Meet the TAPS Board of Directors
The TAPS Board of Directors directs, advises, and participates in the work of connecting, informing, and empowering Triangle parents through our regular board meetings. Board members focus on directing the mission, strategy, and funding for TAPS programs. If you're interested to serve as a TAPS board member, contact us today!
Monica Richardson | Executive Director
A native of Durham, NC, Monica is the founder and director of TAPS. A graduate of the North Carolina Teaching Fellows program at NCSU, Monica spent several years teaching high school in Durham before starting her family in 2010. Monica found community and support through the Program for Early Parent Support (PEPS) while she lived in Seattle, WA. She founded TAPS in 2016 to bring the PEPS program to the Triangle. Now the mom of three, she understands the challenges that parents face and believes in the value of building communities of strong families that can face those daily struggles together. Monica has an MPA from the Evans School at the University of Washington in Seattle.
Meet Monica and learn her story on why she started TAPS: Monica's Story
SUELLA NADLER | BOARD CHAIR
Originally from Brooklyn, NY, Suella Nadler has called North Carolina home since 2017. Having received a degree in American Studies from Syracuse University and an MA in History from CUNY Brooklyn College, Suella spent several years teaching History and Gender Studies at a NY college. She is passionate about uplifting parents and building encouraging communities here in the Triangle. She and her family love being outdoors, traveling and exploring the RTP food scene!
leslie ortiz | vice chair
Leslie is originally from Syracuse, New York and has loved living in Raleigh since her and her husband moved down in 2015. Leslie is a General Manager for Verizon in the Wake Forest area. Since joining a TAPS program after her daughter was born, Leslie has become passionate about providing support to new families and the TAPS mission. In her free time, Leslie loves spending time with her family and furbabies.
Daniela DeJesus | Treasurer
Daniela is originally from Connecticut, and has made Wake Forest, North Carolina home in 2017 with her husband and four wonderful children. She is currently working as a Paralegal for Smith Anderson in downtown Raleigh. She loves the idea of raising happy and healthy children through TAPS by helping parents deal with the daily challenges of raising a child. She enjoys spending time with her family, volunteering in the community and traveling.
MARTY TRIGGS | Secretary
Marty’s passion for the welfare of children and families is rooted in the time she spent as a nanny while working her way through a BFA at New York University. After she graduated she relocated to the Triangle and continued to be a nanny for several other families, but found herself longing for the clinical background to support families even more. While pursuing her Masters in Social Work at UNC Chapel Hill she married her best friend and started her own family. She now cares full-time for her two young children and more fully understands the importance for parents to have the connection and support that TAPS provides. She is originally from Miami, FL, so she and her family love escaping to the beach whenever possible!
TARA DUNCAN | VICE Secretary
She is from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. She is a certified postpartum doula. When she is not spending time helping families you can catch her doing yoga, hiking, checking out art galleries, watching movies, or doing something crafty. She became a part of TAPS because the knowledge and empathy she has as a doula she wanted to be to gift to others as well.
Karen Brooks | Board Member
A graduate of UNC Chapel Hill, Karen has called North Carolina home for many years, but her roots go back to the beach in idyllic Point Pleasant, NJ. She and her husband, Michael, are blessed with two little girls, Lily Kate and Jessa. As babies, their epic, gummy smiles and cheeks-for-days inspired her to develop her love of photography. She is the Owner and Principal Photographer at Karen Brooks Photography. Karen is passionate about TAPS' mission as she has experienced firsthand how crucial it is for new parents to lean on a supportive network while raising healthy, happy babies.
MONICA LONG | Board Member
Monica M. Long was born and raised in Greensboro, NC. She’s made Durham, NC her home for the past 20 years and currently lives with her husband and daughter. Monica obtained an undergraduate degree in Psychology from North Carolina Central University and a Master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling. She serves as the Executive Director at Alpha Management Community Services, in Durham and is passionate about nurturing children, uplifting parents, and building stronger communities throughout the Triangle area.
Monica is thrilled to be a part of the TAPS family and strongly supports and appreciates the mission and vision of the organization. TAPS provides a service that is critical for all new moms, dads and caregivers. Monica is active in her community and actively participates in her Sorority and volunteers on her child’s SIT (school improvement team) team.
In her free time, Monica likes to spend time with family, read a good mystery novel and visit any beach.
MARIA NELSON | BOARD MEMBER
Born in Mexico and raised in Texas, Maria obtained her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Boston University in 2011. She went on to obtain her Bachelors in Nursing from New York University in 2014. Maria has been in the Triangle working as a pediatric nurse and has a passion for helping mothers and children. Maria found support through a TAPS group being a first time mom to her daughter Katrina and would like to help the organization grow to reach more families in the Triangle.
Elysia prendergast-jones | BOARD MEMBER
Elysia knew from a young age her destiny lay with the law, taking steps along the way to become an attorney who could provide services which benefit her clients, finding the most satisfaction when helping others succeed. Besides a law degree, Elysia also has a MBA and a Masters in Counseling. She is active in her community by serving on several boards and participating in legal community outreach programs. She is also involved with her church, has served on her child’s PTA for many years, and is the current president of the PTSA at her daughter’s school.
In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her family; her dog named, Ice Cream, drinking coffee, painting, and reading.
KELSEY REILLY | BOARD MEMBER
After graduating from The University of Arizona in 2010, Kelsey moved to Raleigh with her family for a change of pace in 2012. Since then, she has joined the National Leadership team for her college music sorority, had a beautiful rainbow daughter, and became the proud owner of Oak City Doula Care. Her experience with TAPS inspired her to give back to the community of parents that navigates her through the journey of parenthood. When she's not volunteering her time with TAPS or the Sorority, she enjoys playing board games with her family, watching comedies on Netflix, and lounging with her cats.