Meet Our Staff, Board and Crew

Meet Our Founding Directors

Leah Derragon

Leah Deragon,
CCE, Doula

Emily Murray

Emily Murray,
CCE, Doula

Leah and Emily co-founded Birth Roots in 2004 and co-created the Community Supported Parenting© model of Parental Development group work. This style of facilitation brings the Birth Roots’ mission to life by creating a class environment that fosters connection, dialogue, and meaningful reflection. Leah’s Birthing From Within and Blossoming Newborns classes have transformed the experiences of an entire generation of new families in Southern Maine.  She also launched Parents Raising Consciousness, a new parent coaching program. Emily completed her Parenting By Connection certification in 2013 with Hand in Hand Parenting and is bringing this philosophy to the Birth Roots community.

Meet Our Staff


Sarah Paul

Sarah Paul

 Director of Operations

Sarah can’t wait to share Birth Roots with you!  It’s such a welcoming, safe, and happy place to land as you navigate your journey into parenthood. You’ll find her managing our “behind-the-scenes” operations. She wears many hats, serving as program manager for the Guide, volunteer coordinator, booty wrangler, space caretaker, finance guru, and more.




           Operations Assistant

           Birth Roots supported Julie and her family with the addition of Wally in October 2018 and she is excited to bring her varied experience                 in education and non-profit management into the fray to grow community supported parenting. 

        Julie Brooke

Meet Our Facilitators

Leah Deragon
Emily Murray
Jodi Phinney
Shannon Mackey
Kara Kaikini
Paula Norcott
Erin Brolley
Jocelyn Miller
Sarah Donat


Meet Our Board Of Directors and Committee Chairs

Board Chair: Katie Brooke, RealtorKatie Brook

Katie Brooke is a full-time real estate agent at Vitalius Real Estate Group serving the Greater Portland region. In 2013, Katie trained as a Doula and it was through this experience she began to fully understand the impact Birth Roots has on families throughout Southern Maine. In the past, Katie has worked in education and social services, finding great joy in working with children and families. Katie also serves on the board of the Friends School of Portland, volunteers with Big Brothers/Big Sisters, and spends Friday mornings with the Walking School Bus for the East End School.

Vice Chair: Silver Shea

Silver Shea is a long time resident of Portland where she currently resides with her husband, 4 year-old daughter, cat and backyard chickens. She brings with her years of experience working in the non-profit community as an advocate for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She has an education in the fine arts and a deep passion for all things design. She has most recently been pursuing the ever challenging career of stay-at- home  mom, in which her Birth Roots flock has played an invaluable supporting role. She looks forward to the chance to pay it forward to other new moms.


Treasurer:  Sam Green


 Sam joined our board in 2018. 

Secretary: Wendy Richardswendy-richards

Wendy Richards joined the Birth Roots board in 2016. Wendy is an attorney that focuses on tax-exempt organizations of all kinds, and is also a mom to an exuberant toddler. Wendy holds an A.B. degree from the University of Chicago and a law degree from the University of Wisconsin. Before discovering her love of tax law, Wendy had a brief career as a microbiologist. When she isn’t wrangling a toddler into a car seat or reading tax regulations, Wendy likes to listen to podcasts, read novels, and spend her time around interesting and positive people.



Julia Bailin

Julia joined our board in 2018.


ellen-coughlin-quinnEllen Coughlin-Quinn

Ellen and her husband moved to Maine (from Boston) last year looking for a close-knit community to call home. She is a proud mom to a son and a daughter. She works for a health insurance company and has her Masters in Public Health. After having her son, Ellen realized how important strong community connections are to new parents and young families. She is proud to be a part of an organization with the unique niche of helping new parents and young families as they navigate through the excitement and challenges of having young children.





Kristina Burks Halliday

Kristina Burks Halliday is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker providing supportive individual therapy at her private practice in Saco. She has a particular clinical interest in perinatal mental health and wellness and is engaging in training focused on maternal mental health.  Her passion for Birth Roots is formed in the recognition, both professionally and personally, of the positive impact that a supportive community has on families in the transition to parenthood. She has a history of volunteerism with organizations dedicated to serving women and children. She is the grateful mother to two daughters and one son, all of whom continue to be lovingly supported by their “flock” formed at Birth Roots.





Johanna Hill, DCJohanna Hill, DC

Johanna Hill, DC, is a chiropractic physician specializing in pregnancy and pediatrics and has been a member of the Birth Roots board since 2012. In a prior life, she worked in non-profit development at a large outdoor history museum, as well as in strategic development for two other start-up community-focused nonprofits. Her passion for Birth Roots began when she first set foot in the oxytocin-rich space and felt that she had found her flock – not as a parent (yet), but as a birth professional. She is the proud mama of a little girl.

Deirdre WadsworthDeirdre Wadsworth

 Deirdre joined our board in 2016. 








Stephanie WalshStephanie Walsh

Stephanie Walsh is a certified public accountant with a background in finance, accounting and tax preparation, specifically for not-for-profit and healthcare organizations. She worked for 5 years in public accounting and is currently an auditor at MaineHealth. She is a proud wife and mother to a son and a daughter. She also enjoys volunteering on the Birth Roots Finance Committee and as Room Mom at her son’s not-for-profit childcare center. Her passion for serving on the Birth Roots board comes from a desire to give back to an organization that provided wonderful experiences for both she and her husband as they navigated the first years of parenthood.


Board Emerita: Leigh D. Baker, D.O. Leigh Baker, DO

Leigh D. Baker, D.O., is an Osteopathic manipulation specialist who enjoys treating pregnant women, infants, and children. In 1989, as a family physician looking to improve pediatric advice, she took a Connection Parenting class and has been an advocate of Community Supported Parenting ever since. She has been an essential member of the the Birth Roots board since 2007. “I consider my work at Birth Roots public service to the health of our community. It’s a way of promoting mental wellness in the world that has incredible potential.”

Thank You to our Board Alumni!

Kate Bathras

Derrick Buckspan

Miranda Cassidy

Leslie Durgin

Jennifer Fisher

Tami Goodrich

Allison Gray, FHNP

Katie Howard

Mary Latendresse


Pam Leo

Caroline Loder

Sarah MacLaughlin

Shannon Mackey

Misty McLaughlin

Sarah Morehead

Zakia Nelson

Kelli Schuit

Stephanie Sukeforth

Jen White