Our Team

ANGIE SWANSON-KYRIACO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR  

Angie Swanson-Kyriaco (she/her) began her nonprofit career working for a supportive housing organization before working for Planned Parenthood for thirteen years. Angie is the first birthmother to be the Executive Director of MPA. She holds a MA in Psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara and is a certified life coach. As a birthmother, Angie has a deep understanding of the support, community, and advocacy that birthmothers need and deserve. She has many years serving on and working with boards of directors and has served as an appointee to the Santa Barbara County Behavioral Wellness Commission. Angie is a lifelong Californian and shares her home with her husband and cats. 

PEARL CHEN, DEVELOPMENT AND PROGRAM COORDINATOR 

Ms. Chen is a native of San Francisco, a birthmother, and a social worker. She has been involved with MPA for over ten years since coming on as a board member in 2011. As the Development and Program Coordinator, she offers a range of skills including but not limited to: managing communications, database management, supporting day-to-day operations, and providing services to and working with the birthmother community.

 


Birthmother Support Team

 

DR. CAMMY FROUDE, PHD AND LMFT 

Dr. Froude earned her Doctorate degree in Human Development and Family Studies at the University of Connecticut and completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Medical Family Therapy at the University of Colorado. Dr. Froude is an EMDR trained therapist who utilizes a wide range of evidence-based techniques to help her clients solve problems. Over the years, she's helped thousands of people break free from the toxic hold of self-doubt, constant worry, and low mood and create a path to joy and fulfillment. Dr. Froude is the retreat support clinician at MPower Alliance retreats, facilitating workshops and 1-1 coaching onsite. She also leads the "Growing Into You" coaching program for birthmothers.

 


Our Board

 

CHRISTINA OGBURN-CHOW, PRESIDENT

Ms. Ogburn-Chow is a proud adoptive mother and adoptee. Her professional background is in project and program management, and she currently leads a team of program managers at Juniper Networks. Ms. Ogburn-Chow has been with MPower Alliance for six years in various Board roles and aims to use her professional skillset to further the goals of the organization. In addition to MPA, Ms. Ogburn-Chow also volunteers her time with the San Mateo-Foster City Education Foundation and Women's March San Francisco.


NANCI RIDER, VICE PRESIDENT

Ms. Rider has been involved with MPA for over six years. As a birthmother herself, Ms. Rider brings a unique perspective to the Board and generously shares her experience with MPower Alliance and our clients. She regularly leads birthmother retreat workshops, has served as our Annual Gala chair and has been a key MPA spokesperson. In 2020, she was the recipient of our Empowerer Award for her outstanding leadership in service to our mission. In addition, Ms. Rider has organized multiple fundraisers that have brought our community together. She is a registered Veterinary Nurse and works for an Animal Emergency Care Center in Berkeley, California.

JENNY O'TOOLE, TREASURER

Ms. O'Toole began volunteering with MPA in 2019. She served as Co-Chair for the Annual Gala in 2020 and 2021. Ms. O’Toole is a birthmother who placed her son in an open adoption in 1995 and, to this day, has a great relationship with him and his adoptive family, staying connected on a regular basis. Ms. O'Toole's career has evolved in the marketing industry, bringing 30+ years of graphic design and project management experience to the table in her board member role.

RAMONA LUGO PEDERSEN, HISTORIAN

Ms. Pedersen has been a member of the MPA board since 2012. Ms. Pedersen is a mother through adoption and a vocal advocate of open adoption. Ms. Pedersen is the Event Manager for the British Consulate-General San Francisco alongside her volunteer activities with MPA. Her focus beyond birthmother and adoptee support are educational equity and voter rights.

AMI SHETH SAGEL

Ms. Sagel, an attorney for over 15 years, is currently working as a solo practitioner in Orange County, California. Her work focuses on adoptions and other child custody cases, including dependency matters, foster family adoptions, and guardianships. Ms. Sagel also worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles and Riverside. At Riverside, Ms. Sagel served as the Branch’s Project Safe Childhood and Human Trafficking Coordinator. She is a graduate of the University of Chicago Law School and Claremont McKenna College. Ms. Sagel has served as a board director for the Inland Empire Chapter of the Federal Bar Association; Co-Chair for Mommy Esq. (a committee of the Orange County Bar Association); and as a member of Asian Pacific American Lawyers of the Inland Empire often the last hope for parents who have struggled for years and desperately want their own family.

JENNY BARNES

Ms. Barnes is a first mother who was introduced to MPower Alliance when her son she placed was 2 years old. After having her son’s adoption become closed and discovering the supportive birthmother community at MPA, she has become an advocate for post-placement birthmother services. Ms. Barnes has led workshops at MPA birthmother retreats and has participated in several MPA Galas as a speaker. Ms. Barnes has studied early childhood education and currently works as a childcare provider.

DEBBIE KOEBERLEIN

Ms. Koeberlein is a birth mother to a teenage daughter in an open adoption. She has been involved with MPower Alliance since its inception in 2007, Being a part of the organization has helped her significantly with her healing and inspired her to support others with shared lived experiences. She is also a current graduate student working on obtaining her MSW degree. Ms. Koeberlein understands the complexities surrounding adoption and believes that when all triad members are given a seat at the table and learn from each other’s experiences, great outcomes and changes can occur.

STEPHANIE MCBRIDE

Stephanie McBride, LSW is a medical social worker. She holds a MSW from Smith College School for Social Work and a BA in Psychology from San Francisco State University. Ms. McBride became a birthmother when she was 23 and understands the need for birthmothers to have a safe and supportive community to heal and grow.

ASHLEY MORALES

Miss Morales has been a part of MPA for over 7 years and is a proud birthmother. With love and support from her son’s family, they have all stayed connected throughout the relationship. Her professional background is in Event and Sales Management, where she has organized and networked for many events in Santa Clara and San Benito County. Miss Morales is thrilled to bring her experience and passion to the Board of Directors.

JENNY SINDEL

Jenny Sindel first became involved in the adoption community in 2005 when she worked as an open adoption counselor at a local agency. She started volunteering with MPower Alliance at its inception in 2008 then transitioned to an employee as Program Director from 2011 to 2018. Ms. Sindel has always had a special interest in meeting the needs of birth mothers. She has a BS in Human Development from UC Davis and a MS in Counseling from San Francisco State University. Ms. Sindel is also a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.