Our Board of Directors
Olivia "Liv" Lipnicky
Olivia lived her life with kindness, always worrying about others. When she was diagnosed with cancer her first concern was helping other kids affected by the same disease. During her last summer she organized the first “Liv like a Unicorn” clothing drive, which raised over $10,000 for cancer research. She passed away in November 2019 after a 9 month battle. Her family has continued the “Liv like a Unicorn” foundation to help carry on her wishes to support families and fund a cure for pediatric cancer.
President & CEO
Emma is Olivia’s mom, as well as mom to Liv’s little brother Jack. She and her husband Brian have been married for over 10 years. Before becoming a mother Emma was a special education teacher for children with Autism. When her family was thrown into the world of pediatric cancer Emma saw the desperate need for funding to find a cure for brain and spinal cord tumors. Her family is committed to this foundation as a way to carry on Liv's mission while they #LivlikeaUnicorn and #Bethegood!
Mike is the proud father of two children, Brendan and Elizabeth, and husband to Meghan. Mike grew up in Kinnelon, NJ, where he and Emma became best friends in 1st Grade, when they were just 6 years old, and they have remained friends through the years. Professionally, Mike is a Digital Marketer for a Fortune 300 organization where he is responsible for the success of his company's websites and mobile apps. Mike is very motivated by our "Be The Good" mantra and hopes to help drive awareness and help build Liv Like A Unicorn into the huge success that it will become.
Special Advisor to the Board of Directors
Jennifer is Vice President of Development at Meridian Health Foundation, part of Hackensack Meridian Health. A lifelong resident of Freehold, she and her husband Will are committed to supporting this community, and rallying friends and family to support the fight against pediatric cancer. Mom to three young daughters, Olivia, Paige, and Madelyn, Jen hopes to inspire this next generation to always do the right thing, the right way, for the right reason.
Brian is Olivia's dad, as well as dad to Liv's little brother Jack. He and Emma have been married for over 10 years. Brian holds a BS in Biotechnology with a minor in Biochemistry from Rutgers University as well as an MBA with dual concentrations in Finance and Marketing from Rutgers Business School. Brian has spent his career working in sales for the Bio-Pharmaceutical industry. He is currently an Area Business Manager for a top Biopharmaceutical Company. Brian is committed to finding breakthrough opportunities for funding research that will make a difference in pediatric brain tumors.
Cristina is the proud mother of twins, Stella and Sofia, and wife to her amazing husband Ted. With a legal background, her interests have always involved helping others. Cristina is committed to making a difference in the world of pediatric cancer and "paying forward" kindness. She hopes that this will provide inspiration to her children and lead the way for a better tomorrow to all those affected by pediatric cancer.
Josephine Edwards Yelen
Director, Donor Relations
Born in London, Jo moved to the United States in 1982. She has previously worked in the music publishing and equity management industries. Jo recently retired from the New Jersey Performing Arts Center where she spent seven years working with the President & CEO in an executive assistant position as well as in the Development Department as Associate Director of Donor Services handling donor relationship management, fundraising and event planning. Jo is the proud mother of Emma Edwards, founder of “Liv like a Unicorn” and grandmother to Olivia and her little brother Jack. She is happily married to Stan Yelen and is stepmother to Jason and Jared Yelen.
Our Medical Advisors
Dr. Heather Grossman
Dr. Heather Grossman is the Chief of the Pediatric Advanced Care Team at K Hovnanian Children’s Hospital at Jersey Shore Medical Center, where she is honored to be able to care for the many complex and chronically ill patients of the Jersey Shore area. She is also the Medical Director for Butterflies Hospice and Palliative Care Program through Valley Home Health. In 2015, The Emmanuel Cancer Foundation humbled her with their Humanitarian of the Year Award that she shared with her colleagues. Dr Grossman’s career has included appointments in Pediatric Hematology/Oncology, Hospice and Palliative Medicine, or both at Monmouth Medical Center (where she founded the Pediatric Hospice and Palliative Care Program), Long Island College Hospital, Columbia Presbyterian Hospital (where she served on the Phase 1 Clinical Trial Team and the Pediatric NeuroOncology Team), and St Joseph’s Children’s Hospital. Dr Grossman is a graduate of the Sackler School of Medicine at Tel Aviv University in Tel Aviv Israel and received her undergraduate training at Columbia University with at Double Major in Biology and Psychology. Her greatest achievement is her 8 year old daughter, Lexi. It was through Lexi’s pre-school friendships that she had the privilege of getting to know Liv and her transcendent smile and her remarkable family. Heather lives in Colts Neck with her husband, Steve, her daughter Lexi, 2 formidable cats, and an emotionally needy dog.
Dr. Patricia Manfredonia
Patricia E. Manfredonia, MD, known to her patients as "Dr. Trish," received her undergraduate degree in the Biological Sciences from Rutgers University in New Brunswick. She went onto attend UMDNJ-New Jersey Medical School and graduated with her medical doctorate in 2001. From there, she trained at New York University Medical Center and Bellevue Hospital to complete her pediatric residency in 2004.
She is board-certified in pediatrics and a Fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics. In addition to working at her private practice, she serves as school physician for two local elementary schools. Dr. Manfredonia was named an Honoree by Horizon New Jersey Health Insurance Company in 2006 for her dedication to treating underprivileged children in the state. In 2011, she was recognized as the Community Pediatrician of the Year by the pediatric residents at the K. Hovnanian Children's Hospital at Jersey Shore Medical Center. For the past four years (2015, 2016, 2017, 2018), Dr. Trish has been selected as one of "New Jersey's Favorite Kids' Docs" by the readers of New Jersey Family Magazine and njfamily.com.
Christmas in July Chair
Unicorn Box Coordinator
Soccer Tournament Chair
Hospital Donation Coordinator