Across the Globe, We Are United in Our Dedication to Children’s Rights
— Our Mission
Our mission is to support parents and caregivers in developing their ability to nurture young children.
— Our Vision
PCMC has a vision that families in Monterey County thrive because children are parented well.
— Our Story
Parenting Connection of Monterey County (PCMC) was originally founded in 2001 as Friends of Parents’ Place to accept charitable donations on behalf of the Pacific Grove Unified School District Adult School Parents’ Place program. In 2014, the non-profit decided to broaden its scope of impact by directly offering parent-education programs to more parents and families in Monterey County. We changed our name to The Parenting Connection of Monterey County and announced our new mission.
Kristine Ware, Executive Director
Kristine comes to PCMC with an extensive and broad professional background in public, private and non-profit sectors. Most recently, she held the position of Director of a senior non-profit membership program serving our Monterey Peninsula. She is a motivational speaker, a certified master grief coach and a mental and physical health advocate. By innovatively working alongside the PCMC Board of Directors and connecting with the public by cultivating and building relationships, it is her mission to create a strong foundation for serving our community by supporting parents and caregivers in developing their ability to nurture young children.
Kristine was born and raised here on our Monterey Peninsula. She graduated high school from Santa Catalina School. She received her B.A. in Sociology with a Business Minor, Concentration in Human Resources from San Jose State University. She is fortunate to be surrounded by family here and she is grateful to experience raising her son in her hometown. She is truly connected to the heart of Monterey County, having served so many diverse populations throughout her professional experience.
Board of Directors
Stephanie McMurtrie, President
Stephanie holds an Adjunct Faculty position at California State University, Monterey Bay in the Health, Human Services and Public Policy Department. She primarily teaches courses in Public Health, in addition to advising graduating students on their field placement internships and their culminating capstone projects. Additionally, she provides consulting services with a focus on improving health outcomes through program management, data analysis and community engagement. Stephanie received a Bachelor’s Degree in Finance from California Polytechnic State University at San Luis Obispo (Magna Cum Laude), and a Master of Health Science Degree, with a concentration in Reproductive, Perinatal and Women’s Health, from the Johns Hopkins University, Bloomberg School of Public Health in Baltimore, Maryland.
Stephanie is the mother of two elementary age children, and attended Parent’s Place with her youngest child. The support she received from the weekly age-related group was instrumental in helping her through postpartum depression and anxiety. Stephanie has rejoined the Board after having served as Secretary and Program Committee Member in 2014-2015, and she is advancing PCMC’s work in maternal mental health for Monterey County families.
Molly Jansen, Treasurer
Molly Jansen has served on the board for PCMC since January 2014. Molly served as President of the board from July 2014 – January 2019. Molly Jansen is the Department Head for the Hospitality Department at Monterey Peninsula College. Having a passion for the hospitality industry and for education, Molly has been working with PCMC to ensure parents and families are supported from Pregnancy to 5 years old in Monterey County. Molly is dedicated to helping build a positive, supportive community for families and children.
Molly serves on multiple boards and committees within the Hospitality Industry. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Hospitality Management from Cal Poly Pomona and a Masters Degree in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University.
Rene Montori, Secretary
Rene is the mother of three and understands the life struggles that come along with balancing life and parenting. She became credentialed in Parent Education in 2002 after her first child was born and subsequently started substitute teaching at Parents Place.
She attended Parenting classes throughout her children’s upbringing and became interested in serving on the PCMC Board as a way to give back to the community. Rene has served on the Board of Directors for the Parenting Connection of Monterey County for 5 years and has taught in public and private school setting for over 10 years.
Rene graduated from CSU Monterey Bay with a concentration in Child Development and attended graduate school to receive her California Teaching Credential. Rene is dedicated to providing families with local resources. She works to support families every day as a Preschool teacher at Saint Angela’s preschool where she has taught for 5 years.
Relindis Diaz, MS, is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Endorsed in the State of California as an Infant, Family, Child Mental Health Specialist and Reflective Practice Facilitator. She holds with several child and family focused mental health specialties including autistic spectrum disorders, adoption, attachment and trauma resolution and perinatal mood and anxiety issues.
Yesenia is a native to Monterey County and grew up in the city of Soledad, thirty miles south the of Salinas. She attended Hartnell Community College soon after graduating high school. She earned her Associates Degree in Liberal Arts with an emphasis in Psychology in 2016. Yesenia continued her journey and went on to further her education by attending California State University Monterey Bay. Yesenia received her Bachelor’s Degree in Collaborative Health and Human Services with a concentration in Social Work and Community Health and with hard work and determination, graduated in 2019. Yesenia is a mother of three young children and understands the importance of balancing work family life and the struggles that come may with parenting. Yesenia has a strong passion to help others and parents like herself. She hopes to one to become an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant to continue her desire to help mothers and babies.
Lisa Stewart holds a Master of Social Work degree, a Ph.D. in Social Work and Social Research and is one of the founding faculty of the Department of Social Work at California State University Monterey Bay. She is a workplace health and disability scholar and develops evidence-based interventions to increase workforce participation of parents caring for a child with a mental health disability. She teaches research, social policy and social work theory in the Master of Social Work Program. Lisa is a mother of two, a survivor of a perinatal mood disorder and is committed to promoting the health and well-being of parents and children in Monterey County.
Gail has a B.S. in Child Development and M.A. in Clinical Psychology. She has worked with families for over five decades, learning the most raising her three grown daughters and now enjoying four grandchildren, ages 9, 6 and twins 4. She founded Parents’ Place, part of Pacific Grove Adult Education in 1988 and recently retired. She has served on the Board of the Birth Network of Monterey County, having enjoyed years of being a childbirth educator, doula, Lactation Consultant and leading groups for Postpartum Mood and Anxiety Disorders. She was the Program Manager who developed classes for the Parenting Connection of Monterey County and now provides parent education support with her business Roots and Wings Parent Coaching.