Meet the Staff
Kaleen Richards, Founder, CNM, ARNP
As a nurse midwife, Kaleen has worked hard to be able to offer families all birth options: home birth, birth center, and hospital birth. She started out as a doula and childbirth educator before getting her RN degree. She believes all women benefit from prenatal care with a midwife due to the emphasis of the Midwifery Model on education, partnership, and natural childbirth.
Kaleen has three amazing sons, two of which were born at home with a midwife. As a health care provider, she encourages natural remedies for healing and has taken courses to increase her knowledge. She does however take pride in her ability to offer medication when necessary. Kaleen believes all women deserve to make choices during their birth process and it is an honor to help offer natural childbirth options to families in our community.
Shannon Sepulveda, LM, CPM
Few women have the personal experience with birth the way Shannon has, as the mother of 6 children with her 7th child on the way in spring of 2019. Shannon’s love for babies is no secret, which has made her a wonderful team member at Tree of Life. She has filled many roles from office administration, birth assistant, and Student Midwife on her journey to obtaining her own midwifery degree. Everyone one love Shannon and we’re sure you will too.
Michelle Isla, LM, CPM
"Love is an expression of the willingness to create space in which something is allowed to change"—Harry Palmer
Long before embarking on the path to becoming a midwife, Michelle learned about birth, babies, and breastfeeding by reading everything she could get her hands on and attending a plethora of workshops, classes, and conferences. The approach to birthing that most inspired her most was one that put self-growth, conscious preparation, and parenting as a spiritual journey; one that recognized that this journey was as much about birthing a new Self as it was about birthing a new baby. She is still deeply moved and inspired by this philosophy and her highest intention is to grow that awareness in every mama she touches physically and emotionally. Her “real-life” learning came in 2006 when she birthed her first child and became a mother herself. She is a proud home birthing, co-sleeping, extended breastfeeding, baby-wearing mama to two beautiful girls!
Prior to becoming a midwife, she served families in Central Florida as a doula, childbirth educator, and lactation counselor. She also spent several years working as a bilingual birth and breastfeeding advocate in her community, organizing community events, working with the Seminole Co Health Dept, and being an early board member of the Central Florida Birth Network. In 2013, she became a Licensed Midwife having graduated from the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery in Gainesville. Since then she has had the privilege of serving women and their families in both the home birth and birth center settings. She uses a holistic approach in caring for her client mamas by focusing on natural remedies, nutrition, and the mind-body-spirit connection. She continues to believe in the transformational power of pregnancy, birth, and mothering and relates deeply to her midwifery clients because, just like you, SHE IS a midwifery client, a mama also walking this path, sharing some of the same challenges, joys, and blessings…all of which make us strong MOTHERS walking this path TOGETHER!
Julie believes that every expecting mother deserves the same support she received at the births of her two children. Her passion drove her to become a certified birth doula, a certified HypnoBirthing® Educator with HypnoBirthing, The Mongan Method, trained and certified in the use of Rebozo, a certified lactation counselor with the Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice, as well as a yoga instructor trained in prenatal yoga. Julie strongly feels she is meant to be a part of women’s wellness, prenatal health, labor support, and to educate expecting families to lovingly welcome the birth of their their babies.
Tiffany Wayte is married and has a son named Micah and a daughter named Mackenzie. After having her daughter in 2010 she was inspired to find out more about the out of hospital birth community and get involved. Tiffany has been working with Tree of Life since the first year they were open and has helped to support Tree of Life as it has grown into 2 prosperous birth centers in Central Florida. Tiffany works at Tree of Life as the Billing Manager for both birth centers.
Allika Alce, IBCLC
As our Lactation specialist, Allika ensures that every family receives the quality of care they need and deserve. When she started her career, she worked as a peer counselor for a women's clinic in New York and later worked as a lactation specialist for the Florida Department of health in Seminole County.
With over 16 years of personal and professional breast-feeding experience she has handled many unique situations. She lives in Central Florida with her loving husband, and 5 beautiful children. In her spare time she enjoys bike riding, long-walks, jogging, reading and writing.