Marcia Donziger

Nonprofit & Health Industry - Culture & Engagement Strategist, Founder & Former CEO, MyLifeLine Cancer Foundation at Vital Biz Consulting


Education: San Diego State University
Denver, CO, USA


Marcia Donziger is the Founder and CEO of Vital Biz Consulting. She partners with executives in social impact, health, and tech companies to reduce turnover, stress, and burnout. She is the architect of the Culture CARES® Framework to help modern organizations thrive.

In 2007, Marcia founded MyLifeLine Cancer Foundation to improve the cancer experience through community and connection. Over ten years, she scaled the organization before merging into the global Cancer Support Community (CSC) in 2018. After the merger, she served as CSC’s Vice President of Digital Strategy & Business Development. Following the pandemic shutdown, Marcia assumed the role of Chief Culture Officer to address employee stress, burnout, and turnover. Leveraging her CARES® strategy, they increased the employee net promoter score by 250%+ and positive business outlook by 200%+ in one year.

Marcia has been featured in Business Insider and has worked with notable companies such as Microsoft, Vistage, Colorado College, Social Venture Partners, UP Partnership, The Art Garage, Boulder Voices for Children, and more. She is a Certified Professional Agile Coach and holds a degree in organizational psychology from San Diego State University.

Marcia has received awards including the John Hickenlooper Unsung Hero Award, The Denver Channel's Everyday Hero Award, and the Outstanding Leader in Healthcare Award in 2023.

Today, she helps mission-driven leaders optimize company culture with the CARES® model and training programs to improve performance, innovation, and inclusion.


My passion is speaking and leading workshops on culture and leadership. (I am also passionate about mint chip ice cream and international travel. My recent bucket-list trips were to Dubai and Singapore. Next on my list? Paris, France.)


"Marcia was truly inspiring, confident, helpful, and BRAVE. I want to be the spark for someone else's light/journey. Marcia made that seem possible."

"Marcia gives you action items you can take away RIGHT AWAY and leaves you wanting more. Marcia, as a military spouse who has JUMPED into entrepreneurship- I NEED YOU!"

"Super engaging, great foundational lessons. I really enjoyed the presentation and Marcia delivery."

"It was well-practiced and informational. A lot of speakers are hard to follow along with, yet Marcia was very engaging and passionate about the topic."

"Why does it feel like Marcia Donziger has been listening in on the conversations between the employees at my place of work?"

My passion is to inspire, motivate, and support mission-driven leaders to create healthy, empowering, and inclusive cultures. My Culture CARES framework is created specifically for organizations on a mission to change the world - including healthcare, education, or any company wanting to make a positive difference in the world.
I give leaders actionable, unique, proven tools that they can apply right away to address today's pain points of high turnover, low morale, and sustained burn out.

I also speak to women entrepreneurs and leaders sharing stories of hope in how to overcome unexpected adversity. With my experience as a cancer survivor diagnosed in my 20's, I am passionate about helping cancer survivors - and anyone going through their own struggles - to take their pain and turn it into purpose. My unique 3-step formula empowers audience members to walk away with concrete ideas on how they can build strength and resilience.

Please reach out, so I can learn about your upcoming events to see if I am a fit.

Featured Video

I am willing to travel

More than 100 miles

When it comes to payments

Everything is negotiable


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Best Story

At age 27, I was diagnosed with Stage 3 ovarian cancer and learned I would never have children.

At 28, I went into remission.

Six months later, I got divorced. It was brutal.

But this experience taught me how to turn major setbacks into minor stepping stones.

And in 2006, I had a vision: What if people could feel less alone throughout their cancer experience? What if they could be surrounded not just by family and friends, but by a network of cancer patients and survivors?

In 2007, Cancer Foundation was born.

In 2017, with 10 years experience in organizational development & strategy I helped merge MyLifeLine with Cancer Support Community, where I served as VP of Digital Strategy and Business Development until 2020.

2020 was a year of reckoning which also opened the doors for reflection and reinvention.

During this time, I realized the power of CONNECTION + COMMUNITY within a COMPANY CULTURE to drive high performance and results.

That’s when my Culture Transformation business was born.

I’ve earned certificates, won awards, spoken to hundreds of people and been recognized by multiple media outlets.

But still--nothing matters more to me than helping companies understand this truth: PEOPLE MATTER MOST.

Okay, maybe my Peloton and 18-year old twin boys.

My passion: Helping leaders build their strategy to foster a healthy, high-performing culture where people love to work.

Origin Story

My 30-year career portfolio offers a wide range of interests, stories, and experiences to share. From working in Fortune 500 companies, including Disney and Arrow Electronics, to small non-profit organizations - every role has been in service to customers and clients. I tie my value directly to how I create new ways to help others and delight my clients.

Since I was a little girl, I have always been interested in what makes people tick.

My college degree is in organizational psychology and business management. When I graduated, I did not pursue an HR administrative job. Instead, I wanted to get paid to travel the world. I worked as a flight attendant for American Airlines. What better way to learn what makes people tick than serving thousands, if not millions, of passengers. This role gave me a front row seat to learning about the world and cultures. (And lots of entertaining travel & customer service stories.)

After my ovarian cancer diagnosis at age 27, my life trajectory changed dramatically. I left the airline to build the next leg of my career - it was 1999, and the internet revolution was booming. I wanted to be a part of it. Going into sales for a large computer distributor was my ticket to an exciting career where I could put my people and business skills to use.

Then in 2003, my friend, Lori, was diagnosed at age 33 with brain cancer. Her friends created a beautiful website for her to stay connected with her loved ones during the treatment process. As a friend who lived far away, this website became a "lifeline" to me and all of her community.

Lori died in 2005. The outpouring of support was life-changing. I could not stop thinking of Lori and decided to create a lifeline for all people impacted by cancer.

In 2007, MyLifeLine Cancer Foundation was born. I left my technology job to pour all my energy into learning how to start, build and scale a non-profit organization.
We raised millions of dollars over the next 10 years, and served over 300,000 people impacted by cancer.

In 2018, to make a bigger impact for cancer patients, MyLifeLine merged into the Cancer Support Community, an international cancer organization with 175 locations, network, and hospital partnerships. A new role was created for me in our merged organization - VP, Digital Strategy & Business Development.

In 2020, the world fell apart as we all know. The pandemic forced many organizations to become remote, and my passion for remote connection and community within organizations grew.

Given our cultural challenges post-COVID, the CEO created a new role for me in 2021 - Chief Culture Officer. Here, I created a new Culture CARES strategy to align our mission of health with our culture of employee well-being.

Companies are struggling today with recruitment and retention. I believe 99% of a company's success depends on its people. To help bolster employee health and happiness, I the Culture CARES framework has been helping non-profits and higher education clients to foster inclusive, high-performing, and healthy teams.

Today, I am a Culture Coach & Engagement Consultant for organizations wanting to win Best Place to Work awards.

On February 23, 2023, my first book was published - You Are Meant For Great Things, My Story of Turning Setbacks Into Stepping Stones. I am also writing a book on culture leadership for healthcare and nonprofit organizations wanting to reduce burnout and costly, unwanted turnover while improving performance and business results.

Example talks

Podcast Guest Spots

How to Embrace Adversity and Find Greatness Within You
Midlife Fulfilled Podcast Guest - 2/27/23 - Episode 58

Helping Yourself and Others Through Adversity with Marcia Donziger
CEO on the Go Podcast Guest - 9/28/22 - Episode 117

SIGNATURE TALK #1: Lead with Clarity, Confidence & Courage: A Healthy Culture Starts with a Strategy

This can be an interactive workshop, keynote presentation - virtual or in-person.

Tailored to HR Executives, Senior Leaders, CEOs, Nonprofit Organizations, Healthcare Audiences, Pharma/Biotech, Higher Education, and Social Sector - and Association Audiences in Nonprofit or Healthcare

A healthy, empowering, and inclusive culture that inspires loyalty and trust is necessary for success. Yet it’s harder than ever in this constantly changing world.

To combat external threats we cannot control, we focus on what we CAN control.

In this session, you will learn how to design a culture strategy that motivates your board and staff. Only through data, honest feedback, and actionable insights can we take steps toward our greatest vision of making the world a better place for all.

I teach my proprietary Culture CARES model - a 5-step flexible framework to build a culture aligned with your vision, mission, and values. I share case study and data related to Culture CARES and how to win Best Place to Work awards.

SIGNATURE TALK #2: Resilience Never Goes Out of Style: Overcoming Cancer, Divorce & Infertility In One Year. No, Really.

This is a keynote presentation to women audiences, leadership, and oncology professional associations.

When life piles on one challenge after the next, how do you hold onto hope and forge forward toward your own vision for success?

Marcia Donziger charts her remarkable story of learning to do just this in her debut memoir "You Are Meant For Great Things: My Story of Turning Setbacks Into Stepping Stones".

Given we are in a time of enormous uncertainty, Marcia Donziger's message of learning to reset, reframe, and rebuild is sure to resonate with women leaders AND patient advocates who want to have it all―motherhood, fulfilling relationships, meaningful work, and the ability to successfully lean into constant change.

Marcia never expected her world to come crashing down at the age of 27 but that's exactly what happened. First, she was given a surprise diagnosis of stage three ovarian cancer when even her physician was in doubt. Then came the hysterectomy and crushing grief of infertility. And finally, her 2-year marriage ended after her "rock" of a husband turned out to be a pebble of a man, unable to accept the cards life had dealt them.

Suddenly, Marcia found herself back in her childhood home in Anaheim, CA, taking comfort in the faded, steamy Rob Lowe posters adorning her pink walls and her old pink rotary phone, relics from the 1980's, when her innocence about the world was unbroken. With the support of her loving family, Marcia was able to mourn the life she originally dreamed of, "pivot" before it became a buzzword, and blaze a new way forward. "In the end, I can say that the loss of my marriage, my health, and, yes, my expectations for the future led me down a path of radical reinvention."

What follows is Marcia's extraordinary personal and professional journey. She leaves the jet set life of a flight attendant for a more stable, better-paying tech job selling Sun Microsystems―where she learns the value and rewards of a positive work culture. Marcia expands on this knowledge as she ventures out on her own― as the founder of Cancer Foundation, a digital community supporting millions of cancer survivors and their families worldwide, and as a leading culture and engagement consultant in the health and technology sectors. Marcia knows she is worthy of love again, and motherhood, and she seizes the opportunities to make both happen.

You Are Meant For Great Things brings us into the heart and mind of a woman who learned to move past daunting setbacks to wring everything she wants―and deserves―out of life. This relatable, inspiring, poignant book is the perfect guide for those of us yearning to thrive no matter the circumstances.