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Kerrie Schnake, MA, IMH-E® Infant Mental Health Mentor- Policy

Chief Executive Officer 

Kerrie is a change agent for infants, toddlers, families and caregivers with over 20 years of experience working in early childhood systems. She is the founder of the South Carolina Infant Mental Health Association (SCIMHA) for which she now serves as Board President and Chief Executive Officer. Kerrie is engaged in guiding South Carolina’s efforts to strengthen the child- and family-serving workforce by integrating polices and systems that promote the use of IECMH Competency Guidelines and Endorsement®. She was a member of South Carolina’s inaugural cohort to seek Endorsement® and earned Endorsement® in the Infant Mental Health Mentor-Policy category. She also serves as the Director of the SC Program for Infant/Toddler Care at the University of South Carolina where she oversees the state’s Infant/Toddler Specialist Network and Be Well Care Well, a program she designed to support the well-being of child care providers.Kerrie’s passion for systems growth and service development to support children 0-3 and their families has been recognized by ZERO TO THREE, where she is a member of the Fellowship Class of 2018-2020, working with an international network of diverse leaders to transform early childhood systems and policies. Kerrie earned a bachelor’s degree in Sociology from Cal State, East Bay and her master’s degree in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Public Policy from San Francisco State University. She teaches a graduate course on Relationship-Based Caregiving for Infants and Toddlers at the University of South Carolina.

Susan Callahan, MSW

Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Program Manager 

Susan Callahan is a native of the South Carolina Lowcountry. She has dedicated the past 12 years to serving children and families. Susan obtained her Masters of Social Work degree from the University of South Carolina where her studies focused on behavior issues in early childhood, family dynamics and Autism Spectrum Disorder. Susan has extensive experience providing case management, program development, consultation, screening and diagnosing to individuals with Autism and their families. Susan has served in social work positions with USC Center for Disability Resources, USC School of Medicine’s Developmental Pediatric Clinic, Medical University of South Carolina and the SC Department of Disabilities and Special needs. Susan is a qualified Triple-P provider, certified in the Screening Tool for Autism in Toddlers (STAT), UCEDD trained and a SC LEND long-term trainee. Before joining the SC Program for Infant Toddler Care and the SC Infant Mental Health Association, Susan was the Executive Director for Lowcountry Autism Foundation, a non-profit that provides programs to fill gaps in services and enhance the lives of individuals with Autism and their families.  She is also a certified children’s yoga instructor with Kidding Around Yoga and serves on the Board of Directors for Girls On The Run Coastal South Carolina.  

Susan is passionate about building a collaborative service delivery system and creating easily accessible programs and resources. Susan currently serves as the Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Program Manager.

Jean Cimino, MPH, IMH-E® Infant Mental Health Mentor - Policy

Endorsement® Central Service Coordinator 

Jean has spent the last 17+ years working in the early childhood health and safety field as a public health professional. In the early part of her career she managed a national health and safety curriculum for state-based child care health consultants to ensure that the children in group care are healthy, safe, and ready to learn. Jean then went on to manage the development and ongoing revision of national health and safety standards for out-of-home early childhood settings.

Jean has extensive experience providing technical assistance to a variety of early childhood stakeholder groups, including but not limited to caregivers/teachers, families, health care professionals, licensing professionals/regulators, national private organizations, policymakers, State Departments of Education and local school administrators, and faculty researchers.

Jean is contracted through the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health as the Endorsement Central Service Coordinator for SCIMHA. She is based in Colorado and currently holds the IMH-E® as an Infant Mental Health Mentor-Policy

Chavis Gash

Statewide Safe Babies Court Coordinator 

Chavis Gash is the Statewide Safe Babies Court Coordinator for the SC Infant Mental Health Association. He was born and raised in Shelby NC and is a product of the Cleveland County School system. He graduated from Burns High school in Lawndale NC and attended Western Carolina University on a football scholarship. He finished Western Carolina University with a B.S degree in communication, majoring in public relations and minoring in social work. He also has a master’s degree in Divinity from Gardner-Webb University, and a Master of Psychology degree from Grand Canyon University in Arizona. He serves on several boards and committees for the city of Shelby and different organizations throughout Cleveland County. Chavis loves working and serving in the community. Chavis has a daughter named Jasmine who is a senior in high school.

Alayah Hamlin, BS 

Intake and Administrative Coordinator 

Alayah is a native of Johns Island SC. She earned her undergraduate degree at Francis Marion University in Healthcare Administration. Her experience working at Nurse-Family Partnership is what sparked her interest in infant mental health and her dedication and determination stem from her service in the United States Army. Alayah hopes to make a change in her community by helping to implement policies that will aid in better training for individuals and entities that help foster children. During her first year as an undergraduate student, she assisted MUSC in helping the Sea Islands bring better nutrition options to the children and helping them to find happiness in arts and crafts to promote positive thinking on a "Not So Great Day". Alayah is the mother to a beautiful baby girl. Her daughter keeps her passion for infant mental health high. She joins the team as the Intake and Administrative Coordinator for SCIMHA.

Tiffany Howard 

Help Me Grow SC 

Training and Partnership Development Manager

Tiffany Howard joins the SCIMHA team as Training and Partnership Development Manager for Help Me Grow South Carolina. She has served as the Lowcountry Community Outreach Coordinator for Help Me Grow since 2014. Tiffany has nearly 25 years of experience working with children and families and extensive experience in non-profit program development, management, and outreach. She attended the College of Charleston where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. She is also a certified trainer in the Ages and Stages Questionnaires through Brookes Publishing. Tiffany is a lifelong resident of Charleston, and in her spare time, you’ll find her out on her boat enjoying the waterways of the Lowcountry. She is mom to Chase, who is a senior at Wofford College.

Meagan Labriola, MA

Development and Operations Manager

Meagan Labriola joins the SCIMHA team as the Development and Operations Manager.  She comes to us from Lowcountry Orphan Relief where she served as Executive Director.  Prior to that Meagan was the Executive Director of Dragon Boat Charleston and Coastal Area Coordinator for Family Connection of SC.  She attended University of New Mexico where she earned her MA in Latin American Studies and Community & Regional Planning and Michigan State University where she majored in Political Theory.  Meagan is a volunteer for the Lowcountry Marine Mammal  Network and is an avid traveler, reader, hiker and wannabe chef.  She is the mom of two boys and a poorly behaved dog named Scout.

Marcie Ownbey, MPA, MS

Project Manager

Marcie's interest in infant mental health began when she worked as a foster care social worker after receiving her undergraduate degree in Psychology and Sociology from the University of North Carolina Asheville. She went on to earn a Master of Public Affairs degree with a focus in nonprofit management from Western Carolina University and a Master of Science in Youth, Family, and Community Sciences with a focus in parent education from North Carolina State University. She has experience in nonprofit outreach and development as well as political work, inspired by candidates who craft policies to increase equity for children and families. Marcie loves cooking, making art, and exploring outside with her four year old daughter, Lillian.

Marcie works as Project Manager, focused on policy advocacy and coordinating the development of an Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate at higher education institutions in South Carolina.

Mackenzie Soniak, PsyD

Director, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Network 

Mackenzie is the Director of South Carolina's Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation Network. She earned her doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University New England. During graduate school she served in a leadership role in an applied research and evaluation group, focusing on projects that aimed to create trauma-informed systems of care for young children and their families. Mackenzie completed her postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Colorado Medical School Irving Harris Program in Child Development and Infant Mental Health and her pre-doctoral internship in infant mental health at Tulane University School of Medicine. Mackenzie has a strong passion for working with young children and their families and believes that it is imperative that all young children should have access to culturally sensitive, relationship-based, and trauma-informed care. She has trained in and served families using several evidence-based, relationship-focused assessments and treatments. She has a particular enthusiasm for providing services to young children and families in the child welfare system and building systems of care for child-serving systems through training, reflective consultation, and policy work.

Jane Witowski 

Help Me Grow SC 

State Director

Jane is an experienced and passionate leader dedicated to creating high quality, equitable systems for all children. As director for the Help Me Grow South Carolina State Office, she manages the system’s statewide expansion. Jane was instrumental in bringing Help Me Grow to SC in 2008 in its initial national expansion phase and has overseen its growth since. Under her leadership, the affiliate has successfully integrated its work into multiple state systems and developed new funding streams. Prior to her work with Help Me Grow, Jane oversaw a multi-million-dollar grant project called Promoting Resources in Developmental Education which served as the foundation for Help Me Grow. She holds a MA from Rowan University (NJ) and a BA from the University of Richmond. Jane lives in Greenville with her husband, Jerry. They have one grown daughter and two granddaughters. In addition to spending time with her family, Jane enjoys reading, listening to all sorts of music, traveling (especially cruising), and discovering new red wines.

SCIMHA is a 501(c)3 organization

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