MEET THE TEAM
At Creative Family Connections, our staff functions as a team. Our individual processes are all just a part of one greater whole - the surrogacy journey. While we may each play a different role in your journey, we do not function independently. We are all invested in each and every case, and we are all here to help you at any time.
Diane is the founder, owner and senior partner of Creative Family Connections. Her diverse background and skills – and that of her team – enables Creative Family Connections to offer the necessary legal expertise to help Intended Parents and Gestational Surrogates make the complicated decisions that arise throughout the process of Collaborative Reproduction.
For Diane's full bio, click here.
LEIGH POUNDS - OFFICE MANAGER
Leigh oversees CFC's daily operations. You will likely meet her during your earliest contact with CFC. She takes calls from Prospective Clients to give them an overview of our services, and arranges Prospective Client Meetings. Leigh is an integral part of the onboarding process for new clients at CFC, and works behind the scenes on a daily basis to keep all of the various facets of our operations running smoothly.
JEN AHERN - ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY & SENIOR CASE MANAGER
Jen serves as Creative Family Connections' Senior Associate Attorney. She joined CFC in the fall of 2010, after completing a clerkship with the Prince George's County Circuit Court. She is a 2009 graduate of the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in Michigan.
Jen received her BA from the University of Maryland, where she was a psychology major. In her role as Associate Attorney, Jen drafts and negotiates contracts, assists with court filings and petitions, represents our clients in court, and provides ongoing legal research.
RUTH DAVID - SENIOR MANAGER FOR CLIENT DEVELOPMENT & SURROGATE MATCHING - PARALEGAL
Ruth, or "Ruthi" is Creative Family Connections' Senior Manager for Client Development and Surrogate Recruiting. She oversees the client matching process, and presents candidate packages to Intended Parents when a match is proposed. She contributes to CFC's business development, branding, and advertising efforts. As a certified paralegal, she also assists with research and with clarification of client preferences prior to CFC's attorneys drafting an Agreement for Services for incoming Clients.
Ruthi received her BS in Business Management from George Mason University. After several years in the corporate sector as a professional technical writer/editor, she spent 8 years as a professional portrait and commercial photographer. She photographed for the Obama campaign, including coverage of White House events with staff and the President. Ruthi began her work with CFC in 2010, as our family reunion photographer, and became a full-time staff member in 2012. She actively advocates for LGBT rights, including her volunteer work as a trained workshop facilitator for the Trevor Project.
MICHELLE MISLER - ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY & CASE MANAGER
Michelle is an Associate Attorney and Case Manager on the CFC team. She comes to CFC from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, where she worked with a team of attorneys in the Office of Research Administration. Prior to JHU, Michelle was an attorney for the 20+ Faculty Physician Practices at the University of Maryland. She graduated from the University of Maryland School of Law in 2007 with the goal of working in the health care industry. She has a special affinity for working in the field of Assisted Reproductive Technology, as it was a frequent topic of conversation at the dinner table during her formative years.
Michelle was especially interested in becoming a part of CFC because she believes in its mission that everyone deserves the opportunity to build a family. Michelle and Jen share the duties of drafting contracts and preparing court pleadings. Michelle also works as a Case Manager, supporting our Gestational Surrogates and Intended Parents throughout their surrogacy journey.
MELISSA LOCKHART - SENIOR CASE MANAGER
As Senior Case Manager, Melissa oversees our team of Case Managers, and provides direct support to our Intended Parents and their Gestational Carriers. Melissa joins us with nearly a decade of experience in the reproductive field, working in a variety of clinical and administrative positions. After seeing firsthand the inherent struggles and obstacles many individuals faced when trying to have a family, Melissa quickly realized the demand for more comprehensive care to those navigating the complicated fertility process.
Moreover, Melissa was drawn to CFC in particular because of our core value that everyone deserves the right to have a family. She is an active member within the LGBT community and continually advocates for equality and acceptance. Through her activism, Melissa has heard and recognizes the sensitive and psycho-social needs posed by nontraditional families. Melissa resides in Northern Virginia with her husband, son, and beloved rescue cat, Anton.
ROBIN HINSON - CASE MANAGER
Robin Hinson is a graduate of Colorado College, and came to work for CFC post-graduation to conduct research for our "Gestational Surrogacy Law Across The United States" interactive map. Robin went on to grow her role into a full Case Manager, and is now an integral part of our Case Management team, providing direct support to our Intended Parents and their Gestational Carriers.
Along with her regular role providing case support to Intended Parents and Gestational Surrogates, Robin often travels to conduct in-home interviews with our Gestational Carrier candidates, prior to a candidate becoming eligible for matching. Post-interview, Robin writes a detailed report which is submitted as part of a candidate’s package when she is presented to her potential Intended Parents.
Adopted by a single parent, Robin grew to understand the importance of accepting and welcoming families and people of all kinds. Just as CFC supports many families from the LGBTQ community, so too does Robin strongly believe in equality for individuals, regardless of their sexual orientation.
SAMARA HUTCHESON - SURROGATE RECRUITING MANAGER
Samara is our Surrogate Recruiting Manager, screening and recruiting our Gestational Surrogate Candidates, and also and contributes to our advertising efforts. She designs and places ads
to recruit surrogate candidates, reviews surrogate applications, calls references, and fields questions from candidates. She is also responsible for providing regular advertising status updates to clients during the search process.
After studying at SUNY Fredonia, Samara gained her first professional experience at a law firm as an office manager, then opened her own business, which she ran successfully for over 8 years. Prior to joining CFC, Samara worked as a service coordinator for an agency who facilitated early intervention services for infants through preschool aged children. Samara is thrilled to work for a firm whose underlying principles support the rights of all types of people to build families.