Leslie Lytle, Founder & Executive Director
Leslie is a mother, wife, yoga teacher, and childbirth advocate who thrives on connecting people with resources and facilitating growth. A twenty year career as a massage therapist informs her work as a childbirth educator and women’s health advocate. Leslie has worked with pregnant women since 1992, taught prenatal and postpartum yoga since 2000, and is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator. Leslie founded OmMama, LLC in 2005, through which she developed a 40 hour prenatal yoga teacher training curriculum that has over 250 graduates.
Leslie holds an MS in Sociology where her area of focus was health and illness with additional coursework in public health. She is fascinated by the intersection of biology and culture that is ever present in the childbirth and early parenting arenas. A member of the Emerging Nonprofit Leaders Program Class of 2013, Leslie completed a Certificate in Non-Profit Management through Non-Profit Learning Point in 2014, and is the 2016 recipient of the Pat Asch Fellowship for Social Justice. She looks forward to the day when Richmond will be known far and wide as a mother and baby friendly city.
Keith Bell – Director
R. Keith Bell is a licensed and nationally board certified acupuncturist with nearly two decades of experience practicing and teaching traditional and classical Chinese medicine. In 2000, Keith cofounded Oriental Medicine Specialists, Richmond VA’s first medical clinic to offer comprehensive holistic care utilizing both Classical and Traditional acupuncture techniques, herbal medicine and lifestyle-counseling. Best known for his expertise in Women’s Health and Reproductive Medicine, Keith has helped countless women and their partners successfully conceive and maintain healthy pregnancies. In 2005 Keith introduced his Conscious Conceptions program to promote, educate, and provide a holistic and integrative approach to preconception planning, pregnancy and delivery, and post-partum care.
A sought after speaker and a nationally recognized expert in Holistic Health, Keith Bell is committed to providing education and inspiration through his writing and workshops. From 2005-2009 Keith worked extensively with James Madison University, developing and teaching new courses that brought holistic theory to the Schools of Nursing and Integrative Science and Technology. A frequent guest lecturer at Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Medicine, Keith also welcomes Residents into his clinic, providing supervision and offering our next generation of Doctors firsthand experience with Holistic medicine. Keith also offers unique and practical continuing education for Doula’s and birthing assistants.
Caitlin Minnick – Director
Bio coming soon!
Mary Cait Nannery – Director
Portia Chan – Director
Becoming a mother awakened Portia’s super powers. She discovered strengths that were dormant until she had an emergency c-section. Although the experience was frightening, the love and presence of her husband David and the caring doctors and nurses made that part of her maternal journey more comfortable. When her daughter came out singing, she fell in love, and her heart expanded and has been growing ever since. With her second pregnancy a VBAC was not an option, and she fell in love again when her second child, her son, was born.
Portia’s wish is that all mothers will be loved and supported from pregnancy to birth and early parenting. She understands that “it takes a village.” With a professional background in development, she is the Chair of the Development Committee and enjoys working to make RVA a truly birth-friendly city.
Janina King Poulin – Director
Janina was born and raised in Georgia and spent twelve wonderful years in New York City before happily moving to Richmond, Virginia in March of 2016. Here in Richmond, Janina has settled down with her family and raises her son Sebastian with her husband Sam. Janina made a career in recruiting for Creatives and Tech professionals. When she found out she was expecting, Janina was fascinated and delighted by all the changes her body was making to make room and grow her baby. The more information she sought, the more she craved. Janina got certified in prenatal fitness and began working with different fitness instructors to help other mamas to be. After giving birth, she learned how few resources are available for working mothers, in regards to support for mental health, fitness, and breastfeeding. Janina’s passion for helping other mothers have a better experience and feel supported continues to grow with each experience she has. Janina is grateful and excited to be of service to Nurture and the community.
Tasha Tolliver – Director
Tasha grew up in Charleston, West Virginia before moving to Richmond in 1985. She is a mother of three – two teenage daughters and one 50-year-old husband. She worked in advertising and marketing at several local firms before landing at The Martin Agency. In 1999, Tasha followed her passion by returning to school and beginning a career in photography.
A dedication to women’s and children’s health are embedded in Tasha’s family. She recalls watching her mother conduct birth and breastfeeding classes in her family’s living room, and her exposure deepened when her mother developed the first women’s health center in Charleston in the 1970s. Through these experiences, she saw what an impact a few could have on so many. Tasha is grateful for the opportunity to help Nurture grow and support the families in our community.
Cristin Traylor – Director
Cristin is President of the Board, an attorney at McGuireWoods, and the mom of two energetic boys. She grew up surrounded by pregnancy and birthing experiences, as her mom coordinated the childbirth education program at Yale New Haven Hospital for many years.
Throughout her first pregnancy, Cristin attended prenatal and postnatal yoga classes at OmMama LLC, which is where she met Leslie. Cristin was thrilled to be asked to participate in this endeavor because she has experienced firsthand the lack of a centralized program for pregnancy education, exercise, support, and parenting in the Richmond area.
Jane Van Ostern – Director
Jane comes to Nurture as an active grandmother with decades of dedicated service to empowering families during the critical early years of life. With a specialized focus on spirituality, Jane holds a deep conviction that “The universe has presented us with a powerful means of creating peace: the way we bring our children to life.”
She is founding director of Music Together of Greater Richmond, the first research-based music and movement program for babies, toddlers, preschoolers and the grown-ups who love them. Jane is also the co-founder of Parents’ Place, an award-winning parent education center in California. Other leadership roles include serving as a La Leche League Leader in several communities between 1978 and 1992, and co-authoring “Nurturing Parents: Pathways to Ministry with New Parents” (1992). She has also completed Birthlight Baby Yoga Teacher Training.
Alexis Willard – Director
Alexis Willard is a stay-at-home mom with 6-year-old and 2-year-old daughters. With her first daughter, she enjoyed a wonderful pregnancy and childbirth, but noticed a lack of comprehensive, centralized resources for Richmond families. She came to OmMama through the Baby & Me yoga class with Leslie Lytle. Inspired by the fellowship of the yoga class, Alexis jumped at the opportunity to work with Leslie and other dedicated women to bring to life a maternity resource center in Richmond. While delivering her second daughter four years later, Alexis noticed quite a change in the hospital procedures and attitudes. Encouraged by this, she is dedicated to continuing the effort with even more support of the community and medical professions. Prior to motherhood, Alexis worked in the green building industry. She worked closely with committees at a non-profit organization, and understands the cooperation it takes to achieve the desired goals. Alexis looks forward to helping other women and families in the Richmond area enjoy a healthy and satisfying experience, throughout pregnancy and beyond.
Tracey Spahr Wingold – Director
Tracey is a mom to three spunky kids and a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Her career focus has been maternal and child health and mental health, having worked with Centering Pregnancy group prenatal care, home visiting programs, and as a pregnancy and postpartum therapist. She has a passion for working with issues of women’s mental health during their childbearing years.
Tracey was inspired by her own births and believes that the transition to motherhood (and parenthood) is not just a physical, but an emotional and spiritual journey that is both wonderful and challenging. She is excited to be involved as the Programs Committee Chair of Nurture because of the great opportunities it holds to better support Richmond’s women and families.
In Memoriam: Jenny Stevens, September 21, 1966 – December 8, 2015
Tracey Spahr Wingold, LCSW – Chair – VCU School of Social Work
Keith Bell – Oriental Medicine Specialists, PC
Gauri Gulati, MD, IBCLC – VCU HealthSystem: Pediatrics
Sarah Kye Price, PhD – VCU School of Social Work
Leslie Lytle, MS, CMA, LCCE – OmMama LLC
Racheal Baxter Cook – The Yogipreneur
Beth Furgurson – Beth Furgurson Photography
Shannon Gingras – UNOS
Meghan Ondrish – Freelance Copywriter
Angela Prado – Boomhitch
Samieh Shalash – Virginia Commonwealth University
Tasha Tolliver – Tasha Tolliver Photography
Kristin VanStory – Weinstein JCC
Fund Development Committee
We’re growing our board and committees. If you are interested in board or committee service please inquire at info@NurtureRVA.org or click this link. We are a really fun and dedicated group of folks to work with.