Young Professionals Council

  • EasternMass - Young Professionals Council

Be Part of the Future

Join the Friends of the Red Cross

By volunteering with a group of rising young professionals, you'll be able to network with influential philanthropists in Boston, grow your leadership skills and make a difference in your community.

Friends of the Red Cross

Young Professionals Building a Better Boston

The mission of the Friends of the Red Cross is to build a dynamic volunteer organization of young professionals who are committed to the fundamental principles of the American Red Cross and its mission to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.

The purpose of the Friends of the Red Cross is to build awareness for the American Red Cross mission, particularly among young professionals in the greater Boston area, through advocacy, volunteerism, outreach, and fundraising initiatives. The group aims to cultivate lifelong affinity and support for the Red Cross and engage members in activities, such as event-based fundraisers, social outings, volunteering, and professional development opportunities. Guided by this purpose, the Friends of the Red Cross seek to create enjoyable, engaging, and inclusive environments for all members to interact.

    Benefits include:

  • Networking and career development opportunities with fellow philanthropic young professionals
  • Fun social events
  • Volunteering opportunities with the world’s most recognized charity
  • Leadership opportunities in a range of areas including Executive Committee positions, event planning committees, membership committees & fundraising

We would love to hear from you. Please contact Cason Brewer or Stephanie Pao, co-chairs of our Membership Committee, with any questions about Friends of the Red Cross at

See photos from our last large event, Mingle for a Mission.

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter!

Friends of the Red Cross - Members

Eastern MA - Friends of the Red Cross - Cason Brewer photo

Cason Brewer: Membership Co-Chair

Cason is a CPA and senior tax associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers in the Personal Financial Services Group. Having spent time in PWC’s San Francisco, CA and Charlotte, NC offices before arriving in Boston, she serves a wide base of clients but specializes in providing complex individual income tax compliance and consulting services including financial succession planning, charitable giving and retirement planning. Cason received her B.S. in accounting at the University of South Carolina and M.S. in accounting at the University of Virginia. As a recent transplant to Boston, Cason enjoys the local culture and history, SEC college football, trying the many wonderful Boston restaurants and entertainment venues, playing recreational volleyball and softball and engaging in service opportunities with the local community and her alma maters.

Red Cross Boston Isabel Cancel

Isabel Cancel: Fundraising and Events Chair

Founding Member

Isabel grew up in Connecticut, and has called Boston home for over 12 years. An alum of Northeastern University, Isabel Cancel currently works on public policy evaluations at Abt Associates, helping manage national projects related to workforce and community development. As a volunteer with the local Boys & Girls Club, she assists with educational programs, mentoring, and fundraising. Isabel is a member of the Social Boston Sports events team, helping engage young professionals through sports and social events. Isabel has enjoyed working with the Red Cross team on various fundraiser events, and as a founding board member of the Friends of the Red Cross, she is excited to bring together members of the community to learn, have a positive experience and take part in the important mission of the American Red Cross.

Alyssa Dion

Alyssa Dion: Past President and Member-at-Large

Founding Member

Alyssa is a founding board member of the Friends of the Red Cross and serving as co-President until June 2016. Her first experience with the Red Cross was in swimming lessons as a young girl and a blood donor later in life. She has also been on the host committee for the Women Who Care Leadership Breakfast for the American Red Cross of Massachusetts since 2012.

Graduating Smith College with a degree in economics, Alyssa didn’t expect to find her dream job in the hospitality industry. What started as a career in sales and events within the ski industry, developed into a hunger to explore the world and a passion to help bring the world to the Northeast. After 10 years and of course, a few passport stamps, Alyssa found her calling managing the leisure segment for Starwood Hotels Metro Market Boston. With an unabashed zest for surprising and delighting clients around the world, Alyssa has connections near and far, and loves the opportunity to connect them with her favorite destination – Boston. That same passion spills over into her free time, where she can be found traveling, on the mountain snowboarding, attempting to surf our chilly New England waves, or volunteering with the American Red Cross of Massachusetts.

Kushal Gohil

Kushal Gohil: Member-at -Large

Founding Member

Kushal is Manger of Sales Operations at PAREXEL International Corporation, a leading global biopharmaceutical services organization headquartered in Waltham, MA. Kushal holds a Bachelor of Pharmacy degree from University of Pune (India) and is a Registered Pharmacist under The Pharmacy Council of India. He has earned his MS in Drug Development and MS in Marketing from University of Cincinnati. In his free time he enjoys sports, music, food, & travel, and has been a Freemason for over 5 years.

Friends of the Red Cross Kerry Hannigan

Kerry Hannigan

In 1997, I graduated from Stonehill College in Easton, MA with a degree in psychology. I worked as a behavioral therapist for children with Autism. I received my masters degree in occupational therapy from Tufts University In 2001 and began a career as a school based OT in California and in Arizona. Currently, I'm an occupational therapist working full time for the Elder Service Plan in Cambridge MA. Along with an interdisciplinary team, I support frail elders in the greater Boston area to keep them safe and thriving at home vs living in a nursing home. I also own my own pediatric home-based occupational therapy business called "advanced OT of Boston". I work with children in the Boston area on fine motor skills, sensory processing and motor planning. In my free time I enjoy running, traveling to warm places, yoga and volunteering.

American Red Cross of Massachusetts - Friends of the Red Cross

Himanshu Jain: Volunteering and Professional Development Chair

Member at Large

Himanshu currently works as a consultant at ICF International in the Greater Boston Area. He is an expert in the commercial airline functions of pricing and revenue management. He holds B.Tech. in Civil Engineering from IIT Bombay and M.S. in Transportation from MIT. An avid traveler, he has visited more than 25 countries across Asia, CIS, Europe and Americas for work and leisure. A strong believer in the power of education to solve problems of the society, Himanshu supports various grass-root organizations working towards making good-quality education available to all. He was active in various student societies during his time in school and now enjoys contributing to a bigger cause through Friends of the Red Cross.

American Red Cross of Massachusetts - Friends of the Red Cross

Devika Kakkar: Marketing and Communications Chair

Devika is a former Research Associate of Fraunhofer IIS, Germany, one of the largest applied research organizations in Europe. She holds a Master degree in GIS from Technical University Berlin, Germany and a B.Tech. in Civil Engineering from HBTI, India. Having worked with people from diverse backgrounds and nationalities, she loves meeting new people and exploring new cultures. Inspired by her father, she has been attached to social causes from an early age. She has served at several orphanages and taught at various non-profit schools in her hometown. These experiences have shaped her personality and she consistently remains committed to the social causes. She is excited about being a part of the Red Cross Community and using her skills and time for the betterment of the society.

Kathleen Keanly - Headshot

Kathleen Kenealy: President

Kathleen serves as Vice President and Treasurer. She began supporting the Red Cross in college when she made her first blood donation and she is excited to be among a group of talented young professionals that are dedicated to supporting and promoting the mission of the Red Cross. Until recently, Kathleen served as co-chair of Events and Fundraising.

Kathleen is a Client Advisor with Boston Private Wealth. She is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional with over a decade of experience working in partnership with individuals and families to understand and address their unique financial needs, objectives and concerns. Kathleen grew up in Massachusetts, graduated cum laude from Babson College and completed the Financial Planning Program at Boston University’s Center for Professional Education. Most recently she completed the Charles Schwab Executive Leadership Program, an elite training program designed to prepare the next generation of leaders in the investment advisory industry by focusing on developing leadership, innovation, talent management, strategic marketing, and entrepreneurship skills. Kathleen enjoys combining a challenge with a worthy cause and has participated in numerous fundraising events, finishing several half-marathons and triathlons in support of breast cancer and other diseases. In her free time, she enjoys yoga, cooking, traveling and playing the piano.

Red Cross - MASS - Friends of RC - Casey Miles

Casey Miles: Vice-President

Member at Large

Casey grew in up Minnesota, and has resided in Boston for six years. She graduated from the Honors Program at Boston College with a degree in Biology, focused on public health. During her time at Boston College, she pursued her passion for public health by volunteering to teach Health classes at local Boston public high schools through Peer Health Exchange, a nationwide nonprofit organization. She also spent nine months working in the public health sector in Ecuador, where she worked at a nonprofit clinic and worked as a liaison for jungle community health organizations.

Casey currently works as a Project Manager for Eze Software Group, a Boston-based asset management software provider. In addition to focusing on software and strategic development projects at work, Casey enjoys running for fun and participating in road races, biking, and hiking. She is also an avid traveler, driven by a desire to learn about new places and cultures and challenge herself to visit new places regularly.


Stephanie Pao: Membership Co-Chair

Steph is a private equity associate at Webster Capital, where she focuses on new acquisitions and portfolio management of growing, branded companies within the consumer sector. Steph received her B.S. in Commerce at the University of Virginia, with concentrations in Finance and Management. As a Washington, D.C. area native that moved to Boston this past summer, she looks forward to joining a local network of professionals with a shared passion of volunteerism. In her spare time, she enjoys cooking, exploring new places with her golden retriever rescue pup, and is a Soul Cycle enthusiast. Steph is excited to make a positive impact on the community through Friends of the Red Cross and also volunteers with the Animal Rescue League of Boston.

Michael Rodning

Michael Rodning

Mike is the Principle Processes Improvement Consultant (IT) for Boston Scientific. Prior to moving to Boston, Mike was a commissioned officer and navigator for the US Air Force for nine years. He holds a MBA from Trident University International and a BS in Physics from the University of Saint Thomas. He is a native of Minnesota and an avid traveler with visits to 56 countries to date. In his free time he enjoys skiing, cycling, good food, friends and volunteering at the Red Cross food pantry.

Friends of the Red Cross Julia Sorkin

Julia Sorkin

Julia Sorkin is a Client Advisor with Boston Private Wealth. She works closely with colleagues and clients’ external advisors to provide thoughtful investment and wealth management solutions, incorporating each client’s investment objectives with retirement, philanthropic, estate, and tax planning strategies. Julia received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics/Business and Psychology from Lafayette College and a Master of Business Administration from Villanova University. She also holds the CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNERTM professional designation. Outside of work, Julia enjoys traveling, hiking, and skiing, she also volunteered with Big Brothers Big Sisters for 6 years.