Kellie studied psychology at the University of Nevada, Reno and worked as a medical administrator in the area for twenty years. After relocating to Los Angeles, she worked in entertainment, but longed to serve the community via an empathetic and supportive environment. She was born in England, but has lived in the United States all of her adult life.
Eva is the Senior Administrator & Spanish Satellite Assistant for OUR HOUSE. Prior to joining the team, she worked for the British Council both in Mexico City and Manchester in the UK, for the Irish and Australian Embassies in Mexico City, and on the Mexican Committee for the Weizmann Institute of Science. Eva has a bachelor’s in Education, and is fluent both in English and Spanish.
Shannon is the Director of Operations at OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center and works closely with the Development Director in all aspects of fundraising and event planning. Shannon started with OUR HOUSE as the administrative assistant, but quickly found a passion for development and began to foster and grow her interest. She is delighted to be able to find new ways to cultivate and support the organizations mission.
Carolyn is an Associate Marriage & Family Therapist working with children, adolescents, and families who seek services through OUR HOUSE. She completed her undergraduate work in Psychology from Portland State University and her master’s degree in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University Los Angeles, with an emphasis on Psychological Trauma Studies. Carolyn is the coordinator of the OUR HOUSE School Program and coordinates in-house children’s groups for the West LA office. She collaborates with school personnel and district officials to continue to grow the school-based grief support program and deepen school partnerships. Carolyn also maintains a small therapy practice with adult clients in West LA, and prior to joining the OUR HOUSE team, she volunteered with Children’s Healing Art Project (CHAP) in Portland, Oregon, supporting children and families facing medical hardship through creative arts.
Jill is an Associate Clinical Social Worker who has worked with clients from adolescence through later life in a variety of settings. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in social work, Jill worked in residential mental health as well as programs to support and advocate for teen parents. Jill completed her master’s degree in social work at California State University Long Beach with a focus on adulthood and aging, which included an internship in an outpatient mental health program. A common theme throughout her work has been helping people identify and nurture their emotions, personal strengths, and sources of support. Jill’s coursework in Social Work Practice with Death, Dying and Loss inspired her to pursue opportunities to work in end of life, grief, and bereavement services.
Emily is an Associate Clinical Social Worker who received her BA from Claremont McKenna College and MSW from the USC Suzanne Dworak-Peck School of Social Work, where she received a Dean’s Leadership Scholarship. Prior to joining OUR HOUSE, Emily worked as a medical clinical social worker at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles supporting patients and their families in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Having grown up participating in and volunteering for Hawaii’s Shinnyo Lantern Floating Ceremony, Emily witnessed the healing power of human connection in the midst of the grieving process.
Breena brings two decades of nonprofit executive leadership, fund development expertise, and care and support programming excellence to OUR HOUSE.
Prior to joining our organization, she was the Executive Director of the Alzheimer’s Association CA Southland where she reestablished the local chapter of the national healthcare nonprofit, propelling it from ground zero to $8MM in 2020. Beginning with the 2016 rebuild of its LA operations, the chapter was transformed into a five-office regional network, broadening care and support program delivery. In addition to achieving fundraising milestones year-over-year, the CA Southland’s reengineered board of directors was recognized at the 2020 Alzheimer’s Association’s national conference as the #1 board in the nation for fundraising excellence.
Breena’s successful career in the nonprofit sector has also included serving as President & CEO of Make-A-Wish Greater Los Angeles where she navigated the turnaround of the chapter into a fiscally responsible, self-sustaining business. Prior to her tenure there, Breena held numerous senior leadership positions at The Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles, including Vice President of Business Divisions, the largest philanthropic department in the organization.
Before entering nonprofit, The Pennsylvania State University alum, who holds a B.A. degree of “Highest Distinction” in Communications, began her career as the Deputy Press Secretary to the Governor of Pennsylvania, as well as Sr. Vice President at Saatchi & Saatchi, one of the largest advertising agencies in the world.
During her spare time, Breena is an avid treadmill walker and enjoys long walks with her husband, accompanied by their “not so spoiled” three-pound poodle.
Josh oversees all grant application and reporting processes, as well as a portfolio of foundation relationships. He completed his BA in History at UCLA, MA in Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology at Tel Aviv University, and MPhil in Classical Archaeology at the University of Oxford. Josh is honored to advocate for OUR HOUSE’s important grief support mission and serve the Los Angeles community in this meaningful way.
Maddy is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over a decade of non-profit experience – half of those years in a clinical role. Maddy’s diverse professional experiences include non-profit development, therapy, and program management. Throughout her professional career, the constant guiding forces have been a deep commitment to the value and dignity of each life and the critical importance of the formation of positive relationships. She received a Master of Social Work degree from Loyola University Chicago.
Brenda Hernandez is a Marriage and Family Therapist who serves as the first point of contact for callers seeking grief support. In the last 10 years, Brenda has provided a wide array of services to at-risk youth, families, and adults including academic, individual, and group-based treatments designed to strengthen their social/emotional and behavioral needs. Brenda is an advocate for underserved individuals in the Latino community and is passionate about empowering grievers with the knowledge, resources and understanding to better help themselves. She leads grief support groups in Spanish and provides translation for callers and grievers as needed. Brenda received her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy with an emphasis in Child Studies from Antioch University: Los Angeles.
Timothy Johnson was born and raised in Los Angeles. He graduated in 1985 from Cleveland High School in Reseda, CA. He went onto Junior College where he received a football scholarship to Western Michigan University. Eventually, he transferred to the University of Idaho where he played football and graduated in 1990 with a degree in Industrial Management. After returning home from college he went into a hotel management program at the Hyatt at LAX. After two years of working in the hotel business he found himself working in production accounting where he now freelance as a bookkeeper for non-profit, property management and independent entertainment companies.
Prior to coming to OUR HOUSE, Sylvia served as the Chief Philanthropy Officer at Farm Sanctuary, the nation’s largest and most effective farm animal rescue and protection organization. Her successful career in the non-profit world also included positions at USC’s Shoah Foundation, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Vista Del Mar, the Jewish Federations of Greater Los Angeles and Greater Dallas and other community organizations, religious institutions and international agencies. Sylvia credits her success in part to her multi-disciplinary education – a BA from the University of Southern California in Social Welfare with an emphasis on Community Organization and her Juris Doctor degree from Whittier College, School of Law where she was the Research Editor of the Law Review. She is an avid hiker, a voracious reader and a prolific knitter.
Nidia first came to OUR HOUSE as an events volunteer helping plan and execute the annual Run for Hope. Her hard work ethic and positive attitude were so appreciated she was offered a full time position after graduating from University of California Los Angeles. Working closely with both operations and development she hopes to further solidify OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center’s presence in the Los Angeles community and beyond.
Lauren, a nationally recognized authority on Children’s Grief, has provided trainings for mental health clinicians, educators, clergy, health care providers and graduate students throughout the community since 2000. Lauren is the author of “Children Grieve Too: A Handbook for Parents of Grieving Children”. She also created “My Memory Book…for grieving children” as well as grief-related curricula for use at Camp Erin Los Angeles and in OUR HOUSE grief support groups. Lauren is the Associate Producer of “One Last Hug…and a few smooches” an Emmy award winning HBO documentary about Children’s Grief. She trains and supervises OUR HOUSE group leaders as well as MSW and MFT clinicians and students. Lauren maintains a private practice in Los Angeles specializing in grief and loss.
Talya is a clinical social worker dedicated to supporting children, adolescents and families. Talya completed her undergraduate studies in Biopsychology, Cognition and Neuroscience as well as Community Action and Social Change at the University of Michigan. She then received her MSW from the University of Michigan with a concentration in Children and Youth in Families and Society, and a minor in Human Services Management. During her time in the MSW program, Talya was a clinical intern at the University Center for the Child and Family providing individual and group psychotherapy. Talya’s excitement for working with children and adolescents grew from her years as a camp counselor and division head. Prior to joining the Our House team, Talya worked as a medical social worker at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles on the Bone Marrow Transplant team.
Lucia is excited to join the OUR HOUSE team after 15 years being a partner at Berman-Singer PR and freelance Marketing/PR/Events consultant in the great Los Angeles area servicing lifestyle and non-profit clients. Born in Ischia, Italy to American parents who traveled in support of her father’s Medical Anthropology documentary projects she grew up in MI and came to LA with a B.A. in Psychology from the University of Michigan.
Elsa is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with extensive work experience in acute medical settings both as a line social worker as well as a leader. She has been in management since 2002 and was on the Board for the Society for Social Work Leadership in HealthCare – Southern California. Elsa understands that grief is an integral part of living, with direct impact on one’s quality of life. As such, she is eagerly anticipating her work with OUR HOUSE Grief Support Center staff and volunteers in supporting them, as well as establishing effective processes to ensure delivery of best practices for all who come through the doors of OUR HOUSE.
Fredda is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Certified in Thanatology: Death, Dying and Bereavement. She established the OUR HOUSE Medical and Clergy Education programs and presents trainings and workshops throughout the country on end of life and grief. Fredda is the co-author of Saying Goodbye to Someone You Love: Your Emotional Journey Through End of Life and Grief which has been selected by the Library Journal as a Best Self-Help book. As a professional speaker, educator, author and consultant, Fredda has devoted her career to life’s final chapter.
Joanne Weingarten is a Doctor of Psychology with more than 16 years of clinical experience – 10 of those years in community mental health, and 5 serving as a supervisor. She has worked with at-risk youth, adults, couples, and groups, including those with chronic mental illnesses and psychotic spectrum disorders. Joanne is passionate about serving the people in her community by destigmatizing and advocating for mental health and grief support services through clinical work and psycho education. As the Senior Clinical Coordinator for Adult Programs Joanne works with grievers as well as those providing grief support services. Joanne attended Phillip’s Graduate Institute where she received her Master’s Degree in Marriage and Family Therapy and her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology with an emphasis in Diversity.
After spending many years in education as the Operations Director for a young actors’ program, Jason joins OUR HOUSE at the front desk for the West Los Angeles office. He has a deep passion and commitment for service and giving back to the community. In his free time, Jason can be found scouring the city for the best it has to offer.