Leadership and Staff

Meet our Staff


Therese Picture 2

Thérèse Hak-Kuhn

Executive Director & Workshop Instructor

Thérèse has worked professionally with pregnant women since 1992 as a midwife’s assistant, professional birth doula, prenatal counselor, childbirth educator and breastfeeding consultant. She has attend over 800 births at home and the hospital as both assistant to the midwife as well as labor support in the hospital She  is facilitator of a Home Birth Circle and a Postpartum Circle, as well as, a birth activist group in her community. She is the former Executive Director of Birth Matters VA, a non-profit consumer organization in Virginia. She began teaching birth doula workshops for ALACE in 1996, having taught approximately 4000 women (and some men) all over the continental US, Hawaii and Canada. Thérèse is the mother of 6 children and lives with her wonderful partner, Paul. Her first birth was an unmedicated hospital birth and her following births were attended at home by midwives. Her prior education and pursuits pale and take a back seat to her life education and experiences. She finds all of her work an honor and a privilege. Thérèse offers Skype or telephone consultations and is available for speaking and specialized teaching. For further details, contact toLabor@gmail.com.


sarah1Sarah Allen-Short

Assistant Director & Workshop Instructor

Sarah is a toLabor-trained doula and a full-time marketing and communications professional with a deep expertise in birth advocacy and education. As a result of personal experience, training, education, and attending births in all settings, Sarah is deeply committed to the toLabor philosophy that there is room for compassion at every birth. Sarah and her husband Adam have two children, Ruby and Luke.




Nicole Sofranko

Workshop Coordinator

Nicole’s entrance into the birth-work community began with her attendance at a toLabor workshop taught by Thérèse. The road she would take from there led to becoming a workshop sponsor and later to the workshop coordinator. She believes, to her core, in the toLabor mission and organization.  As a Women’s Studies graduate, she is an advocate for women’s rights including those within pregnancy, birth and postpartum. In addition to working for toLabor, Nicole is a doula, President of a non-profit that provides doulas to at risk women, ICAN leader and childbirth educator. Nicole lives in Central Ohio with her husband David and is the mother of three sons, her third son being a homebirth after two cesarean. She loves to travel and visits the ocean as often as possible.



Karen Evans

Business Consultant

Karen received a BS in Finance at Virginia Commonwealth University in 1983 and entered the world of finance. In 1987, she left the corporate world to pursue various entrepreneurial interests, which included Kid Knits, a knit-to -order sweater business and Karen’s Errands, a personal errand service company. From 1992 until 1996, she and a partner owned and operated, “The Corner,” a restaurant and coffee shop in downtown Richmond which quickly gained widespread acclaim for its excellence, and ambiance. She formed “Karen Evans, LLC.” and currently focuses on small business accounting and bookkeeping. Karen lives in Richmond VA, is married, and has three children. She enjoys gardening, reading, knitting, crocheting, cooking and taking walks with her dogs and husband.


grace11Grace Kuhn

Social Media & Promotion

Grace attended VCU in Richmond, Virginia with studies concentrated in the department of the Arts and Humanities. She was born at home and was present for the home births of her 2 younger siblings. She has been surrounded by birth work her entire life and attended her first doula training in 2006. She currently lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and dog, Bella.




Melanie Bio PicMelanie Headley

Podcast Co-Host & Workshop Instructor

After taking the toLabor training  in 2008, Melanie developed a CBE curriculum called A Brighter Birth and soon after became a toLabor Certified Professional Doula. Following her passion for supporting women and families, she then pursued a certification in Lactation Counseling in order to expand her scope of practice. When Melanie is not working with toLabor and her clients at A Brighter Birth, she serves as a Patient Recruiter and Facilitator for CenteringPregnancy at a local hospital, working to improve birth outcomes within the Richmond VA community. Melanie is married and is a mother of 4 as well as fully immersed in birth work.


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