Creating a Family Board of Directors
Jamie Morningstar, Board Chair
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.
Dr. Baden is a Professor in the Counselor Education Program at Montclair State University in the Department of Counseling and Educational Leadership. She is a member of the Doctoral Faculty and an active researcher. Dr. Baden currently leads the Adoption Research Team. She is an avid proponent of multicultural competence and specializes in adoption-related research in counseling and psychology.
Dr. Baden earned her Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology at Michigan State University. She is also an adult transracial adoptee.
Mr. Wright was involved with the governance of the Children’s Home Society of North Carolina, North Carolina’s oldest and largest adoption agency, for more than 20 years, having served on its Board of Trustees, Executive Committee, and Foundation Committee. From 1999 to 2001, he chaired the agency’s Board of Trustees. He is a recipient of the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute’s “Angel in Adoption™” award and the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys’ “Mentor Who Made a Difference” award. Mr. Wright earned his B.A. degree from John Hopkins University, M.B.A. degree from the University of New Hampshire, and J.D. degree from Wake Forest University School of Law. Mr. Wright is a regular presenter at seminars on North Carolina adoption law.
Harold D. Grotevant
Harold D. Grotevant holds the Rudd Family Foundation Chair in Psychology at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and is the founding director of the Rudd Adoption Research Program there. The work of this position connects adoption research with policy and practice through conferences, workshops, graduate and postdoctoral training, and stimulation of research activities. His research focuses on relationships in adoptive families, open adoption, and on identity development in adolescents and young adults. His work has resulted in over 150 articles and chapters as well as several books. He is a Fellow of the American Psychological Association, the Association for Psychological Science, and the National Council on Family Relations; and recipient of research, teaching, mentoring, outreach, and educational leadership awards.
Dr. Grotevant continues to serve as the principal investigator on the Minnesota/Texas Adoption Research Project (MTARP), a longitudinal research study that focuses on the consequences of variations in openness in adoption arrangements for all members of the adoptive kinship network: birth mothers, adoptive parents, and adopted children, and for the relationships within these family systems. The sample includes children adopted domestically as infants through private adoption agencies across the United States. The project began in the mid-1980s in collaboration with Dr. Ruth G. McRoy, currently the Donahue and DiFelice Endowed Professor Emerita in the Boston College School of Social Work. Dr. Grotevant and colleagues have completed four waves of this longitudinal study: when the adopted children were school age, adolescents, emerging adults, and young adults. Collection of the fourth wave was completed in 2015.
Stephen W. Hayes
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.
Nick Korynski is a Senior Solutions Consultant in San Francisco, CA. He spent 9 years as an engineer in the aerospace industry before completing an MBA at Indiana University. In 2015, he left aerospace to work in advertising technology. Since then, he has been selling marketing automation software to Fortune 500 companies and advertising agencies. He specializes in social media marketing on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. He also has experience managing digital media campaigns and consulting.
Miranda Lynch is a Policy Fellow at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. Lynch provides strategic guidance and capacity building to child welfare agencies in large-scale system reform initiatives geared toward improving child outcomes in safety, permanency, and well-being. Prior to joining Chapin Hall, Lynch served for 20 years in the federal government at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Lynch holds a Master of Science in Public Policy from Rutgers University.
Renae is passionate about using technology to improve the lives of individuals and families. She has extensive experience in user experience (UX) design, UX research, software engineering, digital design, and web development. After several years of infertility and a couple rounds of in-vitro fertilization (IVF), Renae and her husband Jameson were blessed to become parents to their son, and they hope to expand their family further through adoption.
Debora 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. Debora is a former social worker and special education teacher.
Gina Miranda Samuels is an adult transracial adoptee and an Associate Professor at the School of Social Service Administration and a Faculty Affiliate of the Center for the Study of Race, Politics and Culture at the University of Chicago. Her scholarly interests include transracial adoption, mixed race and multiethnic identity formation, interpretive research methods, and the development of relational, kinship, and cultural ties among young adults whose childhoods are shaped by foster care and adoption.
Professor Samuels received her M.S.S.W and Ph.D. in Social Work and Social Welfare at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she received a Council on Social Work Education Minority research fellowship funded through the National Institute of Mental Health. She has practiced social work in the areas of child welfare and child protective services, juvenile probation, Afrocentric school-based tutoring programs, and group therapy with female youth.
Carrie Sgarlata has been an educator for 28 years with special emphasis in literacy. She has 3 bio children and 2 foster children, currently. She and her family have fostered for nearly 6 years and are currently in the process of relicensing again. Fostering is an ENTIRE family commitment!
Carrie serves on the board of OneHope27 and also serves as an ambassador for Children’s Wisconsin in order to help with recruitment of foster parents. She is married to her high school sweetheart and will celebrate 25 years of being married next summer.
Karli Slocum is the VP of Marketing at 3form, an innovative translucent building materials company. Karli has been in marketing for over 17 years spanning multiple industries including HR Tech, BioTech and now Manufacturing. She specializes in transforming marketing from a traditional model to newer marketing approaches including digital marketing and software development. She is a recognized marketing leader who has managed successful teams of various sizes and capabilities with a focus on driving revenue.
Brinton Wright is the principal member of the Law Offices of Brinton Wright, PLLC, in Greensboro, North Carolina. Mr. Wright’s practice consists primarily of adoption law (adoptive parent, birth parent and agency representation). He is a member of the Family Law Council of the North Carolina Bar Association and co-chairs its Adoption Committee. Mr. Wright has been influential in the drafting and promoting of numerous changes to North Carolina adoption statutes, including changes that promote interstate adoption and that clarify adoption procedure. He was the first North Carolina lawyer to become a Fellow of the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys, a national organization of attorneys who have distinguished themselves in the field of adoption law. (The Academy is now called the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, and Mr. Wright is an Adoption Fellow.)