President, Advisory Board
Katie came to Parenting Village as a stay-at-home Mom looking to help families find the “village” that it takes to help raise a child. With an education in physics and desire to help parents find the support and connection they need, Katie works in many aspects of Parenting Village including the weekly Parents Circles, Nurture program, and as event planner for the annual Summer Bash. She is grateful to have the opportunity to work with a board of wonderful, dedicated, and talented parents to help bring this organization to local community. Katie also serves on the board of the Abundance Natural Food Cooperative.
SARAH FARASH ALEXANDER, LMSW
Vice President, Advisory Board
Sarah is a licensed social work practitioner and researcher. She is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Social Work and Social Research exploring barriers in access to early childhood developmental screening. Sarah has over 10 years of experience in clinical trials research management investigating the effectiveness of behavioral and medical interventions for autism, addictions, and severe mental illnesses. She is a graduate of the Institute for Compassionate Leadership program and the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Behavioral Disabilities program. Sarah is also a member of the Local Early Intervention Coordinating Council of Monroe County. She is also a Shambhala Buddhist who has been formally practicing and studying meditation since 2002. Sarah is passionate about applying techniques and values based in meditation traditions to supporting people who care for others. Most recently, she developed a course called Caregiving Through Mindful Leadership. She is the mother of a one-year-old son and a relative of persons with chronic health issues. In her free time, Sarah loves hiking and exploring new places with her family.
JANE OSWALD, RN, BFA/AASN
Board Member, Advisory Board
Jane has a background in Fine Art and Nursing, and has worked for over a decade as a Registered Nurse in the Intensive Care Unit of a local hospital. As a caregiver to critically ill patients and their families, and a caregiver to her own young children, Jane has found that strength often comes from connection. She was pleased to find how well Parenting Village fosters connection within our community, and provides access to important resources to families in times of transition. Jane is excited to join Parenting Village as it grows and reaches more families in the Rochester area.
Director of Operations
Sasha currently serves as Parenting Village’s Director of Operations, overseeing all of its programming. Sasha came to Parenting Village with 15 years of experience in the child welfare system advocating for children and families. Sasha worked as an independent consultant for child welfare organizations, lending her experience and expertise to programs hoping to grow, improve outcomes, and train staff. Previously, Sasha worked in the New York State Office of Children and Family Services as the Buffalo Region’s Adoption Specialist proving oversight, training, and case consultation to state authorized adoption agencies, foster care programs, and local departments of social services. Sasha and her husband live in the Rochester, NY area with two sons.
SHAWNA PETERSON, LMSW
Shawna was excited to hear about the idea of Parenting Village at the very first community meeting. At the time, Shawna was a first-time parent seeking connection with other parents in the Rochester community. She was intrigued about the possibility of connecting her professional skills with her new experience of becoming a parent. Shawna is a Licensed Master Social Worker (LMSW) and is currently working toward her DONA Postpartum Doula Certification. Shawna has recently participated in trainings related to Maternal Mental Health and Infant Mental Health and is hopeful that her increased knowledge of these topics will help in the growth of Parenting Village.
JESSICA FOWLER, LCSW
Jessica first came to Parenting Village by bringing her own children to a parenting Circle. She was excited to find support as she transitioned to becoming a mother of two young boys. Since that time, she has developed a passion for working with families transitioning to parenthood. Jessica is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has specialized training in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and parents transitioning to parenthood. She is the owner of JLF Counseling Services.
BETSY BRINGEWATT, PH.D., M.S.W.
Chief Program Officer of Child & Family Services at JFS
Betsy has played many roles at Parenting Village in the past, including Executive Director of Co-President of the Board. Betsy currently serves as liaison to Jewish Family Service of Rochester, where she is the Chief Program Officer of Child and Family Services. Betsy came to Parenting Village with over 10 years of experience conducting research on programs that support children and families. She has a Masters in Social Work and a Ph.D. in Social Work and Sociology from the University of Michigan. Her dissertation involved a qualitative analysis of how children diagnosed with mental health disorders learn about and experience their diagnoses, and how parents can be supported in this process. She lives in the Rochester area with her husband and sons, and hopes that all parents will find the support and connection that she has had in her parenting journey.
EMILY HOROWITZ, MA, LMHC, LPC
Emily is a licensed professional counselor who specializes in perinatal and infant mental health. When Emily moved to Rochester in 2010 and opened her private practice, she found that there was a dearth of resources targeting families with infants and young children. She subsequently founded Parenting Village in order to meet this community need. Emily has worked in various capacities in the nonprofit sector for over 18 years, including program development, clinical supervision, and fundraising. Her work has targeted a wide spectrum of populations, including creating supportive housing, advocating for women impacted by domestic violence, and helping vulnerable children and their families heal from trauma and form healthy attachments. Emily relocated back to CO in 2016 with her family, but maintains close connections to Parenting Village and serves as an ad-hoc advisor when the need arises. She is currently a therapist and Training Director at the Postpartum Wellness Center of Boulder, and she serves on the board of a CO-based nonprofit, Dance To Be Free, which uses Dance and Dance Teacher Training as a way to change the trajectory of incarcerated women. More than any position held or endeavor undertaken, Emily’s personal transition to motherhood has been her greatest teacher.