More about Expect

Our Mission

There is no greater tool for a healthier pregnancy and delivery than prenatal fitness. That's why our mission is to make safe, OB/GYN-approved fitness as much a norm for pregnancy as not smoking.

Our Team

Expect's team is modern and diverse led by accomplished women of color and members of the LGBT community with careers spanning tech, medicine, and the entertainment industry.
Dara Cook
CEO & Cofounder

Dara Cook learned the secrets of creating addictive content at the media powerhouse MTV, where she was Head Creative of the MTV Video Music Awards, brand manager of Nick Cannon’s Wild ‘N Out and Senior Vice President in business development.

Dara was inspired to launch Expect when her sister exercised in pregnancy–and witnessed her give birth in a labor so smooth that the OB-GYN was only in the delivery room for 15 minutes! Later, Dara read the overwhelming research that women who exercise in pregnancy drastically reduce their risk of all major pregnancy complications such as premature births, gestational diabetes, preeclampsia and postpartum depression–and deliver healthier babies.

Noticing the lack of pre and postnatal fitness classes and modifications at her favorite gyms and fitness apps, Dara decided to leave MTV to help moms exercise in their own homes on their own time for healthier pregnancies, deliveries and babies. Dara and Expect cofounder Joey Pacheco met through their college alumni club in New York City back in 2014 and bonded over their shared love of fitness.

Cook is an alum of the Wharton School of Business, where she was a Joseph Wharton Scholar and Ben Franklin Scholar, and Harvard Business School’s General Management Program where her idea for Expect won the strategy competition. She is currently a Visiting Entrepreneur at Stanford Graduate School of Business’s Center for Social Innovation.

Joseph Pacheco
CPTO & Cofounder

Joseph Pacheco is a tech and product polymath who has worn every hat in the startup world from CTO, to Head of Product, to full-time engineer, to UX designer, content creator, founder, and product manager. His experience spans 10+ years and seven startups, including two backed by Y-Combinator. With a deep understanding of recruitment and team building, Pacheco has conducted technical interviews for over 1,400 engineers who have gone on to accept roles at major firms such as Apple, Dropbox, Yelp, and others in the Bay Area, New York, and Seattle. He has also written 50+ articles with thought leadership on engineering, hiring, interviewing, and product design and analytics. His multi-faceted expertise makes him invaluable to every aspect of Expect’s business from its product strategy and vision, technical execution and foundations, user experience design, brand design and pitch materials—and even the Expect name itself!

Joseph graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in Philosophy (with distinction) & Computer Science.

Jillian Ternosky
Chief Fitness Officer

Jillian Ternosky is an accomplished fitness app creator with a track record of successful startups. As the former Head of Production for ClassPass, she launched the brand's original content studio and oversaw the streaming of up to 7 live shows per day, resulting in over 1,500 pieces of content. She also led an all- woman team in this role. Prior to her work at ClassPass, Ternosky brought live functionality to the popular fitness streaming app Daily Burn, where she produced and wrote Daily Burn 365, a daily fitness lifestyle show. Her production credits also include work with MTV’s iconic music video series TRL, Nickelodeon, and branded content for health drink brand Vitamin Water. Ternosky won an Emmy for her work at the MSG Network. She holds a degree from East Stroudsburg University.

I-Min Lee
MD Special Advisor

I-Min Lee, MBBS, ScD, is a professor at Harvard Medical School and Harvard TH Chan School of Public Health. Dr. Lee co-authored the landmark studies on the impact of prenatal fitness in reducing gestational diabetes and hypertension, which helped prompt the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecologists to broadly recommend physical activity in the pre and postnatal periods. Dr. Lee’s primary area of interest is in the role of physical activity for preventing chronic diseases and enhancing longevity, and in women’s health. She has published more than 450 scientific articles and is lead editor of the textbook Epidemiologic Methods in Physical Activity Studies and is co-editor of Physical Activity Epidemiology, now undergoing its 3rd edition. She has served on national and international expert panels developing physical activity guidelines, including the 2008 US Physical Activity Guidelines, the 2010 WHO Global Recommendations on Physical Activity for Health, and the 2013 AHA/ACC Guideline on Lifestyle Management to Reduce Cardiovascular Risk. Dr. Lee sits on the international steering committee for the Lancet Physical Activity Series. She is principal investigator of a study that objectively measured physical activity in 18,000 women from 2011-2015; participants are now being followed for various health outcomes and mortality. She is principal investigator of the long-standing prospective Harvard Alumni Health Study that focuses on the relations of physical activity with long-term health outcomes. Dr. Lee received her from ScD and MPH from the Harvard School of Public Health and MBBS from National University of Singapore.

Rachel Villanueva
MD Medical Advisor

Rachel Villanueva, M.D., F.A.C.O.G. is the President of the National Medical Association, the largest and oldest national organization representing African American physicians and their patients in the U.S. She is a fellow of the American College of Obstetrics & Gynecologists and a board-certified OB-GYN with New York University Langone Medical Center. Dr. Villanueva has held prestigious positions throughout her career, including serving as an assistant clinical professor of obstetrics and gynecology at NYU School of Medicine, coordinator of the Minority Research Apprentice Program at Yale University School of Medicine, President of the Manhattan Central Medical Society, and member of the Executive Committee of the Association of Alumni in Yale Medicine. In addition to her medical accomplishments, Dr. Villanueva is a former college athlete who actively promotes fitness among her prenatal patients. She earned her B.S. degree from Yale University and her M.D. degree, cum laude, from Yale University School of Medicine.