Speakers at the 2020 Tel Aviv Surrogacy and Fertility Conference
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התיעצויות אישיות
דף ראשי

Conference Speakers / דוברי הכנס

Panel Speakers / משתתפים בפאנלים

Victoria Ferrara, Esq.

As the Founder & Legal Director of Worldwide Surrogacy, Vicki leads the agency with a passion for law and the family formation process. She brings over 25 years of experience practicing assisted reproductive technology law and surrogacy law to help people make their dreams of family come true - just as hers have. She and her spouse, Michelle Loris, have two sons, Sal and Nick. Vicki has been practicing assisted reproductive technology, surrogacy, and family law for over 25 years, and serves as the Founder & Managing Partner of Ferrara Law Group, PC. One of Vicki’s greatest achievements is the landmark decision of Raftopol v. Ramey, a Supreme Court case that created a new way to establish legal parentage in Connecticut. The case determined that an Intended Parent was granted rights to a child via a valid gestational agreement regardless of genetic connection to the child to be born to the gestational surrogate. 

Steven H. Snyder, Esq.

Steven H. Snyder, Esq., is the founding and principal partner of Steven H. Snyder & Associates, and he is the Director IARC Surrogacy a full-service surrogacy agency, both located in the U.S. in Minnesota. Mr. Snyder is an active leader in numerous professional organizations, including RESOLVE, the American Fertility Association, the American Society of Reproductive Medicine, and the American Bar Association Assisted Reproductive Technology Committee. Mr. Snyder is the author of numerous articles and continuing legal education materials. He is also a frequent national and international lecturer and continuing legal education presenter in the area of assisted reproductive technology law. Mr. Snyder regularly contributes to various media interviews and publications as a legal expert in assisted reproduction and third-party reproduction legal issues.

Virginia Hart

As founder and CEO of ART Risk Financial and Insurance Solutions, Inc.  Virginia Hart is an insurance agent with over 25 years’ experience, specializing in insurance for all aspects of assisted reproduction since 2001.  Virginia is a community leader with an extensive breadth of knowledge, expertise, and passion for the Assisted Reproductive Technology field. Ms. Hart is a frequent guest lecturer at the ABA Family Law section and New York LGBT Center conferences, as well as SEEDS Brown Paper Bag series events.  Additionally, she serves on the MHB Advisory Circle.  Virginia, successfully and diligently, develops products and cost management solutions in the ART community. The insurance world is ever changing and as such, she remains current on insurance issues utilizing commercial insurance, specialty products, and financial case management options for her clients.  Virginia expresses: “Helping to find financial solutions for people passionate about creating a family is one of my greatest joys.  Seeing their dreams come true drives me forward in finding the best solutions to continue to create families.”

Said T. Daneshmand, MD, FACOG

Dr. Daneshmand is specialty board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and sub-specialty board certified in Reproductive Endocrinology. He serves on the board of several surrogacy advocacy groups. He has collaborated to develop in vitro fertilization (IVF) protocols to improve pregnancy rates, including PTEC (post-thaw extended culture), which is one of the most successful IVF regimens currently available. These groundbreaking findings were published in the internationally respected medical journal, Fertility and Sterility, where Dr. Daneshmand also served as a reviewer. As a leading physician in fertility care at San Diego Fertility Center, intended parents have travelled from more than 40 countries in 2019 alone to seek his help in their journey to parenthood.  He was the Principal Investigator in the Multi-Center Global research trial of non-invasive PGT-A, the latest technique for assessing embryonic genetic health without the need for embryo biopsy.

Dawn Baker

Dawn Baker is the founder and Director of US Surrogacy LLC. She enjoys her family of three amazing young adult children and traveling with her husband. An ardent supporter of the ability to have a family, much of her passion for surrogacy comes from her experience as an infertility patient and her 5 year journey to have her second son. Dawn brings significant work experience from the legal field, having worked as a paralegal for 20 years. Prior to her legal career, she served as a Personnel Specialist in the US Army and as Assistant to the Personnel Director on Yokota Air Base, Japan. She believes that an inherit desire for a family is within many of us and we are blessed to have the options in our society to realize that desire. She is passionate about the ability to help parents throughout the world as they follow their dream to build or grow their family!

Brandon J. Bankowski, MD, MPH

Dr. Bankowski is one of the most-respected and experienced physicians helping LGBTQ intended parents build their families through donor egg surrogacy. He is a board-certified reproductive endocrinologist with extensive experience in IVF, egg donation, surrogacy and genomics. He has practiced at ORM Fertility since 2005. He and his partners at ORM Fertility have helped LGBTQ intended parents from across the world build their families. Dr. Bankowski is passionate about providing ORM Fertility's patients the best care and the highest chance for success on their first attempt, while looking after the genetic health of their family. His vision led to the formation of ORM’s industry-leading reproductive genomics program, as well as the integration of advanced genetic screening of all donors in ORM’s donors program. He is committed to helping LGBTQ intended parents using donor egg surrogacy benefit from the latest advances in genetic screening to help them have the best chance of a healthy baby on their first attempt.

Scott Buckley

Scott Buckley is the Vice President of Client Services at Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation, LLC. He received his bachelors at Boston College and his law degree from Boston College Law School. In his current role as the Vice President of Client Services, Scott oversees the Circle team, as well as serving clients. He enjoys meeting with Intended Parents, whether in Boston, on Skype, or in their hometowns throughout the United States, Europe, and Australia. Scott has moderated and presented on panels focused on different aspects of surrogacy and egg donation; including legal, budgeting and insurance across the world. He has been recognized as a Rising Star by Super Lawyers each year since 2012.

Sara R. Cohen, LLB

Sara R. Cohen, LL.B. is one of Canada’s leading fertility law lawyers, and is based in Toronto, with Fertility Law Canada, with clients throughout the world.  She has assisted thousands of intended parents build their families through egg donation and surrogacy in Canada.  She is a passionate and compassionate advocate for her clients. Sara was recently named by Canadian Lawyer Magazine as one of the Top 25 Most Influential Lawyers in Canada.  She is on the board of directors of the Canadian Fertility and Andrology Society, is the past president of Fertility Matters Canada, a fellow of the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys (AAAA), an adjunct professor of reproductive law at Osgoode Hall Law School, and on the executive of the American Bar Association’s Family Law Committee on Assisted Reproductive Technologies. Sara loves what she does, cares about her clients, and it shows! You can read more at www.fertilitylawcanada.com.

Marjorie E. Dixon, MD, FRCSC, FACOG, REI

Dr. Dixon founded Anova Fertility & Reproductive Health with the vision of a reproductive medicine centre where evidence-based medical care could be balanced with compassion for any person who requires assistance to create their families. With over 18 years of reproductive health experience, Dr. Dixon has taken the approach of educating to empower – with both patients and peers. In addition to presenting at international conferences, she is involved in physician/community outreach, offering lectures and information sessions to facilitate patients' management through the often challenging process of dealing with infertility. To further public education, Dr. Dixon was involved in developing a documentary for the Discovery Channel, looking at the human reproductive system. She is a staunch advocate for women's health and the right to a family for the LGBTQ community. In 2018 she won the RBC Canadian Women of Influence Momentum Award and, in 2017, was recognized as the YMCA Woman of Distinction.  In 2020/2021, Dr. Dixon is proud to be a Perspectives Columnist for the organization Women of Influence.

Michal Dviri, MD

Dr. Dviri completed her medical training in Israel. She received her medical degree (MD) from Ben Gurion university of the Negev and did her Obstetrics & Gynecology residency at Sheba medical center, affiliated to Tel Aviv University. Following residency, she practiced fertility for 2 years in one of the biggest IVF units in Israel, at Tel Aviv Sourasky medical center. She joined the CReATe Fertility Centre two years ago and since then she has helped many IP's and is also involved in some science and clinical research projects at the clinic.

Victoria Gelfand

Victoria Gelfand runs Israel's oldest and most experienced firm in the field of surrogacy abroad, which has successfully led the vast majority of related legal achievements. It’s also the only law firm outside North America which is a member of all major professional groups and societies in the field: the American Bar Association, the Academy of Adoption and Assisted Reproduction Attorneys, and SEEDS (Society for Ethics in Egg Donation and Surrogacy). The meaning of these memberships is compliance with the most stringent standards, and extensive networking with the most prominent attorneys in dozens of states in the US and in Canada. Combined with our diverse and intensive experience in the legal world and beyond, it allows us to provide our clients with the most comprehensive and individually-suited support throughout the process. Even after having assisted with over 350 surrogacy procedures, having accomplished naturalization and parentage of nearly 500 children and having executed hundreds of prenuptial and co-parenting agreements since 2004, we continue to see each of our clients as a whole world.

Nir Keren

Nir Keren is an entrepreneur, business development and marketing expert, whose professional path took an unexpected turn when embarking on his and his partner’s joint journey to parenthood. After experiencing first hand the obstacles and hardships international Intended Parents (IPs) had to endure; he made it his life mission to support IPs in achieving their dream of becoming parents. In the process Nir had discovered Canada as a stable, moral and feasible destination for surrogacy and vouched to assist more IPs obtain their goals there.  By now Nir has dedicated his life to supporting IP’s around the world in having a smooth and straight-forward journey in Canada. Through ‘Babies Come True’, a concierge service he established for international IP’s, Nir has already helped over 1,000 families on their surrogacy process. Nir and his husband Bob have recently welcomed their second baby via Canadian surrogacy and love to share their story with others.

Gad Lavy, MD, FACOG

Dr. Gad Lavy established the New England Fertility Institute as the first non-hospital-based outpatient IVF center in Connecticut. Thirty years and more than 10,000 babies later, he is a world-renowned expert in third-party reproduction and an outspoken advocate for surrogacy and egg donation. His clinic is based just an hour away from New York City. Dr. Lavy received his training at Hadassah Medical School at Hebrew University in Israel and completed his residency at Yale University School of Medicine, where he served on the medical faculty of the Department of OB/GYN. Before establishing New England Fertility, Dr. Lavy was an assistant professor in the Division of Reproductive Endocrinology at Yale University School of Medicine and served as the director of the program for assisted reproduction. Dr. Lavy is Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and Reproductive Endocrinology. He is a medical staff member in the Department of OB/GYN at Stamford Hospital, as well as a member of the American Society of Reproductive Medicine and the Society of Reproductive Surgeons.

Lori S. Meyers

Lori S. Meyers is a Partner of Meyers & O'Hara, and is a highly experienced reproductive attorney practicing in Los Angeles, California.   Lori first researched the area of surrogacy for a close friend in 1995 and never left the field.  Lori’s work in this area for more than 25 years offers exclusive insights into third party reproductive arrangements of many kinds, each one unique and specialized in its own way, requiring sound professional oversight to avoid pitfalls and problems.  Lori believes in building strong partnerships to ensure her cases run smoothly, and works hard to maintain a reputation for creating open and trusting relationships with her clients.  Lori has traveled extensively and spoken internationally to bring information regarding surrogacy to hundreds of families from all over the world.  She is proud of her membership in the American Academy of Adoption and Reproductive Technology Attorneys (AAARTA), the Academy of California Adoption-ART Lawyers and the Family Law Division of the American Bar Association.

Michelle Pine, former board member, chair of the Surrogates Advisory Committee

Michelle Pine is a special education teacher for students with mild disabilities at an alternative high school in Klamath Falls, Oregon, having previously taught special education and Language Arts in Portland. Michelle holds two Masters in Education from Concordia University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Eastern Oregon University. When not working, Michelle enjoys reading and writing and spending time with her family exploring Oregon. Michelle is a two-time surrogate.  In 2015 she carried boy/girl twins for a same-sex couple in Israel.  She delivered a baby girl in September 2017 for a mixed-status same-sex couple from San Francisco. Michelle and her husband have three amazing children, all who played an important role in both surrogacy journeys and have enjoyed being a part of helping others become a family.

Nurit Winkler, MD

Dr. Nurit Winkler is the co-founder and co-owner of Los Angeles Reproductive Center. She completed her training as a fertility specialist at Brown University School of Medicine and at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center where she earned multiple teaching and research awards. Dr. Winkler received her medical degree from the University of Pavia in Italy where she graduated with the highest distinction. After completing her training in both Europe and Israel, she moved to the US bringing with her expertise and unique approaches to fertility treatments especially in the field of egg donation and surrogacy. Dr. Winkler is in fact licensed to practice medicine on 3 different continents. With her unique international background and fluency in 3 languages Dr. Winkler treats regularly couples and singles from the LGBTQ community from all around the globe. Her ultimate goal as a fertility specialist is maintaining a high pregnancy rate which can only be achieved by combining advance technology, more than 15 years of experience in the field and personalized care.

MHB דוברי

Asaf Rosenheim, board member / treasurer

Asaf Rosenheim serves as the head of Business Development for family owned real estate practice, Profimex in Israel. Prior to joining Profimex he was a VP at Ares and served in the Israeli Army as a Medic Staff Sergeant. He graduated summa cum laude from Rutgers University with a BS in Business and Finance and received an MBA from the University of Pennsylvania's Wharton School. Asaf is married to Eric Patton and together they are parents to boy and girl twins born at the beginning of 2012 with the help of a surrogate who became a close friend. In the past, Asaf served at the Head of ‘Rutgers Newark Gay and Lesbian Alliance’, fostered and rehabilitated three rescue pit-bulls for ‘Earth Angels,’ a Bronx based non-profit canine rescue and taught yoga community classes. After speaking at Men Having Babies' workshop and facilitating in the formulation of The Gay Parenting Assistance Program and the 2013 New York annual seminar he joined the board in May 2013. Asaf is passionate about providing information and support to perspective parents on their journey to what he and his husband Eric see as the greatest gift that they have ever gotten, becoming parents.

Jenny Congiardo, Director of Operations

Jenny joined MHB in October 2017 and held several roles in the organization before being appointed as Director of Operations. She brings her many years of non-profit and corporate communications experience to help improve MHB’s efficiency and effectiveness, while drawing on her experience in the education field to help make every person’s experience with MHB rewarding and pleasant. Jenny received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Central Florida, and she enjoys living with her husband and two children among the happy faces in sunny Florida.

Sara Miller, Director of Business Development

Sara joined the Men Having Babies team in June of 2020 as the Director of Business Development. Her primary focus is to expand and strengthen strategic partnerships with fellow third party reproductive professionals, to allow continued growth and education of the Men Having Babies' mission. Sara has a Bachelor's Degree in Cell and Molecular Biology, and completed two years of an MD program at The University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine before opting to discontinue her medical studies to spend more time with her growing family. Sara spent 10 years doing consulting work for a leading biotech company, before working as a Case Manager followed by Program Director and COO for a surrogate and egg donation agency. Additionally, Sara is a one-time surrogate, delivering in 2019 for a same-sex couple in Spain.

Ron Poole-Dayan, board member / Executive Director

Ron is the executive director and founder of Men Having Babies. He has over 20 years of experience in marketing and business strategy development both in the USA and internationally. Ron earned his Masters degree in political economy and comparative politics from Columbia University, and his bachelor’s degree in business administration from the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Ron is married to Greg Poole-Dayan, the COO of the Wartburg, a leading provider of senior healthcare and residential services in NY. The couple met in 1994, and are among the first same-sex couples in the nation to father children through gestational surrogacy. The twins, born in 2001, were conceived with the use of eggs donated by Greg's sister, and carried by a gestational carrier. Ron has been the MHB program coordinator since 2005, and was appointed as the Executive Director of Men Having Babies upon its incorporation in July 2012.

Lisa Schuster, Director of Programming

Lisa joined the MHB team in January of 2018 as the Stage II GPAP Case Manager and has grown in her role to become the Programming Director. Lisa’s responsibilities include managing the Gay Parenting Assistance Program and Membership Benefits Program, developing and implementing content for educational programs, and working with partner organizations to help fulfill MHB’s mission. Lisa’s professional background is in business development and government contracting, and she also served as treasurer and financial planner for a local non-profit. Lisa was a gestational carrier twice for an international same sex male couple, and she lives with her husband and three children in Maryland.

Breakout Session Speakers / דוברים במפגשי ההיכרות

Susanna Park, MD

Dr. Park is a fertility doctor double board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility. She spent the first 10 years of her career as a fertility physician at Columbia University in New York City, considered to be one of the leading IVF programs in the USA. She joined the San Diego Fertility Center in 2012 where she combines her extensive experience as an infertility physician with personal care. In 2017, 2019, 2020, and again in 2021, Dr. Park was named "Top Doctor" by the San Diego County Medical Society (SDCMS) in San Diego Magazine.

Sam Hyde

Sam Hyde is the President of Circle Surrogacy & Egg Donation. Having experienced fertility challenges when starting his own family, Sam understands firsthand the importance of support and help to fulfill dreams of parenthood. Sam and his wife are now blessed with two beautiful girls with the help of IVF. Sam earned his undergraduate degree from Michigan State University and his MBA at the University of Michigan. He then spent time with both Deloitte Consulting and McKinsey & Company helping advise and build a variety of businesses. At Circle, Sam is responsible for the overall management of the business, including meeting with prospective parents during consults. He finds the most joy both in supporting Circle's staff in their own growth and in seeing the many beautiful baby pictures that come across his desk as a result of all the hard work from the team.

Erez Baron

Erez Baron is the Director of Patient Relations at ORM Fertility. Erez is a parent to two twin girls via egg donor surrogacy.  His journey took him and his partner Roy to the USA to pursue their lifelong dream of becoming parents.  He knows first-hand the multiple difficult and incredibly important decisions that intended parents need to make. At ORM Fertility, Erez educates international intended parents and coordinates new families' surrogacy and egg donation journeys.  He works to tailor the parenthood journey to the needs of each couple or single parent.  With the experience of guiding hundreds of couples and single parents through their journey, he has become a resource for ORM patients.  Before becoming a dad and joining ORM, Erez worked as a product manager and project leader in the global hi-tech sector, and is one of the first activists at the Israeli Gay Dads association.

Liat Ben Senior

Liat Ben Senior manages communication and marketing for Anova Fertility. Liat holds an MBA and MSc in Human Genetics from the Sackler School of Medicine of Tel-Aviv University, Israel. With this unique combination, she has focused her career in medical knowledge translation. Taking complex scientific processes and presenting them in a way in which the end recipient, the patient, can understand and apply is something she takes pride in. With over a decade of experience in the field of reproductive care, Liat strongly believes that an informed, educated patient is an empowered one. At Anova, she is involved in developing the Third Party education program and creating a consistent client experience.

Sarah Paige

Sarah Paige has been in the insurance field for the past 10 years. As COO of ART Risk Financial and Insurance Solutions, Inc., she remains current on all insurance issues pertinent to the ART field and works with her clients to find the best solution, whether it be through commercial insurance, specialty products, or financial case management. With ART Risk Solutions licensed in all 50 states, this allows her to work with clients regardless of location in the U.S. as well as internationally. With her extensive breadth of knowledge and expertise in the Assisted Reproductive Technology insurance industry, Sarah has been requested as a guest lecturer or expert witness with both the American Bar Association Section of Family Law and the Nevada State Assembly. Focusing on offering clients the knowledge to help them better understand their liability exposures and the best available financial risk management solutions is always one of Ms. Paige’s highest priorities.

Keely Seaverson

Keely is IARC Surrogacy’s Operations Manager and one of our Associate Attorneys. She has been a part of the IARC team since 2006, acting as an educator and guide to parties undergoing surrogacy and egg donor journeys. Her time in this field has been spent working side-by-side with fellow professionals in the U.S. and internationally, including attorneys, fertility physicians, psychologists, and medical insurance specialists, which has led to a broad and deep understanding of all aspects of this complex process. She has been active in educating law school students through various speaking engagements and has contributed to educational panels for RESOLVE: The National Infertility Association, the Family Law Section of the American Bar Association, and the Family Equality Council. Keely has an immense passion for helping families through surrogacy, and she is grateful for the lasting relationships she has created with many of IARC’s surrogates and intended parents. Keely is known for her willingness to help our clients and our team in any way she can to make this process as positive, smooth, and gratifying as possible.