Who We Are

PIP would not be possible without the hard work of our key players on staff, our founders and the Board of Directors

Staff

Jessica Burleson | Executive Director

Jessica has dedicated her career to serving nonprofits and is excited to help Partners In Parenting grow so that Austin parents are supported during the transition to parenthood. Originally from Louisville, KY, she brings a decade of grant writing and leadership experience through serving as Grants Manager for the Sustainable Food Center in Austin; the City of Louisville Department of Community Services and Revitalization; and The Center for Women and Families in Louisville, KY. Most recently, Jessica has worked as co-founder and consultant with Wordvine Consulting, LLC, helping small nonprofits sustain and grow their powerful missions. She has been certified by the Grantsmanship Center, is a certified health coach through the Institute for Integrative Nutrition, and received her MA in Women’s and Gender Studies from the University of Louisville. An active member of the Austin nonprofit community, Jessica is the current Treasurer of the Austin-Central Texas Area Chapter of Grant Professionals Association. Jessica has two young children who have given her first-hand experience of the challenges and joys that accompany new motherhood. 

Val rios  |  director of operations

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Val is thrilled to be a part of the Partner in Parenting team. She has held an array of positions in the corporate and non-profit world. Prior to moving back to Austin, she lived abroad and knows the value of having a supportive community around you when transitioning to parenting. She is excited about bringing her professional skills to the table in order to propel Partners in Parenting forward. In her spare time, you can find her practicing and teaching Iyengar yoga. Together with her own special partner in parenting, Floris, they have one spunky little girl!

 

marcia del rios  |  director of Community based programs

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Marcia’s career has always been focused on areas that particularly affect women, children, and families. As an attorney, Marcia has represented children with special education needs, youth with mental illness, and survivors of sexual assault. She also taught for several years, including in the Rio Grande Valley and in Seoul, South Korea. Marcia was born and raised in Newark, NJ and earned her BA and M. Ed from the University of Notre Dame and her JD from NYU School of Law. She currently chairs the Board of Directors of American Gateways, a non-profit legal services provider that serves immigrants and asylees in Austin and twenty Central Texas counties. She also volunteers many hours to the PTA at the school her son and daughter attend. Marcia is excited to join the PIP team and use her skills to help expand PIP programming to reach more of Austin’s families.

Founders

CAROLYN OPPS

Carolyn was born and raised in Minnesota, attended college at Drake University in Iowa, and received a Master's Degree at DePaul University in Chicago. She spent eight years living and teaching in Chicago, but decided to move to Austin in 2006. Following three years of teaching 4th grade, she and her husband decided to throw caution to the wind and travel around the world for a year. After returning to Austin she continued her teaching career for several years before devoting herself to PIP as the Program Coordinator after co-founding the organization in 2014. Carolyn continues to serve as a board member and devoted volunteer. In addition, she has two children that keep her days full!

KRISTA MILLER

Krista has been in the technology and software industry since graduating magna cum laude with a BFA in Photography from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. When her son turned one, she left a position managing a web development department at a local software company to devote her full attention to him. Fresh from the new parenting experience, and so grateful for the group of women that inspired her to form her own village of support, she co-founded and launched Partners in Parenting in 2014 as the next chapter in her journey. Krista spent the first two years of the organization in the role of Executive Director, and continues to serve as a devoted volunteer.

Board of Directors

The board lends their passion, skills and expertise to help guide PIP in many respects, from operational oversight to strategic planning.

The key requirements for PIP board members is a passion for the organization, our mission, and our community of parents. The board is truly a working board, and all members have spent a tremendous amount of time volunteering in different ways - from facilitating PIPsqueaks Groups to planning events and more.

2017 Board of Directors

Elizabeth Nelson President
Elizabeth has extensive experience in education and non-profits. She graduated from Rhodes College and holds a master of public administration from the University of Washington. Elizabeth resides in Austin with her husband and children and keeps in close contact with her PEPS friends in Seattle.

Whitney Moskowitz Secretary
Whitney graduated from the University of Texas with a degree in psychology, and has been working at Google since 2009 in sales, marketing, and most recently recruiting. She spent 5 years in Boston before moving back to Austin to start a family. She enjoys spending her free time with her husband and toddler daughter, and is passionate about helping families and supporting new parents.

Sarah Rosen Treasurer
Sarah is originally from Boston but has been in Texas for most of her adult life. She graduated from the University of Colorado with a degree in psychology and a minor in business. After a brief stint in Houston, she moved to Austin in 2009 and has been working at Dell in various marketing roles ever since. In her free time she loves to spend time with her family and looks forward to the upcoming addition of her second son this Spring! 

Carolyn Opps
As a co-founder, Carolyn is an active member of the board and continues to contribute to the growth of the organization.

Amanda Neal
Amanda was raised in Minnesota (where she attended the College of St. Benedict), met her husband in Chicago (where she started her career), spent a few years in Sydney (where she scratched her itch for international travel) before finally making her way to Austin in 2010. Amanda works in digital media where she focuses on connecting brands with consumers. She lives in Allandale with her husband, their son and beloved pup and enjoys spending time with her family and friends in all the free time she’s able to manage with a busy toddler.

Erin Ryan Mazcko
Erin is a mom and has experienced the power and support of a parenting village first-hand. She originally hails from Massachusetts but now calls Austin home with her family. Erin is a communications professional in the technology industry and holds degrees from Northwestern University and Northeastern University. She is thrilled to be a part of the PIP team and passionate about helping Austin families build their villages. 

Ilana Zivkovich 
A California native, Ilana relocated to Austin in 2006 ago thinking it would be a brief stop over.  Twelve years, a marriage, a child, and a founded-business later, Ilana now calls Austin home and loves raising her young family here.  Thanks in part to her experience as a PIP group member, she has a strong “village” of friends who have provided unwavering and invaluable support as she and her husband made the transition into parenthood.  A clinician and LCSW by training, Ilana’s passion is in helping modern businesses and business leaders achieve their highest potential.  She is the co-founder and CEO of Werq, a comprehensive leadership advisory firm offering Executive Mapping, Strategic Planning, Leadership Retreats, Executive Coaching, and Human Capital Due Diligence.  

Traci Gaskins Bermiss
As a native of Stamford, CT, moving to Austin, while expecting their first child, was less daunting because of the supportive village she and her husband quickly developed.  With an B.A. in Sociology from Spelman College and an M.B.A. from the University of Michigan, Traci has enjoyed a marketing career that has spanned multiple industries.  She extends her marketing acumen into her community involvement and loves most anything that involves families and children.  She and her husband Sekou have two young children and equally enjoy the rare quiet quality family moments, as cheering each other on during activities and traveling.

Ashley Choucroun
Ashley is an OB/GYN in Austin and works through UT Dell Medical School to provide women's health services to the under served women of Travis County. She is the mother of three young boys and is passionate about helping to support PIP in their efforts to support the growing families of Austin.

Todd Euston
Todd is a native of Pennsylvania and moved from Philadelphia to Austin in 2012. He earned a Master of Civil Engineering from the University of Delaware and serves as Vice President Engineering at GREX. He and his wife Erin joined a newborn PIPsqueaks group
after the birth of their first daughter and have stayed involved with PIP ever since. A second daughter and Second Time Around group soon followed. Todd joined the PIP board of directors to add a father's perspective and work on his side gig developing dad
jokes.

 

Board Alumni

Krista Miller (Founding Board Member 2013-2017)
Tanya Vermeeren (Founding Board Member 2013-2015)
Rebecca Nunan (Founding Board Member 2013-2015)
Megan Barnes-Zesati, LCSW (2014-2016)
Meredith McDaniel, CFA (2014-2016)
Kristen Warms (2014-2016)
Robyn Burchfiel (2015-2017)
Anna Rigby (2016-2017)
Nikki Moriarty (2017)
Caroline Freedman (2017-2018) 
Liz Zimmer Waldman (2017-2018)