We are proud of our wonderful staff members who represent and reflect the communities we serve.

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Amelia Martinez Martinez, Lactation Support Peer Counselor • amelia@openarmsps.org

As a Lactation Support Peer Counselor for Spanish-speaking communities, Amelia continues to learn about the difficulties that prevent successful breastfeeding and impacts the well-being of families, as well as the health and development of our children due to the lack of support provided in Spanish. She is excited to partner with Open Arms to provide breastfeeding support to the Latinx/e community and uses her voice to ensure that mothers are respected and listened to regarding their needs with breastfeeding. Amelia’s own experience with her 18-month-old daughter, as well as having family experience breastfeeding difficulties, has allowed Amelia to become familiar with common issues like congestion, short frenulum, torticollis, and mastitis. She has lived in Washington for the past nine years and loves walking through nature all year round. Taking walks inspires her and makes her fall in love with the incredible things our mother nature gives us to live.

Angela Agoo, Operations Manager • angela@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 124

Angela brings a vast skill set to her role as Operations Manager at Open Arms.  She was born and raised in Seattle (a Beaconhillapina) and was first introduced to Open Arms through an invitation to volunteer in the office.  After several more volunteering events and birthing a little one herself, she was drawn to becoming a part of the organization and supporting its important mission.  When she’s not in the office, you can find Angela tasting wine, playing in the sun, and sharing time with family and friends.

Betty Hernandez, Lead Latinx Community Specialist, Birth Doula Services • betty@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 121

Bio coming soon!
Spanish speakers and Spanish speaking referrals: (206) 866-0729

Cynthia Turrietta, Director of Programs • cynthia@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 122

Bio coming soon!

Deandra Ludovice, Managing Director • deandra@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 101

Deandra has worked at nonprofits around the Puget Sound and Bay Area since 2007 and joined Open Arms in 2015. Deandra holds a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from the University of San Francisco as well as extensive experience in operations, marketing, and fundraising. As a mom to two young children, Deandra is passionate about Open Arms’ mission of strengthening families and parents.

Delina Seyoum, Outreach Doula Program Administrator • delina@openarmsps.org • 206-360-6256

Delina was born and raised in Asmara, Eritrea, and moved to the U.S in 2014. Inspired by the loss of her mother to breast cancer back home, she obtained her B.S in Public Health-Global Health from the University of Washington. She has been working with the community ever since moving to Seattle 5 years ago, specifically the Eritrean community volunteering and working as a translator. Currently, Delina is part of the Eritrean Health Board.

Dila Perera, MSW, MPH, Executive Director • dila@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 109

Dila has worked in public health and advocacy locally and internationally, including time spent as a doula for Open Arms. She earned both a Master of Public Health and a Master of Social Work at the University of Washington, after starting her career as a health educator at 19. She went on to spend twelve years helping to build and manage innovative and complex programs designed to improve the health of vulnerable populations, including mothers, children, families, and people living with or affected by HIV. Most recently, she led the Washington State Training Program at the Northwest AIDS Education and Training Center.
Dila has managed several large-scale federally funded interventions but believes that small organizations, even when working with minimal resources, are still the most effective at creating lasting and transformational change. She has been a program manager, a grant maker, a board member, and a trainer. However, Dila considers working with pregnant people – before birth, during birth, and supporting new mothers and infants – to be the most rewarding work she has ever done.

Elena M. Teare, Communications Lead • elenat@openarmsps.org • 206-350-4853

Elena Maria Teare comes from a research-activist background in global Indigenous land rights, climate justice, and nonprofit communications. They hold a MA in International Affairs, concentrating on human rights and media. After garnering more experience in their field, Elena has since become passionate about birth equity and community access to birthing support, looking for opportunities to integrate their passion for advocacy communications with birth justice. Elena enjoys walking in the Olympic National Forest with their dog Charlie and tending to their house plants and garden.

Ellie Frischmann, Grant Accountant • ellie@openarmsps.org

I’m Ellie Frischmann (she/her pronouns), and I’m really excited to join the Open Arms team. I come to you from working on grant proposals, reports, and related tasks at nonprofits in Seattle and Minnesota, as well as studying nonprofit finances and accounting through a grad school degree at the University of Washington. I’ve lived in Seattle for the past four years but grew up in Minnesota, where most of my family still lives. I’m super excited to support Open Arms’ work and the communities and families we serve; I really value working for equity and trying to support and practice ways to be in better relationship with each other and the planet, and I’m excited to do so as part of Open Arms. I’m a sister, daughter, and soon-to-be auntie, and I love hanging out with my cat Cinnamon, spending time with friends, visiting my family in Minnesota, reading, making ceramics, and getting outside.

Elizabeth Montez, IBCLC, Lactation Clinical Co-Lead (serving the American Indian/Alaska Native and Latinx/e Communities) • elizabeth@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 140

Elizabeth Montez – Anishinaabekwe – Mother of two young children, lover of food, protector and supporter of lactation as traditional practice, sacred food, and indigenous sovereignty. Her children brought the wisdom of the ancestors down with them and lead Elizabeth to reconnect with her indigenous community and traditional practices, including lactation. Elizabeth was a seed to table chef when her eldest was born, and she showed Elizabeth that food justice starts at birth, when we support our birthing people reclaim the sovereignty of lactation and offer our babies their first sacred food.

Elizabeth Perez Garcia, Birth Doula Services Program Coordinator • eperezgarcia@openarmsps.org • 206-360-6262

Elizabeth is passionate about birth work and aspires to become a doula and midwife in the future. She comes to Open Arms with enthusiasm and commitment to reproductive justice and birthing people. She comes with experience working in the medical field as a caregiver and has experience working with the Naturopath community and community organizing. She is a first-generation college graduate from Western Washington University with a bachelor’s in Biocultural Anthropology with a minor in Education and Social Justice. Ely is most in her element when she is spending time with her family and friends, traveling, dancing, listening to music, singing her heart out at concerts, reading, and connecting with Mother Nature. She is really excited to connect with families and work alongside community members with similar passions.

Emily Trujillo, Birth Doula Services Program Administrator • emily@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 149

Emily comes to Open Arms with a strong commitment to birth and reproductive justice. She is a birth doula, childbirth educator, and has managed operations at a midwifery practice. She is fueled in this work by the desire to see accessible resources and support available to all birthing people and communities. In addition to birthwork, her career background includes environmental justice, farming and food justice, and journalism. Emily is most at home in the forests and on the beaches of Western Washington. She takes pleasure in growing food and medicinal plants, cooking, and being in nature with her dog. Emily is honored and grateful to join the Open Arms team and support this vital work.

Farrah Rivera, Perinatal Collaborative Director • farrah@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 135

Farrah Ka’Healani Rivera, MSM, CPM, LM, is a licensed midwife who was born and raised on the island O’ahu in Hawai’I and is of Itneg decent. The eldest of 20+ grandchildren, she grew up surrounded by family, pregnant aunts and newborns. Her passion to advocate for women developed in her community work in Los Angeles as an organizer, domestic violence activist, community doula and women circle facilitator.  She collaborated with other women and founded Ixchel Midwifery and the LA division of the Justice for Sister Collective. She also volunteered her time with the teen mothers program for Planned Parenthood and participated in Los Angeles based birth documentary, “Tlakatiliztli” directed by Dee Lopez. She is currently on the steering committee for the Pacific Islander Health Board of Washington and continues her community work though Sobadas, womb work, and Cerradas, closing ceremonies.

 She understands that collaboration with all divisions of health care create optimal outcomes of mothers and babies. She also believes that families have the right to choose providers who a reflection of themselves and with this belief she advocates for the education and over-well being of POC student midwives and providers of color.  

Hana Nguyen, Controller • hana@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 148

My name is Hana Nguyen and I am proud to be a daughter, sister, wife, mother, and most of all, a woman. My entire professional career is in the accounting/finance side of business (I love numbers!) though I love my role on the human resource side as I enjoy interacting and helping people. I like to work hard and play hard. In my spare time I like to cook and bake with my daughter; have in depth, deep and thoughtful discussions with my boys regarding finance, politics, and human rights and watching the Seahawks together. You’ll often find me on the weekends on heavy equipment and tools remodeling homes with my partner! I take pride in aligning my personal values with people and organizations that together, create better communities.

Hawa Egal, Community-Based Outreach Doula for the Somali community • hawa@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 102

Hawa Egal is an Outreach Doula for Open Arms Perinatal Services. Her main goal is to create a safe and non-judgmental environment for families to share their hearts and souls. Since earning her Promoting First Relationships certification she has been implementing early learning throughout her clientele. As an Outreach Doula, she wants to connect with and educate Somali women who have unique cultural needs, and guide them to having a healthy pregnancy. She continues to be with them to gently support and encourage them while they bond with their newborns. Hawa considers it an honor and a privilege to be a witness during this intimate time in women’s lives. Right now she is working toward a degree in social work. She is the mother of three beautiful children.

Isabel Vicente Dominguez, Intake Coordinator • isabel@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 146

Isabel was born in Mexico and moved to Seattle with her family at a young age. She grew up in Central Seattle and currently lives in Beacon Hill. Isabel attended UW to pursue a Social Work degree and then took some time off. She welcomed her baby girl, Lenny, last year! Isabel enjoys listening to music, going on hikes, or staying in watching tv (recently forensic files!).

Jami Bess, Family Support Services Director • jami@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 103

Jami Bess is an Outreach Doula for Open Arms Perinatal Services. Her heartfelt dream is that every family has the support, education, and the empowerment to be healthy, happy and to thrive. She is passionate about health and social justice and is excited to be a part of the dynamic work at Open Arms. She enjoys spending time with her three amazing children, and one wonder dog.

Janae Teal, Database Consultant • janae@openarmsps.org

Janae’s bio coming soon!

Karina Arroyo, Family Connector serving the Latinx Community • karina@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 153

Karina Arroyo grew up in Burien and now lives in Seattle with her girlfriend and their dog. She maintains strong connections to her family home of Oaxaca, Mexico. Karina is an incoming graduate student for Seattle University’s Nonprofit Leadership program. In her free time, Karina enjoys dancing, trying new baking recipes, and tending to her plants. Karina is passionate about providing equitable and accessible services for all, and is excited to be joining the Family Support Services team.

Kate Wilhite Brickell, Outreach Doula Program Administrator • kateb@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 129

Kate Wilhite Brickell was born and raised in Hawaii. She earned her Master’s in Social Work at the University of Washington. Kate has experience working with children, youth and families in a variety of settings. She has always had a passion for supporting pregnant people and young children. Kate is thrilled to be a part of the Open Arms family. In their free time, Kate’s family loves to be outdoors, paddle board, hike and spend time with loved ones.

Kristin Travis, Community-Based Outreach Doula for the African-American Community • kristin@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 126

Bio coming soon!

Lanetra Barron, Family Connector serving the African-American Community • lanetra@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 143

Lanetra is from Seattle, Washington.  She has 3 children in elementary school.  They love roller blading and riding bikes while staying home and staying safe.  Lanetra has lived in the Rainier Valley for the past 26 years . Over the past 5 years she has been working in health care.  She is excited to be the new Office Coordinator for Open Arms Perinatal Services because her heart is for this community.

Lea Johnson, Clinical Consultant • lea@openarmsps.org

Bio coming soon!

Margarita Celis, Community-Based Outreach Doula for the Latinx Community • margarita@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 108

Margarita Celis came to this country over 20 years ago from Peru with her 4-year-old child. Later, she and her husband had two more children in New York. Margarita says, “I did not have the best experiences having to give birth to my babies in a foreign country and with a language barrier. I wish I had the services that Open Arms provides, but this gives me the strength and the compassion to see the need of these women in our community and make a difference.” She was involved in activities from her local WIC, and she became a breastfeeding consultant as well as a stay-at-home mom. She says, “Open Arms found me and I felt so lucky because this is the job that I really value, not only for the income that I can bring home, but for the satisfaction I feel when I can help moms.”

Markia Brinson, Lactation Support Peer Counselor • markia@openarmsps.org

Markia was born and raised in Seattle, Washington. She has a certification in peer lactation, and has had extensive training as a Birth/Postpartum Doula with DONA. She also brings over 11 years of her personal experience in raising and nursing three children of her own. Markia has a passion for advocating for breastfeeding/birthing mothers, especially in the black community. She is committed to aiding black moms with the necessary lactation, birthing education, and resources in her community. Along with her passion for birthing education, she has an equal love for natural herbal remedies and supplements, which she incorporates into her everyday life. She loves to garden, hike, and hold tea parties, (with herbal tea blends she creates herself ) with her children.

Memorie Gladstone, Lead Outreach Doula • memorie@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 119

Memorie Gladstone is the American Indian/Alaskan Native Community Outreach Doula. She is from the Blackfoot tribe of Browning Montana. She has several years of experience as a breastfeeding peer counselor which inspired her to work as a doula since the two professions go hand in hand. The experience she had giving birth to her children and the knowledge she has now motivates her to educate and empower the women in her community.  Being an advocate and providing extra support for a mother while witnessing new life is truly fulfilling.   In her free time she enjoys the outdoors with her family which includes her dogs Otto and Giger.

Molly Krost, Development Coordinator • molly@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 107

Molly comes to Open Arms with a professional background in nonprofit fundraising and administration. She has worked at Performing Arts Workshop, SF Community Music Center, Cal Performances, Theater J in Washington D.C., and Rough Magic Theatre in Ireland. Molly is also an emerging playwright. Her play NANAY was a semi-finalist for the National Playwrights Conference and the Bay Area Playwrights Festival and her plays have been read or performed at Z Space, San Francisco Playhouse, PlayGround, and SOMArts Cultural Center, among others. Molly holds an MFA in Creative Writing at San Francisco State University as well as a BA in Theatre and Performance studies and a BA in Classical Civilizations from UC Berkeley. In her free time, she enjoys painting, baking, crafting, and weight lifting.

Peggy Allen Jackson, Development Director • peggy@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 107

A seasoned fundraiser and enthusiastic roller-up of her sleeves, Peggy Allen Jackson brings more than a decade of fundraising, strategic planning, and communications experience in both the nonprofit and private sectors to her role as development director at Open Arms. She is an energetic communicator with a passion to connect donors to the mission of Open Arms and to invite people in to be a part of shaping the important work we are doing to improve outcomes for pregnant people and children in the region. Prior to joining Open Arms, Peggy served as development director at the Northwest African American Museum, The Greater Seattle Bureau of Fearless Ideas (formerly 826 Seattle), and Powerful Schools. At each organization she exceeded fundraising goals year after year, while facing a tough economy and giving climate.  Peggy was born and raised in the northwest (and is a proud UW graduate!), and currently resides in Renton with her two sons and her dog, Zoey.

Shadia Nagi, Lactation Support Program Administrator • shadia@openarmsps.org • 206-360-6257

Shadia Nagi is a first-generation Somali American college graduate from the University of Washington with a degree in Healthcare Leadership and a minor in Sociology. As the eldest sibling of two school-aged boys, Shadia was able to stand by and support her mother during her pregnancy and birth. Her upbringing and prior experiences in the hospital setting provided me with the knowledge of how to foster a nurturing environment for expecting mothers and families. She recognizes the necessity of providing proper advocacy and support through vulnerable moments. Shadia learned how crucial a positive bond between a doula and their client had on the outcomes of birth. These connections can have generational effects on the quality of life in families. And as someone that is a part of a vulnerable community, Shadia strives to be a part of constructive change. She devotes my time to serving her community and spending time with loved ones.

Shevonne Tsegaye, CLC, Lactation Support Program Lead (serving the African-American Community) • shevonne@openarmsps.org • 206-370-1959, ext. 139

Shevonne Tsegaye is a Certified Lactation Counselor, Pathway 1 IBCLC candidate, and full spectrum doula who brings over two decades of community and professional experience into the work she does. During her own lactation journey with her three children she nursed through tongue ties, persistent thrush, severe food allergies, perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, the preschool years, and sensory processing disorders. It was through these experiences that Shevonne recognized her passion for all things lactation.
As a lactation counselor Shevonne’s cultural fluency allows her to support families from all walks of life — providing compassionate, trauma-informed care throughout their baby-feeding journeys. Trained in the ways of the traditional African American granny midwife and doula, she is passionate about reclaiming and restoring ancestral knowledge, traditions, and rituals. Her goal is to better support, strengthen, and empower families in her community. She is a healer, an advocate, an auntie, and a kind stranger to many.

Stacey Silver, Family Support Services Program Administrator • stacey@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 150

Stacey was born and raised in New England and moved to Washington in 2014 with her partner. She graduated with a degree in Social Work from the University of New Hampshire. Her community work has centered around referral and care coordination, food justice, community mental health, and program management. Stacey has a deep passion for community-based work to help build connections and instill hope for those who’ve been left behind by our systems. She loves backpacking, eating anything homemade, a low-waste lifestyle, gardening, and learning random factoids.

Stephanie Lewis, Birth Doula Services Program Support • stephanie@openarmsps.org

Bio coming soon!

Stephanie Quinn, Operations Coordinator • squinn@openarmsps.org • 206-272-3510

Stephanie is excited to bring her previous experience in the design and manufacturing industry and project and team coordination to help support Open Arms’ operations and invaluable mission. Born in the Philippines and living in a dozen places before graduating high school, she’s happy to now call Seattle home with her husband and her dog. She’s looking forward to further growing roots and serving her community. In her free time, she enjoys pub trivia, podcasts, embroidery, and hanging out with her dog.

Tanya Anderson, CFO • tanya@openarmsps.org

Bio coming soon!

Taylor Crotty, Volunteer Coordinator • taylor@openarmsps.org • 206-723-6868, ext. 138

Bio coming soon!

Vonda Prioleau, Lead Birth Doula • vonda@openarmsps.org

Vonda’s passion for doula work led her to join Open Arms in January of 2017 as a BDS doula.  Prior to completing her doula training in 2016 she was (and currently is) a Licensed Massage Therapist. Vonda is married, mother to 3 adult children and 1 dog. Vonda loves to travel, read and spend time with family and friends.

Van Bussell, Community-Based Outreach Doula • vanessa@openarmsps.org

Van (they/them) is a non-binary Black woman who is a traditional student midwife, doula, rootworker, sacred healing circle keeper, Black infant health minister, CHW, lactation peer counselor, mindfulness childbirth educator, and so much more. Through traditional ways of healing, preparing the body, mind, and spirit for birth, and postpartum education, Van helps families create the prenatal, perinatal, and postpartum experience that feels right for them.

Birth Doulas

Andrea Balina
Andrea Torres
Caellyn Everson / Held In Arms
Cashew Pendergrass
Christina Renee Jones-Norris
Cynthia Garcia
Damarria Davis
Elizabeth Seibel
Falisha Samuels
Hayley McKie
Jamilah Fields
Jazmin Williams
Jen Hamilton / Wee Welcome Doula & Lactation Services

Jessica Kiely
Joanna Taleno
Latonia Westerfield
LeChante Raiwalui
Makeda Robinson
Marisol Ruiz-Dominguez
Maritza Cajiao
Maya Ewings
Myesha Mitchell
Na’Keisha Belk
Natasha Battles
Szu-Ting Hao
Tiye Murry