30th Annual RIE® Conference Presenters

Elsa Chahin is one of only two certified and accredited Pikler® Trainers in North America, Ms. Chahin is currently President and CEO of the internationally renown non-profit corporation, Pikler/Lóczy USA, through which she carries on the mission of Dr. Emmi Pikler, that of raising healthy, happy children. A PITC Trainer, UCLA Certified Lactation Educator, and Certified Interpreter-Translator, Chahin teaches Nurturing NannyTM courses and 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 co- author of In Loving Hands with Anna Tardos on the Rights for Children Living in Children’s Homes. mamadeleo@aol.com
Simone Demarzi 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 BS in El. Ed., Waldorf Teacher Training, LifeWays certification, all her ECE units, and completed the PITC training. She is one of the original four members of the CORE 4 in Sacramento, bringing RIE®to Northern California.  Simone ran an Infant Program in her home combining RIE® with her Waldorf background for 5 years. Simone has been teaching Parent Child Classes now for 7 years and currently teaches at the Davis Waldorf School.


Abhirami Gunasingam has a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of British Columbia and a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education with a specialization in childhood trauma from Pacific Oaks College.  She successfully completed the Resources for Infant Educarers® (RIE®) Practicum Training Program in March 2017 with RIE® Associate Elizabeth Memel.  Prior to working as a Teacher, she worked as a Researcher for five years and uses the skills gained to enable young humans in her care to become life-long learners.  She believes that her role as a teacher is to build reciprocal, committed relationships with families and her community at large.  In line with this belief she is actively involved in sharing educational resources by presenting at conferences, providing training sessions in her community, and publishing.  Being present and engaged with the young humans in her care is the best part of her day.  Abhirami has been working with young humans since 2010. www.bridgescareandeducationcenter.com


Paola Guraieb, MD.Mexico-city born Paola Guraieb is a board-certified internist and neurologist who graduated from Anahuac University in 2002. She is also practicing neurophysiology at the Institute of Medical Sciences and Nutrition Dr. Salvador Zubirán, one of the twelve national institutes that is part of Mexico’s Ministry of Health. In addition, Guraieb, an author of numerous articles for medical books and journals, is an in-demand speaker who has lectured in various graduate schools throughout Mexico, as well as at medical congresses internationally.



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 taught at Pacific Oaks College for 20 years 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. ruthannehammond@gmail.com • respectingbabies.com


Linda Hinrichs (Topanga, California) is a Child Development Specialist and former Chair of the RIE®Alliance of Associates. She met and began her work 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 the Director of The Children’s Corner Play Center in Topanga, California, which she founded in 1980. Linda also consults with parents and offers parent education classes at her Center which serves children from 2-5 years of age.  Linda  began her studies at the Emmi Pikler Institute in Budapest, Hungary, with Anna Tardos and colleagues, in 1986 and has returned numerous times for every available English training over the past 30 years.  She was a presenter at the 2007 Pikler International Conference in Hungary. justus@netwood.net 


  Karla Lee Kuester has been a RIE® Associate since 1989. Her degree is in Early Childhood Education/ Developmental Psychology, minor in Fine 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), Behavior Interventionist and Child Development Consultant. She is currently a Behavior/ Early Interventionist for the Step By Step EDU-Play Child Dev. Program in Santa Monica. She teaches “Infants, Toddlers & Caregivers” at UC Irvine each year. She was the in-house CD Specialist at UCLA Krieger Center from 2009-2015 and taught 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. She has recently been invited to sit on the Exec. Committee of the Assoc. of Child Dev. Specialists of L.A. . karla.kuester@gmail.com 


  Jill Getto Lee is the mother of twin boys and is a RIE® Associate who specializes in twins and triplets. Jill’s great passion is to advocate for children’s physical and mental health rights. She holds a Masters Degree from Pacific Oaks College in Human Development Specializing in Early Childhood Development, 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 in Sherman Oaks. She also 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 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.  Jgettolee@aol.com • jillrieclass@gmail.com • www.jillgettolee.com


  Elizabeth Memel, M.A. is a Certified RIE® Associate since 1985, an infant-toddler development specialist, and an adult educator and author who studied and worked alongside RIE® founder Magda Gerber for many years. With her 1991 Master’s Degree from Pacific Oaks in Human Development specializing in infants and toddlers, she continues to facilitate classes at the RIE® Center in Los Angeles, CA, instructing professional certification trainings nationwide, pre-natal courses and Certified™ RIE® Parent/Infant Guidance™ classes, including those in her private programs in West Los Angeles and Ventura County. She lives in Ojai, CA with her husband and especially treasures the times when her two adult children bring their families to visit together. www.authenticbabies.com


  Anna Ruth Myers is an infant development specialist with over 15 years of experience supporting families and young children.  A Pikler® Pedagogue candidate and RIE® Associate, her work is guided by the profound insights of Emmi Pikler and Magda Gerber. As a certified doula, childbirth and lactation educator, she has worked with hospitals and birth centers to advocate for respectful infant care from birth. Anna Ruth also holds diplomas in both Montessori and Waldorf education and has completed 2 study groups at Reggio Emilia. Anna Ruth is the founder of The Nurtured Child, an early parenting program based on the peaceful and respectful approaches to infant care and education developed by Emmi Pikler and Magda Gerber. For more information visit thenurturedchild.com


Erica Orosco 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.  erica.homeschoolgarden@gmail.com


  Patty Ryan is a RIE® Mentor Teacher.  She has been sharing the wisdom of Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach to a wide audience of parents and professionals for over 25 years.  Patty holds aMaster’s Degree from Pacific Oaks College in Human Development Specializing in Early Childhood Education.  She teaches RIE® Certified professional development, parenting courses, and mentors RIE® Practicum™ and RIE® Intern™ students.  She is passionate about extending the reach of the Educaring® Approach across the globe and has given workshops and seminars for professional caregivers and parents internationally and nationwide.  Patty is also a founding member of both the San Francisco Bay Area and Sacramento Area Infant, Toddler Networks.  She is the author of several published articles on infant, toddler development, has studied at the Pikler Institute in Budapest Hungary and at WestEd’s Program for Infant Toddler Caregivers.  She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and daughter, who is a freshman in college. patty@twopillarsconsulting.com