Q&A With Dr. Maryland Pao, Women of Influence Honoree

Dr. Pao Social MediaWe will celebrate our 7th Annual Women of Influence Awards Luncheon on Friday, May 10th in New York City at The Plaza’s Grand Ballroom. This exciting event honors extraordinary women who have pushed the boundaries by achieving outstanding goals in business, work, family, home, and health while inspiring women around the globe to live their dreams. Every year, we love to chat with our honorees in the weeks leading up to our Women Of Influence event about their advice for other women and their connection to health, wellness and cancer.

Today we are proud to feature a Q&A with Dr. Maryland Pao, who will be receiving the Dr. Jimmie Holland Pioneer Award on May 10th at The Plaza. 

  • What does it mean to you to be chosen as a Woman of Influence and receive the Dr. Jimmie Holland Pioneer Award by the T.J. Martell Foundation?

I am humbled by the honor. Jimmie was an incredibly special, one-of-a kind person. She believed and truly lived her belief that we must help one another, and we must leave the world a better place than we find it. She touched so many lives and helped people suffering with cancer and its treatments be heard. If I have through my work helping sick children be the best they can be, one tenth the impact she has had, I will feel fulfilled.

  • What piece of advice would you give to young women today to inspire them to follow their dreams?

You can make a difference. I believe in the power of one person – it’s how someone like Tony Martell, who had no experience as a fundraiser, can take a promise to his son to raise a million dollars for cancer research and 36 years later turn it into more than $280 million, or how someone like Jimmie Holland, from rural Texas, can start the field of psychosocial oncology, write the major textbook initiate two journals, found two societies and train people all over the world to help those in distress from cancer find resources and treatments. Be engaged.

  • What steps do you take to make health and wellness a priority in your life?

First, there is no health without mental health. Health and wellness are daily practices. Every day I enjoy my family, walk my dog, practice gratitude and reflection, eat well (especially chocolate), laugh, try to get enough sleep and think about fun places to go with friends and family. If you’re lucky, finding meaningful work through helping others is part of staying healthy and well.

  • If you are comfortable, please share one way in which your life has been affected by cancer.

My father died of colon cancer at 59 in 1981 when my brother was 13 and I was 18. It took a village to raise and support us and so many people stepped up, including Jim and Jimmie when I married their son when I was 24. So, where are my brother and I now? He is an oncologist by training and is the Head of Roche Global Research (pRED) with a special interest in targeted cancer therapeutics. I am a trained pediatrician and child and adolescent psychiatrist serving as the Clinical and Deputy Scientific Director at the National Institute of Mental Health with a special interest in pediatrics at the interface of psychiatry who worked on an advance care planning guide for youth with life-limiting illnesses as well as on developing standards for psychosocial oncology for youth with cancer.

Monday Motivation from Women of Influence Honoree Rachael Ray

Rachael WOI Slide

We will celebrate our 6th Annual Women of Influence Awards Luncheon this Friday, May 11th in New York City at The Plaza’s Grand Ballroom. Hosted by Mary Calvi, Anchor, CBS 2 News This Morning and CBS 2 News At Noon, the Women of Influence Awards presented by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP honors extraordinary women who have pushed the boundaries by achieving outstanding goals in business, work, family, home, and health while inspiring women around the globe to live their dreams.

In anticipation of this exciting event, we asked each honoree to write a special message for the beautiful keepsake event journal. Rachael Ray‘s message below is today’s Monday Motivation!

“Work harder than everybody else, don’t complain about it. Be grateful for work. It’s a privilege not a right. Take your job seriously, don’t take yourself too seriously.”

We still have a few tickets left for Friday’s event, which will benefit breast and ovarian cancer research. To help honor Rachael and our other outstanding honorees, please click here.

Q&A: Women of Influence Honoree Elizabeth Matthews

We will celebrate our 6th Annual Women of Influence Awards Luncheon on Friday, May 11th in New York City at The Plaza’s Grand Ballroom. Hosted by Mary Calvi, Anchor, CBS 2 News This Morning and CBS 2 News At Noon, the Women of Influence Awards presented by Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP honors extraordinary women who have pushed the boundaries by achieving outstanding goals in business, work, family, home, and health while inspiring women around the globe to live their dreams.

Elizabeth WOI SlideIn anticipation of this exciting event, we are honored to interview each of our honorees. Today’s interview is with Elizabeth Matthews, CEO of ASCAP.

What piece of advice would you give to young women today to inspire them to follow their dreams?

No matter what job you have, always nurture your intellectual curiosity, focus on building long lasting relationships with others and ensure that you have grit and self-determination within.  Most job challenges will exceed your current skills or knowledge base so it’s important to know that you can never stop studying, never stop working hard and never give up.  The most successful people I know work incredibly hard at what they do and put in the extra time to continually improve.  It is the competition with yourself not others that is the most important element.

To help honor Elizabeth and our other outstanding honorees, please click here.

The Loss of a Pioneer

LizLiz Smith was a pioneer who helped pave the way for women throughout the industry. The T.J. Martell Foundation had the privilege of honoring her at The Women of Influence Awards in New York in 2013. We will always remember her fierce energy, wit and exuberant personality, as well as her willingness to help the Foundation. She will be very missed. 

For Liz Smith’s obituary in The New York Times, click here.

Q&A with Women of Influence Honoree Stephanie Latham of Facebook

StephanieWhat does it mean to you to be chosen as a Woman of Influence by the T.J. Martell Foundation?

As a breast cancer survivor, daughter of a survivor and mother to a survivor the T.J. Martell Foundation supports a cause quite literally near to my heart.  I am honored to join the ranks of an inspiring group of women as we continue to drive toward a cure for future generations.

What piece of advice would you give to young women today to inspire them to follow their dreams?

Silence your inner critic. Be confident in who you are and what you know you can accomplish and don’t let anyone shake that from you.

What steps do you take to make health and wellness a priority in your life?

I am laser focused on my priorities and clear on that with all those around me both personally and professionally. My health and my family top that list always.

Stephanie Latham is Director of U.S. Automotive at Facebook and one of six outstanding honorees for this year’s Women of Influence New York on May 12th. For details and tickets, please click here.

Q&A With Women Of Influence NY Honoree Sue Phillips

We had the pleasure of chatting with Sue Phillips, President & CEO of Scenterprises. Sue is one of seven outstanding women being honored at the New York Women of Influence Luncheon on May 13th.

What does it mean to you to be chosen as a Woman of Influence by the T.J. Martell Foundation?

Sue PhillipsIt is such an honor to be chosen by an organization that is so altruistic, and which raises funds for such a worthy cause. Tony Martell is now retired from the music industry, but it was through Music that gave him the impetus to keep a promise to his son to find a cure for cancer, and today the T.J. Martell Foundation has raised over $270 million for leukemia, cancer and AIDS research. Music is so fundamental to my wellbeing, too, as it is one of the joys of life and I grew up in South Africa, surrounded by music and art, inspired by mother.  Imagine a world without Music? Imagine a life without any of the Senses? That is why I am so honored to be chosen as a Woman of Influence because it is through the Senses that we can help people bring about positive change; bring HAPPINESS to those in need of it, and also to find a cure through the Senses for these terrible diseases. It is humbling to be honored and to be in the company of so many other remarkable women, and it only makes me want to work even more effectively and strategically to strive to make a greater difference.

What piece of advice would you give to young women today to inspire them to follow their dreams?

Sue_10As Adjunct Professor at LIM College, I try to motivate and inspire my students to believe in themselves, and to explore their surroundings, as they are living in one of the greatest cities of the world. I tell them that it’s important to fuel their passions and to open themselves to all kinds of opportunities. “You’re living in New York City. Avail yourself of everything that is here; the museums and galleries, lectures and parks. When you go from class to class; look around you, look up at the spectacular New York city views and architecture…keep your eyes open!” There’s so much that can help them in their future endeavors. Many of them are obsessed with reality shows, so I try and broaden their horizons and to inspire them to think exponentially. And, if they fail in their endeavors, my motto is to ‘never give up’ and to keep going! Hopefully they remember my words and dream big!

What steps do you take to make health and wellness a priority in your life?

Having been witness to so many people who have been afflicted with cancer, leukemia, AIDS and Alzheimer’s, I try and live my life in as healthy a way as possible. Exercise and a wholesome diet are important to me, but also incorporating beauty and the joy of Art, Music, Fragrance and other Senses, are ways to enjoy a ‘scentsory’ life, to completely ensure my wellbeing. I believe in the doctrine that pleasure or happiness is the highest form of wellness!

T.J. Martell Foundation on Today!


On Friday we celebrated our third annual Women of Influence New York. To kick off this exciting day, our host Robin Quivers, a cancer survivor herself, sat down with the team at the Today Show to tell them all about the event, which raised vital funds for breast cancer and ovarian cancer research. Here is the clip. Enjoy!