BOARD OF DIRECTORS
LEIA JOHNSON (President)
Our co-founder and president 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. Inspired by her work abroad since the age of 13, Leia was particularly motivated to see women and girls given opportunities through education and access to healthcare. Leia lives in Illinois with her husband, two handsome boys, and two foster daughters. You can follow Leia and her writing at leiamjohnson.com.
ERIKA WRIGHT (Vice President)
Co-founder, Erika Wright, hails from Norman, OK, where she lives with her husband and three beautiful children. 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 is an entrepreneur who runs two successful businesses. She is passionate about spreading our global mission of hope in action. 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 world.
JENNIFER FREEMAN (Treasurer)
Jennifer and her husband own and operate an auto repair shop in Oklahoma City, OK. From Jennifer: "My greatest joy is being Mom to my amazing daughter. I am a strong believer in the power of prayer, laughter, a friendly smile and lots of hugs. 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 an experienced bookkeeper. Somebody's Mama is grateful for her expertise and passion.
Agi joined the Somebody’s Mama movement after hearing (our co- founder) Leia Johnson’s interview on National Public Radio (NPR) and being inspired to lend her many talents to the organization. Her varied background, from teaching as well as her current work in information systems at a start up, makes her skills such an asset to the leadership team. She’s a never-ending source of creativity with innovative organizational solutions and as a dedicated Love Club hostess to keep us moving toward our goals.
Originally from Edmond, OK, Nassim graduated from OU in 2004 and has worked in neuroscience, marketing, and a start-up creative agency. After getting married, she moved across the Atlantic twice and back, earned her MBA, and became a mother to a beautiful little girl. Her combined experiences allow her to help non-profits flourish. 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."
Love Club Communications
Jamie has always believed that every problem has a solution. When she got the chance to solve problems for women and girls around the world with Somebody's Mama, she jumped at the chance. Married with four children, Jamie holds degrees in physics and science journalism. She has worked as an editor, a teacher, and for a software company serving non-profits. From Jamie: "Somebody's Mama represents a chance to pursue all my passion— sharing the work of women empowering each other, improving education and economic development, and helping to ensure that all moms and babies are happy and healthy."
A native of New Mexico, Nikolai now lives in Oklahoma with his wife and their collection of foster and permanent animals. A graduate of the Colorado School of Mines, Nikolai has spent the last decade working in the resource industry across North and South America and Australia. From Nikolai: "My favorite quote comes from NASA Engineer, Daryl Woods, whose statement ‘Responsible for the element, accountable for the mission’ speaks to me. At a basic level we are responsible for little else than our own health and that of our families. However, if you believe in broad basic human rights as I do, you quickly realize your accountability extends far beyond your day to day life. Somebody’s Mama offers me a tangible way to effect positive change in the world.”
Missy and her husband enjoy raising cattle and riding horses in the Midwest. From Missy: "I am fascinated by the little 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.
MICHELLE DIXON GREEN
Marketing and Social Media
Michelle has lived in New York, the Netherlands, and now Oklahoma with her husband. She joins our team with marketing and brand development experience in fashion, home goods, finance and other charitable organizations. She is proud to serve Somebody's Mama with a focus on business strategy and creative collaboration to achieve the greatest impact for those in need.
We chose Nancy to be on our board because we have learned so much from her life experiences as an educator and world traveler. 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 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."
Visual Media Communications
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 with her two youngest children and their cat, Lucy.
Weneva is married with one daughter and three step-children and works as a sales representative for a neuromuscular medical device company. 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."
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. He has been a great source of encouragement, wisdom, and guidance since our inception. 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 is married and "Mom" to two Boykin Spaniels, Sailor and Maggie, plus she’s the best Aunt and Godmother ever. She is passionate about helping others. From Deebee: “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 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!”