Board of Directors
Rita is a breast cancer survivor who joined the Board of Directors in 2014 after utilizing the To Life! support programs during and after her treatment. She often speaks on the importance of providing a “safe place” for those facing breast cancer.
Prior to starting her own marketing firm, Cox Marketing Solutions, Rita served as the SVP of Marketing and External Affairs at Saratoga Casino Hotel. Rita also has an extensive resume in the not-for-profit and volunteer world, having been Director of Development at Special Olympics NY and serving on volunteer committees and boards for Saratoga Hospital Foundation and Ronald McDonald House. In addition to her work at To Life!, Rita is a SCORE mentor, providing guidance to start-up businesses.
In her spare time, Rita can be found in her gardens, at the gym, playing with her beloved dogs, or at a concert. She lives with her family in Clifton Park, NY.
Sorelle Brauth retired from a long and successful career in New York State Government in 2018. Her most recent position was the Director of Administration for the NYS Department of Public Service (DPS). Held since 2010, Ms. Brauth was promoted to oversee the budget and financial operations of the Department, in addition to Human Resources, and administrative management, including all contracting and building leases, as well as serving as the Agency lead for technology services. During Ms. Brauth’s 37 years with NYS, she held several additional key management positions, primarily in budget and finance, in the Division of the Budget and formerly, as DPS’ Director of Financial Administration as well as, in the same capacity, for the Office of Attorney General. Presently, she serves as Treasurer on the Board of To Life, lending her fiscal and budget acumen to help guide the strategic direction of the organization.
Ms. Brauth earned honors degrees from both Boston University (Master’s in Educational Administration) and the State University of New York at Oneonta (Bachelor’s of Science). In addition to her duties with To Life, Ms. Brauth also serves on the Board for the State Academy of Public Administration, helping to bring timely discussion and relevant topics of importance for State and Local government. Furthering Ms. Brauth’s dedication to community work, she takes additional pride in teaching Holocaust studies at Albany’s Congregation Beth Emeth for the past 20 years. In her spare time, Ms. Brauth has enjoyed participating and starring in numerous Community Theater productions in Albany’s Capital District. Ms. Brauth resides in Guilderland, New York, and is married to Robert Pomeranz. Together, they are the proud parents of five adult children.
Barbara joined the Board of Directors in 2015. She is an Oncology Nurse with 40 years of experience in the clinical and administrative Oncology arena and amongst the first group in the country to hold the designation as an Oncology Certified Nurse (OCN). She has held the positions of Administrator for the Division of Hematology at Albany Medical Center, Administrator of the Bone Marrow Transplant Program (Cancer Center of Albany Medical Center). Barbara recently retired from her position as the Administrator for the Clinical Research Program for the Interventional Radiology Department for Community Care Physicians at Albany Med.
Barbara has served on the Board of Trustees for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) and is currently on the Board of Advisors for the American Cancer Society and involved in many fundraising ventures. She has successfully facilitated a Family Support Group for the LLS for an excess of 25 years. Since joining To Life!, she has co-chaired the Pink Ball with Rita Cox for several years and most recently partnered with Maureen DeRosa on the Pink Ball initiative. She has taken an avid interest in the needs, challenges, and support of those affected directly and indirectly with breast cancer, having family members and many friends affected with this disease.
Barbara lives in Delmar with her husband, Dr. Richard MacDowell where they are sufficiently busy with 4 children and 5 grandchildren.
Mara Ginsberg, Esq.
Founder, Immediate Past President, Chair, Scientific and Education Advisory Council
Mara Ginsberg is a breast cancer survivor and a recently retired attorney. She founded To Life! in 1998 and has provided strategic guidance and advocacy for those dealing with breast cancer. To Life!’s programs and services enable people to become well-educated health care consumers and to partner with their physicians and health care providers. Mara lives in Saratoga Springs, NY with her husband.
Mary joined the To Life! Board of Directors in 2019, continuing a long career in nursing and breast care. Mary has been an oncology nurse for 15 years, moving into breast care 10 years ago. She earned her Master's Degree in Nursing in 2015. She designed and piloted the Nurse Navigation Program at St. Peter's Breast Center, which seeks to lead newly diagnosed individuals through their treatment and into survivorship, helping them navigate the complex landscape of health care.
She became involved in To Life! as a volunteer with the Support Group Program. She was awarded the "You're An Angel Award" at the 2013 A Toast To Life! event for her commitment to improving the lives of those facing a breast cancer diagnosis in the Capital Region. She lives in Albany with her husband and high school sweetheart, William. She enjoys traveling, exercising, and spending time with her adult children and grandchildren, all of whom live locally.
Douglas Conklin, Ph.D.
Douglas Conklin, Ph.D. is the Director of the Cancer Research Center at UAlbany. Dr. Conklin has dedicated his career to the field of cancer research. He moved to the Capital District in 2003. As an associate professor with UAlbany, he regularly teaches courses in genomics, cancer, RNA therapies and biochemistry. He maintains an active lab at the Cancer Research Center. Conklin’s research is focused on the identification and study of druggable targets for breast cancer and other types of cancer. His group uses an RNA-based technology that revolutionized genetic studies in mouse and human cells to identify critical weaknesses of cancer cells.
In addition to his research and teaching, Conklin is active with the American Cancer Society. He serves on the New York State Health Research Science Board, having been the chair since 2013. Dr. Conklin has often been a presenter at To Life! educational programs, exposing all to current research developments related to breast cancer. He joined the board in 2024.
Maureen DeRosa has been an active volunteer of To Life! since 2016 and joined our board in 2019. Maureen’s background is in legislative, government, and private sector work, spanning nearly 30 years. She was the former Deputy Budget Director for the NYS Assembly Ways and Means Committee, Policy Director and Chief of Staff to the NYS Senate, as well as Assistant Appointments Secretary to Governor Andrew Cuomo.
Her private sector work included working for 2 different Fortune 500 companies as VP of Government Relations, representing the interests of a Medicaid Managed Care company and an international IT company. Since 2018 Maureen has committed herself to supporting several not-for-profit organizations, and is dedicated to the mission of To Life!.
Kevin joined the Board of Directors in 2012. He currently serves as a Financial Advisor in the Albany office of Steward Partners. For over 30 years, he has guided investors toward pursuing their personal and financial goals while providing sound advice and superior service to each and every client.
In addition to his work with To Life!, Kevin sits on the board of directors for Albany Center Gallery, serving as president since in 2018. Kevin volunteers his time and expertise in fundraising for numerous local charitable organizations. In 2007, Kevin was the recipient of the “You’re an Angel” award from To Life! for building the event management software program used by To Life! for many years. Kevin has shared his expertise with other local non-profit organizations including; The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America of Northeastern New York, The Center for Community Justice, and Albany Center Gallery. Kevin lends his expertise in finance to the To Life! organization. “It’s extremely rewarding to know you’re helping these great organizations make a difference in the community. It’s one of the best things I do.”
Kevin studied at the University at Albany with a double concentration in accounting and economics and worked as an accountant before entering the investment business. Kevin holds his FINRA Series 7, and 63, as well as his State of New York Life & Health Insurance License and a CLTC (Certified in Long-Term Care) designation. He specializes in retirement planning, mutual funds, equities, and tax-free and taxable bonds.
Kevin joined the Board of Albany Center Gallery (a non-profit art space in downtown Albany dedicated to exhibiting skillful contemporary art from artists of the Mohawk Hudson region, and building a strong, knowledgeable audience for the visual arts) in 2014 and was elected Vice-President of that Board in 2015.
Originally from Brooklyn, Kevin made the Capital Region his home upon completion of college. In his spare time, he enjoys sports, travel, actively keeping up-to-date with his computer knowledge, wine tastings, and spending time with family and friends. Kevin and his wife, Cindi, currently reside in Glenmont, New York.
Kathleen Godfrey joined the To Life! Board of Directors in December 2022. Kathleen has committed herself personally and professionally to supporting and advocating for others. Kathleen is the President and CEO of Godfrey Financial, a fiduciary financial services firm specializing in strategic financial planning, investments and estate planning. Her community volunteer commitments include Rotary Club of Albany, Habitat for Humanity, Girl Scouts of Northeastern NY, St. Anne Institute, Upper Hudson Planned Parenthood, and Women Presidents Organization. She served as the Past National President for the Women in Insurance & Financial Services.
Kathleen earned her BA and MBA from SUNY-Albany. She is a breast cancer survivor, and a long time resident of the Capital Region, where she raised her family.
Steven joined the Board of Directors in 2017. He is an Associate Real Estate Broker with Vanguard-Fine, LLC where he has been since early 2008. He is responsible for the development of commercial brokerage activity, focusing on retail, office, and light industrial leasing and sales.
Steven has been a recognized and respected professional in the real estate and mortgage banking industries since he joined Roberts Real Estate in 1983. He quickly moved on to multi-family and commercial property sales and held several management positions until moving on to mortgage originations at National Savings Bank followed by Commercial Business Development at Cohoes Savings.
In 2001 Steven co-founded the First Rate Funding Corporation where, as Executive Vice President, he built a staff of over 20 people, with offices in Albany and Saratoga.
Steven has served on several boards and committees with organizations such as the Center for Disability Services, the Albany Jewish Community Center, and Congregation Beth Emeth. He was appointed to the Albany Convention Center Authority by County Executive Dan McCoy in September 2012 and was elected Treasurer in January 2014. In addition, he is a member of the Knights of Pythias Brotherhood, Albany Lodge #540.
Steven resides in Albany with his wife Nancy. They have three children, daughter, Jennifer and son in Law Jason Siegal who reside in Hartford, CT, and son Matthew who resides in New York City. Steven and Nancy are strong advocates for breast cancer support and have been active volunteers with To Life! for many years.
Holly is a breast cancer survivor who joined the board of Directors in 2019 after utilizing the To Life! support programs during and after her treatment. She always says that she could not have made it through breast cancer with grace without all of the support of To Life! and its staff. She continues to help other survivors along their journey, especially trying to assist young survivors through To Life!'s Young Survivor Coalition Support Group and through the Passion and Purpose Healing Circle.
Holly is no stranger to non-profits and volunteer work. She has spent the last 19 years dedicated to curing Type 1 Diabetes in various roles in Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation. She is currently the Director of Fundraising Operations for JDRF, serving on the national staff as a thought leader about event system platforms for their evolution, role, and benefit in fundraising. Her 25 years of non-profit work has included program development and management, education and training, events management, and board and volunteer development at the local, regional, and now national level. She is former President of Women in Development, an association of women in the fields of development, advancement, and related professions committed to helping women advance in their careers. She was a co-founder of Shine A Light on Lung Cancer and former State Advisory Board Member for the New York Lung Cancer Alliance and a ten-year volunteer for the Albany Chefs' Food & Wine Festival.
Prior to moving to the capital district, she was a board member for Old West End Security and the founder of Blockwatch 340-G in Toledo's Historic Old West End. She is Reunion Chair for her high school and an alumni admissions interviewer for Middlebury College. Her happy place is doing crafty things. She lives in Delmar, NY with her husband.