About our organizations and Board Members
We promote preventative health care and holistic wellbeing.
Our organization aims to increase awareness of preventable diseases that impact community health. We focus on preventing these avoidable diseases through motivating the community to make healthy choices, promoting cancer screenings, and raising awareness for various health concerns.
Our Steering Committee
Dr. Aparna Mele, My Gut Instinct Founder
Aparna Mele, M.D. is a board-certified gastroenterologist with Digestive Disease Associates since 2007. She came to the field of medicine with extensive experience in international relief work overseas and is actively involved in local philanthropic work directed towards patient education and promotion of societal health. She started My Gut Instinct, her nonprofit organization, to educate the community about self-empowerment towards better health through better dietary choices, regular exercise, and preventative care. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, doing Crossfit, playing the piano, gourmet cooking, and traveling around the world.
Haley Mohn, Board Member
Haley is a Berks County native who cares about her community’s well-being. Having been diagnosed with Crohns Disease at a young age, the My Gut Instinct cause is near and dear to her heart. She currently works full-time at Penske Truck Leasing and is an Alvernia University alumni; where she received her undergraduate degree in Business Management. She is working on earning her graduate degree in Human Resource Development from Villanova University. In her free time, Haley enjoys running, rock climbing, obstacle course racing, and yoga.
Alicia Lee, Event Volunteer Coordinator
Alicia is a Regional Media Sales Executive with Hoffmann Publishing Group and manages the media sales and account service activities for many of their regional clients through their niche market magazines. She is native to Berks County and has an active lifestyle which includes walking, dancing and yoga. She enjoys buying fresh produce at local farmers markets and juicing. Alicia is a passionate community volunteer who enjoys making new connections to partner within building the community. She has volunteered with the United Way of Berks County, Helping Harvest, West Reading Community Revitalization Foundation, Salvation Army, and Belle of the Ball to name a few. Alicia is also passionate about the environment and has implemented small changes in her lifestyle to be more eco-friendly. In her spare time Alicia enjoys traveling to eclectic shops, restaurants, community events and unique destination experiences.
Erica Wennell, Event Vendor Coordinator
Erica was born in Philadelphia, but has spent most of her life in Berks County. Since 2008 she has been working in banking and has enjoyed helping people to reach their financial goals, and is currently with Sun Federal Credit Union doing business development. In her spare time you can find her kayaking, skiing, or spending time with her dog and husband in Bern township. “Serving and volunteering has always been my passion, and I love the mission of My Gut Instinct and am very excited to meet members of the community at our events, while increasing awareness about health and wellness in Berks County”
Maria Alcoke, Web & Graphics
Maria is the founder and creative director of her graphic and web development studio, MariaVida Creative. She is formerly hosted her podcast, The Engine Mom and served as a CrossFit-L1 trainer and a Certified Pre-&Postnatal Coach at a local gym. Maria is a wife and mom of 2 daughters. With over 15 years in the creative field in both agency and education settings, Maria now runs a thriving design business and spends her free time training in her home-gym, exploring the east coast with her family and whipping up delicious meals in the kitchen.
Derek Rutter, Board Member
Derek is a Behavior Specialist with the Redco Group in Temple, PA and has supported adults with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Mental Health diagnoses for over 13 years. He enjoys being active at St. Peter’s UCC heading the stewardship team on the consistory board. Derek serves the wider church as the treasurer of the UCC Covenant Association of churches in and near Berks County. He leads an active lifestyle volunteering, sports and recreation, and visiting restaurants, shops and farmer’s markets in different cities. Derek likes to brew beer, ferment foods such as kombucha and cook new recipes for fun. He was introduced to My Gut Instinct through volunteering and immediately felt inspired by the team and connected to the mission.
Kyle Wennell, Board Member
Kyle is a Berks County native and fourth-generation owner of Berks County’s oldest family-owned bar, Jack’s Pub. He is a graduate of Wilson High School and has a degree in Culinary Arts from Johnson and Wales University. Kyle is passionate about the environment, nature, learning, exercise, travel, and adventure. He is a licensed Sky Diver, a member of the Flying Dutchmen Ski Club, and a member of multiple conservation groups including The Sierra Club, The Natural Resources Defense Council, The Nature Conservancy, and others. In his spare time, Kyle enjoys skiing, hiking, riding his motorcycle, rock climbing, kayaking, and traveling the world. He also enjoys spending time at his home on the Schuylkill River with his wife and dog.
You’ve seen her life-size figure running around Berks, but lately she’s been prepping for her anticipated travels around the country! Gutsy Girl has downsized to get portable-ready for traveling…quite literally. Meet Mini-Gutsy, our tabletop mini version of Gutsy Girl On The Go.
Want to get involved?
There are many ways that you can support our organization, whether it be volunteering with us at our annual event, Guts & Glory, contributing an article to our wellness blog, sending a monetary donation (every little bit helps!) or joining our committee. If you’re interested in joining our team, please email us with a resume and cover letter describing your interest in being part of our Board. We are grateful for your support!