The First 5 Mendocino Team

Our team at First 5 Mendocino has worked hard to create a culture of compassion and competence in how we collaborate with each other, as we earnestly seek to meet the needs of families and partners in our community.

We strive to lead with trauma-informed practices and cultural humility, hoping to nurture an environment where we can focus our energy on helping children develop into their best selves.

It is our goal to help you feel at home when you enter our office on Talmage Road,  knowing you have a family of advocates working in the best interest of all children in Mendocino County.

Click the photos below to learn more about each team member.

Admin Team

Executive Director

Townley Saye

Business Manager

Jenna Flesch

Executive Assistant

Karla Kohler

Executive Director

Townley Saye

I have walked many paths on my professional and personal journeys.  I am fortunate to be a mother to many children, both biological and bonus. I have spent most of my life as a child and parent advocate in a variety of capacities including being a certified doula and birth educator, owning a local children’s store, and utilizing my education in social work to directly serve families and implement family friendly policies within state systems.  Additionally, my certifications in The Positive Parenting Program (Triple P) and the Community Resilience Model (CRM) further aide my approach in addressing family and system issues through a strength-based, trauma- and resilience-informed lens. 

Some of my favorite things in life include sunrises, a child’s laughter, walks on the beach, traveling with my partner, and a strong cup of coffee. 

Favorite childhood book: Oh, the Places You’ll Go!  by Dr. Seuss

Favorite childhood song: You are my Sunshine sung by my grandmother

Business Manager

Jenna Flesch

Most importantly, I am a mom to three kids, two of which are under 5. I started my journey with FIRST 5 Mendocino in January 2015 and have had the privilege of parenting my own children through their early formative years during my time here. I have firsthand experience that the work of FIRST 5 is extremely beneficial to families with young children.

In 2020, as my family was sheltering in place, we took up gardening and planted a large vegetable garden and fruit orchard in our backyard. I also enjoy crafting with anything glitter including creating things using epoxy resin. My biggest form of self-care though is taking long hot baths while listening to podcasts or reading books! That is my favorite way to relax.

Favorite childhood book: Green Eggs and Ham by Dr. Suess

Phone:707-462-4453 x 1030

Email:jenna@first5mendo.org

Executive Assistant

Karla Kohler

I was born and raised here in Mendocino County. I am Mom to an incredible, neurodivergent child. I firmly believe we all have a responsibility to do what we can to make this world a better place. I jumped at the opportunity to work with the First 5 Mendocino team and use my experience and skill set to help make a difference in the lives of local families.

I attended Mendocino College and received associate degrees in Liberal Arts and Business Management and a Certificate in Medical Billing and Coding. I moved on to receive a bachelor’s degree in Business Management from Dominican University of CA. I believe learning is a life-long process and I still enjoy taking classes for enrichment.

I’ve loved books from a young age and my favorite form of self-care is quietly reading with a cup of coffee. I also like to garden. I enjoy watching things grow and its very rewarding to provide my family with food I grew myself. Rescuing animals is also a life-long passion of mine and I currently have a house full of them.

My favorite childhood book: The Sleep Book, by Dr. Seuss

Phone:(707) 462-4453 ext. 1010

Email:karla@first5mendo.org

Community Education Team

Community Education Manager

Megan Carson

Perinatal & Early Childhood Support Manager

Alex Rounds

Program Assistant

Tara Yoast

Community Education Manager

Megan Carson

I have a deep love for humans and their stories, and I’ve come to learn that everyone has a story. After working with refugees from around the world and hearing them share their stories, I felt drawn to hear and know the stories in my own community. I’ve witnessed ways that stories have the power to unify and heal, as they connect us in our shared humanity. In my role with First 5 Mendocino, I hope to use stories to shine a light on ways we can create better systems of care for those who are more vulnerable among us. I feel passionate about using my voice to amplify the voices of those who are underrepresented, working toward a society of greater equity and social justice. As the mother of 3 pre-teens, I believe strongly in nurturing the inner child in each of us and love finding moments of fun and play with my kids. As a family, we love creating art, hiking in the mountains, camping and playing at the beach. To recharge, I love running, baking, and watching clouds from my hammock. 

Favorite childhood book: The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

Favorite childhood song: This Little Light of Mine

Phone:707-462-4453 x 1020

Email:megan@first5mendo.org

Perinatal & Early Childhood Support Manager

Alex Rounds

I’m a Mom with three kids, a midwife, and a lactation consultant. I care deeply about parents and caregivers and how prepared they feel to take care of their kids. I believe in the power of positive relationships and the need for community. We need supportive communities to do our best as caregivers. I’m here because I can make a greater impact on how well our community cares for families by working with them and family-serving organizations in Mendocino County. Some of my hobbies are spending time with my family and friends, gardening, reading fiction (mostly science fiction), being out in nature, and kayaking.

Favorite children’s books: Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney and The Curious Garden by Peter Brown

Phone:(707) 462-4453 ext. 1050

Email:alex@first5mendo.org

Program Assistant

Tara Yoast

I joined the First 5 Mendocino team in November 2023.  I was born and raised here in Mendocino County and am a very proud mom of two. I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Heath Science-Public Health.  Working as an emergency dispatcher, I developed a passion for using my experience to make a difference in the lives of those in my community. I love the work that First 5 is doing to build community resilience and creating more awareness around childhood trauma.  As a single mom, I know how important it is to have accessible resources for families and young children. It is incredibly fulfilling to be a part of providing these resources here in Mendocino County.

I relax and recharge by spending time with my family.  I love to be in the redwoods and on the coast of Mendocino. I enjoy paddleboarding, hiking, reading, DIY home projects, and playing games with my girls.

Favorite childhood book: The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Phone:707-462-4453 x 1025

Email:tara@first5mendo.org

Raise & Shine Family Resource Center Team

Bonnie Boek
Raise & Shine Program Director

Bonnie Boek

Andres Alvarado
Bilingual Family Consultant

Andres Alvarado

Jade Aldrich
Triple P Coordinator & Community Navigator

Jade Aldrich

Bilingual Family Consultant

Maria Fuentes

Administrative Assistant

Monica Galliani

Early Literacy and Family Educator Specialist

Sariah Neff

Raise & Shine Program Director

Bonnie Boek

I have a Bachelor of Arts degree from UC Davis in American Studies-Gender and Ethnicity and a Minor in Native American Studies. Working at First 5 Mendocino where I get to support children and their families brings me joy, satisfaction, and hope. Children are our future. Outside of work I spend my time with my children, creating art, and gardening.

Favorite childhood book: The Story of Ferdinand by Munro Leaf

Phone:(707) 671-3030

Phone:707-462-4453 x 1040

Email:bonnie@first5mendo.org

Bilingual Family Consultant

Andres Alvarado

I’ve been with First 5 Mendocino since February 2017. I started by being an Americorp for 1 and a half years and became a full-time staff in August of 2018. I’m trained in Triple P, CRM, PIP, and Signs of Safety among other things. Being a resource for families and being able to help them achieve their goals is what I’m passionate about and it’s why I love to show up at work every day! In my free time, I like to play soccer and disc golf. I’m also a coach for Mendocino County Soccer Academy (MCSA). GO EAGLES!

Favorite childhood book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle

Phone:(707) 462-1233

Phone:707-462-4453 x 1070

Email:andres@first5mendo.org

Triple P Coordinator & Community Navigator

Jade Aldrich

I am a mother of four and raised my beautiful children on the coast of Mendocino without any immediate family. As a young mom feelings of isolation and overwhelm were constant, and I yearned for connection and guidance. I found a Triple P Positive Parenting Group and it changed my life by connecting me with others and teaching me skills to feel calm and confident in managing challenging behaviors. It has now been over a decade since I’ve been supporting other families as a Certified Doula, Childbirth Educator, Breastfeeding Peer Counselor & Triple P Facilitator who knows personally the importance of connection and support. Everyone needs it and I am passionate about making it available as part of a normal option for all parents and caregivers of children. Outside of work I love to play on our beaches and swim in our rivers.

Favorite childhood book: Black Beauty by Ana Sewell

Favorite childhood song: It’s a Wonderful World by Louis Armstrong

Phone:(707) 671-6914

Phone:707-462-4453 x 1030

Email:jade@first5mendo.org

Bilingual Family Consultant

Maria Fuentes

I am a mother of two who was introduced to FIRST 5 Mendocino when I was a first-time mom 8 years ago. I joined the team as an Americorps member where it ignited my passion to support children, parents, and caregivers. I am an accredited Triple P facilitator helping parents and caregivers navigate their journey in raising children with support, empathy, and a smile. One key moment that helped me as a first-time parent was knowing that I could ask for help to gain knowledge and information through FIRST 5. I am happy to now offer that same warm and inclusive service to families in Mendocino County. On my free time I like to care for my houseplants, go for walks, and spend time with my children.

Favorite childhood book: The Rainbow Fish by Marcus Pfister

Favorite childhood song: Los Pollitos Dicen

Phone:707-462-1233

Phone:707-462-4453 x 1080

Email:maria@first5mendo.org

Administrative Assistant

Monica Galliani

I began my career with First 5 Mendocino in October 2021 and am returning again to the wonderful Raise & Shine team. I am a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz with a degree in Legal Studies. It makes me feel fulfilled to help the community by being a resource to local families. Each day I enjoy greeting the people who come through our door. Some of my hobbies include weightlifting, hiking, and traveling with my family.

Phone:707-462-1233

Phone:707-462-4453 x 1100

Email:monica@first5mendo.org

Early Literacy and Family Educator Specialist

Sariah Neff

I began working with First 5 Mendocino as an intern during my undergrad career in 2022. I graduated from the University of Arizona with my bachelor’s in Public Health then came back to work with this amazing group of passionate, creative and driven individuals in 2023. After graduating, I officially joined the Raise & Shine team. I am also a holistic health counselor and massage therapist which allows me to have a unique lens when problem solving and offering support to families. I am trained in Triple P, HOPE, and Youth Mental Health First Aid. I believe everyone deserves to feel empowered about their choices, have allies to advocate for them, and a sense of belonging. When I am not working, I love to dance, be surrounded by nature, and spend quality time with my loved ones.

First 5 Mendocino Team

Staff Development Retreat

Team

Staff Development Retreat

Team