Our Team

Christina Parrish - Founder/Chair


Christina Parrish founded The Purple Iris Foundation as a result of what was then her 3 1/2 year journey through pancreatic cancer. She was given the life-changing news on June 16, 2008. Needless to say, she initially reacted with shock and then was told that she had only 3-6 months to live with treatment. She was appalled and decided then that no one in her lifetime should be given this news – thus The Purple Iris Foundation was born to help raise awareness and support her fellow patients. Christina is proud to say that she is a 11-year survivor. Christina is living proof that there is hope. Christina is a seasoned human services professional, who through her 2 decades in the field has garnered exceptional experience and expertise working with adults and children with disabilities. She was also the director of a large child care facility, and most recently worked for a major bank in the collections division. Christina’s duties include but are not limited to: Coordinate the 5K fun run and the purple iris planting project, manage volunteers, public relations, business administration, and fundraising.



Barbara Novelli - CEO/Treasurer


Barb has been involved with the Purple Iris Foundation since 2012 when she began volunteering as the business consultant. Barb’s involvement grew as she accepted the position of Board Secretary.  She has helped to launched new campaigns for the Foundation and is versed in writing business plans and grants.  She is also responsible for over-seeing the filing of required documents.  

Barb is a 1982 graduate of S.U.N.Y Plattsburgh with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and a 1983 graduate of S.U.N.Y Cortland with a Master of Science degree in mathematics. She is also a 2005 graduate of Rowan University with a Master of Science degree in Educational Leadership.  Barb has 34 years experience in the field of Education. She is currently the High School Supervisor of the Business and Technology Departments.



Natalee Kohls - President/Volunteer Graphic/Web Design, Media Relations & Social Media

Natalee is a graduate of the University of Maine at Machias with an Assoc. Liberal Arts Degree, in 1987 and a graduate of the New England School of Communications in Radio Broadcasting, in 1991.  Member of the Kappa Alpha Kappa Service Sorority. She brings her experience in media, broadcasting, promotions, web/graphic design and marketing. In private practice, she teaches all levels of Usui Reiki, offers Reiki sessions, personal spiritual coaching, and is a motivational speaker.

Natalee volunteers doing the following:

Social media (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin) daily creating graphics & posts for:
   PIF * Pound The Pavement * Maine Cancer Outdoor Adventures * Light The Night Purple
   Cancer Events and Wellness Group

Runsignup setup, managing and maintenance for Hot Toddy and Pound The Pavement

Creating monthly PIF Calendars

PIF website setup, graphics, managing, Integration and maintenance 

Planning and design graphics for:
   Lip Sync Battle  *  Purple Iris Project Hope Garden  *  The Big Dig * Jimmys Wilderness Trek
   Moe’s Fundraiser * Mason’s Fundraiser *     Giving Tuesday * Hot Toddy Extravaganza * Pound The Pavement * Pancreatic Cancer Day
   Pancreatic Cancer Month * Purple Elf Project * Peer to Peer Cancer Support Groups *  
   Cancer Spa Days * Any additional Fundraisers throughout each year

Design Supporting Items including postcards, brochures, note cards, table tents and stickers

Banner Design for Events

ShoutOut Email Marketing

Media Relations/TV and Radio Co-Ordination for psa’s and story coverage

Copywriting PSA’s

Voiceover PSA’s


Phyllis Couch - Vice President


Phyllis brings with her considerable background in management, operational management, customer service, sales, financial modeling, accounting, and public relations. This experience was gained through more than 25 years as an office manager, Department manager and Optician. Duties will include but are not limited to: Helping the president coordinate the 5K fun run and the purple iris planting project, coordinating volunteers, public relations, business administration, and fundraising.



Tyler Parrish - Volunteer "ProjktCncr" Project Manager



Christie Hines - Public Relations Volunteer & Advocate


Christie Cantara is a resident of Falmouth, Maine and is a single Mom to her 3 daughters Kaylee (25), Lacie (15) and Mallorie (12).  Christie is a 6 year Breast Cancer Survivor and has been an advocate for the disease ever since.  She has participated in events and raised funds for various cancer organizations for many years.  In 2017, Christie's longtime boyfriend Tommy was diagnosed with Stage 3 Pancreatic Cancer.  She left her job to care for him full time.  After a year's worth of trying everything to save his life, Tommy passed away on September 4, 2018.  He had just turned 50 years old.  After his passing, Christie researched and discovered the Purple Iris Foundation.  She held an event in Tommy's memory to raise funds for the foundation and will continue to advocate and educate others about this horrible disease.