Updated: Jul 29, 2021
We are excited to announce a change in our Mama Dragons leadership. On behalf of the entire organization, we would like to thank Jen Blair & Wendy VonSosen for many years and long hours of service to us. They have been instrumental in building Mama Dragons into a nationally recognized 501(c)3 nonprofit support group for moms of LGBTQ children, helping countless lives by extending loving arms around mothers in turbulent times. Please join us in expressing our gratitude for their tireless efforts.
By way of introductions, please welcome our new Executive Team and Board of Directors.
Celeste Carolin (she/her) – Executive Director
Celeste comes from a business/leadership background with a wide range of experience from working with Amazon senior leadership, to supporting small to mid-size companies and non-profits grow. As a queer cis-woman, Celeste has worked with LGBTQ youth and non-profits for the past 10 years. She served on the Mama Dragons Leadership team in 2016, on Mama Dragons Board of Directors from 2016 to 2018, and as a non-profit consultant in 2019. Celeste has a knack for start-ups, leadership, and launching non-profits. We are excited to bring Celeste onboard as our first paid employee as she leads Mama Dragons in growth and development into the next chapter.
Celeste has created a new team to support the 2021 initiatives and beyond. This team includes current and new Mama Dragons with an array of experience and skills to help propel us forward.
Noel Baldovino (she/her)- Internal Communications Director
Noel has joined the executive team as the Internal Communications Director. Noel has a background in marketing and business development and has served on the Diversity and Intersectionality team of Mama Dragons. Her home is in Houston, Texas, she comes from Catholic roots, and has an amazing bi-sexual child. She will ensure that our communications between Mama Dragons is coordinated and clearly aligned to our mission of supporting moms supporting their LGBTQ kids.
Alison Henriksen (she/her) – Public Relations Director
Alison will direct our public relations activities to rapidly respond to external requests for support and ensure we are actively engaged in the community. Alison has helped support our public relations efforts for the past 2 years and is passionate about our message and helping Mamas and youth hear that message loud and clear. She was born in Stamford, Connecticut, raised in Virginia, Tennessee and Salt Lake City, Utah, where she resides with her husband. She is a local Actor and Utahns may know her as the spokesperson of the Slow the Flow Save H2O campaign. She loves the stage, hosting live events, and looks forward to the day when our hugging booths are back in action! Alison is the mom of 5 grown children and the proud Mama Dragon of a gay son.
Wendy VonSosen (she/her) – Marketing Director
Wendy was born in Salt Lake City, Utah and raised in Michigan, New York and Connecticut. She has lived in the San Francisco Bay area for over twenty years with her husband and four kids. Her third child, a transgender daughter, is the reason she joined Mama Dragons years ago. Wendy is now moving from President of Mama Dragons into our Marketing Director role to ensure our brand is solidified and easily recognized. While serving as the Mama Dragons President, Wendy found her love of marketing. Her background in photography and her keen artistic eye paired with her proven natural marketing skills will be key as Mama Dragons move forward with the 2021 initiatives.
Jennifer Howell E.D. (she/her) – Education Director
Jennifer has joined Mama Dragons in a new pivotal role of Education Director. Jennifer’s background in education, technology, and working with teams will be a great strength as we create and roll out eLearning materials to educate and support Mama Dragons. Jennifer has a passion for equity that drives her work in education, disability, and diversity. Jennifer loves spending time with her family (her awesome husband and two grown LGBTQ children who are turning into amazing adults), traveling, playing board games, swimming, kayaking, and cooking. Her favorite vacation activity is to spend time enjoying the sun and waves on a sailboat, which is hard to do from her landlocked home in South Jordan, Utah.
Laura Webb (she/her) – Facebook Programs Director
Laura maintains her focus as Facebook Programs Director supporting our 5,000 and growing! member support group. She has spent countless hours making the wheels turn behind the scenes turning the Facebook groups into well-oiled machines, providing relevant and timely support to the variety of programs we offer. As the mother of a gay son, she is passionate about finding ways to provide the same support she has received from Mama Dragons to other moms of LGBTQ kids. She lives in San Jose, CA and loves to see the ocean as often as possible.
Buffy Bernstein (she/her) – Philanthropy Director
Buffy has a background in Operations Management, and many years working in Development for nonprofits Buffy now heads the fundraising team as our Philanthropy Director. She will lead her team in helping to raise the much-needed funds necessary to further develop and maintain our education and support programs. As a bisexual, cisgender single mother of a transgender son and cisgender daughter, Buffy is passionate about spreading awareness and supporting mothers who struggle with navigating through the world of parenting a rainbow child. She resides in Santa Barbara, California, enjoys gardening, developing her spiritual practice, and writing poetry when she’s not advocating for our future generation.
Kaye Katseanes (she/her) – Secretary
Kaye lives in Pocatello, ID with her husband and surrounded by her grown children and grandchildren. She is a passionate Mama Dragon to her gay son. She has been supporting our efforts for the last four years helping to educate and support other Mama Dragons. She is the hub of our executive team, trying to keep us on track and staying in the know of all things Mama Dragons. Kay has remarkable organizational skills and is a favorite of the Mamas lucky enough to who know her. Her many talents include wit and sass, unending support of the LGBTQ community, hugging, and cooking comfort food for her friends.
Board of Directors
Amy Bostwick (she/her) – Board Member at Large
Amy will join us in a variety of roles to lend support where needed. She is a southern girl that has a knack for leadership and people. She has spent her career working for large organizations utilizing her expertise in consumer experiences and supporting non-profits. We are grateful for her leadership on Mama Dragons Board of Directors.
This talented team and their combined skills will propel Mama Dragons into the future of our growing organization. We are looking forward to the coming months as we work toward our 2021 initiatives and broaden our mission of supporting moms of LGBTQ kids. We are excited as we prepare to launch a new education program which will expand our reach and change lives in this new COVID world.
The Mama Dragons Leadership Team