Board of Directors
Aviril (Apple) Sepulveda, OTD, MS, OTR/L, BCP, SCFES - Board Chair
Apple is a board-certified pediatric occupational therapist with 20 years experience in the field. She received her undergraduate degree in occupational therapy in the Philippines and master’s degree in OT as San Jose State University as well as a doctorate in OT at University of Southern California. She is a fellow of the Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholars Program (Cohort 1- 2016-2019).
Her areas of expertise include occupational therapy interventions for infant development and feeding, pediatric feeding and swallowing in medically complex children, sensory processing and integration, lactation support, dysphagia, and maternal-infant mental health. Apple recognizes the value of mental health in fostering families through advocacy and program development and is involved working on decreasing mental health stigma in immigrant Filipino communities.
Apple’s interests include promoting child-parent relationships, infant mental health, and maternal mental health, and mental health in diverse communities. Apple resides in Sherman Oaks with husband, George and dog, Gigi. She enjoys traveling, the arts, and being outdoors. Read her “My Why” story here.
John M. Smith - Vice-Chair
John is a corporate executive responsible for strategic innovation and new product development. John often negotiates multi-million dollar contracts and has led significant merger integrations. He understands that in the end consumer engagement and corporate social responsibility are critical to next generation solutions. John was the first in his family to attend college. He resides in St. Louis, MO and is a father of 5.
Jim Davis - Treasurer
Jim is an experienced financial executive with broad experience in all aspects of financial management. He is currently the President of Offset Printing and previously was the CFO at Umeco Structural Materials. He is a highly effective team builder, motivator, and leader.
Kate DeStefano-Torres, MA, NCC, ACS, LPC - Secretary
Kate is the Founder and Executive Director of The Artemis Center for Guidance, in Gloucester County, New Jersey. Her areas of expertise include maternal mental health, trauma and recovery, EMDR, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, and issues related to law enforcement personnel and their families. Read her “My Why” story here.
Alinne Barrera, PhD - Member at Large
Alinne is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor at Palo Alto University. Her scholarly work is focused on depression prevention, intervention adaptations, and the use of technology to deliver maternal mental health services and resources. As a byproduct of her cultural experiences, she is drawn to working with Spanish-speaking and Latinx communities. Alinne aims to integrate technology as a tool to meet the needs of perinatal women, especially women with limited resources. She is currently examining the use of simple technologies (e.g., text-messaging) as an adjunct to prenatal care and as an enhancement to a home visitation program.
Bridget Frese Hutchens, MSN, RN, CNM - Member at Large
Bridget a nurse, a midwife, Robert Wood Johnson Future of Nursing Scholar and a PhD student at Yale School of Nursing with a focus on maternal mental health. With over twelve years of maternity nursing experience, Bridget has worked in hospitals, birth centers, and as a nurse home visitor supporting young first-time moms. Her current research focuses on women's hospital experiences for birth and postpartum depression. Read her “My Why” story here.
Robin Hooper, LCSW - Member at Large
Robin is a Liscened Clinical Social Worker who’s background includes working with hundreds of women, children and their family’s in a therapeutic setting. Robin became active in the maternal mental health field and 2020 mom after she was blindsighted with debilitating ocd after the birth of her first son and crippled by psychosis after the birth of her twin daughters. Robin’s drive comes remembering the mommies who did not make it out of darkness. She does this work in their honor. Read her “My Why” story here.
Carole Mendoza - Director, Global Health Benefits & Wellness Strategy, IBM - Member at Large
Carole is an executive in the IBM Human Resources group. She leads the global health and wellness benefits team, and her responsibilities include the strategic development, analysis and implementation of IBM’s global health and wellness benefits programs.
Carole has held employee benefit leadership positions in the high tech, biotech, and oil & gas industries, as well as a health care benefits consulting role. Carole is a Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS) and earned her MBA from the UCLA Anderson School of Management.
Elyse Springer, MA, MFT - Member at Large
Elyse is a licensed marriage and family therapist with offices in the Los Feliz/Silver Lake area of Los Angeles. In her private practice, Elyse works with HIV/AIDS, trauma, anxiety, creative blocks and perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. In addition to her current work in private practice, Elyse is a steering committee member of Los Angeles County’s Perinatal Mental Health Task Force and a past co-chair of the Los Angeles County HIV Mental Health Task Force. Read her “My Why” story here.
Rupa Puri Zimmermann, Ph.D. - Member at Large
Dr. Zimmermann is a licensed psychologist in private practice in Northern California. She specializes in CBT, DBT, and family therapy, and has a special interest in supporting women and their families coping with perinatal and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders. Read her “My Why” story here.
Emily Bernard, MA, IBCLC
Emily is an engagement, policy and project management consultant that works across the nation with non-profits, local health departments and community based organizations. Her passion is in strategic development and partnerships through capacity building, facilitation and community assessment. She has extensive experience with counseling families and facilitation work, clinical lactation and doula assistance and often trains others through curriculum development or implementation. She has developed, implemented and evaluated various projects in previous years nationwide. She has earned a Bachelors in Science and Masters Degree in Psychology with an emphasis in Family Counseling and Health. She also became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant over a decade ago. She has furthered her collective impact education through the Tamarack Institute for Community Engagement as well as becoming a Master Trainer for TeamSTEPPS through Duke University. She loves spending time with her husband outdoors and being an active part of her three children’s lives through their various activities.
Joy Burkhard, MBA
Joy is the founder and executive director and has also worked for the insurer Cigna for over 20 years. She is currently a regulatory affairs manager with responsibility for market conduct exams and facilitating Cigna's regulatory implementation meetings. Joy has served in several other departments at Cigna and has a passion for quality improvement and innovation.
Joy is a member of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology expert work group on Maternal Mental Health and the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative. She has been recognized for her leadership and vision with several awards, including receiving the "Emerging Leader" award in women's health from the federal Health and Human Services Agency, Office of Women's Health (2016), Cigna's Volunteer of the Year award (2016), and the Junior League of Los Angeles' Founders cup.
Sydney started her career in the non-profit sector in 2014 with the Girl Scouts of Northern California after graduating from Humboldt State with a degree in Recreation Administration. She is currently a contractor with 2020 Mom working on partnerships and outreach. Sydney was born and raised in the high desert of Southern California and moved back to the area in 2018. She also works as a Certified Personal Trainer alongside her husband.
Kristina Dulaney is a Registered Nurse and Postpartum Psychosis Survivor. She serves as a 2020 Mom project manager for projects including the MMH Innovation Awards program. She lives in East TN with her husband, two little girls. Kristina desperately hopes one day all moms and partners will receive education on maternal mental health challenges and appropriate resources will be available to those struggling and that we will be talking about maternal mental health like we do diabetes, without shame or stigma.
Cindy Herrick is a mom and fierce maternal mental health advocate with an interest in peer support and social media reach. Cindy is an experienced special education graduate instructor and conducted research at Arizona State University. She serves as 2020 Mom’s non profit and medical partner lead and runs The Blue Dot Project’s MMH week and suicide awareness campaigns.
Laura joined 2020 Mom and The Blue Dot Project in 2018 as a contractor and is one of our social media leads and campaign managers. She has a background in Early Childhood Education and a passion for child development. She married her loving and supportive husband, Stephen, in August of 2016 and in June of 2018 she became a mother to a baby girl, Adaline.
Brooke joined 2020 Mom and TheBlueDotProject in 2019 as a contactor and performs social media engagement. She has a background in Early Childhood Education with a strong emphasis in Special Education, specifically Autism. Brooke lives in Central Oregon with her loving husband Dan, whom she married in 2012, and became a new mother in September of 2019 to a baby girl, Aspen Jade.
Crystal joined 2020 Mom in 2017 as an Ambassador with a passion for creating community connections and policy change. Formally joining the team as a contractor in 2018, she now manages Support Group Trainings, the upcoming Learning Network, and California Advocacy efforts. She is a mother to two boys and wife to a loving Kiwi husband. She works as a winery contractor in the Napa Valley and is the Co-Founder of the Napa Mom Squad Peer Visitation and Support Program.
Kelly Nielson, MPH
Kelly is an independent contractor with nearly 20 years of experience in the research, clinical, and nonprofit settings, and is passionate about improving quality of care and the patient experience. In her role, Kelly oversees operations, manages projects, and develops systems needed to support the visionary work of 2020 Mom. Kelly is drawn to this cause because she knows that maternal health - both mental and physical - can determine the wellbeing of future generations and help predict public health challenges for families, communities, and our healthcare system.
Stacey manages the MMH Certificate Training, Innovation Awards and Ambassador Programs for 2020 Mom as well as our social media. She lives in the north suburbs of Chicago, Illinois, and spends her time running her own non-profit, the Tangerine Owl Project, aimed at providing support to families whose lives have been significantly impacted by infant loss and/or traumatic birth.
Diana is a graphic designer that has extensive experience in the advertising, publishing, and print industries. She has been producing graphics for 2020 Mom, the National Collation for Maternal Mental Health (NCMMH), and the California Maternal Mental Health Collaborative (CMMHC) since 2012. Her work can be seen on our posters, brochures, palm cards, and campaign materials, as well as our websites and email newsletters and many other related materials.