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National Effective Parenting Initiative

Advisory Board 


Here is a partial list of the distinguished individuals who are already participating as advisors.


 Dr. Jane Adams, Executive Director for Kansas Keys for Networking works daily to assist parents whose children (0—21) find appropriate mental health services to treat serious emotional and behavioral problems. She has served as a Presidential Appointee to the New Freedom Commission on Mental Health (2003) and is past-president of the Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health. She has been a parent trainer since 1984.

Dr. Khalil Ali is a prolific educator and community organizer with more than 15 years experience working to strengthen families. He is founder and Executive Director of Metropolitan Family Services, Inc. and Father Focus a family empowerment initiative working to strengthen families by strengthening fathers in Richmond, Virginia. 

 Dr. Kerby T. Alvy is the founder of the National Effective Parenting Initiative and has taken a leadership role. Dr. Alvy is also the founder and executive director of the 33 year old Center for the Improvement of Child Caring (CICC) in California. Many of the ideas that inform the creation of NEPI were developed by Dr. Alvy and his colleagues at CICC. Dr. Alvy also conceived of and wrote the blueprint for theEffective Parenting Initiative that can be adopted by the national government. He is also author of several books on parenting, including his latest, The Positive Parent: Raising Healthy, Happy and Successful Children-Birth Through Adolescence.

Katharine Bensinger, M.S. LCPC is the Program Director for Parent Education at the multi-site Community Counseling Centers of Chicago which has been delivering mental health services and educating parents since 1972.

Stuart Berton is a film and television lawyer in private practice in Los Angeles, and is President of the Board of Directors of
El Nido Family Centers (see Liz Herrera bio below for a description of the agency). He became involved in parenting education because of two factors: (1) for most people the most significant thing they do in their lives is parent, yet our educational system provides no instruction as to how to be a good effective parent, and (2) his mother, an iconic elementary school principal for over thirty years, maintained that “There are no bad children, only bad parents”, which even if it’s not 100% true is still a powerful motivator for parenting education.

Lauren Bondy, MSW is a co-founder of Parenting Perspectives which is dedicated to promoting healthy development and nurturing the unique potential of every child. A co-developer of “Raising Respectful and Resilient Children”, an inter-active, multi-week course for parents, she also creates and delivers a wide variety of parent workshops and in-services for teachers in the Chicago metropolitan area. She is a private parent coach and has experience in bully prevention, child welfare and school social work. In addition, she is a certified instructor for INCAF.

Rob Cipriano, Founder of Beyond Borders TV 
www.bbitv.tv has been at the forefront of international crises children issues since 1995. He has traveled internationally and addressed the Ministries Of Social Welfare in the People's Republic Of China, the governments in Vietnam, Burma, Cambodia and the Philippines with regards to the conditions of their crises children.

Dr. Camilla Clarke is a National Trainer of Instructors for the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring's Effective Black Parenting and Confident Parenting Programs.  Dr. Clarke has effectively worked with children, parents, teachers, and administrators through school districts for over 30 years.

Ida A. Collier is the founder and president of Relativity Institute Incorporated (RI2). She is a National Trainer of Instructors for the Center for the Improvement of Child Caring’s Effective Black Parenting and Confident Parenting programs. Ida has over 14 years of experience in the implementation of strengthening families’ resources with foster care, child development, mental health, and Head Start early childhood program. She has worked professionally with parents, school personnel, and child development centers nationally for 10 years. She is the co-developer of the Parent Leadership Development Institute designed for active parent involvement in education with the Arkansas Parental Information Resource Center with the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences.

 Ann Creighton-Zollar, PhD., CFLE is an associate professor of sociology with joint appointments in the Department of African American Studies and the L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU). She is the founder and co-director of the VCU Humanities and Sciences Effective Parenting Initiative. Her 30 years of teaching, research, and community service revolve around improving the life chances of all children in the United States with a special emphasis on reducing racial disparities in heath and educational outcomes.

Janey L. De Meo, Founder/Director of Orphans First, Oceanside, CA. Janey DeMeo M.A. is founding director of Orphans First, an international non-profit ministry helping orphans and poor children worldwide:
www.orphansfirst.org.  She is also a speaker, freelance writer, author, mother and pastor's wife: www.JaneyDeMeo.com.  Janey's recent book, Heaven Help Me Raise These Children! is a combined reading and workbook providing biblical direction to practical parenting issues. Janey has been teaching parenting classes, and training people working with children in many countries since 1982.

Dr. Don Dinkmeyer, Jr., is the co-author of the STEP (Systematic Training for Effective Parenting) parent education programs and a Professor of Counseling in the Graduate College, Western Kentucky University.  He is also the head of Step Publishing.

Dr. Robert Epstein, former Editor-in-Chief of Psychology Today; Contributing Editor, Scientific American Mind; Host of “Psyched!” on Sirius Satellite Radio; Director Emeritus, Cambridge Center for Behavioral Studies; Visiting Scholar at the University of California at San Diego: and author of
The Case Against Adolescence: Rediscovering the Adult in Every Teen.
Suzy Garfinkle (Chevrier) is the mother of three daughters and the founder of Prepare Tomorrow's Parents, the international resource, education and advocacy network promoting and facilitating the inclusion of Preparation for Parenthood in the school curricula K-12, as well as in all youth education settings.

Dr. Caron Goode, founder of the
Academy for Coaching Parents International, trains Heartwise Parent Coaches and offers parent education through distance learning and seminar presentations in Texas.

Stuart Harris, FCA, has followed a high level business management and then management consulting career, by more recently focusing exclusively on the betterment of the lives of young people.   Many years ago he founded a committee of the Variety Clubs International for “underprivileged children”, in Manchester England. Despite all the good they did for kids in the 10 years of his involvement, he was left with the sad realization that most of their problems stemmed from their home environment and knew that the key challenge lay in effective parenting –or the lack of it. He founded www.valleycharacter.org in 2002 and was able to address parenting issues under that “umbrella” and has since researched other community based – volunteer driven organizations in other parts of the USA and abroad.   He is also a member of the advisory board of www.preparetomorrowsparents.org and is currently he is developing
www.pinellascircle.org a similarly focused organization in Florida.

Liz Herrera, a licensed clinical social worker who has worked with at-risk children, youth and families for over 25 years, is Executive Director of El Nido Family Centers. El Nido is the largest provider of services to teen parents in California. The agency has offered parent education to teen parents and low-income families in the diverse communities of Los Angeles County for 25 years. Over that period, El Nido has continually adapted its parent education model, first offered in community churches in South Los Angeles under a grant from NIMH, to meet the emerging needs of its constituency.

Esther A. Jantzen, Ed.D., is an educator, children’s literacy advocate, and writer who spent 25 years in urban public high schools. Her commitment to parenting education arises from her interest in literacy, for it is parents and caregivers who provide the early foundational experiences that enable children to become successful readers and learners. In 2009, Jantzen published a small book for parents, Plus It! How to Easily Turn Everyday Activities into Learning Adventures for Kids (see http://plusitbook.com); in 2006, she published a family literacy system for schools and childcare organizations to use to support and educate parents, the Way to Go! Family Learning Journal (see http://familylearningjournal.com).

Jennifer A. Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of Sociology,
Virginia Commonwealth University, L. Douglas Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs.

Dr. Karol Kumpfer of the University of Utah, is the developer of the Strengthening Families Program and former Director of the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention in the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Dr. Neal H. Mayerson, President of the
Mayerson Foundation and Hummingbird Coaching Systems in Ohio.

Judy Nordstrom is the founder and Lead Educator for the T.E.P.E. Training Institute in New York, and the creator of the multi-modal "thematic module" concept for parenting program curricula design. As the mother and grandmother to a very large family, she brings unique and comprehensive experiences to all of her work with parents and parenting professionals.

Jody Johnston Pawel, LSW, CFLE is President of
Parent’s Toolshop®Consulting, Ltd.; a second-generation parent educator with 25+ years experience; author of 100+ parenting resources, including The Parent's Toolshop book an outcome-focused parent-education curriculum; and trainer/supervisor of an international network of Parents Toolshop® instructors. Jody also brings 25+ year’s media experience and expertise as an international trainer of effective integrity-based marketing methods to the NEPI Advisory Board.

Dr. Michael Popkin, the creator of the first video-based parenting skill-building programs, the Active Parenting Programs, and the President of
Active Parenting Publishers in Georgia.

Dr. Robert Reiher is a media psychologist and the founder and president of ESmartChoice.  Robert has over 25 years of experience in the development and marketing of enriching products and programs for children and families.  He is co-author of the book, KIDNAPPED-How Irresponsible Marketers Are Stealing the Minds of Your Children which discusses how children are "sitting ducks" in today's high powered world of commercialization.

Dr. Larry D. Rosen, Past Chair and Professor of Psychology, California State University, Dominquez Hills, and author of the pioneering books: Me, MySpace, and I: Parenting the Net Generation (Palgrave Macmillan), TechnoStress: Coping with Technology @Work, @Home and @Play (John Wiley & Sons), and The Mental Health Technology Bible (John Wiley & Sons).  Dr. Rosen’s most recent research includes five studies of teen MySpacers and their parents; a study of multitasking by pre-teens, adolescents, and adults; studies on preferences for peer vs. expert advice on the Internet; and online dating.  As the international expert on the “Psychology of Technology” he has studied the impact of technology on more than 25,000 children, adolescents, and adults across 23 countries.  Dr. Rosen has been the technology columnist for The National Psychologist for the past 12 years and has written more than 60 columns of technology advice for mental health professionals.  He is the proud father of four children ranging in age from 17 to 33.

Christine Scarpati, M.S., is the founding Chief Executive Officer of the Child Crisis Center in Arizona, which has been providing a wide range of child abuse prevention services in the Phoenix area for over 24 years.

Dr. Elaine Fogel Schneider is the founder and Executive Director of both the CommunityTherapies and Baby Steps organizations in California, and is a highly respected expert in parent-child relationships. She is an author of several books, most recently, Messaging Your Baby.


 Myrna B. Shure, Ph.D is a research professor of psychology at Drexel University in Philadelphia, PA.  She is the developer of the social emotional learning programs I Can Problem Solve (ICPS) for schools, and Raising a Thinking Child for families – both recognized as evidence-based by several national agencies including the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP), and by the Psychology Matters initiative of the American Psychological Association for research with valuable applications that make a difference in people’s lives. 


 Ted N. Strader is the founder and Executive Director of the Council on Prevention and Education (COPES) in Kentucky. He is also the developer of the Creating Lasting Family Connections Program. 

Rita Wiley, MEd, MA, LPC, is a Colorado therapist, national Nurturing Parenting Program Trainer/Consultant, and child/family advocate. She is responsible for the development of many child abuse prevention initiatives in Colorado Springs and statewide. Recently retired (19 years) as the Executive Director and founder of the Family Nurturing Center of Colorado (formerly Pikes Peak Family Connections), she is the proud mom of 6 adult children, 5 adopted, and understands from her own personal experience the incredible and lifelong benefits of learning and using effective parenting skills. 


NEPI is in the process of selecting additional distinguished individuals to be part of the Advisory Board. 



You can nominate yourself to the Advisory Board by going to the NEPI Contact Form, and, in the Comments section, indicating that you would like to be considered to help in this capacity.

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