This month, two of our BOMA board members, Eileen (the president) and Ann (the treasurer) had the opportunity to speak with Marc Sherman, the founder of Organic Conceptions.
After Marc and his wife struggled with infertility for years, he wanted to create a program that encompassed the whole person and was backed by research. The result was a life-changing program that can help couples struggling with infertility by meeting them where they are and helping them emotionally and psychologically.
Check out our online video conversation with Marc to learn more about Organic Conceptions and see how BOMA providers can incorporate this program into their work.
Written by Sue Ek
When Abby Johnson’s life story hits the big screen on March 29, we want to support her by going to her movie, Unplanned. A former Planned Parenthood manager-turned-pro-life advocate and a Catholic convert, Abby is also a Billings Ovulation Method® teacher! A few years ago, she contacted me to schedule a Billings training in which she was going to invite friends (and pay for them). After a couple of emails, it occurred to me to ask, “Are you the Abby Johnson?” Sure enough, the famous Abby Johnson was so convinced of the importance of bringing the Billings Method™ to more women and couples that she personally organized and sponsored a training near her home in Texas. Abby continues to be a dues-paying member of BOMA and was even a banquet speaker for us a couple of years ago.
Recently, Abby sent us a trailer to her movie, along with a special shout-out to us. Please take a few minutes to watch the trailer. You won’t regret it!
Let’s help make Abby’s movie, Unplanned, a success in the box offices around the country! Besides watching the link, check out www.unplannedfilm.com for show times near you and for other details.
From Left: Son-in-law Joseph, daughter Alexa, grandson Ronan, Rosa, Craig, son Daniel, daughter-in-law London, son Seth
BOMA is excited to announce that we are expanding! Craig Turczynski is our new Director of Development and Strategic Planning. We are interviewing Craig as our Spotlight Feature for this month so that all our membership can get to know him.
Q: Why don’t you start off by telling where you are from originally?
A: I was born in Chicago and lived in the suburbs until I was 12. My parents owned a couple of businesses and did well, but they wanted a slower, more wholesome lifestyle. So, they sold the businesses and bought a farm in rural northeast Iowa, where the closest town was 2 miles away and had only 2,000 people. I loved the farm life, working hard and being outside every day.
Q: What about your educational background?
A: I completed my BS in Animal Science at Iowa State University and then moved to Texas to pursue a graduate degree. In Texas, I met my wife, Rosa, got married, and started a family while completing my Ph.D. in Physiology of Reproduction at Texas A&M University. I then went on to do a postdoctoral fellowship in reproductive endocrinology at the Women’s Research Institute in Wichita, KS. There, I did basic research in reproductive endocrinology and was promoted to Associate Director of the assisted reproductive technology laboratory. In 1994, I accepted an Assistant Professor appointment in the Ob-Gyn department at LSUMC-Shreveport and helped build their infertility laboratory program.
Q: Tell us a little more about your time working in infertility. Did you struggle with the moral aspects of that work?
A: During the 5 years that I was the chief embryologist for the infertility program, I observed the difficulties couples experience when putting their faith in technology while trying to conceive. The cost, low success rate, and myriad of additional problems this conventional approach produces began to weigh heavily on my heart. Abandoned embryos, multiple pregnancies, selective reductions, frequent miscarriages, and then questions about genetic and physical abnormalities were just some of the consequences of this disordered approach. When my boss forced me to carry out the wishes of a patient and discard their “excess” embryos, I had a conversion. I left the field and took an offer to work for a friend in the orthopedic medical device field.
Q: That’s fascinating. What a conversion! What happened after that, and how did you end up as a Billings teacher?
A: For the next 20 years, I focused on earning a living in the medical device field, but missed working in the field of reproductive health. Fortunately, as a reproductive physiologist, I knew to stay away from hormonal birth control, and my wife and I used natural means to avoid and achieve pregnancy. I felt a calling to use my reproductive training and learn more about NFP. So in 2008, I completed the first phase of training of the Creighton model, and in 2018, I completed the correspondence course to become a BOM teacher. I am now completing my practicum under the tutelage of Martha Winn and learning how to incorporate nutrition into my teaching by taking courses in holistic nutrition. I believe the timing is providential and related to a need for me to put more trust in God.
Q: Can you tell us a little bit more about your wife and children?
A: My wife, Rosa, is originally from Guadalajara, Mexico. We met in San Antonio, have been married for 30 years, and we have 3 grown children. Seth is recently married and is a police officer in Dallas. Alexa is also married, and she and her husband have one son, Ronan, who is 10 months old. Alexa is a writer and has published two books. Daniel is finishing college in computer programming. We live on a small farm north of Dallas. Rosa runs our Menchie’s frozen yogurt franchise store, while I work full-time for a new start-up medical device company. We are active members at Holy Family Catholic Church in Van Alstyne.
Q: I’d like to hear more about your farming experience. Are you talking about vegetables, animals, or both? Is this just for your family, or do you also sell what you produce to others?
A: We have lived on the farm since 2000 and have always had a few cattle, a horse, cats, dogs, and a garden. We mostly homeschooled our children, and the farm was an important part of their life. A few things happened around 2014 that made us start farming with more intensity. I was displaced from my medical device job of 15 years due to a purchase and restructuring by Johnson & Johnson, and both Rosa & Seth were diagnosed with illnesses. So, we wanted to raise more of our own food for health reasons, and we needed to make the farm a real business for economic reasons. Our main products were grass-fed and pastured pork, beef, turkey, chicken, and eggs, but we also aspired to increase our vegetable production as well. We sold our products direct to consumers at farmers markets and home delivery, and we marketed via a website and blog www.countryworkforce.com. In 2017, I went back to work for another medical device company, so we downsized and only produce for family and a small group of friends now.
Q: What are some of the first projects that you will be tackling as our new Director of Development and Strategic Planning?
A: Most importantly the organization needs to bring in revenue, which will allow us to have a much bigger impact. I will be working with Sue and the board to increase implementation of the services we are currently offering, such as teacher training and the medical seminar. I will be helping to drive awareness at medical conferences and health professional events. I will also be working on key strategic initiatives that promote the use of the BOM with the practice of individualized medicine, especially in regards to reproductive health, infertility, and the perimenopausal transition.
Q: Overall, what is your vision for the future of BOMA?
A: My vision is to grow the capabilities and efficiencies of the organization with a larger budget and a staff of people who focus their time on the individual services we provide. My dream is to see a more widespread acceptance and implementation of fertility awareness methods in the medical and patient community. I believe that the Billings Ovulation Method® has the scientific validation and the simple, natural approach needed to lead this charge. The Billings Ovulation Method® can be coupled with nutritional and lifestyle assessment as an effective means to assist with reproductive health issues without any of the complications associated with conventional technology. I am excited to join the team of teachers, religious, professionals, and laity committed to the application and promotion of the Billings Ovulation Method®. It is through our collective passion for this worthy cause that we can realize the dream of thousands of women and couples experiencing a more natural and healthy reproductive life.
BOMA-USA provides education and training for The Billings Ovulation Method® which is a natural method of fertility management that teaches you to recognize the body's natural signs of fertility.