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Leadership Circle

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Cyneatha Millsaps

Executive Director +

Midwest Regional Representative

Cyneatha is a wife, mother, grandmother, pastor, community advocate, quilter, and golfer - just to name a few - who lives in Elkhart, IN. Cyneatha was drawn to MW USA because of its history and the power it exemplified of women making a way out of no way. She is passionate about women’s voices and seeks to make sure all women regardless of age, race, socio-economic class, or education are heard and treated with the same level of respect.

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Suzanne Ayer Lay

Communications Director

Suzanne named her two young daughters after their foremothers and they can often be found reading or biking together. She learned knitting from her mom who learned it from her mom and she loves dancing like her paternal grandmother. Suzanne got involved with MW USA for the chance to walk with women, learn from them and facilitate their learning from each other. She hopes she can contribute as much as she receives furthering this vital ministry that engages the prophetic voice of women to see God more fully and come ever closer to realizing God's loving and peaceful imagination.

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Jenny Gehman

East Coast Regional Representative

Jenny Gehman lives in Millersville, PA and serves as MWUSA's East Coast Regional Representative. Jenny is a freelance writer, spiritual director, and retreat facilitator who is passionate about ministries to women that create community and cultivate hope. She is delighted to contribute alongside others who are doing the same. Jenny and her husband Dan have one biological son, but hundreds more they've loved on through their decades of work with international students. Jenny is a firm believer in the wild, wide-open, warm-hearted welcome of God, our "Holy Host," and believes it is at God’s table we are healed and made whole. 

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Yvonne Diaz

Trustee

Yvonne Diaz is a trustee for Mennonite Women USA. Although she worked in engineering for a number of years, the last 25 years were devoted to working for various Anabaptist-related agencies. She is a member of Comunidad de Vida congregation. She and her husband currently live in Terlingua, Texas near the Mexican border and own a construction company. They are the parents of 5 adult children and have 6 grandsons and 3 great-grandsons.

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Brooke Oyana

Trustee

Brooke lives in Philadelphia, PA. She shares invaluable institutional knowledge, having served MW USA as Administrative Assistant for over five years. She is now a Trustee. Brooke is super-duper Mennonite—as ethnically Mennonite as one can get! She was a Bible and religion major at Goshen College, and loves doing theology. Being part of Mennonite Women USA fits her perfectly since she's both Mennonite and feminist, and she loves being part of God's work. She and her husband have two young children.

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Rhoda Keener

Sister Care Director

Rhoda Keener is the Sister Care Director for Mennonite Women USA.  She has also worked as a psychotherapist and a university psychology instructor. Rhoda has long believed that the church can be a place of healing and hope. She is an active member of Hebron Mennonite Church. She and her husband Bob live in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania and are the parents of three adult children and have four grandsons. 

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Nelly Ascencio

Northwest Regional Representative

elly is an active member of Ministerios Restauración, in Portland, OR. She is very involved at her church and has a strong leadership. She has been moderator of Concilio De Iglesias Anabautista del Noroeste-CIHAN and has volunteered with MCC for four years. Nelly feels it is a privilege to be a part of this ministry (MW USA) and also feels blessed, being a part of this amazing leadership and working with talented, wonderful women.

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Erica Lea-Simka

Southwest Regional Representative

Erica [she/her] is a pastor[a], wifey, amma, advocate, writer, furmom, homechef, peacebuilder, herbivore, bookworm, spoonie, nun-groupie, eco-feminist, and powerwalker. She has served as Pastor of Albuquerque Mennonite Church since 2017, previously serving mostly Baptist congregations. Erica makes her home with her interfaith family in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is excited to serve MW USA because she believes a community of empowered women is unstoppable in our collective quest for peacebuilding and equity!

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Marlene McKitrick

Trustee

After living for many years in Colorado and New Mexico, Marlene and her husband recently moved to Texas. She has worked as a therapeutic foster parent and in early child education. Marlene has 4 adult children and 5 grand children. Since moving to Texas, Marlene has been volunteering with asylum seekers at San Antonio Mennonite church and attending  Austin Mennonite church. She’s been exploring the connections between nature and our present day stress and continues to support our young children. 

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