Board & Staff

Executive Staff

Gwen Martin and Kristine Merta, Co-CEO’s 

Responsible for the overall strategic direction of Amma.  In this role they are focused on creating new avenues for growth and developing partner relationships. 

Prior to Amma Parenting Center, Kristine has extensive experience developing business, growing and managing relationships, and leading teams. She is licensed to practice law in the State of Minnesota and is a member of the Minnesota and Hennepin County Bar Associations.  Mom to triplets Lydia, Clifford and Emily. You can reach her at

An entrepreneur at heart, Gwen has been building and growing businesses throughout her career. She has a history of success in cultivating relationships and leading teams to grow award winning brands. Mom and stepmom in her blended family to: Erica, Ellie, Maisy, Georgia and Henry. You can reach her at

Sara Pearce RN CNM IBCLC

Sara is the founder of Amma Parenting Center, as well as Director of Education. A Registered Nurse and Certified Nurse-Midwife, Sara practiced OB nursing and midwifery in North Carolina and Minnesota until 2001, when she shifted focus to education. She founded Amma Parenting Center in 2007 to bring the New Mama Class to new mothers and became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. As the business grows, she still maintains a commitment to spending time in the classroom with new mothers.  Mom to: David, Caroline and Bennett.  You can reach her at

Missy Duffy RN MSN

Missy is the Director of Prenatal Education at Amma Parenting Center. She holds a Master’s degree in Nursing, and has experience as a Labor and Delivery nurse as well as a Nurse Manager of one of the Twin Cities’ busiest hospitals. Missy oversees our prenatal classes and manages our outstanding teaching staff, and is a liaison to our hospital partners. She also manages our center staff and oversees center operations. Mom to: Keegan, Finnegan and Macgregor.  You can reach her at

Lisa Mosing RN

Lisa Mosing is the Director of New Parent Education at Amma Parenting Center.  She graduated from the University of Minnesota with a BS in Nursing and has been a Registered Nurse since 1998 with experience in Cardiac Telemetry, Telemedicine, Health Coaching and Employee Health.  Lisa practiced OB nursing from 2003 until 2009 at a local Twin Cites hospital.  She started working at Amma in 2010 as a prenatal instructor.  She now works with new parents in the New Mama and infant sleep classrooms and manages the New Parent Education department.  She is mom to Ava and Kellen.  You can reach her at

Terri Hafner

Terri is Amma Parenting Center’s Director of Retail. Terri’s background spans retail management, merchandising, retail consulting, business startup, and art. She is the whiz behind our retail boutique’s “cute” factor. Mom to: Brian and Joe.  You can reach her at

Teaching Staff

Amma Parenting Center runs on the brain power of our talented group of expert teachers! All of our childbirth teachers are either Registered Nurses or Certified Childbirth Instructors, and you’ll find a range of experts in all our classrooms, from lactation consultants to parent educators. When you register for a class, you will be able to see your teacher’s bio.

Board of Advisors

At Amma Parenting Center, we believe that parents seek and deserve only the most trustworthy information about birth, babies, and parenthood. To ensure quality of information, we rely on our Advisory Board to review our written materials and course content.

Through this multidisciplinary team we are proud to be at the forefront of birth and family education.

Andrea Messina MD
Dr Messina is a board-certified Obstetrician/Gynecologist in practice at Park Nicollet. She is a Fellow of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Clinical Assistant Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Stefan Kramarczuk MD
Dr Kramarczuk is a board-certified Pediatrician in practice at Metropolitan Pediatrics. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Pediatrics and Adjunct faculty in Pediatrics at the University of Minnesota Medical School.

Mary Sheedy Kurcinka PhD 
Mary is a bestselling author, speaker and licensed parent educator. She is the author of the popular books, “Raising Your Spirited Child,” “Kids, Parents and Power Struggles,” and “Sleepless in America.” Mary lectures on the topics of parent-child dynamics both nationally and internationally, and consults with families all over the world.

Sieglinde Peterson MD
Dr Peterson practices family medicine at Fairview.

Katja Rowell MD
Dr Rowell is a family physician and childhood feeding specialist. She is a clinical faculty member of the Ellyn Satter Institute and teaches professionals and parents about the importance of a healthy feeding relationship. More about Dr Rowell can be found at

Jesse Kuendig LGSW
Jesse is a licensed graduate social worker in practice at the Mother Baby Program at Hennepin County Medical Center. She also serves on the board of Jenny’s Light, a non-profit dedicated to raising awareness of perinatal mood disorders.

Samantha A. Sommerness DNP, RN, CNM
Samantha received her BSN from The University of Portland in Portland, Oregon in 1993, her Masters of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania in 2000 and her Doctorate of Nursing Practice in 2011 from the University of Minnesota.

Charles Hirt, MD
Dr. Hirt is a practicing OB/GYN at Abbott Northwestern Hospital. He received his medical degree from Tufts University in 1997 and completed residency at the University of Minnesota.

Steven Calvin, MD
Dr. Calvin is a practicing maternal-fetal medicine physician who is committed to empowering mothers to have safe, satisfying, and seamless pregnancy care experiences. He works with Midwife colleagues at the Minnesota Birth Center in Minneapolis.

Laurel Wills MD
Dr. Wills practices pediatric sleep medicine at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.  She is also a developmental pediatrician and the medical director of Reach Out and Read-Minnesota.