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More Information About Our Speakers

Aisha Diss BHS, CADAC II, CAPRC II-MH/FS, CSPR, Presenter

Aisha Diss has been married for 12 years and enjoys spending time with her husband, three adult children and three granddaughters. She also enjoys music, collecting, and scary movies.


Aisha holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Services with a minor in Psychology from Indiana Tech. Aisha is a person in long-term recovery from opioid use disorder and justice involvement. With her lived experience, Aisha obtained certifications as a level II Addiction Peer Recovery Coach with mental health and forensic support enhancements, in addition to holding certifications as a level II Alcohol & Drug Addiction Counselor, and as a Supervisor of Peer Recovery.

Aisha founded the nonprofit organization, project.ME, which offers ongoing peer recovery coaching and harm reduction support in Allen County and surrounding areas. She uses her passion to support others and her knowledge that recovery is possible to extend her mission to the community.

Dr. Aisha-Amina L. Smiley, DSW, LSW, Presenter

Dr. Aisha Smiley is a licensed social worker with over twenty-five years of experience in the social work and health professions working in areas of child welfare, maternal health, HIV/AIDS, community mental health, nutrition and wellness, trauma, and domestic violence. Aisha recently completed a Doctorate in Social Work with an emphasis on the value of diverse representation in health education, health disparities and inequities.  Dr. Smiley has a conscientious approach to diversity, equity, and inclusion in every area of personal and professional practice. Aisha is currently serving in the role of Clinical Assistant Professor and the undergraduate social work program (BSW) director at IU School of Social Work.  Aisha enjoys mentoring students and faculty - teaching students to value the wisdom provided by life experiences, to utilize each person’s unique strengths, to appreciate diversity, and to help empower others to value the significance of their own story. Aisha is a wife and mother and is active in many community organizations.

Amber Todd M.S., Facilitator

Amber Todd is a Christian Counselor, maternal mental health advocate & creator of the online course, Peaceful Postpartum.  Her integrative counseling practice and podcast, called Life Interconnected, provides a holistic & faith-based approach to mental & emotional health through close collaboration with physicians, such as OB's, midwives and naturopathic doctors.  She partners with the Fertility & Midwifery Care Center in Fort Wayne to create a proactive & preventive framework for addressing perinatal mental health risk factors.  Amber and her husband, Nate, have four children and experienced first hand struggles with postpartum anxiety, which is why they created online tools & resources to support other couples.  As an alum of the Teach For America program, experienced public speaker and former college advisor, Amber enjoys facilitating meaningful conversations around important topics, such as maternal mental health.  

Bri Andrews, Panelist

My name is Bri Andrews. I am a Hospice volunteer coordinator-program manager, I am a high school classroom speaker for the Respect Team, I am a Bring It Push It Own It Youth Advocate, I am vice president of the Allen County Young Democrats, I am a Lieutenant officer for the Original Black Panther Party, and I am a DEIJ & women’s advocate. Childhood Physical abuse, emotional abuse, suicidal thoughts, family trauma, teen pregnancy/teen parenthood, racial injustice, and being the youngest woman of color in predominantly Caucasian male dominated spaces are aspects of my life that do not define me but they are the driving force that fuels “My Why”. My lived experiences have ignited a passion within me for serving, educating, advocating for the underserved and under represented people of my community. I call this my “Heart” work.

Brooke Schaefer MSN, MBA, FNP-C, CARN-AP, RN, Keynote Speaker

Brooke Schaefer is the founder/CEO of Pendleton Collaborative, a health care innovation group focused on the wellbeing of patients and staff. She is the Director of Perinatal Substance Use Disorders for Community Health network and oversees CHOICE, a program supporting mothers with substance use disorders. Based in central Indiana, Brooke, a nurse practitioner with an MBA, enjoys a chaotic farm life with her husband, four kids, and an array of animals. Despite her years of effort, she humbly admits her CrossFit skills are a work in progress, excelling only at the occasional deadlift.

Cassie Shortsleeve, Keynote Speaker

Cassie Shortsleeve is a journalist with over a decade of experience reporting for some of the country's leading national publications. A regular contributor to Parents, What to Expect, Women's Health, and other outlets, she regularly writes about the intersection of health and motherhood and is a trusted and thoughtful voice in the maternal health community. She is also the co-founder of the maternal wellness newsletter Two Truths. In addition to her work as a journalist, Cassie is a perinatal health coach, the founder of the online support platform and community Dear Sunday where she reaches millions of mothers monthly, and a co-founder of the non-partisan maternal rights non-profit Chamber of Mothers. Her work has been hailed by respected institutions such as Postpartum Support International and featured in major media outlets, including The Skimm, Motherly, and more. Through expert writing and communications, she bridges the gaps between mainstream media, medicine, and government, always with the mission of putting mothers first. Cassie is a mom of three and lives in the Boston area with her daughters and husband.

Christie SprugerFacilitator

Corie Hess, PhD Presenter

Grayce Holloway, Panelist

Karah Wynn, MSW, LCSW, PMH-C, Presenter

Karah has a Master of Social Work with a focus on mental health and addictions and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW) and certified in perinatal mental health (PMH-C).

After becoming a mother, Karah witnessed the gap in therapists in the area who specialize in maternal mental health. She is passionate about helping mothers through their perinatal journey and is experienced in working with individuals to support them in effectively managing and addressing stress, trauma, depression, anxiety, grief, perinatal mental health, and other mental health concerns. Karah specializes in working with adults with complex trauma and grief. 

Karah opened up a new practice, Rooted in Healing, in 2024 and hopes to continue to focus on supporting mothers

Lindsay Robertson, Panelist

Megan Ryan, LMHC, Presenter

Megan Ryan is the Clinical Program Director for Benchmark Human Services Indiana Family Preservation Services and is a licensed mental health counselor. This community-based program provides counseling and case management services to keep children in their home but not compromise their safety. They walk alongside families as they meet challenges related to substance use, mental health, poverty, abuse, neglect, etc. They advocate, educate, and provide a light of hope to the families they serve. Our company is known for our ability to support individuals with complex needs and providing solutions that are individualized and inclusive to all needs. Megan graduated from Ball State University with her bachelor's degree and completed her graduate program as a Clinical Mental Health Counselor in 2013 from Walden University.


Megan seeks opportunities including barriers, to advocate for individuals who experience mental health and/or substance use challenges. Megan has a drive to educate other professionals and community members on how they can be part of the solution to support those who live with mental health and/ or substance use factors. Megan believes we are all a piece of the pie when it comes to supporting others and we can all take responsibility for the outcomes of our community. Megan believes in connection with others and keeping those connections alive to help one another. Megan has a passion for suicide prevention and education personally and professionally.


Professionally, Megan has gained experience in community mental health organizations since 2008. Megan started as a case manager in 2008 and began her counseling career in 2013. Prior to 2008 Megan obtained experience as an intern for a domestic violence shelter, a camp counselor at an ABA camp for children, and a skills coach. She started in leadership roles in 2015 leading to her current role. Megan was selected for Fort Wayne’s 40 under 40 in 2023.


Personally, Megan is a friend, daughter, mom, friend, and sister- the hats are endless, but this is what allows Megan to be Megan. Megan has a 4 year old son and 6 year old daughter- they are the light of her life. They drive Megan’s decisions and have created the foundation Megan has always searched for in life. Megan’s motherhood journey is just starting, but she has a lot of relatable experiences that most are shy to share but Megan believes connection is key to getting through this life!

Melissa Hall, MSW, CHW, CAPRC II, Presenter

Melissa is a Family Preservation Clinician with Benchmark Human Services and runs her private practice Holistic Living, LLC to help support families, individuals, and of course mamas! She is a Trauma-Informed Care Practitioner, Community Health Worker, Wrap II Facilitator, Postpartum Doula, CAPRC II (Certified Addiction Peer Recovery Coach), and Rapid Resolution Therapy trained. 


Melissa holds a bachelor's in English Literature and Women's Studies and a Master's in Social Work. A self-described advocate, feminist, life-long learner, and melting pot of different races and cultures, Melissa is always willing to start from scratch if the existing rules are not inclusive for all. 

Melissa is a yogi, travel enthusiast, bibliophile, and consumer of a copious amount of tea. Mama of 4 and former foster mama, she and her husband Joe, a Fort Wayne Fire Department firefighter, raise their multiracial family to embrace their heritage and unlimited potential. If she isn't camping, having a deep conversation, or eating local cuisine, you can find her on her homestead, raising chickens, quails, and a (hopefully) abundant garden, snuggled up with her family, or writing furiously before she forgets her next thought.

Suzanne Crouch, Special Guest

Proud to have been born and raised in Evansville, 52nd Lieutenant Governor of Indiana Suzanne Crouch is a lifelong Hoosier.


Throughout her years of public service, Lt. Gov. Crouch has been committed to programs and services for Hoosiers with disabilities or who are struggling with mental illness or addictions.


Lt. Gov. Crouch is co-chair of the Indiana Mental Health Roundtable and played a key role in planning the 2023 Indiana Mental Health Roundtable Summit. The Summit convened over 500 community leaders from across the state to develop action steps to combat the mental illness and addiction crisis in Indiana. During the 2023 General Assembly, Lt. Gov. Crouch made history by passionately testifying in support of Senate Bill 1, an uncommon effort for a sitting governor or lieutenant governor. The bill established infrastructure and funding for mental health and addiction services in Indiana.

Constitutionally, as lieutenant governor, Crouch serves as the President of the Indiana Senate.


Statutorily, the lieutenant governor oversees a portfolio of agencies that includes the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA) and Indiana Destination Development Corporation (IDDC).


Additionally, she chairs the Intellectual and Development Disabilities Task Force, The Indiana Main Street Council, INVets and the Civics Education Commission.


Other initiatives she and her office oversee include the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program, the Golden Hoosier Award, Hoosier Women Artists and Brilliant Firefly.


From 2014 to 2017, Crouch served as Indiana’s State Auditor. Before becoming State Auditor, she represented House District 78, which encompasses parts of Vanderburgh and Warrick counties, in the Indiana House of Representatives. She was a state representative for nine years.


Prior to serving in the House of Representatives, the lieutenant governor spent eight years as auditor of Vanderburgh County. During that time, her office received its first clean bill of health in decades from the State Board of Accounts. She then went on to serve as a Vanderburgh County Commissioner until joining the Indiana House of Representatives.


The following is a representation of awards and recognitions Lt. Gov. Crouch has received throughout her years of public service:

  • IN Association of County Commissioner’s Friend of Local Government (2023)

  • Trine University Woman of Distinction (2021)

  • Indianapolis Business Journal Woman of Influence (2021)

  • Purdue University College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumna (2018)

  • Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (INARF) Lifetime Achievement Award (2015)

  • Arc of Indiana Public Policy Award (2012)

  • National Coalition of Capital Champion of Small Business Award (2012)

  • IN Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (INARF) Legislator of the Year (2011).


Lt. Gov. Crouch graduated from Mater Dei High School in Evansville. She went on to receive her bachelor’s degree from Purdue University, majoring in Political Science. She is married to Larry Downs, and they have a grown daughter, Courtney.


Tasha Nicole Davis, Presenter

𝕋𝕒𝕤𝕙𝕒. ℕ𝕚𝕔𝕠𝕝𝕖 𝔻𝕒𝕧𝕚𝕤  Founder and CEO of Young Mothers of America INC. she started her journey to strive to make a difference in young mother’s lives in 2006. After the birth of her 1st son Kelvin. At the early age of 12 she had to make a huge choice to keep fighting and be successful or give up and drop out of the race called life! With much support and encouragement Tasha pushed forward. She graduated top of her class from Canton city school’s digital academy and gave the graduation speech in 2008, she went on to work for Rhoden Memorial Funeral home and start undergrad classes towards a funeral science degree. In January of 2012 she enlisted into the U.S. Army as a reservist being stationed in Cadiz, Oh. Later relocating to DMV area. In 2013 she welcomed twin’s boys Dallas and Terrance into the world. Tasha attended Woodbridge Everest University 2013-2015 and graduated with a 3.0 in Medical Assisting and Administration. Also gaining her RMA in the same year. In 2015 Tasha worked as a Memory Care Director for sunrise of Alexandria. Where she later was transferred back to Ohio for an Executive Director Position over Fountain Park assisted living and memory care. In 2016 Tasha made headlines in the Bryan Times Newspaper for her speech during the national Alzheimer’s walk, later that year Tasha was interviewed by the local news regarding her work in the community with seniors and memory care In 2017 Tasha Decided to take a leave of absents from her corporate job to lunched YMOA INC full time! Tasha has a strong faith base support system from her Husband Terrall Davis. They endured a battle of trying to convince with there 5th son Kingston after Tasha was diagnosed with PCOS in 2019, then welcomed their 6th child a baby girl, Jamaica, into the world with a warm home birth. Terrall & Tasha belong to Tree of life missionary Baptist Church and As your YMOA INC leader she believes if mama is happy healthy and healing she will then in turn pour that into her children. Tasha does her best to make sure all mamas are set up for success and set realistic achievable goals!

Tronya Hawkins, MD FACOG, Keynote Speaker

Dr. Hawkins' practice philosophy is delivering compassionate, comprehensive, and exceptional quality health care for women of all ages. Her medical interests include adolescent gynecology, robotic assisted surgery, and general obstetrics. She is a member of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists.

Dr. Hawkins is accepting new patients at both office locations, and she is fluent in Spanish as a second language.

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