Our Team

At Children’s Bereavement Center of South Texas, our staff is dedicated to providing hope and healing to the community. Take a look at the wonderful people who are the heart of our mission!

Marian Sokol, PhD, MPH

Executive Director

It may be hard to find someone with a heart to match Marian’s. Always an advocate ensuring that every child has a fair chance in life, Marian leads by example in showing love and compassion to every family that walks through our doors. When she’s not at the Center, you can usually find her spending time with her family and her Great Pyrenees, Jack.

Kristina Hernandez, MNM

Development Director

While she can’t sing or play a single instrument, Kristina has an almost obsessive love of music. A former client of the Center, Kristina is passionate about the work we do and feels privileged to be a part of such a rock star team. Her little known talent is her ability to communicate only using movie quotes “so I’ve got that goin’ for me, which is nice.”

Tami Logsdon, LPC-S

Program Director

The community created at the center can be hugely attributed to the imagination and creativity of Tami! Always one for decorating and dressing up, Tami can be found planning out her Halloween costumes when she isn’t seeing clients and managing our team of counselors. Although she doesn’t have a favorite book or movie, Tami will happily share a list of her favorites.

Ashley Jesse, LPC-S

Grief Education and Clinical Training Manager

You could never be bordeaux when talking to Ashley about the work she does at the center. Originally from Louisiana, Ashley is the epitome of southern hospitality welcoming every family in with open arms. An avid reader, Ashley is a Harry Potter fan so be sure to ask which house she would be sorted into. Ashley can usually be found using our time machine in the drama room - do you think it can get her to Hogwarts?

Marcella Hayes, LPC-S

Assistant Program Director

Say “Aloha!” to Marcella, our very own hula dancer turned counselor! Marcella loves the entire process of serving our families - from the moment they walk in and feel the warmth of our living room to the final days of therapy in one of our many therapy rooms. Every day brings a new opportunity for Marcella to support our families and she is always ready to heal hearts.

Cecilia Gamboa, LPC-S

School-Based Program Manager

Leading our school-based program, Cecilia works hard to ensure our peer support groups are accessible to children and teens during the school day. She needs all the energy she can get to bring comfort and understanding during the day and then get home to have a home cooked meal with her husband and two boys.

Marina Bottiglieri, LPC Associate

School-Based Counselor

If you ever see a Chili’s order being delivered to the Center, just know it’s for Marina - the obsession is real! Once an intern at the Center, Marina now serves as one of our school-based counselors. Her work in the schools ensures that there are no boundaries limiting a child’s ability to grieve. We are so grateful to have her a part of our team, healing hearts with her magical spirit!

Andee Grether, LPC Associate

School-Based Counselor

Give Andee a cup of coffee and she can take over the world! Andee’s dedication to our mission is unmatched. It’s this dedication that helps Andee bring a welcoming sense of comfort to our clients. In her spare time, Andee hosts and produces her own podcast that is centered around self-care and taking time to fill your cup.

Shannon Holliday, LPC Associate

School-Based Counselor

Our staff baker Shannon is sure to make you “loaf” so hard with her extra cheesy jokes! Serving as one of our school-based counselors, Shannon creates spaces filled with compassion and care. With a love for art therapy, Shannon helps children dealing with unimaginable loss find their smiles again.

Paola Misteli, LPC Associate

School-Based Counselor

Life at the Center sure is sweet with Paola! Serving as an associate counselor for our school-based program, Paola’s work provides a safe place for children and teens to process their grief. When she isn’t working, Paola can be found “mixing it up” in the kitchen, baking! We are hoping we can taste-test her next tasty creation.

Emily Price, LPC

Camp Program Manager, Counselor

When Emily came to the Center as a volunteer she knew right away that this special place would be her home away from home. Now as our Camp Coordinator, she helps make each session of Camp Heroes an unforgettable experience for our children. Emily loves all things Christmas and if she could, she’d leave our Christmas tree up in the living room all year long!

Lauren Jefferies, LPC Associate

Camp Program Coordinator

Lauren has chosen to do work that honors those she loves most. After her own personal experience with grief and loss, Lauren chose to pursue a career in mental health which ultimately led her to the Children’s Bereavement Center. Once a volunteer, Lauren knew it was in her heart to serve our grieving families and we are so lucky to have her. When she is not at the Center, she enjoys spending time with her pug Yoda and her cats Sylvester and Binx watching reruns of her favorite TV shows.

Lisa Buendicho, LPC

Internship Coordinator, Counselor

Whether she is in the office with a client or soaking up the sun with her family, Lisa always wears a kind and welcoming smile that makes everyone she meets feel comfort and compassion. You are most likely to find her in our drama room guiding children through play therapy to express their grief.

Michelle Guilmette Vaughn, LCSW

Counselor

Michelle spreads kindness just like glitter at the Center, our own personal Tinkerbell! Her work at the Center revolves around making sure children have a safe place to express their emotions while also making meaningful connections to their grief while enjoying themselves. When she’s not at the Center Michelle and her husband can be found frequenting one of the many local restaurants they love. They’re huge foodies and would love to share a recommendation with you!

Hannah Braley

Intake Coordinator

Say “Hello!” to Hannah! Joining our team as Intake Coordinator, Hannah provides compassion and understanding to families facing unimaginable loss. When she’s not in the office Hannah can be found enjoying the great outdoors spending time biking, hiking, camping, or swimming. Nothing like soaking up the sun to energize for the work week!

Jo Ann Flores

Intake Coordinator

Jo Ann has a heart for the community she serves. Her warm personality helps the families at our Center feel at home from the moment they walk through the door. Catch her with her camera in hand taking photos of her family when she isn’t in the office.

Elizabeth “Liz” Martinez

Receptionist

I’m sure that Liz can attest to the positive effects of a breath of fresh air. At home with her family and her horse, Liz loves nothing more than the great outdoors. She’s critical to our mission as she is the friendly face that greets our families when they enter our building.

Yolanda Flores-Capelo

Receptionist

Meet Yolanda, the friendly face at our front desk! She loves to find ways to make people smile and ensures our lobby is warm and welcoming. You will likely catch her juggling many tasks at once, but she always handles these situations with grace. Yolanda is so loved and we are grateful that she is able to contribute to our atmosphere of “healing hospitality”.

Connie Martinez

Assistant Director of Operations

At the center of the work we do, there’s Connie - making sure everything is smooth sailing! Through all the hustle and bustle, Connie manages to keep it cool and collected and complete a seemingly endless to-do list. Outside of the office, her role as a grandma helps form the loving atmosphere she helps to create at the Center.

Julia Anderson, M.Ed.

Special Events Manager & Friend Board Liaison

When she’s not in the carpool line, Julia is at the Center bringing with her endless amounts of positive energy. Although an office on the beach might be a dream come true, she believes that she is living the dream being part of a team that feels like a family. At work, you can usually find her buried under a pile of sponsor forms and silent auction items!

Erynn Haskins

Community Engagement Manager

Erynn’s bright and bubbly personality brings spunk and laughter to the Center. It’s her personality and expertise that attract community members to be involved in our mission of hope and healing. And while her favorite show might be the Real Housewives, she could do without all the drama but keep all the glamour! That might explain her love for our costume room, don’t be surprised if you find Erynn dressing up in a pink princess dress!

Janet Vrzalik

Accountant

Janet is here to crunch some numbers! As our office accountant, Janet helps to keep everything in the office smooth sailing. Her love for our mission drives her to support the children and families we serve at the Center. While the Center is her special place, there is hope that one day Janet can move to Rome, Ciao!

Michelle Packer

Database Administrator

Always up for an exciting adventure, Michelle is not one to sit still for long. Whether she’s hiking, gardening, or dancing, she definitely likes to stay active and have fun with her little family. A true free spirit, Michelle brings a ray of sunshine into the center that adds to our positive, healing atmosphere. The Center would not be the same without her or her veggies!

Chloe Palacios

Marketing & Communications Manager

Born and raised in San Antonio, Chloe is a diehard Spurs fan and is always ready to cheer on the silver and black. You can usually find her walking around the Center, iced coffee in hand and ready to advocate and talk about all of the amazing work that happens in our beautiful space. In her spare time, Chloe is an avid true-crime podcast listener. Ask her for a recommendation!

Roberto Rios
Chair

Bartlett Cocke General Contractors

Scott Gruendler
Immediate Past Chair

Sirius Computer Solutions

Jimmie Keenan
Vice Chair

Wellmed Medical Management, Inc.

Lauren Ferrero
Secretary

McCall, Parkhurst, & Horton

Connie Gilbert
Treasurer

PlainsCapital Bank, Retired

Mallory Ahl

Frost Bank

Omar Akhil

Vaulkshire, LLC and Brainiac, LLC

Anthony Bartys

CST Brands, Retired

Yonnie Blanchette

Carver Community Cultural Center, Retired

Tom Coyle

Pacific Mobile Structures, Inc.

Craig Davis

USAA

Dana Deaton

Uhl, Fitzsimons, Jewett & Burton

Beverly Duke

Texas Public Radio

Frances Gonzalez

Gonzalez Professionals

Mary Ullmann Japhet

Japhet Media

Manda Kelley

Retired

Scotty Macdaniel

Opt In Experts

James Maxey

Trinity University

Chris Rulon

Nustar Energy

Ryan Sullivan

DLA Piper

Candace Tottenham

American Bank, N.A.

Debra Weems

Valero Energy Corporation

F. Michael & Jodi Wood

Chairmen

Janie & James Worth

Vice Chairmen

Margaret Berton, Ph.D.

Patricia Bose

Carolyn Brown

Laura Nell & Trace Burton

Sallie & Barry Chasnoff

Mary Beth Fisk

Linda Fugit

Susan & Bill Galbreath

Julianna Hawn Holt

Janet & Boxy Hornberger

Susan & John Kerr

Kitty & Rich Lange

Paula Loring

Camille & Clark Mandigo, III

Nancy Martin, Ph.D

John E. Newman, Jr.

Jacqui Peace

Sally & Robert Sohn

Eliza Sonneland

Pam & Dave Thomas

Barbara Wood

Mertie Wood