Reena Hajat Carroll, MSW,  RIE®’s Chief Executive Officer.  As a non-profit executive for the past decade, Reena brings in-depth experience and knowledge about how to run mission centered non-profits that focus on the best ways to serve our community.   Reena holds a master’s degree in social work from Washington University’s Brown School of Social Work with an emphasis on social and economic development and an undergraduate degree in Sociology from Occidental College.  Prior to joining RIE, Reena was the Executive Director of Diversity Awareness Partnership, based in St. Louis, Missouri.  In her ten years with the organization, she grew the small start-up non-profit to a robust and sought after diversity resource in the region.  Reena is the recipient of a host of awards including, Bank of America’s Local Hero Award, and the Brown School of Social Work’s Distinguished Alumni Award.   She and her husband, and two small kids are very excited about their decision to relocate to Southern California.

Melissa Coyne’, RIE®’s Program Director, is an Early Childhood Educator who has 28 years of experience building relationships with children and parents. In addition to holding a Master’s degree in Child Development, Melissa is a RIE® Associate and a certified PITC (Program for Infant/Toddler Care) trainer. Melissa was first introduced to the Educaring® Approach in 1997 at the child care center where she worked as a teacher and administrator for 22 years and cultivated her commitment to philosophical integrity. She facilitates RIE® courses in the Los Angeles area and is RIE®’s new Program Director.  Melissa is also the mother of two daughters who continually challenge her to look at herself and teach her about the value of connection and collaboration.  One of Melissa’s passions is inspiring adults and children to be critical thinkers in areas of diversity, compassion, self-awareness and authenticity. Melissa is a firm believer that being a parent is a process, not a product, to be handled with intention, deep reflection and great care.

Chloe Reyes is RIE®’s Administrative Coordinator. Her mother was a student of Magda Gerber’s and Chloe was raised in a home heavily influenced by the RIE® philosophy. She later assisted in a RIE® influenced infant-toddler program while in college. Through the RIE® philosophy, Chloe highly values play and creativity and has recently received her BFA from the California Institute of the Arts in the Program of Film/Video. She splits her time by working at the Echo Park Film Center programming and teaching film classes to youth.



Antoinette Samardzic is RIE®’s  Pathways Coordinator. After a successful career as a legal secretary for a huge Los Angeles Law firm, Antoinette changed professions to pursue her passion for infants and toddlers. She became a RIE Associate in 2006, taught Parent Infant Guidance Classes and studied at the Pikler Institute in 2006.  She loves working with all of the incoming RIE Interns and Practicum students as they work to achieve their goal of becoming a RIE Associate. Antoinette can be contacted at