Our Board is comprised of Business Owners and Executives with a single mission; to provide financial assistance and other programs to families battling any type of cancer, anywhere in Michigan.
With 98% of donations and proceeds from events directly financing these families, we ensure every dollar does the most good, from donation to deed.
Debbie Amatangelo, Chairman
Debbie Amatangelo has been involved with Angels of Hope since 2010. Originally part of the Holiday program, she eventually expanded her role and served as a member of the Grant Committee where she worked directly with our families to get them through the grant application process. She began her current role as Chairman of the Board of Directors in 2019. Debbie is responsible for executing the vision and the mission of our foundation.
The daughter of a stage 3B esophageal cancer survivor, Debbie has seen firsthand the effects a cancer diagnosis can have on a family. “I look forward to the day no family has to hear one of their members has cancer. Until then, I will continue to do all that I can to ensure no family fights alone.”
Debbie attended graduate school at the University of Michigan where she obtained her Master’s Degree in Business Administration with a concentration in organizational leadership. She is currently employed as a Strategic Account Manager for iManage – the global leader in legal document management software – where she focuses on a small group of the largest law firms in the Midwest and eastern Canada.
Robin Sanderson, Vice Chairman
In 1996 Robin lost her mother Ruth Orr to lung cancer which impelled her to begin her crusade to make a difference in the lives of those affected by cancer. In 1997 Robin held her first fundraiser in her home and raised $3000.00. Since then, she has held annual fundraisers as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the American Cancer Society where she received numerous awards for her fundraising efforts.
In 2004 Angels of Hope was established and is the foundation that best fits Robin’s desire to assist families on a personal level, as well as allowing supporters to give back to the community. Robin is the Broker/Owner of Real Estate Network Elite and has been in real estate sales for the last 30 years.
Robin is thankful for the never-ending support from her daughter Diana, her son Michael and his wife Becky. Her fiancé Jim brings along an army of support with sons Christopher, Michael and their wives Meagan and Justyna.
In her free time she loves to golf and travel but most of all she loves her role as Nana to Bryce, Amelia, Isabella, Mason, Kaylee and Miles.
Kelly Lathrop, Treasurer
Kelly began volunteering on the finance committee for Angels of Hope in October 2017. She officially joined the Board of Directors in March 2018 as the newly appointed Treasurer. During the day, she works as the Finance Director for Leo Burnett.
At an early age, Kelly lost both maternal grandparents to cancer only two years apart from one another. That loss ignited her drive to pursue various volunteer and charitable opportunities. While in college, Kelly co-founded a charity tennis tournament in her home town of Almont. The tournament proceeds supported various organizations throughout nine consecutive years including, American Breast Cancer Foundation, Save the Children and Almont’s High School Tennis program.
Kelly earned her bachelors degree from Alma College and MBA from Michigan State. When not working or volunteering, Kelly loves spending time with her husband Brad and sons, Brooks and Nolan.
Jennifer Zbytowski, Secretary
Jennifer has been with Angels of Hope since 2009. Jennifer has a strong passion for the cause. Her mother Arlene passed away of cancer in March 2012. Jennifer is employed with Health Alliance Plan (HAP), a regional, nonprofit health plan that provides coverage to individuals and companies. She is currently the Vice President of Utilization and Case Management. She earned her B.A. and M.P.A. from New York University. Jennifer holds a Project Management Professional certificate and is a graduate of Leadership Macomb XII.
Jennifer is actively involved with her community and resides in Shelby Township, with her husband Bryan, and their three kids Gavin, Kamryn, and Brodie. In her free time she enjoys traveling, spending time with her extended family and friends and having dance parties with her kids.
Christopher S. Pirrone, Director
Chris’s involvement with the charity began with the founding of Angels of Hope. He was inspired by the compassion and dedication of other board members, sponsors and volunteers making a difference.
Chris’s area of expertise is in Graphic Communications, having owned and operated businesses in Cleveland, Ohio and Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
Chris is currently employed as a Regional Business Manager at Classic Color of Chicago. Classic Color donates their printing expertise each year for Angels of Hope.
In addition, Chis owns and operates a high-end digital photography studio out of Shelby Twp., Michigan – Christopher Scott Studios, donating portrait sessions to families of Angels of Hope. Chris is supported by his loving family in the fight for cancer awareness.
Kelley Baetens, Director
Kelley brings 30 plus years experience in managerial and organizational skills from the legal field. The past 19 years Kelley has partnered with fellow board member Robin Sanderson to raise funds initially for cancer research. Then in 2004 with the organization and formation of Angels of Hope – where the mission and focus became assisting and supporting families locally within our community. Being able to directly make a difference in the lives of local families battling the physical, emotional and financial affects of cancer has fueled Kelley’s commitment and passion to her acts of service with Angels of Hope.
Kelley has developed and grown the Holiday Giving Program which has become one of the foundation’s most successful and most participated-in programs. The past 2016 holiday season, 100 families that have suffered from financial hardship during their battle were showered with Christmas gifts provided by our amazing and generous supporters.
Kelley feels privileged that she has been able to inspire others with her mission to give back by helping to grow the support network of the foundation. “I truly cherish all of my friends and family that generously support my endeavors that allow me to give back”. This includes the support of her husband Mike and two beautiful stepdaughters Caitlin and Carly.
Fran Lucido-Marheineke, Director
Fran’s passion for supporting charitable and civic causes on various levels has always been a priority in her life. Her love of family and community are ever present in her smile and in bringing joy, love and laughter to everyone she meets.
Fran has always had a desire to serve and was able to channel her desire by working with Angels of Hope on a volunteer basis beginning in 2005. She was inspired by the profound impact that the foundation had on the families that have been touched by this awful disease. Today, Fran proudly serves as a Director to Angels of Hope.
For 30 years, the Lucido Family has been an instrumental part of Making Memories in the lives of countless families. When Fran and her brother Vince co-founded Lucido Fine Jewelry of Birmingham in 2015, it afforded Fran the opportunity to put her talents of planning, networking and creativity to work. In doing so, she has been able to encourage friends and the business community to champion their support around the foundation’s mission of helping support Michigan families battling cancer.
Kelley LaFontaine, Director
Kelley LaFontaine is an integral part of the day to day operations at the LaFontaine Automotive Group. She helps to run 18 different franchises in 10 locations across Southeastern Michigan.
Her personal passions are an enduring quest to help find a cure for cancer and “to give back”. She is blessed to have her brother Ryan, a cancer survivor, in remission for over 4 years. In the past three years, together they have raised more than $525,000 and established 6 grants for blood cancer research at the University of Michigan. Kelley was honored in 2011 with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society National Woman of the Year Award.
Along with her strong passion to find a cure for cancer, Kelley demonstrates her strength through building & strengthening our local communities. She actively participates in many foundations, charities, on many boards and has won remarkable awards such as the DBusiness 30 in their 30’s honor in 2012. While running the Marketing Department of the LaFontaine Automotive Group for the past 5 years, Kelley has been activity involved with Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the American Cancer Society, Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation, and Inforum Automotive Next. She has served as Chairperson of the Huron Valley Optimist Childhood Cancer Campaign and as a Board Member for the Clarkston Chamber of Commerce and Project 1. Kelley recently joined the Angels of Hope Board and looks forward to a lifelong partnership of “giving back” with the Angels of Hope team.
Ben Weaver, Director
Ben Weaver is the President and CEO of Weaver Media – Ben started in traditional outdoor advertising, but realized ahead of the crowd the need for innovative media solutions. This led him to explore non-traditional uses for banners and adhesive treatments, creating media placements that demanded attention. His work with numerous NASCAR facilities, collegiate sporting venus, amusement parks and Live Nation Amphitheaters led his creative agency to the top of his industry.
Ben got intimately involved with Angels of Hope in 2007 when close friends of his had a 4 year old son that was suffering from terminal cancer. Ben has always had a passion for working with disabled children. He had spent 5 years volunteering at a Muscular Dystrophy camp and he continues support the Special Olympics of Michigan. Ben was diagnosed with dyslexia at a young age and because of the adversities he faced growing up and the incredible success he’s had despite his obstacles, his passion in life has been to “pay it forward” with the blessing and grace that has been given him. Ben is tremendously enthusiastic about having the opportunity to sit on the Board of Directors and is looking forward to assisting Angels of Hope in making a difference in the lives that need it the most.
Michael Kernen, Director
In 1993 at the age of 23 I found out my father had stage 4 lung cancer. The next year and a half, much of my time was spent in the Cancer Center at U of M Hospital. Not only did I feel the struggles I was going through directly with my family, but all of the other families I would see there on a regular basis. Now, with an aging mother who finds herself with a battle of her own, I find myself working with the most amazing organization and best people you could ever surround yourself with. Their passion and vision are unbelievably inspiring.
Currently, Mike is the President of Amplitude HR. He has spent his entire career helping business owners with their most important assets — their employees!
Mike resides in Walled Lake with his daughters Josie, Sadie and Kinley where they keep him pretty busy.
Kathy Gunn, Director
Kathy joined Angels of Hope in April 2017 as a member of the Grant Committee. She began serving as a member of the Board of Directors in January 2019.
Kathy lost her grandfather to colon cancer in 2012. His passing had a profound impact on her, setting her on the path of charitable work. Having spent her career in the healthcare market, her first endeavor was developing a cause marketing campaign and securing a 3-yr partnership with the Colon Cancer Alliance (Washington, DC). Kathy successfully executed the campaign across the country, providing critical funds to support the CCA’s mission to educate consumers on the importance of colon cancer screening and early treatment.
Kathy received her B.Sc. from Western Michigan University and her MBA from Northwood University. She is currently the Director of Product Education for Wellsense, Inc., a medical device manufacturer in Birmingham, Michigan. Kathy and her husband, Brandon, reside in Northville. They have two children, Grace and Garrett.