Board of Directors

Kym Hodges, CCCE, CLD, ICCE

Kym has been teaching and supporting women since 1994; helping families to find their voice in labor and birth; understanding that birth is a normal, life changing experience and with understanding, positive support, and respectful communication we can bring babies into the world safer and healthier.  She is the owner of Traditions of Love Childbirth Services, LLC where she provides private childbirth education, breastfeeding education, sex education, and labor doula services; she is also a professional speaker on the subjects.  She is a national and international certified childbirth educator and labor doula trainer for CAPPA, conducting workshops all around the country.  She began her work in Hawaii in 1994 with ICEA; she went on to become a member of CAPPA, the World Largest Professional Childbirth Education Organization, in 2000.  She held the position of Executive Director of Childbirth Education Programs and Executive Director of Marketing.  Kym also has a successful background in Marketing and Event Planning, having raise thousands of dollars for non-profits.  Kym has lived Gainesville, FL. since 2001, where she has raised two amazing children, has educated over 4000 families and support more than 250 births. Kym has been a FSTM Board member since 2011.

Su Mendez

Su is the proud parent of two beautiful sons born with the help of the phenomenal midwives from the Birth Center of Gainesville. She graduated cum laude with a BA in Cultural Studies/Critical Theory from the University of Florida’s English Department. She is also a certified Guardian ad Litem volunteer who advocates for children in the State of Florida’s Dependency Court. When she isn’t parenting or bookkeeping for the restaurant she joint owns with her husband and partners, she can be found picking mandolin in her all-women country band, naturalizing her gardens, or attempting to clean her house.

Susan Nelson, ENP, CPM

Susan is a Regional Account Manager for Cassidian Communications, a global firm specializing in public safety IT systems.  Prior to that she held the position of Alachua County, Florida, Communications Bureau Chief and E-911 Coordinator for over ten years, and served as the manager of marketing and programs for an international environmental nonprofit before that. Susan has a Bachelor’s degree in organizational communication from the University of Colorado and is a Florida State University Certified Public Manager.  Susan has three daughters, all born into the hands of midwives, and as a result, has been an advocate of and activist for midwifery, the midwives model of care, and breastfeeding promotion in the North Florida area for almost three decades.  She is married and lives in Gainesville.

Sylvia Paluzzi

Sylvia is the founder and Director of Morning Meadow Preschool and Kindergarten, a Waldorf based early childhood program.  Ms. Paluzzi has been working with children for 25 years and has been educated at the University of Florida as well as receiving her degree as a Waldorf educator in Early Childhood from SunBridge College in New York.  Ms. Paluzzi was the founding member of the Friends of Midwives Gainesville chapter and served as president for ten years. FOM is a grass roots organization dedicated to informing families on all birth options available.  She has 3 sons, all brought into the world by the loving care of a licensed midwife.

Heart PhoenixHeart and Stacey

Heart served as Executive Director of FSTM for the past five years.  She recently retired and co-founded the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding, and serves as the Board President of RPCP.  Inspired by the life of her son River, RPCP is dedicated to raising awareness and teaching skills that empower individuals and groups in the transformation of behavior from violent to peaceful.  Heart considers one of her greatest contributions to be that of birthing her five beautiful children naturally.  She believes that educating, empowering and caring for women before, during and after the birthing process bring an essential ingredient to the health of families.  This is the care that is given by midwives!