Board of Directors
Full Spectrum Doula and Reproductive Health & Justice Advocate
Jade F. Hillery, is a passionate professional with roots in the sexual and reproductive health education and community health spaces. Beginning as a Peace Corps Volunteer and Health Educator, Jade has a decade-long career working with nonprofit health care and sex education providing organizations at local, national, and global levels.
In addition to her role with Aaliyah in Action, Jade supports families in the DC metropolitan area through her independent business. Launched with the belief that everyone deserves compassion, education, and support across the spectrum of experiences, “Jade, the Doula!” LLC provides full spectrum doula support, placenta product services, education, and sensual movement and body connection sessions. This work has led her to being a collaborator and facilitator with Cornerstone Trainings, a former board member of The Doula Project of NYC, and a panelist and speaker for several community engagements.
Jade also drives change at a national scale through her work with Planned Parenthood Federation of America. She dedicates her bandwidth to transforming how the organization supports Planned Parenthood staff as learners and facilitators in an effort to enhance how they engage with communities being served through health care, education, and advocacy programming. Her focal points of learning design and theory, trauma-informed practices, and equity and inclusivity are centered in the work she leads at the organization.
She sees herself as ever evolving and a lifelong learner, continuing to ask the question, “how can I best show up and serve Black and brown communities in the realm of sexual and reproductive experiences?” She attended James Madison University and University of Southern California where she earned her BA in International Affairs and MPH in Health Promotion and Education respectively.
NBC4 Washington Meteorologist
Lauryn Ricketts is currently a broadcast meteorologist and on air personality with StormTeam4 at NBCWashington in Washington, D.C. and a contributor of daily forecasts to WTOP 103.5FM Radio in Washington, D.C. She is incredibly happy to serve on the board of directors for Aaliyah in Action and jumped at the chance as soon as she was asked.
She knows all too well about pregnancy and infant loss as she experienced her own loss in February of 2020 at 21 weeks after her first son was born stillborn with a diagnosis of Pre-PROM (Premature Rupture of Membranes). That was followed by a second miscarriage in November of 2020. After fertility issues and several failed IUI's, she became pregnant with another son in May of 2021 thanks, in part, to IVF.
Lauryn understands the grief and the sadness that ensue an individual and a family after a loss of this magnitude, especially as her husband was deployed for most of her healing process. Unfortunately for Lauryn, having this play out in the public eye due to her career added another layer of anguish that she had to navigate through. Therefore, helping just one person, one family through Aaliyah in Action will continue to aid Lauryn in her ongoing recovery. She is immensely happy to help in any way she can to help mother's during one of the most difficult times in their lives.
Lauryn currently lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, a Lt. Col. in the USMC and her two cats, Puffy and Predator.
Nicolo De Bari
Executive Financial Professional
Nicolo De Bari, an executive financial professional, has extensive experience with major financial institutions both domestically and internationally.
He is a CPA and graduate of NYU Stern School of Business.
Additionally, Nick is active as a high school and youth soccer referee and an active board member of the Mid New Jersey Youth Soccer Association.
Nick also serves as a Board Member for the St. Augustine of Canterbury School Advisory Council, in Kendall Park, New Jersey.
Full Spectrum Birthworker, Das the Balm Prenatal Care & Myrtle Tree Midwifery
Bio coming soon...
Chief Business Development Officer, Asthma & Allergy Foundation of America
Sanaz Eftekhari serves as the Chief of Business Development and Vice President of Research for the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America (AAFA). In her current role, Sanaz leads tactical and strategic conversations with business partners and stakeholders across multiple industries, including patient advocacy organizations, pharmaceutical companies, medical societies, research firms and government agencies.
During her tenure at AAFA, Sanaz has served in several roles in development and corporate affairs, and has gained experience in fundraising, nonprofit management, patient-centered research, patient advocacy, marketing, and communications. In her current role, Sanaz is responsible for 75% of AAFA’s annual revenue, which is generated from corporate partners, federal grants, individuals, foundations, and program sales.
Sanaz earned her B.A. in Political Science and Government from the George Washington University. She loves to travel and has visited more than 50 countries.
Nurse Practitioner/Nurse Midwife, Retired
Margie Wentzel has been an advocate for women’s health care during her entire nursing career. As a lifelong Northern Virginia resident, she has cared for infants and women in a variety of neonatal and obstetrical settings, including hospitals, a birth center, military and private practices. She attended nursing school at The Alexandria Hospital School of Nursing and George Mason University, then completed graduate studies as a Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner at Virginia Commonwealth University and a post-masters certificate in Nurse-Midwifery at Frontier Nursing University.
Margie developed a passion caring for women experiencing high risk pregnancies and pregnancy loss, and co-founded her hospital’s perinatal bereavement program. She strongly believes that maternal self-care is a strong foundation for the health of the entire family. She has been an author, educator , and nurse advocate, and is privileged to have accompanied many families before, during, and after their loss. She welcomes the opportunity to share her passion by supporting and promoting Aaliyah in Action.
Margie retired in 2019 and relocated to Winchester, Va, where she volunteers for the local hospitals, crochets everything baby, and enjoys being a “Certified Aunt” to her nieces and nephews.
Senior Officer, Major Gifts at Boston Children's Hospital
Katie Minetti is a fundraiser with 15 years experience. She currently serves as a senior major gifts officer at Boston Children's hospital. Prior to Children's, Katie served as a development Officer at Perkins School for the Blind in Watertown, MA. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from the College of Wooster in Wooster Ohio and a M.S. in Non-profit Leadership from Northeastern University.