International Women’s Day
On International Women’s Day, we celebrate the women who are on our staff and work relentlessly for our vision.
Cheryl Colleluori, President & Nick’s Mom
Cheryl was a stay-at-home mom with four baby boys six years old and under and didn’t return to the workforce until her oldest was a freshman in high school. She dabbled for a few years in the office coffee service business as the boys were growing up, which she sold and started her career at Widener University as the dean’s assistant. She left after three years and went to Villanova University. After a year there she knew it wasn’t a good fit for her, saw an Executive Assistant to the President of Corporate Express position so she applied for it. She got the job and from 1997 to 2013 experienced five mergers and continued to climb the corporate ladder. Cheryl was the General Manager of the Pennsylvania market overseeing five offices when the company merged with Staples. During the merger, she was selected to oversee a national team of project managers working with Fortune 500 companies. However, in 2004 when Nick was diagnosed with cancer and she had to juggle many things but placed her career on hold to care for him. Suddenly things that were urgent at the office no longer seemed urgent and as Nick’s health declined, she took an unpaid leave of absence. It was something she will never regret as she spent every hour of every day for eight months caring for Nick. Said Cheryl, “When you go through a tragedy of losing a child, you begin to see the world through different eyes. I learned a great deal during those years understanding HR, Finance and troubleshooting that unknowingly prepared me for my current role as President of the HEADstrong Foundation. Five years after Nick passed away, I took a leap of faith and followed my heart and resigned from Staples to commit myself to the HEADstrong Foundation. I take great pride in the work that we do, it has been a healing mechanism for me and selfishly I keep Nick current as he is part of my everyday conversation. I’m grateful to be surrounded by a team who is committed to our mission. The next time I see my Nick I hope he says ‘Great job Mom.'”
Cheryl’s favorite part of HEADstrong is continuing Nick’s vision. For her, witnessing his selflessness and creativity and watching the growth has been surreal and healing. Outside of the foundation, Cheryl loves to read, and is a speed reader. She also enjoys an escape to the beach, walking, biking and riding on the back of a Harley!
Three words that describe Cheryl are Strength, Family and Passionate.
Jen Colleluori, Director of Finance
Jen has a BA of Science degree with a major in Corporate Communications but has been working in the accounting field since graduating in 2007. She has worked with various businesses in those 14 years from small to large businesses for-profit and nonprofit, even meeting with NASA along the way!
Jen met Nick’s brother, Daniel and moved from California to Ridley in 2010 and has been helping with the Foundation wherever she could ever since before joining the team full time in 2017. Her favorite part about HEADstrong is being a part of something bigger than herself, meeting such amazing people along the way and helping be a part of keeping Nick’s vision going. Outside of HEADstrong she enjoys spending time with her husband, children and family. They love to go to the shore and find seashells.
Three words that describe Jen are Hard working, Dependable and Super Organized.
Sarah Mahony, Patient Care Professional & Graphic Designer
Sarah started working in the printing business in the 8th grade. She worked and learned graphic design throughout her summers and college career. She went to Atlantic Cape Community College for an associates in Studio Art and continued with her bachelors at Rowan University in Graphic Design. After college, Sarah worked at various printing facilities doing customer service, design and layouts. She then had the opportunity to work at a large direct mail company that specialized in non-profit mail across the world. There she was in charge of the purchasing, scheduling and development of promotional items that were mailed internationally. After recovering from a battle with cancer, Sarah wanted to give back and to do more to help those battling, so she volunteered and did some freelance design work for the HEADstrong Foundation before joining the team full time.
Sarah has been involved with HEADstrong for five years, starting as a volunteer and then joining full time. Her favorite part of working with HEADstrong is how personal the foundation is. It’s more than just raising money for a cure, it’s about reaching down and helping families in the midst of their struggle. Everyone understands and shares their experiences with others to help. Outside of HEADstrong, Sarah enjoys spending time with her family and my furry kids. She loves to be outdoors walking, running, hiking and enjoying nature when it’s warm and sitting by the fire with a good book or movie when it’s cold.
Three words to describe Sarah are Empathetic, Compassionate and Unique.
Lauren Macaulay, Administrative Specialist
Lauren interned at HEADstrong during her senior year of college at West Chester University working in Community Engagement. After graduation she was offered a full time position and has been with the foundation ever since. Her favorite part about HEADstrong are the events like the Limelight Gala, Running aHEAD 5ks and golf outings. For Lauren, it’s fun to see all of the hard work leading up to them finally and successfully come together.
Outside of HEADstrong, Lauren loves to spend time with her family and friends, especially at the beach. She’s hoping to travel more once COVID-19 settles down and also enjoys sports, going to concerts and reading a good book.
Three words to describe Lauren are Outgoing, Family Oriented and Ambitious.
Jen Hildebrand, Marketing Manager
Jen is the newest member of the HEADstrong team, joining the foundation in November of 2020. She got her start in college athletics, working in the Sports Information office at her alma mater, Elon University, starting her freshman year. After graduating, Jen spent three years working in college athletics, with stops at the Athletic Communications offices at Penn, UConn and Indiana before transitioning to professional sports. She spent 13 years at Mohegan Sun working in public relations and community relations with the sports teams there, first the Connecticut Sun of the WNBA then the New England Black Wolves of the NLL. Prior to HEADstrong, she served as the Director of Marketing with GF Sports & Entertainment, overseeing marketing and communications for their properties.
Jen’s favorite part of HEADstrong is telling the stories of the families that the foundation helps and showcasing the different ways that people can be involved in the fundraising efforts to help those families. Outside of HEADstrong, she enjoys golfing, traveling, watching sports, photography and spending time with family and friends.
Three words to describe Jen are Determined, Dependable and Creative.
Lauren Jeandell, Community Engagement Intern
Lauren is about to finish her senior year at Temple University. Going into college she didn’t know what she wanted to do but knew she wanted to work in sports, so she decided to study sport management. She volunteered, interned and worked in many different parts of the industry with organizations like the Philadelphia Phillies, University of Pennsylvania Athletics, Ed Snider Youth Hockey Foundation and many more, so she’s had a lot of really great experiences. After graduation, Lauren would like to work in community relations for a professional sports team. However, due to her experience at HEADstrong she’d be interested in pursuing a career outside professional sports as well.
At HEADstrong, Lauren has really enjoyed working on the Attack Cancer campaign and seeing the immediate impact she’s been able to make through outreach efforts. She’s also enjoyed being able to connect with participants and hear why they are a part of Team HEADstrong. Outside of her internship, Lauren really enjoys playing field hockey on the club team at school, going to Phillies games with her dad and spending time with her friends. She’s also been trying to get back into running as well and is hoping to run another half marathon this year.
Three words to describe Lauren are Ambitions, Reliable and Thoughtful.
Allison Kovacs, Community Engagement Intern
Allison’s career has been loaded with lots of experiences so far through three years of college. She currently works for the Widener athletic communications department as a student worker, recording the live streams for the sports teams and helping with live stats. She also has a game day job at Lincoln Financial Field working Eagles games and other various events. All of these experiences, including HEADstrong, are helping her get to her career goal of becoming a front office executive for a professional sports team.
Allison’s favorite part about working at HEADstrong is getting to see the hard work translate to helping patients who are overcoming cancer and putting smiles on their faces. Outside of her internship, Allison is a huge sports fan, she loves the Yankees and is so excited it is baseball season. Also, she is an avid football fan and loves the Olympics. She loves going to the beach. Her family and friends are her biggest support system and she love spending time with them as well.
Three words to describe Allison are Motivated, Passionate and Caring.
Jessica Scannapieco, HEADstrong Philadelphia Girls General Manager
Jessica graduated in 2015 from Western New England University where she had a successful lacrosse career, leading her team as 3-year captain to a CCC Championship. Following graduation, she knew she wanted to stay connected to the sport and accepted her first head coaching position when she was 23 at Elms College in Chicopee, Mass. Jessica then went on to coach at Johnson & Wales University in Providence RI, leading her team to two consecutive GNAC championships and a program first, advancing to the second round of the NCAA tournament. When the pandemic hit the lacrosse season was cut short and life was upended. Having a hard time being in Rhode Island so far away from, family Jessica made the difficult decision to leave the team and move back to PA. That is when she joined the HEADstrong Foundation as the General Manager of the Philly Girls club.
Jessica’s favorite part about working for the foundation is helping others, the passionate people, our awesome players, and the supportive families. The best part of her job is having the opportunity to coach the players, seeing them improvement, and growing their love of the game. Outside of HEADstrong, Jessica is pursing a masters in organizational leadership and really enjoy learning new things. She loves going for walks with her two dogs, exercising, doing puzzles, and is a big fan of crocheting. She’s says not very good at it but it’s very relaxing and reminds her of my late great great great aunt Rose.
Three words to describe Jessica are Energetic, Extroverted and Delightful.
Talia Bouzakis, HEADstrong South Jersey Girls Assistant General Manager
Talia graduated from TCNJ in the spring of 2020, where she played attack on the women’s lacrosse team. Prior to TCNJ, she attended Wagner College for two years. At both schools she conference championships, and went on to compete in the NCAA women’s lacrosse tournaments. In addition to her HEADstrong duties, she currently work as an analyst at a well-known business firm located in Delaware and works as a trainer with Athletes United Lacrosse located in Cherry Hill, NJ.
Talia was initially introduced to HEADstrong during her freshman year of college after participating in a fall ball tournament at Hofstra. After that, she and her sister reached out to Michael Colleluori looking to get more involved with the foundation. They love what it stands for, and from there were able to help Michael with summer camps in South Jersey. Talia’s favorite part of HEADstrong is working with young athletes to develop them not only as players but young adults as well. Understanding the meaning behind HEADstrong reminds them that they’re not just playing a sport, but representing and supporting those affected by cancer as well. Outside of HEADstrong, she really enjoys being outside so during the summer she loves going to the beach and in the winter she loves to go skiing.
Three words to describe Talia are Reliable, Caring and Determined.
Nicolette Bouzakis, HEADstrong South Jersey Girls Assistant General Manager
Nicolette spent her first two years of College at Wagner College, where she played NCAA Division I Women’s Lacrosse. After experiencing a career ending injury, she transferred closer to home and attended Rowan University where she assisted the Rowan Women’s Lacrosse Program. Prior to graduating, she began working for PNC Bank as a Business Analyst, and helped to aid in the Paycheck Protection Program which provided small businesses with loans during the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition to working and coaching for HEADstrong, Nicolette coaches and trains for Clearview Youth Lacrosse Club.
Having been involved with HEADstrong for over five years now, her favorite part about working with HEADstrong would have to be that it is a foundation set on giving back. Whether that’s to one person, a team, or to an entire community. HEADstrong has made an impact on the lives of many, and she’s thankful to be a part of the HEADstrong Family and mission. Outside of HEADstrong she enjoys working with and training lacrosse players. Whether it’s on the field or through a recruiting session, she loves sharing knowledge with players. It’s extremely rewarding getting to watch the young athletes that she works with grow up into young adults who are determined to play lacrosse at the next level.
Three words to describe. Nicolette are Leader, Reliable and Adaptable.