About Us

About OCAZ
The People Behind the Alliance

OCAZ (Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Arizona) was founded in 2008 when Michele Avery and Annette Mattern discovered a shared passion to help women survive ovarian cancer. Michele’s leadership experience with the National Ovarian Cancer Coalition and Annette’s service with the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance created the foundation on which OCAZ has grown. Michele Avery is an Emeritus Board Member of OCAZ.

Annette Leal Mattern, Founder

Annette Leal Mattern is a 23-year survivor of ovarian cancer and a two-year survivor of breast cancer. She retired from US WEST/Qwest as Vice President of Marketing to devote herself to making a difference in women’s cancers. She published a book, Outside the Lines of Love, Life, and Cancer, about coping with cancer and surviving life.

Annette is president of the board of directors of the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance, where she also Chairs the Marketing & Communications Committee. She is a contributing writer for www.EmpowHer.com, a website known as “powerful women transforming health.” She is a LiveStrong inspirational speaker, sharing her story nationwide to motivate women to live their best life in spite of their diagnosis. She lives in Scottsdale, AZ with her husband Rich.



Joe Casey, President

Joe lost his mother to Ovarian Cancer in 2009. She was diagnosed Stage III after being misdiagnosed several times. She was also a carrier of the BRCA2 genetic mutation, of which Joe has subsequently inherited. Joe, his wife Katie, and their two boys (Aiden and Quinn) live in central Phoenix.

Before becoming a board member in 2009, Joe received his bachelors in Electrical Engineering from ASU, followed by an MBA from Thunderbird School of Global Management. He likes to stay active in community, and even created a wiffle ball league! Joe and his family are committed to raising symptom awareness for Ovarian Cancer in the Arizona community, and supporting those patients and survivors during their lifelong battle with this relentless disease.


LeAnne Prenovost RN, MSN, MBA, CNE: Funds Development

LeAnne lost her ‘best friend’, sister Lisa Wilkinson in 2011 after a three year battle with ovarian cancer. “With my sister’s ovarian cancer diagnosis, my life was forever changed.”

A Registered Nurse for 34 years, LeAnne is an Assistant Professor of Nursing at Chamberlain College and Grand Canyon University in Phoenix. Her area of expertise is Women’s and Children’s Health. Currently a doctoral student, LeAnne’s life revolves around increasing awareness, early diagnosis, research and an ultimate cure for ovarian cancer.

LeAnne primary focus at OCAZ is on funds development to support the OCAZ mission.

Mary Beth Canham, BSN, RN-C, WCC

Ms. Canham is a registered nurse and accomplished business woman. She is a Summa Cum Laude graduate of Walden University where she earned her BSN degree. After working for 15 years as a paralegal she changed career paths and became a registered nurse. Over the past 25 years she has had a diverse nursing career with numerous management and administrative roles in acute care, long term care, labor and delivery, prenatal education, pain management and wound care. For the past 14 years she has been employed with a start-up biotech medical device company in Scottsdale, AZ, Regenesis Biomedical, where she has served as a clinical expert, Western U.S. sales director and Executive Director of Medical Affairs. Ms. Canham has co-authored several publications and poster presentations in the medical device and wound healing industry. She continues to teach prenatal education for Scottsdale Healthcare. Ms. Canham recently joined the Board of Directors of StepbyStep with a focus on global healthcare needs.

Mary has served on the Board of Directors for the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Arizona (OCAZ) since 2011, as a tribute to her mother’s loss to this disease. She is a member of Wound Ostomy Continence Nursing (WOCN) Association and continues her dedication to providing wound care options to the underprivileged. She is also a member of the American Academy of Pain Management (AAPM). She enjoys crafting, gardening and spending time with her family and friends to relax.

Shari Yacuel

Shari Yacuel is originally from New York, and currently lives in Phoenix, AZ. She returns to New York and Florida to visit her family, and, of course, to shop!

Shari has worked in the healthcare industry for several years. She currently works for Medicare as a claims specialist, being the point of contact for both beneficiaries and providers.

Shari has a passion and determination for helping others. After Shari’s own bout with cancer, (she was blessed to have the support of a friend before, during and after her journey), she was fully committed to pay it forward. She initially became involved with OCAZ in 2009, an organization near and dear to her heart. Shari successfully organized and directed Teal Trek, a fundraising walk, to honor the memory of her aunt who succumbed to ovarian cancer. Shari’s goal is to provide support and education to ovarian cancer survivors, while creating public awareness.

When not working, Shari spends a lot of her time volunteering. She also loves to cook and bake.

Mohit Mehta

Bio Coming Soon

Judy Rex

Bio Coming Soon