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About Us

Our Staff

Maria Elena Geyer

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President / CEO

A healthcare executive with more than 20 years of experience in non-profit management, Geyer joined Gilda’s as President and CEO in January 2015. Prior to her position at Gilda’s Club, Geyer was CEO of North Eastern Pennsylvania Blood Services for the American Red Cross. And for 22 years, served in executive positions at the Puget Sound Blood Center in Seattle, Washington, first as Director of Donor and Volunteer Resources, then Executive Vice President of Marketing and Community Affairs.

Esteemed for her record of success in growing programs and in community outreach, during her first year of leading Gilda’s, Geyer launched a groundbreaking nutrition program and forged strong community partnerships in the Coachella Valley. She spearheaded the creation of “Better Together for Community,” a collaborative of five local cancer support organizations serving patients and families locally, and secured a unique mental health grant to support its ambitious outreach plan.

Steven T. Lake

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Director of Finance

Born and raised in Washington, DC. A resident of Rancho Mirage for the past sixteen years after living in Montreal for twelve years. Retired Director of Finance at The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens. Volunteered at Gilda’s Club before assuming current role as the Director of Finance.

Gail Bardin, Clinical Director

Gail Bardin

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Clinical Director, LMFT

Gail Bardin, LMFT, has been facilitating Gilda’s groups since 2009. She not only understands, but fully adopts the Gilda’s model. She earned her master’s degree in counseling psychology from National University in San Diego and has been a licensed therapist in private practice for many years here in the desert communities.

In addition to her duties at Gilda’s, Gail is a Psychiatric Social Worker at Telecare Psychiatric Health Facility where she serves as a Probable Cause Hearing Officer, is a commissioner for the City of Rancho Mirage, and sits on the Coachella Valley Leadership Council of the Alzheimer’s Association, California Southland Chapter. Gail has a private practice as a psychotherapist and is an Adjunct Professor at Chapman University/Brandman University where she instructs both graduate and under-graduate students.

April Hanig

April Hanig

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Program Manager

April Hanig serves as the Program Manager at Gilda’s. In addition to facilitating support groups and New Member Orientations, April oversees educational and social programming aimed at providing information related to living with and beyond cancer, its treatment and relevant life issues. April also works to ensure Gilda’s programs are running smoothly and effectively, and she collaborates with other community organizations to increase awareness of the resources available for Coachella Valley residents affected by cancer.

April’s background is in both non-profit management and mental health. She holds a Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Marriage and Family Therapy from Pepperdine University, as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the American Jewish University in Los Angeles. In addition to her extensive experience as a psychotherapist providing support to individuals and families in schools, homes and in private practice, she recently served for three years as the Program Coordinator for a successful non-profit in the Bay Area.

Andrea Carbone

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Office Coordinator

Andrea Carbone serves as executive assistant to President and CEO Maria Elena Geyer and Director of Finance Steven Lake. She oversees daily office operations, is responsible for donor-record-keeping systems, and is Gilda’s liaison for third-party fundraising events.

A new desert resident, Andrea comes to Gilda’s after serving briefly as office manager of a local psychotherapy office and a Los Angeles-based corporate career that began in 1987. For 15 years she held a supervisory position at The Walt Disney Company, maintaining the 3 million assets of its Photo Library and writing for a popular member-based publication. The mother of two adult children, Andrea considers herself an entrepreneur and artist at heart. She designs and makes jewelry by hand, has had her designs featured and sold in several Los Angeles boutiques, and still maintains and runs a successful online resale store of designer clothes and all things unique.

Thea North

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Receptionist Extraordinaire

Thea North is Gilda’s Club main Receptionist and Volunteer Coordinator. Her story is unique in that the first time she pushed open the big red door in December 2005, she was newly diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer—and, in her own words: “Scared to death, I was in my support group for 18 months, then I started to volunteer, then I got hired! I’m happy to say I’m now 10 years cancer free. I like to call myself a Gilda’s Club Thriver.”