Inspirational Women of Paradise Valley 3

Bold, Daring and Dedicated, These Community Leaders Know How to Make a Difference

Cathy Kleeman

Vice President of Development, Fresh Start Women’s Foundation

Cathy Kleeman has been involved with Fresh Start Women’s Foundation for nearly two decades. She has served on its Executive Board and was a part of the lead capital campaign team to build the Jewell McFarland Lewis Fresh Start Women’s Resource Center. As a board member for Fresh Start, Kleeman chaired several fundraisers, including the foundation’s Fashion Gala in 2002 and 2007. Prior to her current role as vice president of development, Kleeman owned KNK2, a strategic marketing company and served as vice president of sales and marketing for the Phoenix Suns.

As Kleeman explains, giving back was a part of how she was raised, and so she has always tried to be involved in her community. Throughout the years, she has served on many worthy non-profit boards and committees, but she always finds herself coming back to Fresh Start because she says she has such a passion for helping women who are going through life challenges.

“We all have gifts and mine is fundraising and leadership,” she says. “In my current role at Fresh Start, I use those gifts to connect support from individuals and businesses to how Fresh Start strengthens the community and makes it a better place for 5,000 women each year to live and raise a family.”

Get to Know Cathy Kleeman:

Who have been some of the most influential women in your life so far?

First and foremost my mom. But I would also have to say Pat Petznick and Beverly Stewart, Fresh Start’s co-founders, for their vision and selflessness. Pat has a remarkable ability to see everyone’s potential, and is able to motivate each person to bring their talents to the table. They are unwavering in their dedication to Fresh Start and have shown me how much richer life is when you live it with passion and purpose.

Do you have any advice for young women who are just starting out in their careers?

Network and be kind to everyone. Ask a lot of questions and recognize everyone’s talent. You get a lot further when you have a happy, dedicated team rather than trying to be a hero by yourself.

What is your favorite quote or saying?

“What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” – Jane Goodall -AS

Susan Van Dyke, MD

Board certified dermatologist and owner of Van Dyke Aesthetics

Susan Van Dyke, MD, has been in solo private practice for over 32 years. About 22 years ago, she dedicated her practice completely to cosmetic dermatologic treatments. While Van Dyke finds this field to be enormously satisfying because it makes peoples’ quality of life better, as a physician, she is trained and motivated to heal.

In order to rectify this dichotomy, Van Dyke decided to start giving back. Since the vast majority of patients interested in cosmetic dermatology are women, she was inspired to find causes that benefit women and promote health.

Over the years, Van Dyke Aesthetics has been a supporter of Go Red for Women, Susan G. Komen, Crossroads for Women, the American Diabetic Association, and many other organizations.

In 2010, Van Dyke’s charitable giving was brought to a fine point when her youngest son was diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes. As she notes, this condition often attacks the very young, including toddlers, and renders them 100-percent dependent on finger sticks and insulin shots for the rest of their lives. Despite extreme vigilance by parents, these kids may suffer, fall ill and risk blindness, amputations and kidney failure.

“You can only imagine a mother’s fears and nightmares. And there is no cure, not diet—not exercise like Type 2 Diabetes—this is genetic and poorly understood,” Van Dyke says.

“Research had to be done, and a cure had to be found; for my son and all of the other mothers’ sons and daughters. That is when Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) entered my life.”

This year, Van Dyke says she will be “honored and humbled” to chair the annual JDRF Gala, to be held at The Phoenician on November 11, 2017.  The fundraising goal is $2,000,000, of which 80 percent will go directly to fund research to find a cure.

Get to Know Susan Van Dyke:

Do you have any advice for young women who are just starting out in their careers?

I’m a Wellesley grad; I believe that women can do whatever they put their heart and backbone into. I tell young women, get an education, work hard and learn to take care of yourself—then you will have all the options in the world. Raising kids is an option, not a social requirement. A career is an option, not a mind numbing job to make ends meat. Marriage is an option, not an economic necessity. Glass ceilings are meant to be broke, but you are the one who has to break your own.

Who is your favorite woman from either current times or history?

One woman I admire is Sonia Sotomayor, Associate Justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. She is Hispanic, a woman and a Type 1 Diabetic. There was never a silver spoon in her mouth and look where she ended up. She definitely gave herself options.

What is your favorite quote or saying?

This may sound trite, but “consider all the options.” If you don’t entertain even the craziest, most improbable of solutions to a problem, you may miss the perfect answer for you. -AS

Nicole Cundiff

Co-Founder, Colleen’s Dream Foundation 

A mother’s love is one of the most precious gifts in the world. She is the heartbeat of the family, a mentor and a best friend. This makes it all the more devastating when she is faced with a life-threatening disease, something Nicole Cundiff and her family know all too well. In 2007, Cundiff’s mother, Colleen Drury, was diagnosed with late-stage ovarian cancer, despite having led a healthy and active life. The news completely shocked the entire family, especially when they learned just how serious the disease was.

“Up until then, we didn’t know much about ovarian cancer, and it floored us to learn that my mother did all the right things—going to see three different doctors after experiencing all the classic signs and symptoms—and still had it dismissed as something else,” says Cundiff.

However, the family stayed strong and supported one another throughout Colleen’s battle, while also searching for a way to change the grim statistics for ovarian cancer.

Then, fate struck when Cundiff’s husband, Billy, a former NFL player, found out about a program the NFL was offering where members could start their own nonprofits. She could think of no nearer or dearer cause to devote this opportunity to than ovarian cancer, and in 2012, Colleen’s Dream Foundation was born. The nonprofit organization is dedicated to funding investigational scientific research to develop an accurate and accessible early detection test for ovarian cancer.

From the outset, Cundiff’s mother, and the Foundation’s namesake, was involved in every step of the way, joining the Board of Directors and pouring her entire heart and soul into the endeavor.

Sadly, Colleen Drury lost her battle with ovarian cancer in 2013. However, Colleen’s Dream Foundation has continued to grow and flourish over the years with all four daughters—Nicole, Danielle, Michelle and Billie—playing an integral role in ensuring their mother’s legacy lives on with each life it touches.

“When my mother passed away, she knew that she still had a lot left to give, and it meant the world to her to know that she would be leaving a legacy behind. That she would make a difference and save lives,” says Cundiff.  “I feel that through Colleen’s Dream we have kept her memory alive and I am proud of accomplishing that for her.”

Get to Know Nicole Cundiff:

Who has been the most influential woman in your life so far?

Absolutely my mom. She was my best friend and an infectious woman who had a great spirit. The other person would be my mom’s sister, my godmother. She helped co-found Make A Wish Foundation and has really helped give me the confidence to do all of this.

Do you have any advice for young women who are just starting out in their careers?

We always say, “Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress.” So, if there’s something you want to do just do it. -DA

Nadine Bubeck

Founder and Creative Director, Mama B. Designs 

When former TV news anchor and reporter Nadine Bubeck became a mother, she was immediately overcome with the magnitude of motherhood, following a newfound calling and renewed sense of purpose.

Bubeck’s first pregnancy was quite bumpy; at 20 weeks, she was diagnosed with complete placenta previa and was told to expect a rough pregnancy and preemie. Six weeks earlier than planned, Bubeck welcomed her son Nicholas into the world. Although born four pounds eleven ounces, he was a total fighter, only spending seven days in the NICU. The experience was enough to change Bubeck’s perspective on the road to motherhood, however, so she embarked on a new outlook and career path.

Bubeck set out to create Mama B. Designs, her original apparel line. She was thrilled when March of Dimes reached out about structuring a “give back” campaign, but instead pursued a full-fledged partnership by creating inspirational fashion that gives back.

“When March of Dimes contacted me, I felt like I had finally found an organization that fills my heart. I was so fortunate that our story was a good one- so many families undergo immense hardship birthing premature babies. Now, my goal is to make a small difference, providing cool and comfortable apparel that benefits March of Dimes,” says Bubeck.

Mama B. Designs donates fifty-percent of each item in its Miracle Line to March of Dimes, which carries apparel for men, women, youth and babies, stylishly spreading prematurity awareness.

“The line is meant to inspire; because every child, regardless of the pregnancy or birth situation, is a miracle,” says Bubeck.

On a personal level, Bubeck hopes to instill in her sons to find a passion and give back, even in smallest ways, like frequently visiting the NICU to handout cookies and other treats.

“I want my boys to find something they believe in and run with it,” says Bubeck. “I want them to know that they can do anything they set their minds to if they just keep trying.”

And that is how miracles are made.

Get to know Nadine Bubeck

Do you have any advice for young women who are just starting out in their careers?

To be fearless and just go for it. Failure is ok and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise, but if you remain fearless, something is bound to happen.

What is your favorite quote or saying?

When I graduated high school, my girlfriend gave me a card, and to this day I have it framed. It contained this quote from Maya Angelou: “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” -DA