REBECCA SNYDER FAWCETT
Becky Fawcett is the founder and president of Helpusadopt.org, an equality based organization that seeks to reduce the financial burden of adoption by awarding large, life-changing, problem-solving grants. She graduated from Franklin & Marshall College in 1992 with a BA in American Studies.
After graduation, Becky began working in media, first for Baltimore magazine, and then for Philadelphia magazine as the director of marketing. In 1999, she founded The Fawcett Group, a full-service public relations and marketing firm with offices in New York City and Philadelphia.
Becky and her husband Kipp adopted their son, Jake, in 2005, and their daughter, Brooke, in 2009. After adopting their son, Becky and Kipp, were so grateful that they had the financial means to adopt that they decided to make a donation to an organization that would help ease another family’s financial burden. Sadly, they could not find an adoption grant organization that was based on a mission of equality. To address this need and help all types of families, they founded Helpusadopt.org in 2007. Under Becky's leadership, Helpusadopt.org has grown from a kitchen-table organization into a strong, national presence with a full time staff of five, board of 14, hundreds of volunteers, and thousands of donors.
Becky has received a number of accolades as the founder of Helpusadopt.org. She was named one of CNN's 2011 Heroes, and a "Hero Among Us" by PEOPLE Magazine. She received the Congressional Institute's Angels in Adoption Award in 2013. She was recognized by The Wall Street Journal as a Donor of the Day, and last year, she was recognized by Neiman Marcus as a strong woman who is making noise within her community. Her groundbreaking work has also been featured on The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Steve Harvey Show and People.com.
Becky lives in Manhattan with her husband Kipp and her children Jake and Brooke.
Founder, Board Vice Chair
Kipp is a consultant at Accordion Partners. Accordion is the only consulting firm focused exclusively within the Office of the CFO. Accordion works alongside Private Equity sponsor management teams to support initiatives across the entire finance function. While engagements span all industries and sizes, the focus is consistent: flawless execution.
Kipp earned his B.A. degree in finance from Franklin & Marshall College in 1993, his MBA from Villanova University in 1996 and completed his CFA degree in 1999. The decision to launch Helpusadopt.org was almost immediate once he realized what the average adoption costs are, how many couples struggle financially and how others go childless.
VERONICA MIELE BEARD
Veronica Miele Beard was raised in northern New Jersey. She graduated from Franklin & Marshall College and studied abroad in Florence, Italy. With a head for business and a heart for culture, she is inspired by myriad forms of art and has always enjoyed taking fashion risks. Her first job was on Wall Street in sales and trading. After a brief stint in the ‘90s working for Ron Galotti at Vogue, Veronica returned to the world of finance. She reached the pinnacle of her finance career when she helped Philippe Laffont launch Coatue Management, LLC, a premier technology hedge fund, where she was partner and COO. There she learned how to manage and organically build a business. Her quest to find and fill a void in the market led her to the fashion industry to create the perfect uniform for women; cool, sexy and chic. She believes in enhancing a woman’s personal strengths and features through her individual look. Veronica lives in Manhattan with her husband, Anson H. Beard, and their five children, Helaina, Scarlett, Anson Jr., India, and Matthew Rhett.
Jackie Cohen had a successful career on Wall Street that ultimately left her unfulfilled and burnt out. At age 35, she decided to make a change and quit her job to travel the world for a year before coming home to join her family’s growing business, Timeless Fine Jewelry. By 42, Jackie knew she wanted a family of her own and embarked on a journey that led her to the adoption of her beautiful daughter, Julia. Being a single mother and propelling her business into success keeps Jackie very busy, but she devotes her spare time to helping others through her work with HelpUsAdopt.org, an organization committed to providing financial support to families who have a desire to adopt.
LISA BLAIR DAVIS
Lisa Blair Davis is currently Global Head of Human Resources, Medical Devices at Johnson & Johnson. She is responsible for global HR strategy for the Medical Device sector. Lisa is focused on driving long-term successful Leadership, Talent and Culture at J&J.
Lisa has been with Johnson & Johnson for over 25 years having served in each of the three business sectors. She was Head of Global Benefits & Health and International Total Rewards here the led the strategy, design and execution of Johnson & Johnson’s global benefits programs while providing oversight of the international Total Rewards functions. In this role, Lisa advanced industry-leading Workplace policies and programs including global parental leave, consistency of eligibility in policy harmonization, fertility and adoption. Lisa holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Finance from Florida State University and an MBA from the University of Florida. Lisa lives in New Hope, PA with her husband Paul, nine year-old son.
Jeff Dorschuck serves as the Vice President of Business and Professional Banking Regional Manager at M&T Bank where he has worked for over 16 years. Jeff was born and raised in Valley Stream, NY and is married to Danielle with whom he has a three month old named girl, Isabella Marie. He is a sports enthusiast being a big fan of the NY Mets, NY Jets, and Penn State football. He's an avid traveler who has visited over 36 countries and enjoys play golf on his downtime.
Jeff is passionate about Helpusadopt.org's mission and is very excited to help more kids who are in need of a loving, permanent home.
Melissa Dworanczyk was born in Nowa Juta, Poland and came to the United States when she was 2 months old with her adoptive parents and an adopted brother that is coincidentally two days older than her. She is a Director within the Professional Services group at SS&C Technologies went to the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA and currently lives in Brooklyn, NY. Melissa loves to travel and has been back to Poland multiple times since she was born to see the hospitals where both her and her brother were born. Her adoption story is a special story that she has always welcomed sharing. She feels fortunate that because of her journey she is now able to help make other families complete and be a part of their unique stories.
Glenn Hill is the proud father of three adopted children. He is also a Managing Director with J.P. Morgan Private Bank’s Global Fund Structuring Team where he focuses on structuring and funds management for private equity funds, real estate funds and hedge funds. Mr. Hill serves as President of J.P. Morgan Private Investments Inc., an SEC registered investment adviser that manages private client assets in J.P. Morgan multi-manager portfolios and feeder funds. Prior to joining the Private Bank in 2003, he worked for J.P. Morgan Partners and the J.P. Morgan Investment Bank, where he managed institutional private equity fundraisings for both internal and third-party fund managers. Mr. Hill received his M.B.A. from Columbia Business School and B.S. in Advertising from Florida State University.
Cindy Huang is an IP Counsel with the Intellectual Property Law Strategy team of American Express. She advises on a multitude of IP issues, including but not limited to, IP provisions in agreements, IP diligence on investments and acquisitions, and IP threats and litigations. Additionally, Cindy manages the company patent portfolio.
Prior to joining American Express, Cindy held senior counsel and counsel positions at various law firms, where she, among other responsibilities, prepared and prosecuted hundreds of domestic and foreign patent applications, prepared IP strategies, and provided clearance and non-infringement opinions for large Fortune 100-types of companies to small startups. Cindy received her undergraduate degree from the University of Michigan and her J.D. from Loyola University of Chicago.
Conner Huber started her career as a brand strategist at Fallon, and went on to hold positions at Wieden and Kennedy, Crispin, Porter + Bogusky, Modernista and Commonwealth//McCann. She is now the Chief Strategy Officer of mcgarrybowen New York, a global creative network. Conner a is passionate believer in the power of creativity to transform our world. That passion has helped birth iconic creative campaigns, from Nike's "Find Your Greatness" to Chevrolet's “Find New Roads” — campaigns that have redefined categories, created culture and invigorated companies. Contributing award-winning strategy has landed her agencies awards ranging from Cannes Lions, Effies, One Shows, Clios, to Webbys and more. Conner is an active agent for change in the industry and promotes her perspective via speaking on stages large and small—from the ANA to the 4As and for her parent company Dentsu Aegis Network--and a contributing writer for various trade publications.
Conner loves coming in to work because of the brilliant, creative people she gets to work with every day. If you don’t find her at mcgarrybowen, she’s probably running around after her troublemaker daughter and son, with her equally troublemaker partner, Matt. Conner, who herself was adopted at birth, was drawn to Helpusadopt.org because she can see that the organization is truly changing peoples’ lives and it also speaks to her personal experience as an adoptee. She can't imagine people not being able to experience parenthood because they don't conform to societal norms of parenthood.
DAVID A. JAVDAN
David A. Javdan is a Managing Director with Alvarez & Marsal in Washington, D.C., and New York. As a former legal executive and federal and state financial regulator, he brings seasoned experience and credibility in the corporate and public sectors. Mr. Javdan was recently appointed to Governor Andrew Cuomo's Commission to Investigate Public Corruption (“Moreland Commission”) to examine potential corruption in NY state government, political campaigns and elections. He has extensive knowledge in private equity investing, small business lending, sophisticated financial transactions, complex financial accounting and audit matters, health care law and multi-party international litigation.
Previously, Mr. Javdan served as General Counsel of the U.S. Small Business Administration. Before joining the U.S. Small Business Administration, Mr. Javdan was an attorney with Stroock & Stroock & Lavan, where he primarily focused on health care, insurance, international financial institutions and litigation. There, he represented the Austrian Jewish community on Holocaust restitution matters, leading negotiating sessions with the U.S. State Department and Austrian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and participated in complex, multi-party international litigation.
Mr. Javdan earned a bachelor's degree from Columbia University and a J.D. from Fordham Law School. He helped found and served as pro bono counsel to a number of charitable organizations, including the JED Foundation, a national organization dedicated to helping prevent suicide among college students and the Iranian American Jewish Federation. He is currently a trustee on the executive committee of the New York Citizens Budget Commission.
Anthony Klarman is a Managing Director and Global Head of High Yield Research for Deutsche Bank Securities, also covering the telecom, cable and satellite sectors for the firm in US High Yield. Anthony has been ranked by Institutional Investor as one of the top analysts in his field for the past several years and has been with the firm for over 16 years. In addition, Anthony is part of the firm's Global Research Management Committee as well as the Leveraged Credit Executive Committee in the US. Mr. Klarman is a holder of the following FINRA/NASD licenses: Series 7,24,63,86,87.
Mr. Klarman received his BS in Finance from Lehigh University in Bethlehem, PA. Aside from Helpusadopt.org, Anthony has extensive experience in the non-profit arena as he currently serves on two other non-profit boards and has been the Board Chair of one non-profit for over 7 years. Mr. Klarman has a very personal involvement with adoption as he and his wife have built their family through this process. Anthony resides in New York City with his wife Laura and children Lucas and Estella.
Robert Klein is a Partner of RedBird Capital Partners. Based in New York, Robert oversees all operational functions of the firm as well as its global Entrepreneur & Family Office (“EFO”) Network Prior to joining RedBird, Robert spent ten years at JPMorgan, most recently as Global Head of the Alternative Investments Group - a hedge fund, private equity/credit and real estate platform with over $80 billion in assets under supervision (“AUS”). During his tenure at JPMorgan, Robert was also President of J.P. Morgan Alternative Asset Management (“JPMAAM”), a $13 billion hedge fund solutions provider that served both institutional and retail investors globally. He helped to lead the group’s efforts into liquid alternatives and a more fully developed separate account capability for clients. He also served on the Private Bank’s Global Investment Review Committee, the Private Equity Advisory Committee (which manages portfolios of private equity fund of funds), the firm’s Commercial Real Estate Council, the Investment Management Americas Operating Committee and the Private Bank Investment Team. Robert also worked for four years as a Director at North Street Partners, a private equity investment firm that specialized in lower-middle market transactions. Prior to North Street, Robert worked for six years at Bernstein Investment Research & Management, where he was a Vice President in the firm’s wealth management division.
Robert is a graduate of the NYU-Stern School of Business (MBA in Accounting & Finance) and Cornell University (B.S. in Industrial and Labor Relations). He currently serves as Co-Chair of the Advisory Board of the Make a Wish Foundation of Metro New York and is also a member of the Cornell ILR Finance Council.
COOPER SMITH KOCH
Cooper Koch is the founder of Cooper Smith Agency, a Dallas-based PR and social media firm focused on the building materials, commercial real estate and construction industries. He is also the founder and publisher of He Said magazine — an online source of things to do, see, buy, enjoy, etc., all from a witty gay perspective — and storyteller on his blog Cooped Up and Facebook Live. In 2012, Cooper and his family, including husband, Todd, and their two (adopted) children, Claire and Mason, were featured in a national Father's Day marketing campaign for JCPenney that triggered a boycott from the "Million Moms" and worldwide news coverage of the first-of-its-kind ad.
Cooper has been a vocal and financial supporter of Helpusadopt.org for many years, and has written about the organization's success for Huffington Post, dedicated his birthday as a fundraiser, and is always encouraging potential recipients to apply.
Having adopted two children himself, Cooper knows firsthand how expensive it can be. Like Helpusadopt.org's founders, he refuses to believe that any person's inability to come up with a lump sum of $40,000 should in any way be a measure of their ability to be a fantastic parent to a child who needs a home.
Keith Lavitt is President of Super Enterprises, the regional wholesale distributor for the Marvin family of window and door products in lower NY, NJ, DE, eastern PA, GA and southern NC. Keith received his BS from Cornell University and his MBA from New York University.
Keith is an active member of Vistage, an international CEO membership organization, and the Executive Council on Construction Supply. Keith resides in Long Island, NY with his wife Lisa and their two children, one of whom is adopted.
Courtney Lawless currently works at Morgan Stanley. She has spent her entire career in finance, and was previously the Director of Private Placement at Academy Securities (Farrell Marsh & Co) where she assisted private equity, real estate and hedge funds secure capital commitments from large institutional investors globally. She previously worked for Discovery Capital Management, a New York based hedge fund as a Chief Compliance Officer, and as an Accountant with Longwood Investment Advisors. She holds a B.S. in Accounting and an MBA in Corporate Finance from Upper Iowa University. Courtney was introduced to Helpusadopt.org through another board member, Sarah Marshall, and instantly knew she had to get involved. Many years earlier, after the birth of her son, she was not able to have more children due to health issues. She and her husband had wanted to adopt, but were told that due to the severity of her health issues at the time, the chances they would be able to adopt were likely impossible. Now being involved in the organization allows her to help other people create their own families. She currently resides on the Main Line with her husband and son.
Kathleen Lynch was born in Floral Park, New York and moved coast-to-coast three times for work before finding her home in Encinitas, California. Kathleen is Vice President of Global Government Affairs & Public Policy at Illumina, Inc., the world’s largest DNA sequencing company. Kathleen was a corporate attorney in Boston and New York before transitioning into government affairs. She is on the Board of the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce and serves on the Advisory Council for the College of Science and Mathematics, California State University San Marcos. Kathy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of New Hampshire and a Juris Doctorate from St. John’s University School of Law.
Kathleen’s journey let her to the adoption of her amazing daughter Addison Joy Lynch. Kathleen considers Addison her direct gift from God. Being a single mother and working full-time at a job she loves, keeps Kathleen running at full speed on a daily basis
Sarah Marshall joins our board as an advocate of Helpusadopt.org’s inclusive, non-discriminatory mission to support and grow loving families. Since earning her MBA at Wharton in 2000, Sarah has worked in private equity, primarily as a marketing agent and fundraiser for emerging firms in the US and Europe. A 1993 graduate of the Air Force Academy, Sarah served for five years as an acquisitions officer on the avionics program for the B-2 aircraft. She and her husband Brad live near Philadelphia. Sarah is dedicated to her three children and involved with numerous efforts to support the arts in Philadelphia.
Michael Miller is a founder and Vice President of Miller Bros., an energy services firm based in Conshohocken, PA that constructs and maintains electrical substation, transmission and distribution systems as well as natural gas transmission and distribution systems. Miller Bros. is a resource for large investor owned utilities and private power facility owners of renewable energy wind, solar and battery storage systems. Michael is part of the founding team at Miller Bros. Solar, a National operations and maintenance provider to owners of solar generating facilities.
Michael resides in Gladwyne, PA with his wife Jennifer and their two children. Michael spends as much time as possible raising, watching, laughing and learning with his family. Mike’s other interests include history, architecture and playing golf.
Greg is Executive Vice President for OrthoPediatrics, a company focused exclusively on commercializing surgical devices for children with orthopedic conditions. Greg has spent his entire 26 year career in the orthopedic device industry, serving in a number of capacities from sales and sales management to executive leadership. He was part of the team that helped launch OrthoPediatrics in 2007, and has been involved in several capital raises throughout the company’s history. OrthoPediatrics completed a successful IPO in October, 2017, and is traded under ticker symbol KIDS.
Greg’s adoption story began in 2007, after years of trying to start a family, when he and his wife, Cindi, adopted Alexander at birth from Alexandria, Virginia. Three years later, they were blessed with Ryan, who was adopted at birth from Atlanta, Georgia. The Odle family currently lives in Ft. Wayne, Indiana.
CARLY SNYDER, M.D.
Dr. Carly Snyder is a reproductive and perinatal psychiatrist with a unique approach that combines traditional psychiatry with integrative medicine-based treatments. Dr. Snyder received her medical degree from NYU School of Medicine and completed general psychiatry residency at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Center with additional reproductive psychiatry elective training at the Payne Whitney Women’s Program at NY Presbyterian Weill Cornell Medical Center. She maintains a private practice on the Upper East Side in NYC where she serves as Director of Women’s Health for Family Health Associates, and is voluntary faculty at NY-Presbyterian Weill Cornell and at Mount Sinai Beth Israel Medical Centers. She is currently on the President’s Advisory Council and was the Research Chair and a Board Member for Postpartum Support International for several terms.
Dr. Snyder was named a ‘2019 New York Super Doctors Rising Star’ and is a frequent lecturer on the topic of women’s health and wellness. Her weekly radio show, “MD for Moms,” can be heard on TuneIn radio, iHeart Radio, the BBM Global Network or anytime on her website. Dr. Snyder’s HuffPost parenting blog shares the “MD for Moms” moniker. She also is a regular contributor to many popular websites such as Medium, Mommybites, Romper, and Wellrounded. Dr. Snyder resides in NYC and the North Fork with her husband and three awesome children. In her free time you can find Dr. Snyder training for a marathon, skiing or gardening.
KAREN ANISI SPERBER
Karen grew up in Chicago and graduate from Loyola University of Chicago with a B.A in Finance. She began work immediately at The Northern Trust Chicago, as a Vice President. Karen was a Relationship Manager in the Trust Department for 16 years with clients nationwide including ERISA, Taft-Hartley and Insurance Pension Funds. Karen left Northern Trust to stay at home to care for her children full time.
Having championed many efforts in her school district and beyond for the rights of children with disabilities she became fully committed to helping children. She also sits on another Board which raises scholarship money to send kids to camp who financially could not attend.
Karen and her husband of 25 years, the Global Corporate Head of Mayer Brown, adopted their oldest son Jake, from Bulgaria 20 years ago. Two other children followed, Joseph now age 19 and Sophia now 16. Karen and her family live in a Northern Suburb of Chicago, Northbrook.
Laura Fechter Klarman, Psy.D. received a B.A. in Psychology with Honors from the University of Michigan in 1991. She then completed a doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology from the Ferkauf Graduate School of Yeshiva University in New York City. Dr. Fechter Klarman has maintained a private practice in Manhattan for nearly nine years and ultimately resigned from administrative work in order to dedicate herself exclusively to her practice. Her clinical work with adults and couples focuses on a wide range of presenting problems including affective disorders, anxiety disorders, trauma, and relationship issues. More recently she has expanded her clinical focus to include work on infertility and adoption related issues. She has done volunteer for RESOLVE, a national infertility organization for the past three and a half years and currently serves as the Volunteer Coordinator for the NYC area. Her interest in adoption is personal in addition to professional, as she has built her family through adoption.
Leslie Grossman’s breakout role was as the spoiled rich girl “Mary Cherry” on the WB’s Popular. She followed that up with four years on the WB series What I Like About You. She also appeared in Murphy’s film Running With Scissors, as well as his series The New Normal and Nip/Tuck, and reunited for the hit FX anthology show American Horror Story: Cult as scene-stealer “Meadow Wilton.” She rejoined the AHS cast on Apocalypse as the equally entertaining “Coco St. Pierre Vanderbilt.”
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Grossman always secretly wanted to be an actress, although she never really expected it to happen. Her initial foray into showbiz was as a director of one-act plays in a festival at Crossroads School, a performing arts high school in Los Angeles. She switched gears from director to actress during her senior year at Sarah Lawrence College in New York. Grossman starred in a theatre production of Cereal! which was so successful that it made a one-year run off-Broadway. Subsequently, the play made its way to Los Angeles at the Hudson Theater.
Grossman’s numerous television credits include guest appearances on Black-ish, Fuller House, Love, The Good Place, Speechless, Girlfriends’ Guide to Divorce, 2 Broke Girls, Modern Family, Major Crimes, Whitney, CSI, Scandal, Dexter, and Grey’s Anatomy.
Grossman was drawn to Helpusadopt.org because she is not only an adoptee but also a mom by adoption. When not working, Grossman enjoys spending time with family and friends, shopping, and going to the movies.
Fran Hauser is President of Digital for Time Inc.’s Style and Entertainment Group. In her role, she oversees PEOPLE.com, the most visited site in the publishing industry, as well as EW.com, InStyle.com and others. These sites reach over 38 million unique visitors each month and generate more than one billion page views. Hauser is also responsible for the mobile and tablet strategy for these brands including the launch of over 20 consumer products, reaching more than 4 million users, available on the mobile web or as applications.
Hauser has been in the digital media space for 14 years and played an integral role in the $400 million sale of Moviefone to AOL. Earlier in her career, she held positions at PricewaterhouseCoopers, Ernst & Young and Coca-Cola Enterprises.
In 2011, Hauser was named to the FOLIO: 40, a list of the most distinguished magazine and media professionals from every corner of the industry. Two years earlier, she was named one of Ad Age’s “Women to Watch”, a list of the “30 marketers, media sellers and agency executives to keep your eye on today.” She was also inducted into Media Industry Newsletter’s (MIN) Digital Hall of Fame in May 2008.
Hauser is an active philanthropist, serving on the Board of Directors of GlobalGiving and ZenCare and on the Advisory Board of Helpusadopt. She is also a co-founder of GlobalGiving’s New York Leadership Council and funder of projects relating to global women’s issues including Half the Sky (the documentary and multi-platform initiative).
Hauser is also an angel investor in technology and fashion startups and serves on their advisory boards. She resides in Manhattan with her husband and two sons.
QVC Program Host
Kerstin Lindquist joined QVC as a program host in 2011. A native of Southern California, she's used to being on the move. After graduating Franklin & Marshall College in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Kerstin spent nine years working in broadcast journalism, including positions in Las Vegas and San Diego, before returning to the Keystone State as a QVC program host in West Chester. Along the way, Kerstin won four local Emmy® awards and was seen on NBC's hit drama The West Wing.
Kerstin and her husband, Dan, are kept very busy by their two beautiful daughters Georgia and Grace—who are just five months apart in age. (Yes, you read that right!) An active mom, Kerstin juggles family and work responsibilities along with her passionate commitment to spreading the word about infertility and adoption issues. She loves exercise and fitness, especially anything that gets her outside. Her idea of a perfect day is heading out to the beach—or even better, a boat—with Dan and her girls for some fun in the sun!
News Anchor, "Today" and "Access Hollywood"
Natalie Morales is the news anchor of NBC News’ “Today” and the co-host of the third hour, a position she has held since March 2006. Prior to her role as news anchor, Morales served as “Today” national correspondent from February 2006 to June 2011. Morales has also reported for all NBC News platforms including “NBC Nightly News,” Dateline NBC,” and MSNBC.
While working for NBC News, Morales has reported on and contributed to several major breaking news stories. As a part of TODAY’s ‘Shine a Light’ Campaign in 2014, Morales ran in and raised over $70,000 for victims of the Boston Marathon. Morales was a member of the “Rock Center with Brian Williams” team who won a Robert F. Kennedy Award for their lobster divers story in June of 2013. Twice Morales flew to London for major coverage of the Royal Family, both in 2013 and 2011, where she reported on the birth of Prince George and the Royal Wedding, respectively. In October 2010, Morales live-translated and reported on the Chilean miner rescue—coverage that was seen worldwide and recognized with a 2010 National Headliner Award. Her other notable reports include the 2009 presidential inauguration; the Southern California wildfires; the Minneapolis bridge collapse; Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Sandy; the 2004 Tsunami; the death of Pope John Paul II and the election of Pope Francis.. In 2010, 2011, and 2012 she was awarded a Daytime Emmy award as part of “Today’s” recognition as the best morning news program. Morales was also honored with the 2013 Gracie Award for Outstanding Series for her Dateline series, My Kid Would Never.
Morales was an integral part of the network’s coverage of the 2010 and 2006 Winter Olympics in Vancouver and Torino and the 2004, 2008, and 2012 Summer Games in Athens, Beijing, and London. In August 2008, Morales had the exclusive, news-making interview with the infamous “Clark Rockefeller” interviewing him from Suffolk County Jail in Boston. Morales has also landed exclusive celebrity interviews with Angelina Jolie, when she revealed she was having twins, and Kelly Preston, in her first television interview after the birth of her and John Travolta’s son, Benjamin. Additionally, “Hispanic Magazine” named her one of the “Top Hispanics to Watch” in 2005 and one of the “Top Trendsetters” of 2003.
Morales, who speaks Spanish and Portuguese, was born in Taiwan and spent much of the first 18 years of her life living overseas in Panama, Brazil and Spain as an Air Force “brat.” She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Rutgers University, New Jersey, with dual majors in journalism and Latin American studies. Morales was a member of Phi Beta Kappa and graduated summa cum laude. She currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and two sons.
Academy Award® nominee Nia Vardalos wrote and starred in “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” the number one romantic comedy of all time. The film garnered multiple nominations and awards that distinguished Vardalos as a writer and an actress, including Writers Guild, Screen Actors Guild, Broadcast Film Critic, Golden Globe nominations and an Independent Spirit Award win. Vardalos was nominated for an Academy Award® for Best Original Screenplay and went on to write, star and produce “Connie and Carla”, star in “My Life in Ruins” and reunite on-screen with her “Greek” co-star John Corbett in the indie, “I Hate Valentine's Day,” which she also directed. She has guest-starred on numerous television shows, including "Cougar Town," “Curb Your Enthusiasm,” “Drop Dead Diva,” and has hosted “Saturday Night Live”.
Most recently, Vardalos co-wrote the film “Larry Crowne" with Tom Hanks; who directed, produced and starred in it along with Julia Roberts. Vardalos will next be seen in Spring 2012, in "American Girl," playing her first role as a mom. Next up is “Happy Mother’s Day,” for Walden Media -- a comedy that centers on four harried moms who escape the humdrum of the suburbs by setting off on a road trip on Mother’s Day. The film, which Vardalos wrote and will star in, is set for a 2012 release.
Born and raised in Winnipeg, Canada, Vardalos attended Toronto's Ryerson Theater School. She worked in the box office of The Second City, and stayed to watch the show every night. When an actress fell ill fifteen minutes before curtain, Vardalos convinced producers she knew the show and to let her on. She was hired the next day. She became a performer/writer in twelve revues for Second City in Toronto and Chicago.
Nia Vardalos and her husband, actor Ian Gomez of ABC's "Cougar Town," were matched via American Foster Care, with their daughter when she was three years old. Nia is a spokesperson for National Adoption Day and an advocate for children and adoption. Recently, she was honored with the 2011 Angels In Adoption award.
Dr. Zibners is a board certified pediatrician and pediatric emergency medicine specialist, as well as the award-winning author of If Your Kid Eats This Book, Everything Will Still Be Okay (Hachette, 2009). She is also the mostly-proud mother of 3 young children, two of whom are adopted.
Dr. Zibners attended the University of California, San Diego, followed by medical school at The Ohio State University College of Medicine. She then completed both a residency in pediatrics and a fellowship in pediatric emergency medicine at Nationwide Childrens Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. While an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Emergency Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York, she met her future husband, Gernot Lohr. After relocating to the United Kingdom in 2006, Dr. Zibners pursued both a writing career and also one in academic medicine. She has appeared on The Rachael Ray Show, Fox News, and multiple radio broadcasts. Her print appearances include Parenting Magazine, Men’s Health and multiple online articles and is currently a regular guest at Shot of Prevention.com. She is currently an Honorary Consultant in paediatric emergency medicine at St. Mary’s Hospital, London, as well as a nonclinical instructor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York.
After marriage, the Lohrs began pursuing parenthood. Fast-forward through multiple failed attempts at IVF and they welcomed two daughters in a span of 3 months. While one was born via surrogate, the other was a non-related adoption. Fervent supporters of adoption (and frankly any which way toward parenting a person might choose), they also recently adopted a son.
REBECCA SNYDER FAWCETT
After earning a degree in Communications Media, Nasha spent the early part of her career working in television production. She shifted focus to event production after volunteering at an annual holiday drive for the organization Connections for Children. Most recently, Nasha worked for the nonprofit Community Action Program Legal Services, Inc. (CAPLAW) as their Communications & Events Manager. She has extensive experience in event coordination, database management, and customer service. Nasha was a babysitter for nearly a decade and developed meaningful relationships with parents and children from all walks of life. She is excited to help build families through adoption as part of the Helpusadopt.org team.
Communications and Development Manager
After graduating summa cum laude from Marist College with a Bachelors Degree in Fashion Merchandising, Sayra spent several years working in the beauty industry, where she gained hands-on-experience working on projects ranging from social media management to photoshoot and live television production to makeup artistry. She led the social media efforts for an international makeup company, creating brand-appropriate, engaging content and building and maintaining a dedicated and interactive online audience. Sayra was adopted at 5 months old, and she is truly honored and excited to have the opportunity to work an organization that helps brings families together through adoption.
Having spent the past two years working in the fertility industry at Cryos International, the largest sperm bank in the world, Erin has an intimate understanding of the difficulties that can arise when building one's family. At Cryos, she headed the Marketing and Client Services departments in the United States; establishing the company's reputation as one that truly cares. Erin attended Haverford College, a school known for instilling a sense of social justice in its graduates. She is grateful to be able to work with an organization that will continue to allow her to help people through such a difficult and exciting time in their lives.
Attorney, DLA PIPER US LLP
Helpusadopt.org is represented by Matthew F. Gorra, an attorney at DLA PIPER US LLP in Baltimore, MD.
Mr. Gorra is a corporate transactional attorney with extensive experience advising clients on merger and acquisition, venture capital and securities transactions, as well as general corporate matters. He is also experienced in forming and managing the growth of 501(c)(3) tax-exempt entities. Mr. Gorra holds a B.A. from Middlebury College (1994) and received his J.D. from Cornell Law School (1999).