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The worker bees at Nurture have been busy tending our growing hive this winter, including adding talent to our board. We’re thrilled to announce a trio of new members: Jenny Stevens, Tasha Tolliver and Jane Van Ostern.

Each brings a unique talent to Nurture along with a passion for pregnancy, birth and early parenting. Please join me in welcoming each of them:

jenny_small_squareJenny Stevens began her journey into birthwork in 1991, supporting her sister through the birth of her first baby.  She became a professional doula in 2011, training through toLabor under fellow Nurture board member Therese Hak-Kuhn. Jenny works passionately to ensure that birth and postpartum are empowering and transformative experiences in the lives of women.

Jenny is mother to six children, five of whom are living. She and her husband Mark are active in their church community and work hard to raise their children as compassionate people who work for justice and peace in the world. Jenny has homeschooled all of her children, including two who recently began college careers. She wants to reach the marginalized and underserved in this world, and sees her position on Nurture’s board as another way to reach those who don’t have the resources they need.

tasha_big_cropTasha Tolliver 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.

Jane_small_squareJane Van Ostern 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.

Our Committees are Growing Too!
This past winter Nurture also welcomed several new volunteers to our committees:

  • Marketing: Samieh Shalash
  • Fund Development: Kelsey Irvin
  • Programs: April Warren Titler, Blair Bowens and Susan Bodnar-Deren, Ph.D.
  • Advisors: Charlotte McAfee – Legal Counsel

We are thrilled to have their passion and expertise to guide us as we grow.  Find out more about our behinds-the-scenes volunteers.

Thanks to the support of so many talented people, we are steadily moving closer to the day when our vision of a Richmond-based resource center for childbearing families becomes a reality. In the months to come, look for features highlighting local leaders in maternal/infant/family health and wellbeing, blog posts on pregnancy, birth and early parenting by local and national writers, improvements to our resources pages, and updates on Nurture’s growth as an organization.

And as always, please contact us with any ideas you have for making Richmond THE place for childbearing families.

Leslie Lytle

Executive Director

Photo credits: Tasha Tolliver Photography

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