Dr. Robert Visscher, Board Chair
Dr. Visscher, is a retired obstetrician-gynecologist and certified reproductive endocrinologist. He earned his BA degree from Hope College ('51), MD degree from the University of Michigan ('55), OB-GYN Board certification ('64), and sub-specialty certification in Reproductive Endocrinology ('80).
After spending seven years in the U.S. Navy as a Medical Officer, he was in private practice in Grand Rapids, Michigan from 1963 to 1991. During this time, he was also a Clinical Professor at Michigan State University, Director of the OB-GYN Residency at Blodgett-St Mary's Hospitals, and started the Blodgett In Vitro Fertilization program in 1982.
From 1990 to 1996, he was the Medical Director ('90 – '91) and Executive Director ('92 – '96) of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, which is the national representative and advocate for reproductive medicine in the United States.
After retiring in 1996, his interests have been primarily in ethics associated with in vitro fertilization and related technologies. He is a member of several regional and national committees and advisory boards promoting embryo donation of remaining cryopreserved embryos to other couples with unmet family needs.
Eric W. Phelps, Vice Chair
Eric W. Phelps, M.A., J.D. is an attorney specializing in reproductive, family and adoption law in Traverse City, Michigan. His practice, Phelps Legal, offers the Center for Fertility and Adoption Law. Prior to becoming an attorney, he enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and earned a commission as a Second Lieutenant upon graduation in 1985. He served as an officer of Marines from 1985 until 1999, in both active and reserve roles in the United States and overseas.
Mr. Phelps earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Eastern Michigan University in 1985, a Bachelor of Liberal Studies degree from Mary Washington College in 1995, a Juris Doctor degree from the Thomas M. Cooley Law School in 1998, and a Master of Arts in Bioethics from Trinity International University in 2007. He was admitted to practice law in State of Michigan and the United States District Court for the Western District of Michigan in 1998, in the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit in 1999 and in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan in 2002. He regularly litigates cases in all Michigan trial and appellate courts.
Mr. Phelps is a member of New Hope Community Church, the Christian Legal Society, the American Society for Reproductive Medicine and the State Bar of Michigan.
Glenn DeMots, Treasurer
Glenn DeMots is a graduate of Calvin College and Michigan State University and holds a master's degree in social work. He began his social work career at Bethany Christian Services. After several years of employment as both a foster care and adoptions caseworker, he served in a supervisory role for the family counseling program. Following this, he became the administrative director of Bethany's Michigan branch office. He was later promoted to the position of associate director and for the last sixteen years of his career, until retirement in 2005, served as Bethany's CEO. In 2003, he spearheaded a fact gathering initiative to determine how best to respond to and meet the needs of a growing new initiative, embryo donation. That initiative laid the foundation for the start of an embryo services program at Bethany. In 2012, that program was transferred to the National Fertility Support Center. Glenn and his wife Mary, are passionate about expanding the availability of professional support to those struggling with infertility and committed to advancing awareness of embryo donation as a wonderful and life-affirming path to parenthood.
Nicole Bell, Secretary
Nicole Bell is currently a stay at home mother of three children, the oldest of whom joined the family through traditional domestic adoption, and twins who were born to the family via donor embryo. Prior to staying home with her children, she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree from Calvin College (1994) and subsequently pursued a career in the social services field, most recently as an Indiana State Certified Long Term Care Ombudsman.
Subsequent to the birth of her twins, Nicole has been passionately involved in providing awareness, education, and advocacy in support of embryo donation. She worked alongside Right to Life and other groups providing education and awareness, often relaying her personal story, and coordinating a community response to Michigan's Proposition 2. She has been a featured speaker in local, state, and national venues advocating embryo donation. Since 2009 Nicole has provided web chats that inform and educate potential new embryo recipients and donors about their journey through infertility and parenthood through both traditional adoption and embryo donation. She has also served as an individual mentor to couples that are considering embryo donation.
In addition to donor embryo advocacy, Nicole has been involved with several community organizations and participates in various community volunteer activities.