MOMS People

MOMS has the best people ever!

On this page, you’ll find information about our Board Members, Staff, and other volunteers.  

Scroll down to meet our board members.

Please note that we are not actively recruiting volunteer teachers.  We have trained local women in Sierra Leone to conduct the classes, therefore traveling faculty are not needed.  We are very proud of reaching this milestone toward our goal of sustainability and independence!  

However, if you believe in MOMS work, there is plenty to do!  Contact us, please, if you want to learn more about

  • board membership 
  • helping with social media, fund-raising, or research
  • teaching or curriculum development

MOMS’ Board of Directors

M. Christie McManus, MBA, President of the Board

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Chris earned four degrees, in history, education, theology, and business.  She retired from a full career as an executive from a utility company, where she led multi-disciplinary teams and acted as an expert witness.  She is now the Editor of the Independent Coast Observer, a weekly newspaper in the Mendocino-Sonoma, CA, coastal area.  

Volunteering has been part of her life since childhood.  She has been involved with women’s health, HIV/AIDS, and food programs over the decades.  She joined MOMS board in 2004 and has been an active member since.  Traveling to Africa as a volunteer more than 18 times, she has been team leader, teacher, and multi-purpose pair of hands.   

Chris has served on several other boards in various roles, including Planned Parenthood, AIDS Health Project, and Oasis.   Chris is an ordained minister in the Episcopal Church.  She lives in Northern California with her spouse and dogs, and has five grown children and eight grandchildren.

Patricia Ross, CPM, Secretary of the Board

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Trish officially retired from a 25-year career in teaching, training, and organizational development.  She has been a volunteer since childhood with victims of violence and the ill.  Trish helped non-profits develop their training programs, and developed and teaches a course for lay chaplains.  Her formal education has been in theology, human development, and midwifery.

Trish is a Certified Professional Midwife and a registered preceptor with the North American Registry of Midwives.  She has taught in both academic and clinical programs.  Trish has been to Africa more than 20 times as teacher and preceptor.  

Trish served on other boards including the Association of Midwifery Educators, Mendocino Coast District Hospital Chaplains, and Soroptimist International of the Mendocino-Sonoma Coast.  She was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 1995.  Trish lives in Northern California with her spouse and dogs.  She has five grown children, and eight grandchildren.  

Seth T. Longacre, DMin (abd), MBA, Member at large

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Seth has a deep and broad background in training, organizational development, non-profit management, and service.  Seth has continued his education throughout adulthood.  He has lived and worked for several years in Africa and other areas of the world, and is currently working for a non-profit.  

An ordained minister, Seth focuses on servant ministry.  Seth tends to divide his time between work in various African countries and the US Southwest.  

John Ferrante, Member at large

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John studied computer science at Berkeley and has a successful career in that field.  John focuses on practical aspects of making sure the money is in place, the projects are well-managed, and everything makes sense.  John has served on several boards, including his local school board, for many years.  He has been a long-time supporter of MOMS and is a firm advocate for social justice.  

John is a family man and loves dogs. 

Nina Kisch, Member at large

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Nina has degrees in fine arts and psychology.  She has a background in training, change management, and organizational development.  Nina has worked in several industries, including software, financial services, and utilities, where she is now involved in managing her company’s fleet of vehicles.  This broad background indicates NIna’s ability to think creatively and implement plans.  

Nina lives in the East Bay area of California.  She is a proud aunt and has strong ties to her extended family. She, like all MOMS’ Directors, is an animal lover.

Joanne Frazer, Member at large

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Joanne Frazer has long been involved in Soroptimist International, a major service organization focused on helping women and girls locally and internationally.  She has served in many capacities, including leadership and fundraising.  Joann has run her own travel agency for more than 30 years, and is MOMS official and very effective travel agent.  

Joann lives in Fort Bragg, California, with their animals.

Anna Franceschi, Member at large

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Anna Franceschi has a BA in PoliSci and an MMP, plus experience in working with other non-profits, Anna adds more breadth to our Board.  She was the development officer for non-profit that specializes in forming partnerships with relief agencies in times of crisis.  She has also taught classes about Human Trafficking and other women’s issues, as well as traveling on a MOMS team in the Summer of 2017.  

Anna is considering whether to become a midwife and enjoys spending time with her family in north-central Texas.  

MOMS Leadership Council

The leader of each cohort we’ve trained is part of the Leadership Council.  

  • Mamie Lamin, of Pellie 
  • Jeneba Batty, of Ngolahun
  • Fatmata Mohammed, of Daru
  • Mamie Brima, of Jokibu
  • Mamie Musa, of Gbalahun
  • Kai Jigbai, of Tikonko
  • Gbessey Kemokai, of Jendema
  • Mamie Fembulleh, of Blama-Massaquoi
  • Haja Toto Debassey, of Gerihun
  • Mamie Pessima, of Gbaiima-Songa
  • Haja Rogers, of Massam

These women provide local leadership to the MOMS TBAs in their areas.  They work together to identify and solve problems, act as a point of contact for our in-country staff, plan activities, and serve as a consistent presence in the community.  They clarify needs and provide the Board and staff with counsel and support. They also work with the District Medical Health Team - the first time TBAs have been included at this level!  

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Here you see Hawa Toto Debassey being formally welcomed by the Chief, Mamie Lamin.  

MOMS' Staff

MOMS does not pay US staff.  MOMS pays Sierra Leonean staff reasonably but not as well as we want.  

  • Chris McManus, Volunteer Managing Director.
  • Trish Ross, Volunteer Education Director.
  • Alpha Seisay, Country Director.
  • Jitta Rogers Seisay, Training Manager.
  • Lydia Thomas, MOMS Trainer.
  • Josephine Nyallay Fortune, MOMS Trainer.

MOMS staff from left:  Jitta Rogers-Seisay, Trish Ross, Jo Fortune, Chris McManus, Lydia Thomas.  
Alpha Seisay is taking the photo.

MOMS’ Volunteer Teachers in Sierra Leone

  • Robin Harnden, BA
  • Lisa Lee Rohm, MPH, RN
  • Ami Burnham, RN, CPM 
  • Cora Nally, MA
  • Mary Jane Lavin, MS
  • Lisa Varnes-Epstein, PA, CPM
  • Emily Kritzler, BSN, RN 
  • Elizabeth Price, MS
  • Gretchen Peck, BA
  • Carol J. Nelson, MD
  • Cherilyn Porter, MS

MOMS' Volunteers in the United States

  • Rozann Grunig
  • Penny Dreyer
  • Art Dreyer
  • Jennifer Dowdell
  • Anne Speyer
  • Diane Dailey
  • Shafia Monroe
  • Shetal Chaturvedi
  • Joni Stickney
  • Becky LeClair

We ask all volunteers to read two books, A Book for Midwives and Helping Health Workers Learn; both are published by the Hesperian Foundation. The first provides good insight into the content of our courses, and the second represents much of our approach and philosophy.  

 (C) 2011-2019 Midwives on Missions of Service