Every single member on our Core team has something unique to offer to the diversity of our organization, so read up on how they found themselves drawn to DTI. Their stories may inspire you to seek your own personal legend!
Co-founder and Executive Director
Tara Brooke has attended hundreds of births and has been working with pregnant women since 2000. She helps new families in major cities and small towns across the U.S. with a mindful, holistic, evidence based approach through her company Power of Birth.
Tara’s love of business surfaced through her work as a doula. Her passion for birth work called her to also create a sustainable doula practice backed with solid business acumen. An entrepreneur was born.
She has since created a corporate wellness program bridging the gap between maternity/paternity leave and helping executives transition Back-to-Work. She is also the creator of BirthPods which mentors and inspires birth workers across the globe to launch and grow their birth based biz into long lasting careers.
Tara is one of the co-founders of DTI and a doula trainer and mentor. She is the mother of three children, the wife of a corporate anthropologist and a native New Yorker that now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Tara has been heard speaking about the role of the doula at events hosted by Big City Moms, Baby Bites, Destination Maternity and Mom Talk Radio. She has been listed in several resource guides and news articles including City Baby, MyCityBaby.com, Urbanbaby.com, TimeOut Kids New York, The New York Guide to a Healthy Birth, The New York Times, Babble, Marin Mommies and The Family Groove.
Co-founder and Creative Director
Gina Giordano has supported hundreds of families unconditionally, holistically and with a full heart since 2005. Since a young age, she has always had two passions in her life; supporting women through childbirth and alternative medicine. Through her company, Bella Belly, she offers families the support and evidence based information needed to approach birth in a mindful and holistic way.
She is certified through Lamaze International and has additional training through many herbal workshops, therapeutic grade essential oil trainings, one on one apprenticeships, and The Farm’s Midwifery Assistant Training. She served as Co-Director on the Metropolitan Doula Group and Director of the Brooklyn Doula Group during her seven years living in New York City.
Gina is one of the co-founders of DTI, a doula trainer and mentor. She is eternally grateful and passionate about creating a unique program that provides knowledge and support to new doulas as they take their first steps on the journey to supporting women and changing the culture of birth.
Gina is the oldest of five children in a loud, beautiful and loving Italian family. She is the honored mother of two daughters and is married to her lifelong sweetheart, who works as a film editor. They currently live in Austin, TX and when she is not working or with her family, she enjoys spending time practicing yoga, connecting with friends and curating the aesthetics of life.
Malika has been a birth worker since 2008. She spent several years working with the Philadelphia Alliance for Labor Support (PALS), providing childbirth education and support to women with limited financial resources. Malika moved to the DC metro Area, in 2011 and began working as The DC Doula. Through her company, she continues to support families in need and to provide evidence based education and resources to her community. With the help of an amazing doula and her husband, Malika peacefully navigated 50 hours of active labor that resulted in the birth of a fantastic little boy. In her spare time, Malika enjoys practicing yoga, studying herbalism, and learning about natural healing. In her other career, Malika obtained Masters degrees in Social Work and Education from Columbia University and Baruch College in New York City.
Childbirth Education Director
After graduating with a degree in journalism and nearly 10 years in the corporate world, the birth of two babies fueled Jenny’s desire to pursue her own small business as a childbirth educator. In 2012 she founded her company Expecting the Best and began offering Hypnobabies classes. Not long after, the path to being a doula became evident.
Supporting students at their births was an easy fit, but it felt like just the beginning of the story. Shortly after attending her first birth, Jenny discovered Doula Trainings International and pursued their Power of Two: Birth and Postpartum certification. The importance of compassionate care for all birthing people drives Jenny’s passion to spread the word about DTI’s unique training model, not only within her city of D.C. but across the U.S.
She lives in northern Virginia with her husband of 13 years, daughter Avery, son Liam and their rat terrier Norah.
Retreat and Online Program Director
Kara came to DTI in January of 2016 eager to immerse herself in all things doula. She left training with a new understanding and passion for supporting people through pregnancy, childbirth, and early parenthood. Her background in nonprofit management and training in elementary education and fine and performing arts lends to her creative and organized approach to her work. She is eager to bring her passions together to support new and experienced doulas alike in DTI’s online program.
Social Media Coordinator
A first generation Romanian American, Larisa Manescu is a writer based in Austin, Texas with a journalism background and an activist heart. She believes in the power of collective personal testimony to shatter stigma surrounding “touchy” topics, especially in regards to sex education. She’s grateful to work with an organization that is deeply self-reflective about its mission, persistent in providing doula opportunities for all, and unwavering in the truth that feminism must be intersectional in nature or else it serves to uphold oppression.
Cheyenne Varner is a doula, designer, photographer, and writer in Richmond, Virginia. Her passion for design and birth collide in an online shop of educational materials for birth workers, The Educated Birth. Whether solo, or collaboratively, Cheyenne seeks to pursue all of her work with excellence, authenticity, and grace.
Christina Clark, CD (DTI) has recently begun training as a GentleBirth childbirth instructor, completed 100% Doula business training and Spinning Babies training, and is involved in her community through the Alabama Birth Coalition. When she’s not working directly on birth work, she is a sexual health educator with with the Alabama Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, ensuring knowledge, skills, and access for Alabama’s young people.
Christina has her Masters of Public Policy from the University of Northern Iowa and her Bachelor of Science in Political Science from the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Christina lives with her partner, Matt, and their two dogs, Scout and Raines. When not working, Christina can be found in yoga class, knitting, reading, or enjoying a glass of wine. She loves to travel, and is fortunate to have family and friends spread throughout the world.