Exhale is an organization with leaders at every level, and we have a commitment to supporting experienced leaders while developing new ones. Our leaders’ unique talents and strengths are leveraged to meet organizational goals and needs. A community-led nonprofit, Exhale’s volunteers, staff, and board members work in partnership with the broader Pro-Voice Movement to implement fresh ideas that improve our programs; adapt technology to meet the changing needs of our communities; and take important risks to deepen the impact of the Pro-Voice Movement.
Exhale’s talkline and online community are staffed by trained volunteers: women and men who who carry the pro-voice mission in their bones. Our volunteers have described being motivated to contribute to Exhale by a personal experience with abortion, the desire to gain counseling experience for a future career, or a personal commitment to put their peaceful values into daily practice.
Exhale's talkline depends on the service of 40 active volunteers
Each volunteers gives about 25 hours to Exhale per month. Here are a few profiles of current volunteers:
Sharon Lacay joined Exhale as a talkline counselor in the Spring of 2012. She is an East coast transplant who fell in love with the Bay Area and is here to stay! She works as a clinical social worker for UCSF and spends her free time exploring nature and snapping photos of everything that inspires her. You can read about her understanding of how Pro-Voice is a way to breed resilience in ourselves and others in her blog contribution last year. Sharon was also the 2013 recipient of the Rachel Falls Compassion Award that is given to the Exhale volunteer who embodies strength, empathy, vision and compassion. “Being a part of a community that lives and breathes acceptance and empathy enriches my world. As a talkline counselor for Exhale I can show people that they are heard and valuable- no matter what their experiences have been. The opportunity to pay that gift forward is truly something to be grateful for.”
Ellen Katske joined Exhale in 2012 after returning to the Bay area from Dallas. She is retired and busy doing volunteer work at various organizations as well as enjoying her three grown children and one grandson. “Exhale really found me! I was looking to ’give back’ during this chapter of my life but still grow and change as a woman. Knowing how much my own abortion experience reshaped my beliefs, I wanted to help provide a space for both men and women to hear their own voice when they were ready to put words to it. My work on the talkline continues to be enriching, humbling and more."
Sara Daniel joined Exhale as a talkline counselor in Fall 2012. She is currently working as a researcher at UCSF focusing on access to reproductive health services. “I came to Exhale to step away from the academic and political framework of looking at abortion and ground myself in the experiences of real people. Since joining the Exhale community, I have learned a great deal about myself, the power of listening and story sharing, as well as the importance of building communities of care.”
Exhale’s programs and strategies are orchestrated by a small team of staff members, who depend on the leadership of volunteers and board members; the thought-partnership of colleagues and allies; and the expertise of a dynamic team of consultants in order to achieve our ambitious goals and objectives.
Aspen Baker, Founder & Executive Director
Aspen Baker is the leading voice in the nation on the personal experiences of women and men post-abortion. Aspen's own experience with abortion in 1999 led her to found Exhale with co-founders Carolina De Robertis, Anna Goldstein, Susan Chorley, and Laura Perez. Aspen was awarded with the Gerbode Professional Development Fellowship in 2012; was named a "Local Hero" in 2009 by San Francisco's KQED during Women's History Month; "Young Executive Director of the Year" in 2005 by the Bay Area's Young Non-Profit Professional Network; and a "Top Activist Under 30" in 2003 by Choice USA. Aspen speaks regularly at conferences and schools, and addresses advocates on ethical storysharing, conflict transformation, abortion wellbeing, and the growing Pro-Voice Movement. In 2011, Aspen was appointed by Mayor Jean Quan to the City of Oakland's Public Ethics Commission. As a spokesperson for Exhale, Ms. Baker has been featured by media outlets across the country, including CNN Headline News, Fox National News, Ladies Home Journal, New York Times Magazine, National Public Radio, Associated Press, Newsweek, San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Chicago Tribune, San Jose Mercury News, The New Republic, Alternet, Women's eNews, Bust, and many more. You can book Aspen for public speaking by contacting Aid & Abet and follow her on Twitter: @aspenbaker.
Jaime-Alexis Fowler, Deputy Director
Jaime-Alexis is a communications and management professional with a special passion for reproductive health. She was drawn to Exhale because she believes strongly that the world needs more compassion and empathy. Prior to joining Exhale, Jaime-Alexis led public relations as well as online strategy and fundraising for six years at Pathfinder International, a $100M global sexual and reproductive health NGO. At Pathfinder, Jaime-Alexis spearheaded engaging initiatives that helped increase online fundraising by 175% and won awards including the 2013 DoGooder "Funny for Good" video award and the Convio Innovator Award for Best Online Fundraising Campaign. Jaime-Alexis has been a featured speaker at Convio Summit and DC Digital Week; a contributing blogger on Huffington Post, Care2.com, RHRealityCheck.org, NTEN.org, Feministing.com and WorldPulse.org. Outside of her professional work, Jaime-Alexis is deeply passionate about building women’s leadership and improving healthcare for all. She has run 6 marathons, raising more than $40,000 for stroke and cystic fibrosis research as well as UNICEF and has served on the Executive Team at New Leaders Council. Jaime-Alexis holds a Masters Degree in History of International Relations from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is a graduate of Vassar College. She also loves Twitter—find her there talking about #provoice, #cupcakes and other things: @JaimeAlexis.
Danielle Thomas, Services & Volunteer Manager
Danielle came to Exhale with the hope of thinking and talking about abortion in a different way. In 2006 she started working in a Texas abortion clinic; it was here that her passion for counseling, supporting, and advocating for women was cemented. In 2008 Danielle joined Exhale as a volunteer talkline counselor. Soon after becoming a counselor she realized the tremendous impact of Exhale, and became more involved in the organization playing significant roles in fundraising campaigns and the private online community. Danielle was also on the Transition Team of volunteers that managed the talkline during a major staff and financial transition in 2010. Previous to joining Exhale as a staff member, Danielle was a Program Coordinator at United Way of the Bay Area focusing on family financial stability. She was part of the planning, implementation and replication of SparkPoint, a program that helps Bay Area families reach financial stability by addressing education goals, workforce development, and financial needs. Danielle sees Exhale’s counseling model and the pro-voice framework as transformative forces in her own life and she loves being able to share them with others.
Katie Silbiger, Program and Administrative Coordinator
Katie was initially drawn to Exhale as a place to practice her counseling skills around women’s health and wellbeing. Since becoming a talkline counselor in 2012, she’s been continually inspired by Exhale’s mission to move the culture forward around stigmatized issues through Pro-Voice storysharing. Katie expanded her involvement with Exhale through a summer internship and joined the team in 2014. As the Program and Administrative Coordinator, she is excited to improve the internal processes of the organization to prepare Exhale for more great things in the future. Before joining Exhale, Katie spent her time teaching and providing administrative support and management to other Bay Area nonprofits. She graduated cum laude from Carleton College with a BA in Psychology and hopes to pursue her PsyD in the Bay Area.
Maggie Bronson, Program Assistant
Maggie joined Exhale as a talkline counselor in 2012. She was drawn to Exhale's pioneering spirit and the talkline's safe, respectful environment where all abortion experiences can exist free of stigma. As program assistant, Maggie enjoys supporting counselors to do their great listening work, and providing resources to continually serve callers. Before working with Exhale, Maggie was busy freelance writing and training horses. "My favorite thing about being part of Exhale is witnessing how powerful a story becomes when it steps into the light, and is greeted with understanding and acceptance. For me, pro-voice demonstrates how transformative healing happens within a loving community dedicated to listening, mutual empowerment, and hope."
Board of Directors
Exhale’s Board Members are leaders whose volunteer service to Exhale is critical to engaging more people and communities in the Pro-Voice Movement. Board members are role models for pro-voice values and practices in every facet of their personal and professional lives; and as organizational culture carriers, they put our strength-based approach to decision-making into regular practice. Strategic, experienced, and always learning and adapting through experience, Exhale Board Members spread the pro-voice message through their networks and communities as ambassadors, fundraisers, and leaders.
Jocelyn Yin, Washington DC, PRESIDENT
Jocelyn hails from the suburbs of Chicago, where she grew up with an appreciation for clear autumn days, Chinese beef noodle soup, and the Chicago Bulls. As an analyst for the Government Accountability Office (GAO), she has worked on projects related to the accessibility of antibiotics and the federal regulation of real estate appraisals. She studied Economics and Cinema Studies during college and after realizing that she probably wouldn’t fulfill her parent’s dream of becoming an investment banker, obtained her Masters in Public Affairs from Princeton's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. Prior to graduate school, she worked at ZeroDivide, a foundation focused on the intersection of information technology and underserved communities as well as CompassPoint, where she focused on the capacity of arts nonprofits to purchase land in a post-Internet boom period in the San Francisco Bay Area. Jocelyn has also served on the board of Frameline, one of the nation’s largest LGBT media organizations, and volunteered for Exhale, a nationwide post-abortion counseling talkline.
Mariko Miki, J.D., San Francisco, California, VICE-PRESIDENT
Mariko Miki, J.D., is the Director of Academic and Professional Programs at Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ), based in Oakland, California. Mariko provides vision, direction, and evaluation for multi-faceted projects in two of LSRJ’s core programming areas: curriculum enrichment and professional training. Mariko also directs the Reproductive Justice Fellowship Program, which places new lawyers with reproductive justice organizations in Washington D.C. for a one-year fellowship. Prior to working at LSRJ, Mariko gained extensive litigation and pro bono experience as an associate at Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe, LLP in San Francisco. Mariko graduated from Brown University and received her law degree, cum laude, from Harvard. She is licensed by the State Bar of California.
Wen-Hua Yang, New York, New York, TREASURER
Born in Taiwan, and raised in Syracuse, NY, Wen-Hua has diligently served human rights organisations for over ten years. As the Deputy Director of Operations at Avaaz, Wen-Hua is part of a team that oversees the financial and administrative functions of the organization. Wen-Hua has worked and volunteered for various social justice organizations, including stints at Human Rights Watch, UNESCO, National Advocates for Pregnant Women, the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, and the New York Asian Women’s Center. Wen-Hua received her Master’s in Public Administration from New York University, and a B.A. in Asian Studies and Religion from Mount Holyoke College.
Susan Chorley, Boston, Massachusetts, SECRETARY
Since 2005 Reverend Susan Chorley (B.A. Wake Forest University 1994, M.Div/M.A. in Feminist Theology American Baptist Seminary of the West/Graduate Theological Union, 2002) has served as the Director of Renewal House, a domestic violence shelter in Roxbury, Massachusetts and a program of the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry. Susan is an ordained American Baptist minister and served in congregations in Seattle, WA; San Francisco, CA and Beverly, MA. Susan has been active in the work of reproductive justice from writing her Master’s Thesis on a theological approach to offering pastoral care to those who have chosen abortion, serving on the Board of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice in MA and as a co-founder of Exhale. Susan is currently on the C4 Board of PPLM in Massachusetts. In Boston, Susan is a founding member of the MA Restorative Justice Collaborative and founder of “Partners in Faith” a quarterly roundtable for individuals, organizations and congregations who are engaged in faith based organizing around intimate partner violence. Susan and her 11 year old son live in Jamaica Plain, MA.
Sabrina Hersi Issa, Washington DC
Sabrina is the CEO at Be Bold Media, a digital media agency focused on global advocacy and the curator of Storybold. She is also the co-founder of End Famine, a campaign dedicated to seeking sustainable solutions to global hunger launched in response to the famine in the Horn of Africa. Previously, she was a Program Adviser at Afghans for Civil Society, an NGO that developed women’s programs and independent media in southern Afghanistan, worked for National Public Radio and Oxfam America. She has advised women legislators on digital civic engagement and social media and created the Human Rights Roundtable, a monthly gathering for activists and technologists. Forbes named her ’30 Under 30′ for Law and Policy and Washingtonian Magazine featured her as a Woman to Watch. She is a graduate of Ohio State University where she studied International Relations & Diplomacy, Political Science and Women Studies.
Dana Weinstein, Washington DC
Dana Weinstein has over 17 years experience in direct response marketing, 14 of which are concentrated in non-profit fundraising and advocacy efforts. She has raised a combined $200 million for organizations such as AARP, the Democratic National Committee, the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, World Jewish Congress and Hillel: The Foundation for Jewish Campus Life through multi-channel fundraising. In July of 2009, Dana’s world was turned upside down when at 31 weeks into her second pregnancy she received a shocking and devastating diagnosis – her unborn daughter’s brain had several severe anomalies, resulting in a prognosis that was incompatible with life. Faced with the choice of carrying her baby to term only to watch her seize to death upon deliver, or terminate her much wanted pregnancy, Dana made the heartbreaking decision to end the pregnancy. She is vocal about her experience and feels passionately about helping the pro-voice movement continue to create a world where open, honest and emotional conversations about abortion experiences can occur. Dana holds a Masters Degree from George Washington University and currently serves at the Director of Membership at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. She has been happily married for nearly 10 years and is mom to 6-year old Nate, 2-year old Danica and is expecting her 3rd child this summer.
Team of Experts
Cheryl Contee, Partner at Fission Strategy
Cheryl specializes in helping non-profit organizations and foundations use social media to create social good. She is also the co-founder of Jack and Jill Politics writing as “Jill Tubman” on one of the top black blogs online. Cheryl is included in The Root 100 list of established and emerging African-American leaders. Huffington Post listed her as one of the Top 27 Female Founders in Tech to Follow on Twitter in 2011. Fast Company named her one of their 2010 Most Influential Women in Tech. In her spare time, Ms. Contee enjoys hiking, yoga, movies and tai chi sword.
Ijeoma Ezeofor, Program Development, Learning and Engagement
Ijeoma has served Exhale as talkline counselor, online moderator, training intern, fundraiser, and ambassador. She came to Exhale in 2009 and has continued to serve the organization as a pro-voice leader in a variety of programmatic capacities. Ijeoma uses her inside knowledge and insight to consult with Exhale on issues related to volunteer counselor training and organizational culture. Ijeoma is currently in graduate school with research and clinical interests in well-being, self-compassion, and self care.
Patricia Foley Aties, Bookkeeper
Patricia Foley Aties has been Exhale's consultant bookkeeper since 2004. She is a full charge bookkeeper for nonprofits. She is also an enrolled agent, admitted to practice in 1983, to prepare tax. She specializes in nonprofit tax, which believe it or not she enjoys immensely.
Michelle Gislason, MA, Senior Project Director at CompassPoint Nonprofit Services.
Michelle is responsible for the program creation and management of several of CompassPoint’s leadership programs, including the Coaching and Philanthropy Project, the Blue Shield of California Foundation Strong Field Project, and the Leadership Development Program for Executives Serving Transition-Age Youth. Michelle is an instructor at University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs and recently co-authored the award-winning book “Coaching Skills for Nonprofits Managers and Leaders (Jossey-Bass)."
Lisa Hoffman, Nonprofit Consultant
Lisa is a nonprofit consultant and coach with more than 25 years of experience in fund development, facilitation, training, and board and staff development. Specializing in individual giving, with an emphasis on major gifts, her pragmatic approach is creative, and always involves a little mischief. Lisa is also an ordained Zen priest, bringing Buddhist practices of compassion, active engagement, and leaving the ego at the door to her nonprofit consulting.
Nancy Latham, Chief Learning Officer at LFA Group
Nancy directs evaluations in a wide variety of subject areas, including policy advocacy, housing and community development, college readiness, community college programs for older adults, and media. Nancy is passionate about using her research skills to support organizations working for social and cultural change.
Camille Ramani, Founder and Principal Consultant, Ramani Consulting
Camille is an independent consultant committed to social justice with an expertise in "getting things done"! She specializes in helping organizations improve operational efficiencies and improving organizational capacity, specifically in technology management and strategy, workflow processes, and project management. She grew up in India and the Bay Area, is an avid surfer, and loves independent films.
Kristin Rothballer, Organizational Development & Strategy Consultant, Program Director at Tunitas Creek Ranch
Kristin is a social change leader, with a focus on where care for the planet meets advocacy for equality and justice. She consults on organizational development and strategy with nonprofits, foundations and social enterprises, including Exhale. She is also currently serving as Program Director at Tunitas Creek Ranch, a working farm that hosts educational programs and retreats. Kristin was previously the Managing Director of Green for All, an organization she helped to found, which is working to build an inclusive green economy. She worked for many years as the Director of Programs at Bioneers, where she led efforts to widen participation in ecological and community restoration, particularly among underserved youth. Kristin serves on the Board of Trustees for the Tyler Rigg Foundation, is on the board of Edventure More and is a member of the Citizen's Advisory Committee for the Alemany Farmer's Market. She lives in San Francisco and Half Moon Bay, CA with her wife Bess, and their cat and dog.
Rich Snowdon, Coach
Rich is the author of NonprofitHearts, has coached nonprofit leaders since 1999, and was the co-founder of the Child Assault Prevention Training Center of California. He says, "Exhale fills my heart with exclamation points!"
Charlie Glickman, PhD, sexuality coach and certified sex educator
Charlie works with individuals and couples to help them create happy, fulfilling sexual relationships. He is certified by the American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors, and Therapists, and has trained medical and mental health professionals, clergy, non-profit organizations, and community groups. Charlie's areas of expertise include sex-positivity, sex & shame, masculinity and gender, sexual politics, communities of erotic affiliation, and many sexual and relationship practices. You can find out more about him on his website or on Twitter and Facebook.
Jenifer Fernandez Ancona, Women Donors Network
Jenifer is Senior Director of Membership & Communications at Women Donors Network, and has a wide range of experience in communications, donor organizing, strategy development, grassroots organizing, and multi-racial coalition building. She worked most recently as Director of Strategic Communications at Citizen Engagement Laboratory, where she helped to launch and grow progressive online organizing initiatives focused on communities of color, including Presente.org and ColorOfChange.org. Previously, Jenifer served as a Senior Advisor to Steve Phillips and Susan Sandler, as a consultant to the Democracy Alliance, as a top legislative aide in the California State Assembly, and as a news reporter for the Los Angeles Times. Crafting clear communications around a new progressive economic narrative has been a major focus, and her work has included consulting to the Roosevelt Institute, Netroots Nation and National People’s Action.
Amy Hill, MA; Silence Speaks Director, Center for Digital Storytelling
Amy is a digital storytelling instructor, documentary filmmaker, and public health/community development consultant. After spending twelve years coordinating women’s health and violence prevention projects throughout California, she founded Silence Speaks, an international digital storytelling initiative that blends oral history, participatory mediamaking, and popular education to support the telling and public sharing of life stories that document injustice and promote gender equality and human rights.
Thaler Pekar, Thaler Pekar & Partners
Thaler is a leading voice in the field of organizational narrative, ethical storysharing, and communication. Thaler always crosses the street to walk on the sunny side.
Jason Schultz, Director, Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic; UC Berkeley School of Law
Jason is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Law and Director of the Samuelson Law, Technology & Public Policy Clinic at the UC Berkeley School of Law (Boalt Hall). Before joining Boalt Hall as a faculty member in the Samuelson Clinic, he was a Senior Staff Attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), one of the leading digital rights groups in the world. His writing primarily focuses on the ongoing struggle to balance intellectual property regimes with the public interest in free expression, access to knowledge, and innovation in light of new technologies and the challenges they pose.
Eveline Shen, MPH; Executive Director, Forward Together
Eveline has led Forward Together since 1999. Under her leadership, ACRJ has become widely recognized for its innovative leadership in the Reproductive Justice Movement. Eveline serves on the board of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project and Movement Strategy Center. She was recently named by Women’s eNews as one of the 21 leaders for the 21st Century.
Aimee R. Thorne-Thomsen, Vice President for Strategic Partnerships, Advocates for Youth
Aimee has an extensive background in communications, movement-building, and new media technologies across various social justice movements. Currently, she is the Vice President for Strategic Partnerships at Advocates for Youth, a national organization dedicated to helping young people make informed and responsible decisions about their reproductive and sexual health. Prior to joining the staff at Advocates, she served as the Interim Executive Director for the Astraea Lesbian Foundation for Justice and the Executive Director of the Pro-Choice Public Education Project (PEP). Aimée sits on the Boards of Directors of the Reproductive Health Technologies Project, Law Students for Reproductive Justice, RH Reality Check, and Mobilize the Immigrant Vote. You can follow her on Twitter: @aimeett
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