ABOUT US: Our Team

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Thaïs Mazur

Executive Director

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Karen Heftmann

Bookkeeper/Grant Admin

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Cristal Ayala

Youth Family Advocate

Karen Heftmann

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Emily McConnell

Programs Manager

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Liza Brown

Digital Specialist

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Miles Clark

Clinical Director

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Kinzie Sippola 

Youth Programs Assistant

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Natalie Berg

Bilingual Family Advocate

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Hector Miranda

Family Outreach Assistant

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Esther Slaman

Family Therapy Intern

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Marutzzella Castro Norwood

Legal Services Advocate

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Sienna Wetherington

Youth Programs Manager

 
 

Executive Director

Thaïs Mazur, PhD

Growing up in a farming community and living on the north coast for over 20 years, I have first hand experience of the challenges facing rural areas. I believe communities who are connected through collaboration and a shared vision create healthy systems that support people of all ages and cultures. I hold a doctorate in Human Science and my work has been focused in the fields of organizational systems change, community wellness and social transformation. I am grateful to be part of the Action Network team who is dedicated to fostering personal wellness, strengthening families, empowering youth and supporting a healthy community.

 

Youth Programs Coordinator

Natalie Berg

I have worked and lived on the south coast for 20 years and before that was an inner city resident of Echo Park, LA and the Mission District in SF.  As a youth
worker, prevention educator, I have has forged a deep connection with many local families. Now in my last year of a Bilingual Masters in Social Work 
at Loyola University, Chicago, my passion projects include a field
 placement with Project Sanctuary, integrated school based services, 
garden-based community healing and home visiting outreach. With focus on 
bilingual Mental Health and Migration issues, I am honored to use
 my skills to collaborate with local families and community members over
 generations to develop strengths and mutual support systems through 
meaningful projects, overcoming loss and promoting the ongoing
 celebrations of life.

 
 

Programs Director

Emily McConnell

I joined the Action Network team in December 2020 and have lived on the coast for about 10 years. I moved here to follow my heart, live sustainably, and care for the Earth and our community while living in tune with nature. I have a BFA in Fine Arts, with a focus in Photography and am also a certified yoga teacher. My art and yoga background encourage me to stay present, to slow down, breathe and respond accordingly to life’s challenges. My intention is to create programs based in wellness, mindfulness, and awareness practices that can positively affect our community by empowering individuals, youth, and families.

Bookkeeper & Grants Administrator

Karen Heftmann

I moved to the area about 10 years ago after a career at the University of California, San Diego. There I worked in the School of Medicine, Department of Pediatrics in grants development and management. I had a special interest in training junior faculty in the skills necessary to craft competitive applications that would advance their careers. I also worked with identifying and securing funding for programs that address the development and retention of faculty from underserved groups. Additionally, I worked closely with the Community Pediatrics group whose focus was health and wellness in the community. The mission of Action Network and its staff aligns with my interest in having community that is fair and representative with access and opportunity for all its members.

Hector Luna Miranda

Family Outreach Assistant

I am a 22 year old  Spanish bilingual junior at Sacramento state university majoring in criminology. I am a new member of the Action Network team. As a Family Outreach assistant it is an honor to work with my childhood community and emphasize a positive inclusive environment for youth and adults. I know first hand the struggles we face as a community, from drug addiction to lack of engaging activities, resources and the encouragement to succeed. I will try my best to facilitate the needs, wants, nothing is truly unattainable.  I hope I can make a contribution to my childhood community by conducting family assessments, available assistance such as (W.I.C), food drives, garden play, referrals; all through Action Network.¡Estoy muy orgulloso ser parte de la familia de action Network, espero ayudar con requisitos de necessidad de la communidad!

 

Youth Programs Coordinator

Cristal Ayala

Working with Action Network provides me with the opportunity to support young children, families, and the community. As a recent immigrant to the United States and mother to a young child, I understand the value of having access to information and services that improve the quality of life for families. It is my wish to support the connection of people to the resources that enable them to thrive. As an Early Childhood Development major, I love working with children and facilitating the activities that make young minds grow. I am excited to be a part of the Action Network team.

 

Youth Programs Assistant

Kinzie Sippola

I've been working with Action Network since March of 2021 and love being a part of this team! I have always had a passion for being of service to others and I have always dreamed of working in a non-profit setting. Action Network is a place where I feel like I am a part of something bigger than just myself, where I feel supported to use my talents and help to make a difference and impact in our community. I am a Massage Therapist by trade, ESL teacher and aspiring Doula.  With Action Network I serve as a Youth Programs Assistant, Teen Health & Bilingual Advocate, and Community Outreach Support. You'll find me in the Community Garden with the youth, at the Front Desk in Action Network or driving the Outreach Van around Point Arena & Gualala. 

 

Digital Specialist

Liza Brown

I have worked many years in arts education, digital publishing and writing; glass work; organic farming, ethical foraging and landscaping; and am a true foodie too. I care deeply about the environment and how it intersects with social justice issues. I wish to support ecological and economic recovery in our community as well as to help create a future for our youth that is full of opportunity and well-being. My first contribution to Action Network was redesigning the logo as well as the website, while also rebuilding the site for easier access to information and resources.

Youth Programs Manager

Sienna Wetherington

I appreciate Action Network's strong commitment to ensuring a healthy way of living and I hope to see families in our community build healthy and sustainable lives. I am inspired by youth who choose to think critically, act as social change agents and I dream that together we can create a community where families can find safety, hope and success in life. In my position, I strive for youth to have the opportunity to express themselves and feel comfortable and confident enough to create positive change in the world around them. 

 
 
 
 

Marriage Family Therapy Intern

As I am working towards my licensure as a marriage and family therapist, my current role involves working with couples, parents, kids, and families, under guidance of a licensed professional. I believe that in order to understand individuals, we must also understand the systems in which they live, such as their family, school or work, community, as well as historical and sociopolitical context. Rather than pathologize individuals and individual problems, I try to apply a multicultural lens and incorporate a strengths-based, trauma-informed approach. I also believe that social justice work is an important part of my profession, and strive to be an advocate for my clients and community here on the coast. 

Esther Slaman

Clinical Director

Miles Clark

I fell in love with Mendocino’s South Coast 35 years ago and have resided in the little town of Elk ever since. The last twelve of my years on the coast have been spent working part time as the Point Arena School District (PASD) Youth and Family Counselor. My passion has come to be working collaboratively with educators and administrators to embed many of the traditionally non-academic skills essential for success in life (commonly referred to as Social Emotional Learning - SEL), directly within the public education system. One of the keys to integrating SEL in the schools  is in partnering with community service agencies, such as Action Network. In addition to providing clinical supervision to Action Network service providers, I will be working to support the developing collaboration between the PASD and Action Network. 

Legal Services Advocate

Marutzzella Castro Norwood

Action Network has a new Legal Services Advocate, Marutzzella Castro Norwood. She has been a paralegal for the past 20 years and will be at Action Network at The Center assisting community members with referrals and filling out legal paper work related to domestic violence/sexual assault issues; human trafficking; immigration; DACA and more. Please call the Action Network office or email Marutzzella directly to make an appointment action.ayuda@gmail.com