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Michele Gannon and Maria McKeon
Michele Gannon and Maria McKeon are the Co-Founders of Mary’s Place by the Sea, a respite home for women with cancer located in Ocean Grove, New Jersey. Founded in 2009, Mary’s Place by the Sea has welcomed over 9,000 women with cancer from across the country for day and overnight visits, at no cost to the guests. During their stay, guests of Mary’s Place receive holistic, integrative services which complement their medical treatment such as oncology massage, Reiki therapy, guided meditation, expressive writing, counseling, yoga, and more. With the leadership of Michele and Maria, the organization has grown from what started as two bedrooms rented at a bed and breakfast to a ten-bedroom, state-of-the-art, custom-built home located just one block from the Atlantic Ocean.
As the President of Mary’s Place by the Sea, Michele Gannon is responsible for overseeing all facets of the non-profit. Michele received her master’s degree in Education from West Virginia University and draws on her broad experience in higher education and customer service to manage the operations of Mary’s Place by the Sea. She was recently recognized by Leading Women Entrepreneurs as one of the Top 25 Women Entrepreneurs in New Jersey.
As Vice President of Mary’s Place by the Sea, Maria McKeon oversees the scheduling of guests, practitioners and volunteers, to fill two retreats each week throughout the entire year. Maria brings more than 30 years of experience in health, fitness and wellness education to Mary’s Place. Maria has a bachelor’s degree from Rowan University and is a certified health and wellness coach and yoga teacher.
Both Michele and Maria received certificates from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York, NY. Their belief in food as medicine has become one of the key pillars of Mary’s Place by the Sea, where guests enjoy plant-based meals and receive nutrition education.
Michele and Maria share the vision of expanding Mary’s Place beyond its current location in Ocean Grove in order to reach many more women living in quiet desperation, offering them a place to pause and focus on their healing: mind, body, and soul.