Maryam Davodi-Far believes life is about discovering what you are good at, and then sharing it with the world. So after discovering her calling in healthcare administration and nonprofit work, Davodi-Far found a way to share it with the world. Five years ago, this Carmel Valley resident founded Cancer Coping Center, a nonprofit run by professionals who volunteer their time and expertise to help cancer patients, and their families and caregivers.
The impetus behind Cancer Coping Center came about after Davodi-Far watched her mother-in-law battle the disease, and witnessed the emotional toll it can take. For that reason, the non-profit aims to help people cope with the effects of cancer through creative expressions, like painting.
Davodi-Far has a doctorate in public administration from the University of La Verne, a master’s degree in healthcare administration and a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from the University of California in San Diego. She holds a certificate in non-profit management from Chapman University, and she is trained as a volunteer mediator through the San Diego Mediation Center.
When she’s is not running her non-profit, Davodi-Far can likely be found combing through antique malls or in her kitchen, as she is also a trained chef through the San Diego Culinary Institute.
What brought you to Carmel Valley?
I love the location. It is central and close to the coast. It is a new area with lots of promise for growth. It is near centers of excellence, such as UCSD, National University, and a number of well-known research institutions.
What makes Carmel Valley special to you?
I like being nearby the beach and close to my place of work.
If you could snap your fingers and have it done, what might you add, subtract or improve in Carmel Valley?
I would create more opportunities for neighbors to get to know one another.
Who or what inspires you?
I am moved by female leaders, such as Susan B. Anthony, Hillary Clinton, and Sandra Day O’Connor.
If you hosted a dinner party for eight, whom (living or deceased) would you invite?
I would invite chef Yves Fournier, Frank Sinatra, President Obama, my husband, Nicole Kidman, Edward Norton, Penelope Cruz, and Hugh Jackman.
Tell us about what you are currently reading.
I am reading “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest.”
What is your most prized possession?
My most prized possession is my vintage butterfly pin collection. I am hoping to show my collection this year at the San Diego County Fair.
What do you do for fun?
I enjoy antiquing, cooking, traveling, and hosting parties.
Please describe your greatest accomplishment.
Earning a doctoral degree.
What is your motto or philosophy of life?
My philosophy of life is based on a quote by David Viscott: “The purpose of life is to discover your gift. The meaning of life is to give your gift away.”