Our Team

Dr. Karen Wonders

Founder and CEO

Karen Wonders, PhD, FACSM, is the Founder and CEO of Maple Tree Cancer Alliance, and Professor of Exercise Physiology at Wright State University. Her passion is to advocate for exercise to become a part of the national standard of care for cancer.

Maple Tree provides free exercise training, nutrition counseling, and emotional support to thousands of cancer survivors every month at several locations across the US. Dr. Wonders is committed to evidence-based practice in her facilities, and has a robust research program that has more than 100 published peer-reviewed manuscripts on the topic of exercise and cancer recovery.

A gifted communicator, Dr. Wonders has given numerous professional presentations on the national, state, and local levels, including a talk at TEDxDayton on Exercising through Cancer Care. Finally, she is married to her college sweetheart, and together they have seven children. If you think her hands are full, you should see her heart!

Dr. Jay K Harness

Chief Medical Officer

Jay K. Harness, MD, FACS, received both his MD degree and training in General Surgery at the University of Michigan Medical Center in Ann Arbor. He then remained on the faculty at the University of Michigan and developed one of the first United States academic multidisciplinary breast centers in 1985. Dr. Harness left the University of Michigan in 1989 and spent two years at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston where he also established a multidisciplinary breast center at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center. Subsequently, he came to Oakland, California in 1991 to join the University of California-East Bay Department of Surgery where he was a Professor and Chief of Surgical Oncology at Highland General Hospital.  The opportunity to direct his third multidisciplinary breast program at St. Joseph Hospital in Orange, CA came in the summer of 2003. He started his fourth breast surgery program at Northern Inyo Hospital in Bishop, CA in 2016. 

Dr. Harness spent the first 28 years of his career in academic life at the University of Michigan, Tufts University, and the University of California (Davis, UCSF & UCI). He is best known for his work in the fields of endocrine and breast surgery, as well as the use of ultrasound in surgical practice. He is a member of several national and international surgical societies and associations.  He is a Past-President of: The American Society of Breast Surgeons (ASBrS), the American Association of Endocrine Surgeons (AAES), and Breast International (BSI).  

He has authored over 100 scientific articles and book chapters and has been the lead editor of 3 textbooks. His most recent books, The Breast Cancer Answers Book and Operative Approaches to Nipple-Sparing Mastectomy: Indications, Techniques, & Outcomes were published in 2016. He is a co-founder and Medical Director of Breast Cancer Answers (www.breastcanceranswers.com) which is a Social Media video site for breast cancer patients, family members and friends.

James Skinner

International Relations Consultant

James S. Skinner, Ph.D., FACSM is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Kinesiology, Indiana University. He is a former 1) president of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), 2) Chair, International Advisory Council for Exercise is Medicine, 3) Vice President, International Council on Sport Sciences and Physical Education, and 4) Chair, Medical Advisory Committee of the YMCA of the USA. He is a member of the Scientific Advisory Panel for the American Council on Exercise and their Senior Advisor on Exercise Science. He is the ACSM representative to RAFA/PANA (Physical Activity Network of the Americas) and a member of its Executive Committee.

He was one of the five principal investigators of the HERITAGE Family Study, a large multi-center investigation of the role that genetic factors play in the response to training of risk factors for cardiovascular disease and diabetes. As principal investigator, co-principal investigator or member of an executive committee, he has been involved in research grants totaling more than $50 million.

He received the 2014 ACSM Honor Award, the highest award in his field. In 2011, he received a Doctor Honoris Causa from Semmelweis University in Budapest, Hungary. He was recently selected to be a Fulbright Specialist for four years (2021-2025). Dr. Skinner has published over 300 articles and book chapters, 8 books (2 books that he translated from German), and 21 educational DVDs. He has been actively investigating the relationships between exercise, training and health for more than 55 years and has lectured in English, French, German and Spanish in 67 countries about these relationships.

Carrie Ellis

Vice President of Operations

Carrie Ellis brings ten years of nonprofit experience and working with kids and young adults battling cancer. As the Director of Programs, Carrie helped improve the quality of life for patients and their families by working closely with the hospital staff at both Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Dayton Children’s Hospital, as well as Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Nationwide Children’s Hospital.

Over the last 18 years, Carrie has spent countless hours volunteering with The Joe Nuxhall Miracle League, Dayton Children’s Hospital, and the Reds Community Fund. As an accomplished student-athlete, Carrie has mentored numerous high school and college basketball and softball players over her 16-year coaching career. Her coaching highlights include a Division II Ohio High School State Softball Championship and two Ohio Regional Campus Conference Championships.

Andrew Wonders

Director of Business Operations

Andrew Wonders is an Assistant Professor at Cedarville University in the School of Business. Prior to teaching, Andrew spent 13 years working in the sport event industry. His past experience includes working for Olympic organizing committees in Sydney and Salt Lake City and for the host broadcaster for the 2002 World Cup. Andrew spent two years working in the athletic department at the University of Northern Colorado, and eight years working for private companies managing sport events ranging from multi-day fundraising walks and bike rides to marathon and half-marathon road races. Amongst these experiences were multiple start-up ventures.


Matt Stemley

Director of Operations

Matt Stemley came to Maple Tree in 2016 as a part of the internship program where he did 2 internships with Maple Tree before graduating with his degree in Exercise Science from the University of Dayton. Upon completion of his internships Matt was brought onto our staff as one of our Exercise Oncology Instructors. As Matt worked his way up through Maple Tree, he amassed a wide variety of experience that allowed to experience the core of each positions operations first-hand such as exercise programming, fitness assessment techniques, organizational communication, regional management, professional development opportunities, intern recruitment, fundraising and staff training.

Currently, as Chief Operations Officer, Matt assists our organization through recruiting, professional development/training, managing existing clinical partner relationships, program statistic analysis, organizational updates, proactive problem solving and serving as a resource to our existing Clinical Exercise Coordinators to aid them in the facilitation of their specific facilities growth.

Matt Stemley: matt.stemley@mapletreecanceralliance.org

Matt Stemley: matt.stemley@mapletreecanceralliance.org

Matt Stemley: matt.stemley@mapletreecanceralliance.org

Ben Kutz: ben.kutz@mapletreecanceralliance.org


At Maple Tree, each Exercise Oncology Instructor holds a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology, as well as our nationally recognized, NASM-accredited Exercise Oncology Instructor certification.


Kelly McCluskey, MD, President
Far Hills OB/GYN

Jeff Gammell, Vice President
Attorney at Law
M&M Title Co.

Stephen Updegraff, Treasurer
Accountant, UAI Accounting and Tax Prep

Josh Francis
University of Dayton

Jason Kmick
Buhl Recreation Center, Lawrence County PA

Ken Chaij
Director of Oncology Services, Kettering Health



Art Lerner, MD

Chairman of the National Medical Advisory Board

Tarah Ballinger, MD

Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine, IU School of Medicine


Beth Boyd, RN

Executive Director, American Society of Breast Surgeons Foundation


Katherina Calvillo, MD

Breast Surgeon
Founder, New England Breast and Wellness

Ronald Hale, MD, MPH

Medical Director for Radiation Oncology Kettering Health


Amanda Laubenthal, DO

Medical Oncologist and Hematologist at UPMC Cancer Center


John Montville

Executive Director, Oncology Service Line Mercy Health


Neal Shore, MD

Medical Director, CPI of Carolina Urologic Research Center


Will Fry, MD

General, Vascular, and Critical Care Surgeon

Lina Romero, MD

Breast Surgeon and
Breast Cancer Survivor


Ben Kutz
Marsha Spear
Kevin Spear
Dr. Amanda Laubenthal
Dr. Beth Larouere
Mande Burckart


Susan Helmrich
Dr. Shannon Fogh
Mike Alpert
Sarah Kaney
Tricia Probert
Pauline Goulobef
Craig & Mary Henderson