Grace Flannery , President, is a birth mother and adoptive grandmother. In 1970, she placed her infant daughter in a closed adoption. For 29 years she had no information about her daughter’s whereabouts or well-being, until, with the help of an adoption reunion specialist, they were reunited in 1999. Grace was grateful to discover that her daughter was healthy and happy and had been raised in a loving home. She now enjoys a rich relationship with her daughter and son-in-law. Seven years ago she also became a grandmother by adoption. She is passionate about making open adoption work for all parts of the triad. Professionally, Grace is an entrepreneur and relationship systems specialist. Following 25 years in nonprofit management, she founded her company Leading Spirit in 1999 to provide coaching, training and consulting services to leaders. She is delighted to bring her focus on creating and maintaining healthy relationship systems to the work of OYFF.
Ramona Pedersen, Vice President, is a San Francisco native and long-time resident. After a four-year stint on the east coast for university, she retuned to her hometown for a career in publishing. Ramona’s husband’s job sent them on the road in 2002, and they spent three years traveling around the United States and abroad before resettling permanently in San Francisco. Ramona worked for the San Francisco British Consulate-General on multiple projects including the Prince of Wales’s visit to the Bay Area in 2005 and Prime Minister Tony Blair’s visit in 2006, which she directed. It was while serving as the Interim Head of Political, Press and Public affairs at the Consulate that Ramona’s first child was born. Ramona is now home full time with her five-year-old daughter and two and a half year old son. She joined the OYFF board in January 2012 after serving as co-chair for the 2011 OYFF Wine and Wishes Gala. Ramona is a vocal advocate for open adoption and considers her children’s birth mothers her heroes.
Christina Ogburn-Chow, Treasurer, MBA, is a proud adoptive mom and adoptee. Adoption has always been a part of her identity and she is excited to be in a role that supports birthmothers after they place their children for adoption. Professionally, Christina has experience in leadership, management, process improvement, and technical documentation and has worked at companies such as Veritas Software, Apple, and Juniper Networks. In addition to working with OYFF, Christina has taken on a leadership role for the annual American Cancer Society Relay for Life in Foster City and serves on the board for the Foster City Parents Club. In her off time, she is an avid runner and enjoys spending time with her son and husband.
Mark Anderson is a successful Tech Industry Executive with 20-years of leadership experience in Product Marketing, Strategy and Business Development for technology companies ranging from Fortune 500’s to Start-up’s. Currently, Mark is CEO of RAPT Touch Inc, serves on RAPT’s Board of Directors and is Head of Sales and Marketing for the company. RAPT’s mission is to deliver ubiquitous touch-screens to the planet. Mark holds his Bachelor’s Degree from Michigan State University in Multidisciplinary Studies. Mark is a proud husband and father. Mark and his wife Caitriona adopted their cherished son Ryan in May 2011 and family is Mark’s top priority. Mark is an avid golfer, cyclist, and snowboarder. He also likes to think he knows a thing or two about fine wine… however, this is yet to be proven.
Brooke Bergman is a birth mother of a daughter placed into an open adoption in 2012. She works full time as a Salon Coordinator at a salon and art gallery in North Berkeley and part time with Pact: An Adoption Alliance as Birth/First Parent Educator. Brooke has been sitting on panels for prospective adoptive parents and leading workshops about adoption since her daughter was 6 months old. Her passions are educating the public about best adoption practice, reproductive justice, and adoptee rights.
Megan Cohen is an adoption attorney whose practice is focused exclusively on adoption and assisted reproductive technologies. Megan is also a birth mother who placed her son for adoption in 1988. When she graduated law school in 2009, Megan started working with the adoption attorney who represented her in the adoption of her son; she now is the owner and manager of this law firm. Prior to law school, she taught English at a public high school in northern California. Megan is passionate about her work in family building, and enjoys the support from her husband and two teenaged daughters.
Kurt Schliemann is a managing director at JPMorgan Chase, focusing on the development, customization and sales of the firm’s proprietary financial technology. He works primarily with hedge funds, pension funds, and investment managers to improve their execution and performance when investing in equities and equity derivatives. Kurt began his marketing and sales career in New York city, but the pull of California was always too strong to resist, and he moved out to San Francisco with his wife Kathleen in 2008. The couple are the proud parents of two amazing children, both of whom came to them through open adoption. They maintain close relationships with the birthparents of both of their children, and feel blessed to have those families in their lives. Kurt serves as treasurer of OYFF and co-chair of the fundraising committee. Kurt grew up just outside of Boston, MA and graduated cum laude from Harvard University.
Angie Swanson-Kyriaco is a birth mother who placed her daughter in a semi-open adoption in 1998. Angie was happily reunited with her daughter in 2012. A fervent advocate for reproductive justice, she has worked for Planned Parenthood for over eight years. She holds a Master’s degree in Psychology from Antioch University Santa Barbara. Angie is excited to share the mission and vital work of OYFF with communities in Southern California.