Creating a Family Board
Susan Soonkeum Cox is the Vice President of Policy and External Affairs for Holt International Children’s Services. Susan has worked with international adoption and child welfare issues for more than 25 years. Adopted from Korea in 1956, her life experience as an early international adoptee gives her a unique and personal perspective. Susan was the founder of the first Gathering of Korean Adoptees in 1999. She is a frequent presenter and trainer and has testified before Congress on issues related to adoption, child welfare and foreign affairs. She is also a member of the Hague Special Commission on Intercountry Adoption.
Dr. Angeline Beltsos is the CEO and Medical Director of Vios Fertility Institute Chicago. She is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI), practicing medicine since 1991. Dr. Beltsos completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Loyola University in 1995 followed by a fellowship in REI at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, completed in 1997. Dr. Beltsos is also the Clinical Research Division Director of Vios and participates in a number of research projects and scientific publications. She has received numerous awards in teaching and has been honored as “Top Doctor” from Castle Connelly for several years. She is a popular speaker, both nationally and internationally, and a frequent media resource on the topic of infertility. She is the executive chairperson for the Midwest Reproductive Symposium International, an international conference of fertility experts.
As the REI Division Education Director for the Obstetrics and Gynecology residency programs of Illinois Masonic Medical Center, Lutheran General Hospital, and St. Joseph’s Hospital Chicago, Dr. Beltsos helps educate future OB/GYN doctors. She is a Clinical Assistant Professor for the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at University of Illinois at Chicago.
Irene Clements is the Executive Director of the National Foster Parent Association. She also serves as the Public Policy Chair for the Texas Foster Family Association (TFFA) and as the Chair of the EveryChild, Inc. Board or Directors. Additionally, she is a member of the Texas Children’s Justice Taskforce, SAFE Coalition on Human Rights, and NCTSN Advisory Board. Her previous work experience includes fifteen years for the State of Texas in the field of intellectual disabilities and fifteen years with a large foster care agency in Texas as their Vice President for Foster Care. She has tremendous knowledge and experience gained over the past 45 years that enables her to work as a national consultant on foster care and adoption. Irene and her husband also served as foster parents for twenty-seven years and fostered 127 children during that time.
Courtney Flantzer, with Courtney Flantzer Public Relations, works with national and local press covering everything from professional athletes and events to food, fitness, healthcare, and tech startups. She worked for three years at This Week with George Stephanopoulos and contributed actively on ABCNews.com by hosting the This Week webcast and creating the Green Room Girl commentary and slideshow.
Dr. Jason Franasiak is a board certified Obstetrician Gynecologist, board certified Technical Supervisor in Embryology and Andrology, and lead physician of RMA’s South Jersey – Marlton Office. He serves as Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology in the division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at Sidney Kimmel Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and has been invited to speak nationally and internationally. He is author and contributor to over 100 peer reviewed publications, published chapters and abstracts. He serves on the Editorial Board for Fertility and Sterility and the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He also serves as Ad Hoc Reviewer for the Journal of Assisted Reproduction Genetics, Human Genetics, Reproductive BioMedicine Online, Human Reproduction, and Reproductive Biology and Endocrinology. Dr. Franasiak volunteers as an OB/GYN Clinical Advisor for Osmosis – Integrated Medical Learning and with Kaplan Test Prep for USMLE Step, 1, 2, and 3 reproductive medicine coursework.
Mr. Freeby’ s practice is devoted exclusively to adoption law and he has over a decade of experience in this area of the law. Included in his law practice are independent domestic adoption, contested adoption, agency domestic adoption, international adoption, interstate (ICPC) adoption, family adoptions, foster care adoptions, mediation, cases involving the Indian Child Welfare Act and adoption agency representation.
Mr. Freeby is member of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys (“Academy”). The Academy is a national association of approximately 340 attorneys across the United States who have distinguished themselves in the area of adoption law. Mr. Freeby is the Deputy Director of Adoptions for the Academy.
Mr. Freeby active in teaching and organizing continuing legal education for attorneys in the area of adoption law. Mr. Freeby also serves on a number of boards for charitable organizations in the community.
Steve Hayes is an attorney specializing in adoption and assisted reproductive law. Steve has been a litigator for more than 40 years. He has been recognized in Best Lawyers in America, Wisconsin Super Lawyers, as a Leader in the Law and in Milwaukee Magazine as one of the top attorneys in his field in the Milwaukee area. He has volunteered his time as president or board member for lawyer organizations, including the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, Milwaukee’s public television station, his church and various adoption groups. Steve has been lead counsel in numerous Wisconsin and federal appellate cases in the areas of children’s law, including surrogacy, wrongful adoption and termination of parental rights cases. He continues to represent several Wisconsin adoption agencies, adoptive parents or birth mothers and was recognized as an Angel in Adoption by the Congressional Coalition in Adoption in 2006.
Dr. Johnston-MacAnanny joined the Center for Reproductive Medicine in August 2009. A native of New York, she completed her undergraduate studies at Cornell University where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree. Dr. Johnston-MacAnanny went on to complete medical school training at the State University of New York Health Science Center in Syracuse, New York. There she received the Robert E. L. Nesbitt Award for Outstanding Student in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She completed residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where upon graduation she was recognized with awards for “Resident of the Year,” “Outstanding Laparoscopic Surgeon,” and “Outstanding Resident Research.”
Dr. Johnston-MacAnanny is Board Certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She is also certified to perform robotic assisted advanced laparoscopy. She is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Society of Reproductive Surgeons and Society for Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. Dr. Johnston-MacAnanny was recognized as a US News and World Report “Best Doctor” in 2012-2013.
A 25-year veteran of medical marketing, PR and communications technology, Ron is CEO of Vanguard Communications, a Denver-based firm specializing in bringing new patients to healthcare providers in 16 specialties throughout the U.S. and Canada. Ron is the author of The Totally Wired Doctor: Social media, the Internet & marketing technology for medical practices. He also is a featured video blogger for the news website MedPage Today, as well as a TV commentator and frequent speaker at medical conferences throughout North America and Europe.
Jamie Morningstar is a fixture in the Utah Product Management scene and has been a part of several of Utah’s most interesting and successful Software as a Service brands. She currently serves as a Staff Product Manager at Qualtrics in Provo, Utah. Jamie holds a degree in Computer Science from St. Mary’s College of Maryland and an MBA from BYU. She was honored as a 2014 Woman to Watch and a 2017 Forty Under 40 award recipient by Utah Business Magazine. In her spare time Jamie loves to ski and cycle, participating in many cycling charity events each year as a leader of Team Cycle4Cure.
Jamie and her husband Stephen are proud parents to four kids, two by birth and two by adoption. They were grateful users of Creating a Family resources throughout their daughters’ adoption processes from Kazakhstan and China. Through their adventures in adoption, Jamie’s heart and mind were opened to the depth and complexity of the global orphan crisis. In response, she started to get involved with hands-on orphan advocacy and education projects. She leads an annual orphanage work trip to the Hogar de Amor orphanage in Colima, Mexico and is excited serve on the board of Creating a Family.
Deborah Phillips is the CEO of Children’s Connection Inc., a child welfare organization in Texas providing families in crisis and childcare providers support ranging from children and pregnant women Medicaid case management, nutrition program, pregnancy support services, breastfeeding education, parental education, and adoption and home study services. Deborah is a former social worker and special education teacher.
Kathleen Skambis is a commercial trial and appellate lawyer in Orlando, Florida. She has practiced law for more than 25 years. In addition to her professional endeavors, Kathleen has long been involved in a wide range of community service. Currently, she serves on the Board of the American Lung Association of the Southeast, on the lung cancer advisory group for the American Lung Association, and on the Advisory Board of the Downtown Orlando YMCA.