We’re a small but powerful group of dynamic individuals that are dedicated to supporting a widespread network of amazing volunteer community organizers, members, and individuals interested in natural health and parenting. We are honored to have each and every one of them involved in our organization and thank them for their hard work and unflagging enthusiasm. We hope you have an opportunity to interact with each one of them through your involvement in HMN!
Andria Kyriakides Somers
The Holistic Moms Network entered my life in 2012 when my oldest daughter was born. I found out about the organization and became a member. Doing so was a life-changing moment for me, and HMN became a central aspect of my mothering journey. I joined the national team in November of 2012 and my role evolved to Executive Director in 2017. After receiving my BFA from NYU Tisch School of the Arts, I worked in a variety of fields, including post-production, event planning, music education and multiple non-profit organizations. Parenting has been my most transformative experience thus far and HMN inspires me every day on this journey, with all that its volunteers, members, and advocates give as far as support, knowledge, ideas and, most importantly, community.
I began as a fashion designer in NYC, graduating from Parsons School of Design. During that time, I started a small non-profit group, and ran a program at the Brooklyn Library, which taught me to become aware of the needs of our community. After a decade, I made a switch and worked for a martial arts company, in various roles. While there I met many holistically minded people, where there were discussions on bettering our body, minds, and soul. All of this culminated in me becoming passionate about being as holistic as possible. I became a member when my son was born and received so much knowledge, and support that I was able to confidently raise my children the way I felt comfortable. I have often said that HMN has made me a better mother. I became a Certified Nutrition Consultant, am a chapter community organizer, and also homeschool my children. Now that my kids are older, I have become even more passionate about HMN, as it is one of the few organizations that truly grows with our children.
I am from Philadelphia, PA and now live in South Jersey. I have a bachelor’s in Business Administration from Rutgers University and I’m certifying to be a birth/postpartum doula, and board-certified breastfeeding consultant. A student of traditional healing through herbs and nutrition, I have been fortunate to be in a loving circle of women who are dedicated to education and wellness. I’m also the founder and co-coordinator for a large music fanbase group in the Philadelphia area, and I’m very proud to be part of the HMN organization to help advocate for a healthier lifestyle.
Our Board of Directors is a working board, where each member participates and shares their knowledge, talents, and skills. We are always seeking volunteers interested in serving on our Board of Directors, or those wishing to participate in a working group. Candidates must be passionate about our mission and purpose. We seek individuals with a range of experience, both professional and personal. Each board member plays an important role in our organization and with their help, we aim to continue to create natural-minded local communities across the country. We are honored these individuals are also passionate about advocating for the holistic community.
If you are interested in finding out more about becoming a board member email email@example.com. If you would like to fill out our board member application you can do so at https://www.holisticmoms.org/board-member-app/
Barbara Arango, Chair
Barbara Arango is an Executive Director of the Illinois Park and Recreation Association in La Grange, IL. In this role, she works to advance the profession of parks and recreation through strategic initiatives, education planning, and leadership. Barbara earned her MBA focused in Management/Strategy, Information Technology, and Entrepreneurship from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University. She resides in Palatine, IL, with her husband of 27 years, three children, and two dogs.
Barbara has always strived to live holistically and even founded an eco-friendly car cleaning company to combine her dream of owning her own business with her passion for green living. She is thrilled to continue her holistic journey as a member of the Holistic Moms Network.
Michael Connolly, Treasurer
Mike Connolly brings over 35 years of experience in the international corporate finance spectrum having served in a leadership position over a broad array of disciplines including: treasury operations, financial risk hedging strategies, liquidity management, insurance programs, corporate tax matters, consumer credit, and retirements benefits plans.
Prior to his retirement, Mike had been VP-Treasurer at jeweler Tiffany & Co. for 19 years, during their period of significant vertical and geographical growth. He has been an active member and advocate of the Association for Financial Professionals, having served as its Chairman of the Board of Directors. Mike has also been named among Global Finance Magazine’s Who’s Who in Treasury and Cash Management.
Mike and his wife, Mary, live in Hunterdon County, New Jersey. They have four grown children and three granddaughters.
Rajae Nami, Board Member
Rajae Nami brings years of experience working in program management for international development projects for various donors, specializing in the project management of researchers collecting data in conflict zones.
Hailing from a family who served with and worked for the Peace Corps, Rajae joined the organization and served in Gabon for two years as a community health educator after her undergraduate studies at Willamette University. She completed her graduate studies at Georgetown University upon returning to the United States, and remained in the Washington, DC, area. She joined Holistic Moms Network when her first child was born in 2008 and served as a volunteer community organizer for her local HMN chapter for 5 years.
She lives with her husband and two children in Springfield, Virginia.
Megan Strauss, Secretary
Megan has been drawn to service centered organizations throughout her life, which is why she pursued a Masters of Social Work with a concentration in Nonprofit Administration. Shortly after graduation she joined AmeriCorps, and ended serving two terms which changed the course of her life. In addition to meeting her husband, she greatly appreciated the AmeriCorps service model. Eventually Megan founded a youth serving nonprofit in Colorado which provides AmeriCorps members to youth serving organizations. When Megan had her first baby in 2017, the network of supportive mothers significantly impacted her introduction to the motherhood experience. She relied on the support network for all things nursing, car seats, introducing food – you name it. Megan was therefore drawn to the Holistic Moms Network because she believes the kind of support network HMN provides is invaluable to new and experienced mothers. Megan looks forward to contributing any skills she can to the Holistic Moms Network.
The Holistic Moms Network’s Advisory Board is an exciting group of professionals sharing their passion for holistic living and parenting and partnering with HMN to make a difference. We are honored to have them on our Advisory Board and encourage you to share in their wisdom, knowledge, and experience! All of our Advisory Board members volunteer their time, passion, and wisdom to our non-profit community and are not compensated for their support.
Nancy Peplinsky, Founder
Motherhood was a truly transformative journey for me, one that was filled with so much learning and joy, but also loneliness. Finding other moms who shared some of my passions for natural and holistic living enriched my life in so many ways and drove me to create the Holistic Moms Network to bring that value to the lives of so many others. I have spent my life in non-profit organizations, service, and educational environments and believe deeply in the power of community and living your life to leave a positive impact on the world. During and after the completion of my graduate education (two MAs and one PhD), I have focused my energy on gender issues and empowering women. Holistic Moms inspires me by showing how interpersonal connections can truly change the world, generation to generation.
Mayim Hoya Bialik is best known for portraying Bette Midler as a child in “Beaches” as well as her subsequent lead role as Blossom Russo in the early-1990s NBC television sitcom “Blossom.” Bialik most recently appeared regularly on the #1 comedy in America, CBS’ “The Big Bang Theory,” playing neurobiologist Amy Farrah Fowler, a role for which she has been a four-time nominee for an Emmy and two-time winner of the Critics’ Choice Award. She will star in an upcoming multi-camera sitcom, “Call Me Kat,” airing on FOX in Fall 2020.
Bialik earned a B.S. from UCLA in 2000 in Neuroscience and Hebrew & Jewish Studies, and a Ph.D. in Neuroscience, also from UCLA, in 2007. Her book about Attachment Parenting, Beyond the Sling, was published in March 2012 (Simon and Schuster). Her vegan cookbook, Mayim’s Vegan Table, was published by Da Capo Press in Spring of 2014. Bialik also has two New York Times bestsellers with Girling Up: How to be Strong, Smart and Spectacular (Philomel Books 2017) and Boying Up: How to be Brave, Bold and Brilliant (Philomel Books 2018).
Peggy O’Mara was the Editor and Publisher of Mothering Magazine from 1980 to 2011. In 1995 she founded mothering.com and was its editor-in-chief until 2012. Peggy’s books include Natural Family Living, Having a Baby Naturally, and A Quiet Place. She has presented at Omega Institute, Esalen, Bioneers and La Leche League, International.
She is the recipient of the La Leche League, International 2001 Alumnae Association award, the International Peace Prayer Day 2002 Woman of Peace award, the National Vaccine Information Center 2009 Courage in Journalism award, the Holistic Moms Network 2013 Lifetime Achievement Award, and five Maggie Awards for public service journalism from the Western Publishing Association.
Currently, Peggy manages the Healing Hearts Baby Loss Comfort Facebook Page for Earth Mama and works with the Yiya Vi Kagindi Doula Project of Tewa Women United.
She is on the advisory boards of Attachment Parenting International, Best for Babes, Holistic Moms Network, Infant Massage USA, Intact America, and Oak Meadow. She is the mother of four adult children and grandmother of three. Peggy has lived in Santa Fe, NM for 33 years. For more information visit Peggy’s website at peggyomara.com.
Dana Ullman, MPH, CCH, is one of America’s leading advocates for homeopathy. He has authored 10 books, including The Homeopathic Revolution: Why Famous People and Cultural Heroes Choose Homeopathy, Homeopathy A-Z, Homeopathic Medicines for Children and Infants, Discovering Homeopathy, and (the best-selling) Everybody’s Guide to Homeopathic Medicines (with Stephen Cummings, MD). Dana also created an e-course How to Use a Homeopathic Medicine Kit which integrates 80 short videos (averaging 15 minutes) with his famous ebook that is a continually growing resource to 300+ clinical studies published in peer-review medical journals testing homeopathic medicines. This ebook combines the descriptions of these studies with practical clinical information on how to use homeopathic medicines for 100+ common ailments. This ebook is entitled Evidence Based Homeopathic Family Medicine, and it is an invaluable resource. Dana has been certified in classical homeopathy by the leading organization in the U.S. for professional homeopaths.
He is the founder of Homeopathic Educational Services, America’s leading resource center for homeopathic books, tapes, medicines, software, and correspondence courses. Homeopathic Educational Services has co-published over35 books on homeopathy with North Atlantic Books.