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Board of Directors and Staff

Karen Skelton, Chair, subscribed to Welcome Home in the mid-1990s for some much-needed support of her new role as a mother, after leaving her position as an Air Force intelligence officer. "Transitioning Home" was a reality, and one that ultimately led to homeschooling her son and daughter all the way to graduation. When Karen learned of an opportunity to serve on the board of Family and Home Network in 2011, she was happy to return the favor and support. From 2014-2018, Karen also served in multiple leadership roles for the Organization of Virginia Homeschoolers. She is also a dedicated genealogist and social historian. She and her husband, Rob, recently relocated from Northern Virginia to Greensboro, NC, while their son and daughter now live on opposite coasts of the U.S. where they continue to travel, grow, and explore the world. Karen says, "As parents, we gave them roots but we also gave them wings."

Tom Mayer started staying home three days a week when his son Liam was about six months old. In August of 2003 Tom resigned from his job as a Research Psychologist at the U.S. Bureau of the Census to stay home full time. That’s about the time he began volunteering for FAHN, contributing articles and book reviews to Welcome Home as well as lending his expertise as a psychologist to the design of FAHN’s Transitioning Home workshop. Tom and his wife, Laura, moved the family to the Richmond, VA area in 2005. Tom is wrapping up his time as an at-home dad with Danny (17) exploring his college prospects and supporting his growing musical talent as a drummer at the Appomattox Regional Governor's School for the Arts. Although Liam (22) is mostly out of the nest, Tom continues to advise him as he works towards a masters degree in International Relations at the London School of Economics. Tom enjoys being a proud father, cooking, woodworking and playing music with his friends (and Danny).

Michelle Rief is the mother of three children, ages 13, 9 and 7. She is active in her local Parent Teacher Association, Holistic Moms Network, and serves on the board of the Breastfeeding Center for Greater Washington. Michelle teaches history part time at Northern Virginia Community College, and enjoys reading and visiting historical sites.

Jeanne Faulconer was an at-home parent and homeschool mom to her three sons, now grown. She is a popular speaker at homeschooling conferences, business groups, and parents’ groups, and she homeschooled her three sons in North Carolina, Mississippi, and Virginia for 20 years. Frequently having combined volunteering and part-time professional work with at-home parenting, today Jeanne is director of Brave Learner Home, Brave Writer's online community for parents. She was a college faculty member, a long-time La Leche League Leader, editor of Home Education Magazine and VaHomeschoolers Voice, and an NPR-member station news correspondent.

Willow Duttge Tepper is a mom of two children with a long and varied writing career. A graduate of Sarah Lawrence College and the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, she has written everything from TV commercials for household-name brands to magazine features, and is currently working on a memoir about embracing motherhood. Her writing has been published by the Hong Kong Bureau of the Associated Press, mom’s site Kveller, Forbes, Newsday, Condé Nast Portfolio, Time Out Chicago, and Advertising Age, among other outlets. In addition, she assisted in the writing, editing and researching of the book Users, Not Customers and articles published in Financial Times, USA Today, Fast Company and more. As a stay-at-home mom, Duttge Tepper founded the Instagram account @the.chief.household.officer, where she validates the hard and often unseen work of stay-at-home parents.

Executive Director Catherine Myers first volunteered for FAHN in the mid-1980s and has served in many roles since, including as Publications Director of FAHN's journal, Welcome Home and several of their books. In 2005, she enrolled part time at George Mason University and in 2012 completed her Bachelor of Individualized Studies in Human Development, Parenting and Policy. Her academic studies were inspired by and informed by her involvement in FAHN. Cathy and her husband Fred homeschooled their children in Northern Virginia until they went to high school. They spent a lot of time planning and managing a home renovation in order to share their home with her parents until the end of their lives. In that home, their daughter gave birth to their first grandson in 2006, and a few years later his brother was born there. Cathy and Fred moved to Durham, NC in 2015 to be close their daughter and grandsons (17, 13 and almost-one-year-old). They enjoy frequent visits with their son and daughter-in-law and six-year-old grandson, who live in New Orleans. 

Rita Brhel, Consulting Writer/Editor, is a stay-at-home, work-from-home, and homeschool mom of three ages 15, 14, and 10. She is the 15-year Executive Editor of Attachment Parenting International (, including The Attached Family Magazine (, and currently heads up #normalizenurturing affiliated with Rita has a long history as a journalist in the area of parenting science for a variety of platforms including La Leche League International's New Beginnings and She is a Certified Attached at the Heart Parenting Educator and spent six years working for the WIC Supplemental Nutrition Program as a local breastfeeding peer counselor and Certified Lactation Counselor. Rita and her family live in rural Nebraska where they are involved in sustainable living and reclaiming the native prairie on their little farm.

Consulting Communications Specialist Cheli English-Figaro is a native New Yorker. She graduated from the Bronx High School of Science, Yale University and Columbia University School of Law. While at Columbia Law School, Cheli served as the Metropolitan Regional Representative to the Black Law Students Association and was a Charles Evans Hughes Fellow. Upon completing her law degree, Cheli worked as an associate for Shearman and Sterling and later relocated to Maryland where she worked for the United States Department of Commerce. Cheli currently works part-time but spends much of her time volunteering in the community. Cheli is a co-founder, current National Board member and the National President Emerita of Mocha Moms, Inc. Cheli has been featured in national and regional news and has been a regular guest on National Public Radio’s Tell Me More with Michel Martin. Cheli also serves on the board of Mothers Outreach Network and is a member of Jack and Jill of America, The Links, Inc., Woodstream Church and the Indian Creek School Parent Board. Cheli and her husband, Dr. K. Michael Figaro, MD are the proud parents of three children, Brandon, Alexandra and Caroline.