Originally from San Francisco, Founder/CEO Karin Thayer earned her BA at Smith College and her MFA at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. She has extensive global experience with digital business development and is an award-winning journalist and video producer.
Currently the Head of Social Media Training and Strategy for the BBC Academy, she founded Fertility Planit Digital in 2013. Her agency works with major health, wellness and fertility brands and experts to bridge them with consumers. Her LinkedIn profile shares more: www.linkedin.com/in/karinthayer/.
During a long and challenging journey with trying to get pregnant, Karin decided to “fly solo” into motherhood. Throughout her experience she yearned for a comprehensive online resource which she could customize to find friends, resources, reviews and deals to support her individual needs. Fertility Planit is the resource Karin couldn’t find. It’s a one-stop shop for people who want to have children and create a family, providing support, resources and connections that can help.
In 2010, after being told by specialists she would never conceive, Karin got pregnant naturally with a known donor. Her healthy baby boy was born in April 2011. She now wants to help make the path lighter for others.View Member Profile
Our Valuable Team Members
Keiko Zoll is an award-winning infertility writer and women’s health advocate, joining the Fertility Planit team in 2014. She is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Infertility Voice, a leading resource hub for empowering the infertility community, launched in 2011. Keiko has also been the Infertility Category Expert for Answers.com since 2013. Keiko received a 2010 Hope Award for Best Viral Video from RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association and Volunteer of the Year from RESOLVE New England (RNE) in 2011. She has previously served as both Board Member and Director of Communications and Social Media for RESOLVE New England and remains an active volunteer for both RNE and RESOLVE National.
She currently serves as a Patient Advocate and Advisor for Parents Via Egg Donation (PVED). Keiko has developed a powerhouse online following to spread the message of health empowerment through the strategic use of social media networks. Keiko has worked with television, print, web, and radio media to raise awareness for the infertility patient community and other health causes she champions. Her work has appeared in Metro International, REDBOOK, The Huffington Post, Disney Baby, The Seleni Institute, and RH Reality Check, among others. She holds a B.A. in Communications from The College of New Jersey and lives in the greater Boston area with her husband and son.View Member Profile
Autumn Moss Penaloza is a digital and social marketing consultant with deep experience in the world of families and motherhood. Autumn has fostered a passion for building communities as Social Marketing Manager for popular e-commerce site Totsy, where she managed content and campaigns to promote brand engagement across social platforms.
Prior to joining the Fertility Planit team, she served as the Social Marketing and Community Manager for Keepy, a mobile application designed for parents to save and share their family’s precious memories. Autumn developed Keepy’s social followings from ground zero and curated content to drive brand awareness and user engagement.
Autumn also owns Bricks 4 Kidz in Santa Monica, California, a children’s enrichment program dedicated to nurturing creativity and confidence in children while reinforcing STEM (referring to the academic disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) curriculum in schools. She lives in Santa Monica with her husband and two young daughters.
Traditional PR practitioner turned social media specialist, Colleen brings years of lifestyle and consumer brand experience to the team, as well as a unique sense of humor and creativity.
Drew is a data driven website manager and social media producer based in Houston, TX. Since earning her Masters Degree in Integrated Marketing Communication from West Virginia University, Drew has worked in marketing strategy, operations and freelance graphic design. Her blend of analytical and creative thinking offers a unique perspective to her work.
As a proficient digital marketing and content strategist, Angela Manzella's experience in both corporate agency and non-profit marketing and PR spans the industries of healthcom, technology and consumer goods and services. She develops tailored solutions for social media, video production and brand marketing as a part of a comprehensive content strategy.
Personally dedicated to women’s health and nutrition, Angela has worked with alternative health coaches to implement new programs for holistic wellness. She received a bachelor’s degree in communication studies and public relations from Kutztown University of Pennsylvania. In her free time Angela enjoys reading, gardening and spending time outdoors. She lives outside of the Philadelphia area with her husband and their pets.
Kaeleigh MacDonald is founder and creator of the popular "Unpregnant Chicken" blog - http://unpregnantchicken.com/. She has dedicated her journey through infertility to increasing social awareness of the diagnosis and has become a vocal advocate for reproductive health. She has led many university lectures on infertility and its impacts and is currently working with IAAC to increase community involvement. Kaeleigh holds a Bachelor's degree in Education as well as a Master's degree in Anthropology where her impassioned writing garnered her an award for Excellence in Writing on Public Issues in 2013. Always one to speak her mind with humor and honesty, we are proud to welcome Kaeleigh as a Social Media Producer for Fertility Planit.View Member Profile
For the past six years, Diana Hoskins has worked in the realm of digital and Internet marketing. Her skills include website creation, content management, SEO, keyword research, email marketing, digital graphics, and video and audio editing. Recently Diana has focused on YouTube SEO and keyword research for videos. She is passionate about content and keyword research and enjoys the challenge of taking on projects in new industries. She loves learning new software skills, especially within digital video, graphics and audio.
She graduated from Belmont University in Nashville with a BA in Music Business. She is also a drummer and has played and recorded with a number of bands in Atlanta, enjoying a three-year stint as the drummer for Cindy Wilson of The B-52s and a USO tour of the Mediterranean. She is an animal rights advocate and resides in Atlanta with her crew of rescued felines. She is proud to be a member of the Fertility Planit team and to work with such amazing and talented women.
Lizbeth Hasse is an attorney based in San Francisco, California and is the Managing Attorney and Equity Partner of Creative Industry Law. Her practical legal expertise is deep, business- savvy and tailored to the priorities and budgets of clients in media, technology, entertainment, design and intellectual property-oriented companies, entrepreneurs, distributors, hybrid entities, nonprofits, colleges and independent producers.
Dakota Ortiz is the Events Manager for Eventologie-West, the Los Angeles hub of Eventologie, a full-service event planning firm with a diverse portfolio that focuses on creating sustainable events that are both eco-friendly and economical. Dakota brings his background in digital media and technology to find new approaches to producing innovative events. He holds both a Bachelor of Arts in History and Geography.
April Milliken Trigg is the Founder and President of eventologie, a full service event planning firm catering to a diverse range of clientele from corporations, non-profit agencies, brides, grooms, friends & family all seeking assistance, guidance, innovation & organization to enhance their event experiences. With a focus on creating sustainable events that are both eco-friendly and economical, April leads her company in its’ mission to green the world one party at a time.
Patsy was born and raised in Redwood City, California. In 1994, after several years in the corporate cubicle world, she followed in her mother’s footsteps and started her own bookkeeping business. Originally based in Marin County, Patsy acquired a wide variety of clients including an interior design firm, a law office, a musician, a realtor, and many others. Karin and Patsy have worked together on various ventures since 2005. She relocated to Nashville, Tennessee, in late 2008 and now works from her home office in the country.
Katie graduated from Simmons College in 2009 with a Bachelor’s Degree in Marketing. With an education in marketing and applied experience in web development and project management, Katie is uniquely skilled at bringing together the diverse perspectives and stakeholders needed to make a project successful. She can ‘geek out’ with the developers, while maintaining a focus on her clients’ unique business goals.
Katie got her start in web at a small digital agency in Northampton, MA. She also worked as the Web Manager for Lionbridge Technologies; the largest provider of translation services in the world (and an early 10up client!). At Lionbridge she managed all design, development, and implementation for the company’s WordPress multisite stack. She also implemented processes to stabilize their server infrastructure.
Katie has been published by Six Revisions magazine for her content management musings, and has spoken at DrupalCamp MA and DrupalCamp LA.
Although born and raised in a small Western Massachusetts town, Katie loves to travel, meet new people, and see new sights. Her recent adventures have taken her to Boulder, Colorado, where she can be found pedaling in the foothills or hiking up the side of a flat iron.
Our Valuable Advisory Board
A former executive at Electronics Arts and, most recently, President of One Medical Group, Sharon is an active advisor to and angel investor in early stage healthcare companies and women led businesses. She has a passion for increasing patient education and engagement and improving patient experience, marrying her unique combination of healthcare and gaming experience. Sharon is also a mentor with Rock Health and InciteHealth as well as Astia and Springboard Enterprises, where she actively supports female CEO and co-founders. Sharon received her MBA from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management and a BA in Economics with honors from Smith College.
Dr. Liyun Li is a reproductive endocrinologist at Pacific Fertility Center, a leading fertility clinic in San Francisco. She graduated received her M.D. with honors from Harvard Medical School where she studied stem cell biology and cultivat?ed a keen clinical interest in women’s health. At Columbia University Medical Center she trained under the guidance of some of the most respected pioneers in the fields of in vitro fertilization (IVF) and egg donation. Dr. Li treats all forms of reproductive disorders with special interests in PCOS, fertility preservation, and egg donation.
Phil Swain was born in Detroit, is the CEO of YogaWorks and has spent over 35 years in the Health & Fitness industry. He helped create The Sports Connections, Spectrum Clubs, Sports Club LA and Reebok Sports Club/NY prior to joining YogaWorks. Phil has a passion for building health & wellness businesses and has doubled the size of YogaWorks through his belief in the healing properties of yoga. YogaWorks offers programming to aid those dealing with infertility; to teach stress reducing techniques and bring the psychological and physiological benefits to families struggling with infertility.
“Mr. Vorzimer was born in New York. He is admitted as an attorney in California; U.S. District Court, Central, Eastern, Southern and Northern Districts of California and U.S. Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit.
Education: Mr. Vorzimer attended Harvard University; University of Miami (B.B.A.); and Whittier College School of Law (J.D. Magna Cum Laude). While at Whittier College School of Law, Mr. Vorzimer was the recipient of American Jurisprudence Awards in: Torts; Criminal Law; Legal Process; Constitutional Law; Unfair Trade Practices; and Remedies. He also received the Corpus Juris Secundum Award and was an Externalized Member of the Whittier Moot Court Honors Board where he was awarded Best Oral Advocate & Best Team in the Moot Court Honors Board competition. Mr. Vorzimer also served as the Executive Editor of theWhittier Law Review and was employed as a Teaching Assistant at Whittier College School of Law.
Activities & Awards: Mr. Vorzimer is the recipient of the American Fertility Association’s 2006 Illuminations Award for outstanding vision and contribution to family building. He has lectured throughout the world; has appeared on numerous television and radio news shows, including 60 Minutes II, CBS Evening News, CNN and Dateline; and has been quoted in national and international newspapers and magazines including: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, U.S. News & World Report, Boston Globe, Newsweek, Time, People and The Sunday Times. Mr. Vorzimer serves on the Advisory Board of the International Council on Infertility Information Dissemination (INCIID) and is the Legal Moderator for INCIID’s Third Party Reproduction and Insurance & Legal Issues Forums. Further, Mr. Vorzimer continues to serve as a Moot Court Judge for the Whittier College School of Law, UCLA, Traynor and American Trial Lawyers Competitions. Mr. Vorzimer also serves on James Publishing’s Editorial Advisory Board for California Causes of Action.
Publications: Contributing Author: International Surrogacy Arrangements: Between California and England And Wales(Family Law Journal, October 2011); Consents and Contracts, “”Principles of Oocyte and Embryo Donation””; Insurance Handbook for Business Litigators; California Points & Authorities; and CEB Civil Procedure Before Trial. Mr. Vorzimer has authored numerous articles including: Buzzanca v. Buzzanca: The Ruling and Ramifications; Traditional Surrogacy: An Untraditional Approach – The Legal Evolution of Artificial Insemination; “”Parenthood”” in California: Today’s Surrogacy and Egg Donor Contracts; Guide to Infertility Options Through Assisted Reproductive Technologies; The Egg Donor and Surrogacy Controversy: Legal Issues Surrounding Representation of Parties to an Egg Donor and Surrogacy Contract; What to Look for in an Egg Donation Program; Jaycee B.: A Different Perspective; Landmark California Ruling Expands Parental Rights; Two Men and a Baby: Court Ruling Extends Equal Parental Rights to Homosexuals; Charting a New Destiny: Buzzanca v. Buzzanca; Exclusions and Limitations – Avoiding Insurance Coverage Pitfalls in Surrogacy & Egg Donation Arrangements; Workplace Environment: Sexual Harassment; Professional Liability: Lawsuits have Physicians, Counselors and Agencies on the Defensive; Business & Professions Code Section 17200: California’s Unfair Competition Law; Sexual Harassment: Increase in Claims Strikes Fear in Employers; and Hostile Work Environment Claims Have Employers on the Defensive.
Memberships: He is a member of American Society for Reproductive Medicine (Member, ASRM Legal Professional Group); Founding Fellow, International Surrogacy Forum; Academy of Assisted Reproductive Technology Professionals (Legal Advisory Board); InterNational Council on Infertility Information Dissemination, Advisory Board and Legal Moderator (INCIID); RESOLVE; Organization of Parents Through Surrogacy (OPTS); National Association of Surrogate Mothers (Professional Member); Beverly Hills (Member: Entertainment Section), Los Angeles County and American Bar Associations; State Bar of California; and the Association of Business Trial Lawyers.
Reported Cases: North River Insurance Company v. American Home Assurance Company, 210 Cal. App. 3d 108 (1989); Palm Springs Tennis Club v. Rangel, 73 Cal. App. 4th (1999).
Notable Cases: Cases Mr. Vorzimer has worked on include: David Copperfield v. Butterfield & Butterfield; Elizabeth Taylor v. The National Enquirer; State of California v. Coastal Insurance; the insurance liability portion of the Estate of Howard Hughes v. Summa Corporation; McMartin Preschool Civil Litigation; Bryan v. Sara Jane Olson (aka Kathleen Soliah); David Copperfield v. Paris Match, et al; and on the professional liability portion of the Twilight Zone case. Mr. Vorzimer has also represented numerous entertainment and sports celebrities, politicians and leaders of industry as part of his third party reproductive practice.
Practice Areas: Mr. Vorzimer’s customary fields of practice are: reproductive law, including surrogacy and egg donation; complex business litigation; and entertainment law.”
Founded in 1999 in Silicon Valley, Astia is an innovative global not-for-profit organization that propels women’s full participation as entrepreneurs and leaders in high-growth businesses, fueling innovation and driving economic growth. Astia offers programs for high-growth start-ups that deliver results. Research indicates that if women were to fully participate in high-growth entrepreneurship we would see a significant and measurable benefit to the economy, innovation, and society. Astia’s mission is to provide access to the networks and expertise that women high-growth entrepreneurs need to succeed, and ultimately to impact today’s global economy.
I am founder of the Reproductive Science Center (RSC) of the San Francisco Bay Area, the first In Vitro Fertilization Program in Northern California, where I developed one of the first free standing Reproductive Medical and Infertility Centers in the U.S. with offices, operating rooms and laboratories. At RSC I helped develop the first electronic medical record system for fertility practices. Subsequent to retiring from RSC, I helped Counsyl, a genetic testing company, with product development, marketing, sales and personnel recruitment. I’ve also been a medical advisor to pharmaceutical companies and private equity firms. Lastly, I’ve been an advisor to a financial management company.
Dr. Richard P. Marrs M.D. is board certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He attended medical school and completed postgraduate training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Texas. Dr. Marrs completed a fellowship in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility at the University of Southern California. During his fellowship training, he acquired skills in cell culture; studied the ultrasound monitoring of follicle development; and developed ovarian stimulation protocols; all of which would play essential roles in establishing this country’s second In Vitro Fertilization program in 1981 where he initiated one of the worlds first IVF babies. He made medical history in 1986 with the first pregnancy from a thawed frozen embryo.
Dr. Marrs was founder and first President of the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology (SART). He was a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine’s Ethics Committee, which produced the first document in the United States on the ethical treatment of infertility using the reproductive technologies in the 1980’s. Dr. Marrs has published over 300 scientific articles and book chapters on IVF and Reproductive Medicine, and has authored the popular “Dr. Marrs’ Fertility Book.” He has received numerous honors and awards, including the first Career Achievement Award from the American Fertility Association. As one of the founders of modern fertility treatment, Dr. Marrs is considered to be one of Americas Leading Infertility Experts. He has dedicated his life’s work to helping couples fulfill their dreams of having a family.
“Dr. Dao” (as he is known) is the 38th generation in a family lineage of Chinese Medicine Doctors. Well known and respected in his field, he is the founder of Yo San University of Chinese Medicine, holds two doctorates in Oriental Medicine, and was awarded the recipient of the American Fertility Association, Dr. Joyce Vargyas Visionary Award in 2009. He is a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, Pacific Coast Reproductive Society, American Society for Nutrition, and the American Association of Oriental Medicine. Dr. Dao has co-authored The Tao of Fertility: A Healing Chinese Medicine Program to Prepare the Body, Mind, and Spirit for New Life. (Collins 2008), Sitting Moon: Guide to Natural Rejuvenation after Pregnancy, Crane Style Chi Gong and its Therapeutic Effects. Dr. Dao has been featured on NBC’s The Today Show, Conceive Magazine, Conceive On-Air, Women to Women, Donny & Marie Show, Hour Magazine, Home Show, and numerous other television interviews. Dr. Dao practices at his clinic, Tao of Wellness, in Santa Monica, California.
Dr. Turek is Director of The Turek Clinic (www.TheTurekClinic.com) a men’s health clinic in Beverly Hills and San Francisco. He is a former Professor at the University of California San Francisco and held an Endowed Chair in Urology Education while on faculty. Dr. Turek is an internationally recognized authority and widely acclaimed speaker on issues of men’s sexual and reproductive health.
Dr. Turek attended Yale College, followed by Stanford University Medical School. After a urology residency at the University of Pennsylvania, Dr. Turek was fellowship trained at Baylor College of Medicine. His 175 publications have advanced our knowledge of stem cell genetics, and the epidemiology of men’s sexual and reproductive health. He also recently received an NIH grant to develop an artificial testicle to make sperm in a dish. He is a consultant to several Healthcare 2.0 organizations, and is an advisor to BabyQuest, Fertile Hope, the Men’s Health Care Network, the NIH and the CDC and maintains an active blog on men’s health issues (www.TurekonMensHealth.com).
He is Past-President of the American Society of Andrology and the Society of Male Reproduction and Urology. He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons, the Société Internationale d'Urologie and the Royal Society of Medicine (U.K). He recently founded a volunteer medical clinic powered by retired physicians for the working uninsured (www.ClinicbytheBay.org) in San Francisco. His hobbies include vintage cars and longboard surfing.
Originally from the Boston area, Shannon Giordano earned her BA at Mount Holyoke College and her MA in International Development at The American University. Shannon has over 20 years of experience in digital marketing, business analysis and strategy, product development and project management.
Her current endeavor, Serendipity Social Media, is a digital marketing firm. To learn more, connect with Shannon on LinkedIn where she shares more about her professional experience: www.linkedin.com/in/shannongiordano/.
Shannon began her career in international development, managing small business support USAID and World Bank projects in West Bank & Gaza, Bosnia, Bangladesh and Russia. In 1999, Shannon & her husband Stephen moved home to Massachusetts to start a family. That began a 5 year journey to build the family they so desired.
Shannon now happily lives in Massachusetts with her husband, twin boys and a dog named Scout.