Across the Globe, We Are United in Our Dedication to Children’s Rights

Our Approach

— 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

Caitlin Richardson, President

Caitlin grew up on the Monterey Peninsula from middle school through high school. She graduated from California State University, Chico in 2001, with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences. After graduating she traveled through South America for three months before moving to New York to work as an environmental education instructor. Following her year in New York, Caitlin moved to San Francisco and other parts of the bay area and worked as a nanny and substitute teacher until moving back to Monterey in 2008. She worked for five and half years for the Department of Defense before her son was born.  Since then she has primarily focused on raising her son and has volunteered in past years with PCMC for their annual Fall Festival held at Parents Place.

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.

Claudia Santora, LMFT

After graduating from the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2001 with a Bachelors of Art degree in Sociology Claudia attended John F. Kennedy University in Campbell where she pursued a Master of Arts degree in Counseling Psychology with an emphasis on Holistic Studies. Since 2013 Claudia has worked as a licensed bilingual marriage and family therapist in private practice serving individuals, families, children, couples, and groups. Claudia sees her role as a guide for her clients to facilitate growth. The psycho-therapeutic process is sacred to her and she feels it is an honor to witness her clients journeys.

Claudia is a Monterey County native. She was born and raised in Salinas. Claudia has two wonderful sons. She attended Parents Place with her first son and felt it was a great resource in supporting her as a new Mom. With her second, she attended the Parenting Connection and enjoyed meeting new parents and their babies as well as discussing the joys and challenges of parenting. In her spare time Claudia enjoys crafting, spending time with family and friends, being outdoors, and reading.

Stephanie McMurtrie, MHS

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.