MBC Alliance Welcomes New Vice Chair & Executive Group Members

The MBC Alliance is delighted to welcome a new Vice Chair and four new Executive Group members who bring diverse skills, perspectives, and experiences to the work of strategic guidance and oversight of Alliance activities. Vice Chair Margaret Flowers, who previously chaired the Research Task Force and most recently served as a Member-at-large, brings to the table extensive insight on the landscape of MBC research. Members-at-large Thelma Brown, Ricki Fairley, Victoria Goldberg and Ginny Mason have deep expertise in patient advocacy across various breast cancer subtypes. Get to know this dynamic team:

Margaret Flowers, PhD – Vice Chair

Margaret is Managing Director of the Research Program at Breast Cancer Research Foundation, a founding nonprofit member of the Alliance. Following the loss of her mother to metastatic breast cancer in 1991, Margaret rerouted her career path from chef to scientist, completing a PhD in Nutritional Science and Cancer Biology at age 49. After a two-year postdoctoral fellowship, she shifted her focus to the nonprofit sector, seeking to make an impact through her training and passion. She served as a program manager at Susan G. Komen for several years before moving to BCRF in 2014, attracted by its unique grant-making model and enthusiastic and visionary leadership. At BCRF, she oversees a $55-60 million grants program and works closely with the scientific leadership in advancing BCRF’s strategic and research priorities. She leads a team of PhD-level program managers who are responsible for conveying the impact of BCRF’s research program to diverse audiences. While at BCRF, she has co-authored manuscripts for Oncology Times and Cancer Research. Read more.

Thelma Brown – Member-at-large

Breast cancer has had a profound effect on Thelma and her family. In addition to her own diagnosis, her mother and five of her sisters were also diagnosed with breast cancer. Though not metastatic herself, the loss of two of her sisters to metastatic breast cancer and another one to myelodysplastic syndrome, secondary to treatment, spurred her commitment to supporting research that will lead to better understanding of this disease, more effective and less toxic treatments, and improving quality of life of those with MBC. She is passionate about building bridges between early stage and metastatic patients, often saying, ” We are ALL in this TOGETHER!” Thelma’s analytical skills, honed by her formal education in engineering, keen interest in the sciences, as well as her personal experiences, is a unique, but perfect fit for patient and research advocacy. She has been involved in patient and research advocacy over 15 years, with many of the projects focusing on MBC. As a member of the University of Alabama Breast Cancer Working Group and the Translational Breast Cancer Research Consortium (TBCRC), she has worked closely with basic science, clinical, and translational researchers. She also serves on the NCI Patient Advocate Steering Committee, Komen Advocates in Science Steering Committee, and the ASCO Breast Cancer Guidelines Committee. Additionally, recognizing the importance of education, Thelma has worked for more than a decade in outreach to the African American community in north central Alabama. Read more.

Ricki Fairley – Member-at-large

Ricki is the Co-founder and CEO of TOUCH, The Black Breast Cancer Alliance, a nonprofit member of the Alliance. A Triple Negative Breast Cancer Survivor/Thriver and award-winning marketer, she has transformed her strategic acumen into breast cancer advocacy. In addition to co-founding TOUCH, Ricki co-hosts “The Doctor Is In,” a weekly live breast cancer advocacy web series on the BlackDoctor.org Facebook page that reaches over 3 million viewers. She also co-founded #BlackDataMatters and, in 2022, started the When We Tri(al) Movement to improve outcomes for Black women with breast cancer by encouraging participation in clinical trials. Ricki serves on the boards of two nonprofits, the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation and the Center for Healthcare Innovation. She also serves on the board of Xeris Biopharma and on numerous pharmaceutical breast cancer advocacy boards, bringing the patient voice to therapy/drug development. She also participates in multiple collaborative initiatives including the President’s Cancer Panel: Innovative Navigation Models Workgroup; the American Cancer Society National Breast Cancer Roundtable Steering Committee, where she serves as co-leader for the Clinical Trials Work Group and the Roundtable Membership Committee; Cancer X Workgroups; the National Minority Quality Forum Cancer Stage Shifting Initiative Scientific Advisory Board; the FDA Patient Engagement Collaborative; and the Breast Cancer Research Program, where she serves as a Consumer Reviewer. Read more.

Victoria Goldberg – Member-at-large

Victoria Goldberg has been living with HER2+/ER+ metastatic breast cancer since January 2014. She had been originally diagnosed with early-stage cancer in 2004; and in January 2014, a CT scan showed that her cancer had returned and had spread to her liver and bones. Victoria had an exceptionally good response to her treatments and physically recovered pretty quickly. Before MBC, a big part of her life and how she defined herself had been her career. The side effects of the treatment forced her to stop working earlier than she had planned. She was not ready for retirement and felt the need to assist others who live with this dreadful disease. Advocacy gave her that missing structure and purpose. It felt “right.” She came to SHARE in 2017, first as a BC helpline volunteer. In 2018 she founded TalkMets, SHARE’s dedicated helpline for those living with MBC. Over her four years of TalkMets leadership and support, she created a much-needed resource, and hour upon hour of information, guidance and caring to those who called In. Victoria also co-facilitates SHARE support groups for metastatic breast cancer patients with Kate Vieira Pfitzer, hosts numerous educational webinars, and…most recently, Victoria has become the Executive Producer of SHARE’s own, the Our MBC Life podcast, taking over the reins from Lisa Laudico, who had done an amazing job of creating and spearheading the podcast. Dedicated to exploring life with metastatic breast cancer from the perspective of those living with this disease and the experts who partner with them to help make their lives better, each episode of Our MBC Life is accessed by hundreds of listeners. Victoria has learned all about production and outreach and is now leading the team! As a graduate of 2018 NBCC’s Project LEAD, Victoria is expanding her proficiency and knowledge of cancer science and research. She is a resident of New York City. She never forgets that she is living with an advanced disease, but it’s no longer on the forefront of her life.

Ginny Mason – Member-at-large

Ginny is President of the Inflammatory Breast Cancer Research Foundation, a nonprofit member of the Alliance. Diagnosed with IBC in 1994, Ginny became involved in advocacy after completing treatment and while working full-time as a mental health nurse. She began volunteering with the newly formed IBC Research Foundation in 1999, and became the organization’s Executive Director in 2003. Several years later, she helped develop and implement the IBC Research Foundation BioBank and Clinical Data Base. Her research advocacy work includes working as a consumer reviewer Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program, grant review for various organizations and serving as an advocate on multiple research projects. She served four years on the FDA Oncologic Drugs Advisory Committee as consumer representative and continues as a Patient Representative. She is active in global advocacy for both IBC and advanced breast cancer and serves as a committee member for SWOG Cancer Research Network’s clinical trial group. Read more.

Learn more about the MBC Alliance’s work and meet our full Executive Group.