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Staff

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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

 

REGIONAL TRAINING MANAGER
Emily Katz is a licensed MFT and earned her Masters in Counseling Psychology from 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) TRAINING SPECIALIST 
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

COACHING AND FIELD BASED TRAINING 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/REGIONAL TRAINING 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 a 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.

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VENTURA CORTEZ

SAN MATEO TRAINING PROJECT TRAINING SPECIALIST 
Ventura Cortez has worked with the Bay Area Academy Regional Project and Alameda Counties. He is currently working with San Mateo County as the San Mateo Training Project (SMTP) Training Specialist. He has a Rhetoric and Psychology degree from UC Berkeley.
 Farzana Fakhry FISCAL & OPERATIONS MANAGER
Farzana joined BAA in March 2016, bringing her background of a Master’s in Public Administration, emphasis in Public Management, from CSU East Bay and a Master’s in Business Administration with an emphasis in Finance from Golden Gate University. Farzana has extensive experience in the non-profit sector in finance and administrative positions. She has worked in numerous organizations focusing on education, mental health services, and social & economic equity and development. At BAA, she provides oversight and management of all pre- and post-award activity for contracts between Bay Area Academy/Fresno Foundation and state and local government agencies. Farzana lived in Canada where she earned her BA in International Relations and Political Science at the University of Toronto.
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ANGELA GIORGIO

 

 

REGIONAL COORDINATOR/REGISTRAR
Angela joined BAA as the Southern Training Assistant in February 2014. In May 2015 she  transitioned into the Regional Coordinator/Registrar position. Prior to BAA she was an entrepreneur in business start-up and operations management. Family is her everything. They enjoy riding dirt bikes, going to the beach, hiking, and watching movies. She also loves to cook and travel.

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.

KORDNIE JAMILLIA LEE

SAN FRANCISCO TRAINING PROJECT (SFTP) TRAINING ASSISTANT 
Kordnie is a Central Valley native who began her journey to empower and serve system involved youth and families in her late teens. She has a BA in Human Development and a background in wellness and program development. She quickly developed a fierce momentum for child welfare policy change and youth leadership development. As a professional trainer her work, she was recognized by receiving the Casey Family Programs Ruth Massinga Award (Casey Excellence for Children Award). Additionally, she is a Leadership San Francisco alum and former Honoring Emancipated Youth (HEY) board member, and most recently a Mental Health First Aid Trainer. Kordnie enjoys her role as an aunt to many nieces and nephews, live music, jewelry making, and is known for her fantastic baking skills.

RENEE LUQUE

 

NORTHERN TRAINING 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

NORTHERN 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, travelling, planning events and parties for families and friends, attending festivals, enjoying live music, hiking, swimming and being outdoors.
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RACHEL MOCK

 

REGIONAL TRAINING ASSISTANT
Rachel Mock is the Regional Training Assistant primarily working with Contra Costa and Alameda County.  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

PARENTING FOR PERMANENCY PROJECT (PPC) TRAINING COORDINATOR 
Heather Priebe is our Training Staff for the San Francisco Training Project’s Parenting for Permanency College. 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 events 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 to 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

SOUTHERN TRAINING SPECIALIST 
Adreanna Riley has been the Southern Training Specialist, working with Santa Clara, Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz 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

REGIONAL 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.

LANETTA SEIBERT

SONOMA TRAINING COORDINATOR 
Lanetta Seibert, Sonoma Training Coordinator is responsible for coordinating regional copy coordination and covering trainings for the Bay Area Academy.  She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Long Beach State University.  Lanetta enjoys sewing, reading, camping and traveling.
 Shallen So’Brien ALAMEDA TRAINING COORDINATOR 
Shallen brings 15+ years of training and experience within both non- and for-profit organizations focusing on mental health & wellness, reproductive & sexual health services, education, training and research to the BAA family. As well as a Bachelor’s in Business Management and Master’s 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.
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GLENYS RODEBACK

 

SOUTHERN 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 continual 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!

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LESLIE ZEITLER

 

RESEARCH AND EVALUATION SPECIALIST 
Leslie W. Zeitler, LCSW joined BAA in September 2013, and assists both BAA and CCTA with training evaluation, curriculum & trainer development, coaching, and more. Previously, Leslie coordinated and implemented statewide training and evaluation to California counties and Regional Training Academies with CalSWEC. She also provided direct services social work with Legal Services for Children, trained Head Start summer sessions, supervised clinicians earning hours toward licensure, and completed a fellowship with the Coro Center for Civic Leadership for public sector leadership development. Her interests range from training to organizational human service delivery improvement. When she isn’t working, she enjoys swimming, watching epic martial arts movies, writing and speaking on suicide pre- and post-vention, and spending time with family and friends.