Our Mission

Cuddle Party Inc.’s mission is to nurture honest human connections by

  1. Creating opportunities to explore, learn and practice embodied communication;
  2. Supporting an inclusive community of practice; and
  3. Promoting accountability to core values of bodily-autonomy, self-determination and kindness.  

Meet the Board 

The heart of Cuddle Party




Mary Sorensen

Salt Lake City, Utah; Boquete, Panama

Mary is retired and splitting her time between Panama and Utah as well as travelling and visiting as much as she can.  She has been a certified Cuddle Party facilitator and certified Cuddlist facilitating group events and education offerings since 2014.  Mary is invested in creating opportunities for people to find their way to their best and highest self.  We can help the world be a better place, one hug at a time.  

As we are growing our teams hear at CPI, Mary is working on managing the Cuddle Party website, helping with technology and communications, working with admin and finance as well as recruitment. You can book a chat with Mary to talk about your role with Cuddle Party at  Meet with Mary S. (google.com)

More about Mary: Cuddle Party Inc. | Mary Sorensen

Mary’s Events: https://cuddleparty.com/event-organizer/mary-sorensen/

Contact Mary: MSorensen@CuddleParty.org


Keeley Shoup

Chicago, IL

Since 2015 Keeley has been supporting clients as a Cuddle Therapist and Boundaries and Consent Educator in both individual and group settings. Her journey started by becoming Certified Cuddle Party Facilitator #00107! In 2017 she co-founded CuddleXpo, the first ever convention for cuddle professionalsAfter years of hosting hundreds of Cuddle Parties in the Chicago area, in 2022 she joined the Board of Directors for Cuddle Party Inc. She is also the CEO of Cuddlist and advocates for embodied consent and platonic touch autonomy

In addition to years of experience and extensive training in the field of cuddle therapy, she continues to build skills with education in IFS, EFT, somatic experiencing, Wheel of Consent embodiment practices, Uzazu, and more. She has spent thousands of session hours and has helped hundreds of people get their touch needs met. She mentors other professionals in the field and helps them improve their practice. 


Her broader ambition for the professional cuddling industry is to foster an interdisciplinary community of practitioners, to increase the standard of quality represented within the modality, and to improve accessibility to resources for practitioners.

More about Keeley: Cuddle Party Inc. | Keeley Shoup


Ethan Kaseff

Kansas City, KS

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More about Ethan: Cuddle Party Inc. | Ethan Kaseff


Les Bender


Les has been a participant of Cuddle Parties since 2022 as an enthusiastic supporter and has since become a “True Believer” in the community of Cuddle Party.  He is on our Board representing the participants in our community.  He also acts as a volunteer with our IT support team.  

Les believes strongly that our community has resources and gifts to offer a world and a culture that are suffering greatly right now.  He believes in his heart that there are key elements to our survival as a species in our community, our opening agreements, the circles we create that welcome and the connections we build using them!


DeVika Lyles


DeVika Lyles M. Ed. is the Owner and creative Education Officer of the Center for Transformative Sexology. She is committed to granting people an unparalleled experience of themselves through Coaching, Education, Workshops and Training. She is highly trained in effective Communication, Sexuality Education and Relationship Coaching.

She is a Certified Sexuality Education Facilitator, Cuddle Party Facilitator, Somatic Practitioner and Transformation Coach. She is the Creator of the Skin Hunger Project, Cuddle Sutra, and a body of work called “The Seven Sexological Conversations”. Currently residing in Fort Worth, Texas, she dedicates much of her time to supporting Social and Reproductive Justice. As a Board Member of the International Institute for Sexual Empowerment, she is accountable for designing and curating programming that transforms lives through education. Additionally, as a Board member of Cuddle Party Inc., she is accountable for the Diversity, Inclusion and Community Care Team. In all her endeavors, she maintains a commitment to self-development and continuing education.

More about Marcella: Cuddle Party Inc. | Marcella Lyles, M.Ed.


Cassie D’Aula


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More about Cassie:


Board Members #7, #8, #9, #10

We have four empty seats on the Board waiting for YOU!  If you are interested in joining the Board to share your vision and skills with Cuddle Party Inc., please contact Mary, Jennifer or any member of the Board and get an invite to the next Board meeting.  Prospective Board members will attend and contribute in two Board meetings.  At their third Board meeting, if there is still interest, a current Board member can make a motion to vote you on as an official member of the Board of Directors.  

Not sure if this is for you, but it sounds intriguing?  Come to a Board meeting and see how it goes.  We’ll keep an empty chair waiting just for you.  

Not ready for the Board, but you want to contribute?  Let us know how you want to Volunteer: Cuddle Party Volunteer Application 2.0 – Google Forms


Jennifer Gonzalez




Jennifer is a highly-skilled human-centered designer, an award-winning teacher, trainer and coach, and a passionate advocate for transformative justice and healing. She has helped small grassroots organizations, mid-sized nonprofits, and large federal agencies move through challenges and radical changes throughout her career. For the past decade, she has also been an advocate and community organizer within the movement for immigrant/refugee justice.

In the wake of a debilitating Covid-19 infection, she is grateful to focus her skills and passion on building healing communities. Jennifer has been invited to teach and speak at conferences, organizations, and universities in the US and Mexico, including two panel appearances at South By Southwest in Austin, TX. In addition to a JD from Stanford Law School, Jennifer holds a BA in English and an MA in Rhetoric and Composition from Brigham Young University.


Cuddle Party was founded in 2004 by Marcia Baczynski and Reid Mihalko.
Reid left the organization in 2008 and Marcia retired from the board in 2020.
Len Daley 2019.
Betty Martin 2021. 

Soleiman Bolour 2022.

Adam Paulman 2023.

Madelon Guinazzo 2023.  

Yoni Alkan 2024. 

Magali Rozec 2024.