2015 Expo Speaker Bios

I was going to print out a bio sheet for the expo but with so many wonderful speakers it was getting too long. Here is a complete list of all the speakers and their bios. I’m so glad to have so many great topics so thank you to all the speakers!

Room A Sessions & Speaker Bios

10am  Babywearing Basics with Hannah Shultz of Tiny Feet Boutique & Playspace and Jasia Standley of Hike It Baby

Interested in babywearing? Come check out the basics including a brief history, and thorough explanation of wraps, slings, and carries will be given There will be machine woven and handwoven wraps, ring slings, stretchy wrap, and soft structured carriers available for demo! Feel free to ask any questions!

Hannah Shultz is opening a natural parenting boutique and membership based playspace next month! They will offer natural and organic products for children, as well as pregnant and nursing mothers. Our memberships include unlimited access to our playspace during business hours as well as infinite attendance to any of our classes. Some of our classes include parent/me yoga, baby/tot sign time, arts and crafts, music and dance, essential oil workshops, babywearing education seminars, cloth diapering 101, Breastfeeding Q&A, Meet the Thrive Doulas to learn how they can help you in birth and postpartum, pediatric oral health seminars, postpartum nutrition and many more!! There are no additional fees for any of the classes and you are welcome to added to as many as you would like! Your first visit is complimentary; we’d love to have you and your child visit for a day of play! We offer multiple discounts for siblings, military service members, and annual contract commitments. Hope to see you soon! 

Jasia Standley is a stay-at-home mom, Independent Guide of Poofy Organics, and the Branch Lead of Hike it Baby Iowa City. She is passionate about babywearing and hopes to instill a love of nature in her 15-month-old son through hiking.


10:30am Out with the Jars: Homemade Baby Food with Becky Schmooke of Becky’s Mindful Kitchen

Homemade baby food no longer means just pureed squash, carrots and unseasoned mashed foods.  The bland American baby diet could be the culprit for causing more problems for parents later in life.  Tips for keeping baby feeding stress free and easy and lists of favorite finger foods will all be included.


11am   Little Chefs, Big Appetites: How getting children involved with cooking can change meal time for the better with Becky Schmooke of Becky’s Mindful Kitchen

Learn how to introduce your kids to cooking at a young age and how allowing them some control in the kitchen can have big pay off down the road.  Tips for cooking with kids at different ages, recipe ideas and more.

Becky Schmooke grew up in Iowa City and believes strongly in supporting local farms and businesses. After getting diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes in 2011, Becky decided to rethink how she was eating. After spending time researching traditional diets and spending more time in the kitchen, Becky decided to share her love for food and cooking with others. Becky is not a dietitian or nutritionist, but she advocates eating unprocessed foods, using real ingredients and whole foods. Becky is a mom to 2 young girls and considers them and their father her toughest critics when it comes to new recipes. You can find her and Biscuit, her diabetic alert dog, discovering new running trails around the area and trying out local restaurants.


11:30am      Attachment Parenting: What is it and how can it help your family? with Kendra Godfrey, Leader of Attachment Parenting International (API) of Iowa City Support Group

Attachment parenting (AP) is an evinced-based approach to parenting based on attachment theory. AP invites individuals to parent in a more mindful and peaceful manner. Please join us to learn more!

Kendra Godfrey is the API of Iowa City support group leader.  Prior to staying at home with her daughter, she worked as a marriage and family therapist in California and contributed original research to the field. She is passionate about attachment theory and evidence-based strategies that help people create and maintain strong connections with those they care about, as well as understanding what life experiences may affect those connections. She enjoys staying at home with her four-year-old daughter and their many pets while her husband attends medical school.


12:30pm Cloth Diapers 101 with Amy Mangan of Owl Be Green

Come and learn the basics of Cloth Diapering! We will cover the benefits of cloth diapering, the different types of cloth diapers, what you need to get started, and how to care for them. There will be a time for questions and answers at the end of the session.

Amy Mangan is the owner and creator of Owl Be Green All-in-Two Cloth Diapers & Accessories. She started her cloth diapering business part-time in April 2014 while teaching kindergarten. In the fall of 2014, Amy decided to stay home with her children and dive deeper into the business! She lives in Coralville with her husband, two boys, and one more boy on the way.


1pm   Get back to your healthy lifestyle after baby with Mariah Ruyle, Certified Health Coach & Fitness Instructor and Kristi Bontrager, Owner Jazzercise Fitness Center 

After a new baby comes into your life, everything changes. You need energy and endurance to keep up the challenges of managing every need of this new little life. But you’re exhausted and not sure where you can find that energy. Getting back to exercise and a healthy lifestyle is the first step to caring for you AND your family. Mariah Ruyle will share her experience of exercising through her pregnancies and postpartum. Kristi Bontrager will talk about a special program they’ve developed to help new moms get back to a healthy lifestyle.

Kristi Bontrager started Jazzercising with her mom when she was about 15 years old. She loves the music and the dancing. After college when she moved to Iowa City, she found a class so she could meet some people. Finally in June 2007, she became a Certified Jazzercise Instructor and my life changed forever. She opened the Jazzercise Iowa City Fitness Center – one of only two Premier Centers in Iowa. Now she can’t imagine not dancing everyday.

Mariah Ruyle found her love for Jazzercise in 2007, and one year later became an instructor. Earlier this spring, Mariah became a Certified Health Coach. A mother of 2, she stays busy playing outside, gardening and cooking and baking healthy treats for her family.


1:30pm   Craniaosacral Therapy for Mothers & Babies with Monica Basile, PhD, CPM, CD(DONA), CCE(BWI), LMT of Mapleseed Birth & Bodywork

Craniosacral therapy is a gentle and effective form of bodywork that releases restrictions in the body to allow for greater mobility and function. In this presentation you will learn about the special benefits of CST for mothers in the childbearing year, and for infants.

Monica Basile is a Certified Professional Midwife, Licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Childbirth Educator, and Certified Birth Doula with 20 years of experience attending births and working with families. She teaches Iowa City’s Mindful Birthing childbirth class and owns Mapleseed Birth and Bodywork, practicing massage and craniosacral therapy at Seva Center for Healing Arts. She is passionate about facilitating joyful embodiedness and honoring the transformative power of pregnancy and birth. Monica is the mother of an adult son, and she holds a PhD in Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies.


2:15pm   Maintaining Positive Relationships Postpartum with Sabrina Rogers of Hearts & Solutions

In this workshop individuals (and couples) gain a sense of empowerment by learning new skills to: maintain relationship satisfaction after having a baby, promote positive parent-baby interactions, promote quality involvement for both parents, and reduce the incidence or severity of postpartum mood disorders.

Sabrina is a mental health counselor with Heart and Solutions. She has a passion for working with couples and families to assist them in finding their own version of happily ever after. Sabrina also works with children and individuals addressing a range of issues including depression, anxiety, and other mood disorders.


3pm  Breastfeeding Support with Jennifer Pitkin & Kimberly Hendricks of Encompass Lactation

Feed your baby. Protect your supply. A Q&A on what’s normal and when to get help.

Jen became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in 2013.  Previously (and while tandem nursing two little ones) she pursued a BS in psychology from Iowa State University while working at WIC and volunteering with La Leche League International. She’s currently writing a book on benefits to families, businesses, and the economy by welcoming nursing mothers. She’s currently nursing (and pumping for) her 3 month old baby.

Kimberly is currently pursuing a B.S. in Maternal Child Health and completing requirements to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Other certifications/education include: Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) (2014), Birth Doula (2011), HypnoDoula Certification (2014), Rebozo certified (2014), Prenatal Yoga Instructor, certified (2015), Reiki I (2014), and is currently completing birth and bereavement training. Kimberly believes that birth and breastfeeding are individual to each mother. It is important to listen, encourage, support and believe in every woman and guide her specific birth and breastfeeding journey. She is also the Momma to four amazing daughters.


3:30pm     The Value of Play with Beth Downing with Coralville Parks & Recreations Department

Play is fun! Through playing children from infancy and up learn about themselves, their world around them, and their relationships with others. Coralville Parks and Recreation offers many different opportunities to get your child involved and engaged in play helping them grow to be a healthier person learning lifelong leisure skills among many other tools to utilize in life.

Beth Downing graduated from the University of Iowa with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation. While working through college she obtained a job with Coralville Parks and Recreation and loved it so much that she never left! Beth and her husband are currently expecting their first born due in December. In her free time she loves yoga, kayaking, running, chocolate, and all things fall.


Room B Sessions & Speaker Bios

10am    “The THRIVE! Formula: Optimizing Your Health Experience” with Chris Grier, D.C. of Bright Futures Chiropractic

The premise is simple: Give the body everything it needs, eliminate everything it doesn’t, give it ample time, and the result is Thriving, robust health. The postpartum time is crucial for rebuilding, restoring, bonding, and laying the foundation for future health. This presentation will be clean, clear, and powerful in describing what factors play into the various aspects of the formula, what pitfalls are common in our culture, and strategies that participants can employ in their lives immediately to start creating a Thriving family.

Chris Grier is a Wellness Chiropractor and Educator who practices at Bright Futures Chiropractic in Kalona, IA. He is dedicated to pediatric and family chiropractic with a mission to help revitalize the lives of the families he serves. Formally trained in pediatric and prenatal Chiropractic by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association, Dr. Grier is dedicated to helping families Thrive. Dr. Grier and his wife, Christina, started Bright Futures Chiropractic in Kalona in 2007 and have one vibrantly healthy son, Will, who is four years old.


11am    Finding Quality Child Care with Cyndi Malik of ICCRR

Choosing child care for your child can be an overwhelming process but there is help available. Get information about different types of child care, quality child care indicators, and the questions to ask when doing your child care search.

Cyndi Malik is a Parent Services Specialist at Child Care Resource and Referral of Southeast Iowa.  She works primarily with families looking for child care and provides educational information about what to look for in a quality child care setting. She has been Child Care Resource and Referral for 4 years and before that, was a Registered Child Development Home Provider for 12 years.  She is also the mom of 2 boys, which provides her a perspective from the parent side as well. She is passionate about helping families know what to look for in a child care setting and finding quality child care for their children.


11:30am    Child Passenger Safety: Understanding Why 3 out of 4 seats are Mis-Used with Pam Hoogerwerf of the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital

We’ll talk about choosing and installing infant seats, convertible seats and booster seats. Also, when can a child get rid of the booster seat all together? Demonstration of all of these different components will be done. Plenty of time for questions will be allowed.

Pam Hoogerwerf is the Director of Injury Prevention and Community Outreach at University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. She is a certified technician in Child Passenger Safety. She received her certification in Injury Prevention from John’s Hopkins Bloomberg College of Public Health.


12:30pm    Mom to Mom: An Honest Discussion About Postpartum Wellness with Shannon Wilson of Murray, Wilson & Rose Counseling & Behavioral Services, LLC

This session will provide information about postpartum mental wellness.  Shannon Wilson, LMHC will provide information about what to expect mentally and emotionally after having a baby as well as information about postpartum depression and anxiety.  After a brief presentation, Shannon will facilitate a panel discussion of mothers who have experienced postpartum mental health concerns.  This session will be informal and audience participation and questions are encouraged.

Shannon is licensed by the State of Iowa as a Mental Health Counselor. She holds a Bachelors degree in social work and earned her Masters Degree in Counseling, Rehabilitation and Student Development in 2010 from the University of Iowa. Shannon specializes in maternal mental health, and has continued her education with the completion of the Postpartum Support International Maternal Mental Health certificate training. She enjoys working with pregnant women and mothers who may be experiencing difficulties with role changes and identity shift as a result of pregnancy and motherhood, as well as mothers who are experiencing postpartum depression or anxiety issues. 


1:30pm    Finding the Right Pediatrician- Dr. Temitope Awelewa of University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics

Choosing the right pediatrician is one of the most important decisions you have to make with your pregnancy. In this session, we will talk about the different things to look for in a pediatrician to make you feel more comfortable with your choice.

Dr. Tope Awelewa is a board certified pediatrician currently practicing at the University of Iowa North Liberty Pediatric clinic. She obtained her medical degree from the University of Ife in Nigeria where she did an internship and a residency in pediatrics before coming to the University of Minnesota to do her externship. After obtaining a Masters degree in public health from the University of Minnesota, she went to New York for her residency training in Pediatrics. She subsequently served as a chief resident in Bronx-Lebanon hospital center, a teaching affiliate of the Albert Einstein college of Medicine in New York. She joined the University of Iowa in July 2015. Dr. Awelewa is a strong advocate of breastfeeding and she is interested in incorporating preventive practices into her clinical practice.


2:15pm   3 Secrets to Healing After a Difficult Birth with Kelly Fischer of Your Birth Story Matters
If you’re recovering from a difficult birth experience, you’re not alone. According to recent research, up to 34% of women in several studies perceived their birth to be traumatic (Beck, 2013). In this session you will learn common responses after an intense experience, what contributes to a difficult birth, why it *is* important to get support – what can happen after a difficult birth and three secrets to healing after a difficult birth. Did you have a difficult journey to parenthood? Maybe a stressful pregnancy? Perhaps a birth experience that left you feeling disappointed, or an overwhelming postpartum? Then this discussion is for you!

Kelly Fischer began her birthwork in 2010 as the founder of ICAN of Northeast Iowa, and is also currently one of ICAN’s Regional Coordinators.  Her continuing education has included Pam England’s Birth Story Listening course, Birthing Racial Justice, Postpartum Support International’s certificate training in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, VBAC Facts, Spinning Babies, rebozo, birth and postpartum doula training, and more.  Fischer is a regular guest speaker at birth events including the Conscious Birth Summit, the Quad Cities Birth Conference, Corridor Birth Alliance, Motherhood Matters, Baby and Beyond, and ICAN meetings across the Midwest. She has hosted workshops across Iowa, and done educational webinar presentations through ICAN’s Speaker Series both for ICAN members and ICAN chapter leaders. Fischer is an Advanced Mentor with Birthing From Within and offers holistic childbirth preparation and postpartum classes to help with healing after a difficult birth. For more information check out Your Birth Story Matters on Facebook!


3pm   Essential Oils in Pregnancy, Postpartum & Healing with Stephanie Berberich

Discover how incorporating essential oils as a complementary approach before, during, and after pregnancy can benefit the entire family throughout all stages of life. Then take a walk with her as she recounts her own personal journey of surviving a postpartum stroke after the birth of their 4th child.

Stephanie Berberich, BSN began her nursing career in 1999 as a labor & delivery, postpartum, and neonatal nurse while also working as a charge nurse at a long term care facility, accompanied with ten years experience in utilizing essential oils.