Children's Network Staff
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Alan Kerzin, Executive Director
Alan has been Executive Director of the Children’s Network for over a year, starting on August 5, 2013. Prior to directing the Children’s Network, Alan has devoted his Professional Life to improving the lives of children, youth, and families. Alan has over 17 years of working in Solano County as a disability advocate first with the Area 4 Board on Developmental Disabilities, and then Matrix Parent Network. (headquartered in Marin with an office in Solano County) Alan has a long history of empowering youth and families to become active participants in developing policy that directly impact their lives. Parent and Youth Leadership is a passion of Alan’s throughout his long professional career. Alan received his MSW at UCLA and is an avid UCLA Basketball and Football Fan! Go Bruins!!!
When Alan is not busy working, he keeps active hiking, running, listening to music, watching sports, and sharing time with his family. Alan feels very fortunate to lead such an outstanding organization and looks forward to working collaboratively with all the Solano Agency Partners on behalf of children and their families.
Allissa Smith, Administrative Assistant
Allissa was born and raised in Fairfield, CA. and although she completed her senior year of high school in the Sacramento area, she has always called Solano County home. Allissa graduated in 2008 from Inderkum High School. She moved to Southern California to attend Junior College and develop her own independence. While in Southern California she attended school and worked as a retail store manager where she was able nurture and develop her out-going customer service skills. She currently is attending Diablo Valley College and is planning on transferring to UC Berkeley and majoring in Public Health. Allissa has always wanted to assist children and teens that did not have a “voice.” She desires to work with young people who are struggling with life’s challenges and assist them in realizing their resiliency and goals.
Bethany Smith, Youth Employment Coordinator
Bethany was raised in Dallas, Texas, where she graduated from Wade College as valedictorian of her class. She moved to Solano County in 2003 and has called it home ever since. She has two children who have attended Fairfield-Suisun schools since 2004 and has served their schools and the district in a number of ways over those years. Her service to schools grew to service of community and she has worked with 6 area non-profits with focuses on children, education, and community, serving on the boards of 4 for a cumulative of 9 years and on Planning Commission in Suisun City (retired). She now serves as a governing board trustee in the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District.
Bethany enjoy challenges and wants to continue learning and exploring new things. It’s through such experiences that she has been able to find her passion: advocating for community and children. Her vision is for a community that values and supports its children, an education system that provides an outstanding experience for every child, and an atmosphere of peace and unity within our society. It’s what drives her to put her whole self into everything she does.
Carol Gonsalves, Independent Child Advocate
Carol Gonsalves has worked as the Independent Child Advocate in the Solano Special Education Local Plan Area (SELPA) for the past 10 years. Under a contractual agreement with SELPA, now administered by Children’s Network of Solano County, she provides this service as part of Alternative Dispute Resolution. Carol facilitates and mediates disagreements between school districts and families of students receiving special education services, supporting positive resolutions for all parties.
Previously, Carol worked for Matrix Parent Network and Resource Center as the Training Coordinator, overseeing workshops for parents as well as professional development within the agency. Prior to that Carol served as the Executive Director for Area Board 4 of the State Council on Developmental Disabilities protecting and advocating for the rights of people with disabilities. She worked at Matrix before moving to Area Board 4 serving families with children with special needs in the capacity of a parent advisor, supporting and guiding parents through the service systems utilized by their children.
She began her career as a Solano County Deputy Probation Officer working in both the juvenile and adult divisions doing supervision and court investigations. Several years of step parent adoption investigations provided a welcome respite from criminal work.
In service of her commitment to ensuring that people with disabilities have rich and satisfying lives she has spoken at numerous conferences and served as a board member of agencies supporting those with disabilities.
Carol is a parent of two wonderful children who are now 26 and 31 years old. Her son with a disability is now successfully living in his own apartment with Supported Living Services. Carol lives in Benicia and enjoys gardening, walking and traveling and has recently taken up kayaking. She has a BA in sociology from Westmont College.
Ronda Kogler, Operations Director
Ronda was born to an Air Force family and spent her grade school years traveling the globe. When she was 13 years old, her family bought a home in Dixon, CA, and put down their Solano County roots. After graduating from Dixon High School, Ronda attended Solano Community College and California State University, Sacramento, earning an AS in Information Technology and a BS in Business Administration, Accounting. Ronda was recruited out of college by the Department of Treasury and worked as an internal auditor for the federal government for almost 6 years. During this time, she passed the Certified Public Accountant examination. She also passed the required examination and became a Certified Internal Auditor.
Ronda enjoyed public service, but left her traveling job with the Treasury Department when she got married in order to focus on raising a family. Ronda has two wonderful children, a daughter currently attending CSU, Chico, and a son that is a sophomore in high school. In 1997, Ronda wanted to get back to work and found a job with the Children’s Network. Ronda loves working at an agency that fully supports family life, because with two children that family life has always been busy. In addition to supporting her childrens’ extracurricular activities, Ronda enjoys reading, playing with her two dogs, and working in her garden.
Susan Ferdinandi, Community Programs Coordinator
Susan has had the privilege of working with children and families for the past 20 years, in both Solano and Contra Costa County. Many of those years were spent as a preschool teacher and parent educator in both private and public school settings. Prior to joining Children’s Network in 2013, Susan was a coordinator at the Benicia Family Resource Center, where she had the opportunity to continue her work with families, and learn first-hand how access to a broad range of family strengthening and support services helps families to succeed, and children to grow up in safe and nurturing homes.
Susan has a BA in Theatre and English from the University of Minnesota, and has completed extensive coursework in Early Childhood Education over the course of her life-long learning journey. She holds an adult education credential, with an emphasis in parent education.
Other interests include running the trails of our beautiful Bay Area, reading, going to local beaches, and eating pizza on most Fridays! These activities are usually enjoyed with her husband of 31 years, and often times with her two adult children ages 23 and 26 when they are “in town”.
Sylvia Robertson, Fiscal Administrative Assistant
Sylvia was born and raised in Oakland, CA, graduating from Oakland Technical High School. In 2013 she received her BA in Health Care Administration/Health Management from the University of Phoenix. Sylvia has a strong passion and desire to be of service to others. In Oakland, she served as President of the School Site Council at Lakeview Elementary, and was a member of the school’s Parent Teacher Organization. In 2012, Sylvia relocated to Solano County, and in 2013 she began to serve as President of the Parent Teacher Organization (PTO), at David Weir Preparatory Academy here in Fairfield.
Sylvia loves to motivate children to be leaders, and has served as a Sunday School Teacher, and facilitator for her church’s young girls group, Walking on Water. In 2015 she was one of 23 parents who graduated from Solano County’s Inaugural Parent Leadership Training Institute (PLTI) class, to be a change agent for the children in the community. Sylvia is currently serving as a teacher for Solano County’s Inaugural Children’s Leadership Training Institute (CLTI) class to engage children to be leaders.
She is currently working on her Master’s degree in Human Resources Management at Golden Gate University, and will be graduating on, April 29, 2017. Sylvia is active in her Fairfield community, and she loves her city!
Children’s Network of Solano County
827 Missouri Street, Suite 5
Fairfield, CA 94533
Phone: (707) 421-7229
Fax: (707) 421-6495
- Alan Kerzin, x 102
- Allissa Smith, x 101
- Bethany Smith, x 109
- Carol Gonsalves, x 112
- Oneal Young, x 105
- Ronda Kogler, x 106
- Sylvia Robertson, x 107
- Susan Ferdinandi, x 111