Our Board Members/Facilitators
Donna Matz - President
Donna and Ken Matz's first pregnancy ended with the birth of their stillborn son, Joe, in March 1996. Sadly, their 2nd pregnancy ended in January 1997 with a miscarriage at 13 weeks. Donna found tremendous support from attending MIS support group meetings. She later stepped into a leadership role as co-facilitator, which she has been doing for over 15 years. Professionally, Donna works full time as a sign language interpreter. She has a daughter in college and another daughter in high school who keep her busy and 'current'. An avid fan of the outdoors, when there is time Donna enjoys hiking, cycling and jogging.
Jeff Carr - Vice President
Jeff is a foodie by hobby, and a technology guy by profession. He created and maintains the MIS website and technical infrastructure. He co-leads some of the MIS meetings each year, helping to bring a father's perspective into the discussion. Jeff and his wife Jenny had boy-girl twins, but lost their son Ross, at 37 weeks. Ross's twin sister survived and Jeff and Jenny had 2 successful subsequent pregnancies. -However, it was a long and difficult journey involving high risk experiences at Fairfax and Reston hospitals, 2 emergency c-sections and a 911 call. Jeff and Jenny are dedicated contributors to the operation of the MIS group. Although he's now busy with his 3 daughters, he tries to get out and ride his BMX bike when he can.
Jennifer Carr - Treasurer
Jennifer is an Assistive Technology Specialist for Fairfax County Public Schools. A special education teacher by training she spends her work day between nine schools helping students and their teachers use technology to better access the curriculum. Jennifer and her husband first learned of MIS after the 37 week loss of their son, Ross, after an otherwise healthy twin pregnancy. Their daughter survived. If you're reading similarities to Jeff's bio, you've found his wife Jenny. Grief is hard work. The MIS support group was a life line in a very dark time. There have also been 3 miscarriages during their long journey to build a family. She has gone between MIS and the Subsequent Pregnancy After Loss (SPAL) several times. Each time MIS and SPAL have been there to offer invaluable support. They have 3 daughters that keep them laughing and on their toes at all times. Jennifer is the Treasurer for MIS, keeping records of the financial end of things. Additionally, she sends letters of thanks and tax information to those that make donations. In her free time (what's that?) she tries to fit in time to exercise and spend time with friends.
Donna Gavin - Secretary
Donna Gavin chose to have a career first. When she and her husband decided to have children, they tried with and without fertility treatments. After many attempts, she learned she had "old eggs". They decided to use donor eggs and she got pregnant with triplets, identical twin boys and a girl. Her Perinatologist had warned about the dangers of twin to twin Transfusion Syndrome, which unfortunately occurred at 5 ½ months, resulting in the loss of her sons and daughter in 1996. Devastated, she started attending the MIS meetings, which helped her through her grief. She wanted to pay it forward, so she became a MIS meeting co-facilitator. Donna and her husband went on to adopt two babies, a year apart. Those babies are now in their 20’s and continue to bring her joy. She has three grandchildren through her husband’s children. Professionally, Donna is a service support account manager for a technology company. When she isn't working, she enjoys her grandchildren, photography, friends and family.
Carolyn Mara - Board Member
Carolyn Mara is a mom, wife and homemaker. Her losses include two 1st trimester miscarriages, one 2nd trimester miscarriage of twins, and the full term stillbirth of her son Alexander, at 39 wks and 5 days. She has one living daughter, Olivia, who was born at 36 wks due to amniotic fluid problems. Carolyn attended the MIS meetings with her husband, Rob, then she attended the Subsequent Pregnancy After a Loss meetings (SPAL) when she was expecting her daughter, Olivia. Carolyn has been leading the SPAL support group for 12 years. She volunteers once a week in the NICU in the local hospital and is actively involved in her church. She has spoken at memorial services and for medical professionals training classes. She attended the Star Legacy Stillbirth Summit and is currently working on completing her certification to become a Baby Loss Family Advisor(BLFA) and Rainbow Baby Family Advisor(RFBA). Carolyn enjoys her 3 cats, going to the gym, playing flute, watching football and marching bands and doing things with her husband and daughter.
Andy Gillette - Board Member
After the sudden loss of their son Simon Alexander in 2014 (a few days before his due date), Andy and his wife Genevieve found immense relief and support in the MIS Share meetings and community. Andy helps facilitate MIS meetings from time to time, and is a former contributor to StillStanding Magazine. When not spending time with his second son, Hank, Andy is an associate director at an area non-profit focused on removing the internal and external barriers holding people back from transforming their lives. He's an avid reader, a whisk(e)y enthusiast, and enjoys screwing up many a carpentry project.