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New Moms Leadership

Dr. Laura Zumdahl

President & CEO

Laura Zumdahl, Ph.D, LSW, is the President and CEO of New Moms, a social impact organization focused on supporting young moms as they achieve economic mobility and create strong families. She also serves as CEO of New Moms’ social enterprise, Bright Endeavors, a soy candle company that provides paid transitional jobs to young women in New Moms’ job training program. 

Laura’s career has been focused on growing and developing effective nonprofit organizations. She’s served in a variety of leadership roles in the nonprofit sector in capacity building, legal aid, higher education, and child welfare. She serves as a board member for AMPT: Advancing Nonprofits and the Mission Sustainability Initiative at Forefront, as an appointed Commissioner for the State of Illinois Youth Budget Commission; and she is a member of the Economic Club of Chicago and Chief. Laura earned a B.A. in Sociology from Trinity Christian College; a M.A. in Social Work from the University of Chicago; and a Ph.D. in Leadership from Cardinal Stritch University. She’s also a Licensed Social Worker in the State of Illinois.

Outside of work, Laura is an avid explorer of Chicago’s vibrant neighborhoods and amazing restaurants with her husband and friends. She also will gladly talk to you for hours about her favorite National Parks.

Melanie Garrett, LCSW

Chief Program Officer

Melanie joined New Moms in 2013, and is passionate about ensuring that our approach is grounded in brain and behavioral science, so the families we serve are supported with high-quality services. As Chief Program Officer, she focuses on the development and growth of programs and projects at New Moms.

Her career draws on over 20 years of direct service experience. Melanie received her BA from Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania; earned her MA from the University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration; and has an Infant Mental Health Certificate from Erikson Institute. Melanie was an Illinois Early Childhood Fellow from 2011-2013.

Pamela Bozeman

Chief Operating Officer

Pamela joined New Moms as Chief Operating Officer in June 2018. She came to New Moms with a passion for work in poverty alleviation, restorative justice, and financial literacy. Pamela oversees day-to-day operations in three locations; supervises Human Resources; leads our Diversity, Equity and Inclusion work; and provides strategic insight for our social enterprise, Bright Endeavors. She has more than 20 years of leadership experience in nonprofit management, for-profit consulting, and higher education.

Prior to joining New Moms, she served as the Senior Director of North Park University’s Career Development and Internships Office. She also served as the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Strategic Initiatives Officer for YWCA Metropolitan Chicago. Bozeman has held several nonprofit leadership positions including Blue Gargoyle Executive Director, and Senior Program Director for Gary Comer Youth Center. She served as the Volunteer Coordinator and Chicago Director for Senator Barack Obama, and as the Associate Dean of Students in the University and Director of the Community Service Center for the University of Chicago. Additionally, she served in key project management capacities at the Women’s Self-Employment Project in Chicago and the Institute for Social and Economic Development in Iowa City, Iowa. She received her BA in Corporate Communications and a Master’s in Public Administration, both from Northern Illinois University. Pamela is a Chicago native.

Lizveth Mendez-Witt

Chief Financial Officer

Lizveth joined New Moms in April 2020 after God heard her prayers, and guided her in finding an organization that shared her values and where she’d be able to use her talents to advance the mission. In her role as Chief Financial Officer, Lizveth directs the financial and associated business matters affecting New Moms. As a member of the executive team, she provides strategic financial leadership that both contributes to growth and ensures sound financial management.

Lizveth has over 20 years of experience in the public and private sector, worked on community-related issues, and has been involved in politics. Lizveth graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish Literature, and she earned a Master of Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame. Lizveth earned the John Cardinal O’Hara Society Fellowship, a civic and merit-based fellowship awarded to a few select students, every semester while at Notre Dame.

Jenna Hammond, LSW

Chief Development Officer

Jenna joined New Moms in 2015. As Director of Development and Communications, Jenna leads in all aspects of fundraising and communications to raise close to $2 million in private revenue annually. Previously, Jenna worked in Advancement and International Outreach at Elim Christian Services, seeking to develop more inclusive communities for people with developmental disabilities. Jenna earned a BA in Social Work at Trinity Christian College in 2007 and an MA in Social Work from UIC Jane Addams College of Social Work in 2012.

Gabrielle Caverl-McNeal

Senior Director of Workforce Development

Gabrielle entered the workforce development field in 2009 and has since operated in career coaching, job development, and employment training roles. Currently, she leads the Workforce Development Teams (Job Training and College Success) at New Moms that specialize in trauma-informed coaching practices with an executive skills framework to mitigate barriers caused by toxic stress and systemic poverty to advance parenting youth toward economic mobility. These promising practices support young moms in their journey to secure and advance in jobs by eliminating barriers to employment, creating opportunities to succeed, and offering career, financial, and academic coaching. Through a blend of classroom and paid on-the-job training at our social enterprise candle company, Bright Endeavors, participants develop and strengthen their professional skills and prepare to succeed in the Chicagoland workforce and beyond.

Gabrielle has worked with leading practitioners from around the country, engaging in leadership development activities, and using practical planning tools to develop effective workforce strategies to strengthen the local workforce system. She develops and presents state-of-the-art training throughout the country tackling topics about leadership, career advancement, sexual assault, domestic violence, and economic empowerment, and holds a MA in Communication and Training from Governors State University.

Gabrielle is a YSEALI Professional Fellow with the American Councils for International Education to strengthen ties between the U.S. and Southeast Asia, and an Economic Opportunity Fellow with Chicagoland Workforce Leadership Academy through the Chicago Jobs Council, the Chicagoland Workforce Funder Alliance, and the Aspen Institute & Economic Opportunities Program which works in navigating the workforce policy and funding environment; and combating disparities related to race, ethnicity, and gender in the labor market.

Janet Keller

Senior Director of Finance

Janet joined the New Moms team in 1996. She works with passion to ensure that we are good stewards of the funds our donors entrust to us. As Senior Director of Finance, Janet oversees our fiscal contract reporting responsibilities, manages our bank accounts/balances, and prepares our annual agency budget. Before joining the New Moms team over 20 years ago, Janet worked in the for-profit sector. Janet has a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from St. Joseph’s College, a Masters in Taxation from DePaul University, and is a Certified Public Accountant.


Anne Schulz, LCSW

Senior Director of Performance Management

Anne rejoined New Moms in 2009 as our Director of Performance Management. She is passionate about making sure our moms and kids know that God’s love extends to everyone. In her role as Senior Director of Performance Management, Anne supervises our contracts team and analyzes and reports on all of our program outcomes. She has served senior leadership positions in social services since 1991 when she started the first community-based case management program for people living with AIDS in New York City. She first worked at New Moms as Program Director from 1996 to 2000. Anne completed her MS in Social Work at Columbia University and has been licensed as an LCSW.

Smiling woman.

Ellen Kogstad

Founder, Director of Spiritual Formation

Ellen is the founder of New Moms and rejoined the team in 2008 to serve as Director of Spiritual Formation. In her current role, she encourages staff and participants to seek wholeness in all of life, professional and personal. She created New Moms in 1983 after three years of working with young mothers in our community. She had noticed the rising rates of “kids having kids,” and felt compelled to offer support. She began by visiting moms at a hospital post-delivery, following up with home visits, emergency services, and offering “drop-in” groups from her church.

Ellen has a DDiv (hc) from North Park Theological Seminary. She is a trained spiritual director in private practice for over 20 years and an educator in the disciplines of formation and direction.


Katie Wise

Director of Family Support – Chicago

Katie Wise joined New Moms in 2018. In her role as Director of Family Support, Chicago, Katie leads the home visiting, doula, and outreach programs. Her team supports young moms in reaching their own unique parenting, employment, and educational goals.

Katie brings 20 years of experience in social service, non-profit and life coaching. She holds her Bachelor’s degree in human services from St. Mary’s College of Minnesota, and her master’s degree in Counseling from DePaul University.


Gail Shelton

Director of Family Support – Oak Park

Gail joined New Moms in 2016. In her position as Director of Family Support, she oversees home visiting, support groups, curriculum, and childcare at New Moms Oak Park. Gail began her career working with families and young children in 1990 and has served as program director in a number of nonprofit organizations since 1996. She joined Parenthesis Family Center as its Program Supervisor in 2014 and became a part of New Moms when it acquired Parenthesis in 2016.

She holds a BA in Child and Family Studies with an emphasis in Child Development from Northern Illinois University and a MA in Early Childhood Education from Concordia University Chicago. Gail is also involved in many community groups including the Oak Park Homelessness Coalition; the Community Mental Health Board’s Multicultural Behavioral Health Advocacy Commission and Care Coordination/Collaborating with Schools Committee; and the Collaboration for Early Childhood’s Home Visiting Task Force. She received a 2017 CHOICE Community Partner Award from UCP Seguin of Greater Chicago for her commitment to creating life without limits.


Dana Emanuel

Senior Director of Learning & Innovation

Dana re-joined New Moms’ staff as Director of Learning and Innovation in 2019 after two years as a consultant to New Moms’ program team. In her current role, Dana gathers relevant research and promising approaches from the broader field of practice and facilitates program design improvement processes and innovations for New Moms’ services. She also shares out New Moms’ own learning and experiences with practitioners and partners nationwide.

Dana’s tenure at New Moms began in 2009 as a volunteer at our social enterprise, Bright Endeavors, subsequently serving in various roles in New Moms’ Workforce Development program and Bright Endeavors. Dana comes to New Moms with experience as a Program Officer for LISC’s Economic Development team, where she managed a Department of Labor Reentry project across six cities, and in marketing in the sustainable food and microfinance industries. Dana earned her BA from Northwestern University and lives and works in Washington, DC.

Smiling woman.

Mallory Tesauro, MSW

Director of HR

Mallory joined New Moms in 2019. In her position as Director of Human Resources, she oversees talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, labor law compliance, and onboarding. With over 10 years of experience in supervision and nonprofit management, she is passionate about employee retention and determining which factors play a role in increasing job satisfaction. Mallory believes building strong supervisors and investing in their professional development will directly impact the turnover rates of front line team members, and increase the quality of services for participants.

Mallory received her BSW from Trinity Christian College in Palos Heights, Illinois, and her MSW from Augsburg University in Minneapolis, Minnesota. In 2014-2015, Mallory completed a year-long research study that identified the leading factors impacting employee job satisfaction.


Sarah-Jayne Ashenhurst

Social Enterprise Director

Sarah-Jayne joined New Moms in 2019 as the Social Enterprise Director, responsible for strategic vision and business operations at Bright Endeavors, New Moms’ social enterprise candle company. She is passionate about helping to build an economy that works for workers and is deeply committed to supporting the proliferation of non-traditional business structures like social enterprises, public benefit corps, and worker-owned cooperatives.

With more than a decade of experience in small business leadership, she brings expertise in developing sustainable growth strategies with a commitment to ethical, equitable, and inclusive business practices. Sarah-Jayne holds a Bachelor’s degree from New York University and an MBA from the University of Illinois Gies School of Business.

Smiling woman.

Bonnie Andorka

Director of Individual Giving

Bonnie is an accomplished professional whose career has been dedicated to supporting young families. Bonnie has been a part of the New Moms team since 2008—first at Parenthesis, and then at New Moms since 2016 when Parenthesis was acquired.

Bonnie’s passion for empowering communities began in the classroom as a first-grade teacher. Her commitment to improving the lives of young families led her to work in Early Childhood Intervention. But in the field of Resource Development, Bonnie discovered her sweet spot.

Known for her ability to connect individuals with New Moms’ mission, Bonnie brings joy to her role as Director of Individual Giving—creating meaningful relationships. Her gift lies in building bridges between the organization and its supporters, fostering a sense of community and shared purpose. With a career dedicated to improving the lives of young families, Bonnie brings her enthusiasm for connection to her role at New Moms.


Aasta Ziegler

Director of Clinical Services

Aasta joined New Moms in 2023. As Director of Clinical Services, she oversees the organization’s behavioral health services, clinical consultation and training, and Medicaid compliance procedures.

Aasta has spent the past 20 years working in non-profit and private sector program management and social services. Her clinical experience includes psychotherapy and intensive case management with individuals impacted by poverty, severe and persistent mental illness, institutionalization, and sexual violence. Aasta has provided leadership to Assertive Community Treatment and Olmstead Consent Decree programs in the state of Illinois and managed the administrative implementation of USAID public health programs internationally. She was a Peace Corps Volunteer in South Africa.

Aasta received her BA in International Studies from Kenyon College and her MSW from the Smith College School for Social Work.