Board of Directors
Babywearing International is governed by an all volunteer Board of Directors. Board members are elected by Chapter Volunteers during the BWI Annual Meeting in November and serve overlapping two-year terms. The Board of Directors is responsible for strategic planning, policy, budgeting, organizational administration, and provides oversight for contractors and committees.
Kassondra has a background in technology and organizational communication, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Behavior. Since joining the Board of Directors in January 2017, she has worked to increase organizational efficiency by improving our technological resources and advocating for structural and operational changes. Her main goal for the board is that we focus on inclusivity at every level. For example, ensuring that when the organization re-opens for affiliation, tools and processes are put in place to enable any potential chapter to operate successfully, regardless of the resources accessible to the members of their community. She's also committed to helping chapter leadership better serve different demographic populations like disabled caregivers and caregivers who rely on public transportation. She lives with her husband and two children in Atlanta, Georgia.
Cathy Brant has a B.A. in Sociology and an M.Ed. in Early Childhood/Elementary Education from Rutgers University. She also has a Ph.D. in Teaching and Learning from The Ohio State University. It was when she moved to South Carolina for her new job as a professor (4 months pregnant to her now 3-year-old son, Forest), that she found babywearing. Babywearing International of Columbia was not only a valuable source of information for Cathy, but it also gave her a community of like-minded caregivers outside of work. Cathy is a Master Babywearing Educator and the President of BWI of Columbia, South Carolina. Cathy has served many roles at the national level and is excited to be serving as Vice President of the Board of Directors. She is committed to improving communication between the Board and members and to continuing to examine issues of equity and diversity within the organization.
Marcie started babywearing in 2013 when her son was a few months old and, she was overwhelmed with the transition from working full time to life as a stay-at-home mom. She was introduced to babywearing through the local group in her hometown of Ventura, California, and her passion for babywearing grew from there. After her daughter was born in 2015, she relocated with her family to Portland, Oregon, where she got involved in the local BWI chapter and became a VBE. Marcie is a Trained Babywearing Consultant through the Center for Babywearing Studies. She currently serves as President of the PDX Board. Marcie served nationally on the IBW (International Babywearing Week) committee for 2 years before joining the Board in 2017. She hopes to help BWI grow by assisting with opening affiliations to new chapters and spreading babywearing education and support to all caregivers.
Perla is mama to four babes, who have all been worn since birth. She didn’t know a single other babywearer until her second child was about 6 months old, which was when she attended a babywearing meeting for the first time. She made some wonderful friendships there and learned many tips and tricks. The main part of her babywearing education came from TBW (thebabywearer.com), where she spent hours and hours asking questions, answering questions, and getting to know people as denimmeitai. She became a VBE for DC-MD-VA in 2011, but moved to Illinois shortly thereafter. She eventually founded the Chambana chapter in July 2014.
Perla holds a Masters of Music in Vocal Performance from the University of Illinois. She feeds her musical soul by singing at local Music Club meetings, singing with choirs, and accompanying the choirs at a local high school. In her spare time, she is getting a second Masters degree in Music Education.
Kat enjoys her life as a married mom of two, living in Salem, Oregon. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Visual Communications and has transitioned from her previous career in graphic design to her newest passion of teaching the toddler class at a cooperative preschool. She has been teaching babywearing with several volunteer groups, as well as through private babywearing consulting since 2013, and she has been involved in national work with BWI since 2014.
Beth holds a bachelor’s degree in human development from Warner Pacific University. It was during this course of study that they first became aware of the practice of gentle, attachment-based parenting. Beth is the type of person who makes big plans in advance, so they did a ton of reading on this subject, and babywearing, long before starting a family. This lead them to discover their favorite way of wearing — using woven wraps. After the birth of their daughter in 2015, they joined the BWI group in their then-hometown of Portland, Oregon, got involved as a CSV, and then began training to be a VBE. Beth and their family recently moved to Temecula, California, where they are transitioning to a SAHM role for their very active toddler. This has allowed Beth to focus a bit more on some passions — including accessible babywearing education, which in turn has led them to join the Board. A big current focus for Beth is inclusive representation, including disabled caregivers and children, and LGBTQIA families.
A former Museum curator and third-generation educator, Cathy has been babywearing since the birth of her first daughter in 2011. She now is a Master Babywearing Educator, a Center for Babywearing Studies trained Babywearing Consultant, and the President of BWI of Central Virginia. She has served on the BWI Board of Directors since 2014.
Dana McKeen is a stay-at-home mother of one. Ruby, who is 3.5 years old, has been worn from day two of her life. Dana began her babywearing with Green Mountain Babywearers (formerly BWI of Greater Burlington) where she quickly became a VBE and served as a workshop leader and Social Media Coordinator. She became an ABE and shortly thereafter transferred to BWI of Atlanta, having moved with her family to Smyrna, Georgia, where they now reside. She is working on her MBE status to assist further with educator assessments. In her non-babywearing life, she loves to run and play the trombone.
Tasneem started babywearing in 2013, when her son was born. She comes from a culture where babywearing is the norm, so for her, the decision to wear her son came naturally. As part of a military family, she has found that babywearing has helped her family tremendously. She first became involved with BWI by going to a meeting hosted by BWI of Savannah, where she learned how to wrap, and where she later volunteered as a VBE. Tasneem holds a Bachelors of Education in Primary TEFL from Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. After spending 5 years teaching English in Malaysian public schools, she worked in new media as a sub-editor for 5 years. She now runs her own small business and volunteers with her local BWI chapter in Colorado Springs as a VBE, and she edits the BWI blog. Whenever she is not babywearing, she enjoys writing, traveling, and reading.
Liz has a bachelor's degree in Creative Writing from Central Michigan University and a master’s degree in International Relations from Troy University. She is originally from Michigan but has lived in Okinawa, Oklahoma, Texas, and Virginia as a military spouse. The mother of two children, she began babywearing after the birth of her first child, who had a unilateral cleft lip and palate. Babywearing was an indispensable tool during surgeries and deployment. Liz co-led an independent babywearing group in El Paso, Texas, and organized a babywearing and parenting expo in the area before moving across country to northern Virginia. In addition to teaching others about babywearing, Liz has dedicated her time to making babywearing and other parenting spaces more accessible and safe for marginalized communities. She has consulted with several companies and organizations to improve their inclusivity practices and originally joined BWI in 2015, as a member of the Diversity and Inclusiveness Committee. Liz currently works as a lifestyle photographer and freelance writer.
Vilija has a B.A. in English Literature with a minor in philosophy from Seattle University and a masters in teaching from the University of Washington. Before staying home with her two sons, she taught high school English. She discovered babywearing in 2013, when her oldest son was born, and found it to be a great fit for her family. She began working toward becoming a VBE while living in San Antonio, Texas, and was a founding member of the Portland, Oregon, chapter. The babywearing community was the first group she sought out when moving across the country, because she knew she would find a bunch of like-minded friends. Vilija is excited to serve on the Board of Directors, having enjoyed working with a great group of volunteers on her committee, which organized International Babywearing Week in 2016 and 2017. She looks forward to coordinating our 10th annual celebration in 2018.
Katesha Phillips joined BWI as Executive Director in April 2018. She brings to the table 14 years of experience and has worked with a variety of non-profit associations with her experience ranging from managing operations and membership to supporting volunteers. Katesha earned her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology from North Carolina State University. A North Carolina native, Katesha lives in Raleigh, NC with her husband and their two small children.
Jillian joined BWI as a volunteer in January 2014. She is a Master Babywearing Educator who has volunteered both locally and nationally in her time with the organization. National roles that Jillian has held include Regional Director, Chapter Support Committee Co-Chair, Mediation Team Member and Governance Committee Chair, among others. In April 2017 Jillian took the knowledge that she gained through volunteering with the organization and became BWIs first Chapter Manager. As Chapter Manager she will work with the chapters to ensure that they are striving to fulfill BWI's mission through education, organizational management and community relationships. Jillian has a Bachelor's Degree in Consumer and Family Studies from Colorado State University. She currently resides in North Carolina with her family and spends her free time at the beach.