Alliance of RIE® Associates

Debbie Bergstrom (Sigonella, Italy) is a Child Youth Program Administrator, WestEd PITC Graduate, PITC Infant/Toddler Specialist and ECE Consultant. For 30 years she has worked in full day care programs, and in supporting and training Family Child Care Providers. Debbie studied at the Pikler Institute in 2008. She is currently the Child Youth Program Administrator for the U.S. Navy in Sigonella, Italy.

Rebecca Bowler (San Rafael, California) has been a RIE® Associate since 1994 and a member of the RIE® Alliance since 2008. A former RIE® nanny, Rebecca is fortunate to have trained with Magda. Rebecca has been practicing Esalen Massage® since 1994 and is the former Managing Editor at Underwood Books. Presently, she is an Independent Sales Rep for Spa, Resort, Hotel and Wellness. Blessed with a young daughter, Rebecca is passionate about RIE® parenting and community, Waldorf education, gardening, theater, and anything orange. She plans to offer RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ and RIE® Before Baby™ classes in Marin in the future.

Lisa Chariff Better (Miami, Florida) became a RIE® Associate in 2010. She observed her first RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ class in Los Angeles many years earlier and became a passionate advocate for Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach. Lisa attended the Pikler Institue Training in 2010-2013 where she studied under Anna Tados. She is the RIE® Alliance Chairperson on the RIE® Board.  Lisa also volunteers as a Guardian ad Litem in Miami Dade County, and was honored as Guardian ad Litem of the Year 2010. A Miami resident, Lisa introduced the Educaring® Approach to the area in 2004 and continues to teach Parent-Infant Guidance classes for both infants and toddlers. •

Alexandra Curtis Boyer (Eugene, Oregon) has presented nationally and internationally on a variety of “birth to two” topics. Author of Simple Toys Make Active Babies, a book about play spaces for infants and toddlers, Alexandra earned her Associate Degree in Early Childhood Education and Bachelor’s Degree in General Studies with a Public Health focus at the University of South Florida. Mother to three lovely daughters and a Certified Lactation Counselor, Alexandra directs a non-profit Prenatal Education and Lactation Support Program and was a founding Board Member of the Pikler/Loczy USA Fund and the Hillsborough County Breastfeeding Taskforce, and is working on her IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) certification.

Mary Louise Brennan (Portland, Oregon) studied with Magda Gerber both at Pacific Oaks College and at the Los Angeles RIE® Center and has been a RIE® Associate since 1989. She is an Infant Toddler Program Consultant and RIE® Foundations Instructor, currently working with infants and toddlers in a child development center in downtown Portland. Mary Louise has presented at national and international seminars and workshops. She is a passionate professional with over 35 years experience working and learning with the very youngest children, their parents and their teachers.

Deborah Carlisle Solomon (Los Angeles, California)  is the author of Baby Knows Best, Raising a Confident and Resourceful Child, the RIE® Way. She was RIE® Executive Director from 2006-2014 and now has her own international teaching, speaking and consulting practice. Deborah is a RIE® Mentor who teaches RIE® Foundations™, Parent-Infant Guidance™, and Nurturing Nanny™ courses. She has spoken at various national and international conferences, and studied at the Pikler Institute in 2005 and 2006.
Elsa Chahin (Pacific Palisades, California) is one of only two Pikler® certified and accredited trainers of the Pikler Pedagogy in North America and serves as President and CEO of Pikler/Loczy Fund USA. She is a RIE® Associate, PITC Trainer, and UCLA Certified Lactation Educator. She has authored several articles and has been a presenter at over 60 national and international conferences and seminars on the topic of caring for babies with respect. As a Certified Interpreter-Translator, she collaborated in the translation into Spanish of Magda Gerber’s Your Self Confident Baby and translated and narrated several videos for RIE®. Elsa is a Working Group Leader for World Forum Foundation and is co-authoring a book with Anna Tardos on the Rights for Children Living in Children’s Homes. She has been mentored by Ute Strub on sensory awareness since 2004, and has presented at two International Pikler Symposiums in Budapest, and has assisted Anna Tardos several times in Beginner and Advanced Pikler trainings both in USA and Hungary. Elsa was a professional ballerina and has been teaching dance and mindfulness to adults and children for over 25 years. Above all she is a joyous mom and wife.

ChanMarinda KengFan Chan (Macau, China) has a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Social Work from University of Michigan and a Master’s Degree in Theology from Loyola Marymount University. She has worked in the field of psychotherapy and family therapy for 20 years. Marinda is also a Feldenkrais practitioner. In 2015, she completed her RIE® training and became a RIE® Associate. She is looking forward to introducing the Educaring® Approach as an insightful educational philosophy in Asia. Being a clinical practitioner for decades, her passion is to bridge the interdisciplinary relationship within deep psychology and theology of the soul, as well as utilize the creative power with the Educaring® Approach to create a practical curriculum for “heart” formation to prepare our children for the future.

Sue Ann Chilcote (Sherman Oaks, California) became a RIE® Associate in 2002 after many years working directly with infants and toddlers as a nanny and later as a teacher in group infant and toddler care at Cabrillo College in Santa Cruz, California. Over the past 12 years she has devoted much of her time to studying infant development, and in 2005 completed the ECE Certificate Program at Cabrillo College. Sue Ann has presented workshops about the Educaring® Approach at various conferences in California and Washington. She currently works as a nanny for a family in Los Angeles.

Valorie Cole (Santa Barbara, California) has been a student and advocate of RIE® and the Educaring® Approach since 1989, when she attended her first RIE® course. This led to in-depth studies in infant and toddler care and development, including attending PITC and traveling to Budapest to see and experience Loczy. She was a part of the planning and implementation of Cottage Hospital’s RIE® Accreditation in 1991 and later worked with teen parents at two local high schools, teaching parenting skills and caring for their infants and toddlers. Valorie was then hired by Discoveries Learning Center to open and direct Early Discoveries Toddler Center, and later became the Director of both programs. Her current goals are to conduct Parent-Infant Guidance classes, to mentor RIE® students on their own journeys, and to spend lots of quality time with her 11 grandchildren.
Coyne PicMelissa Coyné (Altadena, California)  has a Master’s Degree in Child Development from California State University, Los Angeles and has been an early childhood educator for 25 years.  In 2014, she became a RIE® Associate and completed PITC (The Program for Infant/Toddler Care) certification. Melissa facilitates RIE® courses in the Los Angeles area, is raising two daughters and has been a Master Lead Teacher for 19 years at a child care center where she works with staff to uphold the philosophical integrity of the program. Melissa is passionate about inspiring adults and children to be critical thinkers in areas of diversity, sensitivity, self-awareness and authenticity.  She is an advocate for a child’s right to a childhood as free from corporate marketers and outside pressures as possible and is a firm believer that parenting is a process.

Catriona Davies (Santa Monica, California) attended RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance classes with her two young children. In 2001, she began her RIE® Professional Development training. Catriona has been teaching Parent-Infant Guidance classes at Hari’s RIE® studio in Santa Monica since 2005. She also co-facilitates parent workshops. 

Simone Stave Demarzi (Carmichael, California) became acquainted with RIE® in the summer of 2002 on Whidby Island with Polly Elam. Simone has been working in the field of Early Childhood since 1981, has a BA, Waldorf Teacher Training, LifeWays certification, all her ECE units, and is a PITC trainer. She is one of the original four members of the CORE 4 in Sacramento, bringing RIE® to Northern California. Simone now has an Infant Program in her home combining RIE® with her Waldorf background. Her program has recently been accepted into the mentoring/practicum program in the local community college circuit. 
Anita Cooper Ebright (Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada) became a RIE® Associate in 1992 while working with Magda Gerber at RIE® during a sabbatical year. She is a RIE® Foundations Instructor and Parent-Infant Guidance Class Facilitator. Anita attended Pacific Oaks College for her Master’s degree work. From 1986 to the present, after many years of working directly with children’s programs, she joined the ECE faculty at Lethbridge College in Alberta, Canada.
Polly Elam (Paso Robles, California) studied and worked with Magda Gerber for 20 years and has served on the RIE® Board of Directors for 29 years. She has served as President since 2011. She studied at the Pikler Institute in 1986, 2005 and 2008 and presented at the Pikler International Conference in 2007. She is a WestEd PITC Graduate and  has experience as a Regional Child Development Program Administrator and Community College Instructor. She was a contributing writer to Authentic Relationships In Group Care for Infants and Toddlers, RIE® Principles Into Practice. As an ECE Consultant, Polly has worked with a variety of infant/toddler programs and has conducted seminars and training in Europe, New Zealand, Australia, Canada, and throughout the United States.
EliasbergPhotoKristin Eliasberg (New York City, New York), inspired by the Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes she attended with her daughter in 2006, embarked on her RIE® training in 2008. She currently facilitates RIE Certified Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn. She is grateful for the inspiration and guidance of her mentors, Beverly Kovach and Ruth Anne Hammond. She has also attended Pikler trainings in Oklahoma and in South Carolina, in addition to helping found the first downtown Manhattan Waldorf school.  Her experiences as a professional dancer and yoga instructor and as a journalist inform her work with infants, toddlers, and their parents. •
prof pic cropped Jessica Faith (Brooklyn, New York) works with parents to deepen their understanding of babies’ competence. She co-founded the Mindful Care course, a training program for professional caregivers, nannies, and baby nurses who are interested in implementing the Educaring® Approach. Before becoming a RIE® Associate, she worked with programs supporting at-risk children in Harlem and Newark, NJ. She lives in Brooklyn. •
fernandezheadshot Lee Fernandez (Redwood City, California) is inspired by the work of infant specialist Magda Gerber and physician-educator Maria Montessori. She currently conducts RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance classes in the San Francisco Bay Area. Lee has 45 years of experience in Early Childhood Education as a parent educator, preschool teacher, author, and administrator of university, military and private programs. Lee has a MA in Human Development, specializing in Infants and Toddlers from Pacific Oaks College, Pasadena, CA where she trained directly with Magda Gerber, and a Montessori Teaching Certificate from Spring Hill College, Mobile, AL and St. Nicholas Montessori in London, England. 

Fisher, AngelaAngela R. Fisher, Ph.D. (South Orange, NJ), holds a Ph.D. in Infant-Toddler Developmental Psychology. She is an NJ-Infant Mental Health Mentor- IV [Policy], a Certified Infant Massage Educator, Childbirth Doula, and serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Early Childhood Graduate Department at City University in New York. She consults with parents, caregivers, and educators on developmentally appropriate and respectful practices with infants and toddlers nationally and internationally. She facilitates RIE® Certified Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes in the New York/New Jersey area. Angela’s scholarly research and parent-infant observation tool are uniquely influenced by Magda Gerber’s work. She is dedicated to supporting parent-infant relationships across cultures based on Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach.

Marcela Giannini (Newport Beach, California), RIE® Associate, RIE® Board of Directors, was introduced to RIE® over 20 years ago, mentored by Magda Gerber and studied under her tutelage. Marcela also served as Magda Gerber’s personal assistant. She has recently begun facilitating RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance Classes in Orange County.

 Grebler, Hari Hari Grebler (Santa Monica, California) studied and worked with Magda Gerber from 1984 to 1990, and trained at the Pikler Institute in Budapest, Hungary in 1994. She completed her Waldorf Early Childhood Education training in 2000. Hari taught intensive RIE® courses at the Rudolf Steiner College summer program (2004-2006) and has presented workshops at numerous early childhood conferences. In 1990, Hari established Hari’s RIE® Studio in Santa Monica which offers parent-child classes as well as educational workshops for those involved with young children from birth to three. Hari started Bueno Baby, a company which makes natural wood stools, tables and other RIE-friendly furniture. Hari also mentors RIE® students.
Deborah Greenwald (Pensacola, Florida)  joined WestEd in 2002 as a Senior Program Associate at the Center for Child and Family Studies. She directs the Infant/Toddler Guidelines Project for the California Department of Education and is a faculty member of the Program for Infant/Toddler Caregiver Institutes. Prior to working at WestEd, Greenwald spent 15 years in infant/toddler group care. She also taught RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes and was an infant/toddler specialist in a resource and referral agency. Deborah received a BA in Child Development from Humboldt State University and an MA in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. She also holds certificates from the American Montessori Society and Resources for Infant Educarers® (RIE®). She provides training on infant toddler care and development around the country.
Ruth Anne Hammond (Los Angeles, California), author of Respecting Babies: A New Look at Magda Gerber’s RIE® Approach (2009), is a RIE® Associate and Mentor, having studied under its founder, Magda Gerber, and was RIE® President from 2005 to 2011.  She teaches at Pacific Oaks College and was Master Teacher in its Infant/Toddler-Parent Program for 17 years. She participates in a study group on affective neuroscience with Dr. Allan N. Schore of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. A former professional dancer, she continues to express her love of movement in her work with infants and toddlers. •
Eileen Henry (Boulder, Colorado) is a RIE® Associate and is a pioneer in creating the once non-industry of what is now commonly referred to as “Child Sleep Consultant.” She is the author of The Compassionate Sleep Solution: Calming the cry. Her program is unique and not only transforms sleep but the entire parenting experience. Eileen works with families all over the world. • “My goal is to co-create the best emotional and physical environment for sleep success for your entire family.”
Johanna Herwitz, holds a PhD in clinical psychology and is a New York State licensed clinical psychologist. She facilitates RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes in New York City and also serves as an executive board member of the Pikler/Loczy Fund USA. She lives in New York City with her husband and three children.
 Linda Hinrichs (Topanga, California) is a Child Development Specialist and former Chair of the RIE® Alliance of Associates. She met and began her studies with Magda Gerber in 1978 and served on the RIE® Board of Directors from 1985-1990. She is a graduate of Cedars-Sinai Hospital Therapeutic Nursery Training Program and Director of The Children’s Corner Play Center in Topanga, California, which she founded in 1980. Linda consults with parents and offers parent education classes at her Center. She studied at the Pikler Institute in 1986, 2002, 2004, 2005 and 2006 and presented at the 2007 Pikler International Conference.
Beverly A. Kovach, MN (Melbourne, Florida) has been working with and consulting in early  childhood centers for more than 30 years. She is a RIE® Mentor Teacher and was a member of the Board of Directors from 2001 until 2008. Beverly is a Montessori teacher-trainer, consultant, and presenter at national and international conferences, and co-author of Being with Babies. She founded Little Learners Lodge and Montessori of Mt. Pleasant, South Carolina in 1977 and established Waverly Place (the first RIE® Satellite Center in the USA) in 2003.
Wendy Kronick (Pacific Palisades, California) served on the RIE® Board of Directors from 1999-2004. She became passionate about RIE® in 1992 as a result of attending Liz Memel’s Parent-Infant Guidance™ class with her then four-month-old son. She became certified as a RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ Class Facilitator in 1997 and has taught in Santa Monica and the West Side. Wendy now facilitates three classes at the RIE® Center in Los Angeles.
Karla Lee Kuester (Santa Monica, California)has been a RIE® Associate since 1989. Her degree is in Early Childhood Education/ Developmental Psychology, minor in Art. Karla has been working with young children and families since 1977, as a Certified Montessori preschool teacher, infant specialist, an Early Interventionist (birth-3, atypical development) and Behavior Interventionist. She is currently the E.I. Field Supervisor for the Step By Step EDU-Play Child Dev. Program in Santa Monica and in- house CD Specialist at UCLA Kreiger Center. She teaches “Infants, Toddlers & Caregivers” at UC Irvine each spring and at the UCLA Graduate School IMPACT Urban Teacher Residency Program, 2012. Karla is a published author, CD/ECE consultant and has served as a private tutor (enrichment/remediation) from 1988 to the present.

Melani Ladygo (Los Angeles, California) has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development from California State University, Los Angeles. She currently teaches Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes, Before Baby™ and Nurturing Nanny™ courses, as well as serves as the Program and Office Manager at the Los Angeles RIE® Center, is a Foundations™ facilitator, Practicum™ and Intern™ Mentor teacher, and has presented workshops on Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach in a variety of conference settings. Melani spent nearly ten years working in a child care center, where she was initially introduced to the Educaring® Approach and worked as an Infant/Toddler Master Lead Teacher.

Janet Lansbury (Los Angeles, California)  is introducing a global audience to Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach through her website, She is the author of two bestselling books, Elevating Child Care: A Guide to Respectful Parenting and No Bad Kids: Toddler Discipline Without Shame. She is also the creator and host of “Janet Lansbury Unruffled,” one of the most downloaded parenting podcasts on the web and recommended listening by The Washington Post. Janet was introduced to RIE® in 1993 when her oldest daughter was three months old. She went on to study with Magda Gerber and became a Parent-Infant Guidance™ Class Facilitator in 1994. A year later, Magda asked Janet to join the RIE® Board of Directors and Janet served on the Board for over 20 years. Besides sharing Magda’s wisdom through her website, social media pages and podcasts, Janet enjoys teaching weekly classes at RIE®, consulting privately with parents and professionals, speaking at events, and spending time with her three RIE® babies, ages 24, 19, and 15.
Jill Getto Lee (Studio City, California) is the mother of twin boys and is a RIE® Practicum™ Mentor teacher, who specializes in multiples. She holds a Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology from Central Michigan University, and a Masters Degree from Pacific Oaks College in Human Development Specializing in Early Childhood. She currently teaches Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes at the Los Angeles RIE® Center and at BINI Birth Center in Sherman Oaks. She also instructs the RIE® Before Baby™, and Nurturing Nanny™ courses at the Los Angeles RIE® Center. Jill serves on the RIE® Board of Directors and is a consultant for the County of Los Angeles, providing group training sessions for Effective Teacher-Child Interactions.

Lewis, KimKimberly Lewis (Tucson, Arizona) became a RIE® Associate in 2010. She has an MEd in Early Childhood Education from Antioch University, and she teaches parent-child and preschool classes at the Tucson Waldorf School. Kimberly is also joining the early childhood faculty of Pima Community College. Her passion is to integrate RIE®, Pikler and neuroscience teachings into Waldorf and other educational settings through publications, workshops and a birth to three Yahoo group that she moderates.

allison_manuelAllison Manuel (Washington, DC) is a an Infant/Toddler Montessori (AMI) teacher in Washington, DC and has a Masters in Education in Birth-3. She fell in love with RIE® after the birth of her first child and is looking forward to integrating the Educaring® principles into life with her soon-to-be second child. She teaches parent-infant classes in Washington, DC, provides home consultations on the Educaring® and Montessori Approaches and is a yoga teacher. She is grateful to her mentors Ruth Anne Hammond and Beverly Kovach for helping her to bring more of the RIE® world to the East Coast. She is most passionate about helping parents find the balance between nurture and independence for the youngest children, adopting the motto from Ruth Anne Hammond, that “independence should never be a burden,” but only a pleasure.

Elizabeth Memel (Los Angeles and Ojai, California), is a RIE® Mentor Teacher, who instructs the RIE® certified courses Before Baby™ and Nurturing Nanny™ in addition to the three-part Professional Development training, and offers outreach consulting for Early Head Start and other center-based programs. Liz has facilitated Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes for thirty years and served on the RIE® Board  equally as long, currently as Vice President in charge of Programs. Retired from 13 years as adjunct faculty in the Child Development Department at Los Angeles City College, she has a Masters Degree from Pacific Oaks College in Human Development Specializing in Infants and Toddlers, and also contributed to Authentic Relationships In Group Care for Infants and Toddlers, RIE® Principles Into Practice. Liz studied at the PIkler Institute in 1993 and was a co-presenter at the 2004 Pikler Symposium.

mohney-0007Lori Mohney (San Diego, California) ) has been studying and practicing Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach since 1997. She has an Associate of Science degree in Early Childhood Education, and a Bachelor of Science degree in Child and Family Development. She has been in the early childhood education field for close to 20 years, including over 10 years as a professional nanny. She facilitates RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes, offers in-home consulting for families, and will soon be offering Before Baby™ courses for expectant parents in San
 Ruth Money (Carmichael, California) is a retired RIE® Foundations™ Mentor Teacher, and an Honorary Lifetime Member of the RIE® Board of Directors. She worked as a psychologist (MA) before getting into preventive work in early childhood education. Ruth met Magda Gerber in 1985 and became her student and friend. Ruth founded the first RIE® Demonstration Infant-Toddler Care Center in 1988 which functioned for ten years. Ruth and three fellow RIE Associates established a Sacramento hub offering RIE® Foundations courses and workshops, a RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ class, consultation to infant/toddler programs in center care, and a home-based care program.
Anna Ruth Myers photoAnna Ruth Myers (New York City, New York) is a birth and early childhood specialist with over 15 years experience working with families and children. She has presented workshops on a range of birth and early childhood topics around the country. Since beginning her RIE® Professional Development training in 2008, she has been honored to support families using the Educaring® Approach. Anna Ruth also studied at the Pikler Institute in 2012 and 2014, and has certificates in Montessori and Waldorf early childhood education. Anna Ruth facilitates Parent-Infant Guidance™ Classes and teaches newborn care in New York City. Find out more about her work at
Gail Nadal (Sacramento, California) currently serves on the RIE® Board of Directors. She has worked with young children for over 25 years and has a passion for 0-3 year olds. She works for the Yolo County Office of Education as the Director of Early Childhood Education, which serves children of poverty through the county’s Head Start and Early Head Start programs as well as State preschool, and has incorporated the Educaring® Approach in all the sites. Gail serves as the Coordinator for the Local Planning Council and is a part-time instructor for the Center for Excellence in Child Development at UC Davis Extension; mentoring and coaching Family Child Care Providers serving children 0-3 years. She is part of the grassroots effort in the Sacramento area to offer RIE® Foundations™ training and workshops to the community. Gail holds a Master’s in Educational Leadership in Child Development from CSU Sacramento.
Erica Orosco Cruz (Studio City, California) is a mother of three and a child development specialist who founded Homeschool Garden nursery school in 1999. Erica facilitates RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes and consults families and professionals based on Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach. Erica is dedicated to providing an environment where children and families can thrive and grow together with a foundation of mutual respect. Erica offers a broad range of experience as a caregiver in diverse settings with groups of children from infancy through adolescence: in a preschool setting, a family day care setting, at a resident camp, as a nanny, and as a mother who home schools. 
Jude Keith Rose (Santa Cruz, California) Jude began working with young children when she was a community college student and completed her RIE® training in 2001. She has built a career around caring for children and working in community agencies that support children, families and caregivers. She is particularly captivated by how children learn to communicate and has a special interest in second language acquisition. Jude is the editor of RIE®‘s quarterly newsletter, Educaring® and a supporting editor of the RIE® Foundations™ Training Curriculum. She enjoys consulting with parents and early childhood professionals. She has worked in non-profit organizations coordinating parent support programs and supporting caregivers in center-based and family child care. Jude is also a published early childhood photographer whose images have appeared in “Young Children” and “Montessori Life.”

Patricia Ryan (Sacramento, California). An Associate with Resources for Infant Educarers® (RIE®) for 15 years, Patty has worked in the field of Infant, Toddler Development and Care for over 20 years. As the principal in Patricia Ryan Consulting, Patty leads workshops, seminars, in-service trainings and a variety of courses in infant, toddler development and care in the U.S. and internationally. Patty is a RIE® Foundations™ instructor, a RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ facilitator, a founding member of the Sacramento Area Infant, Toddler Network and works as a private consultant for full day infant, toddler group care programs and preschool programs. She is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Human Development at Pacific Oaks College and lives in Sacramento, CA with her husband and teen-aged daughter.

Antoinette Samardzic (Los Angeles, California)  is a Parent-Infant Guidance Class Facilitator and studied at the Pikler Institute in 2006. 
ksoption1Kelly Scott (Los Angeles, California)has worked with families with small children for over 15 years. She began her career caring for young children diagnosed with autism while attending the University of Minnesota. Kelly continued her work with families in Los Angeles as a nanny and baby nurse for a number of years. Currently, she works with the play advocacy organization Oak Glen Family Center, where she witnesses how careful observation and compassionate care shapes the play of young children and enriches the lives of those around them. In 2014, Kelly joyfully added mother to her resume. She resides in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.
smithSharon Smith (Auckland, New Zealand) is inspired by the work of Magda Gerber and consults with parents, teachers and teaching teams as a mentor. She has attended two trainings at the Pikler Institute (2008 and 2012). Sharon presented at the first RIE® Conference held in Christchurch, New Zealand in 2010. She is a founding trustee and Chair of New Zealand Infant and Toddler Consortium, a charitable trust set up to empower the carers of very young children around an Educaring® Approach, organizing and presenting workshops in New Zealand and Australia. 
 Snell Photo Melanie Snell (Los Angeles, California) is a RIE® Associate and is grateful to have been able to raise her four children using Magda’s Educaring® Approach. Melanie is also the Tot Center Coordinator and a lead teacher at the Tot Center at The Kirk o’ the Valley School in Reseda.  She enjoys facilitating Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes at the RIE® Center.  She has a blog and website called Raising With Respect.
Solomotova, Kira photoKira Solomatova (Pasadena, California) has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development. Although both of her parents were engineers, Kira dreamed about working with children from the time she was seven years old. The RIE® program is not only inspirational for Kira because it advocates for babies, but it has also helped her to become more authentic. Kira published her first book, Toby is My Bear, as part of a conflict resolution series for preschoolers, and she has a blog about conflicts with toddlers and preschoolers, Kira and her colleague Gilda have collaborated and created a program called Our Parenting Place that is designed to help parents be more effective, find support, acquire information and network ( At Our Parenting Place, Kira teaches RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes, workshops, and is also available for private consultation.

suskindDiana Suskind, Ed.D (Fitchburg, Massachusetts) is a RIE® (Resources for Infant Educarers®) Associate, an international Early Childhood consultant and artist. She developed Stonework Play as an activity inspiring children and adults to create meaningful stories through contact with nature; something she passionately believes today’s world needs. Diana initiated this activity at HEMS School in Kathmandu, Nepal, and has since introduced it throughout the United States, as well as in Europe and Central America. Dr. Suskind recently retired as associate professor after 30 years of service in the Education Department at Fitchburg State University, Fitchburg, MA. 

Tuttle, MaryMary Tuttle  (Indianapolis, Indiana) was first introduced to RIE® when a family she was nannying for handed her Dear Parent in 2004 and she was immediately hooked. She has worked with infants and toddlers in the home setting as a nanny as well as in center-based care as a lead teacher and team leader. In 2009, Mary left the workforce to raise her first child and a second arrived in 2011. RIE® has been a blessing to her as a mother. Mary has her Bachelors degree in Early Childhood Education from Ashford University. She was thrilled to become a RIE® Associate in 2013 and is passionate about supporting families and professional caregivers in their journey to integrate RIE® into their lives and interactions with babies. Mary is relocating to Indianapolis, IN in June and is looking forward to continuing her work in the Midwest. 

Nicole Vigliotti (Charleston, South Carolina) began her Early Childhood profession as an Infant Caregiver after completing her RIE® Professional Development training with Magda Gerber and Carol Pinto in 1998. Inspired, Nicole continued her RIE® studies and became a RIE® Associate in 2011. Nicole is also certified as an Early Childhood Montessori Directress at the 3-6 level and is under mentorship with Anna Tardos and Agnes Szanto-Feder of the Pikler Institute. She currently serves as Program Director for Little Learners Lodge, an Infant Center located outside Charleston, South Carolina and is a strong advocate for Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach in center-based care. In addition, Nicole facilitates RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance classes where she enjoys meeting and supporting new parents and sharing her personal experiences of raising her three boys using the Educaring® Approach.

 JungSun Wohn JungSun Wohn (Seoul, Korea) first discovered RIE while she was searching for deeper knowledge in early childhood caregiving. She was fortunate to study under Magda Gerber and become a RIE® Associate. She carried out Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach through her own “ChungSam Educaring Center” in Seoul where Magda Gerber and Carol Pinto once visited. Currently, JungSun is teaching a “Respect Baby & Respect Mom” class (which focuses on authentic, competent children and professional parents) at various lifelong learning centers. She also runs Green School, an online/offline school for preschoolers (children up to age 6). JungSun earned Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Child and Family Development from Ewha Woman’s University in Seoul. •

Karen Ziskin (Manhattan Beach, California) began her studies with Magda Gerber in 1994 and became a RIE® Associate in 1999. She was an infant and toddler caregiver from 1994 to 1998 at The South Bay Infant Center, the first RIE® Demonstration Infant Toddler Care Center, founded by Ruth Money. Karen facilitated RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ Classes in Manhattan Beach from 1999 until 2012. She was also a member of the RIE® Board of Directors from 2000 to 2006. Karen is a certified postpartum doula offering private consultation and caregiving based on the Educaring® Approach.