Circle Egg Donation Staff
Dear Prospective Parents and Egg Donors,
I am John Weltman, president and founder of Circle Egg Donation, and its sister agency, Circle Surrogacy. I’m also a father through assisted reproduction, and an experienced egg donation and surrogacy lawyer. Since 1995, I have taken pride in helping build hundreds of families through egg donation.
I understand the frustration of thinking I would never have a child of my own. I am passionate about the caring hearts of the egg donors in my program, and I know from personal experience how wonderful it can be for a child to be able to know how he or she came into the world. I’ve built Circle Egg Donation with an emphasis on known egg donation. Though Circle’s egg donors can be anonymous as well, nearly all are open to meeting you and keeping in touch with you as your child grows up.
I hold degrees from Yale, Oxford, and the University of Virginia and I’m admitted to practice law in Massachusetts, New York, and California. I’m proud to have helped build families for parents from more than 50 countries across the world.
John Weltman, President and Founder
Cliff Atkins, Executive Vice President
Cliff graduated from the University of Virginia with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. Cliff has many years of experience working in acute psychiatric settings with adults. For more than 20 years, he worked in Psychiatric Emergency Services providing acute assessments and interventions to children, adults and families in crisis. He is a father through surrogacy to two teenage boys and is familiar with the unique challenges that egg donation and surrogacy brings to families of school-age children. Cliff joined Circle in 2010.
Scott Buckley, Director of Operations
Scott received a Bachelor of Arts from Boston College and went on to receive his law degree from Boston College Law School. He has worked primarily in the civil litigation field, accumulating experience in court, mediation and arbitration. He also assists individuals and families with estate planning. At Circle, assists clients with the drafting of contracts, birth orders, step parent, and second-parent adoptions; conducts legal consultations; and addresses insurance questions. Scott was recognized as a Rising Star in family law by SuperLawyer in their 2012 New England edition.
Dean Hutchison, Director of Legal
Dean received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Richmond and his law degree from Suffolk University. He began his professional legal career as a law clerk for Circle Surrogacy in 2004, where he assisted in all aspects of client legal work including drafting surrogate agreements and attending adoption hearings. He worked for Lawson & Weitzen, LLP for six years as a litigation attorney and was named a Rising Star in Massachusetts Super Lawyer and Boston Magazine in 2005, 2009, 2010, 2013, and 2014. He returned to full time to Circle in 2011 and helps manage the legal portion of intended parents’ journeys.
Emily Sonier, LICSW, Clinical Director
Emily earned a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Pennsylvania. After graduate school, Emily worked with individuals and families living with HIV/AIDS in Philadelphia. She then worked with adolescents in a residential program, providing individual, group and family therapy. Emily started at Circle as a Program Coordinator and now supports both the Program Coordinator team, the Pre-screening and Screening teams and is available as additional support to intended parents. Emily comes to Circle with her own history of infertility struggles and brings this experience and understanding to her role as Clinical Director.
Jamie Manning, Director of Marketing
In Jamie’s 20-year career as a healthcare marketing thought leader, he has dedicated himself to enabling positive human outcomes. As a frequent conference guest speaker, he covers a variety of topics from marketing strategy and social engagement to mobile marketing and emerging technologies. His extensive experience spans many areas including branding, public relations, advertising, digital outreach, and customer acquisition.
Minette Bryant, Program Coordinator
Minette is excited to be on the Circle team after working through Circle to perform a surrogacy for a French couple. Minette holds a M.A. in Counseling and worked as a counselor at a prison in Texas before joining Circle. With three amazing kids of her own, she loves helping others on the journey to parenthood.
Rachel Campbell, LCSW, Social Worker
Rachel earned her Master of Social Work degree from Boston University in 1999. She worked in the child welfare and adoption fields prior to joining the Circle team in 2005. Rachel has held a variety of roles and responsibilities during her time with Circle, including screening and matching egg donors and surrogates and supporting intended parents through the process. She currently performs social work evaluations of Circle egg donors. She is excited to have the opportunity to continue to help create and support families through their journeys.
Elinor Sidman, Egg Donor Manager
Elinor Sidman has a diverse work history, starting her career at Circle in its early years as Founder and President, John Weltman’s, Legal Assistant. Further, she has more than 10 years of working experience in the legal field. Elinor parted from Circle for almost seven years, living in the Central Florida area where she worked in sales. Upon returning home to the Boston area, she rejoined John and Circle as a Case Manager and worked in that role for five years. Elinor looks forward to continuing to grow with and be a part of the Circle Egg Donation team for many years to come.
Amanda Caroca, LCSW, Program Manager
Amanda received her Master of Social Work degree from Boston University and her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology from Boston College. Before coming to Circle, Amanda worked in the social work department at a local hospital, providing support to patients in Labor and Delivery. She also spent some time living in Chile and is excited to bring her Spanish language skills and multicultural perspective to the Circle team. Amanda now manages Circle’s team of Program Coordinators while continuing to assist intended parents along their journeys to create and expand their families.
Jeni Denhof, Program Manager
Jeni joined the Circle team after her own amazing surrogacy journey with Circle, carrying twins for a couple from New York. Previously an elementary school teacher and business owner, Jeni became passionate about surrogacy over the course of her journey and proudly began her career in this field. Jeni is honored to work with intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors as all parties join together to help create or expand a family.
Michelle Coughlin, Program Coordinator
Michelle received her bachelor’s degree in Management Information Systems from the University of West Florida in 2002. After college she became the business manager of a machine shop in Panama City, FL. She is a mother of two children and after her own journey as a surrogate she became excited about the opportunity to work with other parents, egg donors, and surrogates.
Lizzy Francis, Trust Accountant and Financial Liaison
Lizzy attended Boston University and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science. After graduating from Boston University in 2008, she went on to work in the legal field, where she managed the litigation department and supported several attorneys at a Boston-based law firm. Lizzy then joined Circle as a Program Coordinator and worked with intended parents, surrogates, and egg donors throughout their surrogacy journeys. She recently joined the accounting team to act as a liaison between the Accounting Department and the Program Coordinator team. She is excited about her new role, communicating with intended parents about their trust accounts.
Sarah Gossner, Program Coodinator
Sarah received her Bachelors in Marketing from Arizona State University and her Masters of Education in Human Relations and Counseling from Northern Arizona University. Sarah is also a trained Life Coach, having coached clients from all over the world. Prior to joining Circle, Sarah worked coordinating freshman programs at Arizona State University, worked in Marketing, and developed her own life coaching business and clientele. Sarah has one beautiful daughter of her own and is also the proud soon-to-be mom to three stepchildren. Sarah is thrilled to be part of the Circle team helping intended parents achieve their dreams of having a family through surrogacy.
Amanda Harry, Program Coodinator
Amanda came to Circle in 2015 after 9 years of conducting background investigations for the United States government. Amanda also worked as a case manager for Big Brothers Big Sisters in Pennsylvania and Virginia and eventually as the Vice President of Program Services for the office in Virginia. Amanda has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology with a minor in Psychology from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Her active duty military husband has led her all over the United States; which has provided her the opportunity to meet and work with people from all walks of life. Having two children of her own, Amanda is very familiar with the ups and downs of pregnancy and childbirth. Amanda is thrilled to be working at Circle and considers herself blessed to be helping our intended parents grow their families.
Gina-Marie Madow, Attorney
Gina-Marie received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Roger Williams University and her Juris Doctor from Massachusetts School of Law. She has been working at Circle since 2007 assisting in all aspects of client legal work including conducting legal consultations, drafting and negotiating the egg donor and surrogate agreements, attending adoption and other birth order court hearings, drafting estate planning documents, researching state and country laws and reviewing insurance policies. She has also personally completed 4 egg donations to further assist intended parents with building their families.
Zach Mallavia, Program Coordinator
Zach received his Master's of Public Policy and Administration from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and his Bachelor of Arts degree in French from Boise State University. Prior to joining Circle, Zach lived and taught English in France and taught undergraduate French at UMASS, managed campaigns and worked as an administrator in a reproductive health clinic. Zach is thrilled to be a part of the Circle team to help intended parents on their journey and use his foreign language skills to connect with parents of other cultures.
Sarah Marino, Outreach Manager
Sarah was born in Paris, France. After receiving her masters’ in International Affairs from Boston University, Sarah worked for Circle Surrogacy for two years as a Program Coordinator, providing intended parents, surrogates and egg donors with support throughout their journey. Formerly a Program Coordinator for the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at Harvard Medical School, Sarah seeks to bring together her language skills and interest for international health and social issues in order to engage program development and participation as a way to expand clients’ options. Back at Circle as Outreach Manager, she works towards this goal through community outreach, consultations, and support to potential intended parents worldwide.
Christian Marcel, Program Coordinator
Christian was born in Paris, France, where he received his master’s degree in business administration. Before joining Circle, Christian was a Senior Consultant in staffing management in Paris for 8 years, providing high quality services for his candidates as well as for his company clients. He’s excited to bring his multicultural skills and perspectives to the Circle team as he also speaks Spanish thanks to his Colombian wife. Friends with a couple who went through surrogacy and uncle of 5 nephews, he understands the challenges and tremendous joy to have a baby. Christian is excited to have joined Circle and the Coordination team.
Lauren Muscarella, Digital Marketing Manager
Lauren has over eight years of experience in marketing and publishing. She graduated from American University with a degree in journalism and a double minor in film production and marketing. Her career began as email marketing and online products like webinars and Web videos started to take off as vehicles for greater brand awareness. Through a strategic social media campaign, she successfully funded, and founded, the non-profit Trauma to Art in 2011. Beyond her work experience, Lauren has a keen eye and an innate ability to know what works and what doesn't. Her greatest passion is writing compelling content. Wyatt-MacKenzie published Lauren's first book Alice's Law in February 2015.
Jennifer Skarinka, Manager of Travel and Events
ircle, Jennifer plays a pivotal role in Circle's marketing and branding efforts. She manages all aspects of Circle's domestic and international group meetings, educational seminars, trade shows and conferences. In addition and as part of Circle's marketing team, she contributes to Circle's media and community outreach, corporate marketing material, and provides content across all digital platforms. As Executive Assistant to President of Circle, John Weltman, and Executive Vice President, Cliff Atkins, Jennifer provides administrative and time management support as well as being responsible for reviewing all incoming legal agreements and contracts. Jennifer received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with a minor in Anthropology/Sociology from Plymouth State College.
Melissa Torto, Attorney
Melissa received her Bachelor's degree from Stonehill College, cum laude, and went on to receive her law degree from Suffolk University Law School, cum laude. At Suffolk Law, Melissa was an Executive Board Member of the Suffolk University Transnational Law Review, and her piece about international child custody rights under the Hague Convention was published in Volume 37 of the Law Review. Melissa is licensed to practice law in Massachusetts. She joined Circle in 2016 with a litigation background, after interning for two years at law firms in Boston. She now assists clients in drafting and negotiating surrogate and egg donor agreements, addresses insurance issues and appeals, and assists intended parents with establishing parental rights through adoptions.
Anne Watson, Program Coordinator
Anne was a former Case Manager at Circle from 2006-2008. She moved from Boston to Tulsa, Oklahoma to marry her husband and become a mom to her two beautiful children. She spent the last 6 years working at an IVF clinic in financial counseling, insurance, and egg donor coordination. She became a surrogate herself in 2014 and delivered a baby girl in July of this year. The experience of being a surrogate led her back to rejoin the Circle team as a Program Coordinator. She hopes that her broad areas of experience personally and professionally will help guide others on their own journey.
Nancy Weatherby, Outreach Coordinator
Nancy has had two beautiful children through the surrogacy process. The joy that her children have brought her, coupled with the amazingly successful journeys she experienced, instilled in her the desire to help other couples, egg donors, and surrogates achieve the same joy.
Eva Yu, Chinese Liaison
Eva earned a bachelor’s degree in economics and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance and marketing from SUNY - Stony Brook. Originally from Hong Kong, she moved to the United States with her family when she was a teenager. Eva is fluent in English, Mandarin and Cantonese. As the Chinese Liaison at Circle, Eva works with Chinese intended parents to guide them through the surrogacy process and ensure they understand Circle’s values and culture. She feels passionate about the role that she plays in facilitating intended parents’ care in their surrogacy journey.
Dory Ziperstein, MPH, LCSW, Program Manager
Dory received her Master of Social Work and Master of Public Health degrees from Boston University. During graduate school, Dory worked in the OB/GYN department at a major Boston hospital, where she counseled and provided support to women pre and postpartum, and worked with them and their families through the joys and struggles of childbirth. Dory also spent time working in Guatemala as a Public Health Educator for expectant mothers. Dory is thrilled to be a part of the Circle team, and to assist families and individuals on their journeys to creating and expanding their families.