As president of the Heart to Heart Foundation, Ronny Turiaf’s passions exist both on and off the court and is committed to utilizing his NBA career to make an impact on his community and beyond. Diagnosed with a potentially life-threatening heart condition shortly after being drafted to the NBA, Ronny underwent a successful open-heart surgery that saved his life. Continuing to have a successful NBA career, his own experience inspired him to launch the Heart to Heart Foundation in 2009 to spread heart health awareness and education to underprivileged children and families.
Samantha Goldstone is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and mother with a passion for life. As a young adult cancer survivor and BRCA1 previvor, Samantha is a champion of Heart to Heart’s mission to help provide children and young adults with resources, knowledge and support to foster healthy, active and happy lives. She is active in her community and served on the Advisory Board of the Dream Foundation in Santa Barbara from 2011 to 2013. Samantha’s big heart, inspiring spirit, incredible business acumen and ability to remove obstacles to accomplish goals make her a wonderful asset to Heart to Heart’s Board of Directors.
Annie Hawkins met Ronny at Gonzaga University where she played soccer and he played basketball. When Annie learned about his heart condition, her father, a surgeon, reached out to support him through the medical process. She and Ronny have remained close since their time at Gonzaga and is happy for the chance to continue her support by serving on the board of his foundation. Annie went on to play professional soccer for QBIK in the Damallsvenskan League and also spent time on the United States Adult Soccer Association National Team and in the US Women’s Soccer National Pool. She now plays for Real Salt Lake Women and manages social media for a technology company in Utah.
Having worked for the LMU Elite Eight team in 1990, Gavin has seen first hand the devastating effects of a previously undetected heart condition in a leading Division 1 college athlete. As Hank Gathers was his first hero in basketball, Gavin learned early in life the tragic loss that can occur when an athlete, friend, and mentor dies too young. To this day, Gavin considers Hank his hero and being involved with that LMU team the time of his life. While he currently works in Air Operations at Viking Cruises, a leading international cruise line, Gavin has never forgotten the loss in his heart when Hank passed away in front of him on March 4, 1990. The Heart to Heart Foundation is the best way for Gavin to give back to the international community in which he lives and help to further prevent unforeseen heart failure that causes far too much heartbreak.
Florence Turiaf grew up in Martinique until she moved to Los Angeles at the age of 14 to attend high school. Currently a student at Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, Florence intends to major in international relations and to learn how to speak Arabic. An athlete in her own right, Florence will be on the Hamilton College basketball team and is involved in a number of other student clubs to diversify her experience while on campus. While an active and passionate board member for the Heart to Heart Foundation, Florence also volunteers her time at refugee centers in Utica, NY to teach people how to speak English and assimilate into American culture.