Board of Directors
Cori Simmons, President
Cori started her career in research and engineering and has held various senior management positions in organizations across the United States, Switzerland, and Hong Kong. Her roles spanned technology, sales, and marketing. With two decades of corporate experience, Cori moved on to join the Board of Directors at Stand Up in 2017. As the president of the board, Cori has been instrumental in guiding the direction of Stand Up for APA and its objectives.
Apart from being a corporate leader, Cori is also a mother who had a child with genetic complications that were unknown to her baby, Nicole’s birth. She later found out that there was a more accurate test that could have given her and her doctors earlier insights into Nicole’s medical condition. As someone with a research and engineering background, she was disappointed to learn that even though the latest prenatal genetic technology is available, not all mother’s have access to it.
Cori strongly believes in the importance of prenatal genetic testing so that parents learn early about their child’s genetic condition, so they can prepare, and give their child the very best start in life possible.
Karla Dennis, Board Member
A biologist by education, Karla comes with extensive experience in healthcare spanning 15 years. Particularly for the last decade or so, she has been working in the insurance industry and held managerial positions across different departments including operations and policy making. As a board member, Karla connects with relevant people, organizations, and associations to help remove limitations on insurance coverage.
This organization is close to her heart and Karla is personally attached to the cause. When she was pregnant, her baby had certain genetic complications which caused her to miscarry in her second trimester. This shook her as a mother and most importantly, as a professional in the insurance industry. Karla found out that she received an older prenatal genetic test that is often wrong, and that her insurance company policy had prevented her from getting a newer more accurate test. As someone who has worked in the insurance business, Karla saw first-hand how insurance policies prevent many pregnant women from availing accurate and timely prenatal screening.
As a contributing member to the board of Stand Up, Karla strives to remove such limitations and allow all women to have the most accurate information on the prenatal health of their baby.
Danielle Smith, Board Member
Danielle has worked as a consultant across the United States and in other different countries including South Africa, Belgium, and the United Kingdom. For more than a decade, Danielle has been engaged in a personal capacity to address issues on women’s health, leading her to join Stand Up for APA in 2018. As one of the board members of the association, Danielle has dedicated herself to promoting better prenatal care and encourage a healthier pregnancy.
Danielle is the mother of a child with Down syndrome. When Danielle was pregnant, she did not have the remotest knowledge or the idea of such possibilities, in younger mother’s like herself. Her newborn experience with her baby was devastating as she prepared emotionally to accept the news. In addition, instead of relishing the first few months of her baby’s life, she had to make life-saving decisions to address cardiac issues that her son John was born with. John is doing well today, but she wishes she had known sooner so that she could have prepared much earlier. If she had a chance to avail to more accurate prenatal screening, she could have prepared emotionally and had time to work with her healthcare team in proactively planning for her son’s eventual surgeries.
While it as too late for her, Danielle resolved that this should not happen to any other women. This transpired into her involvement as a board member since 2018. She believes that every woman has the right to a well-informed understanding of the health of their baby.
Cheryl Lewis, Board Member
Cheryl has she spent 12 years working in design and marketing for prominent retail brands. At Stand Up, Cheryl takes the lead in encouraging women to stand up for their rights to quality healthcare and safe pregnancy.
Cheryl is a proud mother of two wonderful children with her husband Brent. However, before these children, Cheryl was pregnant with her first child and suffered a painful miscarriage. She had no knowledge early in her pregnancy that anything was wrong. Her experience drives her to be an integral part of Stand Up and motivate hundreds of women to have knowledge and information, in order to avoid such mishaps.
Amy Williams, Board Member
Amy is the founder and owner of a brand and communications agency. Apart from driving brand growth, Amy also contributes to numerous websites and online publications, addressing issues related to career and health of women. In 2018, she joined the board of directors and has been responsible marketing and communications ever since.
Amy is married to her husband Simon and together they serve on the board of multiple charities. Amy’s involvement comes as a result of her personal experience. She lost a child during the early stages of her pregnancy due to a genetic abnormality. She understands what a woman goes through when she doesn’t have the right knowledge or information early on. A late stage miscarriage is emotionally tormenting particularly for women that thought that their pregnancy was progressing smoothly.
With this thought, Amy ensures that Stand Up spreads the message of accurate information about the prenatal health of their baby for all women.