BOARD OF DIRECTORS
LEIA JOHNSON (President)
Our co-founder and President, Leia, started Somebody's Mama in 2011 when she was at home with two small children and looking for a way to stay connected to the world at large. Her vision was to see women from all walks of life working together to improve the lives of their global neighbors. Motivated by her work abroad since the age of 13, Leia was moved particularly to see women and girls given opportunity through education and access to healthcare. Leia lives in the great metropolis of Belleville, IL, with her Air Force pilot husband, Scott, two handsome boys, Will and Ben, and two foster daughters. You can follow Leia and her writing at leiamjohnson.com.
ERIKA WRIGHT (Vice-President)
Erika, our co-founder and social justice organizer, hails from Norman, OK, where she lives with her husband, Matt, and three beautiful children, Madelyn, Charlie, and Vivienne. When Erika heard that the mission of Somebody's Mama was to empower women by turning thoughts into action, she knew she had found her true purpose. Erika loves essential oils and runs her own sales consulting company, but spends her spare time organizing Love Clubs and spreading the mission of hope in action one meeting at a time. Erika's greatest talent is creating community, whether she's planning a pool party, jamming at a music festival, or raising money to empower women around the globe.
DONNA COMPTON (Secretary)
Donna is a lawyer and has three adult children and one grandchild. From Donna: "My passion is problem solving and mentoring. I love reading, spending time with my family, baking, and hosting parties. I got involved with Somebody's Mama because I loved that their vision meets women right where they are at in their lives and empowers them to join together to find fulfillment in service to others. No act of service is too small to impact big change." Donna has been an active Love Club hostess from day one, and we are so lucky to have her on our team--not only for her legal expertise, but also for her enthusiasm for empowering women!
JENNIFER FREEMAN (Treasurer)
Jennifer and her husband, Todd, own and operates Freeman Collision Center in Oklahoma City, OK. From Jennifer: "My greatest joy is being Mom to my amazing daughter, Elizabeth. I am a strong believer in the power of prayer, laughter, a friendly smile and lots of hugs. I enjoy getting lost in a good book, listening to good music, working in the flower gardens, and traveling to the beach. I love that Somebody's Mama is passionate about finding real solutions and touching the lives of sisters across the globe." Jennifer is a natural born leader, and we are grateful that she is in our corner. She lights up every room she enters and knows how to live every moment in life to the fullest.
Jamie is an editor, natural child birth enthusiast, and mother to four kids under six (yep, you read that right!). She plans to become a nurse midwife when all her kids are in school. From Jamie: "Somebody's Mama represents a chance to pursue all my passions--sharing the work of women empowering each other, improving education and economic achievement, and helping to ensure that all moms and babies are happy and healthy." Her background in physics, science journalism, and the business world makes her a force to be reckoned with, and we are so glad to have her input on important decisions.
Originally from Edmond, OK, Nassim graduated from OU in 2004 and since has been on an exciting journey that led her through a career working in neuroscience, in marketing, and with a start-up creative agency. Later, Nassim got married, moved across the Atlantic twice and back, earned her MBA, and became a mother to a beautiful baby girl, traveling as much as time and money would allow. Her combined experiences allow her to help non-profits be better at what they do. From Nassim: "I believe that making the world a better place starts by providing people with a safe space to grow and ensuring access to healthcare, education, and basic human rights. I joined Somebody’s Mama because I see the organization turning these ideas into meaningful results."
Jenny lives in Choctaw, OK, with her husband and two kids, where she's an occupational therapy assistant for a home healthcare agency. She's passionate about travel and about meeting new people in new places, so she and her family are preparing to embark on a three-month round the world trip! When we asked Jenny why she wanted to be on the Somebody's Mama board, she said simply, "I want to make a difference in the world." Jenny has been a dedicated Love Club hostess from day one, especially focused on sharing the Somebody's Mama story with the next generation. She's a passionate seeker, full of energy, and perpetually open-minded.
We chose Nancy to be on our board because we have learned so much from her life experiences as an educator and world traveler. She just happens to be the biological mama of co-founder, Leia Johnson. She's also great to have around when we need something edited to perfection. From Nancy: "I am a retired educator. I spent most of my career as a guidance counselor in a challenging school by choice. I passionately support education, women's empowerment, and anyone who needs encouragement. I relax by reading and gardening. I chose to be a part of Somebody's Mama because I fully believe in the actions and goals of the organization. I want to impact the lives of the vulnerable."
From Lori : "It's taken me 40 years to learn to embrace my introvertedness, that boxing gloves are not always necessary, life doesn't have to be fair to be fun, and ADD can be used to your advantage. I have a 16-year-old daughter who sings opera and rides four wheelers and an 8-year-old son who is an expert Minecraft builder that protects me from creepers. I love photography, art, travel, reading, writing, but not arithmetic. I'm a nonprofit executive who passionately advocates for public education, women/children issues and against misperceptions of poverty. Somebody's Mama is all those things and reminds me the world is much bigger than Oklahoma."
Missy has been married to Jerrad for 8 years. Together, they raise cattle, ride horses, and both work in town to pay the bills. From Missy: "I am fascinated by the little 6 year old girl God gave me, and I love having adventures with her. As a therapist, I get to hand out hope for a living, and even on the most difficult days I love the opportunity to help people and attempt to make a difference. That's why I love Somebody's Mama! Their vision to empower women and improve lives taps into what I am most passionate about. I am grateful beyond words to be a part of such an amazing group." A lifelong writer, Missy blogs at www.sunsetsandsnowflakes.com.
Weneva is married with one daughter and three step-children, and sells neurovascular medical devices for a living. When we asked Weneva what she's passionate about, she answered, "I am passionate about having a positive impact on those I come into contact with and leaving behind a legacy that is worthy of saying my life was well-lived!" About serving with Somebody's Mama, "I truly believe that every single person has the ability to positively impact others. When we educate women and children who otherwise would not have basic opportunities that we have in the USA, we can actually change the world. Empowering women to provide for their families can and does change their course."
Gay is an award winning community activist, professional nurse, and respected artist and writer. In 2011, Gay went to Sierra Leone and worked with Dr. Abdul Daniel Sesay. Many of the images that are on the Somebody's Mama website were captured by Gay. When we asked Gay why she agreed to serve on our board, she said, "Somebody's Mama's mission of empowering women to turn thoughts into action aligns with what I do--it's who I am." Gay lives in Oklahoma City with her two youngest children, Ketura and Asher, and their cat, Lucy.
BOARD OF ADVISORS
Working with women and students in rural Uganda, Amy runs a non-profit organization that provides health and prenatal care, immunizations, and HIV testing. BARHD (Bushenyi Alliance for Rural Health & Development) has distributed 15,000 mosquito nets to prevent malaria. 312 secondary students have been sponsored to attend school. Amy loves working with women, teaching them improved health care, nutrition and sanitation. She is a retired kindergarten teacher with 5 grandchildren who loves crocheting and walking. Amy says, "It's exciting to watch the grassroots projects growing from Somebody's Mama and how they are instrumental in changing lives."
Steve is the founder of 4HIM, the organization that helped us as we ventured into the world of non-profit work, and he just so happens to be co-founder, Leia Johnson's, dad. He has been a great source of encouragement, wisdom, and guidance since our inception. We are keeping him around as an advisor because he's someone with a great amount of experience. When we asked Steve what he's passionate about, he said, "Loving God and my family, service, and making a tangible difference in the world." He added that he's excited to be a part of what we're doing because "You guys are awesome!" Well, Steve, we think you're pretty awesome, too.
Dee Bee married John almost 30 years ago. She shared with us that he is an amazing man and her "better" friend because he makes her a better person. She is "Mom" to two Boykin Spaniels, Sailor and Maggie and the best Aunt and Godmother ever. She is passionate about helping others. Maya Angelou said it best..."Love recognizes no barriers. It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope." Fun is spending time with people I love, playing handbells, and teaching/showing God's children how much He loves them. Working with Somebody's Mama is a dream come true because empowering women will change the world!
Allison is wife to Bobby and mom to three "beautiful, spicy souls," Maguire, Prestyn, and Cruz. She describes herself as a business owner who loves Jesus, her family, fashion, makeup, sweatpants, sunshine, and essential oils." When we asked Allison why she wanted to be a part of what Somebody's Mama is doing, she said, "I believe in being a part of something bigger than myself. Being able to give back and inspire women to reach their full potential is what drew me to Somebody's Mama. I'm so excited to join with this amazing team of people and change the world, one act of love at a time!" We admire Allison for her enthusiasm and passion and for her beauty inside and out.