Birth Fest Inc Board of Directors

Kristen Kessler
Kristen Kessler President
Kirsten Kessler is co-founder and current President of Birth Fest Inc. As the founder and CEO of Alimus, a healthcare start-up founded in 2021 to improve maternal-fetal health outcomes, Kirsten is passionate about supporting families and communities to decrease maternal and fetal mortality rates, improve access to care, and create greater health equity. Kirsten has worked previously for many years at the Boston Consulting Group and holds a Harvard MBA.
Christina Drain
Christina DrainVice President
Christina Drain is a certified full spectrum doula and holds certifications as a lactation consultant educator and a childbirth educator. She is a University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate and has a bachelor’s degree in legal studies and Sociology. Christina is currently the Program Manager for the City of Milwaukee Health Department Birth Outcomes Made Better (BOMB) Doula Program. She is also the owner of Queen Mother Birth Services which provides birth/postpartum doula services, childbirth education classes and mentorship to doulas. Christina’s goal is to ensure everyone involved in the childbirth process is educated and supported. Christina is a member of the Milwaukee Infant Mortality Review Team and the Wisconsin Maternal Mortality/Morbidity Impact Team.
Jo Ann Bishop
Jo Ann BishopTreasurer
Jo Ann Bishop co-founded Birth Fest Inc. with a goal of bringing local birth professionals and expecting families together. She is a DONA International certified birth and postpartum doula and Body Ready Method ® Pro. Jo Ann is committed to serving clients with evidence-based information, improving birth outcomes, and building community. Her career in service includes previously assisting the relocation of international executives and a vast array of entrepreneurial endeavors. She holds a B.A. from Carroll University including studies at the United Nations.
Lauryn Beecher
Lauryn BeecherSecretary
Dr. Lauryn Beecher, PT, DPT is a pelvic health physical therapist and owner of Pelvic Health and Wellness Physical Therapy. Lauryn works with people of all ages and genders, including individuals who are pregnant and postpartum, with pelvic pain, incontinence, diastasis recti, constipation, and prolapse. She places a high priority in meeting each client’s unique needs to help them get back to doing what they love!
Brani Jewell
Brani JewellCommunications
Brandi Jewell is a certified lactation consultant and certified birth doula. For the past 10 years she has dedicated her time to improve maternal and infant health. Her passion stems from her own birthing and breastfeeding misfortunes. Brandi has worked in WIC, community based organizations and hospitals, educating parents prenatally. This has allowed individuals to make informed decisions during their pregnancy, labor and delivery and breastfeeding journey, resulting in improved birth outcomes and breastfeeding success.

Birth Fest’s Beginnings

Birth Fest Milwaukee was founded in 2022, when three local entrepreneurs recognized that the community was lacking opportunities for expecting and new parents to connect with each other and learn about birth resources available to them. With a mission to create an inclusive event for Milwaukee’s parenting community and allow local providers to showcase their offerings, Lauryn Beecher (Northshore Wellness Collective), Jo Ann Bishop (Jo Ann Bishop Doula), and Kirsten Kessler (Alimus and Doulas Milwaukee), brought the first event in July 2022 to fruition. With over 25 exhibitors, 2 featured TV segments, and many, many parents, Birth Fest Milwaukee was an impactful event. Now a registered 501c3, Birth Fest Milwaukee, has an important role to play in the Milwaukee community. With a strong working Board of Directors, Birth Fest Milwaukee continues to work tirelessly to bring this unique event annually to the community, with a focus on support, information, and inclusivity for expectant parents.