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Choice Adoptions Staff and Board Members
Choice Leadership & Board of Directors
When a little girl in the foster care system came to the attention of Gayle and her husband, little did she know that years later she would become the Executive Director of an adoption agency. Gayle draws upon her own experience as an adoptive mom to empathize, relate, and support dozens of adoptive families.
With an education in Leadership and Ministry, her own adoption experience, and a passion for justice for the marginalized in the adoption triad, Gayle strives to make a difference by adopting new policies and practices at Choice Adoptions.
Gayle is a life-long learner who is always reading two or three books in her free time. Gayle also spends her time pursuing fitness, playing pickleball, travel, listening to podcasts and enjoying live music (especially when her husband, Joe, is the headliner). Gayle keeps busy with twelve amazing grandchildren who keep her entertained with sporting events, music recitals, birthday parties, and family fun.
Director of Adoption Programs
Julie has over 20 years of adoption experience and is also an adoptive mother. She started her career after adopting an infant. Her passion came to help expectant parents and other families wanting to grow their family through adoption. In addition, she worked several years in social service programs as a parent educator and working in low income housing. Julie currently is the Director of Adoption Programs, where she works with families who want to adopt. She prepares them for their home studies, provides adoption education, assists with their profile book and matching, supports them while they wait and are finally matched, and onto the best part through to their placement and finalization. Julie has a Bachelor’s of Science degree focusing in family studies with a minor in psychology from Oregon State University. These days her interests are in traveling and camping with her husband and spending time with her grown children and family whenever she can.
Director of Advocacy & Outreach
Taryn has spent the better part of two decades in social services. She has spent most of her career working in children's mental health; psychiatric residential facilities, foster care, with adjudicated youth, and in group homes. Taryn currently runs Choice's Birth Parent Advocacy and Outreach Program and gets to use her experience in counseling and case management to ensure her clients are well loved and supported. Taryn received her Bachelors in Human Development and earned her Masters in Clinical Psychology with a counseling focus. When not working, Taryn keeps busy with her two boys enjoying all that the Pacific Northwest has to offer - SUPing, camping, bike riding, food cart pod eating, soccer, snowboarding, beaching. Taryn is a big international traveller and has tackled 40 countries with plans for many more. She also loves live music and finds herself with friends at a concert most months. Taryn loves people and is a fun haver (mega-extrovert and Enneagram 7) and spending time with family and friends is her most favorite.
Social Services Director
Cathy has been working in adoption for the past twenty-two years. She began working as a birth parent advocate when open adoption was becoming more common, and within a few years, she was also working with adoptive families writing home studies and doing post-placement visits. Cathy was the director of infant adoption for PLAN Adoptions for six years before leaving that position to work exclusively with adoptive families. She joined Choice Adoptions in 2009 as an Adoption Worker when PLAN closed its doors. Cathy holds a Masters in Social Work degree and a post-graduate Certificate in Therapy with Adoptive Families from PSU and the Child Welfare Partnership. Her heart is in preparing families to adopt older children from the Oregon foster care system and to follow children through the post-placement process as they transition into adoptive homes. While Cathy and her husband of forty-six years enjoy travelling, riding bicycles and kayaking, they love spending time with their six grandchildren the most.
Lauren has spent her career working on behalf of children and families in the Pacific Northwest. With a passion for adoption, Lauren has developed her social work practice working in International Adoption and with children in the Oregon Foster Care System. Lauren has received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Social Work. Outside of work, Lauren loves being outside and enjoying the beauty of the PNW. On the weekends Lauren can be found camping, hiking, or paddle boarding. With a deep love for social justice and equality, Lauren loves working in the community and impacting change. Lauren enjoys spending time with her family and is looking forward to welcoming her first child, a daughter, this Fall.
Eric is a husband and father of two incredible children, both adopted through Choice Adoptions. He was born and raised in Ohio and moved to Oregon after college. Professionally he is a product development director for a consumer goods company. Eric has also been connected to Choice for many years, serving on the board for the last several and is passionate about sharing the love and grace experience by all involved in a proper adoption experience.
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Leonie is a bio and adoptive mom. As a child, Leonie was adopted by her grandparents to help her young mother finish school. Although this is not unusual for a typical African family, it left such a strong imprint on her that she knew one day, she would adopt.
Leonie's passion for education, equity, accessibility, and justice for ALL kids led her to work for NWEA as a Director. Leonie believes in paying it forward and that is why she serves on the Board for Choice Adoptions and Amsha Africa Foundation.
Leonie a seasoned business professional, a wife, sister, daughter, and friend to many.
Connie was born in South Korea and adopted, along with her twin sister, by a wonderful loving family as infants. Connie comes from a large mixed race family with biological children and adopted children. She always knew she wanted to adopt one day. Connie had twin biological boys and then adopted her daughter from South Korea. As a family, they like to travel and attend both Boy and Girl Scouts. As a professional, Connie spent 24 years working for international nonprofits in humanitarian aid and adoption services. Recently Connie transitioned to Motorola Solutions as a Project Manager. Connie is looking forward to supporting the mission of Choice Adoptions as a Board Member.
Gary was born in Portland and grew up in the Mt Tabor area. After marrying his wife Barb, they moved to the Milwaukie area to be closer to their church family. They built their family by adoption, with 3 of their 4 boys coming to them through both private adoption and through the state Foster Care program. Two of their sons have Asperger Syndrome/Autism and struggle with bi-polar, and all 4 boys are in their 20's now. They have successfully connected with some of their children's birth families and have enjoyed seeing their sons add to their own family histories. Gary has worked as a Realtor for 35 years and spends much of his free time volunteering at church and with the homeless.
Mallorie is an adoptive mother of three, as well as a surgical nurse. She has always lived in Oregon, other than attending college in Spokane. Her days are mostly spent at home raising her children and gardening. Choice has helped Mallorie and her husband build their family, and they enjoy giving back to the agency and the community by serving in this way.
Joel is an adoptive and bio dad, husband, son, brother, business professional, and Christ-follower. Joel's passion for supporting all those on their adoption journey has lead to serving on the board of Choice Adoptions.
Sally is a two-time adoptive parent and long-time adoption advocate. Her professional background is in restaurant management and event planning. She has a degree in Communication Studies from Portland State University and is a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran.
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