Team

Amelia Martinez Martinez

Lactation Support Peer Counselor and Latinx Community Specialist

Amelia Martinez Martinez

Lactation Support Peer Counselor and Latinx Community Specialist

amelia@openarmsps.org

As a Lactation Support Peer Counselor for Spanish-speaking communities, Amelia continues to learn about the difficulties that prevent successful breastfeeding and impacts the well-being of families, as well as the health and development of our children due to the lack of support provided in Spanish. She is excited to partner with Open Arms to provide breastfeeding support to the Latinx/e community and uses her voice to ensure that mothers are respected and listened to regarding their needs with breastfeeding. Amelia’s own experience with her 18-month-old daughter, as well as having family experience breastfeeding difficulties, has allowed Amelia to become familiar with common issues like congestion, short frenulum, torticollis, and mastitis. She has lived in Washington for the past nine years and loves walking through nature all year round. Taking walks inspires her and makes her fall in love with the incredible things our mother nature gives us to live.

Andrea Balina

Childbirth Educator and Community-based Outreach Doula

Andrea Balina

Childbirth Educator and Community-based Outreach Doula

andrea@openarmsps.org
206-723-6868 Ext 1528

Andrea is a certified birth doula (DONA), postpartum doula, and childbirth educator. Her training as a doula began in 2012 and she joined Open Arms in February of 2013. Andrea is married and a mother of three children. Andrea is from Argentina and loves being a doula that supports Latinx birthing people to have a respected, humanized, and safe birth. Her goal for all her families is to have a positive experience at birth that empowers them. Andrea sees her doula work as not just as a service, but as an extension of her heart and soul.

Angela Agoo

Operations Manager

Angela brings a vast skill set to her role as Operations Manager at Open Arms. She was born and raised in Seattle (a Beaconhillapina) and was first introduced to Open Arms through an invitation to volunteer in the office. After several more volunteering events and birthing a little one herself, she was drawn to becoming a part of the organization and supporting its important mission. When she’s not in the office, you can find Angela tasting wine, playing in the sun, and sharing time with family and friends.

Betty Hernandez

Lead Latinx Community Specialist, Birth Doula Services

Betty Hernandez

Lead Latinx Community Specialist, Birth Doula Services

betty@openarmsps.org
206-723-6868, ext. 124

Betty Hernandez, Mexican, Mazahua Indigenous, Obstetrician Nurse from UNAM University. Migrant in the United States, my first language is Spanish, I understand a little Mazahua. My motto is social justice and breaking with intergenerational trauma, I believe in collective education. My mission in the community is to serve as a bridge of information and opportunities for other families, so I challenge myself to learn more. My greatest value is my family, my favorite hobby is riding a bike and discovering new places on foot! I am currently in love with hiking.

Cynthia Turrietta

Director of Programs

Cynthia Turrietta

Director of Programs

cynthia@openarmsps.org
206-279-7510 Ext. 122

Deandra Ludovice

Managing Director

Deandra Ludovice

Managing Director

deandra@openarmsps.org
206-279-7511 Ext. 101

Deandra has worked at nonprofits around the Puget Sound and Bay Area since 2007 and joined Open Arms in 2015. Deandra holds a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from the University of San Francisco as well as extensive experience in operations, marketing, and fundraising. As a mom to two young children, Deandra is passionate about Open Arms’ mission of strengthening families and parents.

Delina Seyoum

Outreach Doula Services Program Administrator

Delina Seyoum

Outreach Doula Services Program Administrator

delina@openarmsps.org
206-360-6256 Ext. 812

Delina was born and raised in Asmara, Eritrea, and moved to the U.S in 2014. Inspired by the loss of her mother to breast cancer back home, she obtained my B.S in Public Health-Global Health from the University of Washington. Delina has worked with the community since I moved to Seattle 5 years ago, specifically the Eritrean community volunteering and working as a translator. She is part of the Eritrean Health Board.

Dila Perera

Executive Director

Dila Perera

Executive Director

dila@openarmsps.org
206-279-7491 Ext. 109

Dila Perera, MPH, MSW has worked in public health and advocacy locally and internationally, including time spent as a doula for Open Arms. She earned both a Master of Public Health  in Maternal Child Health and Global health as well as a Master of Social Work at the University of Washington, after starting her career as a health educator at 19. She went on to spend twelve years helping to build and manage innovative and complex programs designed to improve the health of vulnerable populations, including mothers, children, families, and people living with or affected by HIV.

Dila has managed several large-scale federally funded interventions but believes that small organizations, even when working with minimal resources, are still the most effective at creating lasting and transformational change. She has been a program manager, a grant maker, a board member, and a trainer. However, Dila considers working with pregnant people – before birth, during birth, and supporting new mothers and infants – to be the most rewarding work she has ever done. Dila became Executive Director of Open Arms in 2015 and is proud to lead Washington’s first and leading community-based nonprofit organization providing perinatal services. During Dila’s tenure, thanks to an exceptional group of colleagues, Open Arms has grown eight times in size and expanded its services to provide birth support, home visiting, lactation support, and tailored family support services to over 500 clients annually. Dila loves to garden and grow things, spend time with her middle schooler, and road trips with her dog, Panda.

 

Elena Maria Teare

Communications Lead

Elena Maria Teare

Communications Lead

elenat@openarmsps.org
206-350-4853 Ext. 804

Elena Maria Teare comes from a research-activist background in global Indigenous land rights, climate justice, and nonprofit communications. They hold a MA in International Affairs, concentrating on human rights and media. After garnering more experience in their field, Elena has since become passionate about birth equity and community access to birthing support, looking for opportunities to integrate their passion for advocacy communications with birth justice. Elena enjoys walking in the Olympic National Forest with their dog Charlie and tending to their house plants and garden.

Elizabeth Montez

Lactation Support Peer Counseling Clinical Lead

Elizabeth Montez

Lactation Support Peer Counseling Clinical Lead

elizabeth@openarmsps.org
206-709-5047 Ext. 140

Elizabeth Montez – Anishinaabekwe – Mother of two young children, lover of food, protector and supporter of lactation as traditional practice, sacred food, and indigenous sovereignty. Her children brought the wisdom of the ancestors down with them and lead Elizabeth to reconnect with her indigenous community and traditional practices, including lactation. Elizabeth was a seed to table chef when her eldest was born, and she showed Elizabeth that food justice starts at birth, when we support our birthing people reclaim the sovereignty of lactation and offer our babies their first sacred food.

Elizabeth Perez Garcia

Birth Doula Services Program Coordinator

Elizabeth Perez Garcia

Birth Doula Services Program Coordinator

eperezgarcia@openarmsps.org
206-360-6262 Ext. 816

Elizabeth who also goes by Ely is passionate about birth work and aspires to become a doula and midwife in the future. She comes to Open Arms with enthusiasm and commitment to reproductive justice and birthing people. She comes with experience working in the medical field as a caregiver, has experience working with the Naturopath community and community organizing. She is a first-generation college graduate from Western Washington University with a bachelors in Biocultural Anthropology with a minor in Education and Social Justice. Ely is most in her element when she is spending time with her family and friends, traveling, dancing, listening to music, singing her heart out at concerts, reading, and connecting with Mother Nature. She is really excited to connect with families and work alongside community members with similar passions.

Ellie Frischmann

Grant Accountant

Ellie Frischmann

Grant Accountant

ellie@openarmsps.org
206-350-9099 Ext. 807

Ellie (she/her) comes to Open Arms from working on grant proposals, reports, and management at nonprofits in Seattle and Minnesota and studying nonprofit finances at UW. She grew up in Minnesota and loves going back frequently to visit family living on the shores of Lake Superior. Ellie loves nerding out about numbers and spreadsheets while also centering relationships, equity, and community through her role at Open Arms. In her non-work times, you can find her hanging out with her cat Cinnamon, spending time with friends and family, reading, making ceramics, and getting outside.

Emily Trujillo

Birth Doula Services Program Administrator

Emily Trujillo

Birth Doula Services Program Administrator

emily@openarmsps.org
206-501-4834 Ext. 149

Emily comes to Open Arms with a strong commitment to birth and reproductive justice. She is a birth doula, childbirth educator, and has managed operations at a midwifery practice. She is fueled in this work by the desire to see accessible resources and support available to all birthing people and communities. In addition to birthwork, her career background includes environmental justice, farming and food justice, and journalism. Emily is most at home in the forests and on the beaches of Western Washington. She takes pleasure in growing food and medicinal plants, cooking, and being in nature with her dog. Emily is honored and grateful to join the Open Arms team and support this vital work.

Eula Scott Bynoe

Childbirth Educator

Eula Scott Bynoe

Childbirth Educator

eula@openarmsps.org
206-723-6868 Ext. 1527

Eula Scott Bynoe is a full-time Black Woman Parent Widow, a Doula and CBE. Eula was born and raised in Seattle’s culture capital, the Central District, to organizers, and proud ordinary workers. She sees her role in this world as one of messenger, solutionary, community builder, party starter and sister to all who can see her humanity.

At 35, in the thick of postpartum depression and the true start to the Covid-19 pandemic Eula’s husband first and later her mother passed away. Forced to face all the ways navigating grief was necessary for her mental health and that of her then 2 year old sons, she prayed for this an opportunity to share her new knowledge.

Eula pulls from her experiences and shared wisdom of her tribe to create an overview of the ways we all experience grief daily which makes room for birth. She’s learned to see the beauty in the shifts and the grace required to and from all involved in order to heal.

Each of our timelines requires constant metamorphosis. May we all have support on our journey.

Hawa Egal

Community-based Outreach Doula

Hawa Egal

Community-based Outreach Doula

hawa@openarmsps.org
206-427-8051 Ext. 102

Hawa Egal is an Outreach Doula for Open Arms Perinatal Services. Her main goal is to create a safe and non-judgmental environment for families to share their hearts and souls. Since earning her Promoting First Relationships certification she has been implementing early learning throughout her clientele. As an Outreach Doula, she wants to connect with and educate Somali women who have unique cultural needs, and guide them to having a healthy pregnancy. She continues to be with them to gently support and encourage them while they bond with their newborns. Hawa considers it an honor and a privilege to be a witness during this intimate time in women’s lives. Right now she is working toward a degree in social work. She is the mother of three beautiful children.

Isabel Vicente Dominguez

Intake Coordinator

Isabel Vicente Dominguez

Intake Coordinator

isabel@openarmsps.org
206-731-7976 Ext. 146

Isabel was born in Mexico and moved to Seattle with her family at a young age. She grew up in Central Seattle and currently lives in Beacon Hill. Isabel attended UW to pursue a Social Work degree and then took some time off. She welcomed her baby girl, Lenny, last year! Isabel enjoys listening to music, going on hikes, or staying in watching tv (recently forensic files!).

Jami Bess

Family Support Services Program Director

Jami Bess

Family Support Services Program Director

jami@openarmsps.org
206-788-8773 Ext. 103

Jami’s heartfelt dream is that every family has the support, education, and the empowerment to be healthy, happy, and to thrive. She is passionate about health and social justice and is excited to be a part of the dynamic work at Open Arms. She enjoys spending time with her three amazing children, and one wonderful dog.

Janae Teal

The Capacity Collective, Database Consultant

Janae Teal

The Capacity Collective, Database Consultant

janae@openarmsps.org

Janae Teal (she/they) is a Database Consultant for Open Arms. She is also the Director of Data Management at The Capacity Collective. Prior to The Capacity Collective, Janae worked as an analyst for a county government where they developed various data processes and used data to advocate for local policy change. She believes in the power of community and strives to make meaningful impacts in the world of data, social, and intersectional racial justice. Janae holds a MA in Public Sociology from Cal Poly Humboldt. In their free time, they enjoy spending time in the mountains, hanging out with their auntlets, listening to audiobooks, and supporting local breweries.

Karina Arroyo

Family Connector

Karina Arroyo grew up in Burien and now lives in Seattle with her girlfriend and their dog. She maintains strong connections to her family home of Oaxaca, Mexico. Karina is an incoming graduate student for Seattle University’s Nonprofit Leadership program. In her free time, Karina enjoys dancing, trying new baking recipes, and tending to her plants. Karina is passionate about providing equitable and accessible services for all, and is excited to be joining the Family Support Services team.

Kate Wilhite Brickell

Lead Program Administrator

Kate Wilhite Brickell

Lead Program Administrator

kateb@openarmsps.org
206-208-9548 Ext. 129

Kate Wilhite Brickell was born and raised in Hawaii. She earned her Master’s in Social Work at the University of Washington. Kate has experience working with children, youth and families in a variety of settings. She has always had a passion for supporting pregnant people and young children. Kate is thrilled to be a part of the Open Arms family. In their free time, Kate’s family loves to be outdoors, paddle board, hike, and spend time with loved ones.

Lanetra Barron

Family Connector

Lanetra is from Seattle, Washington.  She has three children in elementary school.  They love rollerblading and riding bikes while staying home and staying safe.  Lanetra has lived in the Rainier Valley for the past 26 years. Over the past five years she has been working in health care.  She is excited to work with Open Arms Perinatal Services because her heart is for this community.

Le'Ecia Farmer

Community-based Outreach Doula

Le'Ecia Farmer

Community-based Outreach Doula

le'ecia@openarmsps.org
206-462-5613 Ext. 170

Le’Ecia Farmer (she/they) is a birthworker, designer, artist, and herbalist currently based in Seattle, WA. She offers full spectrum birth support, herbal support, and naturally dyed nursery items. A heliotropic being, you will find Le’Ecia soaking up the sun anywhere in the world, and jumping into deep restorative practices and rituals when the sun is away.

Lea Johnson

Clinical and Reflective Supervisor

Lea Johnson

Clinical and Reflective Supervisor

lea@openarmsps.org

Lea is a wife and mother of 3 amazing adult children and two grandsons. As a Registered Nurse and Internationally Board-Certified Lactation Consultant, Lea has worked as a Public Health Nurse and Nurse Home Visitor supporting pregnant women, babies, and their families. She currently provides reflection and clinical support for the Outreach Doula team at Open Arms, community-based lactation and nursing support, and advocacy for pregnant and parenting families through Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department’s Black Infant Health program and the Black Birth Collective. Lea is an avid walker and plant lover. Lea’s passion and goal are to support parents and providers and to build healthy families and communities.

LeChante’ Raiwalui

Childbirth Educator and Birth Doula

LeChante’ Raiwalui

Childbirth Educator and Birth Doula

lechante@openarmsps.org
206-723-6868 Ext. 1526

LeChante’ Raiwalui started her career as a birth doula in 2019, and then grew into a supportive pregnancy care role, where birth keeping began to blend effortlessly with her lifestyle. Now, she carries all she has learned, unlearned, and seeks to learn as a Childbirth Educator. LeChante’s lineage comes from the Fiji islands and also has southern roots in Georgia, so she is constantly pulling from both vibrant ancestries to remind herself of why she does this work. LeChante’s belief is that the magic is in connecting our mind, body, and spirit back to our roots and changing our relationship with pregnancy health and birth with affirming conversations and sharing both evidence-based and ancestral knowledge. We owe it to our maternal ancestors to heal and rest, it’s a privilege they never had.

Loida Ginocchio Silva

Lactation Support Peer Counselor

Loida Ginocchio Silva

Lactation Support Peer Counselor

loida@openarmsps.org
206-910-8969 ext. 1525

Loida (she/they) is a queer, non-binary immigrant birth worker whose long learning path in lactation started immediately after birthing their daughter four years ago. They are the proud grandchild of Indigenous Quechua grandparents from Ayacucho, Peru. At 13 years of age, Loida migrated to the US with her family and eventually made her way to Seattle, where she now lives with her daughter and plants. For the last few years, Loida has focused on supporting immigrant mothers and birthing people from/with roots in Latin America. They come to this lactation role with years of experience providing childcare for local families, immigrant rights organizing in the US South, and a passion for language justice.

Margarita Celis

Community-based Outreach Doula

Margarita Celis

Community-based Outreach Doula

margarita@openarmsps.org
206-617-0221 Ext. 108

Margarita Celis came to this country over 20 years ago from Peru with her 4-year-old child. Later, she and her husband had two more children in New York. Margarita says, “I did not have the best experiences having to give birth to my babies in a foreign country and with a language barrier. I wish I had the services that Open Arms provides, but this gives me the strength and the compassion to see the need of these women in our community and make a difference.” She was involved in activities from her local WIC, and she became a breastfeeding consultant as well as a stay-at-home mom. She says, “Open Arms found me and I felt so lucky because this is the job that I really value, not only for the income that I can bring home, but for the satisfaction I feel when I can help moms.”

Markia Brinson

Lactation Support Peer Counselor

Markia Brinson

Lactation Support Peer Counselor

markia@openarmsps.org
206-887-1768 Ext. 805

Markia was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She has a certification in peer lactation, and has had extensive training as a Birth/Postpartum Doula with DONA. She also brings over 11 years of her personal experience in raising and nursing three children of her own. Markia has a passion for advocating for breastfeeding/birthing mothers, especially in the black community. She is committed to aiding black moms with the necessary lactation, birthing education, and resources in her community. Along with her passion for birthing education, she has an equal love for natural herbal remedies and supplements, which she incorporates into her everyday life. She loves to garden, hike, and hold tea parties, (with herbal tea blends she creates herself ) with her children.

Memorie Gladstone

Outreach Doula Services Lead Doula

Memorie Gladstone

Outreach Doula Services Lead Doula

memorie@openarmsps.org
206-960-4946 Ext. 119

Memorie Gladstone is from the Blackfoot tribe of Browning Montana. She has several years of experience as a breastfeeding peer counselor which inspired her to work as a doula since the two professions go hand in hand. The experience she had giving birth to her children and the knowledge she has now motivates her to educate and empower the women in her community.  Being an advocate and providing extra support for a mother while witnessing new life is truly fulfilling.   In her free time she enjoys the outdoors with her family which includes her dogs Otto and Giger.

Molly Krost

Development Lead

Molly comes to Open Arms with a professional background in nonprofit fundraising and administration. She has worked at Performing Arts Workshop, SF Community Music Center, Cal Performances, Theater J in Washington D.C., and Rough Magic Theatre in Ireland. Molly is also an emerging playwright. Her play NANAY was a semi-finalist for the National Playwrights Conference and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and her plays have been read or performed at Z Space, San Francisco Playhouse, PlayGround, and SOMArts Cultural Center, among others. Molly holds an MFA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University as well as a BA in Theatre and Performance studies and a BA in Classical Civilizations from UC Berkeley. In her free time, she enjoys painting, baking, crafting, and weight lifting.

Olga Prado Leon

Intake Coordinator

Olga Prado Leon

Intake Coordinator

olga@openarmsps.org
206-737-0093 Ext. 147

My name is Olga Araceli Prado Leon, I am a P’urhepecha woman from Michoacan, Mexico. Washington has been my home since 2003 and California was my home prior to that. I enjoy being in community with my family, chosen family, and friends. It’s a privilege to be working in an organization that advocates for all birthing people.

Peggy Allen Jackson

Development Director

Peggy Allen Jackson

Development Director

peggy@openarmsps.org
206-866-6458 Ext. 107

A seasoned fundraiser and enthusiastic roller-up of her sleeves, Peggy Allen Jackson brings more than a decade of fundraising, strategic planning, and communications experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors to her role as development director at Open Arms. She is an energetic communicator with a passion to connect donors to the mission of Open Arms and to invite people in to be a part of shaping the important work we are doing to improve outcomes for pregnant people and children in the region. Prior to joining Open Arms, Peggy served as development director at the Northwest African American Museum, The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas (formerly 826 Seattle), and Powerful Schools. At each organization she exceeded fundraising goals year after year, while facing a tough economy and giving climate.  Peggy was born and raised in the northwest (and is a proud UW graduate!), and currently resides in Renton with her two sons and her dog, Zoey.

Qadra Ali

Community-based Outreach Doula

Qadra Ali

Community-based Outreach Doula

My name is Qadra, I was born in Somalia but I’ve lived most of my life in Seattle area. I am the third of nine siblings. I am blessed with five children. We love to play soccer, and two of my children are in club soccer. We also love to travel whether it is in WA, the U.S., or other countries. I am excited to join the team, and can’t wait to start.

Shadia Nagi

Lactation Support Services Program Administrator

Shadia Nagi

Lactation Support Services Program Administrator

shadia@openarmsps.org
206-360-6257 Ext. 810

Shadia Nagi is a first-generation Somali American college graduate from the University of Washington with a degree in Healthcare Leadership and a minor in Sociology. As the eldest sibling of two school-aged boys, Shadia was able to stand by and support my mother during her pregnancy and birth. Her upbringing and prior experiences in the hospital setting provided her with the knowledge of how to foster a nurturing environment for expecting mothers and families. Shadia recognizes the necessity of providing proper advocacy and support through vulnerable moments. She has learned how crucial a positive bond between a doula and a client has on the outcomes of birth. These connections can have generational effects on the quality of life in families. And as someone that is a part of a vulnerable community, Shadia strives to be a part of constructive change. She devotes her time to serving my community and spending time with loved ones.

Stacey Silver

Family Support Services Program Administrator and Family Connector Lead

Stacey Silver

Family Support Services Program Administrator and Family Connector Lead

stacey@openarmsps.org
206-490-0909 Ext. 150

Stacey was born and raised in New England and moved to Washington in 2014 with her partner. She graduated with a degree in Social Work from the University of New Hampshire. Her community work has centered around referral and care coordination, food justice, community mental health, and program management. Stacey has a deep passion for community-based work to help build connections and instill hope for those who’ve been left behind by our systems. She loves backpacking, eating anything homemade, having a low-waste lifestyle, gardening, and learning random factoids.

Stephanie Quinn

Operations Coordinator

Stephanie Quinn

Operations Coordinator

squinn@openarmsps.org
206-272-3510 Ext. 802

Stephanie is excited to bring her previous experience in the design and manufacturing industry and project and team coordination to help support Open Arms’ operations and invaluable mission. Born in the Philippines and living in a dozen places before graduating high school, she’s happy to now call Seattle home with her husband and her dog. She’s looking forward to further growing roots and serving her community. In her free time, she enjoys pub trivia, podcasts, embroidery, and hanging out with her dog.

Tanya Anderson

Chief Financial Officer

Tanya Anderson

Chief Financial Officer

tanya@openarmsps.org
206-279-7498

Tanya has over 22 years of finance management and oversight experience in the nonprofit sector, including as a financial auditor with Grant Thornton, controller at Evergreen Healthcare, and finance consultant to many nonprofit organizations in the Greater Seattle area. Tanya recently moved to Issaquah Highlands after living in the Bothell/Kirkland area for 20 years. In her free time, she loves to dance, walk and hang out with her 10-year-old daughter, Judith.

Terri Chi-Lee, LM, CPM

On-Call Midwife

Terri Chi-Lee, LM, CPM

On-Call Midwife

terri.chi.lee@gmail.com
253-242-8351

Terri Chi-Lee’s career as a birth work began in 2013 after her second child was born. Through her own personal birthing experiences, she discovered the lack of options and diversity within the out-of-hospital birthing community. This ignited her passion and desire to bring accessible options to her community.  She started her journey as a doula and birth assistant while she worked towards her goal of becoming a midwife. She graduated from Bastyr in 2019 with her Master’s of Science in Midwifery and a certification in Botanical Medicine. Post-graduate school she continues to educate herself in various birthing traditions. She is a member of the Indigenous Birthworker’s Network which is an international network of traditional birth keepers. She is also involved with the Canoe Journey Herbalist project in WA where she continues to deepen her knowledge and relationship with plant medicine. She spent the summer after graduation in Cambodia, mentored by a Khmer midwife. This opportunity created a pathway that connected with her roots, culture, and ancestors. This experience broadened her midwifery lens with a rich and humble perspective. Terri is a bilingual, Khmer birth worker who is deeply passionate about honoring the birthing experience with timeless, compassionate, and culturally sensitive care.  She is dedicated to diversifying the midwifery profession and working to decrease the rising rates of maternal and infant disparities in the US. As a childbearing person of color, she understands the importance of culturally matched care and how it can improve positively impact these outcomes and improve the overall experience of birthing families.

Van Bussell

Community-based Outreach Doula

Van Bussell

Community-based Outreach Doula

van@openarmsps.org
206-687-4027

Van (they/them) is a non-binary Black woman who is a traditional student midwife, doula, rootworker, sacred healing circle keeper, Black infant health minister, CHW, lactation peer counselor, mindfulness childbirth educator, and so much more. Through traditional ways of healing, preparing the body, mind, and spirit for birth, and postpartum education, Van helps families create the prenatal, perinatal, and postpartum experience that feels right for them.

Vonda Prioleau

Birth Doula Services Lead Doula

Vonda Prioleau

Birth Doula Services Lead Doula

vonda@openarmsps.org
206-584-2289 Ext. 145

Vonda’s passion for doula work led her to join Open Arms in January of 2017 as a BDS doula.  Prior to completing her doula training in 2016, she was (and currently is) a Licensed Massage Therapist. Vonda is married, and a mother to 3 adult children and 1 dog. Vonda loves to travel, read and spend time with family and friends. She is a strong supporter of reproductive justice and for all communities and cultures.

Meet our birth doulas! Open Arms’ Doula Services contracts a team of more than 30 independent birth doulas to provide community-based birth support to our families.

Meet Our Birth Doulas

Alissa Wehrman

Board Member

Alissa Wehrman

Board Member

Alissa Wehrman is a 48-year-old White, queer, married female of Scandinavian descent. She is the mother of an adult child and three fur children. Alissa practiced for 17 years as a Seattle-area birth professional and supported over 700 families as a birth doula with Open Arms and SUNbirth Services. Alissa also taught classes for pregnant people, was a co-director of PALS Doulas, and mentored dozens of doulas. In 2018 she was honored as the Libin Egal Spirit Award recipient from Open Arms. In 2020, Alissa received a Master of Social Work (MSW) from UW. She has been practicing as an addiction counselor in an outpatient treatment program for pregnant and parenting women in White Center since June 2020. She enjoys gardening, bouldering, karaoke, and bird-watching. She is looking forward to becoming more involved in a new role with Open Arms as a board member.

Amanda Heffernan

Board Member

Amanda Heffernan

Board Member

Amanda Heffernan is a nurse-midwife, nursing and midwifery educator, researcher and parent. She began her career here in Seattle, caring for new families as a labor and delivery nurse (and later, lactation consultant) at the Group Health Family Beginnings Unit on Capitol Hill. After 8 years away working as a nurse-midwife in tribal and community health in Arizona, she recently returned to the Pacific Northwest and began teaching in the Seattle University College of Nursing. She is a PhD student whose research on the intersection of migration and reproductive justice was inspired by the strength and dignity of migrant mothers impacted by U.S. immigration enforcement along the Sonora/Arizona border. As a midwife and as a parent, Amanda believes that every family deserves the resources and support they need to thrive, especially those most marginalized by U.S. society. As a researcher, she knows that the impact of the culturally congruent, wrap-around support Open Arms provides to new families is powerfully borne out in the data on improved birth outcomes. She has admired the incredible work of Open Arms for almost twenty years and is thrilled to have the opportunity to serve on the board.

Dan Escobar

Secretary

Dan Escobar

Secretary

Daniel (Dan) Escobar brings over 15 years of Program Development and Management experience with a focus on workforce, economic development, and social enterprise. Dan launched 3E Consulting in 2012 as a venue to continue mission-focused work. He joined Amazon Corporate in 2014 to support the launch of an employee engagement program and is currently a Change Program Manager.

Formerly with Catalyst Kitchens and FareStart, Dan launched Kitchens With Missions (now Catalyst Kitchens) and restructured youth and adult job training programs for FareStart. He utilized his background as a food service professional, with training and business expertise to great success. Dan’s unique skills and experience have been leveraged to benefit 50+ organizations across US and Canada, resulting in the launch of 30+ job training programs and 40+ social enterprises.

Introduced to Open Arms through family and close friends, Dan was inspired by the powerful mission and passionate staff.

Estella C. Williamson

Board Member

Estella C. Williamson

Board Member

Estella C. Williamson, DSW, serves at the faculty rank of Clinical Professor and is the Social Work Field Director in the Social Work Department at Seattle University’s College of Arts and Sciences. Dr. Williamson teaches courses in justice informed advanced clinical practice, theory and field education. She serves as a guest lecturer on field education, culturally-relevant clinical practice and theory.

At the national level, Dr. Williamson served as Chair of the CSWE Council on Field Education and Commissioner on the CSWE Commission on Educational Policy. Dr. Williamson is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the NASW Academy of Certified Social Workers.

Licensed in New York State, Dr. Williamson has professional social work practice experience in child welfare, mental health and substance use disorders, prenatal care services and HIV clinical and preventive care. Dr. Williamson has also maintained a private clinical practice in New York State for many years.

She earned a Doctor of Social Work (DSW) degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Social Work (MSW) degree from the University at Albany, State University of New York. Her research interests are in field education, mental health and HIV prevention among Black women in the United States

Katie Hess

Board Member

Katie Hess

Board Member

Katie M Hess, MPH (Native Hawaiian) is a Senior Research Coordinator at Seven Directions, an Indigenous Public Health Institute at the University of Washington. She spent the previous nine years as a program director focused on culturally-based family support services including Ina Maka Family Program (home visiting), Daybreak Star Doulas, Our Strong Fathers, Kina’ole, and more at United Indians of All Tribes Foundation, an urban Indian organization located in Seattle. Katie has a BA in Comparative Literature from the University of California, Berkeley, and received her Master in Public Health from the University of Washington, Community-Oriented Public Health Program. She is thrilled to join the Open Arms’ Board of Directors because she believes supporting families must be rooted in community-based support and as a parent of two young children, Ramona (4) and Irene (1), she connects deeply with Open Arms’ mission and values.

Mari Offenbecher

Co-President

Mari Offenbecher

Co-President

Mari Offenbecher has spent her professional career as a non-profit leader including nearly three decades as the CEO of School’s Out Washington (SOWA). Mari served as the leader for SOWA, advancing quality, equity and innovation in building the field of after-school and youth development across Washington State. Mari has spent her career dedicated to bringing quality educational opportunities and supports to children and youth. Mari has extensive experience building local, statewide and national coalitions and initiatives that impact systems change for children and youth. She has especially focused these efforts on children of color and children from low-income backgrounds, understanding the critical role that early learning and expanded learning programs play in developing life-long skills and forming meaningful relationships. Mari is currently a Senior Associate with the Valtas Group, a consulting firm focused on guiding leadership transition for social enterprises.

Mari holds a Bachelors degree in Child Development from California State University Sacramento and has conducted research on advanced child development systems at the University of California Berkeley and Edinburgh University. Mari is honored to support Open Arms in furthering their mission to provide vital supports to families during pregnancy, birth and early parenting.

Nika Cull

Treasurer

Nika Cull

Treasurer

Nika built her career with a major international financial services firm, managing a diverse portfolio of companies through growth transitions and fluctuations of the economic cycle, with a focus on strategy, risk analysis, and business development. Most recently, Nika was a VP of Commercial and Technology banking, during which she consulted with leaders of both high-growth and established companies to develop and optimize their funding, asset utilization, and financial infrastructure.

For the past several years, Nika has taken on her most challenging and rewarding role yet– mom to two young children. The births of her children raised Nika’s awareness of the crucial difference being supported and heard can make during the heroic and life-changing–yet vulnerable and intimate–transition to motherhood. This stoked a fire to support community-based advocacy for fellow mothers so they may experience the support, respect, and care of which all birthing people are worthy. Nika is thrilled to humbly draw on all of these experiences as a board member for Open Arms.

Nika holds a degree in Business Administration and a minor in Vocal Music from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She enjoys coaching soccer, hiking, skiing, drinking coffee with good friends, and family adventures near and far.

Pia Sampaga-Khim

Co-President

Pia Sampaga-Khim

Co-President

Pia Sampaga-Khim is the healthy communities specialist focused on opioid prevention work at the Snohomish Health District. She is dedicated to empowering people and communities to engage in all aspects of their health. Her experience includes more than a decade focused on patient and community health education. Through her work at the Snohomish Health District and International Community Health Services, Pia has led individual and group level education, community presentations and in-service trainings for staff, as well as leveraging a multi-cultural, community-based approach to health education related to opioid use disorder, chronic disease conditions and reproductive health.

Kevin Proctor

Board Member

Kevin Proctor

Board Member

Kevin Proctor works in medical administration for the Community Health Services Division of Public Health Seattle & King County. There he provides supervision and direction for a team of nearly 600 employees who provide social safety services in King County Public Health Centers, including First Steps, WIC, prenatal, and family planning services. He both lives and works in communities where the services of Open Arms are both needed and utilized. Kevin is excited to connect clients of Open Arms with services provided by Public Health and vice versa because of the similar target population, geographic locations, and inter-reliant service needs. Kevin also serves on the board of the Fulcrum Foundation, and actively participates in Social Venture Partners and Leadership Tomorrow. He has a BA from Yale University and an MPH in health policy and management from the University of Pittsburgh. Outside of work Kevin enjoys travel (47 countries and 46 states, and counting), spending time with family, and participating in a variety of sports and athletic endeavors.