PEARL CHEN, DEVELOPMENT AND PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Pearl 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, Pearl 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.
ASHLEY MORALES, PRESIDENT
Ashley has been a part of MPower Alliance for 9 years and is a proud birthmother. With love and support from her son’s family, they have all stayed connected throughout the relationship and shared many milestones. She understands the complexity of adoption and advocates the importance of post-placement care for birth mothers/parents. Ashley appreciates the journey every birth parent shares and lifting up the voices from those experiences. 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. Ashley is thrilled to bring her experience and passion to the role of Board Vice President for MPower Alliance.
CHRISTINA OGBURN-CHOW, VICE PRESIDENT
Christina 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. She 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, Christina also volunteers her time with the San Mateo-Foster City Education Foundation and Women's March San Francisco.
AMI SHETH SAGEL, SECRETARY
Ami, 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. Ami also worked for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles and Riverside. At Riverside, she 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. Ami 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 SINDEL, TREASURER
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. Jenny 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. She is also a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.
Jenny 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. She has led workshops at MPA birthmother retreats and has participated in several MPA Galas as a speaker. Jenny has studied early childhood education and currently works as a childcare provider.
Maggie is based in Brooklyn, NY and is a birthmother to her 12 year old daughter who lives in Minnesota. Maggie's open adoption agreement has enabled her to see her daughter as often as she goes back to Minnesota. In 2016 Maggie went to a birthparent retreat with MPower Alliance, where she was introduced to many birthmothers for the first time. Maggie has a professional background in strategic partnerships and received her Masters in Public Administration at NYU focusing on cross sector solutions for reproductive justice issues. Currently she serves as the Regional Director of Partnerships for Upstream USA, an organization that is increasing equitable access to contraception across the country. She looks forward to bringing her professional skills and application of a Reproductive Justice Framework to the work at MPA in order to ensure birthmothers have the much needed support they deserve.
RAMONA LUGO PEDERSEN, HISTORIAN
Ramona has been a member of the MPA board since 2012. She is a mother through adoption and a vocal advocate of open adoption. Ramona 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.
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