Our Pink Team
We invite you to join our Pink Team which is dedicated to helping those impacted in Yolo County, California by breast cancer to thrive by providing a compassionate network of support and resources in partnership with the community. Our volunteers come from all different backgrounds – those diagnosed with breast cancer, community leaders, business owners, and health professionals. We are the only local nonprofit in Yolo County which focuses on serving and supporting the local breast cancer community. Until there is a cure, we will continue to work together to make a difference in the lives of those that are battling this disease.
EXECUTIVE TEAM & BOARD MEMBERS
Leslie is honored to step into the Executive Director role and to continue Thriving Pink’s mission. She brings her event planning, volunteer management, and fundraising experience to Thriving Pink to partner with the local community to enhance our services. Since its founding in 2016, Leslie has been instrumental in establishing Thriving Pink as the only local nonprofit in Davis and Yolo County which focuses on serving and supporting the local breast cancer community. As Executive Director, she leads a dedicated group of volunteers who support Thriving Pink’s core programs. Leslie brings genuine love and care to each individual Thriving Pink touches and the tangible good the organization brings motivates her to continue to expand Thriving Pink’s reach in the Yolo County community.
Joni Rubin, MPH, MSW
Chair, Board of Directors
Joni leads the Thriving Pink Board with over 30 years of experience as a healthcare and wellness leader, innovator, and educator. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2008, Joni relied on the support of family, friends, colleagues, and community throughout her journey. Paying it forward, Joni is a strong advocate for the breast cancer community. She leads our outreach efforts, supports our mentorship programs, and is also a Pink Peer and mentor to many in our community.
Vice Chair, Board of Directors
Kelly works as a project coordinator for UC Davis, and operates a beautiful flower farm, Circle Z Farms in Capay Valley. She has 15+ years’ experience with coordinating and managing events, including fundraisers. She holds Thriving Pink very near and dear to her heart as she was by her friend Kristen’s side when she went through her breast cancer journey. Kelly looks forward to continuing to contribute to this cause and supporting and caring for local women with a breast cancer diagnosis. She is the Pink Gala Decorating Chair and on the Outreach and PINKtober Committees. She hopes to make a positive and everlasting effect on the Thriving Pink community.
Secretary, Board of Directors
Denise is an International Coaching Federation (ICF) certified life coach and grief specialist who supports people through personal growth and change. She has a master’s degree in counseling and mental health. Denise had a 20-year career in Bereavement Services with Yolo Hospice as a counselor and in management and leadership. Prior to that, she had a 10-year career in human resource administration in higher education. Volunteer service has always been an important part of her life. In 2016, she was treated for breast cancer. Her journey of healing was transformative. She is grateful to now be involved with Thriving Pink as a Pink Peer Mentor, Fundraising Committee Chair and Annual Renewal Retreat co-chair.
Treasurer, Board of Directors
Andrea is a planning consultant, farmer, and 26-year resident of Yolo County. She is an ardent supporter of women’s empowerment in all areas of life. As a breast cancer survivor/thriver, she is proud to be able to provide support for others. In addition to being a Thriving Pink Board Member, she is a member of the Yolo CASA Advisory Board (Court Appointed Advocates for Foster Youth) and is a volunteer at the UC Davis Arboretum Nursery. She and her husband Jim are proud parents of adult children Sam and Carly. Andrea enjoys hiking, gardening, culinary adventures and time with family. Andrea chairs the Thriving Pink Budget and Finance Committee and is an active Pink Peer Mentor.
Mentoring Pink Chair & Board Member
Gayle is a senior leader for a local Federal agency focusing on the care and health of California’s abundant agricultural and natural resources. Diagnosed with Triple Negative breast cancer in 2017, she moved to Davis with her family to make a lifestyle change for her health. She shares her journey through surgery, chemotherapy, radiation and recovery to help others with awareness and support. As Chair of the Mentoring Program, and leading the Pink Peers, she believes in giving back by helping others through a difficult journey with encouragement and support. She truly believes you do not have to go through this diagnosis alone. When she is not volunteering, Gayle enjoys time with her family and friends, and helping with her family’s ranch.
Alicia Silva, MD
Spanish Outreach Chair & Board Member
Alicia is a General Surgeon in Davis, California and affiliated with Sutter Health. She has been practicing in the community since 1999 and graduated from UC Davis School of Medicine. While she enjoys the breadth of General Surgery, her heart is in helping women with breast cancer. She understands how vital the Thriving Pink organization is for the survivors of breast cancer, her family and the entire community. She grew up in Yolo County and ardently wants to give back to her community. She is a wonderful guest speaker for our monthly workshops. She has a special interest in increasing breast cancer awareness and support to our Spanish speaking community.
Martha is a breast cancer survivor who is thankful to have discovered Thriving Pink. Since those early days, she benefited from the organization in many ways – first and foremost as a grateful grant recipient, but also as a nominator for another grantee, a workshop participant, a gala attendee, and a volunteer for the 2021 and 2022 Granting Pink awardee day. Martha is committed to community service, both as a career and a volunteer. She currently works for the Delta Conservancy. Before that she spent over 25 years as the executive director of three environmental nonprofits: Tree Davis, California ReLeaf, and Yolo Basin Foundation. On a personal level, Martha has served on several nonprofit boards, including her current position with Team Davis, as well as 15 years on the Friends of the UC Davis Arboretum board. Martha has called Davis home for 35 years.
Katie has worked in public relations for more than 30 years, currently for Kaiser Permanente in Solano County. She was introduced to the work of Thriving Pink through her sister, who was diagnosed with triple negative breast cancer in late 2018, just a year after their mom – a breast cancer survivor – passed away from ovarian cancer. After a three year battle, her sister passed away in early 2022, leaving behind numerous family and friends who support Thriving Pink’s mission. Katie is passionate about screenings, genetic risk factors, and supporting women and their families on their breast cancer journey.
Holly Davis Rodriguez
Workshop Committee Chair & Board Member
Holly is a local physical therapist clinical specialist specializing in oncology and lymphedema rehabilitation at Kaiser Permanente. She has been a leader within her field developing programs and pathways in aiding the recovery of cancer survivors. She has presented educational lectures to surgeons, oncologists, and many other health care providers. Holly is a presenter and guest speaker at Thriving Pink Workshops/Pink Speaker Series. She supports PINKtober community outreach, chairs the Nominating Committee and Zumbathon. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, family and friends, teaching Zumba, and international travel.
COMMITTEE CHAIRS & COORDINATORS
Granting Pink, Chair
Rose is the owner of SwimAmerica in Davis and has over 25 years of teaching and coaching experience with swimmers of all ages. She has a passion for supporting the local community through various organizations, including the Chamber of Commerce, Rotary, and Citizens Who Care. She is working with other committee members to review applications through the Granting Pink Program. She believes in sharing “positivity” with others and has personally supported local breast cancer survivors/thrivers. She believes this local grant program will directly benefit many women in our community.
Renewal Retreat, Co-Chair
Linda is the owner and licensed esthetician of Bloom Again Skin Studio located inside FIT House in Davis. She has advanced training in Oncology Esthetics and gives back to the community with all her heart. She serves regularly in the music ministry at First Baptist Church and volunteers for the Look Good Feel Better program that helps women going through cancer learn to care for their changing skin and use makeup to lift their spirit. Linda supports many outreach events for Thriving Pink and is a lead coordinator for the annual Thriving Pink Renewal Retreat during the spa afternoon for all of the attendees. It is an honor for her to directly support these women and to make these special connections with our community.
Honorary Chair, Pink Speaker Series
Sandy has a strong background in the sciences, with a degree in medical technology, and many years teaching biochemistry and working in research laboratories. As a local breast cancer survivor, she wanted to bring current research and cancer treatments to the forefront of her community. She has served as president of California breast cancer organizations and was on the board of the National Breast Cancer Coalition. Over the years, she has established contacts with many guest speakers, including a network of physicians, nurses, physical therapists, counselors, and other health professionals.
Stitches of Love & Volunteer Day Chair
Patti leads the monthly Stitches of Love volunteer workshop group for Thriving Pink to create beautiful and thoughtful gifts for local survivors. She also leads Volunteer Day. Patti is a breast cancer survivor who shares her creative skills of sewing and knitting to inspire dozens of volunteers at these open workshops. The volunteer group helps to fill comfort bags at Volunteer Day with homemade quilts, knitted hats, and heart-shaped recovery pillows. During the pandemic, dozens of women also made face masks for breast cancer survivors in the oncology department of local hospitals. She believes the greatest gift is compassion and heartfelt generosity.
Pink Gala Chair
Emma is proud to serve as the Pink Gala Committee Chair. As a longtime Thriving Pink volunteer, Emma has supported a variety of the organization’s programs. She especially loves the Pink Gala, as it serves as an opportunity to honor the Granting Pink Awardees, recognize our community partners, and raise much needed funds for financial grants. The Thriving Pink community inspires Emma to create a beautiful and meaningful event. With a Master of Public Health and a background in development, Emma is excited to use her experience to continue the legacy of the Pink Gala.
Mara is the Thriving Pink Walk Coordinator and leads the monthly walks to create a time for wellness as well as sharing within the thriver community. Mara is a quilter for her family and herself, as well as for some longtime customers. She is an extensive traveler with Hawaii and Italy being her favorite parts of the world. She is grandmother to four grandkids and loves every minute spent with her family. Mara is a breast cancer survivor and has volunteered with Thriving Pink for the last four years. Mara helps in so many ways with the community, in addition to the Walk Coordinator, she volunteers with Stitches of Love, and is a Pink Peer and mentor to others. Mara was awarded the Thriving Pink Community Award in 2022.
Mary Yin Liu
Founder and President Emeritus 2016-Present
Mary is a founding member and the Past Executive Director. She and her husband Harris have been huge advocates for Thriving Pink as the organization has grown. Mary is a local McDonald’s franchise owner in Woodland, Sacramento, and Solano County. After graduating from law school, she worked as a Deputy District Attorney in Solano and Yolo County before her career in McDonald’s. With a heart for the community, she actively supports many community organizations, including the national nonprofit API Public Affairs (APAPA) as the National President. Mary was inspired by her friendship with Ann Murray Paige, to continue the legacy of her nonprofit Project Pink. In the summer of 2016, Mary and a close group of friends established Thriving Pink as a local nonprofit to provide a network of meaningful support for those impacted by breast cancer.
Founding President 2016-2020
Through her own personal experience diagnosed with breast cancer, she has reached out to help and support many others in our community. Brelle has served as Co-Chair of the Renewal Retreat and the Pink Gala through multiple years to ensure a strong foundation for the success of our Pink Team. She has stepped up to light the path ahead of us in so many ways. We greatly appreciate her contributions to our Thriving Pink community and continue to be inspired by her leadership.
Bubbly Bajwa, MD
Immediate Past President 2020-2022
Bubbly is an Internal Medicine Physician and Chief Medical Informatics Officer (CMIO) at NorthBay Medical Center. Educated in Canada, she moved to Davis in 2002 with her husband, Guneet Bajwa and their two children. She has actively participated in the Davis Music school board and many local non-profit organizations including CASA and Yolo Food Bank. Losing her mother to cancer in 2011, a mere 12 weeks after diagnosis, was a life changing moment for her. Cancer is a diagnosis that is transformative affecting both the person and the families in many ways. She hopes to support those afflicted with this disease through their journey to ensure that with resilience, faith, love ,and support no one is ever left alone.
Program Coordinator, part time
Emily is a recent graduate of UC Davis where she studied Global Disease Biology and International Relations with an emphasis on inequality. She is currently working as a Junior Specialist in a cardiac physiology lab at UCD Health. Emily decided to join Thriving Pink to support those experiencing breast cancer in honor of her mother who went through treatment while she was states away at college. As a member of Thriving Pink, Emily provides technical and program support in order to help operations run smoothly. In her free time Emily loves exploring new places in California, going on walks, cooking, and embroidery.
Diane Marie Cataldi, CPA
Diane is a certified public accountant with over 30 years of experience. In 2018 she began her own business, DMC Accounting, to serve local businesses and nonprofits. Diane is also the president of the Center for Spiritual Living, Davis. Previously, Diane served as a board member and treasurer of the Davis Chamber of Commerce and Suicide Prevention of Yolo County. Breast cancer first impacted Diane’s life at the age of 14 when her mother died of the disease. In 2011 she became a breast cancer survivor/thrivor herself. Diane is excited to join this dynamic and vital organization that helps local breast cancer survivors thrive within a network of support.