Nominations are In!

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Birth Matters is so excited to have a terrific slate of Chapter Directors, Executive Board Members, and At Large Volunteers for the April 30. 2016 Elections.  This is going to be a powerhouse team working to accomplish great things for birth in the state of Virginia.

Below are introductions to your representatives.  Please become familiar with them, and remember to vote tomorrow!

2016 Birth Matters Chapter Director Nominations:

Augusta: Sarah Frances Roberson – Sarah Roberson grew up in Swoope, Virginia and studied Spanish at Davidson College in Davidson, North Carolina. She and her husband met in Japan and lived there together for three years. They had a great birth and postpartum experience in Japan and then moved to Harrisonburg where their second and third child were born. They now live in Staunton. Sarah has been going to the Augusta County Birth Circle meetings for about three years, and has led the circle since January 2015.

Charlottesville: April Wang – An educator by trade with a master’s degree in Health Education, Health Promotion, I currently serve my family as a full-time stay-at- home mother, and serve my community as an independent childbirth educator and part-time in-home childcare provider.  Although I’ve lived abroad and in a number of different states, I have very happily settled in Charlottesville, VA for the past 4 years alongside my husband, Billie, my 4-year- old son, Ming, and my 2-year- old daughter, Maggie. I have served as the Co-Director of the Charlottesville Chapter for over 1 year and Chapter Volunteer Coordinator for 2 years.

Peninsula: Jihan Minson – I am the wife to Craig the mother of two children (4 year old girl and 2 year old boy) and two dogs (Shetland Sheepdog and a Pug). Before kids I worked as a Marine Biologist and ran a swim team and swim lessons program. After several years of trying to have children we got pregnant with our daughter and I decided to become a stay at home mom. I enjoy being home with my children but I also keep myself very busy working with the local Pug rescue, running my neighborhood landscaping and facilities group and running my own catering business.

Giving back to Birth Matters VA is also very important to me because my local chapter helped me heal from a very difficult pregnancy and delivery. Birth Matters empowered me as a mother. Each month I learn something new and which has helped me own my birth story!

Richmond: Ke’andre Baugh- KeAndre is a student midwife with a passion for social and birth justice. She wants to use her position within BMVA to not only teach women about their rights, but to also make the circles a place where they can feel safe.

Tidewater: Chelsea Shira – Chelsea is currently a student midwife, DONA certified birth doula, and a proud stay at home mother of a beautiful 3 year old son. For the last year she has also enjoyed volunteering for Birth Matters Virginia as the Tidewater Chapter Director. Growing up, Chelsea was surrounded by an admirably talented matriarchal family, many of whom supported mothers during childbirth. However, it wasn’t until after the birth of her son that Chelsea realized just how much she wanted to help empower women through their own birth experiences. Before She became a birth worker, Chelsea was a mother and student studying Business Finance at Virginia Commonwealth University. During these most precious times, Chelsea loves that she is able to provide her family with an environment that she creates, while at the same time being able to work in a profession she feels so passionately for. As Chelsea continues her work and education in childbirth, she is thrilled to be able to provide women with the same nurturing love and care that she was given during one of the most beautiful life-changing moments a woman can have!

Williamsburg: Jennifer Inman – A NASA physicist, and mother of three children born at DePaul Midwifery Center, Jennifer has a passion for increasing the birthing options available for women and families in Williamsburg.

2016 Birth Matters Executive Board Nominations:

Treasurer: Jamie Diaz – I am an Assistant Professor of Accounting at the College of William and Mary, as well as a CPA with expertise in auditing both for-profit and non-profit organizations. I hold a PhD in Accounting from New York University, and I am also a mother of an energetic two year old. During my pregnancy, I attended birth circles at both the Williamsburg and Peninsula chapters of Birth Matters VA, and was amazed by the stories told by the women in attendance who were empowered by their experiences giving birth to their children. The meetings were not only useful and informative to me, as I was expecting my first child, but truly sparked my passion for this wonderful cause. I would be honored to have the opportunity to continue to utilize my professional knowledge and experience to benefit a group that was so integral to one of my most profound personal experiences – the birth of my son. As Birth Matters matures as an organization, I will endeavor to leverage my professional skills to support that growth, and to empower women to make informed choices about their births.

Secretary: Kathy Hubbard– I am an RN living and working in Virginia Beach with my husband and 3 children. I have served as a volunteer of Birth Matters since 2007 when I started the Tidewater Chapter. In various roles within the organization, from Membership Coordinator to Executive Director, it continues to be a pleasure to support the women and families in Virginia through my work with Birth Matters.

2016 Birth Matters At-Large Nominations:

 At-Large: Cat Sears (Richmond) – I am a mom to two exuberant boys (born 2012 and 2014), a ToLabor trained doula, a Birthing From Within® mentor (childbirth educator), and a birth assistant with Selah Midwifery Services. I have also attended a CAPPA postpartum doula training in April, 2016. I hold a Master’s in Teaching from VCU and a Master's in Fine Arts (Fiction Writing) from Emerson College.

At-Large: Stephanie Hochhalter (Williamsburg) – Hi! I’m Stephanie Hochhalter. My husband and I moved to VA from NY almost 8 years ago. I spend my days caring for my two energetic, spunky, and loving young children in Yorktown, VA. I feel fortunate to have a part-time job as a research assistant with VCU’s Department of Health Behavior and Policy that allows me to work from home (and exercise my brain!). I assist with compiling information on various state policies, with a focus on Medicaid, creating data sets, and doing some basic data analysis to help identify what behavioral and policy factors influence health. One project that’s been particularly interesting for me has been looking at the differences in how states have provided (or denied) prenatal care coverage for pregnant immigrant women since welfare reform.

Since having kids of my own, I’ve struggled with finding something that’s just for me and I’m excited at the opportunity to volunteer with Birth Matters. I’d love to put some of my skills and knowledge to use towards helping to improve the experiences of pregnant women in VA.

I spend the free minutes of my day in the kitchen, where I love making new varieties of mayonnaise, roasting trays of vegetables, and getting my feet wet with fermentation.

At-Large: Reagan Greenfield (Charlottesville) (bio coming soon)

All members are welcome and encouraged to vote April 30, 2016 from 6AM to 11:59PM.

<<<< CLICK HERE>>>>> for your official ballot!

You will be prompted to log into your account to verify your membership status. Thanks for participating!!




Your 2016/17 Birth Matters Coordinating Board.