Meet the Team

Martha Joy Rose
Founder, Executive Director

Martha Joy Rose, BFA, MALS with a Master’s in Mother Studies. She is an award-winning artist and activist. Joy was diagnosed with SLE at 37 after the birth of her fourth child and received a kidney transplant. After Illness changed her life, she became passionate about women’s issues. Her pursuits have included academia, large-scale community gatherings, music, and museums. She is the NOW-NYC recipient of the Susan B. Anthony Award, her Mamapalooza Festival Series has been recognized as “Best in Girl-Power Events” and her music has appeared on the Billboard Top 100 Dance Charts. She founded the Museum of Motherhood in 2003, initiated 501c3 non-profit status in 2005, saw it flourish in NYC from 2011-2014, and then pop up at several academic institutions.

She has been organizing international conferences, hosting interns from global institutions, and has continued to nurture the ongoing evolution of a modern mother’s movement with an emphasis on visibility, family studies, and inclusion. She launched the Journal of Mother Studies, MER, and MaMaZina Magazine. Her writing has been featured in academic and literary journals.

Connie Burgess
Membership Director & Community Liaison

When you visit MoM, join one of our clubs, groups, or membership, Connie will be sure to welcome you to our family! Connie is a human relations expert with experience in artist development, banking, and community resources. She comes to MoM from Omega Institute with a vision to facilitate interactions between the MOM Art Annex, members, and those seeking to get involved with our initiatives. Her focus on economic disparities, diversity, and inclusion permeates MoM’s culture which aims to create safe spaces for all.

She will be integrating projected goals and new directions with the Museum project in St. Petersburg into newly developed systems to better maximize community impact and the development of new and existing relationships.

Connie is a world traveler and the mother of two adult boys.

If you have questions or concerns, want to inquire about legacy donations or memberships, please write

Liliana Beltran

Liliana Beltran is a comprehensive fine art professional with over 15 years of experience in all areas of gallery operations. As a Founder and Curator of Dropz Galeria (Sāo Paulo), Bossa Gallery (Miami), and Pair Galleries (Miami Beach), she is accustomed to curating, planning, developing, and presenting diverse exhibitions.

She holds a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies from Kennesaw State University, an MBA in Marketing, a Postgraduate Degree in Human Resources, and a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Communication.

Liliana has curated and produced a multitude of exhibitions and is interested in topics of equality, diversity, and inclusion for women in the arts and society at large. She is a woman and mother of two.

Deborah Gelch
Strategic Advisor

Deborah is a senior executive who combines a deep technical background with general management experience. She has a track record of successfully building and leading collaborative teams with an agile mindset that delivers innovative products and services that achieve ambitious business goals. Deborah is known for an entrepreneurial spirit and drive that enables growth in sales and student recruitment, customer retention, institutional advancement, alumni affairs, analytics, and IT operations. Deborah earned her undergraduate degree from Wellesley College majoring in Art History and minoring in Astronomy. She has a graduate degree in Non-Profit Management from Lasell University and holds multiple Salesforce consulting certifications. Deborah joins MOM’s team as a valuable contributor and leader who can facilitate next stage practical growth of the museum vision in St. Petersburg

Tracey Wiseman, Advisor, Fundraising Specialist

Tracey Wiseman is a Principle at Partner 2 Partner Impact. She has counseled hundreds of non-profits, social change organizations, and early-stage corporations to develop and grow successful initiatives.

Marcile Powers, Education Coordinator & Facilitator

Marcile grew up in Bradenton, Florida. She published her first poem when she was 14, then went on to study filmmaking and was drawn to Avantgarde styles. Marcile earned her BFA in Film with a concentration on directing and now she is the mother of two. She lives in Historic Kenwood, makes art, and teaches non-violent communication, as well as hosting local workshops focused on creativity and healing. In 2022, she published her first book, Transcend Dance. She is passionate about mandala meditation, and creating avenues of empowerment and change for individuals and families. Marcile also acts as a docent to MoM.

Sierra Clark, Empowerment Facilitator

Sierra was born and raised in St. Petersburg. She is a force for change and spiritual awakening, committed to social justice, children, and the highest potential in every human. Sierra’s superpower is her ability to love greatly no matter what the circumstances. Her dynamism is contagious. Whether room of 500+ women or a small group of women, Sierra bursts with passion, poetry, and enthusiasm. A professional healthcare worker, author, and group leader, Sierra employs heart talks, personal development tools, and affirmations to create an environment that is transformative.

MoM Art Annex 501c3 non-profit Board

Martha Joy RosePresident, has overseen MOM since its inception and has been involved in all aspects of its ongoing success.

Connie BurgessVice President, joined the MoM board in 2023. Her commitment to sustainability, diversity, women’s well-being, and community enterprises is affirmed through her devotion to the museum’s growth, technological development, and relationship building. Her background in the indie label music scene in NYC, banking, and Omega Institute help round out MoM’s growth potential.

Zena Marpet, Secretary, MSN, RN, works PT as an emergency room nurse and serves as the Marketing Director at, an online mental health service for healthcare providers. She has a Masters from USF in public health policy. Her undergraduate work at Eckerd College earned her a BS of psychology and human development 2016 and she worked for mental health residency clinic in the San Francisco area (2020). Zena is a certified Emergency Medical Technician nationally registered and served as team leader for the Emergency Response Squad at Eckerd College (2012-2015). Internships have included John’s Hopkins, All Children’s Hospital research assistant, and Columbia Medical Center’s Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital, pediatric emergency center, and Carlton Manor, counselor for children in residence.

Carl Hovey, Treasurer, has been involved with the Museum of Motherhood since its pop-up in New York City at East 84th Street in 2011. Carl is a U.S. Navy veteran, father, and ecologically minded farmer who is invested in seeing to the ongoing success of MOM and all its endeavors.

MOM Conference Academic Board

Hughes Miller – PhD. is an AssociateProfessor in the USF Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, Tampa/St. Pete, Florida, USA. As a feminist criminologist, she teaches classes on Feminist Pedagogy and Feminist Research Methods, and substantive seminars and undergraduate courses on Politics of Motherhood, Women and Social Justice, and Gender, Crime & Justice. (Current) (not pictured).

Roksana Badruddoja – PhD. Professor, Dr. Badruddoja is a feminine/masculine WOC; an interfaith and cross-cultural womanist; a critical race theorist and decolonial gender scholar, and second-generation Bangladeshi-American. Sociology, Manhattan College, Riverdale/Bronx, NY, current).

Aurelie Athan – Ph.D. is a full-time lecturer and MA Program Coordinator in Clinical Psychology at Teachers College, Columbia University, USA. Her newest emerging theory, Reproductive Identity, debuted in the June 2020 Special issue of the American Psychologist-Rethinking Adult Development: New Ideas for New Times. (Current)

Laura Tropp – PhD. is an Associate Dean and Chair, Communication Arts, Marymount Manhattan College, New York, NY, USA. Dr. Tropp specializes in media and politics and representations of pregnancy, motherhood, and families in popular culture. She teaches courses in communication theory, media history, campaigns and elections, media law and mother studies. (Current).

Hannah Brockbank – Ph.D. Hannah is a freelance writer, editor, and researcher from the UK. Her research interests include: matrifocal narratives, matricentric feminism, testimony, autoethnographic writing, birth trauma and material culture. 

[Photo credit: Natalie Miller]

Raissa Fitzgerald, Researcher and Copy Editor

Raissa Fitzgerald is a College Success Manager at Yonkers Partners in Education. In this role, she supports the persistence of students through their freshman and sophomore years of college. She has volunteered as a mentor at YPIE, as well as at the Hudson River Museum and the Mount Vernon Hotel Museum & Garden. She has been on the board of the Friends of Philipse Manor Hall since 1997, and runs The Great Birthday Caper, a gift program with local group homes. Raissa graduated from University of Massachusetts with a B.A. in Art, from Mercy College with a Masters Degree in English, and from CUNY School of Professional Studies with a Masters Degree in Museum Studies. She has two children, both recent college graduates.

Legal Advisor

Larry Dillahunty – Larry and Cathy have have been serving the Tampa Bay community for over forty years as a family-run estate planning practice (and other services) at Dillahunty Law in St. Petersburg. We are so pleased that they have joined our team in the capacity of Legal Advisor.

Grant Writing Team / Notebook PDF

Humanity depends on motherhood. I can think of no other subject so wildly misunderstood, underfunded, and understudied. We’re here to change that. Together we will put motherhood on the map, dispel the myths that have kept women and caregivers marginalized, and educate using our own strong voices. We believe that by understanding history, we are creating Her-Story. We believe that motherhood is otherhood and that we are all connected as members of one big human family. We are the house that MoM built.

~ M. Joy Rose, Founder and Director

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