SPOON e-News

Follow our stories as we nourish kids' potential around the globe:

Name:

Email:

Adoption Nutrition

.

SPOON Foundation – Staff

SPOON Foundation – Board of Trustees

SPOON Foundation – Medical Advisory Board Members


Emily Brod, MBA

Director of Finance & Operations

Emily has dedicated her career to helping organizations and programs run effectively and successfully. Over the last 14 years, Emily has worked with mission-driven organizations, large and small, local and international, and at different points in their lifecycle. As a result, she understands how a powerful mission, like SPOON’s, coupled with smart business practices can effectively produce change. Before coming to SPOON, she was the Assistant Director of the Creative Advocacy Network, an organization that successfully created a sustainable public fund for the arts and arts education in Portland. Prior to that she directed Yale University’s Program on Social Enterprise, administered a major redevelopment of the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, and was the Exhibitions Manager of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Emily received her MBA with a focus in finance and non-profit management from the Yale School of Management and her BA in Arts & Ideas in the Humanities from the University of Michigan, Residential College. She lives in Portland with her husband and two young children.

» Back to Top


Julian Davies, MD

Medical Advisory Board Member

Julian is the co-director of the Center for Adoption Medicine at the University of Washington. He is also the editor of www.adoptmed.org, an online resource for medical and developmental issues in adoption. His interest in adoption comes from his years clowning, teaching children's theater, and leading summer camps with groups of Moscow orphans. In his clinical practice, he has an interest in integrative and nutritional approaches to neuro-developmental issues.

» Back to Top


Martha Deevy, MBA

Trustee Board Member

Martha serves as the Director of the Financial Security Division at the Stanford Center on Longevity. She has over 20 years of management experience in Silicon Valley technology and financial services companies in senior executive positions at Apple, Charles Schwab and Intuit. Having held positions in marketing, business development, product development, strategic planning, finance and IT, she has developed a strong general management background that she successfully used to define and shape the businesses she managed. Martha has also served on the boards of directors of a number of publicly traded and non-profit organizations. She received an M.B.A. in Finance and Management Information Systems from University of Minnesota and a B.A. in Quantitative Economics from University of Illinois. Martha is the proud mother of a daughter adopted from China.

» Back to Top


Jeff Erlich, MA

Trustee Board Vice-Chair

Jeff Erlich is the senior project officer in Ukraine for the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe, overseeing an assistance portfolio that aims to increase stability and democracy. He is the past president of the Eurasia Foundation of Central Asia, where he developed a wide range of programming to empower vulnerable people, including advocacy for the rights of children deprived of parental care. He lives with his wife Halida and two sons Joseph and William in Kyiv, Ukraine.

» Back to Top


Philip A. Fisher, PhD

Medical Advisory Board Member

Dr. Fisher is a Professor of Psychology and Research Scientist at the Prevention Science Institute at the University of Oregon. He is Science Director for the National Forum on Early Childhood Policy and Programs and a Senior Fellow at the Center on the Developing Child, both based at Harvard University. He is also a Senior Research Scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center. Dr. Fisher’s work on disadvantaged and maltreated children includes (a) studies to understand the effects of early stress on the developing brain; (b) the development of two-generation prevention and treatment programs to improve high-risk children’s (and their caregiver’s) well-being and brain functioning; and (c) advocacy for science-based policy and practice to improve early learning and healthy development in high-risk children. His work has been funded by a number of institutes of the National Institutes of Health. He serves on a number of national advisory groups related to prevention science and community based research. His intervention programs are being implemented at sites throughout the United States and Europe. He is the recipient of the 2012 Society for Prevention Research Translational Science Award.

» Back to Top


Michael Georgieff, MD

Medical Advisory Board Member

Michael is a Professor of Pediatrics and Child Development at the University of Minnesota where he is Head of the Section of Neonatology in the Department of Pediatrics, and Director of the Center on Neurobehavioral Development. He is a renowned expert on early nutrition and the brain having served on the Committee on Nutrition and the Breastfeeding Work Group for the American Academy of Pediatrics and on the Nutrition Study Section for the National Institutes of Health. He is a member of the American Pediatric Society and the Pediatric Academic Societies. He has written over 120 articles and book chapters on nutrition and brain development in the newborn and early childhood period, and is a contributing author to AAP's Handbook on Nutrition. His research focuses on fetal/newborn nutrition, specifically the effect of iron nutrition on brain development and neurocognitive function. He lectures nationally and internationally on nutrition and the developing brain.

» Back to Top


Caliopy Glaros

Caliopy is a Portland-based intercultural education advocate. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in East Asian Studies from Portland State University, and spent over four years working in recruitment and admissions for their School of Business Administration. Prior to joining SPOON, she taught English and developed cross-cultural education programs in rural Japan. For the last two years she has trained at the Intercultural Communication Institute in Portland, and is an active member of both the U.S. and Japan chapters of SIETAR: The Society for Intercultural Education, Training, and Research. She is passionate about improving access to knowledge and education for marginalized communities around the world.

» Back to Top


Mary Hearst, PhD, MPH

Medical Advisory Board Member

Mary is an Associate Professor and Director of Public Health at St. Catherine's University and Adjunct Faculty at the University of Minnesota Division of Epidemiology. Since receiving her doctorate, Dr. Hearst has conducted obesity related research among children and families, with special emphasis on low-income, multi-ethnic families. Recently, she if focused on food access among the most vulnerable and the intersection between healthy nutrition and child development. Her background as an Occupational Therapist provides additional expertise with children with special health care needs, feeding practices and facilitating healthy child development.

» Back to Top


John Himes, PhD, MPH

Trustee & Medical Advisory Board Member

John is Professor in the Division of Epidemiology and Community Health at the School of Public Health at University of Minnesota. John serves on the Expert Panel for Nutrition for the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva; on the Advisory Group on standardizing anthropometric and body composition measurements and reporting for the National Institutes of Health; and recently completed his service on the Advisory Group on the construction of growth velocity standards, Department of Nutrition and Health, WHO, Geneva. He additionally serves as a member of NIH's Kidney, Nutrition, Obesity, and Diabetes Epidemiology Study Section. He is an experienced researcher and well-published expert in the areas of physical growth and maturation of children; growth and nutrition; anthropometric assessment of nutritional status and dietary assessment.

» Back to Top


Dana E. Johnson, MD, PhD

Trustee & Medical Advisory Board Member

Dr. Johnson is a Professor of Pediatrics, member of the Division of Neonatology and a faculty member in the Global Pediatrics Program at the University of Minnesota where Dr. Johnson co-founded the International Adoption Program in 1986. His research interests include the effects of early institutionalization on growth and development and the outcomes of internationally adopted children. Dr. Johnson is an invited speaker worldwide, a Senior Research Fellow in the Evan B. Donaldson Adoption Institute and has authored over 200 scholarly works. He received the Distinguished Service Award from the Joint Council for International Children’s Services, Friend of Children Award from the North American council on Adoptable Children and the Harry Holt Award from Holt International. He is a member of the Board of Directors of JCICS and Half The Sky Foundation. He is also the father of three children including an adopted son from India.

» Back to Top


Cindy R. Kaplan, MS

Co-founder & Executive Director; Trustee Board Member

Cindy Kaplan, MS. Cindy is Co-Founder and Executive Director of SPOON Foundation. SPOON is the first organization globally to focus on improving nutrition and feeding for orphans and vulnerable children -- with a focus on children in orphanages, foster and adoptive families, and children with disabilities (those most likely to be abandoned into institutionalized care). Under Cindy’s leadership, SPOON has developed a proven model for protecting children impacted by institutional care from the debilitating - yet fully preventable - consequences of malnutriton and improper feeding. SPOON's work has changed feeding practices and nutrition standards on a national scale in Kazakhstan, and through partnerships with leading orphan care and child welfare organizations, is now directly reaching children in seven countries worldwide, including the U.S. Cindy has recently been elected into the prestigious Ashoka fellowship for her systems-changing work with SPOON, and has been appointed as facilitator of the Nutrition Taskforce for the UNICEF-led Global Partnership on Children with Disabilities. A serial entreprenuer with a background in psychology, wellness and marketing, Cindy was inspired to start SPOON after adopting a severely malnourished child.

» Back to Top


Maria Kroupina, PhD

Medical Advisory Board Member

Maria Kroupina is an assistant professor of Pediatrics in the Division of Global Pediatrics, Department of Pediatrics, at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Kroupina sees internationally adopted children on an outpatient basis. Current funded research includes a study on nutritional status of recently arrived internationally adopted children, and collaborative work as a co-investigator regarding recovery from early life stress in children adopted from institutions (PI: Megan Gunnar, PhD) and neurobehavioral correlates of early deprivation (PI: Megan Gunnar, PhD)

Dr. Kroupina's master's degree in clinical psychology was awarded by Moscow State University Department of Psychology (Moscow, Russia). She earned her PhD at the University of Minnesota. She has additional professional training in family systems therapy (Moscow Center for Marriage and Family Therapy), attachment disturbances (Tulane University), and the Stanley Greenspan intensive online training course in infancy and early childhood training course titled Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based (DIR) Floortime Model. She teaches medical residents as part of the elective in adoption medicine.

» Back to Top


Zeina Makhoul, PhD, RD

Nutrition Scientist

Zeina is working with SPOON Foundation as a Nutrition Scientist. She is a Registered Dietitian and has a PhD in Nutritional Sciences with a focus on international nutrition. Her doctoral work included studies on iron deficiency and night blindness in Nepalese pregnant women and birth outcomes. She completed her postdoctoral training at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, WA where she conducted several research studies investigating the role of nutrition in HIV-associated malignancies in Uganda. At SPOON Foundation, she has designed nutrition and feeding assessments and programs in orphanages and foster care systems spanning Central Asia, South East Asia and the Americas.

» Back to Top


Michele Meyer

Trustee Board Member

Michele Meyer was recently announced as being promoted to Senior Vice President, General Mills/President of the Meals Division, effective June 1, 2014. From 2007 until 2014, Michele led the Small Planet Foods Division (SPF), which was well on its way to becoming a $1 billion business by 2020. During her tenure, SPF acquired Larabar, which has more than tripled in size since 2009, and Food Should Taste Good, growing 20% since it was purchased two years ago. Under Michele’s leadership, the division consistently grew top line and bottom line at double digits, exceeding the majority of its operating targets, and blazing a trail for GMI in the natural/organic space.

Previously, Michele served as Vice President and Marketing Director in the Big G Cereal Division, as well as having spent time as VP of Cereal Partners Worldwide Global Marketing, General Mills’ joint venture with Nestlé. Over her 25 year career at General Mills, Michele has enjoyed a wide breadth of assignments and led multiple marketing and sales functions across the company, including Brands on the Go, International, and a cross functional VP assignment as Head of the Merchant’s Consortium in Sales. Her teams have received four Chairman’s Awards for outstanding performance, three Eagle Awards for excellent business performance and numerous Gimmie Awards for outstanding performance over the years. Meyer was promoted to vice president of the company in 1998. Michele grew up in Tampa, Florida. She earned a bachelor's degree in Economics from Vanderbilt University, and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin. Michele, her husband Rich, and their two children reside in Deephaven, MN. Externally, she currently serves on the Executive Committee and Board of Directors for the SPOON Foundation.

» Back to Top


Brad Miller, MD

Medical Advisory Board Member

Brad is a Pediatric Endocrinologist at the University of Minnesota. His basic science research has focused on the growth hormone-insulin-like growth factor system that regulates growth in children. As a post-doctoral fellow at the Mayo Clinic, he studied the role of IGF binding proteins in fracture healing, growth and the growth response to nutritional deprivation. Since joining the faculty of the University of Minnesota Children's Hospital-Fairview, Brad has collaborated with the International Adoption Clinic in clinical study of growth recovery following early adversity related to international adoption. His growing body of research and clinical practice is focused on growth recovery and its sequelae after early adversity including nutrient deprivation, emotional deprivation and intrauterine growth retardation.

» Back to Top


Kerry Norton, MPH

Program Officer

Kerry is a recent graduate of the Oregon Master of Public Health program, where she focused on maternal and early child health promotion and specifically the health and well being of foster youth. Kerry’s passion for working with children with disabilities and those living without families began when she implemented therapeutic recreation programs in several Romanian orphanages in 2005. Since then she has worked as a Family Play Specialist and Adult Services Program Supervisor for United Cerebral Palsy of Greater Chicago and a Service Coordinator for children with developmental disabilities and their families in Multnomah County. Kerry lives in north Portland with her partner and their two dogs.

» Back to Top


John Ordway, JD

Trustee Board Chair

John is a retired U.S. Ambassador who spent 33 years in the U.S. Foreign Service, and who served as U.S. Ambassador to Armenia and Kazakhstan. His other Foreign Service assignments include eight years in Moscow, as well as Director of African Affairs at the National Security Council. Since retiring, he has had several short-term assignments temporarily heading U.S. Embassies in Europe and Asia. He is also the head of the U.S. delegation to the New START Treaty’s Bilateral Consultative Commission that meets periodically with the Russian Federation. He and his wife, Maryjo, now live in Sacramento, California.

» Back to Top


Paula Rabaey, MS, OTR/L

Medical Advisory Board Member

Paula is an Assistant Professor in the Dept of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. She is currently working on her PhD in occupational therapy focusing on best practice in feeding and eating issues with young children and their families. Her clinical background includes 15 years of experience working with children with special needs primarily in early intervention. She has specialized in feeding and eating difficulties in children with a variety of diagnoses and worked with families to create a positive mealtime environment. She has participated in international service learning trips to Quito, Ecuador with OT students working with local foundations and children with special needs who have feeding difficulties. Her background as a pediatric occupational therapist includes additional expertise in the areas of seating and positioning, sensory processing, and the importance of attachment and bonding to growth and nutrition.

» Back to Top


Katja Rowell, MD

Medical Advisory Board Member

Katja is a graduate of the University of Michigan medical school and served as a family physician in urban, rural, and university student health settings. During her time in practice, she was struck by the prevalence of disordered eating and feeding, and related health problems. Rowell believes establishing a healthy feeding relationship– in essence– HOW children are fed is the missing piece in addressing disordered eating, weight dysregulation and damaging dieting behaviors. Dr. Rowell works with parents to provide personalized solutions and support for feeding and weight concerns, from selective eating to food preoccupation. She has a special interest in supporting adoptive and fostering families. Her book, Love Me, Feed Me: The Adoptive Parent’s Guide to Ending the Worry About Weight, Picky Eating, Power Struggles and More is available on Amazon.com. Dr. Rowell teaches the importance of a healthy feeding relationship to health care providers, family therapists and childcare staff, and consults with corporate clients, nutrition education and public health projects.

» Back to Top


Dara J. Royer

Trustee Board Member

Dara J. Royer serves as Chief Marketing Officer for Mercy Corps, a global humanitarian agency headquartered in Portland, Oregon. In this role, she’s responsible for global multichannel marketing strategy and brand stewardship. Before joining Mercy Corps, Royer worked as Vice President for Brand Marketing within the ALSAC Marketing Division of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee. There, she was responsible for overseeing the brand strategy, marketing research and analytics, creative services, merchandise and event marketing teams which design and execute thousands of integrated campaigns annually. Royer rejoined ALSAC in June 2008 after serving as Senior Vice President of Corporate and Community Affairs for Cook Children’s, one of the nation’s leading integrated pediatric health care systems, based in the Dallas/Ft. Worth. In this role, Royer served as part of the System’s Administration and advisor to the CEO and board, responsible for marketing and communications, community outreach, business development and reputation management. Under Royer’s leadership, the team significantly increased brand awareness and received numerous industry awards. Prior to joining Cook Children’s, she worked at ALSAC/St. Jude for six years in a variety of positions in Communications and Fundraising departments. Royer’s experience includes nearly 10 years as an Emmy and AP award-winning television journalist. Royer received her BA in History from Indiana University in Bloomington. Her greatest joy is spending time with her husband Brent and their three children Nina (10), Marley (6) and Eli (5). Marley and Eli were both born in South Korea and adopted through Holt International.

» Back to Top


Mishelle Rudzinski, MA, CCC-SLP

Co-Founder & Director of Feeding and Disability Programming

Mishelle is a pediatric speech-language pathologist specializing in the communication and feeding of children with severe disabilities. She is currently the CEO of SwitchClimber.com, an educational company that operates an interactive website for children who cannot access typical computers. From 1999-2009, she worked at Emanuel Children's Hospital in Portland where she developed and ran an augmentative communication clinic serving nonverbal children from throughout the Northwest. Mishelle adopted her daughter Bakha at age five from Kazakhstan. She became passionate about the need for improved orphan nutrition after witnessing Bakha's dramatic recovery from debilitating rickets within weeks of receiving vitamin supplements.

» Back to Top


Judith Shank, MD

Trustee Board Secretary

Judy is a retired dermatologist who has been a volunteer for numerous health care related organizations. She is a past President of the Minnesota Medical Association, Past Chairman of the Minnesota Medical Foundation, Founding Chairman of the Hennepin Health Foundation and a board member of both The Hennepin and Allina Health Systems. She was an adjunct Professor of Dermatology at the University of Minnesota. Both of her grandchildren were adopted from China. She and her husband Steve currently live in Sarasota, Florida.

» Back to Top


Almaz Sharman, MD, PhD

Medical Advisory Board Member

Native of Kazakhstan and a citizen of the United States, Dr. Sharman has 30 years experience in the fields of biomedical science, clinical research, and healthcare management. Currently, Dr. Sharman is president of Academy of Preventive Medicine, which works to improve the quality of personal and community health of the people of Kazakhstan. Prior to this, Dr. Sharman, served as Deputy Chairman of Executive Board at Nazarbayev University and Chairman of the Board of University’s Center for Life Sciences. In 2008, Almaz Sharman founded National Medical Holding and served as its first Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of the Board. Dr. Sharman also founded Medtronic country office for Kazakhstan. As a researcher Dr. Sharman designed a methodology for integrated population-based HIV testing, which was implemented in several developing countries and has become a standard methodology for the international demographic and health surveys. Dr. Sharman was also involved in university teaching as Associate at the Johns Hopkins University’s Bloomberg School of Public Health.

» Back to Top


Tammy Teske, MBA

Director of Programs

For the past 15 years, Tammy has worked to empower vulnerable communities and create resilient, just, and vibrant societies around the globe by designing and managing international humanitarian relief and development programs. Before coming to SPOON, she was Senior Program Officer for East Asia at Mercy Corps, managing a complex portfolio of innovative programs in China, Indonesia, Myanmar, Mongolia, and Timor-Leste. Prior to this role, Tammy was Manager of Emergency Relief at Medical Teams International, a global health organization that delivers relief and development programs to all people in need. While there, she played a central role in the relief efforts for some of the largest humanitarian emergencies in history, including the Indian Ocean tsunami, Haiti earthquake, and Sri Lankan civil war. Tammy also managed post-conflict projects in internally displaced person (IDP) and refugee camps in the Congo, Uganda, and Liberia, and long-term development projects throughout Africa, Central Asia, and Eastern Europe. Throughout her career she has engaged with a variety of stakeholders including governments, community leaders and beneficiaries, and the private sector, leveraging their strengths to ensure program success. Closer to home, Tammy has held Board Member positions for local organizations and advises small non-profits. She’s also passionate about spending time out-of-doors rock climbing, mountaineering, and surfing in the Pacific Northwest and beyond.

» Back to Top