2017 Guest Speakers - SURVIVORville
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2017 Keynotes and Special Guests


KEYNOTE: Emmy® Winning Producer 
Marcia Mule’

The Women Survivors Alliance is proud to announce Six-time Emmy® Award Winner and Executive Producer Marcia Mule’ will speak at SURVIVORville 2017.

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.

Marcia and WSA’s Karen Shayne met this past spring and together with the production team of Artifact Creative, rebranded and prepared My 2nd Act: Survivor Stories from the Stage for television. Marcia now serves as Executive Producer with Karen and travels with the stage show around the country.

SURVIVORville will be held in Nashville, Tennessee in 2017 and is free to survivors.  This year’s theme is “What’s Your Story?”  Marcia will speak of her incredible experiences behind the camera and how her life has been changed by the dramatic stories she has produced. She will also speak on the importance of survivors sharing their stories and how YOUR story can encouraging others to make a difference in the lives they touch.  Marcia will also create an opportunity for one-on-one conversation and “coaching” opportunities within the breakout sessions offered at the 2017 event.



KEYNOTE:  International Speaker, Peace Muse and Terrorist Survivor Linda Ragsdale

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.

Currently, The Peace Dragon is her vehicle to bring peace to the world, though it isn’t her first entrepreneurial adventure. As a designer, her first design company won her three awards for her novelty in design and manufacturing from the Point of Purchase Advertising Institute. With a kick of her foot, Ragsdale turned a moment of anger into a patented pop-up display design. Expanding her view from design and production, her second venture, a marketing and manufacturing firm, created the first video retail sweepstakes kits with scratch and win cards and awardable prizes. Her third company took triple-layer cardboard out of the food industry and into home décor products. Her fun and funky designs caught the eye of publishers, giving her vision a voice.

She penned how-to articles in a variety of craft and home décor magazines and her first book, Creative Cardboard: Making Fabulous Furniture, Amazing Accessories and Other Spectacular Stuff (Lark Books, 2002). This led to demonstrating art techniques on cable craft television shows. Her decorating techniques challenge people to look beyond standards to break the barriers of thought and design to create. Ragsdale proves office supplies; kitchen utensils and toys are viable options as brushes and tools. She encourages people of all ages to own the artistry of their lives, redefining mistakes as explorations of the path to learning. In her five book drawing series, The Amazing Step-by-Step Art Card Studio (Lark Books, 2007-8) she uses the familiar strokes of letters, punctuation and numbers allowing everyone to feel the power of their art and creation through their own signature style.

Every path of her career supports her current work, which has bloomed in her first picture books, Words and Not Opposites (Both Flowerpot Press, 2016) for her Peace Dragon Series. The books present the first two powers of teaching peace, View and Voice. Words expands the idea of teaching basic words to include understanding the power of their intention, and their ability to encourage, inspire and comfort not only the people around them, but themselves. Not Opposites breaks the polar mindset of teaching opposites by presenting a view and understanding that supports and promotes diversity, allowing a child to find their place and accept others. Each story is part of a living curriculum where conflict management skills can be applied whenever an issue arises.

KEYNOTE: Dr. Michael Burcham, CEO Narus Health

SURVIVORville welcomes Dr. Michael Burcham, CEO of Narus Health to the stage for an incredible delivery of the importance of sharing your story to help others draw strength to inspire.

Michael is an entrepreneur, investor, and healthcare strategist with over 25 years’ experience leading technology-enabled healthcare organizations.  Michael currently serves as CEO of Narus Health, an organization focused on disrupting the care management experience for patients and families facing serious medical illness.

Most recently, Michael was the founding President and CEO of the Nashville Entrepreneur Center, serving in that capacity from 2010-2015. His work helped drive Nashville’s entrepreneurial growth and was honored by President Obama as a “Champion of Change” for his mentoring of young entrepreneurs in 2012.

Michael served as the Co-Chair of the National Advisory Council on Innovation and Entrepreneurship for the U.S. Secretary of Commerce from 2014-2016. He also served as the Chair of the Global Advisory Board on Entrepreneurship, King Faud University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. He founded Start-Up Tennessee in 2011, a key partner for the Start-Up America Initiative.

Prior to launching the Entrepreneur Center, Burcham worked with Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee to create Onlife Health – a health and wellness firm based in Nashville from 2008-2010.

From 2000-2007, Michael served as President of ParadigmHealth. ParadigmHealth specialized in the management of clinically complex patients and was sold to Alere in 2007.

Previously, Michael was President and Founder of Theraphysics, a venture-backed, specialty rehabilitation firm. Theraphysics was acquired by Beverly Enterprises in 1998. Prior to founding Theraphysics, Michael worked for Hospital Corporation of America (HCA) as Vice President of Managed Care for Centennial Medical Center.

Michael is on faculty at Vanderbilt University where he teaches Healthcare Innovation and Launching New Ventures in the Owen Graduate School of Management.

Michael began his career in healthcare in 1983 after graduating from the University of Mississippi Medical Center. Michael also holds an MBA from Belmont University and a Doctorate in Health Administration from the Medical University of South Carolina.


Keynote:  Olympic Gold Medalist and World Champion Scott Hamilton

The most recognized male figure skating star in the world, Scott Hamilton has won 70 titles, has been inducted into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame and the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame, and has received an Emmy Award nomination.

He captured the world’s attention 30 years ago with Olympic Gold performances in Saravejo. And today he inspires as a speaker, philanthropist, and cancer survivor.

Among his many accomplishments, Hamilton placed 5th in the 1980 Olympics, World Champion (1981-1983), individual Gold at Skate America (1981), Male Athlete of the Year (1981), Olympic Spirit Award (1984), the Jacques Favart Award as the first solo male figure skater recipient (1988), induction into the United States Olympic Hall of Fame (1990) and privileged member of the World Figure Skating Hall of Fame (1990).

As an author, Scott received notable critical praise for his New York Times best-selling autobiography Landing It, an intimate, candid and insightful look at his professional and personal life on and off the ice.  His inspirational book, The Great Eight, was released in January 2009.

Celebrating the thirtieth anniversary of his Olympic Gold in 2014, Scott continues to share his love and enthusiasm for ice skating as commentator for key competitions including Nationals, World’s and the Olympics. He’s also tested his acting skills with film and television projects including Blades of Glory.

Along with having been a speaker at the inaugural SURVIVORville 2013, Scott participates in a wide variety of charitable events, including his own Scott Hamilton C.A.R.E.S. Initiative (Cancer Alliance for Research, Education and Survivorship) through the Cleveland Clinic Taussig Center in Cleveland, Ohio, and Provision Healthcare Foundation in Knoxville, TN. He promotes his websites Chemocare.com and RadCare.org (in conjunction with CARES), his patient mentoring program The 4th Angel Network, and serves on the Board of Directors for Special Olympics International, and Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt University.




SPECIAL HONORARY GUEST: 14-Year Old Jessica Meyer

Look out SURVIVORville!  Jessica has entered the building!  Nope, she’s not your average 14-year old. In fact, she’s an extraordinary kid who beat the odds and is now dedicating her life to giving back.

It all started on a Sunday afternoon in September 2013 when Jessica Meyer, then 11 years old, visited her local Walmart in Nashville, TN.  Playing around with a new blood pressure/vision machine in the pharmacy, Jessica noticed she couldn’t see out of her right eye. That prompted a visit to her doctor and so began a barrage of tests. Since that fateful day in the Walmart, her life would never be the same. It was brain cancer and she needed immediate surgery. The tumor was also resting on her pituitary gland affecting her growth. She spent almost a year going through treatments and fighting this life-threatening disease. And in her own words, she “kicked cancer’s butté.” And through all of this, she finished the 5th and 6th grade on schedule and didn’t skip a beat.

Now, she’s an ambassador for childhood cancer and with over 100 events, fundraisers, and media opportunities, this energetic, pint-sized powerhouse uses her vibrant personality and wisdom to travel the country to inspire others.  While at home, she’s just a normal, ordinary gal with two dogs, schoolwork, dance, classmate parties and yes, monthly brain scans. If it isn’t enough that she had her own fight, now her goal is to start her own non-profit organization to help other families going through the same thing.  Now completing her debut on New Focus Networks “Positively Jessica” watch those cameras as this young girl takes SURVIVORville to the next level as an ambassador of survivorship. You won’t be able to keep up as Jess will prove this weekend she can turn anything she touches, even cancer, into a party of one – or in this case – a party of hundreds!




Michele Pillar, Author, Speaker, Singer and 3-Time GRAMMY and DOVE Nominee

Michele Pillar has a testimony that everyone who has ever needed help to overcome anything should hear!GrammyOne of the most cherished voices in Christian Contemporary Music, Michele Pillar is joining the speaker stage at SURVIVORville.

Michele’s strong name recognition from her CCM accomplishments and many #1 radio hits in the 80’s and 90’s may be the bedrock of her fan-base but is not what she’s leaning on to carry her new book, Untangled (BroadStreet Publishing) to the world. With sold out speaking engagements and Women’s Conferences nationwide, women are resonating with the people on a deeper level than music can reach. Michele is talking people’s language and speaking into the real world they live in. Her honesty, humor and music on stage breaks through the fear of “getting real” with yourself and letting go.  And how she does it?  Well….with a CLOTHESLINE! You will NOT want to miss this mainstage presentation!

Sara S. Skillen, CPO®, Evernote Certified Consultant, and Organizer Coach

Sara is the owner of SkillSet Organizing based in Nashville, TN. A former educator, musician and paralegal, Sara has worked in just about every kind of setting you can imagine – from a converted janitor’s closet, to a cubicle in a huge corporation, to telecommuting from her home office.  She founded her company in 2012 when she realized that she could combine her love of teaching and organizing to help people from all walks of life manage their stuff, time, and technology.  Sara has earned Level I Certificates in Chronic Disorganization, Basic ADD, and Time Management & Productivity from the Institute for Challenging Disorganization, and has completed the foundation coursework to become a Certified Organizer Coach. She is a member of the National Association of Professional Organizers (NAPO), and currently chairs the NAPO Awards & Recognition committee. She has led Empowerment Sessions at both the 2013 and 2014 SURVIVORville events, and is thrilled to be returning this year. An active blogger and speaker, her tips and ideas have been featured in Fast CompanyEnterpreneur, Angie’s List Experts, Living Inspired with Karen Shayne, and NOU Magazine, as well as her own blog “Sorting Through the Haystack”


Wendy Ann Payne, CSA, CEP®, Founding Partner, Centurion Wealth Management

Wendy Ann Payne is a Founding Partner of Centurion Wealth Management, an independent wealth management firm and also a cancer survivor. Her desire to create Centurion Wealth came from her passion for helping clients gain financial independence and personal empowerment through insight, experience and education. She long dreamt of building a wealth management firm that provides holistic financial planning and investment guidance while striving to empower clients through financial education. Today, that vision is full of life.

During her 17+ year tenure in the wealth management industry, family tragedies have personally touched Wendy’s life. What grew from this was a passion to educate and help others going through a life calamity and other stages of life. Through her desire to address women s financial planning needs, Wendy created Life Stage Transitions and Financial Independence for Women, comprehensive financial literacy programs and workshops. She also leads Centurion s Women, Wine and Wisdom initiative, educational seminars geared toward the financial planning needs of women. Through financial education, Wendy s goal is to empower women and revolutionize the way women navigate their ever-changing financial landscape.  Wendy specializes in working with women; newly-independent women, widows, divorcees and other women who suddenly find themselves solely responsible for making financial decisions for the first time. In 2011 she co-authored her first book, The Retirement Success Solution & Lessons I Learned from the Past Bear Market, where she wrote about the retirement planning challenges that are unique to women and the importance of financial planning.   Wendy is a Certified Senior Advisor, CSA, Wealth Management Advisor, and Life Stage Transition Specialist. Wendy currently holds her FINRA series 6, series 7, series 63, series 65, Life and Health insurance licenses.


Rhonda Smith Hicks, Entrepreneur and Founder, Project SHE

Rhonda is a wife, mother of two, corporate IT professional, entrepreneur and lymphoma cancer survivor.  She is originally from New Jersey, however, has called North Carolina home for the past 25 years.  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 tradeshows on both a national and international scale.

Rhonda is an active member of her community.  She is the president of the Raleigh-Durham Chapter for the National Association for Professional Women (NAPW), which is the largest women’s networking organization in the country, with over 600,000 members nationwide. The NAPW, whose president is Star Jones, also includes a nonprofit organization that supports four organizations – Dress for Success, The American Heart Association, Girls Inc. and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation – all of which are important for today’s women.  She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Incorporated, whose main thrusts are Sisterhood, Scholarship and Service.  Rhonda is also a Sunday school teacher and member of the Youth Ministry Leadership Team at her church.  When Rhonda is not busy taking her daughter to Girl Scouts or cheering on her son at his basketball games, she loves to travel and spend time with her family.  She enjoys hosting gatherings at her home to bring family and friends together for food, fun and fellowship! 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.

Dr. Altovise Ewing, Genetic Counselor at Cancer Treatment Centers of America® (CTCA)

Dr. Altovise Ewing is dedicated to helping patients navigate genetic information and integrate it into their decision-making about their treatment. Dr. Ewing earned her Bachelor of Art in Biology at Rhodes College in Memphis, Tennessee, in 2005. After teaching middle school science with Teach for America for two years, she returned to academia. Dr. Ewing completed her Doctor of Philosophy in Genetics and Human Genetics, specializing in Genetic Counseling, at Howard University in 2011.

As part of her training, Dr. Ewing completed summer internships in genetic counseling at the National Human Genome Research Institute and the National Cancer Institute. She provided genetic counseling services to patients at Walter Reed Military Medical Center in Bethesda, Maryland, and other regional health care facilities.

From 2012 to 2014, Dr. Ewing was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. Dr. Ewing’s postdoctoral research focused on genetic counseling, public health genomics and cancer health disparities. Her work focused on the inclusion of diverse patient populations in cancer research and developing educational approaches for patients and families.

Dr. Ewing is a member of the Genetics Forum Policy Committee of the American Public Health Association, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the National Society of Genetic Counselors, among other professional organizations and advisory committees. She has presented her research at national conferences and published her research in medical journals and popular magazines.

Dr. Ewing joined CTCA in October 2014. She provides on-site cancer genetics education to our clinicians and offers genetic counseling to patients who may have a hereditary predisposition to cancer.


Elaine SmithElaine Smith, MS, LMFT
Mind Body Therapist
Cancer Treatment Centers of America/Southeastern Regional Medical Center

With over 30 years of experience as a licensed marital and family therapist, Elaine Smith, a mind-body specialist at Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) at Southeastern Regional Medical Center (Southeastern), truly believes that there is more to healing than traditional medicine. Smith holds a master’s degree in marriage/family therapy from Purdue University, and a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Throughout her career, Smith has worked in both private practices and hospital settings. Using a systems approach to therapy, she focuses on interpersonal relationships, whether that means a family, a couple or a patient’s interaction with a friend or caregiver. Most recently, Smith managed a clinical private practice focusing on individual, marriage and family therapy, as well as crisis intervention and individual therapy. Prior to that, she was the director of a mental health counseling center at a community-based hospital in Indiana. In that position, Smith worked collaboratively with the medical staff to provide therapeutic support and wellness-interventions for cancer patients and caregivers. In her role with CTCA, Smith sees herself as a listener, as well as a generator of ideas, behaviors and attitudes that can help augment the medical process. She aims to provide CTCA patients with positive energy and guide them to treatments that may help them feel physically, spiritually and emotionally better.


Kim Randolph, MSN, FNP-BC
Integrative Medicine Nurse Practitioner
Cancer Treatment Centers of America/Southeastern Regional Medical Center

Kim Randolph has been a nurse practitioner since 1998, providing care for a diverse population, from chronically ill patients of all ages to college students and their families. Randolph has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, which she received from the University of Tennessee in Knoxville in 1995. She worked as registered nurse at hospitals in Tennessee between 1995 and 1999 while completing her Master of Science in Nursing at the Vanderbilt University in Nashville in 1998. Randolph was a nurse practitioner in Tennessee, South Carolina and Texas from 1998 until joining CTCA. At CTCA, Randolph works in the Quality of Life Department, where she cares for patients with a range of conditions. Her goal is to treat the medical symptoms of her patients while making them as comfortable as possible. Randolph is board-certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and the American Nurses Credentialing Center. She is trained in Advanced Cardiac Life Support and is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.

CrystalCrystal Langlois, RD, CSO, LD
Clinical Oncology Dietitian
Cancer Treatment Center of America/Southeastern Regional Medical Center

Board certified in oncology nutrition, Crystal Langlois has been working in the field for more than a decade. A clinical oncology dietitian with CTCA at Southeastern Regional Medical Center, Langlois’s interest in nutrition therapy for patients fighting cancer began during an internship, where one of her rotations included working with oncology patients. Crystal Langlois earned a bachelor of science degree in nutrition and dietetics from the University of Southern Mississippi in Hattiesburg. Prior to joining CTCA, she was a registered dietitian at various hospitals throughout Mississippi, and also worked as a consulting dietitian at a community living center. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association), Mississippi Dietetic Association and Oncology Dietetic Practice Group.

Mary Stodola
WSA Celebrity Chef

Chef Mary, a breast cancer survivor, attributes her love of cooking to the many happy hours she spent as a young girl in the kitchen with her mother. Of Czechoslovakian background, Stodola grew up creating everything from, homemade soups, potato dumplings and fresh raspberry kolachky.

Although she spent years working in the corporate world, she always dreamed of a profession in the culinary field. Following her heart, she left her successful career to receive formal culinary training. Interning in Chicago, Paris and Scottsdale, Arizona, Chef Mary is prepared to help you indulge in one of life’s most basic pleasures: enjoying fresh, healthy food without spending hours in the kitchen!

She looks forward to delighting your palette with a wonderful array of mouth-watering treats. She believes food should be fun, fresh and nutritious. Whether your taste entertains a meat and potatoes diet or a menu of salmon ‘en croute, she will provide you with a culinary celebration of “really good food,” and teach you how to bring that celebration into your own kitchen. Chef Mary believes there are no bad foods, only bad diets. As she leads you through the culinary journey; she’ll teach you how to find joy in cooking and improving your food choices.

Providing delicious food and cooking excitement is a labor of love. Summing up that love, she quotes her favorite chef, Julia Child: “Food is so delicious ― it should taste absolutely beautiful, and there’s no reason you can’t eat a healthy, fine diet that’s absolutely delicious. A lot of people don’t know what really good food is supposed to taste like.” Today Chef Mary is a personal chef, culinary teacher, consultant and a freelance writer.  She is also a cancer survivor. She moved to Tennessee from Scottsdale, AZ in 1999, to be Culinary Director for Viking Culinary Arts Center in Franklin, TN; in 2004 Culinary Consultant to Shop At Home Network (a division of The Food Network) and has served celebrities Emeril Lagasse, Bill Cosby, The Judd Family, Dave Ramsey, Governor of Tennessee, Brown-Forman, West Tennessee Women’s Health Conference, St Thomas Women’s Health Services, Nashville Chamber Orchestra and Tennessee Performing Arts.


Laura Mac
Survivor Designer

Laura Mac Jeffers, a.k.a. Laura Mac is bringing a new and interactive twist to SURVIVORville in 2017 with a little survivor design!

YouTube’s “Survivor Designer” Laura Mac is 4-year breast cancer survivor and like most women with breast cancer, she’s got something to get off her chest! Cancer.  Yep, CANCER.

On Valentine’s Day of 2013, Laura got engaged to the man of her dreams. The day after that, she had her first mammogram to get peace of mind about a lump found while showering. A week later, she got the diagnosis. Breast Cancer.

Treated at Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Atlanta, after 4 surgeries in 2013, she was more than happy to get a free upgrade to 2.ohhhhhh just in time for the wedding!  After making a promise to God to share her success story in hopes of encouraging others to take charge of their health to avoid this situation, Laura has made it known she has found the key to getting through cancer has been to get ahead of it. She has come to learn that everything happens for a reason. Everything.

Now, she’s taking back her first, ahem..second love – design.  After a run on TLC’s Flip That House, Laura Mac took to YouTube with Survivor Designer, taking over DIY projects like she did cancer – head on and one step at a time.   Her philosophy?  “Inspiration plus motivation equals gratification.”  Now, Laura Mac is headed to New Focus Network in 2017 with extended episodes of Survivor Designer.  Yep, she’s on the right path and painting her way with her own personal paintbrush and slamming a few nails with her pink hammer along the way. Lookout cancer, if you throw Laura to the wolves, she’ll return leading the pack!  Get your tool belt on, gals! Laura Mac is painting SURVIVORville survivorship purple in 2017.


Ali Schaffer, LCSW
Manager, Patient and Family-Centered Care; Assistant in Medicine and Psychiatry

Ali Schaffer, LCSW, is the manager of Patient and Family-Centered Care at the Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer (VICC) Center.  In this role, she oversees the management of the Patient and Family Resource Center, clinic volunteers, pet, and the Vanderbilt Oncology Expressive Arts Committee.  She also collaborates with medical professionals and local and national organizations to plan and implement educational programs for people impacted by cancer.  Ali is a clinician with the new VICC psycho-oncology team and provides psychotherapy to people impacted by cancer.

Ali graduated with a BA in Psychology from Emory University and a Masters degree in Social Work from the University of Georgia. She is a national speaker and contributes content for articles, online blogs and webinars on a variety of cancer-related topics.


Runsi Sen, Founder, President & CEO
Ovarcome Foundation for Ovarian Cancer Survivors

Runsi Sen, Founder of Ovarcome, serves as the President and CEO of the organization. Runsi lost her mother to ovarian cancer in 2009, and in her memory and with her inspiration founded Ovarcome. Under Runsi�s leadership, Ovarcome has experienced significant growth both nationally and internationally.

Runsi graduated from Rice University in 2004 with an MBA in Strategy & Marketing. Runsi also holds a master�s degree in Economics. She serves as an Advisory Board member of the Blanton-Davis ovarian cancer research program at MD Anderson. Runsi received her early education and career experience internationally, in India. She lives with her husband and two children in Houston.


Debra Sheridan, Founder/President
Faces of HNC

Debra serves as Founder/President of Faces of HNC is a Tennessee based 501(c)(3) organization dedicated to raising public awareness about head and neck cancer and resources to provide solutions that improve quality of life for HNC treatment survivors, one voice at a time.

Debra recently signed with Black Card Books, an international publisher, to produce and promote her upcoming book “My Voice – Lost and Found”. The book will discuss obstacles in life, some random and unasked for, some self-created, that may have impeded our ability to realize our goals and dreams and suggestions for turning those obstacles into opportunities.  Debra will be the first to highlight a specific head and neck cancer empowerment session group at SURVIVORville.  Thank you, Debra!


Emi Canahuati, MA, ASSECT Certified Sexuality Educator 
Talk and Thrive Education, LLC 

 Emi is the owner and founder of Talk and Thrive Education LLC in which she helps parents helps raise sexually healthy children through workshops and coaching. She has been a sexuality educator for 19 years and her passion is to help create a world in which talking about sex is not taboo and for people to have access to information and pleasure that they want, without fear or shame. She is the co-coordinator for the Nashville Alliance for Sexual Health and Sex Positive Nashville, both efforts to open up conversations about sex and sexuality in professional communities and the community at large. She believes that people who are sexually healthy, make for a better and happier world.



Urology Associates

Vikki Pedigo, MSN, WHNP-BC is a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at the Women’s Institute for Sexual Health (WISH), a division of Urology Associates in Nashville, TN. Vikki specializes in the medical treatment of female sexual and pelvic health with a holistic approach. She completed her Bachelor of Science at the University of California, San Diego and her Master of Science in Nursing Degree from Vanderbilt University. She enjoys caring for women and helping them attain an improved quality of life through her work.