Our Board


Sonia E. Rita, Co-Founder and President

Sonia most importantly is Izzy’s mom. She is responsible for Izzy’s Infantry’s brand strategy and fundraising opportunities. Prior to Isabel’s diagnosis, Sonia spent eight years in communications and public relations. She’s worked with many small organization including local non-profit organizations. She hopes that Isabel’s story can help provide hope to children in their own battles as well as spark awareness for the need for childhood cancer research. 

Carla Nelson, Vice President of Operations

Carla is responsible for Izzy’s Infantry operations, and works with Sonia on developing relationships with hospitals to join in the march toward a cure. In addition to her foundation responsibilities, Carla works full time in health policy and advocacy, focusing on health care operations and population health. As a close family friend of the Ritas, Izzy’s Infantry is a cause close to Carla’s heart. She is honored to be working in Izzy’s name towards a world where children don’t have to suffer from pediatric cancer and the effects of cancer treatment. Carla is also the proud wife of Destin, and mom of Vernon and Anabel, who also do all they can to support Izzy and the Ritas.

Marco G. Rita, Co-Founder and Vice President

Marco is Isabel’s proud father. He is responsible for strategy execution, coordinating sponsors and assists in budgeting funds. Marco works full-time as a wealth management relationship manager, and shares his wife’s passion in turning his experience with childhood cancer and spinal cord injury into something positive for future parents and their children.

Gina Iosim, Secretary

Gina is responsible for overseeing board meetings and agendas, and event planning and execution. She also works closely with Sonia on developing strategies for building brand awareness as well as childhood cancer and spinal cord injury awareness.

Outside of Izzy’s Infantry, Gina works as an Assistant Prosecutor at Essex County Prosecutor’s Office where she is currently the Supervising Assistant Prosecutor in Special Victims Unit which handles the investigation and prosecution of sexual offenses, child abuse, elder abuse, bias crimes, cyber sexual crimes and human trafficking.  She is a certified child forensic video interview specialist, a police academy instructor and has lectured extensively for a variety of groups including SAVE of Essex County, the Essex County Community Justice Center and Rutgers School of Nursing. Gina also owns A Sparkling Affair Events which specializes in event planning & coordination and unique centerpiece, décor and favor design.

A close friend of the Rita family, Gina considers ‘Izzy Warrior Princess" a personal hero who has inspired not only Gina, but everyone who has the privilege to meet her with her strength and courage.  She is honored to work alongside Izzy’s parents to help support other warriors and their families and to work towards better treatments for pediatric cancer patients and, ultimately, a cure.

Jaime Fernandez, Treasurer

Jaime is responsible for overseeing the budget and fund distribution to various programs within the scope of our mission. He is also Izzy’s uncle and has watched her grow over the years and work hard to recuperate from her diagnosis. As Sonia’s older brother, he has also watched his sister’s struggle and hopes to help other parents in a similar situation through Izzy’s Infantry’s mission.