Our People

The BE REAL Team

Denise Hamburger

Founder & Executive Director

Denise’s experience with her own body dissatisfaction inspired her to help the next generation grow up with a healthier relationship to food and their body. Going back to school in her second act, she found a robust field of academic research on body image problems with tools that had not yet found their way to the teachers and children who needed them. She trained on three body image curricula and began to guest lecture to middle-school and high-school students in their health classes.

Once in the public schools, teachers were asking for resources to help with the widespread body image issues they were seeing every day. With the help of the Illinois State Board of Education, Denise created a workshop for teachers’ professional development called Body Confident Schools. In 2019 and 2020 Denise presented this workshop to over 400 health teachers, social workers, and school administrators in Illinois.

In her first career as an environmental lawyer, Denise wrote Pollution in the United Kingdom, published in London in 1993. For the last 25 years, she has been actively involved in school-based nonprofits, working to create quality educational opportunities for all children.

Laura Eickman

Education Director at BE REAL.

Founder & Creator of REbeLCurriculum

Laura Eickman, PsyD, is a psychologist and educator whose work focuses on eating disorders, body image, and empowerment. After earning degrees at the University of Nebraska and Baylor University, Laura provided psychotherapy in private practice for more than 10 years. Her commitment to educating the community about mental health and body acceptance eventually turned into her full-time career when she created the REbeL curriculum and began to work in the school setting. The name, REbeL, is based on the philosophy that we want students to “rebel” against conformity, peer pressure, the diet mentality, and our culture’s unrealistic appearance standards. Laura has spoken on these topics both nationally and internationally, and believes body confidence needs to be taught and encouraged everywhere. Laura and her husband live in Nebraska where she spends most of her time driving her three boys around. She also loves baking, yoga, and college football!

Emily Her

Creative Head at BE REAL.

Emily is a junior studying economics and art at the University of Chicago. She enjoys exploring through her design work with vivid colors and bold moves, always ready to help tell the next story. Recovering from her own eating disorder, Emily is proud to work with BE REAL and hopes to continue to make a positive impact on student body confidence everywhere.

The BE REAL. Board of Directors

Sarah Altar

Sarah Altar

President & CEO of The Network of Executive Women (NEW)

As CEO of NEW, Sarah leads a nonprofit learning, leadership and advocacy organization that represents more than 13,000 members, with over 1,000 corporate partners and 22 regions in the United States and Canada. Sarah works toward advancing gender equality and diversity in the retail, consumer goods, technology, and financial services industries. Sarah believes it’s time for more women leaders and more collaborative, flexible, and diverse workplaces for everyone.

Lynn Slawsky

Lynn Slawsky

Executive Director of National Association of Anorexia Nervosa & Associated Disorders (ANAD)

Lynn Slawsky, MPA, PMP, came to ANAD with 15 years of experience working for nonprofit, hospital, university, and state government organizations. She previously served as ANAD’s Director of Community Relations. She has a background in project management as a certified PMP (Project Management Professional). She has a master’s degree in public administration from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University. She also has a bachelor’s degree in international studies from Ohio State. Lynn enjoys being part of a weekly chef team at a soup kitchen preparing meals for low-income neighbors. She also enjoys mentoring young women in their careers. Lynn mostly loves spending time with her toddler, Ellie.

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