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, IMH-E® Infant Family Associate
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.
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.
Michelle Hammack, LISW-CP
Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health ConsultantEmail Michelle
Michelle Hammack is excited to serve with SCIMHA as an Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health-Consultant. 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!
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.
Susan Leiby, MS
Resource & Technology Coordinator
Help Me Grow South Carolina State Office
Susan joined the Help Me Grow SC State Office in October 2020 following 2 ½ years as HMG SC’s Upstate Resource & Events Coordinator. In that role, she was responsible for maintaining and updating the Centralized Online Resource Database, and conducting 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.
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.
Monica Scanlon joins the SCIMHA team as the Financial Manager. 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.
Quality Improvement Manager & 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 Quality Improvement Manager 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
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.
Help Me Grow SC
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.