RIE® Associates

The RIE® Alliance of Associates are dedicated infant/toddler specialists offering RIE certified classes in various locations worldwide.   Please read about our RIE Associates below to find out if there is a class near you!

United States
Arizona | California | Colorado | District of Columbia | Florida | Indiana | Ohio | Oregon | Massachusetts | Minnesota | Missouri | New Jersey | New York | PennsylvaniaSouth Carolina | Washington

Around the World 
Canada | China | Israel | Japan | Korea | SingaporeNew Zealand


Kimberley Lewis (Tucson, Arizona) became a RIE® Associate in 2010. She has an MEd in Early Childhood Education from Antioch University New England. Kimberley has taught parent/child, nursery, preschool and kindergarten classes in Waldorf settings since 2007. She’s also an avid student of Emmi Pikler. She is passionate about integrating RIE, Pikler, Waldorf and other studies in embryology, neuroscience and embodiment towards educating others on the foundational first three years of life. Kimberley is currently retired from teaching to make time to research and write a book entitled “Conception to I-Consciousness.” kimberleylewis.com kimberley.lewis@gmail.com


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. Rebecca@rbhealingarts.com 

Deborah Carlisle Solomon (Los Angeles, California) is the author of Baby Knows Best: Raising a Confident and Resourceful Child, the RIE® Way. She served as RIE® Executive Director for eight years and now has an 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 Budapest, Hungary. http://www.deborahcarlislesolomon.com •  deborah@deborahcarlislesolomon.com

Michelle Cescatti (Los Angeles, California) is a former elementary school educator. Profoundly moved by the Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes she attended with her child, she began her RIE® training in 2014, and became a RIE® Associate in 2017. She is grateful for and inspired by the wise and experienced counsel of her mentors, Deborah Carlisle Solomon, Elizabeth Memel, and Ruth Anne Hammond. Michelle is particularly committed to seeing children as unique individuals who thrive as their authentic selves when given the freedom and space to do so. She facilitates RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ Orientation classes in the Los Angeles area, and looks forward to facilitating Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes of her own very soon. mcescatti@gmail.com

Elsa Chahin (Pacific Palisades, California) 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

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. valoriejean@yahoo.com 

Melissa Coyńe (Los Angeles) 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, she is a RIE® Associate and a certified PITC (Program for Infant/Toddler Care) trainer. Melissa was first introduced to the Educaring® Approach at the early childhood program where she worked for 22 years and cultivated her commitment to philosophical integrity. She facilitates RIE® courses in the Los Angeles area and has presented workshops on how to respectfully parent tweens and teens. Melissa is the mother of two teenage daughters who continually challenge her to look at herself and learn about the rewards of relationships built on connection and collaboration that begin in infancy. She is passionate about inspiring adults and children to be critical thinkers in areas of anti-racism, equity and self-awareness. Melissa is a firm believer that parenting is an ongoing process, not a product, to be handled with intention, deep reflection and great care.

Jennifer CurtisJennifer Curtis (San Rafael, California) was first introduced to the teachings of Magda Gerber in 1997. In the years to follow, first as a classroom teacher, then school director, teacher trainer, professional nanny and community-based service provider, the Educaring® Approach continually informed and elevated her practice with children and adults, alike. In 2015, Jennifer engaged her long-held dream of sharing the Educaring Approach® with others. After an amazing journey studying and deepening her internalization of the approach, she became a RIE® Associate in 2022.

Jennifer has an enduring passion for promoting the importance of primary relationships from birth. She
provides nurturing, respectful, holistic support and guidance for families in the perinatal year and beyond. Jennifer currently offers “Free to Be…” parent-child classes, private family support and program
consulting in Marin and Sonoma Counties through Heartful Birth. She is a DONA-Certified Birth Doula,
Certified Instructor of Infant Massage, and credentialed Montessori ECE teacher. Jennifer plans to offer
RIE® Certified Parent-Infant GuidanceTM and Before BabyTM classes very soon in her beautiful Novato
classroom. heartfulbirth.comjennifercurtis@heartfulbirth.com

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. catriona-davies@verizon.com

Jennifer DoeblerJennifer Doebler (Berkeley, California) had her life change in 2006 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 Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes in NYC with her two daughters and experienced for herself how the Educaring® Approach enhanced her understanding, confidence and relationship with her infants. After nearly two decades of corporate brand management and entrepreneurial experience, in the US and Asia, Jennifer followed her new passion and began RIE training in 2014. An Associate since 2017, Jennifer has also completed Introductory and Advanced-Level Pikler Training with Anna Tardos & Agnes Szanto. Jennifer holds an MA in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College, specializing in Early Childhood Development, an MBA in Marketing and Management from Columbia University, and a BA in International Politics and Economics from Middlebury College. Jennifer is a RIE Practicum mentor, member of the Board of Directors, and Chair of the Marketing Committee. Jennifer facilitates RIE classes in San Francisco’s East Bay and consults with parents and professionals. She loves helping parents and carers do the world’s most important job.  www.forbabyandme.com / jennifer@forbabyandme.com  

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. www.discoveryourbaby.org

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. meg.giannini@sbcglobal.net

Lisa Sunbury Gerber (Santa Cruz, California) www.regardingbaby.org and https://respectfrombirth.mn.co/  Lisa has dedicated her life to caring for, supporting, and advocating for infants and toddlers and their families, and enjoys introducing future early childhood professionals to respectful caregiving practices through her role as an adjunct professor of ECE at Cabrillo College in Aptos, CA. Lisa holds a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education from Lesley University and was introduced to Magda Gerber’s RIE philosophy during a conference for infant teachers held in Boston in 1998. This eye-opening experience led to Lisa relocating to Los Angeles to become an intern and study with Magda Gerber at the original home of RIE in Silverlake, California, where she also served as RIE’s Office Manager for four years, and on RIE’s Board of Directors for two years. For more than 20 years Lisa has shared her knowledge and love of RIE through her varied roles in the field of early care and education including as a professional nanny, as an infant/toddler teacher and program administrator, via conference presentations, and by facilitating Parent-Infant Guidance classes and workshops for parents and professionals. She’s proud to have collaborated with Janet Lansbury to introduce RIE to a global audience through social media. Today, Lisa homeschools her seven-year-old daughter, as well as offering Parent-Infant Guidance classes, consulting with families by phone, and offering an on-line support and discussion group via Mighty Networks. Contact her at lisa@regardingbaby.org.

  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.  Classes are available online and in-person.   www.harisriestudio.com •  rieclass@aol.com

Ruth Anne Hammond (Los Angeles, California), author of Respecting Babies: A Guide to Educaring for Parents and Professionals (2019, 2009), is a RIE Mentor, having studied under its founder, Magda Gerber and served on the board for many years. She was RIEs President from 2005 to 2011.  She speaks and teaches RIE courses across the globe and offers Parent-Infant classes in Pasadena. She taught in the Human Development Department at Pacific Oaks College and led its Infant/Toddler-Parent Program for 17 years. She is PITC certified and has trained at the Pikler Institute. Ms. Hammond is currently on the board of directors of Families Forward Learning Center in Pasadena, a multi-generational education and support agency for low income families. She has been a participant in Dr. Allan N. Schore’s interpersonal neurobiology study group for over a decade. A former professional dancer, she continues to express her love of movement in her work with infants and their families. ruthannehammond@gmail.comruthannehammond.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 

While Children’s Corner closed from March until September, 2020 Linda re-opened with 1/3 the number of children in order to continue to carry the RIE message to families and to serve her community during the pandemic.

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. wenkronick@aol.com

Karla Lee Kuester (Santa Monica, California) has been a RIE® Associate since 1989. She holds degrees in Early Childhood Education, Developmental Psychology, 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 EDUTheraPlay 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 was invited to sit on the Exec. Committee of the Assoc. of Child Dev. Specialists of L.A. (ACDS-LA) from 2017- present.   karla.kuester@gmail.comwww.karlakuester.com

Melani Ladygo (San Fernando Valley, California) has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development from California State University, Los Angeles. She has been teaching Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes for almost a decade and is currently teaching in Sherman Oaks. She also teaches other RIE® training courses, including a course for caregivers (Nurturing Nanny™), a course for expectant parents (Before Baby™), and the professional development course, RIE® Foundations™. She has presented workshops on Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach in a variety of conference settings and was the Program and Office Manager at the RIE® Center in Hollywood for 9 years. She fell in love with the Approach in a child care center where she worked as an Infant/Toddler Master Lead Teacher for many years. Melani feels strongly that this Approach strengthens bonds between parents and children, and fosters the development of competent, capable, and creative children. melani@melaniladygo.comwww.melaniladygo.com

Janet Lansbury (Los Angeles, California)  is introducing a global audience to Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach through her website, www.janetlansbury.com. 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. janet@janetlansbury.com.

Jill Getto Lee (Studio City, California) is a professional development trainer having studied trauma in infant development. Her 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 all RIE course offerings at the Los Angeles and Pasadena RIE® Centers and in her own private practice at BINI Birth in Sherman Oaks. She is a participant in a study group on Interpersonal Neurobiology with Dr. Allan N. Schore of the UCLA David Geffen School of Medicine. Jill serves as the Chairman of the RIE Board of Directors. She is also a registered Consultant for the Los Angeles County office of Childcare and serves as a community member on Los Angeles Unified School District’s IPM team.• jgettolee@gmail.com • www.jillgettolee.com • 818-370-2596

Elizabeth Memel, M.A., RIE® Associate (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. For over thirty years, Liz has facilitated Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes in Los Angeles on staff at the RIE® Center as well as her own private classes. Liz loyally supported Magda Gerber and the RIE® Board of Directors in many roles from 1985 to 2018. 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 (Jessica Kingsley Press)Liz studied at the PIkler Institute, Budapest, Hungary in 1993 and returned as a co-presenter at the 2003 Pikler Symposium. lizmemel@authenticbabies.com www.authenticbabies.com Instagram: @authenticbabiesojai #wantnothingtime

Lori 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 Diego.www.respectfulbeginnings.com  lori@respectfulbeginnings.com

Leyla Momeny (San Francisco, California) is a special education teacher, parent educator, and a mother of two children. She discovered RIE in 2011 and has never looked back. She facilitates parent groups, teaches workshops, and offers in-home consultations and personalized trainings on respectful parenting and caregiving practices. She considers RIE to be many things: intellectually engaging, exhilarating, disciplined, and even sweet. She has a B.A. degree in Philosophy (UCLA) and teaching credentials from San Jose State University and National University.  Her ideal Saturday is one spent at the beach. leylamomeny@gmail.com

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.  gailnadal612@comcast.net

Larissa Neilson (Los Angeles, CA)Larissa is a former lawyer who fell in love with RIE® twenty years ago and decided to change careers. She is the author of “The L.A. Nanny Book” and founder at Riesers Inc. Larissa has been an advocate of the RIE and the Educaring Approach since 2001. She has nineteen years of experience helping families with their newborn babies until the age of three. She is also a Pikler Pedagogue candidate and has studied at the Pikler House in Budapest, Hungary. Larissa is a speaker and has conducted workshops guiding and inspiring caregivers and educators of young children within the US, China, Mexico, and Peru. It is her passion to help parents see their infants in a new way, showing them what their infants are capable of by modeling a way of being with them. www.larissaneilson.com (818) 472-6343

Ida Reid (Los Angeles, CA) Ida is a former Preschool teacher, Los Angeles native, current Postpartum Doula and president of the Doulas Association of Southern California.  Ida took her first Foundations ™ Course in 2010 at the RIE® center in Los Angeles and became a RIE® Associate in 2018. Ida has served over 100 families in the Los Angeles Area supporting them in a non-invasive, respectful approach.  Ida is committed to helping facilitate the relationship that is possible between parent and child when a child is approached as an independent, capable and vital member of a community. ida.doula@gmail.com

 Patricia Ryan (Berkeley, California) 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

Antoinette Samardzic (Los Angeles, California)  is a Parent-Infant Guidance Class™ Facilitator and studied at the Pikler Institute in 2006. antoinettes@ca.rr.com

Melanie Snell  (San Fernando Valley, California) Melanie Snell is a mother of four children.  She and was lucky enough to find RIE® when her oldest was four months old. She and her husband have been practicing the RIE® philosophy in their home ever since. Melanie became a RIE® Associate in 2014 after slowly making her way through the professional development program,  pausing her studies occasionally to have babies. Melanie teaches RIE® Parent/Infant classes on Saturdays at the Los Angeles RIE® center. She also teaches RIE® Nurturing Nanny™️ courses and Before Baby™️ classes, as well as private consulting. During the week she is the Tot Center Coordinator at Kirk O’ the Valley school. Where she works with children 18 months to 3 years old.www.raisingwithrespect.com melsnell@sbcglobal.net

Kira Solomatova (Pasadena, California),  has a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development. Although both of her parents were engineers, Kira dreamed of working with children from the time she was just seven years old, finally becoming a preschool teacher at the age of nineteen. After teaching preschool for many years, Kira discovered RIE® and became a RIE® Associate. Not only is RIE inspirational by advocating for children, it also helped Kira become a more authentic person herself. She 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 at www.ourparentingplace.com. Kira teaches RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes and workshops and does private consultations in English and Russian.

Christina Vlinder (Concord, California) began her nanny career in 1999 and has helped raise many children. She became a RIE® Associate in 2017. Over the course of her career in child development, she has taught RIE® Parent Infant Guidance™ classes and RIE® Before Baby™ classes. Christina founded the Bay Area Infant Toddler Network for RIE® professionals in the San Francisco Bay Area in 2015. She is currently a full-time nanny and teaches RIE® Nurturing Nanny™ and other workshops throughout the year. Christina.Vlinder@gmail.com • www.RespectfulCaregiving.org

Karen Ziskin (Rancho Santa Fe, 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. Karenziskin@yahoo.com


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.” www.compassionatesleepsolutions.com


Allison Manuel (Washington, DC) is 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 now has three young children ages 3,5 and 9. She is a Montessori teacher and also currently provides consultations on the Educaring®  approach for parents and childcare providers. She is grateful to her mentors Ruth Anne Hammond and Beverly Kovach for helping her to bring more of the RIE® world to the Washington DC area. She is most passionate about helping others 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. lee.allison1983@gmail.com


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 Institute Training 2010-2013, 2016  where she studied under Anna Tardos. Lisa is the RIE® Alliance Chairperson on the RIE®Board. She is a mentor, trainer and consultant in the Educaring® Approach. 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. riemiami.com

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.  dgreenw@wested.org


Mary 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. marytuttle1@gmail.com

Kelly Scott (Fort Wayne, Indiana) has worked with families with small children for more than 15 years. She began her career working with autistic young children while attending the University of Minnesota. After moving to Los Angeles, Kelly discovered the work of Magda Gerber and the Educaring® Approach. She incorporated this into her continued work as a nanny, newborn infant care provider, and nursery school teacher.  Kelly passionately believes play is a fundamental right of childhood and works to provide families and young children opportunities to do so. Currently, Kelly is reveling in the joys of homeschooling her school-age daughter. She is continually delighted by how the RIE Principles continue to guide her way in being with children.


Simone Stave Demarzi (Yellow Springs, Ohio) 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. sdemarzi@gmail.com


Alexandra Curtis (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, Alex was a founding Board Member of the Pikler/Loczy USA Fund and the Hillsborough County Breastfeeding Taskforce. She is an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant) and works at Lane Community College’s Family Connections program, providing training to child care providers. mealex37@earthlink.net

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.  marylouisebrennan@yahoo.com


Diana Suskind, Ed.D (Leominster, Massachusetts) international early childhood consultant, is a  RIE® (Resources for Infant Educarers®) Associate,, retired Associate Professor, artist and author has traveled extensively bringing fresh, creative learning ideas such as RIE and her own construct called Stonework Play to children and teachers throughout the world. Diana developed Stonework Play in Nepal to inspire children to create meaningful stories through contact with nature. Making use of what Diana has coined ‘Tarry Time’, Stonework Play slows us down, enhancing full, active engagement. dsuskind@comcast.net, • stoneworkplay.com


Elizabeth MiddletonBeth Middleton is a career caregiver in private family and group care environments. After attending the 2013 Los Angeles Winter Foundations(TM) course Beth continued her studies, becoming a RIE(R) Associate in early 2021. Beth speaks and consults with individuals and families, as well as in group care, community and conference settings. She enjoys spending time with family in South Dakota on the land of the Ihanktowan Nation (Yankton Sioux Reservation) and in Minnesota, observing her daughter and grandchildren flourish with the roots provided in the RIE(R) principles, and sharing the life and relationship enriching benefits of our approach.

Carolyn Paetzel (Minneapolis, Minnesota) is a licensed educator and parent, with 25+ years working with parents, infants, and students to help deepen their understanding of each infant’s unique and innate abilities. She has presented at numerous workshops, including the MNAEYC State Conference, and served as a consultant for local child development programs. Inspired by Magda Gerber and an innate desire to connect and share the Educaring® Approach with others, she created the Friends of RIE® Minnesota (FORM) Network, a community-based forum of parents, educators, students, and administrators, who gather monthly to engage in topics relating to early childhood education. FORM members can now be found across the globe. Theformnetwork@gmail.com


Shannon Carr (St. Louis, MO) became a RIE® Associate in 2020, but has been in awe of the Educaring® Approach since 2002 after reading Your Self-Confident Baby and seeing such positive outcomes in infant classrooms and with her own children. She began her RIE® training in 2013 and became a RIE® Associate in 2020. She has worked with families and early childhood professionals in some capacity since 1994 as a teacher, director, parent educator, advocate for children in foster care, and trainer. She holds a Master of Arts in Teaching and Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Development. Inspired by Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach and the desire to share her work with others, she created Friends of RIE® Midwest and in 2017 founded RISE, where she provides workshops to parents and early childhood providers, facilitates parent-infant guidance classes, and consults privately with families and professionals. shannoncarr@risechild.com, www.risechild.com


Angela R. Fisher, Ph.D. (South Orange/Maplewood, 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. ababydr@gmail.com


Christina Cohen (New York City, New York) is a Clinical Psychologist and Parent & Family Support Specialist who works with children, adolescents, adults and couples in her private practice in Manhattan. She began her RIE® Professional Development training in 2015 and is honored to share Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach with the parent and childcare community. Follow her online at christinacohen.com

Kristin Eliasberg (Brooklyn, New York), inspired by the Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes she attended with her daughter, embarked on her RIE® training in 2008. She is now a RIE® Mentor Teacher, and 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 addition to helping found the first downtown Manhattan Waldorf school. Her experiences as a professional dancer, yoga instructor and journalist inform her work with infants, toddlers, and their parents. She lives with her daughter in Brooklyn, NY. kristin1230@yahoo.com

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.  jessica@brooklyncreche.com

Johanna Herwitz holds a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology.  A Licensed Clinical Psychologist in New York State, she treats individuals and couples in her private practice. She mentors Practicum students and provides in person or virtual consultations for families.  She serves as Vice President of Pikler Loczy USA and President of the Women’s Mental Health Consortium. She has three adult children and lives in New York City with her husband. jsherwitz@verizon.net •  www.mindfulparentingnyc.com

Anna 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 thenurturedchild.com

Jude Keith Rose (Ithaca, New York) Jude has built a career around supporting and advocating for children, families and early care and education professionals. In addition to providing direct care for children birth to 6, her work has extended into managing community programs that provide medical care and prenatal education, parent education in the context of supervised visitation and safety for children who have experienced trauma. Jude is captivated by witnessing children learn to communicate and passionate about supporting positive, nonviolent communication in families. Jude became a  RIE® Associate in 2001. She is also a published early childhood photographer whose images have appeared in early childhood books and journals including “Young Children” and “Montessori Life” and a self-published children’s book, Bite a Bagel. judekrose@gmail.com

Leith Speer BartonLeith Speer Barton (New York City, New York) As a child, Leith dreamed of making the world a more beautiful place. She studied Art History and Studio Art at NYU and began working in the art world in New York before shifting to publishing at Condé Nast where she became a fashion editor at Vogue magazine at the age of 27. At Vogue, Leith learned the value of excellence and perseverance but more importantly she learned the power of purpose. Purpose is what later drove Leith to dedicate her expertise to stewarding and championing sustainable and emerging designers as an independent brand consultant for over a decade. With the birth of her first child, Leith naturally began applying her consultant lens to the issues she faced as a new parent. She identified the “problems” and looked for solutions. Dubious of trends and “quick fixes”, the simplicity and timelessness of Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach immediately resonated with her. After enrolling in local RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance classes in New York, Leith’s love of the Educaring® Approach blossomed. Leith took RIE® Foundations: Theory and Observation™ in 2017 in Los Angeles and over the following 5 years was fortunate enough to train with several RIE® Associates and RIE® Mentors. Leith became a RIE® Associate in 2022 and now applies her consulting lens full-time to working with parents, caregivers, and professionals in the field of Early Childhood. Additionally, Leith co-facilitates RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance classes with RIE® Associate Anna Ruth Myers in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Leith believes that supporting and empowering parents to have more respectful, connected relationships with their children will change the world for the better. What could be more beautiful!  www.notesoncaring.com | info@notesoncaring.com


Eileen O'SullivanEileen O’Sullivan (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) began her RIE journey in 1989 when she started a Co-Op nursery school for a small group of children. The children had all been in RIE class and wanted to continue being together. She has taken two more such groups of RIE children through to Kindergarten. She trained with Magda Gerber at the original RIE center in Silver Lake, CA. She has held RIE Parent/Child classes at the RIE Center, Santa Monica and in Culver City for over 25 years. Parent consults, small group training and coaching have been her recent focus.  She is continuing her training with the Pikler Institute as a Pedagogue Candidate in Budapest, Hungary where RIE has its origins.  She has over thirty years of experience applying the RIE/Pikler philosophy with children in groups.


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. She went on to receive her Early Childhood Montessori 3-6 credentials and became a RIE® Associate in 2011. Nicole currently serves as Program Director for Little Learners Lodge and on the Pikler®USA Board. She recently completed the 3-hour video curriculum guide Being with Infants with Beverly Kovach and consults with centers interested in putting the theories of Dr. Emmi Pikler and the work of Magda Gerber into daily center base practice. nicvigliotti@yahoo.com • www.mmpschool.com


Debbie Bergstrom (Puyallup, Washington) studied with Magda Gerber starting in 1986. She studied at the Emmi Pikler Institute, Budapest Hungary in 2008. She is a WestEd PITC Graduate. She has worked in Child and Youth programs for over 39 years. Debbie has worked with a variety of infant/toddler programs and has conducted seminars and training in Italy, New Zealand, Australia, and throughout the United States. She is currently an ECE Consultant. bergsjd@aol.com

Polly Elam (Puyallup, WA) studied and worked with Magda Gerber for more that 20 years and served on the RIE® Board of Directors from 1986-2020. She served as President from 2011-2020. Polly first studied at the Pikler Institute in 1986 and returned on a regular basis until 2012. Shepresented 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 andToddlers, 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. She and her husband, Joseph recently relocated to Puyallup, Washington. pollyelam@aol.com

Around the World!

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. anitacooperebright@me.com

Kristy Thomas (Edmonton, AB, Canada) has been engaged with families, educators and young children for more than 20 years and is the director of Mckernan Child Development Centre (since 2007).  In addition to this role, Kristy also works as a contracted practicum supervisor for distance learning students in the Early Childhood Education Program at Lethbridge College.  As a mom & Early childhood professional it is her passion to encourage parents and caregivers to embrace a respectful approach and find joy in their journeys.  She shares her work online through a blog www.inspiredbyinfants.ca and in her local community. She is delighted to have recently become a RIE® Associate this year and is eager to continue sharing this work in Canada alongside her mentor and friend Anita Cooper Ebright.  Kristy is an advocate for engaging in excellent care practices starting at birth and has been presenting at local conferences and sharing this message with parents and educators for many years. She looks forward to her future as a RIE® Associate with plans to teach RIE®️ Certified classes for fellow Canadians in the near future. @inspiredbyinfants • thomasgirlk@gmail.com

Jemina (Jea) Villanueva-Vallée(Hong Kong, China, France, Philippines) is an Australian early childhood educator who has spent more than 20 years nurturing young children and mentoring professionals around the world. A passionate educator, teacher trainer and international consultant, she regularly presents on the topics of early childhood education and parenting. Jemina founded an international nursery in Beijing prior to relocating to Hong Kong. She is presently Vice-President at Higher Ground Education Hong Kong overseeing Montessori program quality at Guidepost schools. Jemina organizes RIE® certification courses in Asia and Europe. Email: jemina.v@yahoo.com • WhatsApp: +852 9144 6963 • WeChat: jemina_v

Marinda 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. marindachan@hotmail.com

Helen Zhang

Helen Zhang (Beijing, China) has been exploring RIE® to raise infants since her daughter was born. Educaring® approach has fascinated her by guiding her understanding of her baby and her career. Starting as a non-mobile infant caregiver in a childcare center, she kept practicing Magda Gerber’s Educaring® approach. After going through the RIE pathway, completing the basic-level Pikler training, and further study in the Waldorf approach, she has grown firmer faith in early childhood education, and will go further down the journey by accompanying the infants and toddlers.  Helen offers in-home consulting, workshops and will be facilitating Parent-Infant Guidance classes™ in China. Email: helenzhang520429@gmail.com • WeChat: zmhelen67 

Ruth Mason (Jerusalem, Israel) In addition to being a RIE® Associate, Ruth Mason is a parent educator certified by the Early Childhood Development Center of New York Medical College and is studying to be a Pikler Pedagogue. Ruth is a journalist who has written extensively about parents and children, including articles on RIE and the Pikler approach. She wrote the weekly column, Parenting, in the Jerusalem Post for seven years. A Los Angeles native born to immigrant parents, Ruth is married to Bob Trachtenberg, a lawyer, and has three grown children and two grandchildren. She lives in Jerusalem, works as a writer, is the producer/director of the documentary These are my Names and the founder of the Ethiopian Children’s Scholarship Fund at the Jerusalem Conservatory Hassadna. ruthtmason@gmail.com

Kumiko AkiyamaKumiko Akiyama (Tokyo, Japan) is a mother of two children and she holds a degree in Psychology with Early Childhood Education certificate. She felt immediate connection with Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach, when she first attended RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance Class with her daughter. It inspired her to work with infants and toddlers at an international nursery and begin her journey in RIE® Professional Development training in 2018. She is passionate about daily caregiving that can transform relationship and build deeper connection with young children.

Kumiko has lived abroad for over 20 years and she values diversity in education. She shares Magda Gerber’s wisdom through her online community @friends.of.rie_japan. She offers caregiving workshops, private consultations and will organize RIE® Certified classes in Japan and Asia. Email: kumiko.akiyama@outlook.com

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. jswohn@yahoo.com • http://cafe.daum.net/aejonjung

Elena Marouchos (Auckland, New Zealand) is a Mentor Teacher at The Learning Centre (TLC). She is passionate about following a curriculum of care for infants and toddlers and exploring ways of integrating the Educaring® Approach within group care settings.Elena completed the RIE® Foundations: Theory and Observation™ course in 2011 and has attended a summer Intensive course at the Emmi Pikler Institute in 2013. Elena is also a board member of the New Zealand Infant Toddler Consortium (NZITC) and provides consulting services and offers seminars and workshops to a variety of audiences.elena.marouchos@gmail.com

Sharon Smith (Auckland, New Zealand) is principal of Magic Child Infant and Toddler Consultancy.  She has been sharing the insights of Magda Gerber’s Educaring® Approach to a diverse audience of parents and professionals in New Zealand, Australia and Asia Pacific and USA. Sharon is a RIE Mentor™ who teaches RIE Certified professional development, and mentors RIE Practicum™ and RIE Intern™ students. She studied at the Pikler Institute, Budapest, Hungary in 2008 and 2012 and is also a certified PITC Trainer.  Sharon is a founding trustee and Chair of New Zealand Infant and Toddler Consortium (NZITC), a charitable trust set up to inspire all about the importance and impact of care and respectful relationships organising and presenting at various community events in Aotearoa, New Zealand. sharonmvsmith@gmail.com • magicchild.co.nz • @magic_child_sharon_smith

Ania Wojcikowski (Auckland, New Zealand) first discovered the Educaring® Approach when attending a parent-infant class with her own son in 2004. This inspired her to pursue early childhood education and to learn more, obtaining her Early Childhood Teacher qualification in 2008 . Ania attended the summer intensive course at the Emmi Pikler institute. The following year she completed the RIE® Foundations: Theory and Observation™ course in 2010 and is grateful for Polly Elam’s mentorship in her journey, that recently led her to  become a RIE® Associate.

Ania works at The Learning Centre™ in Auckland alongside the teachers and families, deepening her understanding of the approach in practice every day. Ania is a board member of the New Zealand Infant and Toddler consortium (NZITC). ania@nzitc.co.nz

Aletheia LeeAletheia Lee, DPhil. (Singapore) is a neuroscientist and early childhood practitioner focused on developmental sciences and infant-toddler care and education. She supports families and professionals with the Educaring® Approach, working with an integrative philosophy that combines brain, body, mind, spirit, and concepts of self. She started her journey with RIE® in 2015 and has worked with RIE® communities in London, California, China, Australia, and South East Asia. She holds a DPhil in Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics from the University of Oxford, and a Masters in Psychology from the National University of Singapore. She is passionate about the human design, our adaptive capacity, and our wonderful ability to learn. In Singapore, she offers Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes and teaches infant-toddler development and responsive curriculum in the Early Childhood Education programme at Singapore University of Social Sciences. aletheia@therespectfulway.com therespectfulway.com aletheialee.com


Emily McDonald (Perth, Australia) Emily has a Bachelor Degree in Early Childhood Education and has been working in early childhood settings for over 10 years. She first discovered the Educaring® Approach when her children were young and travelled to Los Angeles to complete her first RIE® Foundations™ training in 2015. It was a life changing experience for her in many ways, both personally as a mum of three, and professionally in her work with children and families. Emily is grateful for the guidance of her associate mentors Patricia Ryan, Sharon Smith and Polly Elam. She is a co-founding director on the board of ITANA (Infant & Toddler Advocacy Network of Australia) and has completed one of the basic level Pikler® courses. Emily supports parents and educators online and in her local community at @childhood_wonder. She is very passionate about building respectful relationships with children and believes that all babies deserve to experience love, connection, security and respect by the way they are cared for. Emily is looking forward to offering RIE® Parent-Infant Guidance™ classes, Before Baby™ and Nurturing Nanny™ courses in the near future. Email: emily@childhoodwonder.com.au