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 Lead

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

Latinx Community Specialist Lead and Birth Doula Services Lead Doula

Betty Hernandez

Latinx Community Specialist Lead and Birth Doula Services Lead Doula

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

Cynthia Turrietta, LICSW, is a seasoned nonprofit leader, and a vetted reflective consultant through the Washington Association of Infant Mental Health. The child of immigrant parents, she is passionate about culturally responsive services and equitable access to care. She oversees all Open Arms programs and provides technical assistance to other doula organizations. Cynthia is also the co-creator of the field-based trainings: “Let’s Talk about Babies: An intro to infant mental health and relationship-based work” and “The 10-month Transformation, Healing and Liberation in Reflective Practice”. Cynthia received her MA in Social Work from California State University, Long Beach; and her BS from California State University, Fullerton.

De Angelo Jones

Finance Director

De Angelo Jones

Finance Director

deangelo@openarmsps.org

When De Angelo Jones was growing up in Seattle, he wanted to be a NASCAR driver. Little did he know that following in his grandfather’s footsteps in the world of finance would be his path. De Angelo graduated from Northern Arizona University and now serves as Open Arms Finance Director, overseeing fiscal management. De Angelo has been working in the nonprofit sector for six years now and is passionate about helping facilitate help to the community through his work. He loves watching movies, eating food, and playing with his children.

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 three 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 and Advocacy Lead

Elena Maria Teare

Communications and Advocacy Lead

elenat@openarmsps.org
206-350-4853 Ext. 1536

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 and Community Education Lead

Elizabeth Montez

Lactation Support Peer Counseling Clinical Lead and Community Education 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.

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, she became familiar with the organization through her ongoing participation as a Community Advisor Committee member at White Center, Washington State in 2008. Over the past 15 years, her main focus has been to create a safe and supportive environment for families to share their thoughts and feelings. She is dedicated to promoting early learning among her clients and has earned a Promoting First Relationships certification to support this goal. Hawa is also committed to providing culturally sensitive care to Somali women, who have unique cultural needs, and helping them have a healthy pregnancy.

As a community-based outreach doula mentor, Hawa guides other doulas in providing model fidelity and supporting relationship-building with their clients. She believes that it is an honor and a privilege to witness such an intimate time in women’s lives, and she approaches her work with sensitivity, compassion, and respect for the diverse needs of each family. Overall, Hawa’s goal is to help families navigate the perinatal period with confidence and grace and to empower them to build strong and healthy relationships with their newborns. Her personal experience as a mother of three children has also given her a deep appreciation for the challenges and joys of parenthood, which she brings to her work as an Outreach Doula.

Isabel Vicente Dominguez

Family Connector

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 Bess (she/her) is the Family Support Services Program director at Open Arms Perinatal Services. As a mother of three her birth experiences led her to the field of birth work, training to be a birth doula to support Black birthing people. Her experience includes time as a home visitor providing birth doula support, community-based home visitor program administration, and group facilitation experience leading Black Moms groups with Families of Color Seattle. She is passionate about reproductive justice, and ensuring families have access to the care, support, and resources they need. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her children, reading all types of books, and enjoying and creating art.

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.

Janauvia Anthony

Family Support Services and Volunteer Coordinator

Janauvia Anthony

Family Support Services and Volunteer Coordinator

Janauvia@openarmsps.org
(206) 357-3308

Janauvia Anthony, affectionately known as Navi, is a dedicated professional with a rich background in maternal and infant care, specializing in support for Black families across various sectors. Hailing from Atlanta, Georgia, Navi’s journey has encompassed private, nonprofit, tech, and government spaces. With a profound commitment to the well-being of families, Navi’s career has spanned roles in lactation care, care coordination, and community advocacy.

Furthermore, Navi’s dream impact extends to government spaces, where she has played a pivotal role in shaping policies that prioritize the health and welfare of Black families. Beyond her professional endeavors, Navi’s adventurous spirit fuels her love for travel and exploration of diverse cuisines. She shares moments of joy through TikTok dances with her son, thrift shopping, and indulging in self-care.

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.

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.

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.”

Marie Schlagel

Donor Relations Associate

Marie Schlagel

Donor Relations Associate

marie@openarmsps.org

Marie Schlagel (she/they) joins Open Arms with a passion for public health and reproductive justice. Having worked in the non-profit sector for almost a decade, Marie has collaborated with
communities across the Midwest and the West Coast in education, youth development, and community-centered healthcare. They see fundraising as a vehicle for public education, activating advocates, and deepening connections to shared values. Marie centers strength-based storytelling and authenticity in their fundraising practice. Marie was born in Panama near the canal and grew up in the Kansas plains. Now, they marvel at the Salish Sea and Mt. Tahoma every day in the Seattle area. They live with their fiancée and two mischief-making cats.

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.

Natasha Blanchard

Intake Coordinator

Natasha Blanchard

Intake Coordinator

I came into birth work with a passion,  curiosity, and appreciation for the amazing capabilities of the human body. Giving life is precious and can be an emotionally exhausting time. We need support. We deserve support. Being there to support them with love and care for them emotionally, physically, and mentally is what we all have been missing. I believe for the past centuries in the United States, especially women of color, have been separated from our lineage, heritage, and ancestral rights. Being unable to birth the way we inherently know how to has been one of my main goals in educating young persons, single persons, birthing people, etc. Bringing the knowledge back, the pride and the skills passed down is very special to me.

My website is birthmarksrenewed.com

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

qadra@openarmsps.org

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.

Rokea Jones

Community Engagement Specialist

Rokea Jones

Community Engagement Specialist

rokea@openarmsps.org
(206) 488-5378

Rokea Jones is a birth worker, educator & community advocate. As a practitioner, she is a Full Circle Doula, Certified Lactation, Educator, and Peer Counselor. Rokea holds a Masters degree in Public Administration and Certification as an Infant Mental Health Specialist (IMH-E®). As the Community Engagement Specialist at Open Arms, Rokea leads community engagement and education efforts to strengthen community reach.

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.

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.

Annette Promes

Board Member

Annette Promes

Board Member

Annette has worked in marketing for more than two decades, holding leadership positions in marketing, operations, and analytics across a variety of for-profit and non-profit organizations. Those include KUOW, Kiva Microfunds, Amazon, Big Fish Games, Expedia, Microsoft, and AT&T/Cingular Wireless. Annette also practiced as a part-time birth doula for 18 years, trained at the Seattle Midwifery School in 2000, and volunteered for a time with Operation Special Delivery to provide free doula support to the partners of deployed military personnel.

Annette is currently the Chief Marketing Officer at KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio, where she is responsible for enhancing KUOW’s reputation in the community, igniting brand obsession among core and new audiences, growing and engaging an increasingly diverse audience, and influencing a heightened value proposition among KUOW listeners to create a climate conducive to philanthropy. Annette was previously the Chief Marketing Officer for Kiva Microfunds, a non-profit focused on crowd-funded loans that increase financial inclusion for women, displaced people, minorities, and small-holder farmers in 70+ countries.

Annette has taught Applied Digital Marketing at the University of Washington Continuum College since 2020.  She completed her undergraduate work at the University of Washington, holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and earned a certificate in Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion from Cornell.

C. Marie Taylor

Board Member

C. Marie Taylor

Board Member

Marie is a leadership, diversity, and race equity consultant with over 25 years of expertise in guiding organizations to establish safe, equitable, inclusive, and people-centered work environments. In Ms. Taylor’s immediate past role as the President and Chief Executive Officer of Leadership Montgomery, she served as the organization’s main thought leader – creating racial equity training and technical assistance programming. Before her time at Leadership Montgomery, Ms. Taylor served as the Executive Director of the Greater Washington Community Foundation of Montgomery County, where she was instrumental in initiating countywide research that led to the creation of the Children’s Opportunity Fund. As a skilled facilitator, dynamic executive coach, and an adept racial equity consultant, Ms. Taylor is also credited with igniting Adventist HealthCare to integrate race equity focus into their work, which led to their reconfiguration of business processes using a racial equity lens, including changing practices, policies, and procedures. Ms. Taylor holds a B.A. in human relations and an M.B.A. in nonprofit management from Trinity Washington University.

Dan Escobar

Board Member

Dan Escobar

Board Member

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.

Dawn Croft

Board Member

Dawn Croft

Board Member

Dawn Croft has spent the last decade as in-house counsel for various global companies. Currently, she is Senior Counsel for new business verticals at DoorDash in Seattle, where she advises on product and regulatory matters. Before DoorDash, Dawn served in various in -house counsel roles in Seattle and Louisville, KY for Amazon KFC US and Yum Brands. Prior to her corporate counsel life, Dawn practiced law at Frost Brown Todd law firm in Louisville. She received her B.A. from Yale University and her J.D. from the University of Kentucky. While in Louisville, Dawn served on several community non-profit boards, with focuses on mental health, housing, youth, and education. Dawn and her husband (also an in-house attorney) live and work remotely in Seattle with their young daughter who could run circles around them when it comes to negotiation skills.

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

Kathy Park, MD MPH

Board Member

Kathy Park, MD MPH

Board Member

Kathy Park has worked in healthcare and medical education for over 20 years. She is a general pediatrician and is privileged to partner with parents to care for children primarily residing in South King County. While patients and families remain at the center of her work, she holds several other roles including Clinical Professor and Project Lead for Birth to Five programming. She continues to be awed and inspired by the birth of a new baby and the strength and brilliance of families. She believes our strongest lever of impact occurs during the first few years of life – when critical brain development occurs – and the foundation is laid for lifelong health, development, and overall well-being.

Kathy holds a BA from the University of California at Berkeley, an MD from Case Western Reserve University, and an MPH from the University of Washington. She and her husband have two teenage sons.

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.

Kevin Proctor

Co-President

Kevin Proctor

Co-President

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.

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.

Meg Crager

Board Member

Meg Crager

Board Member

Meg is an independent consultant who specializes in gender-based violence intervention and prevention. She led the planning and implementation of the regional Domestic Hopeline in King County. She is the co-founder of the STEP-UP program for youth who are violent towards their parents. She helped to develop the Children’s Domestic Violence Response Team, a collaborative program to support children experiencing domestic violence and their supportive parent. She has teamed up with culturally specific agencies to help develop and fund new projects and programs for survivors of gender-based violence, including the Somali Family Safety Task Force, API Chaya, and the NW Network of LGBTQ Survivors of Abuse. She is the co-author of “Helping Children Who Experience Domestic Violence: A Guide for Parents,”  a curriculum to help survivors of domestic violence and people who cause harm to support their children. She has worked as a consultant to the Coalition Ending Gender Based Violence, Seattle King County Coalition on Homelessness, Plymouth Housing, Sound Health, Center for Children & Youth Justice, API Chaya, King County Office of Management and Budget, the Washington State Office of Civil Legal Aid, the cities of Seattle, Kent, Tukwila, United Way of King County, and other non-profits.

Meg is the mother of a 19-year-old and believes that the experience of parenting provided her with the greatest educational experience of her life.  She has an MA in Developmental Psychology from Columbia University Teachers’ College and is a volunteer advocate with the King County Family Law CASA program.

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

Secretary

Pia Sampaga-Khim

Secretary

Pia Sampaga-Khim is an Assistant Director of Prevention Services with the Snohomish County Health Department. Being a public health professional, she has sixteen years of experience in health education and the implementation of programs that advocate for the health and wellness of the community at large.  Her career began as a health educator at International Community Health Services (ICHS), leading individual and group-level education, community presentations, and in-service training for staff.  It was during her time at ICHS that she found her career path in implementing a multi-cultural, community-based approach to addressing health care disparities among communities that have been historically excluded.  In 2018, she moved over to Snohomish County Health Department to work closer to home as she raises her young children (Mylina – 7, Emerson – 5).  Working for the Snohomish County Health Department, her mission is to ensure that the community has a voice in how public health addresses their needs to improve community health outcomes.

Pia was introduced to Open Arms through a former board member.  She joined the board in 2017 and was excited to serve the community in a different capacity and be involved in an organization rooted in community-based support.