NEDC Baby Counter: 787
The National Embryo Donation Center Board of Directors oversees the NEDC. Our board members come from a lot of different backgrounds. They also have different interests. But what unites them is the desire to help couples complete their families through embryo adoption. To learn more about our board members, read their bios below.
Missions Pastor and Administrator, Christ Covenant Presbyterian Church
Paul (Andy) Halbert and wife Renée live in Knoxville where Andy serves as Missions Pastor and Administrator of Christ Covenant Presbyterian Church, and Renée teaches 1st grade at Concord Christian School. Andy and Renée have three married sons, all of whom are serving in cross-cultural missions in various locations around the world. They are grateful to God for nine grandchildren, two of whom are adopted, and three of whom are embryo-adopted.
Andy and Renée met at Columbia International University in Columbia, South Carolina and were married in 1975. Their mutual desire and passion for world missions led them to 14 years of cross-cultural ministry with Mission Aviation Fellowship, serving in Honduras, Central America.
Upon return to the US in 1995, Andy accepted his current position with Christ Covenant Presbyterian Church.
Retired Public Relations Professional
Marti Bailey is a former Public Relations Manager and blogger for the NEDC. She is a graduate of East Tennessee State University, where she received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with a concentration in Marketing.
After seven years of infertility (the same amount of time the embryos were frozen), Marti and her husband, Brian, were blessed with embryo-adopted twins through the NEDC. They knew God had a plan for them the whole time but weren’t sure how it would all unfold. Answered prayers came in the form of not only two tiny babies, but a beautiful relationship with another family through open adoption. Marti and Brian are very grateful for the NEDC and it is their desire for this blessing to be lavished on others who desire a larger family.
Attorney, Partner, Pryor Priest & Harber
Stephen Gillman joined the law firm of Pryor Priest & Harber in 2003, became an associate in 2005, and became a partner of the firm in 2017. He is a graduate of The University of Tennessee (B.A. Political Science, 2002, Summa Cum Laude) and The University of Tennessee College of Law (J.D., 2005, Cum Laude), where he concentrated in the school’s Advocacy and Dispute Resolution program.
He is a member of the Knoxville Bar Association, where he serves on its Membership Committee, and he is a member of the Tennessee Bar Association. In the community, he served as instructor for the Farragut High School Mock Trial team between 2008 and 2012 and is proud to serve as an advisor to the Career and Technical Services Department for Lenoir City High School. Stephen has also contributed as a guest legal expert on WBIR 10 News Weekend on Saturday mornings and has been a commentator on Newstalk 98.7. Mr. Gillman was proud to be selected to the 2015 and 2016 mid-south Super Lawyers Rising Stars list, which is peer nominated.
Stephen and his wife, Katie, have one daughter.
Medical Director, Southeastern Fertility Center
Dr. Jeffrey Keenan, a highly respected specialist in infertility and reproductive medicine, leads the NEDC team. He is the center’s medical director and a fertility specialist at the Southeastern Fertility Center in Knoxville, TN. He is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
Dr. Keenan is also a professor at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine and is director of the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. He has been in practice since 1990 and has performed innumerable fertility procedures with outstanding success rates. To get to know Dr. Keenan better through an in-depth conversation with master interviewer Hallerin Hilton Hill, click here.
Retired Biotechnology Executive
Cathy LaSorsa is a retired marketing professional within the biotechnology industry. She earned her MBA from Northwestern’s Kellogg School of Management, and has led the launch of new products to the marketplace with both Eli Lilly and Company and Genentech, Inc.
Her professional areas of expertise are far-reaching, including market research, brand management, patient education, payer coverage, FDA labeling, contract negotiations, manufacturing and distribution.
From a personal perspective, Cathy and her husband, Scott, are very familiar with -and thankful for- the NEDC. In 2010, through prayer and the open adoption process, their family was matched with a donor couple that gifted them two embryos. Today, along with their three older children, they are joyful parents of vibrant twin daughters. The entire family now feels complete and totally blessed. Their goal is for widespread awareness of the opportunity and happiness that comes through embryo donation and adoption.
Pastor of Worship, First Baptist Concord
Jeff Lawrence and his wife Lisa, son Jacob and daughter Kate live in Knoxville, where Jeff serves as Pastor of Worship and Spiritual Development at First Baptist Concord. Having grown up in Orlando, Jeff has been a part of many Disney projects through the years – including time as the host for The Super Star Television Show.
Before coming to Knoxville, Jeff served as Pastor of Worship and Creative Arts at First Orlando for 11 years. He led the church and expansive staff during an explosive growth season there.
Jeff has been a conference speaker for many venues, including Music California, Music Seminar in the Rockies, Worship Expo Florida, Liberty University and most recently served as Steering Committee Chair for The Experience Conference.
Jeff is currently creating an online instructional series for the new Praise and Worship Institute in the areas of leadership, vision casting and worship leadership. Over the past two years, Jeff has served as the Executive Producer for two new worship projects: Fear Not & Face of God. These projects featured all original writing, arranging and production.
Executive Director, Women’s Fund of East Tennessee
Prior to her current role as the first Director of the Women’s Fund of East Tennessee, Terry served as National Foundations Director for the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association, 2010 through 2012; President and CEO of her own consulting company, Philanthropy Does Matter, 2008- ongoing; and Senior Vice President and Executive Director, then President and CEO of the Baptist Health System Foundation in Knoxville, 1993 – 2008.
Terry is a trusted, certified executive with a legacy of success in developing and managing large multi-system foundations, developing more than $100 million, with recognized ability to develop leadership and community benefit collaborations through relationship building and creative and strategic stewardship of resources.
She was a board member and frequent speaker at national and regional fundraising conferences
and seminars and was published in 2005. Prior to joining ETF, in her role at Baptist Health System Foundation, she successfully developed a Who’s Who board, more than 800 volunteers and 22 community collaborations. Her work culminated with the regional AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals) presenting her the “2007 Foundation of the Year” award in recognition of the foundation’s growth, leadership and contribution to the region.
Terry is a lifelong student and in addition to attending the University of Central Oklahoma, she received her Fund Raising School Certification at the University of Wisconsin Graduate School of Business and CFRE (Certified Fund Raising Executive) international mastery certification.
Her pride and joy are her family. She is married to Bruce C. Morgan, President and CEO of Synergy Insurance Group of Knoxville. They have four talented adult children, Lauren Upshaw Eastham, Victor Upshaw, Tara Morgan DeLozier and Matthew Morgan, who have blessed them with four adorable grandchildren, Davis and Averi Eastham and Ava and Leighton Upshaw.
As a longtime community leader in this area, Terry is thrilled with the opportunity to work with and develop an amazing Women’s Fund board to break down barriers for women and girls in 25 counties in East Tennessee focusing on life skills, work skills and education while advocating against domestic violence. The Women’s Fund model is unique in that is one of the few funds in this region working collectively with philanthropists to research, vet, report and seek input, prior to funding exemplary organizations. The Women’s Fund is about creating self-sufficiency for women. In just two years of granting the fund has provided $158,750 to eight organizations serving all 25 counties. The endowment now has over $2.1 million, with an operating fund of $158,000.
Vice President of Communications, Christian Medical & Dental Associations
Margie Shealy serves as Vice President for Communications for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations. She joined CMDA in 2002 with 22 years of experience in media and public relations.
She was previously employed as Director of Marketing and Communications at Wellmont Health System in Kingsport, Tennessee. Among her many responsibilities with the health care system, she produced the Children’s Miracle Network Broadcast for 14 years.
Prior to her tenure at Wellmont Health System, she was the production manager for WJHL-TV, where she was responsible for all aspects of production for news, advertising and promotions.
In her role at Christian Medical & Dental Associations, she assists in the production of Today’s Christian Doctor, Christian Doctor’s Digest and multiple newsletters. In her tenure at CMDA, she has developed CMDA grassroots campaigns in the states of California, Hawaii, Michigan, Missouri, Vermont and Washington with CMDA members to stop physician-assisted suicide, cloning and embryonic stem cell research. She also has oversight of CMDA’s web content and development.
She is serving a third term on the board for the NEDC.
Margie is a graduate of East Tennessee State University, where she received a Bachelor of Mass Communications degree. In 2012 she was inducted into ETSU’s Department of Communications Hall of Fame.
Margie and her husband, Donnie, have one daughter, Faith, who is also a Communications graduate from ETSU.
Executive Director, Bethany Christian Services Knoxville
Lauren Wilson serves as Branch Director and Church Liaison for Bethany Christian Services in Knoxville.
Lauren received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology in 2004 and then a Master of Science in Social Work in 2006 from the University of Tennessee. She grew up in the Powell area and has lived in or near Knoxville her whole life.
Lauren worked at Bethany Christian Services for about a decade as a pregnancy counselor and adoption specialist before undertaking her current role overseeing the operations of the East Tennessee programs. She also works closely with area churches in developing ministries for adoption, foster care, and Safe Families for Children. Lauren enjoys spending time with her husband Sammy and their two young boys.