By Karuna Jaggar, Executive Director

After 10 years of sharing her wide-ranging talents with Breast Cancer Action as our Deputy Director, Joyce Bichler will retire at the end of December. If there’s one thing that cancer activism teaches you, it’s that two seemingly contradictory things can be true at the same time. I’ll personally miss working side by side with Joyce, and I’m sad to be losing an incredible colleague, but I am ecstatic for my dear friend.    

Joyce’s accomplishments and contributions at Breast Cancer Action are too numerous to list—it would take pages to even begin to try and capture all the ways she’s given to the organization and helped move our work forward.

If you’ve had the privilege to work with Joyce, you know she’s the first to celebrate a hard-won victory and she’s also the grounded go-to when the work gets tough. And over her 10 years with the organization, she’s seen plenty of both. Through it all, Joyce’s philosophy about work and life reveal her deep optimism that underlays her perseverance and work-ethic.

Whether or not you have had the pleasure of personally knowing and working with Joyce, if you know Breast Cancer Action, you know her impact. For 10 of the organization’s 28 years, Joyce has been an integral part of Breast Cancer Action’s leadership. And, perhaps most notably, Joyce’s steady and seasoned guidance as the Interim Executive Director, a role she filled three times over the years, ensured the organization’s executive director transition in 2010-11 was successful and seamless.

A few years later, Joyce spearheaded the year-long strategic planning process that brought in key stakeholders to adjust and affirm the organization’s mission and core work. Over the years, Joyce’s wisdom, clarity, compassion, and critical-eye have contributed to all of our program successes, from every Think Before You Pink® campaign—beyond always making sure we use our trademark symbol!—to responding to media enquiries about controversial issues, notably the 2009 U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) mammography screening recommendations (She tells me that the biggest breast cancer news tends to break when the ED is traveling or on vacation!). With her rigorous eye for detail and knowledge of systems, Joyce has also provided essential operational support behind the scenes. And in every way, Joyce’s joie de vivre has enriched the organization’s culture.

I’ve been at Breast Cancer Action nearly eight years and Joyce has been by my side, sharing her wisdom, knowledge, and love for the organization the entire time. I’m truly grateful for the privilege of working with Joyce.

Please join me in congratulating Joyce on this milestone and in celebrating her innumerable accomplishments and contributions. 

We’re currently recruiting for our next Deputy Director who will bring their own expertise, skills, wisdom, and passion to this work. If you’re looking to be a part of a visionary, uncompromising, gritty, hard-working, activist community please apply. And share this opportunity with the bold, brave, outspoken, fearless, and compassionate truth-tellers in your network who are hungry for change.