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 becoming 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.
Mandy Morgan, Secretary
Simply put: Midwest Mannered.
Mandy was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri, and her Midwestern roots have followed her ever since. She was diagnosed with left-sided ulcerative colitis in 2013, after having complications since 2009. Mandy studied technical communication at Missouri State University, receiving both a bachelor’s and master’s degree. Afterward, keeping true to the Midwest, she moved up to Chicago, bringing her love for STL-style pizza and baseball along with her.
Starting as a blogger for Girls with Guts, Mandy became hooked on the organization, and all the positivity, friendship, and support Girls with Guts has provided. She strives to keep that mission going.
Meghan Nyeste, Director of Development
A Michigander by way of the East Coast, Meghan has a passion for helping others. She holds a B.A. in communication from Western Michigan University and a M.A. in communication from Oakland University. She has been helping students and parents navigate the college-going process for over a decade.
Although she does not have IBD, she has witnessed the devastating effects of the disease on close friends and family. She has seen the positive impact Girls With Guts has made in the lives of women with IBD, and when offered an opportunity to serve on the Board of Directors, she jumped at the chance to be a part of an amazing community.
When she’s not working or advocating for IBD, you can find her obsessing over otters, her dog, Dot, and her newborn son, Michael.
Samii, Event LIAISON
Samii was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2006 at the age of 20. She has been on nearly every medication and also has several other autoimmune diseases such as RA, Sjorgrens, Lupus and epilepsy.
Despite her diagnosis, she works as a pediatric oncology nurse, fosters children and runs summer camps for kids with medical/social needs.
She has been a part of Girls With Guts since late 2012 and is passionate about advocating and educating the community about IBD.
When Samii is not working tirelessly as a humanitarian you may catch her at the dog park with her pup, Utley.
Kristen Weiss Sanders, content manager
Kristen Weiss Sanders is a proud ostomate and third generation girl with guts diagnosed with IBD in 2004. Raised in upstate New York, she moved to Atlanta in 2010 where she completed her master’s in neuroscience at Emory University.
Kristen is passionate about patient education and encourages those with chronic illness to be a knowledgable part of their healthcare team. 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.