Click on the names below to read our board member bios.
Leanne Wagner is an Executive Leader/ Business Strategist with more than 25 years of experience in the Pharma/Biotech arena. Leanne has been recognized for her leadership in organizational change, building high performance teams, and strategy formulation. Since retiring from the pharmaceutical industry at the end of 2009, Leanne has been working as an independent consultant. Leanne is a long-time volunteer for Oberlin College and currently serves on the Board of Trustees. She is also a member of the Forum of Executive Women in Philadelphia.
“My mother was trained as a pediatric nurse and then she had four children of her own. What better support and guide could I have had when I was pregnant and then caring for my own daughter? Unfortunately, we haven’t figured out how to provide that sort of education for all of our mothers and we are well behind where we should be on many measures of health care quality. Maternity Care Coalition provides a very pragmatic and effective way to improve the quality of health care for mothers and babies in our community. It is a privilege for me to serve on the Board, building on more than 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry and on what I learned from my own mother.”
Janet Bly has been deeply involved with MCC’s fundraising efforts for several years. Janet holds a M.A. in Social Planning and, as an independent consultant for over 20 years, worked with numerous for-profit and non-profit organizations on issues related to strategic planning, program planning and implementation, and project management. Janet has served on numerous Boards, including City Avenue Hospital, Episcopal Community Services and the Chestnut Hill Hospital Health Care Center. She is currently President and Owner of Signature Gardens, LLC, a garden design firm, and teaches at the Arboretum School of the Barnes Foundation.
“Maternity Care Coalition is distinguished by an unswerving commitment to improve the lives of families in the Philadelphia area as well as a talented and dedicated staff that takes on tough issues and gets results. I am pleased to be a part of MCC’s efforts.”
Laura A. Offutt is a mother and internal medicine physician who currently works as a medical consultant for pharmaceutical companies and biotechs working on developing new medications. Laura has served as Vice-President, Medical Affairs and Medical Safety, for Auxilium Pharmaceuticals, Inc and held several positions within the Medical Research and Global Safety Surveillance and Epidemiology groups at Wyeth Research. Laura received a B.A. from Columbia University, a M.D. at Northwestern University Medical School and completed her Residency in Internal Medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital. Laura is currently a member of the American College of Physicians, previously serving on the Domain Definition Task Force on Primary Care Women’s Health.
“As a mother and as a physician, I appreciate the importance of healthy mothers, children, and families on both a personal as well as a professional level. The breadth of work that Maternity Care Coalition does to support mothers and children through direct service, community and professional education, research, and advocacy results in a tremendous impact within the community, and far beyond at local, state, and national levels.”
Mu’min Islam is a Managing Member of MFI Law Group and a parent of a former Early Head Start child with special needs. He is also an adjunct professor at Temple University Fox School of Business where he teaches Law and Society, an introductory law class. Mu’min worked previously in corporate law, as an associate specializing in securities transactions, corporate governance, and general corporate. He holds a BBA from Temple University, a JD from Samford University, Cumberland School of Law, and LLM from Georgetown University Law Center in Securities and Finance.
Saul Epstein is the CEO of Global Harness Systems which has locations in Texas, Pennyslvania, Michigan, Mexico and India. Saul has a career spanning over three decades in the corporate world. Saul is also the President of Cyberplace, Inc., a developer of upscale apartments on the East Coast, Florida and in North Carolina. Previously he was a Principal with Opinion Research Corporation, Robinson Alarm Company and Crossway Ventures, Inc and Partner at Ernst and Young, LLP. Saul has also served in the military for the Army Security Agency, Reserve Unit. Saul is a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) , Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the Pennsylvania & New Jersey Bar. In addition to his professional experience, he has served on the boards of the Committee of Seventy and the Beth David Reform Congregation. Since 1999, Saul has been a loyal and long-standing member of MCC’s Finance Committee. Saul volunteers with Big Brothers/ Big Sisters Program. He is married to Roberta Epstein and has two adult children.
Darlyne Bailey is currently the Dean and Professor of the Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research at Bryn Mawr College, where she also serves as Special Assistant to the President for Community Partnerships. She has held faculty and administrative positions at several universities. Darlyne currently serves on the Board of the Stoneleigh Foundation, the Frances Hesselbein Leadership Institute, the National Human Services Assembly, and the Suzanne & Richard Pieper Foundation in addition to numerous editorial boards. She has published three books on topics about which she is passionate, reflecting her interests and values, including Sustaining Our Spirits: Women Leaders Thriving for Today and Tomorrow. Further, Darlyne has published numerous articles and book chapters in the areas of small group, organizational, and community transformation and leadership, and the formation and sustainability of strategic alliances.
“It is truly an honor to be able to contribute to all that Maternity Care Coalition provides for so many. As reflected in the lives of my own family and in the words of my dear friend, Frances Hesselbein, ‘To live is to serve.’ The MCC staff, through their service in this incredible organization, show us all daily how to live most fully.”
Caroline Campbell is the Manager of the Women’s Wellness Department at Congreso De Latinos Unidos. Caroline has managed the Conexiones Youth Health Empowerment Program and coordinated the Alcanza Care Project, a federally funded demonstration project focused on improving outcomes for teen parents. She also teaches social work practice courses at Temple University School of Social Administration, where she collaborated on the NICHD Study of Early Childhood Care. A former Fulbright scholar in Equador, Caroline has traveled and volunteered extensively throughout Central and Latin America.
“As a social worker, and as a new mother of a one year old daughter, I know intimately how integral supportive services are for families. It can make all the difference in how families are able to grow, change, and nurture themselves. Maternity Care Coalition serves as a beacon of hope in this often challenging, yet incredibly rewarding journey toward increasing positive health and life outcomes for vulnerable families.”
Judith Faust is the Service Line Administrator and Clinical Director of Women and Children’s Services at Albert Einstein Health Care Network. Judy brings experience in information systems, marketing, staff development and new business development. Prior to her tenure at Einstein in 1997, Beginning her career as a registered nurse, Judy has served in the administration of Founders Health Care Inc. and Pennsylvania Hospital. Judy is currently a member of the Health Care Leadership Network of the Delaware Valley, the American College of Health Care Executives, and the American Organization of Nurse Executives.
“Having worked in the field of women and children’s health care for over 25 years, I have been involved with Maternity Care Coalition and value the advocacy work and services it provides for women, children, and families. I know that MCC provides needed services to many families in the Philadelphia area. I am honored to serve on the Board of such a wonderful organization.”
Rosemarie Halt is a part-time Safe Medications instructor for the ECELS/PA Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Rosemarie brings over 20 years of community leadership and public policy expertise, having worked alongside a variety of government officials on health policy issues locally and statewide. She began her career as a registered pharmacist and from 1996-2002 served as Republican Committeewoman in the Media Borough. A recent graduate of University of the Sciences MPH Program, Rosemarie completed her policy internship at MCC in 2011. She is a member of several professional organizations and non-profit Boards, including USciences. In addition, she is founder and co-chair of the Working Group for a Delaware County Health Department and current member of the Delaware County Strategic National Stockpile Team.
Stacey Helmers is the mother of three girls and democratic committeeperson for Lower Merion Township. Stacey currently serves on the Board of Lafayette College’s Friends of Skillman Library, and is the Chair of MCC’s vibrant Children’s Brunch event. Stacey holds a Masters degree in Government Administration from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received the Liberty Bell Award for Outstanding Service to Philadelphia. She has previously served as Director of Public Policy at the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance, and Senior Legislative Aide to Philadelphia City Councilwoman Joan Specter, whose 1992 campaign fundraising efforts Stacey coordinated.
“MCC has become one of our family’s top philanthropic priorities because we feel there is no cause more important than helping children at the earliest stage in life. And we know that every dollar we donate, every hour we give is helping to create a better future for families in our area thanks to MCC.”
Katayun Jaffari is partner in the Business and Finance Department of Ballard Spahr, LLP in Philadelphia. She advises company directors regarding fiduciary duties and corporate governance. Katayun is active in community organizations, most recently serving as President of the Support Center for Child Advocates and currently as Vice President of the Scleroderma Foundation’s Delaware Valley Chapter. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Business Law Section and Chair of the Section’s Small Business Committee. Katayun chairs the Board Engagement and Sustainability Task Force and is the Content Director for the Corporate Governance Committee of the American Bar Association. As a member of the Forum of Executive Women she is Vice-Chair of the Women in Corporate Leadership Committee and chairs the board education series. Katayun is an adjunct professor at Temple University and a member of Impact 100 and Beta Gamma Sigma, the international business honors society. Katayun has been named one of Pennsylvania’s 2013 “Super Lawyers” for securities and corporate finance. Her other honors include being named as Committee Chair of the Year by the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Business Law Section, SmartCEO‘s Legal Elite list, one of Philadelphia’s “40 Under 40″ by Philadelphia Business Journal, and one of Pennsylvania’s “Lawyers on the Fast Track,” by American Lawyer Media.
Keisha Jordan is the Director of Admissions, PreK - 8th Girls, at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy. Prior to joining SCH, Keisha was an independent organizational development consultant, working with non-profit organizations to create and implement strategic plans to meet fundraising, community outreach, and public relations goals. Keisha has served as CEO of the Philadelphia Black Alliance for Educational Options (BAEO) and Executive Director of Computers for Youth Philadelphia. She has served on the Board of six youth/education organizations, including her current chairmanship of Philadelphia BAEO. She is a member of a number of associations, among them Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. She is a past recipient of the Eisenhower Fellowship, having studied education in New Zealand and Australia.
“I am thrilled to be a part of Maternity Care Coalition. This organization serves one of the most important populations in our society: moms and their new babies. MCC plays a critical role in supporting our city’s newest and most vulnerable citizens.”
Elliot Levine is Vice President of Sales Development at Rumsey Electric, prior to this he was a partner in the Philadelphia-based consulting firm of CANDOR Consulting focusing on sales assessment, strategic design and organizational development. Elliot’s previous experience includes several lead executive roles in four technology companies ranging in size from $40M – $4.5B. He holds a B.A., Magna Cum Laude, in Education and Psychology from University of Massachusetts. He also serves on the Board of the Phoenixville Community Education Foundation.
Jane Mathisen is a board certified psychiatrist in private practice committed to improving the health of women and children. She has Chaired MCC’s Research Committee and worked on 1995 Baby Blues Conference on Perinatal Depression. In 2000, she was awarded “Top Doc for Women” in Psychiatry by Philadelphia Magazine. She has been active with the Philadelphia Psychiatric Society and served as the President in 2003-4. Jane holds a B.A. in Social Work from University of California Berkeley and M.D. from Yale University. She is the mother of two and also enjoys teaching residents.
“The welfare of women and children has been the theme of my professional life. The work of Maternity Care Coalition makes a difference in the lives of women and children today and for generations to come. I feel proud to be associated with an organization that is so well run and filled with talented people with the same dedication.”
Will Mundy is a Vice President, Financial Advisor, and Portfolio Manager at Morgan Stanley. He holds the Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor (CRPC) designation from the College for Financial Planning, and he has a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Business from Lafayette College. Will is Series 7, 66, and PA Life Accident and Health licensed. He was featured in Registered Rep Magazine in 2010 and The Wall Street Journal Online in 2011 for his marketing techniques and has been the recipient of the Top Wealth Manager Award in Philadelphia Magazine for 2010, 2011 and 2012. In addition to his professional experience Will has worked on the capital campaign for St. David’s Church in Wayne, PA and is currently a member of Maternity Care Coalition (MCC)’s Finance Committee. Will is also a supporter of MCC’s Celebrating Father’s Golf Classic. Will currently resides in Wayne, PA with his wife Missy and daughters Madeleine and Molly.
“It is a privilege to serve on the Board of Directors of Maternity Care Coalition. As a husband and father of one daughter and another on the way I wanted to be part of an organization that helps educate mothers on the importance of prenatal care and helps children get a head start on life.”
Soozung Sa Rankin recently completed her masters degree with a thesis that focused on the Sprituality of Babies and currently juggles details of being a mother and doing freelance projects. She and her husband Brian moved to Philadelphia, Fairmount neighborhood in 2005. They have a young son and two rescue dogs. Soozung has spent most of her life working with children, youth and families in different communities of faith and other organizations. She
enjoys volunteering in the community at various organizations and also serves on the Board of Directors of Ready, Willing and Able, Philadelphia.
“One of my favorite lines about being a mother, comes from a 1983 movie, Terms of Endearment. Emma Horton, played by Debra Winger, is dying and talking with her husband who is about to be a single father of their three young children. He admits ‘it’s a lot of work,’ and thinks he will ‘probably screw it up.’ Emma then says to him, ‘As hard as you think it is, you end up wishing it were that easy.’ I appreciate how this motivates me and helps me realize I am not alone as I try to find work life balance on a daily basis. I hope my contributions to the Maternity Care Coalition will help other parents to feel connected to each other, their resources, the community, and their families.”
Mona Sarfaty is a family physician and is currently the Director of the Program on Climate and Health at the Center for Climate Change Communication at George Mason University. Prior to this, she was a Professor at Jefferson Medical College, in the Department of Family and Community Medicine with a joint appointment in the Jefferson School of Population Health. She was also a Training Director at the Center for Dissemination of the Patient Centered Medical Home. She has worked to improve population health, especially in the area of access to care, at the local and national level for 40 years. She has been a member of the National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (a national leadership group supported by the CDC and the American Cancer Society) since 2005. She has also served in a leadership capacity for the Medical Care Section of the American Public Health Association for nearly a decade. Locally, she sits on the Public Health Executive Committee of the Philadelphia College of Physicians. Dr. Sarfaty was formerly the Associate Director for Health Policy on the staff of the U.S. Senate Health Committee (now H.E.L.P.) during which time she handled many issues and contributed to many pieces of legislation affecting health care access (including maternal and child health), graduate medical and nursing education, biomedical research, tobacco use, and HIV services.
“I serve on the Board of Maternity Care Coalition because it provides the kind of services that are needed to support better birth outcomes and healthy child development. It is time for all institutions in Philadelphia and the surrounding areas that can have a positive impact to coordinate efforts and make these goals a reality. MCC works to promote these goals.”
Liza Seltzer, Executive Vice President for Performance Excellence, Applied Clinical Intelligence (ACI). Liza has served in management positions in the pharmaceutical and public health spaces for over 20 years, including several years in Latin America. At ACI, she provides the focus and leadership necessary for ACI to best serve its clinical research customers through results-driven performance. Liza is a member of the Board of Directors for the Keystone Alliance for performance Excellence and the Board of Overseers for the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award. She has a BA from Georgetown University and a MA in Law and Diplomacy from The Fletcher School at Tufts University. Liza has been a longtime supporter and Carnation Club member of Maternity Care Coalition (MCC). Every year, Liza has participated in the Celebrating Mothers Campaign and has volunteered along with some of her co-workers at MCC events.
Bonnie Shuman has 30 years of experience in management and handling corporate governance and Board matters. She retired from Siemens Medical Solutions Health Services in 2008, where she was responsible for all legal affairs of the company. Prior to her work as a corporate lawyer, she received her B.A. in Child Development and M.A. in Education, and taught Head Start. Bonnie has served on several Boards, serving as Chair to the Delaware Valley Chapter of the American Corporate Counsel Association and DuPortail House, Inc. She is currently Vice Chair of the Board of Main Line School Night.
“It is a privilege to serve on the Board of Maternity Care Coalition. The goals of this organization coincide with my personal belief in the importance of strong, healthy, educated mothers and young children. MCC provides support for mothers and families to reach these goals, and thereby strengthens families and communities.”
Karen Spiro is the principal of EVENTures, a firm specializing in special events, sponsorship and marketing. A wide range of non-profit organizations have benefitted from Karen’s expertise, most recently the Bicentennial of the Academy of Natural Sciences, which ends in March 2013. Ms. Spiro is a member of the advisory board of the World Affairs Council of Philadelphia and has been affiliated with Philadelphia Mural Arts Advocates and St. Christopher’s Hospital for Children, among other organizations. Karen studied at New York University and Philadelphia College of Art, now a school of the University of the Arts. A former child birth educator, lactation consultant and delivery room nurse at Jefferson, Karen’s work with MCC is a return to her “roots.”
“I am a former delivery room nurse who has seen young mothers who are neither prepared for what lies ahead, nor supported by strong family structures. As a mother and grandmother of three, it is my goal to make prenatal care and new mother education available and accessible for all.”
Charmaine Smith Wright is enjoying her two children Lydia (3.5) and Luke (22 months). She has spearheaded MCC’s maternal obesity project, conducted training for staff on protocol development, statistical methodology, nutrition and obesity, and worked with MCC to improve nutrition for incarcerated women in Philadelphia. A past Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar and current Assistant Professor in General Internal Medicine at UPenn, Charmaine graduated from Harvard College and Medical School and is board certified in both internal medicine and pediatrics. Charmaine recently was selected one of the “Best 40 under 40” out of 7,000 graduates of Carmel Catholic High School, Mundelein, IL. She is currently a member of Massachusetts Medical Society, American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Society of General Internal Medicine. Her research interests include maternal-child health, nutrition, obesity and pregnancy. Her work has been published in the American Journal of Hypertension, Maternal Child Health Journal, and Journal of Healthcare for the Poor and Underserved.
“Maternity Care Coalition’s mission is simple and decent—to improve maternal and child wellbeing. I am honored to join MCC’s outstanding staff in doing this very important work.”
Nakia Stith, at the age of 22 assumed a leadership role at Top of the Clock Inc., a West Philadelphia-based security and protection services firm started by her father in 1991. Nakia immediately led the company through a sweeping turnaround taking the company from near bankruptcy to profitability with consistent annual growth. Ever focused on pioneering new paradigms, in 2011 Nakia launched ResilienC - an innovative and socially conscious firm that addresses the security, safety, and public health of urban communities holistically. She has pioneered a new approach to safe environments that makes it easier to establish trust and cooperation in facilities, schools, and communities. Her goal is to create a higher level of consciousness around security, safety, and public health issues – one that challenges and influences policies and procedures to improve lives. Nakia is an avid supporter of traditional prenatal healthcare and education; she empowers women and families to take control of their pre-natal and childbirth experiences by serving as a doula and childbirth educator.
Victoria Zellers has co-chaired MCC’s highly successful Mother’s Day Events since 2010, recruiting new donors and volunteers for MCC. Victoria also chairs MCC’s Human Resources Committee and was involved in MCC’s Strategic Planning Committee. Victoria is a Partner at Cozen O’Connor and specializes in labor and employment law. Victoria earned her undergraduate degree from James Madison University and her law degree from Temple University Beasley School of Law. Victoria lives in Philadelphia’s Fairmount neighborhood.