Our volunteer of the month for April is Suzanne Nickerson. Suzanne is our Volunteer Coordinator. She has also spent countless hours handling many of our administrative tasks, helping with our Meet & Greets and other events , and everything in between! Suzanne became an Atlanta Birth Center volunteer when she saw we needed help setting up for our very first fundraising event in July of 2011. She immediately jumped in and we’ll say the rest is history! She has been an invaluable resource from Day 1, and we would not be as organized as we are without her dedication and hard work.
Atlanta Birth Center: What is your background?
Suzanne: My husband and I moved up to Georgia from SW Florida about 3 and a half years ago. We have a daughter, Zoë who is almost 22 months old. I enjoy being a stay at home mom. I have a degree in business management from Florida Gulf Coast University. I am a licensed Florida real estate agent and used to work for my aunt’s real estate firm when we lived there. I started working for my aunt when I was 14 and enjoyed it so much that I decided I wanted to sell real estate. I took my exam on my 18th birthday. My dad taught me how to fly when I was 12. I took my private pilot check ride on my 16th birthday and passed! Yes, I could fly an airplane legally before I could drive a car! Two years later I became an instrument rated pilot. When I’m not chasing Zoë on the playground or reading to her, I enjoy cooking, playing tennis, traveling and spending time with my family.
Atlanta Birth Center: How did you get involved and what contributions have you made to Atlanta Birth Center?
Suzanne: I started volunteering for the birth center in July 2011. I went to drop-off a few items that I was donating for the Campaign Kick-off with Mayim Bialik and I noticed that they were short on help. I ended up staying for about 2 hours and helping setup the day before the event. I was planning on attending the event, but ended up helping the entire day of the event as well. I had recently moved into the city from the suburbs and thought that I needed to get involved especially since I was now close by. After that event I officially joined the team and became Atlanta Birth Center’s admin lead. Since then I have transitioned to the Volunteer Coordinator. My role is to place volunteers into positions that come available. I take minutes at our monthly leadership meetings. I help with fundraisers, Meet & Greets, and other events and benefits. I also worked on getting our market survey distributed to our listserv.
Suzanne: I was with a large ob-gyn practice when I got pregnant. I really liked my doctor, but I wasn’t as comfortable with the other five doctors who might have been delivering my baby if I had gone into labor while they were on call. I felt immediately at home and comfortable after my first visit with Intown Midwifery and I knew that’s where I wanted to be for my baby’s birth. Our daughter was born 16 days after her due date and I was able to have the water birth that I wanted. The whole experience was so good, thanks to Margaret, Anjli, and Brad. Since then, I have thought about how different my birth would have been if I had stayed with the practice that I was with. I realize there’s no way I would have been able to go as long past my due date without being induced, much less to have been able to have a water birth. After my experience I felt inspired to “give back” and volunteer so it would be possible for other women to be able to have the birth they want, not the birth someone else tells them they should have. Atlanta is such a great city and has so much to offer, and I feel very strongly that we need a birth center here.
Atlanta Birth Center: What has been your favorite part about your role as a volunteer?
Suzanne: My favorite part about volunteering has been all of the great and interesting people I have had a chance to meet. It has been very inspiring to meet other people who give so much of their time and talents to try to make sure that Atlanta has a top-notch birth center. We depend on our volunteers to make things happen!
We thank you so much, Suzanne, for everything you have contributed. Your organization, management, and especially your radiant energy and positive attitude are a valuable part our team!