Mary Anne Mosack, SRAST, President/CEO

Mary Anne Mosack serves as the President and CEO of Ascend, promoting an accurate understanding and appreciation for SRA as an important primary prevention message for teens. She is responsible for ongoing development of educational materials and oversees the SRA certification training program offered by Ascend throughout the United States. She is dedicated to continuous program improvement, research, and public policy impacting the SRA approach.

Mary Anne is the former Executive Director of Operation Keepsake, an SRA program that during her tenure served over 27,000 students in 140 schools in the greater Cleveland, Ohio area. As a result of her leadership, rigorous program evaluations provided one of the first peer-reviewed, published studies showing the effectiveness of SRA education for high-risk teens.

Mary Anne is frequently interviewed by various media outlets regarding SRA education. She has delivered numerous presentations on effective communication strategies including for conferences of the Federal Department of Health and Human Services. She has served as an SRA program evaluation and development consultant to the Administration of Children and Families (ACF), working to engage stakeholders throughout the country in partnering to build cohesive community networks to support positive youth development at the local level. She is also co-author of The War on Intimacy, which demonstrates how explicit sex education negatively impacts the ability to develop healthy relationships.

As a strong advocate of Sexual Risk Avoidance education, she is committed to building the protective assets all teens need to ensure they are given the opportunity to reach optimal health and life success.

Tracey Pike, SRAST, Executive Director


Tracey Pike serves as the Executive Director of Ascend, helping lead the SRA field to achieve and maintain the highest standards of excellence for SRA programming nationwide. Tracey is passionate about developing and maintaining partnerships with those dedicated to the holistic health of youth.

Tracey has been an SRA educator since 2000 and received her SRAS certification from Ascend in 2012. She has authored and facilitated numerous SRA and holistic health programs, and in 2004 redesigned the delivery of the I Decide for Me SRA program, prompting a 630% increase in the program’s reach. In 2018, Tracey designed and launched a six-year longitudinal study (the Program Impact Evaluation (PIE) program) to measure the effectiveness of the I Decide for Me curriculum.

Tracey is dedicated to helping youth reach their full potential and positively impacting youth for optimal health outcomes.

Tracey’s zealous personality makes it hard for her to believe one can have so much fun and call it work. She is convinced she is a teen trapped in an older person’s body, although she has two adult children to prove otherwise.

Melissa Walther, SRAS, National Project Director

Melissa Walther is the National Project Director for Ascend, supporting individual states and SRA programs in implementing programming. Melissa works to continually improve the SRA model by taking what \works and pushing it out to the SRA field while revising what doesn’t work.

Melissa has been in the Sexual Risk Avoidance field for 14 years, working to help youth achieve optimal health. She began her career as a sex education health facilitator working directly with thousands of youth. From classroom settings to juvenile justice centers to summer camps, Melissa has educated youth across all socioeconomic, cultural, and geographic backgrounds.

Melissa has also managed a statewide collaborative of SRA providers, together serving over 100,000 youth each year. Her work there as a Sexual Risk Avoidance Specialist focused on strengthening SRA programs to best help youth succeed at avoiding risks.

Christine Eckley, External Affairs Administrator

Christine Eckley is the External Affairs Administrator for Ascend and is probably one of the first people you will talk to when you contact us. She joined Ascend in 2011 and is the primary point of contact for media requests, educational resources, and Ascend’s SRAS Certification Program.

John Lyman, CFO

John Lyman is the CFO for Ascend, a role he has held since the founding in 2007. John has over 30 years of experience in accounting and 20 years in the non-profit world where he continues to assist other organizations with financial oversight. John operates the Ascend financial office from Atlanta, GA.