Young Professionals Committees
Gift of Life’s Young Professionals Committees are groups of emerging leaders who dedicate their time, talents, networks, and resources to raise support for the work of Gift of Life Marrow Registry. Volunteer committees have been organized in cities around the country so that young professionals can network with peers while supporting Gift of Life’s mission. Whether you are a donor or recipient, a supporter or volunteer, this is a great opportunity to make new friends and form new networks while helping to save lives.
Activities include committee meet-ups and social activities, where we help organize fundraising events, swabbing drives, and the annual Celebrating Life events in New York and Los Angeles honoring donors, recipients, supporters, and their families and friends. We’d love you to bring your skill set to the table to help us make each of our fundraisers a tremendous success.
We not only have fun, we make valuable contributions to the Gift of Life Marrow Registry, and you are welcome to join us. Please complete the form below to apply. Don’t see your area in the list? If you want to start a committee in your city, please contact Sydney Stupp, firstname.lastname@example.org, to learn more about our plans to expand.
Jason has been involved with Gift of Life since the day he swabbed his cheek in 2010 while a student at Syracuse University. A little over a year later he was called as a perfect match for a patient in need. A year after that, Jason met his recipient, Joe, and his entire family at a Mets game in an event covered by local media. Joe continues to do well and is the proud father of two. Jason became the co-chair of Gift of Life's NYC Young Professional Committee and helped steer the group to its current membership. Jason works at Roku in advertising and lives in New York with his wife Shira.
Mike first swabbed while on Birthright in Israel - within a few years he was called as a match for a patient battling cancer. Mike immediately began volunteering at other Gift of Life events and helped organize our first ever Celebrating Life in 2014. Affectionately known as the Raffle King, Mike's endless enthusiasm and volunteer spirit has helped Gift of Life grow its Young Professional Committee exponentially over the years. He now serves as Co-Chair of the YPC in New York, where he lives and works for Fidessa as a Product Management Professional.
Alicia is the Executive Director of Community Engagement for a healthcare agency based in Orange County, expanding on the last 10 years of comprehensive experience in relationship focused sales, business development and operations. It is her unrivaled dedication to bridge complex financial operations with powerfully creative solutions that makes her an invaluable asset to her clients and professional community alike. This dedication has taken shape most recently through her work as founder of the Orange County chapter of the Gift of Life Young Professionals Committee. As the daughter of a pediatrician and sister of a surgeon, Alicia has had front row seats to the challenges that the medical community faces when marrow and blood stem cell donors aren’t available. It is this awareness that drives her dedication to lead the Orange County community in bridging the gap and providing access to second chances for so many deserving recipients.
Heather Oliver began volunteering for Gift of Life because her mother, Gail Oliver, has been a volunteer since the organization began in the early 1990s in the hopes to find a matching donor for Gift of Life's founder and CEO, Jay Feinberg. Gail invited Heather to form a team for the 2016 South Florida Steps for Life 5k, and once she learned about Gift of Life’s mission, she felt there was more she could do. She worked with staff at the headquarters office to start, along with fellow volunteer Brennda Reiss, the Young Professionals Committee of South Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida, Heather is now a financial planner.
Jared Stein joined the registry while at camp at Young Judaea in New Hampshire. Only a year later, he was called as a match and donated his stem cells to a patient fighting Non-Hodgkin's Lymphoma. He met his recipient, Jill, at the 1st Annual Young Professionals (YP) Committee event, 'Celebrating Life'. They remain close today. A native of Newton, Mass., Jared has been involved with the YP Committee in New York and Boston, as well as a committed volunteer involved in our Steps for Life 5k in Boston, Finding the Hero in You at Camp project and Campus Ambassador Program. A proud graduate of the University of Maryland (where he swabbed over 1,000 fellow Terps as as student), Jared works at Soofa Inc as the Partnerships & Business Development Lead and resides in Cambridge.
Kayla Hammergren swabbed with Gift of Life while a student at Boston College. Her friend was running a donor drive on campus in honor of his brother, who passed away of leukemia. Within a year Kayla received a call from Gift of Life - she was a perfect match for a 2 year-old boy fighting the same disease as her friend's brother. Kayla donated and a year later got another call from Gift of Life: would she be willing to meet her recipient? She agreed and met her recipient, James, at the inaugural Gift of Life Boston Steps for Life 5k, held in Boston! She was joined by her family, friends, classmates, and the friend who swabbed her. It was an incredible moment and Kayla decided to begin volunteering. A native of San Francisco, she works as Account Executive at Digitas and lives in Boston with her fiance Connor, and continues to remain close with James, who is now a happy and healthy 7 year-old boy.
Ben swabbed while a Northwestern undergrad at a drive run by ZBT on campus, who were looking for a match for a member who was in desparate need of a transplant. 7 years later, Gift of Life called Ben: he was a match for a 23 year-old boy fighting Severe Aplastic Anemia, a rare blood disorder. Ben donated his cells and called Gift of Life back a few days later, asking us a simple question: how could he do more to help? Ben connected with another recent donor in Chicago, Becca, and together they formed the Young Professional Committee. Ben works as an Operations and Asset Manager for Sherman Residential and continues to reside in Chicago.
Becca joined the Gift of Life registry while on her Birthright Israel trip during college. Three years later, and now a resident of Chicago, she received a life-changing call from Gift of Life: she was a match for a woman battling leukemia. Becca donated and then began volunteering. She reached out to Gift of Life with fellow donor Ben Woldenberg about starting a chapter and, in the summer of 2018, kicked off our Young Professional Committee in Chicago. A graduate of Miami University (OH), Becca works as Sales and Operations Manager at DERMAFLASH.
Nick first signed up with Gift of Life as a student at Tufts University. Within a few months, he was contacted with the news that he was a perfect match for a patient in desperate need of a tranplant. The patient was a little boy, just 8 months old. After donating, Nick applied to Gift of Life's Campus Ambassador Program, where he went on to swab hundreds of fellow undergrads at Tufts. After graduating, Nick returned home to the Bay Area and received another call from Gift of Life. Would he be willing to meet his recipient, now completely healthy, at the annual NYC Gala? He jumped at the chance and met Alex - now almost 2 years old - in front of hundreds of supporters. Nick then went on to co-found the San Francisco chapter of Gift of Life's Young Professional Committee with fellow Gift of Life donor Jon Kayne. Nick recently moved to New York, where he works for Uber in New Mobilities Strategy. He is looking forward to continuing his work with Gift of Life in his new hometown!
Matt was introduced to Gift of Life by a co-worker and attended one of our networking happy hours in San Francisco. Inspired by the night and Gift of Life's mission, Matt followed up and asked how to get more involved. Within a few months, he collaborated with local volunteers and a nearby Gift of Life transplant recipient to organize a wine country outing for our committee, including a bus tour and day of winery tastings in Sonoma. Matt has continued his committment by organizing events and drives, including at his office, ZS. A native of Seattle, Matt attended college in the Bay area and now calls SF home.
Jon joined the registry while on his Birthright Israel trip and was called by Gift of Life a short time after. He donated blood stem cells to a patient battling Plasma Cell Disorder, but didn't know much else. That all changed when, a year later, he was able to meet his recipient, Steven. Jon went on to found the San Francisco chapter of the Gift of Life YPC with fellow donor Nick Judson. Jon most recently spoke at Gift of Life's inaugural One HUGE Night Gala in Los Angeles, where he presented an award in memory of his recipient. Jon now lives in NYC where he is still involved with the local YPC chapter and continues to work toward spreading the word about Gift of Life's important mission.