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DAVID FOSTER

DIRECTOR
David Foster is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 28 years experience in public child welfare as a social worker, supervisor, educator, and administrator. He was Title IVE Project Coordinator for the CSU, Fresno Social work Program 1993-1997, founding member of the California Regional Training Academy Development and Implementation Project, and Academy Director since 1997. He also currently serves as Staff Director of the Central California area Social Services Consortium (CCASSC), a regional collaborative that links public human service Directors with research, policy analysis, and training support services.
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CHRISTINE MATHIAS

ASSISTANT DIRECTOR 
Chris Mathias currently leads the Bay Area Academy.  She is the former Director of the Title IV-E Stipend Program at the California Social Work Education Center, a consortium of 22 schools of social work, county welfare directors, mental health directors, NASW and the CDSS. Previously, she worked with children in out-of-home care starting in 1986 first providing direct care, case management, family engagement, case planning and wraparound services. In the 90’s she worked extensively in staff and program development and training and education for direct care workers in the child welfare system.  Her work focuses on the strategic use of partnerships and the development, implementation, and evaluation of the workforce development strategies and approaches to improve child welfare and social services.  She also provides technical assistance to developing nations in the areas of social work education, training, and professional development.
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EMILY KATZ

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANAGER
Emily Katz is a licensed MFT and earned her Masters in Counseling Psychology from the University of San Francisco. In the last 8 years, she’s worked with late age adults as well as children and families within Child Welfare. Prior to being the Northern Training Specialist and currently the Regional Training Manager, she focused on permanency efforts for youth in foster care in San Francisco. In her spare time, she loves to bake, cook and she’s an avid runner, finishing the Honolulu and San Francisco marathons. These days, you’ll most likely find her hiking in the East Bay with her Dalmatian.

AMABEL BAXLEY

PARENTING FOR PERMANENCY PROJECT (PPC) WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST (WDS) 
Amabel Baxley, MSW has over 25 years’ experience working with children and families in a variety of social services settings in the Bay Area. She worked with San Mateo County Human Services Agency for over 17 years as a Social Work Supervisor and Social Worker. Amabel holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology that she received from San Francisco State University. Her experience ranges from direct practice, program development, hiring and training, CMS/CWS, SDM and Safe Measures to implementing new program initiatives. Her passion, enthusiasm, and sense of humor provide motivation and insight to training. 
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KARRI BIEHLE

PROGRAM DEVELOPMENT MANAGER 
Karri Biehle, MSW, CPCC, is an International Coach Federation certified coach, Coaches Training Institute Advanced Leadership Program graduate, and holds a Master’s in Social Work. Her passion is working with courageous leaders and organizations, taking their lives and workplaces to the next level. Karri has a well-earned reputation as a gifted front of room leader and coach, her work focusing on coaching, field-based training, leadership, organizational development, program implementation, and more. She partnered with numerous state child welfare agencies in the U.S. and California around improving child welfare practice and has worked as a front-line county social worker & manager, an Annie E Casey Foundation consultant, and Putting Pride into Practice Project Director. 

JENNIFER BUCHHOLZ

CONTRA COSTA WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST 
Jennifer joined BAA in May 2016, previously serving with CDSS as Project Director of CAPP, which aimed to reduce disparities and disproportionality in California’s child welfare system. Prior to joining CDSS, she served with the United Nations and other NGO’s working on the protection and promotion of international human rights, specifically anti-discrimination, indigenous and child rights. Jennifer holds a BA in Communications & Exercise/Health Science from UC Santa Barbara and an MA in Human Rights & Social Change from City University London. She lived in London, Geneva, and Kathmandu before family brought her back to California where she lives with her husband and two children, and in a 70-mile radius of her parents, two brothers and their families, which is still a novelty.
WALTER CASTRO LEARNING TECHNOLOGY SPECIALIST

 

KAYLA CHAI TRAINING ASSISTANT

 

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VENTURA CORTEZ

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST 
Ventura Cortez has worked with the Bay Area Academy Regional Project and Alameda Counties. He is currently the WDS for San Mateo, Santa Clara, and Santa Cruz Counties. He has a Rhetoric and Psychology degree from UC Berkeley.
SAMYALISA ENRIGHT CURRICULUM AND EVALUATION SPECIALIST

 

APRILLE FLINT WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST

 

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ANGELA GIORGIO

DATABASE COORDINATOR/REGISTRAR
Angela joined BAA as the Southern Training Assistant in February 2014. In May 2015 she transitioned to the Registrar and Database Coordinator position. Prior to BAA, she was an entrepreneur in business start-up and operations management. Her free time is spent with family and friends. They enjoy riding dirt bikes, going to the beach, hiking, snowboarding and watching movies. She also loves to cook and travel.
TERESA GUTHRIE ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT ASSISTANT

 

AARON HODGDON

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT  
Aaron Hodgdon joined the Bay Area Academy in December of 2015. An administrative professional with more than a decade of experience in senior executive support, Aaron brings with him a background in office management, vendor management and regulatory reporting in the financial field. Aaron also has experience with volunteer and charitable event planning in the not-for-profit sector.
GLORIA KING WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST

 

RENEE LUQUE

NORTHERN WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST 
Renee is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a degree in Social Service Administration from the University of Chicago. Committed to improving outcomes for children and families, she brings 10 years of professional experience serving both public and private mental health and child welfare entities. She joined BAA in March 2012, supporting our sole foster parent training contract where she was instrumental in implementation planning, capacity building, training and curriculum development. She now serves as the academy lead for the regional planning and delivery of commercial sexual exploitation of children and resource family approval training deliverables. Renee balances her professional life with weekly trail running, traveling, and quality time with family, friends, and her dog, Max.

COURTNEY MILLER

TRAINING ASSISTANT 
Courtney joined BAA in 2016 and has an Associate’s degree in Liberal Arts, emphasis in Social Behavior. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Urban Education at Mills College in Oakland. She has been an East Bay resident for 12 years and has a passion for educating inspiring and uplifting youth. Courtney’s desire to help and serve the families and youth in her community has made Bay Area Academy the perfect place for her. Her personal and professional goals include obtaining her Master’s degree in Childhood Development and a teaching credential. In Courtney’s free time she enjoys spending time with her wife and son, traveling, planning events and parties for families and friends, attending festivals, enjoying live music, hiking, swimming and being outdoors.
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RACHEL MOCK

PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Rachel Mock is the Program Coordinator for Contra Costa, Napa, Sonoma, Solano, San Francisco PPC and Marin County contracts along with Regional Advanced trainings. She graduated in 2013 from UC Irvine with a B.A. in Asian American Studies and a minor in Psychology and Social Behavior. With a background working with non-profits and a passion for social services revolving around children and families, Rachel is excited to be a part of the Bay Area Academy family. In her spare time, Rachel enjoys being around friends and family, playing Japanese taiko drums, finding new places to eat, and supporting the Oakland A’s!
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HEATHER PRIEBE

EVENT PLANNING COORDINATOR 
Heather Priebe is our events planner for all BAA contracts. Heather comes to us from Contra Costa and Solano County where she served at-risk youth, including foster youth, with services to assist in educational and life preparation. Heather’s educational background includes an undergraduate degree in Business Management with a special event planning certificate from our very own Fresno State. Outside of the office, Heather is a social butterfly, always traveling with friends. She is a mother of a three-year-old boy who keeps her busy. Heather loves sports and enjoys family and friend gatherings as often as possible.
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ADREANNA RILEY

WORKFORCE DEVELOPMENT SPECIALIST 
Adreanna Riley has been the Workforce Development Specialist, working with Monterey and San Benito Counties, since September 2010. She joined the Bay Area Academy after two years as an ongoing social worker in Santa Cruz, and 12 previous years in CalWorks, case management of brain-injured adults, and assessment, case management and mentoring of newer social workers at San Andreas Regional Center. Adreanna, her partner, and their two children spend their spare time swimming in the ocean, reading, riding bikes and eating as many vegetables and chocolate chip cookies as they can.

STEPHANIE RUUD

TRAINING ASSISTANT 
Stephanie joined Bay Area Academy in February 2016 as a Regional Training Assistant. She is responsible for providing training coverage as well as curriculum support. Stephanie received her BA in Media Studies from the University of Berkeley, California. Stephanie loves volunteering when she can. In the past, she has worked with youth in the community as a mentor. She also spent time last year volunteering at the Berkeley Animal Shelter. She enjoys music, movies, spending time with friends and laughing.
SHALLEN SO’BRIEN TRAINING OPERATIONS SUPERVISOR 
Shallen brings 15+ years of training and experience within both nonprofit and for-profit organizations focusing on mental health & wellness, reproductive and sexual health services, education, training and research to the BAA family. As well as a Bachelor’s in Business Management and Masters in Forensic Psychology. Ultimately, she aims to create a non-profit within her community focused on motivational speaking, leadership, wellness, mentorship and healthy development of youth and families. In her free time, she volunteers at her church and enjoys reading, working out, great laughs and adventures with friends and family, and trying new things. Her personal philosophy is if we stop learning, we stop living, and she continues to search for knowledge and creative opportunities at every turn.
CYNTHIA RAMSELL COMMUNICATIONS COORDINATOR

 

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GLENYS RODEBACK

TRAINING ASSISTANT 
Glenys grew up on the Monterey Peninsula, receiving a degree in Business Administration, emphasis in marketing from CSU Fresno. While at Fresno State, she joined Pi Sigma Epsilon, a professional fraternal organization in sales, marketing, and management. After time away, Glenys eventually moved back to the Peninsula and worked as an employment specialist for Monterey County Office for Employment & Training where she taught at-risk youth pre-employment skills training, career exploration, and work placement.  She is excited to be part of the BAA team and supporting her alma mater. Glenys believes that continuing education and personal/professional growth are the keys to personal success. Read a book, attend a training, browse the web, or best of all – go outdoors!
KIM STAPP FISCAL COORDINATOR

 

NATALIE TOTTENHAM PROGRAM COORDINATOR
Natalie joined BAA in August 2016. She is the Program Coordinator for Alameda, Monterey, San Benito, San Francisco CW, Santa Cruz and San Mateo County contracts along with Regional Core trainings.