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 and are looking forward to welcoming a little boy to their family in 2019!

 

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 sits on 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.

rowie Green  |  Program & Development Coordinator

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Rowie is elated to join the PIP team, she truly believes in PIP’s mission and is excited to be a part of such a supportive and wonderful community of parents and professionals. Rowie has had an unusual and varied life of traveling and working abroad and has lived a good portion of her life in a non traditional community, that acted very much like a large village! Rowie and her partner in life, Noah, have a lovely little seven year old girl, and an awesome mutt named Sooky. You can often find Rowie with a good book (or two) in her hands or hunting for treasures at a local thrift store.

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.

Todd Euston Treasurer
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.

Sarah Pell
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.

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. 

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.

Amreen Rajabali
Amreen is a native Texan, born in Houston, raised in west Texas. She earned her B.A. in Communication Studies and Psychology from Southwestern University in Georgetown, TX. After graduation, she embarked on a career in financial services. Three years and countless hours later of studying alphas, betas, and managing her clients' assets, her supportive husband encouraged her to pursue her passion, teaching. Shortly after beginning her career as an educator in Austin ISD, Amreen earned her M.Ed. in Educational Technology from Texas State University.  After becoming a mom to two daughters, she transitioned to a career in Educational Technology consulting. Amreen is also a member of Impact Austin, and an Ambassador of Noonday Collection, a fair trade fashion brand.  Amreen is passionate about her family and about supporting causes which empower families with the tools they need to thrive. 

Shelby Kaufman
Shelby and her husband, Brian, moved to Austin in 2016 from Washington, D.C.  Hoping to put down roots and making last friendships, Shelby and Brian joined a PIP group after the birth of their first child. PIP was a phenomenal experience, a great source of support, and a jumpstart to growing their village! Shelby later became a PIP volunteer facilitator and is now excited to further serve the community as a board member. Shelby graduated from Ursinus College with a B.S. in Psychology and holds a Masters in Spanish from Middlebury. With extensive experience in teaching and enrollment management, Shelby is passionate about supporting young families and parents.

Cole Godvin
Cole and her partner are thrilled to be parenting the most radical spitfire of a two year-old girl. Cole is in her last year of a masters degree at UT-Austin in Art Ed and teaching art at an independent school in North Austin. The adventure of parenthood has turned out to be a joyful revelation for the both of them. Not least of their discoveries as older parents is that the world they had been living in is not nearly so family-friendly as it could be. Now, in her work as an educator and researcher she intends to do all she can to help make Austin a city where all families thrive.

Rebekah Anthony
Originally from Ohio, Rebekah and her husband, Elliott, moved to Austin in 2011. Rebekah graduated from Wittenberg University with degrees in Political Science and French and spent nearly a decade in political and nonprofit fundraising before transitioning to executive search consulting. After relying heavily on a close circle of friends throughout infertility, pregnancy, and new parenthood, Rebekah is committed to ensuring that all new parents feel supported on their journey.

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)
Amanda Neal (2017-2019)
Ilana Zivkovich (2017-2019)