Who We Are
It started when co-founder and mountain climber, Ron Farb, decided to combine his thirst for adventure with his desire to see an end to cancer in his lifetime. He has climbed five of the seven summits, the highest mountain in each of the seven continents, helping the Foundation raise over $2 million for psychosocial, cancer research, and related support programs. Ron has been featured in numerous local and state television and radio news reports, and print media.
Realizing this is not a solitary effort, Ron and Dianne Farb created the Foundation to provide support for those battling the disease, and to help ease the pain and suffering of those affected by cancer.
Although in 2005, cancer deaths declined for the first time in 70 years, this year over 608,570 Americans are expected to die of cancer, or more than 1670 people per day. Cancer is the second most common cause of death in the US, exceeded only by heart disease. Since 1990, approximately 17 million new cases have been diagnosed. Almost 1.9 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in 2021 nationwide. (Statistics from the American Cancer Society Cancer Facts and Figures for 2021).
Fortunately, more than half of those persons diagnosed with cancer today will survive. That is good news, but not good enough. We've got a long way to go, and the Foundation needs your support to accomplish its mission.
Cancer is a health challenge that needs to be conquered. Many of us involved in Climb for Cancer use our athletic abilities to aid in the fight against cancer. We see the name as a metaphor for rising above the challenges of the disease and overcoming the obstacles that keep people from being healthy and productive. We know this works best when people work together to conquer their personal "mountains in life."
Michael C. Carr – Senior Vice President, Wealth Management UBS Financial Services. Mike and his team serve High Net-Worth Individuals, Major League Baseball Players and NCAA College Football Coaches. One of Mike's great achievements was summiting Mount Kilimanjaro with CFC in 2011.
Rory Causseaux – Board Chair of the Climb for Cancer Foundation, 2018-present. Rory is a graduate of the University of Florida, a Professional Engineer registered in the State of Florida and a Licensed Real Estate Associate. He is the Founder of CHW Professional Consultants and an active Commercial Real Estate Professional located in Gainesville, Florida.
Christy Dunn - The Director of Experience and Education at UF Health Physicians, Christy is a third generation UF graduate and herself a cancer survivor. Through Climb for Cancer she hopes to continue supporting those fighting this disease and supporting the research that gives hope to many.
B. Dianne Farb, J.D. – Co-founder and co-executive director of the Climb for Cancer Foundation, Dianne practiced law for fifteen years before transitioning into research administration at the University of Florida.
Ron Farb – Co-founder and co-executive director of the Climb for Cancer Foundation, Ron served as a military aviator, followed by a forty-three year sales career, and has climbed many of the world's highest mountains to raise money for the foundation.
Bill Fisher – Past Chair of the Board of Directors of the Climb for Cancer Foundation, Bill recently retired from Deloitte Global LLP as a Senior Consulting Partner having served public, private and non-profit clients in over 80 countries.
Andrea Holbrook – Andrea Holbrook is president of Holbrook Travel, Inc., which is based in Gainesville, Florida. Since 1998, she has led the company, which specializes in natural history and educational programs. She is also part of a family operation that owns and oversees Selva Verde Lodge and Private Reserve in the lowland rainforests of Costa Rica. Andrea is very much a part of the Gainesville community where she was born and currently lives with her teenage daughter and husband. It has been a great honor to support the work of Climb for Cancer as a Board Member.
Barb Keener – A board member since 2017, Barb received her doctoral degree from the University of Florida and has been an active professional with higher education institutions and organizations throughout her career. She continues her affiliation with the University’s College of Education serving in teaching and related activities. Her other volunteer priorities include engagement with her undergraduate alma mater, The Colorado College.
Merry Jennifer Markham, M.D. – Associate Director for Medical Affairs for the UF Health Cancer Center and Interim Chief of the Division of Hematology and Oncology at the University of Florida College of Medicine.
Ami McClay - The Marketing Manager for NewPoint Media Group, a company of over 150 “mom & pop” real estate marketing publications across the United States and Canada. Prior to joining NewPoint Ami worked at the Greater Gainesville Chamber of Commerce. Ami graduated from Florida State University in 2008 with a bachelor’s degree in Leisure & Recreation Administration Services with a minor in business and marketing.
Rick Medina – Member of the Climb for Cancer Board of Directors since 2005. He is retired from a thirty-five-year career in property and community management. He holds an undergraduate degree in English from the University of Florida, and an MBA with a dual concentration in Finance and Law and Managerial Policy from the University of Florida. He is a Certified Property Manager, Emeritus and a Certified Manager of Community Associations.
Greg Schultz – A board member since 2019, Greg is a Technology Executive with over 30 years of experience in the Financial Services and Insurance sectors. He enjoys leading large software development projects and developing leaders to manage rapidly expanding business units. Through the foundation he hopes to combine his growing interest in philanthropy and adventure travel to help others.
Bill Slayton, M.D. – The Division Chief for Pediatric Hematology/Oncology at University of Florida, Dr. Bill has a love for the outdoors and has taken pediatric cancer survivors on Wilderness Whitewater Rafting trips in Utah and Colorado. He has participated in fundraising trips for Climb for Cancer including hiking the Inca Trail. Climb for Cancer supports programs in psychology, physical therapy, social work and child life that enhance the quality of life of the children and families that he serves.
Mike Smith, J.D. – Co-founder and managing partner of Foley & Smith, LLC. Mike received his Bachelors of Science Degree in Accounting from Hampton University and his Juris Doctorate from the University of Maryland School of Law. He is a CPA, a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and a member of the Maryland State Bar Association.