Our Team

Photo of birthmother and Secretary, Angie

ANGIE SWANSON-KYRIACO, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR  

Angie Swanson-Kyriaco began her nonprofit career working for a supportive housing organization. For over a decade, Angie has worked in reproductive healthcare and advocacy. 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 and community 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. 

Photo of birthmother and social worker, Pearl.

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

 

Photo of Dr. who is the retreat support clinician at birthmother / first mother retreats.

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.

Photo of Licensed Clinical Social Worker and psychotherapist who facilitates virtural retreats and provides therapy for birthmothers / first mothers.

TIFFANY PIPPEN, LCSW

Ms. Pippen is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and practicing Psychotherapist with over a decade of experience working with children, adolescents, and families around issues of anxiety, depression, trauma, and family caregiving challenges. She uses an integrative and collaborative approach to therapy and will work with birthmothers to achieve positive life changes. Ms. Pippen works with MPA facilitating Zoom webinars and Virtual Retreat workshops, as well as provides 1-1 therapy for birthmothers.

 


Our Board

 

Photo of adoptive mother, adoptee, and Board President.

CHRISTINA OGBURN-CHOW, PRESIDENT 

Ms. Ogburn-Chow is a proud adoptive mother and adoptee. Her professional background is in project management, where she works with different teams to deliver products or services, and has worked for such companies as Veritas Software, Apple, and Juniper Networks. Ms. Ogburn-Chow has been with MPower Alliance for five years in various Board roles. In addition to MPA, Ms. Ogburn-Chow also volunteers her time with Women's March San Francisco and local school organizations.

Photo of birthmother and Vice President of the Board, Nanci

NANCI RIDER, VICE PRESIDENT 

Ms. Rider has been involved with MPA for over five years. As a birth mother 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. 

Photo of birth mother and Treasurer, Jenny.

JENNY O'TOOLE, TREASURER

Ms. O'Toole is a birth mother of a wonderful young man, Ryan (now 25), who was placed in an open adoption when she was 23 years old. To this day, Ryan's adoptive family and Ms. O'Toole all have a great relationship and stay connected on a regular basis. Ms. O'Toole's career has evolved in the marketing industry, bringing her 25+ years of graphic design and project management experience to the table in her board member role for MPower Alliance.

 

Photo of adoptive parent and Historian, Ramona.

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. 

 

Photo of birth mother and mother, Serina.

SERINA WARD

Ms. Ward has been involved with MPA since its inception in 2008. As a birth mother and mother herself, she brings a diverse background to the board and hopes to be of service to the community that has helped her and so many others over the last 12 years. Ms. Ward works for the state of California helping people with disabilities obtain job vocational skills and employment training and also serves on numerous volunteer board positions for her children's extracurricular activities. 

 

Photo of adoption professional and adoption attorney, Ami.

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.

 

Photo of first mother and Board Member, Jenny.

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.