Maui News

Who is the new director of the Pacific Cancer Foundation?

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LInda Puppolo was named new executive director of the Pacific Cancer Foundation. Photo Courtesy: PCF

The Pacific Cancer Foundation has named Linda Puppolo as its new executive director, succeeding Nancy LaJoy who is retiring after eight years of service.

Puppolo most recently served as the executive director of the Maui County Workforce Development Board, where she was recently honored as the Workforce Professional of the Year by the National Association of Workforce Development Professionals.

“We are thrilled to welcome Linda as our new executive director,” said Dorien Romanchak, president of the Pacific Cancer Foundation Board of Directors. “Her extensive background in the public and nonprofit sectors, together with her passion for serving those in need, will help to further advance the mission of the Pacific Cancer Foundation and its mission to provide free support services to Maui’s cancer community.


Romanchak added that the Board of Directors also is “extremely grateful” to LaJoy for her years of leadership and dedication to the organization.

“Nancy’s many accomplishments including growing the programs of the Pacific Cancer Foundation, expanding funding, and guiding the organization diligently through the pandemic,” Romanchak said. “We wish her all the best in her retirement.”

Puppolo comes to the Pacific Cancer Foundation with experience in building a solid staff team and innovating new programs. She tripled the Workforce Development Board’s budget through grant funding, and transformed systems to support workforce development. She sprang into action during the pandemic to implement training and support during a time of high unemployment, according to the Pacific Cancer Foundation’s press release.


Puppolo will begin June 1 at the Pacific Cancer Foundation. She will manage the nonprofit’s day-to-day operations, staff and programs, and lead the foundation’s fundraising, marketing and community outreach efforts.

The Pacific Cancer Foundation, in its 17th year, provides a range of services to cancer patients and their loved ones, including helping to find oncology related resources and services, facilitating communications between healthcare providers and patients, offering nutritional counseling, and coordinating support groups.

Puppolo said: “This really is full circle for me. I was once an eight-year-old whose mom suffered from cancer. There were no services to help my family back then and now I have this amazing opportunity to lead a great team that provides services to families just like mine.”


Puppolo attended the University of California, Berkeley and has a degree in accounting from the University of Hawai’i Maui College. She has been a Maui resident for more than 30 years and has worked for several nonprofits and businesses including the Hui Malama Learning Center, Planned Parenthood, Akakū and Acura of Maui.  


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