CTTA Board of Directors
Get to Know Us
Rich Uhrlaub, M.Ed. also serves as president of Adoption Search Resource Connection and is part of a team that has seen multiple bills signed into law in the past seven years, to the benefit of adult adoptees, parents by birth and adoption, and foster youth. Rich has presented and facilitated at various conferences nationwide. He has been interviewed for local and national radio, television and newspaper stories. Rich's opinion pieces and letters to the editor have appeared in the Colorado Sun and the Denver Post. He is a contributing author of Finding Our Place: 100 Memorable Adoptees, Fostered Persons and Orphanage Alumni (2010), and Adoption and Mothering (2012). Rich has visited a Russian orphanage, and has served as a consulting resource for teams of visiting adoption professionals and government officials from Japan and Croatia. His professional background includes leading the Learning Solutions Team and Management Competencies Program for an international technology firm; telecommunications and digital marketing sales; and medical-legal claims and risk management in the private and public sectors. Relinquished and adopted at three weeks old, Rich located and connected with his family of origin in 1995.
Pat Taylor, RN, LPC has served as a Regional Director for Concerned United Birthparents and has actively supported legislative reform efforts in Colorado and nationwide. She relinquished her daughter for adoption and subsequently reconnected with her decades later in 1980, inspiring her memoir Shadow Train. Pat was featured in Dan Rather's Emmy-nominated documentary "Adopted or Abducted?" She retired from a career as a Certified Addictions Counselor, and enjoys time with her family and volunteering for meaningful causes such as the CTTF .
Janine Myung Ja
International Relations Liaison
Janine Myung Ja, Ph.D., was adopted from Korea with her twin sister in 1972 and raised in the northwest United States. She is the co-founder of the Adoption Truth and Transparency Worldwide Information Network (ATTWIN). As a respected voice for international adoptee concerns, she is in communication with the US State Department and various South Korean Consulates General. An international multi-award recipient and gold-medalist author, Rev. Dr. Janine Myung Ja is an adoption researcher and rights-based activist in support of adult adoptees searching for families separated by adoption and parents of adoption loss. Janine has written and curated 12 books, numerous feature-length screenplays, and documentary scripts on the topic of international adoption, most notably Adoptionland: From Orphans to Activists and Adoption: What You Should Know.
Rick Stark served in the Florida State House of Representatives from 2012-2020, representing District 104 and Broward County. His leadership roles included Deputy Democratic Leader (2018-2020) and Deputy Democratic Whip (2016-2018). Rick is known for his ability to work with colleagues across the aisle, and as a result saw passage of a measure removing adoptive parent consent as a condition of OBC access for adult adoptees, accomplishing more for the cause than any Florida legislator has in decades. Rick continues to be a tireless advocate for adult adoptee access to records in Florida. He serves as Chair of the Broward County Jewish Democratic Caucus, and is the Owner/Principal of Stark Associates, an insurance agency. He is a husband, father, and has connected with birth family members.
Ohio State Senator
State Senator Nickie J. Antonio, MPA (D-Lakewood) is honored to be serving in the Ohio Senate, representing District 23, and in leadership as the Assistant Minority Leader. Antonio, who was elected to the Senate in 2018, previously spent eight years in the Ohio House of Representatives, where she served District 13 and was also a member of leadership. Antonio has served as a Lakewood City Councilmember, Executive Director of an outpatient drug and alcohol treatment program for women, Adjunct Professor and as a teacher for children with special needs. She has been a dedicated champion of records access for adult adoptees, workers’ rights, high-quality education, local governments, equal rights for women and the LGBT community, health care for all and fighting the opioid crisis.
Foster Youth and Child Welfare Advocate
Gaelin Elmore spent ten years in the foster care system, lived with twenty families in the span of a few years, experienced a failed adoption and went from homelessness to signing a contract to play football for the Cincinnati Bengals. He is a husband and new father, and pursues a calling to public speaking and serving as a coach and mentor to at-risk youth.
Marni is a CPA specializing in financial reporting for governments. The first ten years of her career were spent in public accounting, auditing government entities and not-for-profit organizations. Since 2009, she has worked for two state retirement systems and one local government.
Marni connected with birth family after the Ohio records law changed in 2015. She is married with three children, and enjoys nature while on frequent weekend hikes
Shayne is the Director of the Political Law Center at the Independence Institute. She most recently led the Public Policy and Regulatory Affairs Practice Group in the Denver office of Jackson Kelley, PLLC. Shayne has represented clients before the Colorado Legislature and before various local governments for over twenty years. Her pro bono representation of Adoptees in Search (now Adoption Search Resource Connection) has been instrumental in the passage of multiple bills benefiting adult adoptees, birth parents, and foster youth since 2014. Ms. Madsen is a graduate of the University of Colorado (Bachelor of Arts) and Washington University (Juris Doctor).
Ron is the founder of Pastoral Counseling of Denver and has specialized in counseling individuals and families affected by relinquishment and adoption for over twenty years. He is the author of Adoptees Come of Age and Wise Adoptive Parenting: When Kids Struggle to Adopt Their Parents. Ron taught counseling students at Calvin Seminary and has long been a sought-after speaker at conferences and workshops, inspiring audiences with his insight and compassion.
Dr. Mark Pamer
Board Certified Pulmonologist
Mark is a pulmonologist in Port St. Lucie, FL, specializing in Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, Pulmonary Vascular Medicine, sleep-disordered breathing, and Interstitial Lung Disease. In addition to his regular practice, Dr. Pamer has provided ongoing relief and shared expertise to staff treating severe COVID-19 cases in Queens, NY and Texas. Mark is a husband and father who located and connected with his birth family in 2017. He is passionate about legislative change efforts, emphasizing the importance of knowing family medical history.
President, National Center on Adoption and Permanency (NCAP)
Adam is President, CEO and Founder of the National Center on Adoption and Permanency (NCAP), whose mission is to move child welfare policy from the longstanding "child placement" model to a "family success" paradigm that always includes the education, services, resources and supports that children and families touched by the child welfare system need. He is the Pulitzer-nominated author of Adoption Nation. After a career as an award-winning journalist for the Boston Globe, Adam became Executive Director of the Donaldson Adoption Institute, where he spent a decade shaping research and advocacy. Adam and his wife Judy are the proud parents of Zack and Mason, whom they adopted as infants.
Weld County Commissioner and former Colorado State Representative
Lori served four terms in the Colorado House of Representatives, ultimately serving as Republican Caucus Chair. She is the recipient of numerous awards from conservative advocacy organizations, and has successfully sponsored and co-sponsored multiple pieces of life-changing legislation, most of which were approved unanimously by both chambers, including SB 14-051 (Access to Original Birth Certificates); HB 14-1042 (Birth Parent Access to Relinquishment Records); HB 14-1282 (Crimes of Lying and Deception on Birth Certificates); HB 15-1106 (Clarify Access to Original Birth Certificates); HB 15-1355 (The Heritage Act - Family History Access Birth and Personal Records), and HB 19-1023 (Foster Children Driving Licenses).
"The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new."