Erin co-founded Adoption Support Alliance with Charlie Marquardt in 2014 to fill a void in the services and support available to adoptive families.
Erin’s first experience with adoption came during high school, when her family was living overseas and she decided to volunteer at orphanages in China and Vietnam. She was 15 years old, surrounded by lots of children who needed a home, and she knew she’d found her calling. When she came back to the states, she dedicated her career to helping children and parents build strong, thriving families.
Erin has an undergraduate degree in child development and human and organizational development from Vanderbilt University, and a master’s in social work and certificate in Nonprofit Management from Georgia State University. She’s also a licensed clinical social worker and has held a variety of positions related to adoption, including in the foster care system in Tennessee, a nonprofit foster care agency in Georgia and as a clinician at the Alexander Youth Network in Charlotte, N.C. She also conducts home studies through Triangle Adoption Services and produces post-placement reports for families pursuing adoption.
“Adoption is a lifelong commitment that starts when you find your adoptive child. But it doesn’t end there. In fact, that’s when the hard work of building your family begins. When I looked around at the adoption landscape, I realized there were so few resources to help families through that transition. Adoption Support Alliance was created to fill that void,” Erin says. “And it is our mission to help adoptive families through the unique challenges of building their forever families.”
Erin is married to her husband, Ibrahim, and has two biological daughters, Olivia and Audrey.
Rex Backes has more than 20 years of experience in the Human Resources industry, with experience in a variety of functions including Employee Assessment, Leadership Development, Strategic Workforce Planning, and Talent Management. Rex is currently a Director of Talent Management at TIAA in Charlotte, NC. Rex has worked previously at Bank of America, Spherion Workforce Consulting, and Pinkerton Services Group, in addition to doing independent consulting and speaking engagements.
Rex holds a Masters in Applied Psychology from Clemson University (1994), and an MBA in Leadership from the McColl School of Business at Queens University (2001). Rex has previously served on the board for One Heart Global Ministries, and has a heart for Christian mission work, having traveled to Guatemala,Ecuador, Peru, and Brazil to serve on missions.
Rex is married to Traci Backes and has a biological daughter named Madeline, and a son, adopted from Guatemala, named Kenan.
2021 Board Vice-Chair
Tracey is a nonprofit professional with 17 years of experience in the field, currently working in fund development for Habitat for Humanity of the Charlotte Region managing corporate and faith partnerships.
Tracey earned an MS in Nonprofit Management from Eastern University, where she first discovered her interest in fundraising. She is passionate about relationship building and connecting people with meaningful opportunities to bring about positive change in the world.
Having an adopted sister herself, Tracey is inspired by Adoption Support Alliance’s mission to help adoptive families through the unique challenges of building their forever family, and excited to be a part of the agency’s important work.
She and her husband, Nathan, have called Charlotte home for the past 15 years and have three daughters.
2021 Board Treasurer
Mike Masto has an extensive background in finance and accounting for nonprofits. He worked at Habitat for Humanity of Charlotte for over 14 years and when he left in September of 2018 he had been their CFO for the previous six years. Mike currently owns an accounting company called Book Keep Accounting that specializes in helping small to medium size companies and nonprofits with their day-to-day accounting needs.
Mike holds a Master of Public Administration degree from UNC Charlotte and has an undergraduate degree in Sociology from James Madison University.
When not running his business, Mike enjoys reading, traveling and spending time with his wife, Carrie, and their three kids.
2021 Board Secretary
After graduating from Clemson University with a B.S. in Recreation Therapy, Mary worked as director of Kids Voting Georgetown County, a non-profit voter education program aiming to raise up a generation of informed voters before she and her husband, Dave, moved to Charlotte.
Mary and Dave have three biological daughters (Celia, Bennett and Camila) and felt led to adopt out of the foster care system, completing their family as Christian and Emmie were adopted in 2014.
While walking through the adoption process, Mary recognized just how vital it was to be immersed in a supportive community that understands the complexities that come with growing a family through adoption. Mary brings a passion for connecting families around Charlotte, so that all who are touched by adoption are cared for well.
Before joining the board, Mary served ASA as an invaluable Program and Content Manager.
Jenn was first introduced to ASA when she and her husband, Mike, attended the first ever "Adoption 101" class. Jenn and Mike were pursuing adoption, wanted to learn more about the process and found training through ASA. During both of their adoptions, Jenn and her family were very active with ASA. They have attended many of the family events and participated in the annual fundraisers. Jenn is bringing to ASA her passion for educating people about the adoption process. She is always always open to being a resource for adopting families seeking to find answers to their many questions.
Jenn decided to stay home full-time with her two kids after the adoption of her second child. She is looking forward to being a part of ASA and sharing her knowledge as well as learning more herself about the adoption world.
Jenn and her husband, Mike, live outside of Charlotte with their two kiddos Piper (4) and Baron (1) who joined their family via domestic adoption. They also have two Australian Shepherds (Agnes and Mavis). The love spending time outside as a family as well as traveling, especially to Disney!
Rachel is a licensed professional counselor (LPC-A), working from a humanistic perspective. She has a passion for children and for families. She believes it takes tremendous faith and courage to invite support into your life, which is why she sees being on the board of ASA as an honor.
Rachel has been married to her husband Brad for 30 years and they have 4 adult children (Grace, Kiley, Maisie, and Luke), 2 dogs (Ringo and Winnie) and a seldom seen 12-year-old cat (Moe).
Kori is a senior Human Resources executive having held numerous HR leadership roles of increasing scope over the course of her more than 20 year career. Kori started her career at GE and later joined Bank of America. She relocated to Arizona for nearly six years to lead an HR team at JP Morgan Chase. Kori was then recruited to join PepsiCo in their Frito Lay Division where she spent 6 years before relocating back to Charlotte to join TIAA. Kori’s specialties include change management, talent management, organizational effectiveness, organizational design, executive coaching/consulting, business workforce & capacity planning and employee relations & engagement.
Kori and her husband, Jeff, welcomed their daughter, Harper, through adoption and are so overwhelmingly grateful for the experience and the support they have received through their network of friends, family and invaluable organizations like Adoption Support Alliance who helped give them to tools, education and the support to complete their family.