U.S. Global Ambassadors

Debbie Bickerstaff

deDebbie is President of the Bickerstaff Family Foundation, which she founded with her husband in 2001. Among its many philanthropic endeavours, the foundation funds organisations that serve chronically ill children and young adults who have experienced childhood abuse, as well as HIV and cancer research.

“It just didn’t seem fair to me that women in the United States had all of the information and the testing and the medication but yet the women in Africa did not have that, they didn’t have access and that’s what they really need. They need information to make better choices for themselves and their babies and the best way that I could help were with the resources that we had and that is in donating to the mothers2mothers’ programme.”

Leslie Brunner

deLeslie is the former Senior Vice President of People and Process at athenahealth, Inc., a leading provider of cloud-based services for electronic health record (EHR), practice management, and care coordination. She joined athenahealth in 1998 and served in several leadership capacities, including operational and product roles. Earlier in her career, Leslie held various roles in integrated delivery systems operations at Lovelace Health Systems. She obtained a BA from Colorado College and a Master’s Degree in Health Administration from Washington University.

“Having spent some of life operating birthing centers in the US, I have a special corner of my heart reserved for moms and babies. I love the m2m model of harnessing the power of mothers to eradicate AIDS and create healthy futures for themselves and their families. I chose to become an ambassador in order to get even closer to this amazing organisation and help make that dream a reality.”

Nancy Gallt

deNancy is the Founder of Nancy Gallt Literary Agency. Nancy attended Williams College where she received a BA in English. For nearly 25 years she worked in subsidiary rights at Viking, HarperCollins Children’s Books, Morrow Junior Books, Greenwillow, and Lothrop Lee & Shepard. She is committed to representing a wide-ranging list of authors and illustrators.

“I first met Mitch Besser and Gene Falk at Williams College back in the early 70s. I was on an alumni tour of South Africa with my husband, Craig Virden ’74, in 2001 when we heard about the great work they were doing on starting up mothers2mothers. It was really Craig’s keen interest that got me involved and when he died suddenly in 2009, I felt it was only fitting that I continue in his memory.”

Celia McCarty

deCelia grew up in Charlotte, NC and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill with a BS in Medical Technology. She worked for 9 years in the hospital laboratory doing blood chemistries until she and her husband started their family and her husband started his business in restaurant construction. Celia decided to stay at home and raised her kids and kept the books for the company. She has been married to her husband, David, and has five grown children and three grandchildren.

“I visited an m2m site and met Mentor Mothers working with the HIV positive pregnant women they serve. It was truly an inspiration to meet these women. Because of the stigma surrounding HIV, the women who test positive feel like outcasts. Yet they bravely come out of the shadows to get help for their babies. The Mentor Mothers walk the journey with them and over time they become empowered to take charge of their lives and the health of their babies. I chose to become a Global Ambassador because I strongly believe in the work m2m does and I feel their Mentor Mother Model is the best way to stop mother to baby transmission of HIV.”

Carol and Richard Pickard

Carol is now retired from her career as an insurance defense litigation attorney. She was a partner at Stenberg, Sunseri, Roe, Pickard & Rudy for approximately 20 years. Prior to that she worked as a civilian attorney for the U.S. Navy and as a JAG attorney for the U.S. Army. Carol is on the Alumni Board of the Honors College at Oregon State University.

de Rich is the Vice President Legal, General Counsel and Secretary of Plantronics, Inc. Prior to his current role, he served as the Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of ZiLOG, Inc. for 14 years. Earlier in his career, he also worked for NEC Electronics and the law firms Crosby, Heafey, Roach & May and Graham & James. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees at Williams College.

“First, we believe that by employing the mothers as mentors, m2m is able to give hope to women who have just received a devastating diagnosis that they are HIV-positive. They may have thought that their life was over but they have a role model in their mentor mother right in front of them who can tell them having survived the illness themselves that they can have a full life. By employing the women and paying them for their service as mentor mothers, m2m is empowering women to survive in the world and lead proud upstanding lives instead of being shunned in their communities or waiting to die. m2m is changing the way that medicine is practiced and that women are treated in Africa and communities that are devastated by HIV/AIDS.”

Amy Wilson-Janice

deAmy is a mother, daughter, and sister. For Amy, philanthropy is about a personal commitment and fundamental philosophy. Her hope and goal is to give back and ultimately leave a better world and create opportunity or benefit for others.

“I attended an event in the spring of 2016 that was hosted by UBS/Annie Leibovitz and a guest speaker representing mothers2mothers. I was very engaged with this woman’s story, a strong, beautiful mother with whom I felt an immediate, direct connection and realized that although our lives may seem drastically different they are not. We both want the same thing: to provide the best opportunities and life for our children and leave a strong legacy and a better world.

Being able to empower an individual who shares the same beliefs and philosophy is a very powerful motivator when you feel connected to their strength and passion. mothers2mothers allows me this opportunity to connect, give, and share.”