Amy I. Catania (outgoing) has served Chicago Volunteer Doulas in a variety of capacities including volunteer doula, mentor and board member since 2008. In 2015 she resigned as co-chair of the board to take on the role of volunteer Executive Director. Amy is also responsible for developing and co-facilitating the "Intercultural Communication Training For Doulas", one of the ongoing core training requirements for all CVD doulas. She has had over 22 years of non-profit experience, largely in the anti-domestic violence movement, LGBTQ rights, anti-racism work and the health care field. Her work has encompassed direct service, volunteer coordinating, curriculum development, training facilitation, development and program direction. Amy was born and raised here in Chicago in the near south side's Douglas neighborhood and has also lived in Portland, OR and Northern Wisconsin. In addition to being CVD's director, she is also a full spectrum doula, Birthing From Within mentor and non-profit trainer and consultant. Amy currently lives with her partner and three children in a two-flat in the Humboldt Park neighborhood along with her sister, niece and nephew who live upstairs.
Anya Tanyavutti (incoming) - Preferred Pronouns she/her/hers
Anya obtained her M.Ed. in Socio-Cultural Studies and Educational Thought and her B.A. in Elementary Education from Western Michigan University. She traveled as Fulbright Scholar to Senegal, West Africa, as part of a curriculum development team in 2003, an experience that was foundational to her values in work and life. She has over 15 years’ experience as a not-profit-leader and an educator. In 2017 Tanyavutti was elected to the Evanston/Skokie District 65 School Board and currently serves as Board Vice President. She provides consulting services in strategic planning and racial and social justice education. Tanyavutti remains convinced that her most meaningful, complex, and joyful work is being a mother of three little ones.
Sonia Collins, CD(DONA), CLC - Preferred Pronouns she/her/hers
Sonia is what some may call a "birth junkie". She worked as a community based doula providing free doula services to teen moms for 3 years, and transitioned to becoming a private doula in 2013. Sonia has her birth doula certification through DONA international, is a certified lactation counselor and is the Program Director of Chicago Volunteer Doulas. Sonia's vision is to be able to provide affordable childbirth education and doula services in a way that allows partners to work as a team in order to make informed decisions during labor, delivery and beyond!
Board Member Bios
(in alphabetical order)
Angelyn Anderson, MA I have been a trained doula since 2012 and am an educator by profession and vocation. Outside of my experience as an educator in the higher education arena, I am also an educator in the realm of social justice and community advocacy. My passion is to work with those who are marginalized and disengaged and helping them to get involved in addressing issues that matter to them. I also serve as administrator for Sun Kissed Doulas, an online resource designed to encourage and support African-American doulas. I have earned an undergraduate degree in Political Science and graduate degrees in Educational Administration as well as Social Justice and am currently working on my doctoral degree in Ethical Leadership. I am also a conflict coach and mediator. In my spare time, I have trained as a yoga and Zumba instructor as well as a Thai Bodywork practitioner. I currently reside in Chicago with my petdren, a Shih Tzu and Bichon and in my spare time I enjoy cooking, knitting and collecting miscellaneous facts.
Cassie Calderone primarily works in Chicago area professional theatre as an Actors Equity Stage Manager. The birth of her two years ago changed her perspective and Cassie has became a toLabor trained doula in 2016. She serves on the board of Chicago Latina Moms and is an active CVD doula.
Maggie Quinn (Board Chair) has worked for over 15 years as a volunteer, community organizer, development coordinator, fundraiser, and advocate for social justice with many not-for-profit organizations. Maggie grew up in Columbus, OH and moved to Chicago in 2007 to complete her BA at Roosevelt University in Political Science and Women and Gender Studies. Following her graduation in 2009, she moved to Costa Rica for 3 months to teach English and creative arts for a small nonprofit literacy project, Abriendo Mentes. Additionally, Mrs. Quinn has been a part of such organizations as Oxfam America, Grassroots Campaigns, Human Rights Campaign, and Onward Neighborhood House in Chicago. Her past experiences have included fundraising, event planning, community organizing, grant writing, donor campaigns and communication, website and social media writing and more. Maggie was introduced to Chicago Volunteer Doulas in 2012; while pregnant with her first baby she happened upon a CVD birth class flyer at a midwife appointment. After such a positive experience with the class, Maggie and her husband, Kevin continued to utilize CVD's services for prenatal and postpartum support, breastfeeding consultation, and a Mom and Baby Group. With Kevin's support, Maggie is now a full time mom to their daughters Harper and Everly. Mrs. Quinn joined the CVD Board of Directors in June 2013 and serves as Chairperson of the Board and co-chair of the Fundraising Committee. Her work is informed by her experiences and passion both in the nonprofit world and as a mother.
Kaja Rumney, RN, CLC, MSN - Preferred Pronouns she/her/hers
Kaja is an OB nurse, doula, and nurse home vistor. A graduate of Marquettte University with a masters in midwifery. Along with a Seattle University alumni with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies and a minor in Non-profit Leadership, and Global African Studies. She has been volunteering with CVD since the fall of 2010. Kaja lives in Colorado with her family, and enjoys spending time with her daughter along with biking, hiking, skiing, yoga, and gardening.
Eleshia L. Smith, M.Ed (Board Treasurer) - Preferred Pronouns she/her/hers
Eleshia is a mom and a former client of CVD who has had the fortune of being a recipient of many of the services this great organization provides. Because of her positive experience, she decided to join the board in early 2015 in hopes of helping this wonderful organization expand their reach in undeserved communities on the West and South sides of Chicago. Professionally, Eleshia has been an educator and has taught middle, high school and college English and Reading for the last 10 years. Eleshia holds a BA in Speech Communications from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, M.Ed from Loyola University Chicago and hopes to finish her Ed.D in Curriculum Studies before her 1 year old son Oliver graduates from college.
Hillary Scharmann - Preferred Pronouns she/her/hers
Hillary is the vivacious doula and perinatal educator of Heart, Birth & Baby. Her early sense of vocation in family birth and postpartum support was inspired by several doulas who enthusiastically encouraged her in pursuit of a career as one. Hillary completed her training with DONA International in 2012, and has not looked back. Her involvement with Chicago Volunteer Doulas (CVD) also began in 2012, where she participated as an on-call doula, served on the events committee, and facilitated New Mom & Baby Groups. Since then, she’s become a mother of two, and has helped over one hundred families to have empowered and informed pregnancies, births, and postpartum experiences. Hillary returned to CVD in 2017 in support of the Summer Soirée, and was voted on as a Board Member early September. Hillary is thrilled to be back and support Chicago Volunteer Doulas' mission and continued growth and success.
Mary Sommers, CPM, MPS. - Preferred Pronouns she/her/hers
Mary is the Director of Birth Center Operations and Maternal Health Programs at PCC Wellness. The birth center is the first free standing birth center in Illinois. Mary is also the President and Director of Academic Affairs of the Midwest Maternal Child Institute. She is a Certified Professional Midwife licensed in Wisconsin, and holds a Master’s Degree in Public Service from DePaul University. Mary has many years of experience and the wisdom that comes from participating in more than 1,000 deliveries over the past three decades. Early in her career, she co-founded Chicago Community Midwives, a not-for-profit home birth service. Mary has since worked as a midwife, doula and lactation consultant for various private practices in the Chicago area, and has directed several nurse-midwifery practices. Mary was a World Health Organization fellow, studying maternal health and breastfeeding programs in the Netherlands and Great Britain. She has worked for more than twenty-five years in community health as an administrator and director of maternal child health programs. Mary is the author of More Than a Midwife: Stories of Grace, Glory, and Motherhood and the Doula Handbook, and is featured in the book, Bright Lights of the Second City: 50 Prominent Chicagoans on Living with Passion and Purpose by Betsy Storm. She is also teaches childbirth education at Birthways in Chicago.
Jeanine Valrie Logan, MPH, MS, CLS - Preferred Pronouns she/her/goddess
Jeanine is a nurse, birth worker and activist, certified lactation education specialist, youth ally, home birth mama, future midwife, ecofeminist, and homeschooler. She has worked for various organizations advocating for birth justice and safe motherhood. Jeanine is a mama blogger and blogs regularly about breastfeeding, birth justice, and midwifery in the Black community. She is the co-editor of the book Free to Breastfeed: Voices of Black Mothers. Jeanine is also a local member of the International Center for Traditional Childbearing and works collectively with birth workers of color to address birth inequities. Jeanine is on the steering committee of the newly formed Illinois Birth Justice, a social and birth justice organization working to provide support to pregnant women who are incarcerated as well as a former participant on the Community Advisory Council of Sage Community Health Collective. Jeanine has worked for various organizations advocating for birth justice and safe motherhood including the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood, The Women’s Collective, and previously as the Program Director for CVD. Jeanine received a B.A. in Biology from Fisk University, an M.P.H. in Global Health Policy from the George Washington University, and mostly recently, an MS in Nursing from DePaul University.Jeanine is a wife and mama of two awesome Empresses. Jeanine spends her extra time growing food, foraging plants, and swooning over #herbalist things.