Pancreatic Cancer Action Network’s CEO Julie Fleshman and Board member Peter Cashion join our inaugural episode to talk about the profound impact of peer-to-peer fundraising and how they champion it from the top-down

Despite raising over $1 billion in 2022, peer-to-peer fundraising often fails to receive the recognition it deserves in the world of development and even from the top leadership within nonprofit organizations. There is an ever-present notion that “Walks are dead,” but these misguided voices fail to comprehend the true power of peer-to-peer fundraising.

In fact, peer-to-peer fundraising is the most democratic form of fundraising, empowering individuals directly affected by our mission to come together and raise funds to combat challenges, seek cures, promote accessibility in treatments, and create a better world. It is only when organizational leaders grasp the potential of peer-to-peer fundraising that we can elevate our efforts to unparalleled levels of success.
In this inaugural episode, P2PPF’s Marcie Maxwell is joined by Julie Fleshman, President & CEO of the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN) and Peter Cashion, Purple Stride team captain and member of the PanCAN Board of Directors. Peter was also the winner of the 2023 Cash, Sweat & Tears Award presented at the 2023 Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum Conference in Washington, DC.  
Both Julie & Peter share their very personal stories of losing a loved one to pancreatic cancer – and how they have find new purpose in fundraising and a sense of community through PanCAN’s signature event, Purple Stride. They also discuss how they are deepening their Board’s engagement with peer-to-peer fundraising and the impact that has on their staff and volunteers.
In today’s episode, we’ll explore:

      – How peer-to-peer fundraising can empower a community
      – How PanCAN is mobilizing its board to participate in peer-to-peer fundraising
      – The decision-making process that went into moving all Purple Stride walks to the same day nationwide

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Podcast Guests

Julie Fleshman

President & CEO, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN)

In her 23 years of leadership at PanCAN, Julie Fleshman has been a global catalyst for change in the fight against pancreatic cancer. Her commitment began after she lost her dad to the disease, just four months after his diagnosis. He was 52. Fleshman wanted to know why more wasn’t being done – why her dad and thousands of other patients were offered no treatment options and sent home to die.

In 1999, Fleshman was hired as PanCAN’s first employee, became its first Executive Director in 2000 and in 2004, became President and CEO.

Under her leadership, PanCAN has grown from a staff of one with annual revenues of $228,000 to a staff of over 175 with a budget of over $58 million.

Peter Cashion

Board of Directors, Pancreatic Cancer Action Network (PanCAN)

Peter Cashion is the Managing Investment Director – Sustainable Investments for CalPERS and is based in Sacramento, CA. Previously, he served as a Chief Investment Officer at the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group, in Washington, D.C. Cashion and his two teenage sons lost wife and mother Andra Tamburro to pancreatic cancer in 2013.

Cashion began his career at IFC in 1995. During his tenure, he held a variety of senior positions in the Washington, D.C. office and in the field, including postings in Cote d’Ivoire, Senegal, and Turkey. 

Since his wife’s passing, Cashion and his boys have been committed, passionate fundraisers for the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network through PurpleStride Washington, D.C. and Team Andra has raised more than half a million dollars for PanCAN.

Podcast Host


Marcie Maxwell

Managing Director, Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum

Marcie Maxwell is the Managing Director of the Peer-to-Peer Professional Forum. Marcie joined the P2PPF team in 2021 after 15+ years as a front-line fundraiser, national events & campaign director and fundraising consultant. In her role, Marcie serves as a primary thought leader and community builder for the peer-to-peer fundraising industry. She started her career in fundraising with 10+ years at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, where she ran local fundraising events, managed national volunteer partnerships and launched their national walk program. She then spent 5+ years as the Director of Chapter Fundraising Events with Make-A-Wish America, where she provided strategy, support & training to 60 chapters on the full event portfolio – walks, school fundraising, an endurance hiking program and galas & social events. In her most recent role at Charity Dynamics, she partnered with clients to provide strategic guidance and analysis to help them optimize and grow their peer-to-peer fundraising events & campaigns. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University and a master’s degree in Ethical Leadership from Christian Brothers University. She resides in Memphis, TN.