News > Janine Guglielmino: The long-time “voice” of LBBC signs off

Janine Guglielmino: The long-time “voice” of LBBC signs off

Janine Guglielmino stands at a podium

“Janine is perhaps the most empathetic, caring individual I’ve ever met,” says Catherine Ormerod, LBBC’s outgoing executive vice president for Strategy & Mission. “That quality has contributed mightily to LBBC’s voice, and to her deep understanding of people’s experience with breast cancer.”

Starting as communications director in 2001 and rising to director of publications and strategic initiatives in 2015, Guglielmino’s was the voice millions of people encountered online, in brochures, in newsletters, or during webinars. Whether for someone recently diagnosed, during treatment, or beyond, she shaped LBBC’s communications to feel like advice from a trusted friend who somehow anticipated everything they needed to know just when they needed it. Black women, LGBTQ individuals, men, caregivers, non-English speakers and others in the U.S. breast cancer minority found their concerns addressed in the 23 LBBC Guides to Understanding. For all people affected by breast cancer, these timely sources validated their feelings, prepared them to take charge of their treatment, and let them know that they were not alone.

“Janine understands the impact of a diagnosis and that there’s not one way to have breast cancer,” says LBBC’s CEO Jean Sachs. “She brought an incredible expertise in the science of breast cancer including clinical trials, treatments both approved and emerging, and side-effect management. We relied on her as our subject matter expert, and as our communications evolved from mailed guides and newsletters to digital content, Janine has been the through line.

“She’s also been an incredible support to staff,” Sachs adds. “She’s very compassionate by nature and a real advocate for the staff’s perspective and wanting to nurture them.”

LBBC staff at the 2022 Butterfly Ball

“I feel so seen and heard by her, and I have seen her build that same connection with people in so many different ways in her work with LBBC,” says Arin Ahlum Hanson, LBBC’s director of outreach. “It shows up when she’s moderating a program — the empathy she can share with the audience.

‘She has such deep compassion for the breast cancer community and understands what breast cancer is in a deep and nuanced way,” Hanson says. “Even today, when other staff are developing content, I still hear her voice — she’s helped us develop the tone and approach, and people can feel that we’re meeting them where they are.”

Former LBBC Board Member Robin Bender Stevens recalls that Guglielmino’s finesse extended to facilitating difficult conversations at the Board level. “She’s smart and insightful,” Bender Stevens says. “There was a debate on what it means to be underserved. Janine was masterful about navigating the conversation. She could lead it without forcing her own opinion but got it to an endpoint. She was always able to rise to the occasion and get the most out of the other staff members and the Board.”

Janine Guglielmino and Musa Mayer

In 2006, Guglielmino was instrumental in developing and promoting LBBC’s seminal Silent Voices survey, which articulated the specific needs of women living with stage IV breast cancer. Based on the findings, LBBC launched tailored programming including the Thriving Together Conference on Metastatic Breast Cancer, now in its 18th year.

She continued working with the metastatic community, harnessing the power of LBBC, and in 2023, was elected vice chair of the Metastatic Breast Cancer Alliance (MBC Alliance). “It was a highlight of my career,” she says. “The Alliance is a really important organization that is stepping into areas where we can continue to make an impact. I hope I can continue to support both LBBC and the MBC Alliance in some way, because there’s so much work to be done.”

“Janine was a tireless advocate in her role at the Alliance,” says MBC Alliance Chair Beth Burnett. “She was a thought partner on the senior leadership team and helped set our strategic plan for the next five years. Everybody has a high opinion of Janine because she’s very thoughtful and patient-centric in the way she thinks about things.”

“When Janine gets into a project she’s all in — 110 percent,” says Elyse Spatz Caplan, former director of programs & partnerships, and currently a patient advocate for Gilead Sciences. “I often requested for her to attend pharma advisory board meetings because I knew she would critically listen to the questions and deliver an honest response that would end up becoming incredibly helpful. She’s not afraid to identify problems with the goal of making things better for patients. She is also very precise and intentional in her communications, which serves everyone well, as breast cancer science is only getting more complex.”

Janine Guglielmino speaks with conference attendees

She was also involved in a 2013 LBBC research project to identify the needs of people with triple-negative breast cancer.

“It was so powerful to look at the information from more than 2,000 people,” Guglielmino says. “And I can’t say enough about the advocates I worked with. They’re amazing, inspiring people who, faced with something they never wanted, turned it around and did things for other people. It gives you hope that it’s possible to do good in the face of something completely impossible.”

Guglielmino rose to be senior director of programs and partnerships and finally vice president of mission delivery, assisting in advocacy as well as developing the high-quality programming for which LBBC is known.

“I’ve learned a lot about how to involve the people impacted by a disease in developing and delivering program content,” Guglielmino says. “I believe that will stay with me. I hope a sense of humility will always stay with me. As much as I learn, with every conversation I learn something else, something unexpected. If I can bring a sense of curiosity and openness about what I know and don’t know, hopefully I’ll be able to help some more people.

“I’ll also bring the experience of seeing how an organization can grow,” she adds. “LBBC has grown so much. I’ve learned from Jean and Cathy about how to scale up without losing the values that are important.

“I’m so inspired by the LBBC team,” Guglielmino says. “LBBC is a very special place with a very compassionate, empathetic, committed group of staff who are capable of caring for people in a way that I think is unique in the space. I’m proud of this team, and I think they’re going to do amazing things moving forward. I’m excited to see what they do.”

Share a message

To celebrate Janine’s time with Living Beyond Breast Cancer and the impact she has made, we are putting together a book of appreciation and invite you, members of our community, to contribute your messages for Janine here.


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