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Behind the Scenes: Lacuna Loft’s Board Of Directors

board of directors

Here at Lacuna Loft, we are all about the behind the scenes, nitty-gritty of running an organization. When I started Lacuna Loft, I relied on some very communicative and helpful small business owners to help guide me…along with a load of library books!  In the Behind the Scenes series we’ll talk about the various stages of the development of Lacuna Loft and some of the lessons we’ve learned along the way. You’ll hear often from me, the Founder and CEO of Lacuna Loft, as well as from our Design Guru, board members, contributors, and more!

Today we’ll introduce you all to our Board of Directors working hard behind the scenes of Lacuna Loft!

If you’ve missed other posts in our Behind the Scenes series, check out a day in the life of Lacuna Loft’s founderLacuna Loft’s First Days, and an FAQ with our founder (me!).

For those of you unfamiliar with the nonprofit world, the Board of Directors is a group of individuals all nonprofits in the US need to have.  Board Members are responsible for making sure the organization’s activities remain in line with the organization’s goals and mission.  The Board of Directors at Lacuna Loft are very much a working board, which means that they not only help with the overall strategy of the organization but also in some of the day-to-day activities such as program development and fundraising.  These individuals are a huge asset to the organization and I’m not sure where I’d be without their hard word and dedication.  We are a small Board which means that everyone is very involved and decisions can be made quickly.  Having said that, we are looking to grow in the coming months.  If you’re interested in learning more about what being a Board Member looks like, email and we can chat!

Lacuna Loft is also very fortunate to have recently formed a Scientific + Medical Advisory Board.  We’ll let you meet them in a few weeks!  These wonderfully talented individuals will be helping with overall direction, impact, and evaluation of our programs.  For any young adult cancer survivors or caregivers out there, Lacuna Loft is currently forming a  YA Cancer Survivor + Caregiver Advisory Board.  If you’re interested in joining or learning more about this volunteer opportunity, please email and I can send you some more information!

Without further ado, please meet our wonderful Board of Directors!!!

Mal-picture-tiny-180-180Mallory Casperson – CEO + Founder, President, Board of Directors
Mallory has an MS and half a PhD in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Several months after serving as a primary caregiver for her mother, during the final months of her life, Mallory was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma at the age of 24. Several years after her diagnosis, Mallory realized that her new survivorship needs didn’t fit into the work-life balance mold enforced by her graduate school research schedule. After leaving graduate school, Mallory was challenged to ‘do anything she wanted’ for an entire year. That year, Lacuna Loft was launched. She now manages operations, programs, and development at Lacuna Loft where online support programs and resources are provided to young adult cancer survivors in the comfort of their own homes. Mallory is an avid lover of animals, running, swimming, hiking, being outside, reading, crafting, and TV or movie marathons.


Patti-picture-tinyPatricia McDonald – Treasurer, Board of Directors
After first her young husband’s, and later her father’s difficult battles with cancer, Patti co-founded a cancer support center to encourage, educate, and empower patients and families experiencing cancer in their lives. She later went on to serve as Founding Executive Director for a second cancer wellness center in the Chicago area. Patti serves as a Lacuna Loft Board Member to do what she can to ensure young adults facing cancer have access to the innovative, age-appropriate, and impactful programs and resources they need to improve their quality of life and well-being – no matter how challenging the circumstances. With over 20 years of experience as a nonprofit leader and fundraising executive, Patti is currently working in advancement for higher education.


shelly-picture-tiny-180-180Shelly Whitsitt – Secretary, Board of Directors
Shelly works as a director of research and strategy at a qualitative market research and creative agency, Fusion Hill. She started her career in marketing at a start-up in South America and her first experience with qualitative research was with women farmers in India. At Fusion Hill, she enjoys turning rich, qualitative research into key insights that help clients achieve their business goals. Shelly has a BA in Psychology and Spanish and an MBA with a concentration in Marketing from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Key experiences in her MBA program include a yearlong project on Product Innovation in Subsistence Marketplaces, and serving as CEO of a student-run 501(c)(3). Shelly enjoys spending time with family and friends, TV binging on Netflix, or getting cozy with a book. She loves traveling and exploring new cultures, trying new and different foods, and being active outdoors.


Sarah-Goodell-picture-tiny-180-180Sarah Goodell – Member, Board of Directors
Sarah is the newest member of the Lacuna Loft board and is thrilled to have the opportunity to contribute to this amazing organization. She is a Senior Analyst in Digital Communications and Corporate Social Responsibility at Mead Johnson Nutrition where she works on a variety of projects, from managing social media campaigns to coordinating CSR efforts. Prior to her work here, she was a Program Manager at Cancer and Careers, where she ran a number of their programs as well as coordinated social media and PR initiatives. During her years working in the cancer community she became very passionate about supporting survivors, particularly young adults, and helping them thrive after a diagnosis. Sarah is originally from Minneapolis but currently lives in Chicago, and is an avid rollerblader, yogi, and brunch enthusiast.

Let us know if there is something in particular that you’d like shown as part of our Behind the Scenes series!