Meet Our Board
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 M.B.A 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. Debbie resides in Commerce Twp with her husband, Larry, and their dog, Jax.
Ben Weaver, Vice-Chairman
Ben is the President and CEO of Weaver Media in Commerce Township. Ben became involved with Angels of Hope in 2007 when close friends received news that their 4-year old son had terminal cancer.
Ben has always had a passion for helping others. He has fond memories growing up witnessing his mother and father going out of their way to be charitable. Their random acts of kindness and passion for helping those in need planted the seeds for what led Ben to spend 5-years volunteering at a Muscular Dystrophy camp and drives his continued support for the Special Olympics.
Ben started his career in traditional outdoor advertising but realized the need for more innovative media solutions. His non-traditional use of banners, adhesive treatments and creative interior environment art has propelled his agency to the top of his industry; capturing contracts from Coca-Cola North America, NASCAR, amusement parks and Live Nation Amphitheaters. When he’s not traveling, you’ll find Ben spending time in Walled Lake with his wife, Katrina, and his sons – Jack and Nick.
Kelly Lathrop, Treasurer
Kelly is currently the Director of Finance for Leo Burnett. She began volunteering on the finance committee for Angels of Hope in October 2017. She was appointed Treasurer of the Board of Directors in March 2018.
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 hometown of Almont. For 9-consecutive years, the tournament proceeds supported various nonprofit organizations including; The American Breast Cancer Foundation, Save the Children and Almont’s High School Tennis program.
Kelly earned her B.S. from Alma College and MBA from Michigan State University. When not working or volunteering, Kelly loves spending time with her husband Brad and sons, Brooks, Nolan, and Boden.
Rachel Hurst, Secretary
Rachel has worked for The Kroger Co. of Michigan for 11-years and currently holds the position of Corporate Affairs Manager, creating partnerships that benefit the business and the community. Rachel began serving on the Angels of Hope Board of Directors in October 2019.
Throughout the years, Rachel has been recognized numerous times for her work. In 2013, she won the Community Service Award for The Kroger Co. of Michigan. In 2017, she was recognized nationally with the Progressive Grocer Top Women in Grocery Award and the prestigious Presidents Award for The Kroger Co. of Michigan.
Rachel is dedicated to her community and is driven to improve the lives of those in need. She has sat on several non-profit and executive boards, but this is a little closer to her heart as she herself is a cancer survivor. Rachel puts everything she has into everything she does, including her other full-time job – mom to her two young children, ages 3 and 5.
Kelley Baetens, Director
Kelley brings over 30-years of managerial experience and organizational skills from the legal field. In 2000, Kelley partnered with Angels of Hope co-founder, Robin Sanderson, to raise funds for cancer research. Then, in 2004, Angels of Hope was formed, and their mission and focus shifted to assisting and supporting families within the local community.
Being able to directly make a difference in the lives of local families battling the physical, emotional and financial effects 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 Program, the foundation’s most successful and most participated-in program. Every holiday, families that have suffered from financial hardship are showered with 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, since 2005. She was inspired by the profound impact that the foundation had on the families that have been touched by this awful disease.
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 Emeritus
Kelley LaFontaine is an integral part of the daily operations at the LaFontaine Automotive Group. She helps to run 18 different franchises in 10 locations across SE Michigan.
She has a personal passion for cancer research and giving back to her community. This passion stems from the LaFontaine family’s firsthand experience with cancer, after Kelley’s brother, Ryan, was diagnosed with lymphoma. Thankfully, he remains in remission, today. Together, the siblings founded U CAN-CER VIVE to provide funds for cancer research. In 2019, the charity committed to granting over $780,000 to cancer research.
Kelley actively participates in many foundations, charities, boards and has won remarkable awards such as the DBusiness 30 in their 30’s and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society National Woman of the Year Award in 2011. She’s also involved with the American Cancer Society, Automotive Women’s Alliance Foundation, and AutomotiveNEXT Inforum. 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.
Michael Kernen, Director
Mike is the President of Amplitude HR, a full-service HR agency, located in Troy, MI. He began serving on the Board of Angels of Hope in 2016 and often offers his services to help families in need find employment.
Mike was driven to help families battling cancer after his own experience. In 1993, Mike’s father was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. For the next year and a half, Mike spent most of his time at the U of M Cancer Center. There, he witnessed, first-hand, the physical, emotional and financial strain that families stricken with cancer endure.
With his passion for helping people and businesses, Mike has received some of the highest honors earning multiple Gold Club and President’s Club Awards. He’s also been elected to several different National Advisory Boards. Mike resides in Walled Lake, where he enjoys spending time on the lake and is kept very busy by his daughters; Josie, Sadie and Kinley.
Antonio Vittorini, Director
Antonio is the Director of Body Engineering Advanced Vehicle Development and Innovation for General Motors, a global vehicle company focused on advancing an all-electric future that is inclusive and accessible to all. He was elected to the Angels of Hope Board of Directors in April 2021.
Antonio lost his uncle to esophageal cancer in 2000. His uncle’s battle with cancer had a strong effect on the entire Vittorini family as a result of his extensive discomfort and duration of required treatments. The challenges of cancer should not have to be faced alone and Antonio has always had a passion for helping others and wanted to get involved to support the cancer community. He and his family started their involvement in 2019 by supporting the Angels of Hope Holiday Gift Giving Program.
Antonio received his Bachelor and Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, and an MBA from Oakland University. Antonio and his wife, Evita, reside in Rochester Hills with their two children, Valentino and Cristiano.
Eric Konieczny, Director
Eric first learned about Angels of Hope 5 years ago. After attending Night of Hope, both Eric and his wife were inspired by the cause and supported the organization any way they could – attending multiple fundraising events, participating in the holiday program, and spreading the mission of the organization to others. Through his years of involvement, his passion grew stronger and he decided there must be more that could be done. Becoming a board member has been an honor and a privilege to Eric and has only increased his and his wife’s emotional investment in the group.
Eric has great ties to southeast Michigan, growing up in Sterling Heights. Since 2009, he has been the Owner and President of Clearview Homes, one of southeast Michigan’s largest Residential Builders. He does it all for his wife Kelly and kids, Max, Dylan, and Savannah.