Leadership

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. 

Volunteers

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:

Sarina Irizarry is a Bay Area native who joined Exhale as a talkline counselor in Spring 2013, and currently volunteers with Exhale's trainings. She has a background in social justice and social work. Now, she is currently an Integrative and Functional Nutritionist and Wellness Coach. Her passion is committed to making "souls feel alive!" "I joined Exhale to gain a better understanding of the complexities of abortion, which affects every single person in this world. Through the talkline training, my understanding became more clear when I was able to fully be present and hear each individuals' experience."

Jenna Sprague found her way to Exhale in the Fall of 2016. "I was drawn to the idea of a pro-voice movement and how listening to the stories people share could change the narrative around abortion. Taking calls and listening to these stories has shown me the tremendous amount of strength women and men have in sharing their experiences with a total stranger. Each call reminds me how every person's decision making process is different while at the same time demonstrating the need to connect and talk about the feelings and emotions that are so often ignored. The opportunity that Exhale has provided me has given me the chance to connect with individuals who otherwise may have no one else to talk to. Within a year, the talkline helped me go from the abstract idea of a pro-voice movement to a personal mission to create a space that allows people to express a variety of emotions surrounding an otherwise secret decision. I walk away from every call knowing I have learned something new about the strength of the human spirit and with a renewed strength in building myself and others up in the face of divisive narratives."

Alejandra Perdomo joined Exhale as a talkline counselor in Spring 2017. She is a recent graduate from the University of California, Santa Cruz where she received her B.A. in Psychology and a B.S. in Neuroscience. Currently she is a post-baccalaureate student at Cal-State East Bay on her way to pursue a M.P.H. and M.D. “I joined Exhale to help continue fostering a safe place for individuals to process their abortion experiences on their own terms, free of stigma, politics or judgements. Holding this space with our callers, I’ve learned the importance of active listening, checking my own personal biases, and of remaining engaged in conversations both on the talkline and in everyday life.”

Team

Reverend Susan Chorley, Executive Director

Rev. 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) is an ordained American Baptist minister who has served congregations in NC, WA, CA and MA.  Susan joins Exhale after serving as the Associate Director and Minister of Programs at the Unitarian Universalist Urban Ministry in Roxbury, MA where she oversaw programming focused on domestic violence and out-of-school enrichment for high school students.  Rev. Chorley has a deep history with Exhale, as a co-founder and long-time board member.  Susan is also a co-founder of the Massachusetts Restorative Justice Collaborative and founder of “Partners in Faith” a roundtable for individuals, organizations and congregations who are engaged in faith based organizing around intimate partner violence. In her 17 years of involvement with Exhale, Susan has held deep relationships with staff, volunteers, and others in the Exhale community, serving as an advisor and thought leader. Susan is also a public storyteller, having first shared her personal abortion experience in a 2016 Parent’s Magazine article featuring the stories of mothers who have had abortions. This publicity led to the launch of Exhale’s Pro-Voice Sermon Tour, during which Susan shared her story as a means to create space for bringing abortion into church communities. Building on the success of the tour, The Daily Beast published her op-ed in October 2016. Susan was named a “2017 Faith Leader to Watchby the Center for American Progress, receiving praise for her boldness in preaching about her abortion to congregations around the country, and was featured in a recent CNN.com piece about Exhale’s groundbreaking pro-voice work. Susan speaks, consults, leads workshops and writes frequently on topics including faith, domestic violence,  restorative justice and being an effective ally/accomplice to communities targeted by racism as well as LGBQ/T communities. Susan and her 15 year old son live in Boston,  MA.

Mara Kassoff, Deputy Director

Mara Kassoff is thrilled to be applying her direct experience using stories to open difficult conversations to this important field. With her passion for creating safe space for dialogue combined with her deep belief that social change is possible through sharing authentic, personal narratives, Mara is committed to the provision of much needed services that support the healing of women and men after their abortion experiences. Mara has an MBA from the American Jewish University and over 15 years of experience working in the nonprofit sector. A former COO, Mara is also a skilled facilitator and informal educator, having taught workshops and trainings on topic areas such as organizational development, budgeting, program design, and youth empowerment models. Her previous employers include Jewish LearningWorks, Jewish Vocational Services, The American Jewish University, and United Synagogue Youth. She is an advisor to and has served on the board of directors of About-Face, an organization that promotes body positivity and equips girls and women with tools for combating harmful media messages.

Nina Pine, Senior Manager, Community Engagement

Nina Pine is a Health Promotion specialist who uses growth marketing, health design, and technology to improve health equity globally. Specializing in LGBT, sexual, reproductive, and women's health, Nina has worked with both non-profits and health-tech companies for the past seven years. Her experiences growing up in her hometown of Kathmandu, Nepal have always propelled her towards her passion: to create open dialogue and to increase access to the rights, resources, and recognition needed to ensure all individuals have access to safe, holistic, and compassionate healthcare. Nina has an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine--where her research focused on the barriers and facilitators to transgender healthcare access in South Asia--and a BA in Critical Theory and Social Justice from Occidental College. Say hello @Nina_Pine.

Kimball Lane, Senior Fundraising Strategist

Kimball Lane has over 25 years of experience working with non-profits and social enterprises bringing attention and needed resources to community programs. She founded three non-profits, two corporations and  served as the Executive Director for the California Alliance for Domestic Violence and Vice president of Marketing and Development for Boys and Girls Clubs of San Francisco. Her experience working on presidential and local political campaigns, as well as her roles with social change organizations led her to found her consulting company  where she has worked with over 250 national and international clients. Her specialty is developing long term resource sustainability models, individual donor strategies, development campaigns,  and working with clients who are in strategic or leadership transition.   Ms. Lane is also a certified executive coach working with non-profit and political leaders to create strong and relevant strategies for the implementation of the organizational goals.

Ziska Maria, Lead Trainer, After-abortion Talkline

Ziska Maria, PsyD brings her experience as a clinical psychologist and consultant specializing in integrative medicine and women’s health. In addition to her consulting work, she has been running an integrative mental health program at the Women’s Community Clinic in San Francisco for 5 years. At the clinic she collaborates with a range of providers to support the holistic health and wellness of a diverse client population while training doctoral students in clinical psychology in the provision of culturally sensitive integrative mental services. Her postdoctoral fellowship was at the UCSF Benioff Children's Hospital in Oakland working in inpatient integrative health and psychiatric crisis. She completed a predoctoral internship at the UCSF Infant-Parent Program at SF General Hospital. She has over seven years of clinical experience in a range of settings working with diverse women and children treating depression, anxiety, interpersonal issues, trauma, and other complex clinical issues from a culturally informed perspective. She received a doctorate in clinical psychology from the Wright Institute in Berkeley, CA. Her dissertation was a formative program evaluation developing sustainable mental health services at the Women’s Community Clinic. Prior to her doctoral studies she worked for education, social service, and arts nonprofits in development, marketing, and volunteer coordination. She also has experience as a crisis hotline volunteer for RAINN, Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network.

Amalia Bob-Waksberg, Exhale Intern

Amalia Bob-Waksberg Amalia Bob-Waksberg is delighted to be a part of the Exhale team. Amalia has worked in the movement to end sexual assault and domestic violence for 8 years and is excited to bring her crisis counseling and community education experience to Exhale. She is passionate about the radical act of compassionate and active listening and has seen the healing power of letting someone speak their truth. Amalia believes strongly in the power of storytelling. As an undergrad, she co-founded a storytelling project for folks to anonymously share their experiences of sexual assault on campus and witnessed the campus climate shift as a result. She believes that Exhale is doing the necessary work of complicating and broadening the narrow and faceless stories we've been told about abortion. She received her BA in Women’s and Gender Studies from Brandeis University and her thesis explored innovative programs working beyond the state to respond to intimate partner violence.

Patricia Foley, Bookkeeper

Patricia Foley 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.

 

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.

Genevieve Brennan, Brooklyn, NY, President

Genevieve Brennan is a digital publishing professional, working with media and technology partners at Google. She focuses on enabling news and magazine publishers grow their audience and innovate for our digital, mobile world. Whether it's a breaking news article, a live video, or a nice long novel, she wants to know about it, and she wants you to have access to it too. A graduate of Wellesley College, Genevieve is a strong supporter of women's rights around the world, and believes that storytelling is one of the most important ways of understanding ourselves and one another.

Nicole Castillo, Boston, MA, Treasurer

Nicole Castillo is a social entrepreneur with a passion for fusing technology with civic engagement. She currently serves as the Director of Public Policy and Advocacy at the Mass Alliance on Teen Pregnancy. She was a co-founder of BeVisible, an online career platform for Latinx Millennials, where her work as a digital content-producer focused on Latinx leadership and empowerment. Nicole is an active member of The Philanthropy Connection’s Young Philanthropist group, and serves on the board of directors for Jane Doe Inc., the MA Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence. Nicole has over 8 years experience working in the domestic and sexual violence movement, and is deeply committed to gender equity and cultivating the leadership of women in their homes, communities, and politics. She was an inaugural recipient of the 2016 Edie Windsor Lesbians Who Tech Coding Scholarship, and serves as an ambassador to the fund.

Sally Steenland, Washington, DC, Secretary

Sally Steenland is a writer and consultant whose work focuses on women, work and family; reproductive justice; religious liberty; and the influence of religion on politics and culture. For 11 years she directed the Faith and Progressive Policy Initiative at the Center for American Policy, where she led national and state-based work on religious liberty, reproductive justice, economic inequality, anti-Muslim bigotry and more. While at CAP, Sally created the Faith and Reproductive Justice Leadership Institute, wrote a weekly column, Faith in Values, and served as a national spokesperson on issues of faith, values and culture. Before working at CAP, Sally was a frequent op-ed columnist for The Philadelphia Inquirer, where she wrote a syndicated column on critical social issues. She spent a decade at the National Commission on Working Women and Wider Opportunities for Women, where her work focused on women in nonprofessional jobs and the image and employment of women in the media.

Charlie Glickman, Seattle, WA

Charlie Glickman, PhD is a sex & relationship coach, a sexuality educator, a sexological bodyworker, and an internationally-acclaimed speaker. He’s been working in this field for over 20 years, and some of his areas of focus include sex & shame, sex-positivity, queer issues, masculinity & gender, communities of erotic affiliation, and many sexual & relationship practices. Charlie is also the co-author of The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure: Erotic Exploration for Men and Their Partners. Find out more about him on his website or on Twitter and Facebook. For Charlie’s sex coaching and sexological bodywork services, visit MakeSexEasy.com.

Laurenellen McCann, Washington, DC

Laurenellen McCann is an educator and organizer known internationally for their work on power-shifting approaches to civic engagement, reform, and innovation. In 2014, they started the movement to prioritize community-leadership in civic tech under the banner, “build with, not for”. Currently, Laurenellen participates in DC local efforts to support resilience, resistance, and protect human rights during our new political regime and the hereafter. In the past, they've co-designed community impact evaluations (New America DC, Smart Chicago Collaborative), taught local governments how to structure projects for meaningful public contribution (Sunlight Foundation, Open Technology Institute, Funk Parade), lead anti-oppression and bias discovery trainings for institutions (New America, Code for America Brigades), lobbied on the freedom of information act (Sunlight Foundation), and "gave birth" to a giant cardboard dinosaur/community mascot. L(e) is the author of “Experimental Modes of Civic Engagement in Civic Tech” (2015) and a contributor to the (Re)Building Technology zine. In 2013, TIME Magazine named them one of 30 folks under 30 changing the world. More at laurenellen.com and @elle_mccann.

Mariya Taher, Boston, MA

Mariya Taher has worked in the anti-gender violence field in the areas of research, policy, program development, and direct service. She received her MSW from San Francisco State University in 2010 where she pursued a qualitative study titled, “Understanding Female Genital Cutting in the United States.” Since then, she has worked on the issue of domestic violence at W.O.M.A.N., Inc., Asian Women’s Shelter, and Saheli, Support and Friendship for South Asian Women and Families in Massachusetts. She was a 2014 Women’s Policy Institute Fellow for The Women’s Foundation of California and her team successfully passed legislation to provide low-income survivors of domestic violence with basic needs grants. She has also been an adjunct lecturer at San Francisco State University where she taught “Gender, Sexism, and Social Welfare Institutions” in the Social Work Department. In 2015, she cofounded Sahiyo to empower Asian communities to end female genital cutting. In 2017, she joined the Topos Partnership, an organization with the mission to explore and ultimately change the landscape of public understanding where public interest issues play out, as their Narrative Liaison. The Manhattan Young Democrats honored her as a 2017 Engendering Progress honoree. In 2017, Mariya also graduated with her MFA in Creative Writing, where she received the 2016 Lesley University Graduate Student Leadership Award. She is a prolific writer in fiction and nonfiction with essays and short stories appearing on NPR, Ms. Magazine, Huffington Post, Brown Girl Magazine, Solstice Literary Magazine, The Express Tribune, The San Francisco Examiner, The Flexible Persona, Cecile’s Writer’s Magazine, and more. Follow her on Twitter: @mariyataher83

Natalia Koss Vallejo, Seattle, WA

Natalia Koss Vallejo was born and raised in Milwaukee, WI. Her mother, a Colombian immigrant and mental health professional, and her father, an electrician member of IBEW Local 494 and long-time activist, instilled progressive values in her from a very young age. After her own unplanned pregnancy and abortion at age 17, Natalia spent the next 13 years of her career devoted to reproductive justice and advocacy, working with organizations like Exhale, Planned Parenthood, and NARAL. Through her work with Exhale, Natalia was trained as a story sharer and public speaker, and has since shared her abortion story with many media outlets including MTV, Cosmopolitan Magazine, Al Jazeera, and the Huffington Post. In addition to her abortion story sharing work, she has also worked as a consultant and field organizer for several grassroots campaigns in WI, and after graduating from Public Allies (an Americorps program) worked in several community based nonprofits. She earned her degree from University of Wisconsin with a dual major in Latin American Studies and Women's Studies, with minor certificates in LGBTQA and Caribbeans/U.S. Latino studies. Natalia moved to Seattle, WA in 2016 after falling in love with the Pacific Northwest's gloomy weather. She loves gardening, cooking, and playing pool and when she's not fighting for progressive policy, she's obsessively watching Game of Thrones or Star Trek: The Next Generation. After spending her first year and a half working as the Statewide Field Organizer for NARAL Pro-Choice Washington, she accepted a new position as Executive Director for the King County Democrats in August of 2017. She now lives with her partner, Daniel, and their cat, Newton, in Seattle's Madrona neighborhood.

Special Advisors

Aspen Baker, Exhale Founder 

Aspen Baker is an award-winning author, leader and speaker. She is the author of Pro-Voice: How to Keep Listening When the World Wants a Fight, and the Founder of Exhale. She served as Exhale's Executive Director for 15 years.

Aspen gave the first TED talk on abortion in 2015, which has more than 1.5 million views. Her book “Pro-Voice,” also published in 2015, received Living Now Award’s 2016 Evergreen Gold Medal for World Peace and an IPPY Bronze Medal for Current Events (Humanitarian Issues). She has written for Elle.com, New York Times, TED.com, New York Daily News, Refinery29, Huffington Post, and the Stanford Social Innovation Review, among others. As a spokesperson for Exhale, Aspen has been featured by media outlets across the country, including CNN Headline News, Fox National News, Ladies Home Journal, The New York Times, National Public Radio, and many more. Her essay “My Abortion Brought Us Together” was featured in the anthology Nothing But The Truth So Help Me God: 51 Women Reveal the Power of Positive Female Connection.

Aspen was named “Miss Body Positive” by Mashable and called a “fun, fearless female” by Cosmopolitan. She lives in Oakland, California with her family.
You can find her on Twitter: @aspenbaker

Sabrina Hersi Issa, CEO at Be Bold Media

Sabrina Hersi Issa is the CEO at Be Bold Media, a digital media agency focused on global advocacy and the co-founder of End Famine, a campaign dedicated to developing sustainable solutions to hunger, food security and humanitarian assistance. She was the 2015 Event Chair of Web of Change at the Esalen Institute. Previously, Sabrina was a fellow at the Roosevelt Institute where she worked on issues related to technology, human rights and humanitarian disasters. She has worked for Afghans for Civil Society, Oxfam America, NBC News and National Public Radio stations. Sabrina also organizes Rights x Tech, a gathering for technologists and activists and runs Survivor Fund, a political fund dedicated to supporting the rights of survivors of sexualized violence. Sabrina was named one of Forbes Magazine Top 30 under 30, EBONY Magazine Power 100 Honoree and Washingtonian Magazine named her a Woman to Watch as part of it’s annual Most Powerful Women issue. She is a graduate of Ohio State University and also serves on the board of directors of NARAL Pro-Choice America and the Project on Middle East Democracy. She volunteers as a Crisis Counselor with Crisis Text Line.

Lisa Hoffman, Nonprofit Consultant

Lisa Hoffman 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 Latham 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.


Deb Levine, Advisor

Deb Levine is a renowned leader in using technology for sexual and reproductive health. She has become a mentor and advisor for several startups and organizations including the FastForward non-profit incubator, Health 2.0 Traction, RWJF, and Exhale. She lives in Oakland with her husband and two teens, and has very thick skin.

 
Rich Snowdon, Coach

Rich Snowdon 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!"

 

Amy Hill, MA; Silence Speaks Director, Center for Digital Storytelling

Amy Hill 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.

Eveline Shen, MPH; Executive Director, Forward Together

Eveline Shen 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.

 
 
 
 

Exhale is a 501(c)3 organization (EIN/tax ID: 94-3393719)