Amy Ziff, Founder and Executive Director
Amy is a healthy living educator with a genetic predisposition to toxicity. She’s also mom to three young kids who share the same trait. Determined to make the world less toxic, Amy reached millions of parents and caregivers with her “buy better” advocacy campaigns. She blogs about the chemical world we live in on Amy Ziff’s NoTox Life, and prior to founding MADE SAFE, taught classes on living a nontoxic life and co-founded the Veritey Shop, a site comprised of safe, nontoxic products. Amy is changing the world for the healthier one product at a time, one person at a time, one home at a time.
Amy has a Masters in Journalism and Communications and has been a successful internet entrepreneur. She was on the founding team of Site59 where she pioneered the first luxury business line for travel on the web. When Site59 was acquired by Travelocity, she ran a national sales team and then founded an award-winning media program, blog, and travel seal that garnered millions of dollars of “earned media” annually, and also founded the company’s award-winning cause marketing program. Amy went on to cofound and become creative director of Jetsetter, the first online flash-sale for high-end travel.
Agata Sobczak, Screening Operations Manager
Agata joined the MADE SAFE team in 2021. She has a background in knowledge and data management, having worked as an archivist and research assistant. Agata is passionate about living sustainably and following the Zero Waste principles. She believes in the need to make nontoxic products more affordable and accessible to the broader public. Agata holds a Bachelor of Arts in history and theology, as well as a Master of Arts in history from Fordham University.
Debby Cook, Science and Research Project Manager
Debby is a former public school teacher with a passion for healthy living. As a survivor of SAA (Severe Aplastic Anemia, in her case an environmentally triggered bone marrow failure disease), this is a very personal cause for her. She knows that what is in our environment matters. Debby began her work with nonprofits at the Washington School of Psychiatry in the early ’90s and continues today at MADE SAFE and as a Board member of an international health-related nonprofit. Debby has a Masters in Education from The American University and a B.A. in history from Haverford College.
Esther Grondahl, Social Media Manager
Esther focuses on increasing social media reach, growing followers, making a greater impact and finding unique ways to further the MADE SAFE message. Her goal is to empower parents who are struggling to find answers.
Esther specializes in training nonprofits, small businesses, and concerned citizens in how to have a consistent impact using social media. She engages behind-the-scenes in viral campaigns and consumer education in the good food movement and nontoxic living space. On behalf of her clients, she is reaching hundreds of thousands of people each week on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest, and is determined to continue teaching about chemical exposure through food and the products we use every day. Esther is the former Development Coordinator for GMO Free USA, and is also a speaker, most recently moderating a panel at the Autism One conference. She has a Bachelor of Science in Music Education from the University of South Florida.
Harley Fredriksen, Research Associate
Harley joined the MADE SAFE team as a researcher in 2018. He has a background in Biology and Chemistry, and his personal interests are in sustainability and education. Harley believes that people should not be in the dark when it comes to the potential dangers of everyday products, and this fuels his interest in researching ingredients for MADE SAFE. He also holds a Master of Science in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana.
Lauren Trafton, Operations Director
Lauren has wide-ranging experience working with consumer products from stationery to fashion, but her primary background is in product market research. An inveterate ingredient/content label reader, Lauren’s quest for less toxic, safer products became even more earnest after searching for non-irritating sunscreens for her then-young children. With a busy family life, Lauren recognizes the need, which MADE SAFE’s mission answers, to cut through the cacophony of product information, enabling consumers to make best choices about products used in home and family life. Lauren has a B.A. in English from Emory University.
Megan Brown, Communications & Outreach Manager
Megan is passionate about helping people live healthier lives by educating and empowering them to make informed decisions. She is excited to be part of MADE SAFE’s mission to do just that.
At MADE SAFE, Megan is the primary point of contact between our team and our partner companies after a product is certified. She also assists in building key relationships with media, influencers, organizations and stakeholders in the space and puts her writing skills to work helping to translate science into easy-to-understand and actionable information for consumers.
Megan’s background is in environmental health research, where she has most recently worked to coordinate an Environmental Children’s Health Study at the Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine, examining how different environmental exposures such as heavy metals and chemicals impact the health of pregnant women and their developing children.
In addition to her interest in reducing toxic burden in the home and body, Megan is interested in the relationship between environmental exposures and cognitive and behavioral outcomes, as well as food systems and how they’re impacted by farming practices.
She has a B.A. from Gordon College in Psychology, and when she is not working, you can find her hiking, cooking, reading, and exploring new places.
Shari Sliwa, Development Liaison
Shari joined the MADE SAFE team in 2018 bringing together her love of animals and nature with her nonprofit career. Shari has been rescuing animals from around the globe on her travels for practically her whole life. She currently resides with one dog and two cats (we’ll see if more are added soon…)
In addition to working with MADE SAFE, Shari has been with the School of Nursing at George Washington University since 2010, managing sponsored projects. Currently she supports the Pathways Project and the Coalition for Supportive Care for Kidney Patients. She has an MA from American University.
Susan Cann, Visual Communications Manager
Susan helped produce the award-winning documentary about chemical body burden UNACCEPTABLE LEVELS, and has made a career out of connecting people so they can combine their talents and expertise for the greater good. After several decades as a small business owner and book publisher, she worked on staff at Stanford University for over ten years in marketing, communications, and event planning. Susan oversees our graphic design and web presence, making sure we are effectively communicating our mission and programs with the general public, our companies and sponsors, to further awareness of our work and education efforts externally.
Sydney Cook, Director of Science and Research
Sydney’s background is in science and writing – two fields that come together in her work at MADE SAFE. She manages product and ingredient screenings, writes blogs, reports and fact sheets, and researches all aspects of ingredients and materials, including human and environmental toxicity, manufacturing processes, sourcing, contamination risks, and more.
Sydney holds an M.S. in Environmental Studies from the University of Montana, where her research focused on toxic cosmetic ingredients’ impacts on environmental and human health, and environmental justice issues in nail salons. As a writer Sydney worked as a professional writing tutor for more than five years, served as an adjunct writing professor at the University of Montana, and worked as journalist and freelancer. She earned her B.A. in Biology from Coe College and is a certified yoga instructor.