Board of Directors
Jennifer Cochran (President) is a family law attorney who represents adoptive parents in the finalization of their adoptions. She knows firsthand how exciting the adoption process can be as she and her husband are adoptive parents to two kids. She began attending meetings when her daughter was about six months old so that she could learn how to talk to her daughter about adoption as well as the benefits of open adoption. She and her family live in Dripping Springs and love to hike and bike as much as possible. She is a proud sixth generation Texan, hails from east Texas, and is a graduate of TAMU-Commerce and New England School of Law. She can be contacted at (512) 870-8187 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Jason Ledlie (Vice President) lives with his wife, Kim, and their 5 children at their horse ranch east of Austin, and he is a triad member as an international adoptive parent. Jason works as a therapist in Austin and specializes in working with adoptive families. He also travels internationally to work with children from hard places and to teach and consult on equine-assisted therapy.
Rod Lind, LPC (Treasurer) comes to the AKA Board as an adoptee who recently united with several members of his birth family. He is also a Licensed Professional Counselor and a National Certified Counselor with more than 20 years of experience in the mental health field. He holds a certification in medical hypnosis (CMH) from the American Psychotherapy and Medical Hypnosis Association and has Diplomate status in Comprehensive Energy Psychology (D-CEP) from the Association for Comprehensive Energy Psychology and is currently a Board member of both of those organizations. Rod has a limited private practice helping adult adoptees to meet life’s challenges and to achieve their most desirable sense of self.
Rod’s interest in the adoption field came after a colleague encouraged him to petition the court to have his birth records opened and then to search for members of his birth family. This is when he was introduced to AKA and it was through AKA (Connie Gray) that he was able to unite with members of his birth family. AKA has been invaluable in facilitating his understanding of and coming to terms with adoption.
In 2010 he and his wife moved to Austin where the families of their two children reside. In 2012 they moved to Cedar Park. They enjoy taking advantage of the many points of interest in the area as well as the artistic venues when possible.
Amanda Surrec, LCSW (Administrator / Secretary) graduated from Baylor University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Work. She earned a Master’s of Science in Social Work degree from The University of Texas in Austin in 2001 and is licensed by the state of Texas as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has experience working with children and families in a variety of settings including in-home case management, intensive outpatient and inpatient psychiatric care, managed care, inpatient perinatal services including the Special Care Nursery, and the Emergency Room. Amanda has worked with members of the triad in a variety of settings and is passionate about helping families in their adoption journey. Amanda has provided adoption home study/evaluation and post placement services for the past eight years. She has been attending meetings with Adoption Knowledge Affiliates since 2010 and has served as a volunteer, a conference committee member for several years, and as conference co-chair in 2014. Amanda has been serving as AKA’s Administrator since 2016.
Karen Howry (Board Member at Large) is an adoptee, birth parent, and although not an adoptive parent she is currently raising another parent’s child as well as her own biological daughter. She was adopted at birth in Austin, Texas from Child & Family Services. Karen reunited with her birth mother in 1993. Although Karen’s birth mother has since died, still remains close to the rest of her maternal birth family. At 16, she was pregnant in high school and placed her son for adoption through Lutheran Social Service. She has had contact several times with her birth son’s family and currently is in reunion with her son. Karen is a longtime supporter and participant in AKA. She has also previously served on the AKA Board of Directors.
Traci W. Pirri, LCSW (Board Member at Large) is an Austin-based therapist and adoptive mom of two. She specializes is healing trauma and adoption issues in her private practice, particularly helping families navigate adoption relationships in open adoptions and reunions. She and her family enjoy a very close relationship with their children’s birth families. She began participating AKA as a member and presenter in 2015. When she is not at the ball field watching her kids play baseball and softball, she and her husband enjoy spending time with friends and family, cooking, and getting out to see the world. You can contact her by emailing email@example.com or calling 512-815-3924.
Conference – Jason Ledlie
Education Committee – Karen Howry & Traci Pirri, LCSW