Our People

Carol Castanon,
Executive Director

Carol has been working with families for 30 years in Ojai, Ventura, Santa Barbara, and Los Angeles.  Her work began as a volunteer with the Los Angeles School District in Special Education, nurturing a love for, and honoring the unique gifts in children and families.  “I was incredibly fortunate to work with colleagues who became mentors, and whose profound respect for children continues to inspire me today. They created a foundation of observing children, and asking the questions necessary to uncover what a child and adult perceives and needs.”  Carol has a degree in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, and is a professional mediator with families, schools, foundations, and small businesses.  Her business includes facilitating communication and planning, parent education, staff development and training, observation and consultation for individual children and groups, and community workshops.

A note from Carol:

“I am honored to be part of this community, supporting the enduring and profound work of Nan Tolbert.  Nan and I worked together for several years, sharing the love and challenges of young families.  Our past director, Elizabeth Thasiah sustained Nan’s legacy and commitment to families pre-birth to three years of age.  I thank them both for the foundation on which the Ojai Valley Birth Resource and Family Support at the Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center will continue to grow.  My dream is for caregivers, parents, and children to have a second home to love, learn, play, support each other, and simply get good at being together.”

 

Marsha McKeonMarsha McKeon, Ph.D.
Clinical Supervisor

Marsha McKeon, Ph.D. directs the doctoral internship program at the Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center.  She is a licensed clinical psychologist, with a special interest in early infant attachment and its effects throughout the lifespan.

She has been training and supervising Ph.D. and MFT psychology students since 1997 in her capacities as Clinical Director at Jewish Family Services, adjunct faculty at Pacifica Graduate Institute and Clinical Supervisor in private practice. She is currently supervising the Ph.D. interns at Nan Tolbert and leading the Attachment Seminar for staff and interns.

Dr. McKeon also has an active private practice in Ventura, California where she sees adults and couples for psychotherapy.

 

Renee MandalaRenee Mandala, M.A.

ParentCare Program Director

Renee Mandala, M.A., is Director of NTNC’s ParentCare Home Visit Program, which she helped develop in 2012. She also provides Marketing & Outreach for the Center. Since 1998, when she became a Certified Birth Doula, Renee has been working with new and expectant families. Much of her work was in private practice as a Certified Postpartum Doula, Lactation Counselor/Educator, and through her business, Mothers Guild, where she provided lactation education and support via groups and private consultation for many Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeleno families. At NTNC, Renee has been facilitator of the breastfeeding helpline, breastfeeding support group, pre-natal breastfeeding class, newborn/ infant and caregiver groups, and co-founded the peri-natal wellness group. Having been a colleague of Nan Tolbert, she helped found the Center in 2007. Renee believes Nan would be happy to see the rich programming, the skilled and compassionate staff, and the wonderful families – all of us learning about family – at the Center in Nan’s name.

 

Terra Lepine,

Programs Director and Core Class Facilitator  

Terra Lepine began facilitating classes at the Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center after graduating with a BA in Psychology from the University of California Santa Cruz. Since joining the Nurturing Center she has become a certified postpartum doula providing, through her private business, in-home support to help families make the transition to life with a new baby. Terra completed a parent-infant coach certificate program in 2014. She continues to learn and grow along with the families at the Nurturing Center.

 

Lilly Heilveil
Core Class Facilitator

Lilly Heilveil came to the Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center from Portland, Oregon. In the years after college she found her home working with children and their parents. She was a toddler teacher at a child development center, where she was taught the RIE (Resources for Infant Educarers) tradition. She has also worked in therapeutic classrooms with infants to pre-school aged children where there was a focus on understanding and healing trauma and attachment. Lilly moved back to her home town of Ojai to continue her early childhood education and pursue an M.A. in Counseling Psychology. She currently sees adults, couples and children at the Community Counseling and Education Center in Santa Barbara as a Marriage and Family Therapist Trainee.  She is in awe of the wonderful staff and families that make up the Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center and thinks it is a truly special place to grow. .

 

Siobhan McDevitt

Core Class Facilitator/Parent Consultant 

Siobhan McDevitt first came to NTNC with her husband, just after the birth of their second daughter in 2008.  She attended infant-parent groups, then toddler-parent groups, and supported the NTNC Board through fundraising and event planning.  Her appreciation for NTNC, curiosity about child development, and interest in supporting new families eventually brought her to co-facilitate NTNC classes for newborns, infants, toddlers and their caregivers.  In 2011, Siobhan and Renee Mandala co-founded a perinatal wellness group at NTNC to support parents through the emotional transitions of welcoming a new baby into the family.  She has also taught in the Early Childhood Program at Oak Grove School and currently sees individuals and couples as a Marriage and Family Therapy intern at Community Counseling and Education Center in Santa Barbara where she recently completed Parent-Infant Coach Certification.

 

Mary KerriganMary Kerrigan, MSW (Master of Social Work)
Facilitator/Consultant

Mary has thirty years of experience working with families as a child and family psychotherapist.  As a therapist, her work focused on helping children and parents form healthy attachments and providing parent guidance.  She has been an instructor for graduate schools of social work and has conducted trainings in the many aspects of attachment to foster and adoptive parents, social services agencies and school staffs.  In her private business, Peaceful Living Consults, she does in-home coaching where she combines parenting education with strategies that address a family’s specific needs including attachment support, infant massage,  parent mindfulness and managing the stress of work and parenting.  She helps family members build on their strengths, responding to their difficulties with compassion, respect and humor.  She believes the Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center offers a unique support to families and is grateful to be part of the staff as a class facilitator.

 

David KerriganDavid Kerrigan, LCSW (Licensed Clinical Social Worker), PhD.
Consultant

David Kerrigan, Ph.D., L.C.S.W., serves as a consultant to the Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center. He is a licensed clinical social worker with a special interest in attachment, trauma, and spirituality.  A recent transplant to California, Dr. Kerrigan also serves as clinical supervisor for the Ventura and Central Coast offices of Aspiranet, teaches a field seminar class for the CSU Long Beach social work program, provides psychotherapy at Rio Mesa High School through Clinicas del Camino Real, and maintains a private practice in Ventura.
In 1995 he started a private practice in Northern Virginia, specializing in helping children with attachment disorders and their families. He also served as executive director of the Center for Spirituality and Social Work at the National Catholic School of Social Service in Washington, DC.

 

Tom McGee, LCSW
Consultant

Tom McGee, L.C.S.W., has been a psychotherapist for over 30 years, working with children, adolescents, parents, adults, and couples in a variety of settings. He has facilitated men’s growth through workshops, retreats, and groups since 1993. Much of this work with men has involved working with the trials, challenges, and joys of being a father. Tom has been married for thirty-five years and has two adult daughters. In groups, retreats, and individually, Tom assists and supports others to grow and develop into the human being they are becoming.

 

ChianyDriChiany Dri

Young Parent Coordinator

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DarcyWronkiewiczDarcy Wronkiewicz, CD(DONA) (Certified Doula), CLEC (Certified Lactation Educator & Counselor)
Lactation Specialist

Darcy Wronkiewicz has been serving families in the Ventura and Santa Barbara areas since 2009, providing breastfeeding support and education as well as birth doula services.  Darcy’s foundational belief in her work is that loving support makes a significant difference in how competently and confidently parents of newborn babies approach their new role.

Today Darcy continues her education through workshops, reading excellent books on pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and related topics, and exchanging ideas with other birth and breastfeeding professionals.  However, her most profound learning has come from the families she has  served and the many mothers who have shared their birth and breastfeeding experiences with her.

Darcy lives in Ventura with her husband and three young children.

 

Tara Stivers, MBA, IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant), CD(DONA), ICCE (International Certified Childbirth Educator) 
Lactation Specialist

Tara Stivers of Intuition Birth and Beyond has been supporting new families in the Ventura County area since 2005 by providing labor support, prenatal education and breastfeeding support. She offers comprehensive one-on-one lactation consultations, facilitates a weekly breastfeeding mothers group in Camarillo and provides breastfeeding support as part of the Ventura County WIC Breastfeeding Peer Counseling Program. In addition, she teaches prenatal yoga and childbirth/breastfeeding classes and workshops. Tara is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, a Certified Birth Doula and a Certified Childbirth Educator. She resides in Camarillo with her husband and two children.

 

Annette Mendoza McCoy Annette Mendoza-McCoy, MFT (Marriage and Family Therapy License)

Annette Mendoza-McCoy is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist with a background in Early Childhood Development and Education.  She has been serving children and families since 1999 in a wide range of settings in Santa Barbara, Ventura, and Monterey, CA.  She enjoys the focus of exploration and play, early relationships, and early mental health.  Annette is currently training for her endorsement as an Infant- Family and Early Childhood Mental Health Specialist.
Annette also has a part time private practice in Ojai, California serving pre-school, school aged, and teenage children with their families.   Her specialty is helping clients work through hard adjustments and transitions, build healthier connections, cope with trauma, adoption/ foster care, and loss.

 

Andrea HaftnerAndrea Haftner, MFT Intern

Andrea received her undergraduate education at Wesleyan University in Connecticut. With an extensive background in both education and the arts, Andrea began studies in psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute in 2009, graduating with a Masters in Counseling Psychology in 2014. In 2013 she began volunteering at the Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center, participating in regular seminars on early childhood development and attachment as well as serving as a home visit volunteer in the ParentCare program. Andrea continues her involvement with the Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center this year as a Marriage and Family Therapy Intern under the supervision of Dr. Marsha McKeon, providing psychotherapy as a part of the emotional care team as well as serving as a Supervisor for the volunteers in the ParentCare new baby home visit program. She deeply believes in the importance of supporting young families as they navigate the joys, challenges, and changes that early childhood brings.

 

EvaEva Blodgette, PhD. Intern

Eva Blodgett, M.S. graduated from Capella University with Mental Health Counseling Degree and is continuing her doctoral studies in clinical psychology at Pacifica Graduate Institute. Eva has worked with various client groups in a variety of settings and has been long interested in the attachment – oriented treatment. Some of Eva’s clinical interests include intergenerational transmission of trauma and culturally sensitive psychotherapy. Eva has been actively engaged in research projects in several areas including the effects of parental trauma on second and third generations.

 

 

Jenn Paul, MFT

Jenn is a marriage and family therapist specializing in post-partum emotional adjustment.

 

Rebecca Wallace

Communications Director

Rebecca received her Bachelor’s degree from Trinity University in San Antonio, Texas in Economics and Urban Studies.  After working as a city planner in both Santa Paula and Encinitas, Rebecca and her husband moved back to Ojai while she was pregnant with their first child to be closer to family.  Rebecca began attending classes at the Nan Tolbert Nurturing Center when her first child was three months old.  Five years and three children later, Rebecca is delighted to join a team that has given so much to her young family.

 

Shannon Clark
Finance and Development Director

Shannon has a Bachelor’s degree from UCSB and over seven years of experience in banking and finance and five years of experience in business development including for-profit and non-profit management.  Shannon has served as a board member for the center since 2009 and is delighted to take a more active role in sustaining and expanding NTNC’s mission and vision.

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