Meet MEAC’s Executive Committee
Nichole Reding, President
During her time on the MEAC Board, Nichole has served on a number of committees, including the MEAC-NARM liaison committee, and has been a representative to the US-MERA (Midwifery Education, Regulation, Association) in person meeting. She currently represents MEAC on the Academic Collaborative for Integrative Health (ACIH) Board of Directors. Nichole works as the Academic Coordinator at Birthingway College of Midwifery and also teaches many core courses in the midwifery program there. She has attended two of the three Home Birth Consensus Summits and participated in their Interprofessional Education workgroup. Nichole’s educational background includes a Masters Degree in History from University of Oregon and a BSM from Birthingway.
Cassaundra Jah, Treasurer
Cassaundra earned her Bachelor’s (Embry Riddle Aeronautical University) and Master’s of Science (University of Colorado at Boulder) in Aerospace Engineer the degree in which she began her professional career, returning to school to become a Certified Professional Midwife in 2010 after receiving the call to the service of midwifery during her second pregnancy. She is currently licensed in New Mexico where she has an active practice and works as the Chief Development Officer of the National College of Midwifery and sits on the New Mexico Midwifery Licensing Board. She and her partner of 17 years have two beautiful children, ages 14 and 11, with a new wee one born on December 29, 2016.
Abigail Aiyepola, Secretary
Abigail earned her degrees in naturopathic medicine and midwifery from Bastyr University and has built a career specializing in integrative gynecology, fertility and preconception care. Dr. Abigail is the founder of Phenomenal Woman Initiative, and her interdisciplinary approach to the care of women is informed by her work with licensed midwives, certified nurse midwives, and naturopathic midwives, medical doctors, naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists, reproductive endocrinologists, pediatricians, public health officials, and more. She has served as faculty member at various institutions teaching various women’s health related topics to medical and midwifery students, currently serves as an executive board member of the Midwifery Education and Accreditation Council (MEAC), the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC), co-chair of the Midwifery Clinical Training Task Force, and is active on several committees within the US MERA collaboration. Her passion for the global empowerment of women and children is a common thread in all she does.
Heidi Fillmore, Vice President Accreditation
Heidi is a CPM who has been practicing for 30 years in the state of Maine. She has two daughters who are now 23 and 26 years old. Along with practicing midwifery, she was the founder and the current executive director of Birthwise Midwifery School in Bridgton, Maine. Her interests. outside of developing our midwifery profession and related social justice issues, often revolve around food, from growing, storing, cooking, and eating good food. She has been on the MEAC Board for 12 years and is currently the Vice-president of Accreditation.
Kristi Ridd-Young, Vice President Outreach
Anyone who knows Kristi Ridd-Young would say that one of her passions in life is helping others have freedom of choice based on the understanding of all available alternatives. Since beginning her perinatal career over 29 years ago, Kristi has dedicated herself to educating midwives, doulas, childbirth educators and families to develop the skills and the inner strength to support or experience a positive, self-directed birth. Kristi has a degree in public health administration, previously practiced as a midwife, is a certified childbirth educator and doula, founder of the Utah Doula Association and is a DONA-approved birth doula trainer. She is currently the president of Midwives College of Utah, past president of MEAC (Midwifery Education Accreditation Council) and current vice-president of outreach.
Kristi has been mentored by many of the leading experts in the field, but, most of all, she credits her own experience as a mother of six children, seven stepchildren and 14 grandchildren for much of the wisdom and knowledge she shares. When she is busy with family or birth work, she is likely traveling across the country on a Harley.