President & CEO Harriet Schiftan, MSW, MAJCS
Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee President and CEO Harriet Schiftan brings more than 25 years of non-profit experience to our cancer support community. Prior to joining Gilda’s Club in September 2019, she served the Jewish Federation of Nashville and Middle Tennessee (JFNMT) from 2010-2018, where she was Associate Executive Director from 2016-2018. At JFNMT, Harriet was credited with pioneering a nationally recognized, priority-based program grant funding model. She also played a key role in helping the organization expand its reach, enabling JFNMT to serve more individuals through more programs.
Harriet has been a resident of Nashville since 1999. She holds a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Southern California; a Master of Arts in Jewish Communal Service degree from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion; and a Bachelor of Arts degree from San Diego State University. Harriet is a resident of Williamson County. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, reading, traveling and spending time with her husband and their three adult children.
Program Director Allison Yonker, LMSW
Allison is a native Nashvillian, who holds both master's and bachelor's degrees in social work from the University of Tennessee. She was introduced to Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee when she was a graduate student intern; hired as a program manager in 2002; and promoted to program director in 2020. Allison leads our team of clinical social workers. She also provides strategic guidance and tactical implementation of our evidence-based cancer support program, which is delivered both in-person and online.
In her free time, Allison enjoys spending time with her husband and kids, and traveling to the beach as much as possible.
Program Manager & AYA Specialist Megan Ingram Forshey, LCSW
Megan began working with Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee in 2003 as an undergraduate intern and soon after discovered a passion for working with adolescents and young adults (AYAs) impacted by cancer. After completing her degree, she made the decision to continue her education and pursue a master’s degree in social work at the University of Tennessee with the intent to continue working at Gilda's Club. As hard as they tried and much to her delight, GCMTN could not get rid of her and officially hired her as a member of the program staff in 2007. Megan’s clinical work continues to focus on teen and young adult programming, but also includes work with children and adults of all ages.
Program Manager Liz Geller, M.Ed, NCC
Liz is a native of Boston and joined the Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee team in January 2018, after having served the organization as a clinical health intern for two years. Liz holds a master's degree in human development counseling from Vanderbilt University and a bachelor's degree in psychology and sociology from George Washington University. In her free time, Liz enjoys hiking, cooking, listening to live music, and hanging out with her husband and two “kitty kids.” Her life goal is to see and understand as much of the world as possible, a goal inspired by time she spent teaching in Laos before starting graduate school.
Program Manager & Cancer Resource Specialist Leslie Halpern, LCSW
Leslie is a native of Memphis, but has called Nashville home since 2008. She was first introduced to Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee as a graduate student intern from 2009 to 2011; she graduated with a master's degree in social work in 2011. In her current role, Leslie is charged with helping new members get connected, by orienting them to Gilda’s Club and doing their CSPs. In addition, Leslie is our dedicated Cancer Resource Specialist and helps with community outreach efforts. Leslie says being a part of the Gilda’s Club team is a dream come true.
In her free time, Leslie loves to travel, play fetch with her rescue dog, snuggle her kitties, and spend time near water – lakes, beaches, rivers, all of it! She also enjoys game nights with her family and meeting new people.
Program Volunteer Coordinator & Data Manager Jennifer Wilkins
Jennifer joined Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee in 2018 and is a part of the team that oversees the front desk and member relations at our Nashville Clubhouse. Originally from Ohio, she earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Columbus College of Art and Design, then lived in the Washington DC area, and has called Nashville home since 1994. Previously, Jennifer spent more than 12 years with Vanderbilt University Medical Center, where she developed and managed medical education and cancer research programs. In addition to being a skilled business professional and fundraising and awareness volunteer, Jennifer is a talented artist and a champion of the power of expressive arts.
Director of Marketing, Communications & Events Laura Alabed-Olsson
Laura spent most of her childhood in Louisiana, but has called Nashville home since 2000. A graduate of the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communication, she joined Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee in April 2018 after having spent a decade in healthcare and healthcare technology and, prior to that, nearly five years with the Nashville Symphony. When she's not busy helping Gilda's Club build awareness of its free cancer support program, Laura can be found cheering on the Nashville Predators, kayaking one of Middle Tennessee's beautiful rivers, volunteering for Tennessee Youth Symphony or The Village Nashville, or hanging out with her husband and kids.
Director of Development Hayley Levy
Originally from Syracuse, New York, Hayley grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, and received her undergraduate degree from Washington University in St. Louis. After relocating to Tennessee in 2015, she now calls Nashville home. With experience directing endowment and capital campaigns, conducting feasibility studies, volunteer management, major gift solicitation, planned gift cultivation and stewardship, and working with a range of non-profits, she joined the Gilda’s Club team in 2017. Hayley is a member of Nashville Young Leaders (Class 71) and the Williamson Leadership Young Professionals Class of 2020. In addition, she actively volunteers with the Washington University Alumni Association, Jewish Federation, Hadassah of Nashville, and Foundation Fighting Blindness. In her free time, Hayley enjoys traveling to new places, reading, and spending time with family and friends.
Development Coordinator Lauren Srodka
Nashville native Lauren Srodka joined the team at Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee in February 2019. She brings to our organization three years of nonprofit experience and 12 years of fundraising / event planning experience. Among the organizations with which she’s worked: Susan G Komen Foundation, CMA Foundation, Boys and Girls Club, and Broken Bow Records. Lauren holds a bachelor’s degree in education and grant certification from the Center for Nonprofit Management in Nashville. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, taking in a concert, and spending time with her family.
Director of Finance & Administration Michele Rahmani
Michele has called Nashville home for more than 30 years. She came to Music City from California, where she studied music at San Francisco University. Before joining the Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee team in 2015, Michele worked as a production coordinator in the music industry, where she became a bit of a “jack of all trades” - learning everything from accounting to album cover design. A wife and mother of four, Michele enjoys cooking ethnic foods (Korean is her favorite!), reading, sailing, traveling, and playing the drums.
Manager of Member Relations & Facilities Elaine Dorris
Elaine is a native Nashvillian. She received her undergraduate degree from Middle Tennessee State University and her MBA from Belmont University. After an 18-year career as the Director of Aquatics for the Maryland Farms Racquet and Country Club, Elaine happily joined the team at Gilda's Club Middle Tennessee. She has been with Gilda's Club for nearly 20 years.
Front Desk & Member Relations Stacia Gorden
Stacia began as a Gilda’s Club volunteer and officially joined our staff in 2020. A native of central Illinois, who came to Music City via St. Louis, Missouri and Groningen, Netherlands, she previously worked as a clinical laboratory scientist and taught laboratory and anatomy/physiology classes at a community college. Stacia holds a Bachelor of Science degree in medical technology/chemistry.
Since moving to Nashville in 2019, Stacia has been involved with Newcomers Nashville, Tasting Collective Nashville, Survivor Fitness, and several volunteer organizations, including Second Harvest Food Bank, Foster Care Review Board, USO-MEPS, and the Country Music Hall of Fame. She also enjoys hiking, biking, walking, live music and theater, eating, working on home projects, watching movies, traveling, and spending as much time as possible with her two adult sons, husband, and dog Maxie.
Front Desk & Member Relations Betty de Felice
Betty is a native New Yorker who has called Middle Tennessee home since 1995. Previously a foreign exchange broker on Wall Street and an administrator in the correctional healthcare system, Betty has been a fixture at Gilda’s Club Middle Tennessee for more than a decade. She first became involved as a member, when a sibling was diagnosed with cancer, and later began working part-time in the Nashville Clubhouse - initially helping with Gilda’s Gang and member donations. Betty has been married for 45 years and enjoys traveling in her free time.