Amy Hecht - President
Amy is a founder and clinical director of the Hecht Ribas Group for Psychological Services. A graduate of Gallaudet University's PhD program in clinical psychology, Amy is a licensed clinical psychologist with a specialty in adoption, GLBT families and disability. Amy and her wife, Claudia Ribas, are the proud parents of four beautiful children including a daughter adopted from Nepal in 2010. As a member of both an extended birth family and an adoptive family Amy brings personal as well as professional experience to her passion for adoption and all members of the adoption constellation. Amy helped to found NAFA in 2010 and has not stopped trying to find ways to help the unparented in Nepal ever since. Her efforts in Nepal are as always, dedicated to her wife, their children and always especially, The Bee.
Lynn Kalinauskas - Finance
Born in Montreal, Canada, Lynn studied French literature and East Asian studies at the University of Montreal before obtaining a scholarship to live and study for two years in Beijing, China. After obtaining a Ph.D. in Chinese Literature from Yale University, Lynn’s career has centered on teaching and administering programs that focus on East Asia. Presently, she works for the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia and teaches Chinese civilization at the University of Colorado Denver. Her multicultural family – Canadian, British, American and Nepali – was formed through the unpredictable twists and turns of life and through adoption. Lynn brings extensive administrative experience to NAFA as well as a passion to see the lives of children in Nepali orphanages improve.
Leela Mookerjee - Legal
Leela Mookerjee lives in Westchester, NY with her husband Steve, stepson William and their daughter Rini, who was adopted from India. Leela is an attorney with GE. Leela enjoys family, the Buffalo Bills and relaxing with friends.
Josie Pagani - Advertising and Marketing
Josie Pagani in Fairport, NY with her daughter Lea. She was educated at Cornell University and received her MBA from New York Stern School of Business. Josie is a Marketing Director at Eastman Kodak. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her daughter, photography, and travel.
Emma Skalka - Fundraising
Emma Skalka is a native Swede with degrees from the University of Umea, Sweden and UCLA. She practiced Financial and Human Resources Management for 10 years before joining Victor Stanley, Inc. in 2007. Emma is currently the Sales and Marketing Director of Victor Stanley which is one of North America’s largest manufacturers of site- and street furniture. Emma resides in Annapolis, Maryland with her husband and son. She is a member of the Stewardship Council of The Cultural Landscape Foundation, an officer of the board of NAFA (Nepal Adoptive Families Association) and is active in the Annapolis sailing community. It was when Emma and her husband adopted from Nepal that they become involved with trying to find a solution to the severe generational consequences of malnourishment. She and her husband have been contributing to orphanages in Nepal since 2010.
Michelle Verloop - Advertising and Marketing
Michelle was born and raised in Australia where she graduated from Monash University with a business degree in marketing. After a many years in marketing and advertising spanning Australia, Taiwan and Hong Kong, Michelle moved to the US and took on the role as Global Brand Director for Yahoo’s advertising agency. Michelle then took time out to start a family and she and her husband Robert are proud parents of 2 children, a biological son and their daughter adopted from Nepal in 2010. She continues to work part-time at JUMBOshrimp, a small branding and marketing agency whilst also exploring her passion for interior design both as a property developer for her own projects and those for other clients. Michelle is an officer for NAFA and brings her marketing skills to the PR, advertising and website needs of our non profit. She and Rob support several orphanages in Nepal and they are passionate about the future of NAFA and helping the unparented children of their daughter’s birth country.