Staff / Board
|Lesly Messina – President||Derek Harman – Vice President|
|Sammi Brown – Secretary||Jennifer Wagner – Treasurer|
|Valena Beety||Kate Chilko|
|Kate Forman||Bradley Milan|
|Shelly Miller||Christine Teague|
Margaret Chapman Pomponio
Margaret is a seasoned advocate and leader in social justice work with a BA in Sociology and MA in Political Science. She has led WV FREE since 2002 when she began to earnestly expand reproductive health, rights and justice work in her home state. She has received recognition for her work, including a “Woman of Vision” award from Gloria Steinem through the Ms. Foundation for Women. Her career has been varied, from serving in AmeriCorps, working with the Lummi Nation in Washington to teaching Political Science in West Virginia. She deeply values working in coalition and is called upon regularly to speak around the state and country.
Margaret serves on the Board of Directors of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care and the Groundswell Fund Advisory Board. She is also a founding member of OneKanawha, a community-based anti-oppression group and is active in St. John’s Episcopal Church of Charleston, a parish that actively engages in social justice outreach and ministry.
Chela moved through the ranks at WV FREE, working as a canvasser, canvass lead, intern, and Organizing Fellow, before transitioning into her role as Outreach Coordinator. She has extensive experience in organizing, canvassing, and outreach, as well as database management. She went to Marshall University and studied History.
With a passion for reproductive justice, Chela enjoys traveling the state of West Virginia to engage and educate others, equipping them with knowledge to make their own reproductive healthcare decisions.
Caitlin Hays Gaffin
Director of Operations
Caitlin studied at Columbia University and University of Maryland, focusing on human rights, sociology, and psychology. She holds an MA in education and has worked extensively throughout inner-city schools in NYC, Baltimore, and DC.
Caitlin has always valued working within the realm of advocacy, education, and leadership – whether that’s been through fighting to reduce juvenile recidivism for those under 18 tried as adults, teaching job and life skills to incarcerated pregnant youth, creating alternative delivery strategies for a national organization to support underserved and at-risk girls throughout Appalachia, or even developing youth leadership for Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign.
Caitlin shares her home with one husband, four cats, and three dogs, including WV FREE’s very own Director of Barketing, Augie.
Ciera has extensive experience in field organizing, having worked for both the Democratic Party of Virginia, as well as the West Virginia Citizen Action Group. She serves as the President of the West Virginia Environmental Council Board of Directors.
Ciera is working toward a BA in multi-disciplinary studies, focusing on women’s and gender studies, political science, and strategic social media.
Amanda has a BA in Creative Writing and a minor in Women’s Studies from Marshall University, where she was a Yeager Scholar. She first came to WV FREE as a canvasser and intern, before taking part in WV FREE’s Young Women’s Leadership Academy and being honored as the 2016 WV FREE Intern of the Year. Amanda then came on as a part-time Administrative Assistant, before moving into her full-time role as Administrative Coordinator.
Amanda was named the 2017 Undergraduate Woman of Marshall.
WISE Program Director (WISE: Working to Institutionalize Sex Education)
Carrie-Meghan received her BA in International Studies from Ohio University and a MS in Naturopathy from Clayton College of Natural Health. She has over a decade of experience in business, management, and professional development. Carrie-Meghan has provided professional development on 21st century education, global studies, and STEM topics, helping to found a satellite branch of Carnegie Mellon University’s CREATE Lab at Marshall University’s June Harless Center. She is a DONA certified birth doula and Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC).
Carrie-Meghan is passionate about choices in childbirth and providing women with evidenced-based information to make the best choices for themselves and their families. She is the mother to a beautiful and bilingual two-year-old son.
Residing in Jackson County, West Virginia, Julie comes to WV FREE with over ten years of experience statewide in public relations, communications, marketing, branding, and outreach. She is a graduate of West Virginia University with a BS in journalism and a minor in communications, and has had the opportunity to speak at three international events on social media.
Julie is passionate about moving the state of West Virginia forward and standing with WV women. She is an alumna of the Leadership West Virginia program and is a former Mrs. West Virginia International. Julie is involved in numerous organizations statewide and enjoys volunteering to promote a positive image of the Mountain State.
Director for Reproductive Health Access
Anduwyn received her BA in Psychology from Lee University. She has always been passionate about reproductive justice which has followed her through fifteen years of work ranging from domestic violence prevention and support to working on proactive contraceptive access policies and teaching sex education. Anduwyn came to WV FREE after having served as an adolescent pregnancy prevention specialist for the WV Department of Health and Human Resource’s Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health Program.
At WV FREE, Anduwyn leads our unintended pregnancy referrals training initiative and works with partners to ensure proactive woman-focused policies exist throughout West Virginia state programs. She serves on the Board of Directors of West Virginians for Affordable Health Care.