Kerrie Schnake, MA, IMH-E® Infant Mental Health Mentor-Policy
Chief Executive Officer
Kerrie Schnake is a change agent for infants, toddlers, families and caregivers, bringing more than 20 years of experience working in early childhood systems. She serves as the chief executive officer of South Carolina Infant Mental Health Association, which she founded in 2017. Schnake is engaged in guiding South Carolina's efforts to strengthen the child and family-serving workforce by integrating policies and systems that promote the use of Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Competency Guidelines and Endorsement system. She currently holds her IMH-E® in the Infant Mental Health Mentor-Policy category as part of South Carolina's inaugural cohort.
Schnake also developed Be Well Care Well, a program designed to support the well-being of child care providers. ZERO TO THREE recognized her passion for systems growth and service development to support children 0-3 and their families by naming her to its Fellowship Class of 2018-2020, enabling her to work with an international network of diverse leaders to transform early childhood systems and policies.
Schnake earned a bachelor's degree in sociology from California State University, East Bay and a master's degree in early childhood education with an emphasis on 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, IMH-E® Infant Family Associate
Infant/Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement® Program Manager
Susan Callahan is the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement® Program Manager with the SC Program for Infant Toddler Care and the SC Infant Mental Health Association. 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, a SC LEND long-term trainee and earned the Infant Mental Health Endorsement® in the Infant Family Associate Category. Prior to working in the Infant Mental Health field, 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.
Jean Cimino, MPH, IMH-E® Infant Mental Health Mentor - Policy
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.
Kristyn Driver, LMSW, IMH-E® Infant Mental Health Mentor - Clinical
Reflective Supervision Program Manager
Kristyn is excited to be on the SCIMHA team serving as the Reflective Supervision program manager. Kristyn has dedicated her career to serving infants, toddlers, young children and their families. She is Endorsed® as an Infant Mental Health Mentor - Clinical through the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health. Kristyn has a strong belief in the power of relationships as a change agent and is dedicated to creating spaces for healthy relationships to flourish. With over a decade providing intensive home based infant mental health services, Kristyn recognizes how rewarding, and yet challenging and isolating early childhood work can be. This work is not possible without the grounding experience of a reflective supervision relationship. Kristyn is passionate about creating the felt experience of safety for early childhood professionals to explore their work more deeply, honor their feelings and grow their reflective capacity.
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant
Amaris Gibson comes to SCIMHA after eight years of serving children and families in different capacities throughout the Upstate. Amaris has a passion for community cohesiveness, trauma-informed education and wraparound services that help children and families achieve optimal health. She holds a master's degree in community counseling and is currently working to become a licensed professional counselor. Her dedication to helping families has led her to serve as an administrative coordinator for Empower Oconee, a community impact program, as well as a group leader for the Strengthening Families Program, an evidence-based program that teaches family skills to children and parents. Amaris' greatest joy is loving on her own family of her husband and two children. Outside of work, she enjoys spending time with loved ones, traveling and writing.
Michelle Hammack, LISW-CP
PEAR Network ManagerEmail Michelle
Michelle Hammack is excited to serve with SCIMHA as the Partners for Early Attuned Relationships (PEAR) Network Manager. Although Michelle has experience working with individuals throughout the lifespan, she has a strong passion serving mothers, infants and young children. She worked with children for as long as she can remember —all the way back to the days of babysitting the neighborhood children and high school Child Development classes. Because of this passion, she earned her Master’s Degree in Social Work from University of Maryland at Baltimore with a specialization in Child, Adolescent, and Family Health. Through her schooling, she gained experience working with youth in an emergency domestic violence shelter and counseling high school students. Michelle then served as a case manager for individuals with developmental disabilities and mental health diagnoses. Through this work, she grew an affinity for the strength-base perspective and process of team collaboration, which became a staple part of her practice. Her most recent work was a as a Maternal-Child Social Worker in an inner-city Baltimore hospital. In this position, she fostered programs to increase the well-being of mothers and families during pregnancy and postpartum period. All of these experiences intensified her passion to work with diverse populations and awareness of the importance to incorporate culturally sensitive practices. Michelle continues this youth work as a help in her church's childcare. Although born and raised in Maryland, Michelle and her family are excited to transition to South Carolina's Lowcountry. She loves to be active outdoors and looks forward to getting in the sun any chance she gets!
Training and Partnership Development Manager
Help Me Grow South Carolina
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.
Kristi Kennedy, MS, LMFT
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant
Kristi Kennedy brings more than 26 years of experience serving children, couples, families and individuals in the mental health nonprofit sector to her role at SCIMHA as an infant and early childhood mental health consultant. She has experience working in the juvenile court system, family preservation, child abuse and neglect, domestic violence and sexual assault, loss and grief as well as adoption and foster care situations. She believes that all children are valuable and deserving of love, safety and security in a family environment. Kennedy holds a master's degree in marriage and family therapy from Auburn University and is a licensed marriage and family therapist in both North and South Carolina. She lives in the Midlands with her husband, three children and an assortment of pets. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, gardening, traveling and taking active adventures with her family.
Amber King joins SCIMHA as its administrative coordinator, bringing more than a decade of experience to the role. King moved to the Palmetto State in 2018 to escape the bitter winters of her native Massachusetts and now resides in the Lowcountry with her husband Kenny and her two dogs, Midnight and Jax. She is a graduate of the University of New Hampshire with a degree in psychology. King loves reading, watching movies and - most of all - baking! She is excited for the opportunity to work with such an important organization and looks forward to being part of such an amazing team.
Meagan Labriola, MA
Director of Development and Operations
Meagan Labriola joins the SCIMHA team as the Director of Development and Operations. 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.
Susan Leiby, MS
Resource & Technology Coordinator
Help Me Grow South Carolina
After serving as Help Me Grow South Carolina's resource and events coordinator, Susan moved into the role of resource and technology coordinator in October 2020 as HMG SC established its state office under SCIMHA. In her previous role, Susan maintained and updated the Centralized Online Resource Database and conducted HMG SC’s signature Read Rattle & Roll community developmental screening events. Previously, she spent seven years with a statewide autism organization, responsible for Information & Referral and Communications. Before starting a family, Susan worked as a Database Administrator in the Washington, DC area. Outside of work, Susan enjoys being active in her community. She serves on the Executive Board of the JL Mann Band Boosters, on the Leadership Team of Greenville CAN, and helps coordinate monthly social-recreational activities for families affected by autism. She also enjoys road-tripping across the country with her two teenage sons.
Jon Matusko, MS
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Consultant
Jon Matusko is a new South Carolina resident, migrating from Massachusetts, where he has had a diverse career focused on building and maintaining strong, supportive relationships with children and families. Prior to joining SCIMHA, Jon was a trauma-informed counselor for children and adolescents, served as a therapeutic mentor and provided intensive care coordination for families through multiple in-patient programs. After teaching middle and high school language for more than a decade, a need for intensive support within his own family led Matusko to find his true calling and change careers. His passion for supporting young children grew through his mental heath work with a local Head Start program. Matusko holds a master's degree in clinical mental health from Bay Path University as well as a M.Ed. from Elms College. He is currently pursuing Endorsement®. Matusko lives on the Carolina coast and enjoys spending his time in the sun and near the water with his dog, Violet.
Communications & Marketing Coordinator
Caroline Morris joins SCIMHA as the organization’s communications and marketing coordinator. She brings more than 15 years of communications, marketing and public relations experience to the role. Morris has spent more than 10 years working with nonprofits in Charleston, including her most recent role at Trident United Way, where she served as the marketing and communications manager. She also served stints with Pet Helpers and the annual Turkey Day Run & Gobble Wobble 5K, put on by the Knights of Columbus. Morris holds a B.A. with a dual major in Media Arts & Design (print journalism concentration) and Art History from James Madison University. She minored in African American Studies. Caroline currently lives in West Ashley with her mischievous hound dog Ava.
Marcie Ownbey, MPA, MS
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.
Chief Financial Officer
Monica Scanlon joined the SCIMHA team as the finance manager and has since been promoted to chief financial officer. A native of Nashville, TN, and a graduate of Indiana University, she has lived in the upstate of SC for 11 years. She has over 25 years of experience in accounting and taxation, as well as small business consulting. She believes in a unique and intimate approach in establishing financial best practices, tailored to the needs of our organization. She is a proud grandmother of 2 little girls and is passionate about traveling & reading.
Intake and Training Coordinator
With years of experience working in direct service with young children and their families, Sheniqua brings passion and dedication to the mission of SCIMHA. She joins the SCIMHA team as the intake and training coordinator. Sheniqua is a native of Due West, South Carolina where she attended Dixie High School. She earned her Associate’s Degree in Arts at Spartanburg Methodist College. She later went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology with a minor in Social Work from the University of South Carolina. Sheniqua takes pride in helping build healthier families, she has worked as a family advocate and case manager through South Carolina Head Start programs. Sheniqua's most recent work experience includes her role with Prevent Child Abuse where she served as a home visitor and community outreach coordinator offering services of support to at risk mothers and their babies. She takes dignity in her ability to work with diverse groups of people. While serving as a home visitor, Sheniqua was able to establish a support group for Spanish speaking families enrolled in the Prevent Child Abuse program creating a sense of community and belonging amongst Hispanic families. She also works very closely with the South Carolina evidence-based Strengthening Families Program where she serves as adult group leader teaching positive parenting skills. Sheniqua enjoys being a first-time mom to her baby girl and watching her grow more and more each day.
Mackenzie Soniak, PsyD, IMH-E® Infant Mental Health Specialist
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Capacity Building Director
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, MA
Help Me Grow South Carolina State Director
Jane is an experienced and passionate leader dedicated to creating high quality, equitable systems for all children. As Help Me Grow South Carolina's state director, 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.