, Director, Writer, Cancer Survivor
Diedre Kaye has degrees in education, communication and theater, and had careers as a teacher, principal, as well as contracting her services to Departments of Education throughout the country. She also held a Vice President position in corporate America until her husband, Alexx, slipped an audition notice in front of her. “You were a lot more fun when you were doing theater,” he told her.
Diedre auditioned and secured the role, and shortly afterward joined forces with Alexx to start their own theater company. As co-producers of Darknight Productions, Alexx wrote the shows that Diedre directed, choreographed, costumed and stage-managed. Over a six-year period they employed over 40 actors and produced 11 of Alexx’s plays throughout the greater Phoenix area.
They closed their theatre, and on September 10, 2015, having accomplished three summers of RV travel and crossing all 30 MLB parks off their list, as well as 30 regional theaters and seven National Parks, Diedre was diagnosed with stage 4 colon cancer. The merry duo left their journey about the country to start a new journey of survivorship.
Together they recently celebrated one full year of stable scans since she completed initial treatment. As Diedre continues with maintenance treatment, their travel remains limited but it allows time for Diedre to give back to her cancer survivor community by using her accumulation of talents and skills for the benefit of A2ndAct.org. She serves as Executive Producer for the organization’s performances of “S.T.A.R.S!: Survivors Tell A Real Story.”
Melissa Coats, ND, FABNO
Melissa Coats is a licensed naturopathic physician and is board certified in naturopathic oncology. Dr. Coats graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College in Lynchburg, Virginia, with a bachelor’s degree in Biology; she then went on to get her Masters in Bioethics from Midwestern University in Glendale, Arizona. Subsequently, Dr. Coats earned her Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) in Tempe, Arizona.
While at SCNM she was very active in promoting naturopathic medicine with the Naturopathic Public Awareness Campaign (NPAC) now known as N-ACT, which supports legislation of naturopathic doctors licensure in all 50 States. Dr. Coats received SCNM’s 2008 Outstanding Leadership Award for her active participation in College events, programs and activities, commitment to the profession as a whole, support of the College community, and commitment to advancing the profession of naturopathic medicine.
She is a member of the Arizona Naturopathic Medical Association, American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, and the Oncology Association of Naturopathic Physicians. Dr. Coats is a past president of SCNM’s Alumni Association. She is also serving as board development director for the Boys and Girls Club of the East Valley, Ladmo Branch and is a member of the education committee for the Arizona Naturopathic Medical Association. In 2017 and 2019- Dr. Coats was named one of Phoenix Magazine’s Top Doctors for Naturopathic Medicine.
Dr. Coats offers general naturopathic medicine for all ages with a focus on Oncology, Autoimmune disease as well as Mental Wellness. Dr. Coats takes the approach with every patient that no matter what stage in life you are it should be at the best level possible, and by taking an active interest in your health many illnesses can be avoided. She is passionate about not only caring for her patients, but their caregivers as well.
Publisher, Frontdoors Media, Cancer Survivor
Andrea is is dedicated to celebrating the people and groups who give generously and work to build the future of our community. Frontdoors content is delivered through several platforms, including Frontdoors Magazine, The Knock newsletter and FrontdoorsTV. Prior to the acquisition of Frontdoors, Andrea was the Principal of Event Planning for Evans Communications.
She launched her event consulting business in September 2003, following a successful career as the event planner for two of the Valley’s largest nonprofit agencies. She has served as a political fundraising expert as well, with a distinguished list of clients on the local, statewide and national level.
Andrea is a proud Arizona State University alumni and a graduate of Valley Leadership Institute. She volunteers with a number of nonprofit organizations that help women, children and the arts in our community. Andrea is married to Tom Evans and mom to Thomas, Ellie and their rescue kitty, Sally.
Caroline Harbeck Farkas
Owner and Designated Broker
Blondie Wolfe and Associates
Caroline graduated with an electrical engineering degree and started her career life as an engineer working in the California Aerospace Industry. She decided early on her true passion was investing in real estate and helping others to do the same.
Having enjoyed over 30 years in real estate investing, renovating, selling, flipping and renting homes, Caroline currently works in both the Arizona and California markets. She was very lucky to find her husband of more than 15 years, Tommy, who shares her passion – they make a great team!
Caroline’s second dearest passion (and Tommy’s too!) is to support local charities. She has spent over 30 years volunteering her time and providing financial assistance supporting those organizations she finds special. A 2nd Act is indeed a special organization and close to her and her husband’s hearts. Tommy’s first wife, Ginger, was a breast cancer survivor who was overcome several years later with an aggressive liver cancer and passed away.
Caroline and Tommy spend as much time as possible with their families and friends. They know the most important thing in life is to be with the ones you love; they know how precious and sometimes fleeting those moment are.
Director of Marketing, Scottsdale Medical Imaging
John Freeman has over 30 years experience in healthcare marketing and public relations working with companies such as Bristol Myers, Bayer, and Eli Lilly, and with hospice and palliative care organizations throughout the US. Currently the Director of Marketing with Scottsdale Medical Imaging, he also acts as a consultant to one of Arizona’s largest medical specialty practices.
John was born, raised and educated in the United Kingdom, coming to the United States in 1985 as part of “Walk Across America,” a hugely successful PR and fundraising event for children’s’ bone marrow transplant programs. Not content to simply work with the sponsoring corporations and organizations, John literally stepped from behind the desk and walked every mile of the 3,000 mile event.
John has served on the boards of several hospice organizations, as well as the board of the American Lung Association of Arizona. It was through working with American Cancer Society that John became more aware of the meaning and complexities of survivorship and recognized opportunities to change popular misconceptions through education and engagement.
John sees the honor of working with A 2nd Act as a meaningful opportunity for someone with a marketing background. He hopes to help communicate with the general public and decision makers about the issues surrounding cancer survivorship, and create a better understanding and acceptance of the growing population of survivors and the issues they face.
Janine Gauthier Mullady, PhD
President and CEO of Life Reset Solutions
Dr. Gauthier Mullady is a licensed clinical health psychologist specializing in psychosocial oncology and works clinically with patients and families to learn how to cope with the psychosocial issues in cancer. Her organization, Life Reset Solutions, is a Behavioral Medicine Practice focused on working with patients and families who are in the midst of a health crisis.
Dr. Gauthier Mullady served as the director of clinical services for the Cancer Integrative Medicine Program and Director of Psychosocial Oncology at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago for 10 years. She completed a National Cancer Institute Cancer Prevention and Control post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Texas Health Science Center in Houston, Texas, where she worked collaboratively with MD Anderson’s Cancer Center.
Her research interests include Integrative Medicine, emotional distress in cancer care; mind-body medicine, health related quality of life, spirituality, spiritual issues in cancer and coping in cancer patients. Dr. Gauthier Mullady delivers lectures on psychosocial aspects of oncology as well as Integrative Medicine in oncology and survivorship in cancer. She lives on the North Shore of Chicago with her husband, Patrick, and two step children.
Retired Firefighter, Computer Consultant
After a six year stint in the business world, David knew his passion really rested in the field of helping others. Following that passion, he began his 30 year career as a professional firefighter. During that time he served as a company officer and Deputy Chief, responsible for leading the department’s Safety and Education Bureau.
David’s firefighting schedule left him with days off in between shifts. Always having been intrigued in technology, he launched a second, and parallel, career as a computer consultant. His clients varied, as did the work he performed, from trouble shooting equipment malfunctions (and sometimes those of the operators!), to creating robust databases to enable his clients to manage their varied businesses.
A father of three, he shared his love of sports with his children. But the one sport that has stuck is hockey. His schedule includes playing on two different leagues, sneaking in open skates whenever possible.
David married Judy Pearson in 2010, less than one year before her diagnosis of Triple Negative Breast Cancer. Together, they navigated the treatment and all the challenges it brought. Supporting Judy as she wrote about survivorship, began to connect with survivors across the country, and eventually launching A2ndAct.org has been a terrific way for them to heal together.
Founder of A2ndAct.org
Judy is a story teller, a proud graduate of Michigan State University, and a Triple Negative Breast Cancer survivor. As an award-winning writer, she has millions of published words to her credit. This includes three books, with another in the works, The Accidental Handmaiden: How the Survivors of the War on Cancer Became Its New Casualties.
In 2012, Judy co-founded the Women’s Survivors Alliance and was honored in Washington D.C. by the American Association of Cancer Research and featured in their National Cancer Research Progress Report.
Using what she’s learned from cancer experts around the world, along with thousands of women survivors, Judy has become a leading expert on life after a cancer diagnosis, as well as the value of a 2nd Act. Judy’s survivorship and work led her to found A2ndAct.org. The organization’s strength is founded on cutting edge research on the health benefits of volunteering and survivors sharing their stories of their 2nd Acts. It is, as she says, the best pay-it-forward organization ever.
Judy is a member of the Society of Integrative Oncology and co-secretary of their Patient Advocacy Task Force. She is a member of the American Psychosocial Oncology Society, a founding board member of Arizona Women for the Arts, a past board member of the Michigan State University Alumni Association, a member of the American Association for University Women, and a member Women of Central Phoenix. In 2015, Judy was named one of Chicago’s Most Inspirational Women, and in 2018, was selected as a finalist for the 2018 Arizona Healthcare Leadership Awards.