Board of Directors
aLICIA aIELLO, President
Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, Alicia puts a little bit of “brotherly love” into everything she does.
She is a graduate of the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University where she studied Television, Radio, & Film. She now works as a freelance editor, producer, videographer, and photographer.
Alicia was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at the age of 14 and when she was re-diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at 22, Girls With Guts was just starting out. Her passion for GWG was instantaneous as she had not had that kind of support before.
She has been on the board of Girls With Guts since 2013 starting out as Director of Multimedia, and recently became the new President. She’s always had a knack for bringing ideas to life and that is where her passion and Girls With Guts merged. If she’s not helping to coordinate the annual Girls With Guts retreat or furthering the overall vision, you can catch her raising awareness about her personal IBD journey whenever she can.
Sarah Lemansky, Secretary
From a small town in southeastern Massachusetts, Sarah has a bachelor of fine arts in photography from Lesley University and is currently a photographer primarily working with newborns. She loves to read, listen to true crime podcasts, and spend time with her three guinea pigs and bunny.
After being diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2014, she received her ostomy in 2016 due to a bout of toxic megacolon and is currently in the process of constructing a j-pouch.
She always says that finding Girls with Guts was like coming home, ever since attending her first retreat in 2016. She fell in love with the idea of using art as a means of coping with IBD, and hopes to help other women find the same reprieve that she did by helping them to access their creativity.
Kristen Weiss Sanders, Director of development
Born and raised in upstate NY, Kristen is still learning to be a southern girl following her move to Atlanta for graduate school in 2010. She completed her masters degree in neuroscience at Emory University and is now a biology professor at Dalton State College in northwest Georgia.
A third-generation IBDer, Kristen was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2006 and re-diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2012 when her j-pouch began to fail. She is now a permanent ostomate and shares all of her adventures with her stoma, Roo.
Kristen attended her first Girls With Guts event at the 2017 Celebration in Chicago. Jumping on board as the blog coordinator and later content manager, she is excited to now put her science background and grant writing skills to good use as part of the board. She credits the constant example and support of the strong women in her family for her determination to thrive with Crohn’s disease and use her IBD journey to empower others.
Wesley Sanders, Treasurer
A southern gentlemen native to Augusta, GA, Wesley Sanders is excited to use his finance skills as part of the Girls with Guts team. He is currently the director of finance at a provider-owned health insurer and is completing his MBA at Georgia Tech. He also holds a BA in psychology from Binghamton University and a Master of Divinity from Emory University.
A self-proclaimed health policy wonk and an enthusiastic part of #HealthPolicyTwitter, he is passionate about health care reform and regulation. While not an IBDer himself, Wesley he has supported Kristen, his wife of seven years, through more than a decade of hospitalizations, surgeries, and daily life with Crohn’s disease.
Elizabeth Cutler, Event Coordinator
Elizabeth was born and raised in Colorado Springs. She lived for several years in Maryland, where she graduated from Montgomery College with an Associates Degree in Hospitality Management with a focus in Meeting, Conference and Event Planning.
She became sick after the birth of her child in 2010 and was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at that time. After a bowel perforation in 2012, which resulted in an ileostomy, her diagnosis was changed to Crohn’s Disease. Her ileostomy was made permanent in March 2018.
Elizabeth has been a member of GWG since 2013 when she attended her first retreat in Texas. She has attended every retreat since then. She has made lifelong friends and sisters through this incredible organization.
In 2015, she returned to Colorado to work in the hospitality industry. She spends her time hanging out with her son, Emmett, reading, binge watching Gilmore Girls, and fangirling musical theater.