Our Team

Staff

 

Kai Forsley, MLIS,
Executive Director

After completing her BA at the University of Illinois, a deeply fulfilling volunteer opportunity led Kai to work in the social service realm. Originally from Chicago, Kai spent the last 14 years in San Francisco, working in the areas of literacy, governmental accountability, and foster youth advocacy. Due to her fervor for libraries, systems management, and information organization, Kai obtained her master’s in Library and Information Science. After working as a librarian, in addition to a stint as a natural resources manager in a national park, her devotion to empowering others led her back to working with children and their families. Kai was recognized by Ayesha and Stephen Curry’s Eat.Learn.Play. Foundation for exceptional community service. Kai loves spending time with her family.

 

Marissa Visscher,
Program Manager

After obtaining a BS in Community Health Education, Marissa served for two and half years in the United States Peace Corps in Kyrgyzstan as a health education volunteer. This experience instilled a passion for serving community, in particular the wellbeing of women and children. Marissa continued her higher education by obtaining an MPA with a nonprofit concentration from the University of Colorado, Denver and subsequently worked for the State of Colorado in an administrative role. Marissa grew up in Albuquerque and has returned to the Land of Enchantment to raise her son among family and friends. When not working, Marissa loves to be in nature with her husband and son, creating herbal medicines, cooking new recipes, and making her family laugh.

 

Anita Castillo,
Program Director

Anita is a native Northern New Mexican, happy wife, and proud mama to two daughters. She earned a BA in Organizational Communication from UNM and is also a photographer. Her professional background is in project management and marketing, but her calling and passion is in working to make a positive impact in the lives of families and children in our community. Anita is an active member on various boards and committees at her daughters’ schools and also volunteers with various youth sports groups. When she is not at work or behind the camera, you can find her playing in the mountains with her family, studying American Sign Language, or cooking in the kitchen with her girls.

 

Sarah Raine Cheney,
Grants and Marketing Coordinator

Sarah, a New Mexican native, was raised in the southern part of the state, before settling in Santa Fe in 2010. Following her studies of Graphic Design, she found herself drawn into the nonprofit sector. In her previous roles, Sarah worked as a respite provider and served over two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA. Her work as a VISTA focused on sustainability and positive outcomes within the birth-to-career spectrum for Santa Fe’s children. Sarah hopes that her past work will strengthen her in her new role of supporting families as they navigate their new journey as parents. Outside of work, Sarah dedicates copious amounts of time to playing with her two poodles, visiting her nieces and nephews, attending concerts, and indulging in her love of anime, manga and other nerdy interests.

 

Monica Gonzales,
Bilingual Program Coordinator

Monica Gonzales was born and raised in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She has an Associate’s degree in Business Administration and Accounting, but her true passion in working to support her community came after the birth of her first daughter, Sofia. She found herself struggling with postpartum depression and she knew she wanted to help others not feel alone. Monica found herself in the nonprofit world where she has been able to connect all her talents and passions and has been able to fully grow and help other moms and parents into the journey of parenthood. When she is not working with Many Mothers, Monica’s time is filled with Doula support and training as well as supporting at Gerard’s House, a nonprofit grief center in Santa Fe. When she is not working Monica loves spending time with her daughter and husband, as well as family golfing and being outdoors, riding dirt trails in ATVs.

 

Board of Directors

Dr.Margo Dichtelmiller, Ph.D., President

Margo is a retired Emeritus professor of Early Childhood Teacher Education from Eastern Michigan University, where she specialized in observation and early childhood assessment. She began her career teaching infants and preschool children with special needs in home- and classroom-based settings. She consulted with early childhood programs nationally, providing staff development on assessment, standards-based curriculum and program evaluation. She is a developer of the Work Sampling System, an alternative assessment system for preschool through third grade. She co-authored The Power of Observation and wrote The Power of Assessment, a teacher-friendly college text. She earned her doctorate from the University of Michigan, a Master’s degree from the University of Illinois, and a B.A. in psychology from Oberlin College. Now retired, Margo enjoys traveling, reading, quilting, and works with several non-profit organizations.

 

Maxine Swisa, MA, Treasurer

Maxine Swisa is an educator, author, mindfulness and yoga instructor and former C-Level Executive. She created a unique course called BREATHE, using brain-based learning theories that focus on fostering positive emotions. Her work incorporates mindfulness, effective communication techniques, and unconditional positive regard to create  a collaborative, caring community that enhances personal well-being.

Ms. Swisa has worked with professionals using these techniques in Asia, Europe, Africa, and Latin America.

 

Betty Monroe, M.Ed. Board Member

After 30+ years of teaching, Betty has relocated with her husband from the East Coast to New Mexico to jump into the next chapter of her life.
Betty holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Early Childhood Development and Education as well as a Master’s Degree in Education. Her career spanned working with daycares’ at-risk children. She worked tirelessly to bring new approaches to the classroom and inspire her students. Also, she offered the educational development and successful potential for every student that crossed her path. Her efforts to make a difference were acknowledged by the school district, appointing her the Director of the Gifted and Talented Program.

In addition, Betty was inducted into the Kappa Delta Pi Honor Society in Education and recognized in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers for 5 years straight before her retirement. Now, Betty enjoys spending time with her family and has started gardening with her daughter in her spare time.

 

BERNADETTE FREEMAN, BOARD MEMBER

Bernadette is a Santa Fe artist whose work has been displayed in galleries as well as The White House and a state building in Albuquerque. She was an Associate of A. T. Kearney, Inc., an international management consultant company, working extensively with the U. S. EPA on environmental issues, especially the management of hazardous waste, before devoting her life to art. She grew up in Chicago and is a devoted mother of two young women who also live in Santa Fe. She has decades of experience as a volunteer for La Leche League, an Art Mom, and as an officer for the West Suburban Artist Guild. She is a certified Catechist of Catechesis of the Good Shepherd, a Montessori-based religious education program. Bernadette has served continuously on the staff of The Fest For Beatles Fans, a twice annual convention in New York and Chicago, since 1977. She is active in the Santa Fe art scene as well in Shakespeare and James Joyce reading groups.

Supporting Our Community

Your contributions—whether volunteering, administrative, or monetary—support families right here in Santa Fe.