Meet Your Host

Katy Seppi, Founder of Chasing Creation

Childless Collective Summit Host
Presentation: Reimagining Creation

Katy (she/her) is designing an unexpectedly childfree life after infertility. After her hysterectomy in 2017, she started Chasing Creation to provide support, resources and community for those who are also involuntarily childless. In addition to the Childless Collective Summit, she offers: a monthly, virtual Childless Support Circle; monthly Childless Chat Webinars with special guests; and online workshops. 

She holds a Master’s of Social Work from the University of Georgia with an emphasis in community empowerment and program development.

Keynote Speaker: March 21

Jody Day, Founder of Gateway Women

Presentation: How to Create a Meaningful Life Without Children Lessons from a Decade of Healing

Jody Day is the British founder of Gateway Women, the global friendship and support network for childless women. She is the author of ‘Living the Life Unexpected: How to Find Hope, Meaning and a Fulfilling Future Without Children’ (2nd ed. 2020; Bluebird/PanMac UK). A thought leader on female involuntary childlessness, she’s an integrative psychotherapist, a TEDx speaker, a founding and former board member at Ageing Well Without Children and a former Fellow in Social Innovation at Cambridge Judge Business School. A proud World Childless Week Champion and PLICA Ambassador, she is now a ‘blow-in’ in rural Ireland where she lives with her partner and their dog and is working on her first novel and new non-fiction book about becoming a conscious childless elderwoman.

Day One Speakers: March 18

Michelle Marie McGrath, Intuitive Coach, Sacred Self

Presentation: Using Your Authentic Voice

Michelle Marie McGrath is a multi-passionate creative who integrates 20 years of holistic healing experience and training in various modalities. She’s a qualified coach, professional aromatherapist and meditation facilitator. She’s the creator of the Sacred Self self-love range of alchemical oils and self-love cards. She works with clients globally via intuitive readings, coaching and womb awakening sessions. Host of an award-nominated podcast ‘Unclassified Woman’ featuring inspiring childless and childfree women around the globe, creating lives of purpose beyond traditional paradigms and societal expectations. Michelle is currently writing her first novel and looks forward to hosting creative retreats at Rosemere, her magical slice of heaven in Cornwall, England.

Kate Kaufmann, Author of Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No

Presentation: Tapping the Wisdom of Others With Curiosity, Vitality, and Grace

As the international award-winning author of Do You Have Kids? Life When the Answer is No, Kate (she/her) advocates for better understanding of the childless/childfree demographic in person, on air, and in print. A popular speaker, media guest, and conversation-starter, she and her work have been featured in Psychology Today, NBC’s Know Your Value, CBC Radio One, and the Washington Post.

Justine Froelker, LPC, CDTLF
Author, Speaker, Corporate Trainer
of JBF Therapy and Coaching, LLC

Presentation: How to Receive Our Big Story

Justine is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She has over 20 years of experience in traditional mental health and personal development. Justine has been certified in the work of Dr. Brené Brown for seven years. Justine is the author of seven best-selling books and was also honored to do TEDx Talks at TEDxUMDearborn and TEDxLaSierraUniversity. She travels nationally and presents virtually to global audiences delivering keynotes, workshops, and trainings on topics such as leadership, courage, resilience, mental health, preventing burnout, and courageous and curious conversation, especially surrounding such topics as diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. Justine lives in St. Louis with her husband Chad, their three dogs and for four months of the year hundreds of monarch butterflies.

Lisa Ann Kissane, Founder of The NoMo Book Club

Live Session: Celebrating Our Stories Through Literature

Lisa is the founder and host of the online NoMo Book Club, where each month she suggest’s one of her favourite books with childless themes or characters and ask you all to read along and enjoy, knowing there won’t be a ‘miracle’ ending. She’s also a book reviewer and screens books for childless triggers.

Yvonne John, Author & Activist for Childless Women of Colour

Presentation: Black Girls Do Cry

Yvonne is the author of the book Dreaming of a Life Unlived: Intimate Stories and Portraits of Women Without Children. Yvonne is a public speaker who has appeared on numerous radio and television programmes, including BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ where she is all about creating an inclusive space for black women and women of colour to openly talk about their childless journey. As well as a being a licenced Gateway Women workshop facilitator (GWS), Yvonne is also a Champion for World Childless Week.

Jobi Tyson, Founder of Tutum Global

Presentation: The Importance of Controlling Our Narrative

Jobi Tyson is the founder of Tutum Global, a media platform for involuntary childless women. She is a sociocultural researcher, a Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) Practitioner, and the host of the oral history talk show series, As Told By Childless Women. In the Spring of 2021, Jobi is set to publish an international magazine for childless women. Her life’s mission is to change the way female childlessness is presented, analyzed and discussed.

Tanya Hubbard, Counsellor, Tanya Hubbard Counselling

Presentation: Unpacking the Stories We've Been Told

Tanya (she/her) is a registered counsellor working with people of all gender identities who are navigating changes in their life and processing grief. She works from a feminist, client-centered, collaborative framework with the belief that you know what you need and want and can thrive when given space to explore that. She feels it is invaluable to have the opportunity to be heard in your truth and pain with empathy and understanding.

Tanya specializes in working with those who are childless by chance. Her own lived experience informs the knowledge that being childless not by choice causes stress on finances, relationships, emotions, and your physical body. She also knows what it is like to jump off the trying to conceive train only to find herself wondering what’s next and to eventually find joy again. She is here to help others process the pain and to cultivate a new sense of meaning and happiness.

Day Two Speakers: March 19

April Boyd, Psychotherapist

Presentation: Let Go of Who You Thought You'd Be, and Show Up as All of Who You Already Are

April Boyd (she/her) is a psychotherapist who specializes in grief, love and relationships. She is also the founder of the Love & Loss Project, an online place of comfort and support for women who have experienced the loss of a baby or pregnancy.

She believes in the healing power of boundaries, nature, radical truth telling and dark chocolate. She secretly suspects that the thing you like least about yourself might just be your greatest gift.

When she’s not doing the work she loves to do, she’s usually lost and searching for coffee and wifi in some foreign country.

Kezia Ashley Okafor, Fertility Mindset Coach & Infertility Counsellor

Presentation: Mindset to Wholeness

Kezia Ashley Okafor, author of Flipping the Script on Infertility, fertility mindset coach and infertility counsellor. Kezia supports women struggling with the emotional distress and mental anguish of infertility to find calm confidence on their journey to motherhood and beyond.

Beth McDonough, Owner & Founder, The Inclusive Stepmom

Presentation: Healing the Misunderstood Wound of the Childless Stepmom

Beth McDonough is a Certified Stepparent Coach, owner of The Inclusive Stepmom, and CMO & Editor-in-Chief of the Stepmomz app. Beth specializes in LGBTQ+ issues, being a childless stepmom, a child of divorce, infertility, and sharing a small town with the ex. As one of three moms raising one feisty redheaded stepdaughter, she knows how to thrive in an environment with a whole lot of feminine energy. You can also find her work at Stepparent Magazine, SheKnows Parenting, Bustle, TravelZoo, BabyCenter, and ParentMap. 

Chiemi Rajamahendran, Infertility Trauma and Loss Support Specialist, Miss Conception

Presentation: Setting Boundaries While Healing from Trauma and Loss

Chiemi is a leading infertility advocate, and voice for people experiencing infertility and loss. She lends her expertise and platform to raise awareness about the emotions felt and the reality of the mental health issues people experience after treatments like IVF/IUI. Through her unique counselling style, she helps people understand, validate and process their infertility trauma and grief. She offers worldwide individual, couples and family teletherapy.

Dr. Loree Johnson, Infertility Therapist and Coach

Presentation: Healing from Infertility Trauma and Grief, Finding Hope in the Next Chapter

Dr. Loree is a clinical fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy and has served on its state and national boards. She is also a member of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

Kat Haagenson, Creator of Femmepower

Presentation: Reconnect with Your Body

Kat is a creator based in south Texas that is passionate about spreading awareness and empowering those with invisible illness to advocate for their health and live their best life.

Katy Dejong, Sexuality Educator, The Pleasure Anarchist

Presentation: Reclaiming Your Sexuality After Infertility

Katy DeJong (she/her) is a sexuality educator. Her work and perspective are heavily influenced by her educational background in feminist philosophy and human sexuality, along with her personal experience of infertility. She is endlessly curious about desire and pleasure and how the emotional and physical trauma of infertility impacts both. The philosophical impulse to connect dots and understand the nuance of sexual expression, makes her uniquely positioned to help facilitate the deep introspection necessary for sexual healing and body liberation.

 

On a personal note, Katy loves cats, beer, books, and hammocks. You can usually find her smothering her kitty baby with affection, talking about how incredible the moon is, or taking walks in the woods looking at birds through binoculars. She currently lives near Washington D.C. in Virginia with her husband.

Day Three Speakers: March 20

Aisha Balesaria, Coach, Mind Body Revival Coaching

Presentation: Tackling Taboos and Overcoming Cultural Boundaries in Infertility

Life gave me lemons, so I threw them at infertility! I turned my unexpected plan B life into something amazing. Infertility inspired me to chase a life I love. Now I’m a sassy, dynamic Wellness Coach who’s here to empower people to live their best life. I’m a childfree and chronic illness advocate. It’s my mission to dispel infertility myths and raise awareness about subjects that are traditionally taboo. I’m fiercely passionate about cultivating a diverse and inclusive society.

 

I have a thing for sunsets, photography, dry history books (don’t judge me) and fine dining. As part of my childfree lifestyle I love to travel at every opportunity. My husband and fur ball, Peaches the cat, make up my beautiful family. I believe life is what you make it; what you’re not changing, you’re choosing!

 

Daily affirmation: I am so much more than my ineffective, reproductive system.

Kadi and Laura, Co-Founders of Anotherhood

Presentation: Over the Pond - Shared Experiences and What We Wish We Could of Said to Our Younger Selves

The story of Anotherhood begins with Kadi on one side of the world in Los Angeles and Laura on the other in a small village nestled in the Scottish countryside. Separated by a vast span of water and thousands of miles between us, we connected through our shared understanding of what it is like to be women unable to have children.

Anotherhood is a space for women without children to come together, explore, connect, and discover a shared language.

Stephanie Phillips, Founder of World Childless Week

Presentation: Finding Support, Validation, and Friendship

Stephanie Phillips is passionate about raising awareness for the childless not by choice. After realizing that there was no national recognition of the community she decided to start World Childless Week. She admins several Facebook groups; Childless Path To Acceptance offers support, Childless Chit Chat is a safe trigger free zone and Childless Perks!! focuses on finding the positives and laughter.

Stephanie lives in Worcestershire with her husband and two rescue cats, Storm and Tea-Cup. She enjoys gardening, crafting, dining out and relaxing in front of the television with a puzzle book and one of her two cats snuggled up beside her.

Helen Gallagher, Founder of Happy and Childless

Live Session: Social Hour

Helen’s (she/her) mantra is “Human First Female Second” and she believes that her role in life is far greater than being a parent. She is approaching her involuntary childfree life with love, gratitude and fervour. Helen is passionate that there is an exciting next chapter and is striving to support and encourage other men and women to find their new path and learn to embrace life again.
 
Helen shares her own tips and techniques for moving forward through her podcasts in addition to discovering similar minded people’s insights into their journey to happiness whilst living a childfree life.
 
Her aim is to be an example, demonstrating that through positive mindset, management of thoughts and taking action, a happy next chapter can be created and enjoyed.

Anne Brock, Founder of Living in the Midst

Presentation: Living in the Midst

Anne Brock chooses to live a good, full life despite a diagnosis of infertility. Through her writing, she explores the many ways that loss, pain, and grief provide opportunities for growth, healing, and transformation. Anne and her husband share their home in Indiana with two pups and love opportunities to spoil their eight nieces and nephews.

Dr. Marisa Franco, Psychologist and Friendship Expert

Presentation: How to Make Friends as an Adult

Dr. Marisa G Franco (she/her/hers) is a former professor and a psychologist who has studied friendship all the world. She writes about connection for Psychology Today and has been a featured expert for major publications like The New York Times, The Telegraph, and Vice. She is currently writing a book on how to make friends as an adult, Platonic.

Melanie Notkin, Founder of Savvy Auntie

Presentation: TBD

Melanie Notkin is the founder of the SAVVY AUNTIE® lifestyle brand dubbed “A Celebration of Modern Aunthood” and bestselling author of “SAVVY AUNTIE: The Ultimate Guide for Cool Aunts, Great-Aunts, Godmothers and All Women Who Love Kids.” In 2008, Melanie uncovered and coined the PANK® (Professional Aunts No Kids) demographic and in 2009 established Auntie’s Day® which occurs every 4th Sunday in July. Her reported memoir: OTHERHOOD®: Modern Women Finding a New Kind of Happiness received a Booklist starred review. Melanie lives in New York City.

Day Four Speakers: March 21

Sadie Tichelaar, Founder and Life Coach, This Curious Live Coaching

Presentation: Embodying Your Future Self

Sadie (she/her) is a qualified and certified life coach for women who are ready to shake off external expectation; embrace their truest self and live a life of deep and meaningful fulfilment. ​

With her superpowers of intuition, empathy and curiosity , Sadie will support you to uncover your own superpowers and step boldly into living the best version of you possible.

Lesley Pyne, Blogger and Author of Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness

Presentation: The Unexpected Doorway to Rekindling Happiness & Joy (and 4 ways to find it)

Lesley Pyne (she/her) is an author and blogger who believes that it is possible to have a fulfilling life as a childless woman.

In her book ‘Finding Joy Beyond Childlessness: Inspiring Stories To Guide You To A Fulfilling Life’ she uses her own life experience, those of 19 others, and her skills as a coach and NLP Master Practitioner to guide readers gently through their pain and out the other side to find their joy.

The process of writing encouraged Lesley to process the grief she was holding on to and she is now happier than she’s ever been.

Kelly Da Silva, CEO & Founder of The Dovecote

Presentation: Tools for Living Life without Children

Kelly Da Silva is a Fertility Support Expert, Writer, Speaker, and Founder of The Dovecote: Childless Support Organisation. Inspired by her own personal experience of infertility, Kelly specialises in developing and delivering ‘Emotional Support’ for those experiencing infertility either during treatment or in their own childless journey. 

 

As Founder of The Dovecote: Childless Support Organisation, Kelly’s passion has also driven her to offer a range of support to those navigating their own childless journey including a global online community where people can connect with others dealing with the challenges of infertility and childlessness, mentoring, 1-2-1 support and online workshops.

Erik and Melissa Jones, Hosts of the Podcast Live Childfree with Erik and Melissa

Presentation: Learning to Live Childfree

Married couple and podcast co-hosts, Erik (he/him) and Melissa (she/her), chose the childfree resolution to infertility after years of treatments and one severe medical trauma. They started a podcast together to talk through their thoughts and feelings as they shifted from trying to conceive to living childfree. In addition to connecting with childfree peers, they’ve also aimed to bring awareness to and decrease stigmas around childlessness while encouraging all childfree people to live proudly and unapologetically.

Tracey Cleantis Dwyer, Dream Coach and Psychotherapist, Live Deeply

Presentation: TBD

Tracey Cleantis Dwyer, LMFT is an internationally recognized happiness expert. She is a licensed marriage and family therapist and a depth and dream coach. Tracey authored The Next Happy: Let Go of the Life You Planned and Find a New Way Forward ( Hazelden, 2015), which received a Publisher’s Weekly Starred Review, was a finalist for The Books For a Better Life Awards, as one of the best psychology books of 2015, and made it to the Amazon Best Seller list. She also authored, An Invitation to Self-Care: Why Learning to Nurture Yourself Is the Key to the Life You’ve Always Wanted, 7 Principles for Abundant Living (Hazelden/Simon & Schuster), which has created a Self-Care Revolution.