Lesley Jeruzal / Board Chair
Lesley is a Postpartum and Bereavement Doula, and Co-Founder of MomsBloom’s Cameron’s Garden Grief Support Program. Lesley holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Michigan State University.
Lesley was one of the first volunteers trained with MomsBloom. She has served various roles with the organization since 2007 including: working with families, facilitating a peer support group, serving as fundraiser committee chair and organizer, helping to get Michigan’s first-ever governor-declared “Postpartum Awareness Month”, and now serves as the chair of the board.
Lesley firmly believes in MomsBloom’s mission. She was diagnosed with Postpartum Depression after the birth of all 3 of her sons. This experience showed her the importance of good support and connections to community resources following the birth of a baby. As her passion for helping families with new babies grew, Lesley decided to work towards becoming a DONA trained Postpartum Doula. When Lesley and her husband had stillborn daughter at 20 weeks gestation, the idea of Cameron’s Garden, a program to help bereaved families, began, and Lesley completed Perinatal Bereavement Support training. “No one should struggle to find support and resources during the most difficult times of their life. I want women to know they are not alone, and that with the proper support and resources you can find hope and healing.”
In addition to her work with MomsBloom, Lesley has served as an advocate for Women’s Health as a member of Spectrum Health’s Patient and Family Advisory Council since 2008. She has served on several committee events and led the Women’s Health Services Council as both Chair and Vice Chair, bringing to light the issues that many new moms face in regards to health care.
In addition to her work with MomsBloom, Lesley volunteers with her church, and her kids’ school. “I would not be where I am today without the amazing people in my life, most of all my amazing husband who has encouraged and supported me in all I do.”
Gretchen Johnson / Vice-Chair
Gretchen received Bachelor’s degrees in Human Services from Grace Bible College and Nursing from Grand Valley State University. She received her Master’s in Nursing from Ferris State University. Gretchen is board certified in psychiatric nursing and has worked at Pine Rest in the hospital division for 13 years. She helped develop Pine Rest’s Mother and Baby program and currently manages that program.
Gretchen is a member of the Kent County Perinatal Mood Disorder Coalition, the Psychiatric Nursing Council of SouthWest Michigan, the Association for Ambulatory Behavioral Healthcare, and the American Psychiatric Nurses Association. She is also a graduate of the class of 2013 Rising Women Leaders.
Gretchen and her husband Corey have a daughter, Natalie who shares her mom’s love of all things outdoors. As a family, they value and believe that the mental and emotional health of mothers is crucial for healthy and happy families. Gretchen is grateful for the opportunity to serve on the board of MomsBloom. She has seen firsthand the benefit of the support provided by the excellent volunteers.
Valerie Nelson / Treasurer
Valerie is honored to serve as the Treasurer of the Board for MomsBloom. She is grateful for the opportunity to make a positive impact with mothers in her neighborhood and city.
Valerie attended Calvin College and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting. She earned her CPA license while working for Arthur Andersen in Grand Rapids and then joined the growing health care community as the CFO of Life EMS Ambulance.
Valerie and her husband experienced two miscarriages before having their healthy son. About two months after his birth, Valerie was diagnosed with post-partum anxiety and struggled through a long (but full) recovery. It took her and her family completely off guard and her desire is that mothers would have a place they can turn for support when they are struggling.
Valerie found MomsBloom through an MLive article about the organization and went through volunteer training before being asked to join the board of MomsBloom. Her experience with miscarriages and post-partum anxiety made her want to be a support and encouragement for other moms going through the same situation. MomsBloom was a perfect fit.
Valerie and her husband now have a second son, and while she struggled with postpartum anxiety again, it was less severe due to the knowledge she gained after her first birth, as well as helpful resources she learned about through MomsBloom.
Taggart Town / Secretary
After growing up in Midland, Michigan, Taggart attended Ferris State University where he earned an A.A.S. in Architecture and a Bachelor Degree in Construction Management. After graduating, he was hired by Erhardt Construction in Ada, Michigan where he is their Vice President.
Taggart is active in his community and serves on many industry and non-profit committees and boards. Taggart is also a GRPS mentor. Taggart is a graduate of Leadership Grand Rapids (2012) where he was introduced to MomsBloom through a community trustee project.
Having raised two sons with the closest family two hours away, Taggart and his wife Lisa learned firsthand how isolating life can be when a new baby arrives. He is proud to serve on the board of MomsBloom, knowing that our dedicated volunteers are helping make life more manageable for families throughout West Michigan.
Amber Erickson / Trustee
Amber is a Research Manager with the Johnson Center for Philanthropy’s Community Research Institute at Grand Valley State University. She works with local nonprofits and community collaboratives to address evaluation and community research needs. Her areas of expertise include evaluation capacity building, client engagement, and data reporting for program utilization. She earned both a Master of Social Work degree, with a concentration in Social Policy and Evaluation, and a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan. Amber’s previous experience includes community organizing and advocacy work with nonprofit organizations across the state.
In 2013, Amber delivered healthy twin boys and immediately discovered the life-changing and all-consuming nature of motherhood. The transformative experience of becoming a mother of multiples led Amber to MomsBloom in an effort to assist other parents with building the support system they need to navigate the highs and lows of early parenthood. Amber is grateful and proud to serve on the Board of Directors for MomsBloom, an organization that is making the community a better place through building strong, healthy families.
Lauren Koehler / Trustee
Lauren has the privilege of being a Stay-At-Home Mom, in addition to: Treasurer of the PTO Board at her children’s Elementary School, Chairperson of numerous PTO fundraising committees, Volunteer in her children’s classrooms, Seamstress for her home-based business, Coordinator of the childcare program for her church’s VBS program, Volunteer in the “Flourishing Families” program for MomsBloom, Member of the MomsBloom annual fundraiser committee, and most recently, Member of the MomsBloom Board of Directors.
Lauren graduated with her BS in Elementary Education from Oakland University and a Master of Education in Educational Leadership from Grand Valley State University. She taught middle school in Northville, Michigan and Denver, Colorado before moving to Grand Rapids with her husband, Tony to start their family. In 3 ½ years they had three beautiful children: Riley (8/2005), Avery (12/2006), and Brennan (3/2009).
After the birth of her son, Lauren struggled with post-partum depression. With the help of her loving husband, supportive family and close network of friends, she made it through that difficult time. After learning about MomsBloom, she knew the next chapter of her life story would be to help other moms who needed support.
It is an honor and a privilege for her to be a part of the MomsBloom community.
Trina Poston / Trustee
Trina is a Senior Continuous Improvement Champion at Haworth, Inc. in Holland, MI. She earned a B.S. in Communications from Grand Valley State University and a Master of Science in Administration from Central Michigan University. Her areas of expertise include healthcare, project management, process improvement and strategic planning. Trina’s previous experience includes over a decade in the healthcare industry, most recently at Spectrum Health where she also served on the Women’s Health Patient and Family Advisory Council.
Trina is the mother of two active children and recognizes the journey to and through parenthood presents a wide array of challenges that can be impossible to prepare for. A lesson she learned with three pregnancy losses, the birth of her first child at 28 weeks gestation and subsequent post partum depression.
Trina is privileged to serve the community with MomsBloom and help foster a broader conversation about issues facing parents and work to provide much needed resources to build stronger families.
Tera Wozniak-Qualls / Trustee
Tera is founder of Momentum, a consulting firm that brings organizations from strategy to impact, by focusing on engaging people more deeply in mission work and equipping staff to work more effectively. Tera is also co-author of The Talent Development Platform: Putting people first in social change organizations, a book tackling the idea that organizations can achieve more by better support their staff and managing their talent.
Most recently Tera served as the director of communications and advancement for the College of Community and Public Service at Grand Valley State University and as communications manager for the Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy at Grand Valley State University. Tera serves as an adjunct professor of nonprofit administration in the School of Public, Nonprofit, and Health Administration at Grand Valley.
In 2007, she founded the Young Nonprofit Professionals Network of Greater Grand Rapids, the first professional organization specifically for young nonprofit professionals in the city. Tera has blogged professionally about the issues of young nonprofit professionals and generational shifts in the sector. Her writing includes Social Citizen, where her blogs are now housed at terawozniakqualls.wordpress.com; various blogs for Independent Sector’s NGen program; blogging for Idealist.org’s Nonprofit Career Month; and an article titled “Beyond Succession Planning: Strategies to Engage the Next Generation” for the Michigan Nonprofit Association’s monthly membership publication.
Carolyn Sutherby / Committee Liaison
Carolyn received Bachelor Degrees in Sociology and Family Studies from Central Michigan University. After graduating, she moved to Philadelphia where she served in the AmeriCorps and provided local and national disaster relief. Carolyn obtained her MSW from Grand Valley State University. She worked in Child Welfare and provided private practice counseling for nearly 10 years prior to entering the Medical Social Work field.
She has volunteered at Momsbloom for 4 years and is a member of the Kent County Perinatal Mood Disorder Coalition, a Trained Birth Doula and contractual therapist in the Pine Rest Mother/Baby Program. She is an adjunct professor of Social Work at Grand Valley State University and Western Michigan University.
Carolyn has two amazing children who teach her—every day—the value of compassion, honesty and laughter.
We are growing…
*If you are interested in joining the MomsBloom Board of Directors, please complete the secure and confidential form below. Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at 616-828-1021 with questions. We look forward to hearing from you!