Board Of Directors

Christina L. Suter (Board Chair) is the founder and lead consultant of Ground Level Consulting and has over two decades of real-word experience as a serial small business owner and real estate investor. In her consulting practice, she works with small business owners and property owners to move beyond surviving to thriving, and she has supported numerous companies throughout Southern California and the western U.S. Christina holds a Bachelors Degree in Business, an Associates Degree in Teaching, and a Masters Degree in Psychology.

Marc Futterman (Secretary) has participated in numerous RIE® Board efforts including the Governance Committee; branding and website development; strategic plan; facility move; and developed a building program, design criteria, and preliminary concept design for a new RIE home. A Los Angeles native, Marc has a Bachelor of Science (Architecture) from USC and a Master of Philosophy in Urban Design and Regional Planning from Edinburgh University. After a successful career in real estate development, Marc is now an entrepreneur with a start-up company that provides web-based market analytics and business intelligence software to public libraries, public agencies, and companies nationally. Marc and his wife Mayee live in Encino, California with their eight year old son Jake, a “RIE® baby.” Marc loves coaching Jake’s baseball, soccer, and basketball teams and is learning how to be Jake’s golf caddy.
 Nadal, GailGail Nadal (President) 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.

 Debbie Bergstrom 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 a global childcare center consultant based in Oak Harbor, Washington.


Jennifer Doebler had her life change more than a decade ago with the birth of her first child and a friend’s gift of Your Self-Confident Baby.  Inspired by Magda Gerber’s wisdom and compassion, she attended Johanna Herwitz’s Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes in NYC with her two daughters.  Seeing the Educaring® Approach in action spurred her to want to learn everything she could about how to meet infants during this foundational time of life.  After a career in the corporate world and as an entrepreneur, she is now thrilled to follow her passion for supporting infants, parents and caregivers in their journeys.  In addition to being a RIE® Associate, she has completed Introductory and Advanced-Level Pikler Training with Anna Tardos & Agnes Szanto.  Jennifer facilitates parent and child classes in San Francisco’s East Bay and consults with parents and professionals.  Inspired by the Educaring® Approach, she seeks to ennoble the work of caring for babies and elevate the quality of care they receive. / 

jim-franke-imageJim Franke is a retired entrepreneur and businessman who now spends his time raising his two boys and helping both private and not-for-profit organizations set, pursue and meet their goals. From an early age, Jim has been interested in early childhood development and education; and he has pursued this interest both professionally and personally by serving on the Boards of Directors of several non-profits as well as earlier in his career being a member of the non-profit practice at McKinsey & Co. Jim has a BA in Economics and Political Science from Duke University and an MBA from Stanford. Today, Jim is focused on helping RIE® expand to impact as many children, families, and childcare professionals as possible. He is also dedicated, together with his partner Steve Bialecki, to raising their two young boys with respect and understanding.
Giannini, Marcela

Marcela Giannini, RIE® Associate was introduced to RIE over 20 years ago, mentored by Magda Gerber and studied under her tutelage. She also served as Magda Gerber’s personal assistant. She has recently begun facilitating RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ Classes in Orange County, Los Angeles.

Ruth Anne Hammond, 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.

imageJill Getto Lee is the mother of twin boys and is a RIE® Associate who specializes in multiples. She holds a Masters Degree from Pacific Oaks College in Human Development Specializing in Early Childhood, and a Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology from Central Michigan University. She currently teaches Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes at the Los Angeles RIE® Center and at BINI Birth Center in Sherman Oaks. She instructs the RIE® Before Baby™, and Nurturing Nanny™ courses at the Los Angeles RIE® Center and serves on the RIE®Board of Directors.  Jill recently joined a study group on affective neuroscience with Dr. Allan N. Schore of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine.  She also is a registered consultant for the County of Los Angeles and serves as a community member on the Los Angeles unified School district integrated pest management team, fighting for the safety and health of all students, staff and the environment.
Ryan, DaveDave Ryan joined the board in 2001. He served as the board’s first Board Chair (2010 – 2019) and previously chaired the marketing and governance committees.  He continues as a member of the board and member of the governance committee.  Dave is committed to help the RIE(r) organization stay laser focused on its strategic growth vision & plan to grow access to the Educaring(r) Approach with integrity to the principles and financial sustainability as an organization . A 35-year veteran of the high tech industry at IBM and Intel, Dave has held executive roles focused on ramping new businesses globally across multiple industries.  He is currently General Manager of Intel’s Health & Life Sciences business unit.  After roles based in Munich and Beijing, he now lives in San Francisco Bay area with his wife Patricia Ryan (RIE® Associate & RIE® Mentor  at  Their “RIE® baby” daughter has left the nest and is a college sophomore. Dave earned a BS in Electrical Engineering from Arizona State University, an MBA from Pennsylvania State University and is currently a Wharton Fellow at University of Pennsylvania. Dave has recently been elected President of the Board of Governors of a veterans organization founded by his father, the Escort Carriers & Airmen Association (

Michelle Mapp

Michelle Mapp, MBA, RIE’s Interim CEO. As a communications, management and non-profit consultant for the last two decades, Michelle Mapp brings a mix of organizational development, strategic communications and education sector experience  to RIE. Michelle holds a Masters in Business Administration from the Warwick Business School in the United Kingdom, and a bachelors of arts in Political Communications from George Washington University in Washington DC. She also has two project management certifications including the PMP (Project Management Professional) from PMI (Project Management Institute) and the PMD Pro for project management for international development professionals. Michelle had been working with RIE as the Board Program Manager for a year before being slated to step in as Interim CEO.  Prior to joining RIE, Michelle had her own nonprofit consulting business helping numerous organizations to reach for their missions and objectives.

Michelle, her husband and two sons moved to the Los Angeles area in 2015 and enjoy the warm winters.