Board and Staff

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dave Alter
Founder & Partner, AV Capital
Co-Founder, Hand to Hold

Dave Alter

Dave Alter and his wife Allie are the parents of three children, including Jada Reese who was born preterm at 23 weeks gestation with her twin, Reese Corbin. Reese Corbin passed away shortly after birth, while Jada Reese spent 4.5 months in the NICU and today is a healthy and happy little girl. Dave co-founded Hand to Hold in honor of Reese’s life and as a testament to Jada’s incredible fighting spirit.

Dave Alter is a Founder and Partner of AV Capital, an Austin, Texas-based private equity firm that makes control investments in entrepreneurial middle market companies as the first-time institutional investor. Prior to founding AV Capital, Dave was a Principal at Austin Ventures where he spent more than 8 years sourcing, executing, and managing middle market investments across a number of industries. Previously, Dave was an investment banker at Greenhill & Co. and started his career at UBS Investment Bank.

Dave received an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and holds a BBA with high honors from the Business Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin. An active participant in the non-profit community, Dave has also served on the LIVESTRONG Foundation’s Young Leaders Cancer Council, and is the Founder and a prior board member of the Texas Lacrosse Alumni Association.

Bree Borgsteadt
Owner, Querencia Therapy

Bree BorgsteadtBree Borgsteadt, LCSW is the owner of Querencia Therapy, a private psychotherapy practice in Northwest Austin, and a NICU mom. Her connection to Hand to Hold’s mission stems from her daughter’s birth at 35 weeks after spending 21 days on bedrest. Now age 3, her daughter spent 47 days in the Neonatal ICU.

Bree has a passion for working with women, in particular. She provides mental health therapy services that address a range of issues that affect women in today’s society, such as anxiety, depression, body image, pre-and postpartum issues, as well as grief and loss from child loss or illness. She is a warm, caring professional that brings a sense of empathy and compassion to the therapeutic environment.
She is also the founder of Austin Women’s Service Club, a service organization dedicated to bringing women in Austin together to serve and support local non-profit organizations through donations of time, money and goods.

Bree is a long time Austinite, having received both her Bachelor of Science in Social Work and Masters in Social Work degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. Her employment experience is vast, including areas such as the family court system, medical Social Work, and providing therapy in local schools.

Todd Boullion
President, UnsubCentral

Todd BoullionTodd’s nephew was born premature, so he has seen first hand the challenges families face when a child comes early.

Todd is currently the president of UnsubCentral, which is a software solutions company that helps Fortune 1000 advertisers comply with federal anti-spam laws. Prior to Todd’s role at UnsubCentral, he spent over 10 years at Dell in functions spanning finance, online, product marketing, communications, product management and global operations. His first role was the business analyst on Dell’s pioneering E-Business team, where they generated over $50MM in revenue a day via online channels. His last role was leading a Global Commercial Marketing team co-located in the US & EU, responsible for creating and executing worldwide plans to drive market share across all commercial offerings. Prior to Dell, Todd had a career in commercial banking.

Todd graduated magna cum laude with a B.B.A. in Finance from the M.J. Neeley School of Business at Texas Christian University and has a minor in Political Science. He was named the Finance Student of the Year and is a member of Beta Gamma Sigma business honor society. He has remained involved as member of the national alumni board.

Clio Armitage Harper III, MD
Vice President, Austin Retina Associates

Dr. Harper was born in Nashville, Tennessee, and later attended St. Stephen’s Episcopal High School in Austin.  After graduating with honors from Vanderbilt University with a degree in molecular biology, he earned his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma in 1988.  Upon completing his residency at Charity Hospital, Louisiana State University in New Orleans, he held a two-year fellowship at the prestigious Casey Eye Institute, University of Oregon in Portland, where he received specialty training in medical and surgical retina, as well as retinopathy of prematurity.  He joined Austin Retina Associates in 1995.

With expertise that includes macular hole and retinal detachment surgery, retinopathy of prematurity and macular degeneration, Dr. Harper is a nationally recognized speaker on the management of retinopathy of prematurity and on the role of nutrition in macular degeneration.  He is actively involved in research in both pharmacological and nutritional therapies for the treatment and prevention of macular degeneration. He has also served as an investigator for numerous clinical trials.

Dr. Harper is a consultant at the University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio and at the city’s University Hospital, where he teaches residents and provides vitreoretinal care for infants with retinopathy of prematurity.  Passionate about bringing quality ophthalmic care to developing countries, Dr. Harper travels worldwide teaching and performing surgery with local physicians. Recent travels have included trips to Haiti with Vanderbilt University Eye Project, and to Lanzhou, China, with Project Orbis, the worlds only flying eye hospital. His travels and contributions have received local and national recognition.

Dr. Harper is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, American Medical Association, Association of Research in Vision and Ophthalmology, Texas Medical Association and the Travis County Medical Society. He also served as Chief of Ophthalmology at Brackenridge Hospital from 2005-2008.  Additionally, he is a regional consultant for Alcon and each year Texas Monthly magazine has included him in “Best Doctors in Texas”.

Dr. Harper’s wife, Ruthie, is an internal medicine physician specializing in nutritional medicine and non-surgical aesthetics.  They have two children, Holly and Beau.

Ryan Kelly
Realtor at Keller Williams Realty, Inc.

Ryan KellyRyan is an award-winning 15 year veteran of the communications industry with a trilogy of broadcast journalism, public relations agency, and Fortune 500 corporate communications experience.

Ryan is a current member of the Time Warner Cable corporate communications team, focused on communications strategy and campaign development for national initiatives and competitive campaigns. Key roles include strategic planning, project development and management, media relations, competitive intelligence, brand positioning, content creation and campaign reporting. In addition, Ryan stepped in to assist the TWC Sports public relations team in 2015, leading external communications for Time Warner Cable’s SportsChannels nationwide. Additional responsibilities with Time Warner Cable have included social media, presentation development, and community investment. Ryan’s integrated campaigns at TWC have been honored with three ACC Beacon Awards and one CableFAX Digital and Tech award.

Prior to joining TWC, Ryan was a senior account executive with PetersGroup Public Relations, serving clients in a wide range of sectors including technology, real estate, financial services, consumer, and non-profit. Ryan spent the first eight years of his communications career as a broadcast journalist in Texas with roles including news anchor, reporter, and producer with KLBJ-AM, KWTX, and KVUE.

Professionally, Ryan has played an active role serving in leadership positions for several industry organizations including PRSA, Association of Cable Communicators, and International Association of Business Communicators, most recently on the 2014 IABC Southern Region Conference Marketing Committee.

Ryan is an active member in the Austin community as a volunteer and board member, currently serving as an advisory board member for the Neighborhood Longhorns Program. He also served six years as a board member for the Young Men’s Business League of Austin, which oversees operation and fundraising for the Austin Sunshine Camps. Roles with the YMBL board included co-chair of the 2010 Austin Under 40 Awards, VP of Special Events, and VP of Communications. In his first year with the organization, he was selected as the 2008 YMBL Member of the Year. Additional organizations Ryan has supported include The Settlement Home for Children and the Greater Austin Hispanic Chamber of Commerce.

Ryan has two degrees in Broadcast Journalism and Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin. Raised in Waco, he and his wife Andi have a 1-year old son Andrew and live in Southwest Austin.

Doug Levine
Owner, Growing Places Therapy Services, PLLC

Doug LevineDoug Levine and his wife Stephanie are the parents of three children and the owners of Growing Places Therapy Services, PLLC. Doug graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas at Austin, earning his Bachelor of Science degree in psychology with a minor in music in 1994. As the student body president, Doug went on to earn his Master of Science in Physical Therapy from Texas Woman’s University in 1997. He has been a practicing physical therapist for the past 16 years, and has specialized in pediatrics since beginning his career at the CP Rehabilitation Center in
Beaumont, Texas.

Doug was recruited by the late Paul Molanphy to work as a physical therapist in Austin at Dell Children’s Medical Center in 2003. While there, he provided PT to children of all ages, from NICU to outpatient. He was part of the multidisciplinary team for spasticity, orthopedic, wheelchair, and neurological specialty clinics on a monthly basis. Doug has continued to provide his services at a monthly muscular dystrophy clinic where his skills and experience have assisted neurologists, patients, and their families for over 6 years.

Doug’s desire to help children improve their functional skills where they live and play led him and Stephanie to form Growing Places Therapy Services, PLLC. Since 2006, Growing Places has served over 400 children and their families, providing pediatric physical, occupational, and speech therapies in the home, school, and daycare settings. Doug particularly enjoys working closely with the families of the children he serves, helping them to educate themselves, facilitate communication between medical disciplines, and providing support and resources to families in need of guidance.

Although running the business takes a good deal of time, Doug’s passion for working directly with the children and families drives him to continue make that his top priority. Some of Doug’s interests include backpacking, camping, hiking, and cycling. He volunteers every summer at the MDA Summer Camp as a therapist, allowing children with muscular dystrophy to experience sleep-away camp in a safe, fun environment. A chance meeting at a Party City between Kelli Kelley and Doug’s wife, Stephanie, led to Doug’s impassioned involvement with Hand to Hold as a Founder’s Circle Member since its inception. Doug is honored, and thrilled to begin serving on the board of such a worthwhile and needed organization. He hopes to continue to help families navigate the waters of raising a baby with prematurity from his perspective as a pediatric physical therapist, and looks forward to offering support to these families in ways he has not been able to before.

Lana Macrum-Craig, Board President
Executive Director, The Private Bank at J.P. Morgan

Lana Macrum-Craig hand to holdHaving lived several lifetimes between the day that Allie was born preterm at 26 weeks with an unexpected genetic disorder and the following 18 days when this angel was called to heaven, Lana Macrum-Craig understands life, hardship and loss. From this tragic experience and her natural career path in finance, she is dedicated to enhancing the lives of everyone who crosses her path and those whom she seeks out that share this common bond. Her commitment to support is most evident in the little lives that join their families a bit too early to sustain the most “normal” stages of infancy. Lana joined Hand to Hold to carry out the shared vision of providing information and resources to families that face the daily challenges associated with preterm birth, genetic disorders and bereavement.

Lana, an Executive Director with The Private Bank at J.P. Morgan, serves the Central Texas market where she focuses on delivering tailored solutions to clients including wealth transfer, investments, leverage, philanthropy and management of multi-generational wealth.

Prior to joining JP Morgan, Lana spent 13 years with Wells Fargo in the Private Bank providing investment advisory, wealth transfer and risk management to high net-worth families. Her passion and accomplishments in all facets of wealth management has provided her the opportunity to present nationally among peers as well as complementary industries. Her holistic approach to planning starts and ends with ‘the family’. A graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, Lana received her BA in Economics.

Active in her community, she is involved in the Big Brother Big Sisters Austin chapter, the Michael B. Finnegan Foundation and serves as a board member of the Robert V. Miller Foundation and Hand to Hold. Lana and her husband Jeff, live in Austin with their two children, Connor and Sara who they visit frequently at ‘Ole Miss.

Rodney D. Molitor
President, Cook-Walden Funeral Homes & Cemeteries

Rodney Molitor

Rodney Molitor and his wife,  Jo Anne, are the proud parents of two sons, a daughter and one grandchild. His motivation for joining Hand to Hold’s board is to further his involvement in the mission of Hand to Hold so that more families can receive the information and help they need.

Rodney is currently the present of Cook-Walden Funeral Homes and Cemeteries, where he oversees  operations management of five funeral homes and three cemeteries in the Greater Austin and Georgetown communities. He has held various positions with Cook-Walden since 1998 with previous positions with Chaney-Walters Funeral Home in Sterling, Colorado. He attended Kearney State College in Kearney, Nebraska and has an Associates degree in Mortuary Sciences from Commonwealth Institute of Funeral Service in Houston.

Involvement in the community is very important to Rodney. In his role with Cook-Walden, he is the liaison for relationships with community organizations. He works with such groups as Hand to Hold, A Legacy of Giving, where he serves on the Chairman’s Advisory Council and Organizational Development Committee, The Assembly of Catholic Business Professionals, John Paul II LIFE Center, The Austin Chamber of Commerce, and the Austin Police Department.

In his spare time Rodney enjoys spending time wakesurfing with his family. He is also a Harley-Davidson enthusiast and likes to fit a round of golf in when he can.

Rebecca Yates Pemberton
General Counsel, Yates Energy Corporation

Becky PembertonRebecca Yates Pemberton is general counsel of Yates Energy Corporation, a Roswell, New Mexico-based independent oil & gas exploration company.  Previously Becky served as counsel director for Dell Inc., specializing in real estate, facilities, international and domestic new site development, and environmental health and safety matters for almost fourteen years.

Becky is on the Advisory Board of Any Baby Can Child and Family Resource Center, and served as Chair of ABC’s 2013 Rockin’ Roundup Gala.  Becky is a member of the 2004 Leadership Texas class.  She is also a sustaining member of the Austin Junior League and is a member of Covenant Presbyterian Church.  Prior to joining Dell, she was an associate with Vinson & Elkins L.L.P in Houston from 1995-2000.

At Southern Methodist University School of Law she was the Managing Editor of the SMU Law Review Association and a member of the Order of the Coif.  She is a graduate of Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas and is a native of Roswell, New Mexico.

Becky is married to Bob Pemberton, Justice on the Texas Third Court of Appeals, and is the mother of Ella (9) and Harris (7).  Becky endeavors to support local charities aiding families with children having life-limiting conditions and developmental disabilities, honoring the memory of a third child, Cole, who died at 74 days in 2009.  To that end, she founded and supports Cole’s Library at Dell Children’s Medical Center, which gifts books and bereavement supplies to children and their families in the palliative care program.

Tara Potts
Of Counsel/Cook Brooks Johnson PLLC

Tara Potts

Tara Potts is a mother of boy/girl twins who were born at 34 weeks gestation and spent three weeks in the NICU at North Austin Medical Center. Tara is an attorney and CPA who concentrates her practice in the areas of federal and state tax law, as well as corporate, non-profit and partnership law.  She assists clients with the formation of business entities, structuring of joint ventures, buying and selling businesses and business interests, succession planning and the admission and redemption of business stakeholders. Tara also represents clients in controversies with the Internal Revenue Service and the Texas Comptroller.

Tara graduated from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio with a B.S. in Accountancy, Washington University School of Law and New York University School of Law with a LL.M. in Taxation.  Before attending law school, Tara practiced accounting with Arthur Andersen in Chicago.

rhonda reedRhonda Reed, RN, BSN, RNC-NIC
Director of NICU and Neonatal Transport, St. David’s Medical Center

 

 
 
 

Jennifer Zion, SPHR
Human Resources Manager, Freebirds World Burrito

 
 
 

 


Staff

Kelli Kelley
Founder/Executive Director

Kelli KelleyKelli D. Kelley is the mother of two children born preterm – Jackson Thomas born at 24 weeks in 2000 and Lauren Elizabeth born at 34 weeks in 2003. She has invested her time and talents during the past 10 years to raise awareness of the growing problem of preterm birth and to support families who share her experience. She is often sought out to speak about preterm birth, the high incidence of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression among these parents, and the need for support and navigation resources for all families who have had these experiences.

In 2014, Kelli presented at the 5th Annual Management of Obstetric Crisis:  Developing Practice Strategies to Maximize Maternal & Fetal Outcomes at the St. David’s Women’s Center of Austin. In 2011, Kelli was selected as a parent liaison and spokesperson for the National Perinatal Association as  they work to facilitate the development of Multidisciplinary Guidelines for the Care of Late-Preterm Infants. She was asked to participate in Pediatric Grand Rounds at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio in 2011. Kelli has provided keynote addresses for conferences, such as the Texas Premature Infant Health Summit, the Educational Summit on Prematurity at the University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio and the Association of Women’s Health Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses Texas Section Conference. Read more about her speaker’s profile.

Kelli was named a 2015 Communicator of the Year from Women Communicators of Austin, a 2011 Local Hero through Bank of America’s Neighborhood Excellence Initiative® and a 2011 Health Care Hero through the Austin Business Journal. She is the 2010 recipient of the Austin Under 40 Award for Medical and Health Care, and an ENERGIZER Keep Going Hall of Fame Semifinalist. Kelli serves on the steering committee for the National Coalition for Infant Health, the Parent Relation Council for the National Association of Neonatal Nurses, the leadership team of the Preemie Parent Alliance and is a member of the Pediatric Family Advisory Council at St. David’s North Austin Medical Center. She is a past President of the Austin chapter of the Association for Women in Communications and a graduate of Leadership Austin.

In 2005, the Kelley family served as the Ambassador family for the Austin division of the March of Dimes. Kelli served on the Austin division Board of Directors of the March of Dimes for four years and was selected to serve on the National Mission Volunteer Advisory Council for two years.

Prior to the birth of her children, Kelli worked in public relations with the The Arc of the Capital Area as the Public Relations Coordinator and then as the Development Coordinator for the Mental Health Association in Texas. She went on to work for Cunningham Communication, a national high-tech public relations agency, as a Public Relations Manager and Marketing Coordinator where she received numerous promotions and awards for her leadership and accomplishments.

Kelli received a bachelor of journalism degree from The University of Texas at Austin. In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband, children and friends, reading, cooking, exercising and participating in Bible study.

Jennifer Beatty, LMSW
Program Director

Jennifer BeattyJennifer lives in Round Rock, Texas with her husband of 17 years and their two active boys. With her first son Ty, she delivered at 36 weeks and experienced a brief overnight stay in the NICU for blood sugar issues.  After fertility issues with her second pregnancy, Jennifer was devastated to have an emergency delivery at just 30 weeks due to severe pre-eclampsia.  Though he only weighed 2 pounds 9 ounces at birth, Liam came home after 45 days in the NICU at just over 5 pounds and is a strong and healthy first-grader today.  These experiences have given Jennifer a heart for working with families going through the tremendous emotional and physical struggles faced by NICU families.

Jennifer is a Licensed Master Social Worker and earned a Master of Social Work degree from Texas State University in San Marcos.  Before pursuing her graduate degree, Jennifer worked as an adoption case manager with Marywood Children and Family Services.  She previously worked in hospice and as a home health social worker in the Central Texas area.  Jennifer currently serves as the Texas Representative for the National Association of Perinatal Social Workers.  In addition, she serves on the Workgroup on Psychosocial Support of NICU Parents with the National Perinatal Association.

Claire Brown, MSW
Family Support Navigator 

Claire BrownClaire lives in Austin with her husband Matt, and graduated Texas State University in August 2015 with her Master of Social Work. After receiving her Bachelor’s of Social Work she worked for Child Protective Services for 5-1/2 years.  While there she worked in the Conservatorship unit where she served foster children, the biological parents and families of the children, and their foster placements.  Claire is passionate about working with children and families to provide them with support through trying times.

She has second hand experience with preemies through her sister-in-law’s antepartum stay due to complete previa and delivering her niece at 33 weeks and weighing 4 lbs.  It was so hard to witness her her sister-in-law’s heartache of leaving one child at home for her antepartum hospital stay and then again when she had to return home without her newborn. After a 4 week stay at the hospital her niece was finally sent home with an apnea monitor and severe reflux.  She is now a thriving eight year old that will cartwheel and flip her way through life rather than walk.

Claire also has experience volunteering with a local homeless shelter as well as a grieving center where she helped facilitate the children’s group sessions.  When she’s not busy with school she loves to spend her weekends with family and friends.  Claire loves all the live music Austin has to offer and the many beautiful destinations for camping if it’s not too wet or hot.

Jennifer Hayhurst
Development Manager

Jennifer HayhurstAn Amarillo native, Jennifer has lived in with her husband Jonathan in Austin for the past 7 years. They welcomed their daughter, Evie, to the world in the spring of 2015. She was born at 25 weeks gestation and weighed 1 pound, 13 ounces. After a lengthy NICU stay, Evie is now at home and doing well.  Jennifer was introduced to Hand to Hold early on in their stay in the NICU and she experienced firsthand the positive impact that in-person family support can make as she and her husband navigated the milestones and challenges of having a baby born early. Jennifer is excited and thankful for the opportunity to work with Hand to Hold whose mission is so close to her heart.

Prior to joining Hand to Hold, Jennifer served as the Executive Director of Foster Angels of Central Texas where she gained significant experience in fundraising and leading the operational components of a non-profit organization. During her time there she assisted thousands of children in the foster care system in Central Texas. Jennifer has 10 years of experience in country club sales and spent 6 years at Barton Creek Country Club in Austin. She is a graduate of the University of North Texas in Denton.

Becky O’Dell
Family Support Navigator

As the mother of a 25-weeker, Becky is no stranger to the challenges of parenting a preemie. Her son spent 103 days in the NICU, and she quickly learned that the journey doesn’t end there. Becky understands the barrage of emotions NICU parents feel, from joy and gratitude to guilt and fear. As a NICU Ambassador, she’s able to help parents find purpose in their pain through sharing her story and empowering families facing a similar journey.

Sara Schulz
Volunteer Coordinator and Programs Team Support

Sara SchulzSara lives in Austin, Texas with her paramedic husband and two kids, Charlie and Nora. Nora was born at 32 weeks and 1 day by emergency C-section because of a placental abruption. Nora spent 53 days in the NICU where she spent a lot of time learning to eat and breathe.  One day after her due date, Nora was released from the hospital on caffeine and with an apnea monitor. Nora has had a relatively easy path with minimal OT, eye surgery, ear tubes, and some asthma. Charlie joined the family in October 2016 with no complications.

Sara is originally from rural south Louisiana and received a B.A. in English from the University of Louisiana at Lafayette.

Sara has worked in higher education and educational publishing in a variety of roles, from project management and sales support to academic advising and orientation. Always up for an adventure, she has also worked at Austin institutions BookPeople and Alamo Drafthouse which bring an in depth knowledge of customer service to her background. She is excited to combine her enthusiasm for spreadsheets with her passion for helping people.

As a true Cajun, Sara enjoys feeding people, talking about food, and explaining the difference between Cajun food and Creole food.  She is also an avid reader, a low-mileage runner, and enjoys sewing and other crafts.

Jenny Smith
Family Support Navigator

Jenny was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, but was soon after transplanted to Texas. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Arts at the University of Texas and currently resides in Cypress, Texas (right outside of Houston).
Although a stay-at-home mom for 13 years, she previously worked for the American Cancer Society as a volunteer coordinator and for the University of Virginia School of Medicine where she recruited community members to participate as “patients” in clinical skills programs, and is happy to be able to combine both of those work experiences into her role at Hand to Hold.
Jenny has two sweet girls who are both native New Yorkers. They all enjoy their annual summer visits to NYC to get the girls back in touch with their roots, but she is grateful to be living in Texas again where her family is. She enjoys volunteering at both of her girls’ schools. In 2016 she married her husband, Kevin, a nice cajun boy.

Christine Tester
Family Support Navigator

chrisTwo difficult NICU experiences eventually drew Christine to Hand to Hold. In 2004, her daughter, Isabelle, was born by emergency c-section after a routine check at 28weeks. Diagnosed with IUGR, Isabelle progressed slowly in the NICU, but eventually succumbed to NEC after 45 days. Three subsequent pregnancies were closely monitored, but Christine’s second son was born with a congenital heart defect. Transferred one day after birth to the NICU, Charlie spent his first Christmas there and had a procedure
to correct a coarctation of the aorta aged 5 days. Thankfully, he came home after 10 days.

Christine is a strong advocate of resources being made available to parents who have suffered any form of bereavement involving the death of child, whether that child is a baby in a NICU, a baby lost through stillbirth or miscarriage, or an older child lost through illness. Being able to connect with other parents who have been through similar experiences, either recently or many years before, can be healing, empowering and heartbreaking at any stage in the grieving process.
Christine grew up in a bilingual household, speaking English and Spanish. She studied Modern Languages at the University of Oxford and then spent the majority of her career working in sports sponsorship in London, before taking a break to spend time with her young children. She and her husband, Iain, continuously encourage their three boys to keep their minds open to all different cultures and lifestyles especially through travel, traditions, books, food and sport.

Leigh Ann Torres
Online Community Coordinator

Leigh Ann TorresLeigh Ann Torres is a freelance writer, blogger and mother of three living in Austin, TX. After a short and sudden bout with severe preeclampsia, Leigh Ann’s identical twin girls were delivered at 31 weeks, spending 38 mostly uneventful days in the NICU. Two years later the Torres family welcomed another baby, this time at term, with only a mild case of preeclampsia. Leigh Ann currently runs Hand to Hold’s official blog and social media channels. When she’s not doing laundry or fulfilling requests for snacks, she usually has her nose stuck in a book. You can keep in touch with Leigh Ann on Twitter or via email.

Jessica Torres-Sosa
Development Manager

Jessica Torres-SosaA Kansas City native, Jessica moved to Austin in early 2014. She joins Hand to Hold with seven years of fundraising and public relations experience within the nonprofit industry.

Jessica is deeply driven to inspire others to give back and believes charitable giving is at the heart of creating a more generous, supportive and loving community.

She and her husband (a preemie and twin) are both graduates of Kansas State University and have been married for three years. Together they enjoy exploring their new city, staying connected with family, and have a great appreciation for the arts.

Contessa Weinheimer
NICU Outreach Coordinator

Contessa WeinheimerContessa is a mother of two boys who were both born at 34 weeks.  While their NICU stay was short, Contessa well remembers the sadness and anxiety of leaving the hospital without her baby.

Before deciding to stay at home with her children, Contessa worked for almost a decade in Long Term Care.  As a Nursing Facility Administrator she managed a 120 bed Skilled Nursing Facility in Austin.

Contessa and her husband are graduates of Southwest Texas State University and have been happily married for 13 years. Contessa is the PTA President Elect for her children’s school and enjoys staying physically active with her elementary age boys. From hiking to zip lining she and her family never miss an opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors.

Angela Wright
Operations Manager

Angela WrightAngela Wright serves as Hand to Hold’s Operations Manager, responsible for the foundational operations of the company, including finances and human resources. Prior to moving into this role in 2014, she supported the organization’s event planning and grants management efforts. She has been with Hand to Hold since 2011. As the mother of three active boys, she knows how to juggle competing activities and keep everyone organized and will leverage these skills as she supports Hand to Hold’s growth initiatives.

Angela holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Advertising from the University of Texas at Austin. She has worked in the marketing communications and public relations arena for more than 13 years, supporting high technology companies around the world. She will use her knowledge and experience to additionally assist with Hand to Hold’s program marketing and development.

Beyond her work with Hand to Hold, Angela is highly involved in her children’s schools, serving on the PTA and supporting her husband’s remodeling business. She enjoys reading, baking and hanging out with friends in her very limited spare time!


Contract

Keira Sorrells
Bereavement Consultant

Keira SorrellsKeira Sorrells is the mother of triplets born at 25 weeks, 5 days gestation. The collective birth weight of the three girls was a mere 4lbs 4oz and one of them spent 291 days in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Northside Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. Together with her husband of 14 years, Richard Sorrells, Keira founded the Zoe Rose Memorial Foundation, a 501(c)(3), in memory of one of their triplets, Zoe, who died suddenly at the age of 14 months.

Advocacy and awareness have also become key components to Keira’s work. Her personal tragedies and triumphs have fostered a desire to educate the public at large, healthcare professionals, and parents about the very real and often traumatic effects of losing a baby or having a critically ill baby in the NICU. She has been invited to speak at local, regional, and national healthcare-related conferences including the National Premature Infant Health Coalition Summit, MedImmune Prematurity Summits, Mississippi Perinatal Association Conference, AWHONN Jackson Section, National Association of Neonatal Nurses, as well as educational sessions for Senior Nursing Students at the University of Mississippi School of Nursing. She will also begin working with the Mississippi State Health Department on various initiatives surrounding infant mortality and morbidity and participates on a parent review board for the National Association of Neonatal Nurses’ discharge planning module. Keira is also a regular contributor for Hand to Hold’s parent blog, Preemie Babies 101.

Keira is also the Co-founder and serves as the Director of Operations for the Preemie Parent Alliance (PPA), a national network of parent led support organizations with a focus on preterm infants and their families. She also serves as the parent representative on the Steering Committee of the National Premature Infant Health Coalition. She is also the parent representative on the Mississippi Perinatal Association’s Board of Directors.

At the heart of everything she does is a deep seeded desire to help other parents facing uncertain futures, find hope and healing no matter the outcome of their circumstances. She is honored to be a part of the Hand to Hold team and hopes to further enrich an already phenomenal organization.

Tanya Clay
Contract

Tanya ClayTanya Clay is the mom of a son and daughter and the stepmom of two daughters.  After meeting her husband at a training conference and marrying 18 months later, they began immediately working to grow their family. After only one cycle of IVF, they were blessed with the news of her pregnancy. Although she was a very proactive and well-educated mom, there was nothing that could have prepared her for the arrival of her precious bundle of joy at 24 weeks gestation weighing 1 lb. 7 oz. Their little miracle entered this world as a fighter and was the twinkle in their eye from the very beginning.

After an 11-year career at Microsoft and her son’s NICU stay, Tanya left her job and embarked on caring for her son as her new full-time career. In managing health care plans, specialist appointments, insurance benefits, both in home and onsite therapy sessions, along with household responsibilities, she learned quickly that NICU parent support resources in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area were extremely limited, and wanted to follow her calling to make a difference for fellow parents like herself after her son was older and more stable. After research and networking, she met fellow NICU mom Kelli Kelley, and they decided to team up to introduce Hand to Hold to the Dallas area and establish it as a local resource to those with NICU experiences.

A talented business woman, Tanya previously spent 11 years at Microsoft Corp. as  a technical account manager. She is a graduate of Baylor University with a BA in health education and business.

Having been a youth leader with the YWCA for many years, Tanya knew the impact of giving back to help others. She has been involved with Habitat for Humanity, Urban League of Greater Dallas, Ronald McDonald House of Dallas, African American Museum of Dallas, Girls Inc., her daughter’s school PTF and church activities. She enjoys spending quality time with her family, traveling, cooking, volunteering, the arts and fine dining.

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