P5FS benefits from the expertise of several consultants who bring deep experience across various aspects of the prenatal to five system, supporting the work of P5FS in states and communities. Biographies of consultants who work primarily with P5 are detailed below.
Alejandra Portillo has over a decade of experience in social research. She received her master’s degree in Education from SJSU and her B.A. in Social and Cultural Anthropology and Raza Studies from San Francisco State University. She has also received formal training in group facilitation, process management, and building sustainable agreements. Her work has focused on making data accessible and culturally relevant for community members and stakeholders; working with families, youth, and children; and evaluating academic support and career readiness programs. Her projects have included: an evaluation of four Best Start communities within Los Angeles County, including data management, community capacity-building, and training on data use; a GIS mapping-based evaluation of services for A Place Called Home, a youth-serving organization in Historic South Central Los Angeles; leadership of the Culturally Responsive and Equitable Evaluation efforts at Child360, where she designed and facilitated staff trainings aimed at increasing diversity, inclusion, and equity in evaluation and research designs; and co-facilitating the strategic planning efforts of the Multilingual Support Division (MSD) in the California Department of Education. As a former foster youth, Alejandra has a deep passion for social justice, inclusion, and systems change. Alejandra is also the proud mother of a seven-year-old dual language learner and resides in Southern California.
Carina Lane has worked with children prenatally through adolescence for about 18 years as a teacher, home visitor, Head Start & Early Head Start Programs both in urban and suburban areas. She has also most recently worked in infant and early childhood mental health, Early Intervention and child welfare advocating for what is best for young children and their caregivers. She has mostly worked supporting P5 in during provider input sessions, specifically leading or co-leading Spanish speaking sessions.
Casey Amayun has over 20 years of experience in the prenatal to five sector. Casey’s work at P5 focuses on conducting provider input sessions and supporting cost modeling. After starting as a preschool and kindergarten teacher, she worked for many years in child care administration, leading several for-profit and non-profit high quality child care centers. Casey then transitioned into systems building work supporting local and regional communities ensuring all children had access to quality early care and education experiences. Casey holds a M.S. in Child Development specializing in Administration from Erikson Institute and a B.S. in Child and Family Services from Iowa State University. Originally from rural Iowa, she currently lives in the Chicago suburbs with her husband and children. She is the Secretary of her local School Board and serves as a board member of a nonprofit in her community.
Eli Pessar began his career in Early Care and Education as a Head Start teacher, where he was nationally recognized as a Sue Lehmann Excellence in Teaching Award winner. As an Organizational Development and Systems Change consultant, Eli has more than a decade of experience helping nonprofits and public agencies manage change and increase impact. In addition to his strategic planning, team development, and systems change portfolio of work, Eli also specializes in developing and managing early education programs from design to evaluation. At P5, Eli brings his state-wide planning and implementation expertise to aid state agency and community partners as they develop robust prenatal to five systems. Eli holds a B.A. in Political Science from UCLA and an M.Ed. in Education Policy and Management from Harvard’s Graduate School of Education. Eli lives in Los Angeles, where he enjoys writing short stories for his daughter.
Jenna-Marie Nelson has worked in the early education field for more than 20 years and is dedicated to expanding access to high-quality programs and services that support young children and their families to thrive in a way that is culturally relevant and racially equitable. Jenna received her Bachelor’s Degree in Child Development from Michigan State University before completing her Master’s Degree at UNC-Chapel Hill in Education: Early Childhood, Families and Literacy with a focus on ECE policy. She has experience in many facets of the early childhood field, including serving as a public school classroom teacher, research assistant for state QRIS, technical assistant/adult educator, statewide policy convener and program officer at the state Smart Start office, bridging the policy gap between statewide and local, and between different streams of funding. Prior to working for P5 as a consultant, Jenna served as the NC Early Education Coalition’s first ever Executive Director. Jenna lives in Holly Springs, North Carolina with her husband and two young children.
Jessica Rodriguez Duggan
Jessica Rodriguez Duggan is an experienced professional in the prenatal to five field with over 20 years of work focusing on program development, community collaboration, technical assistance, and systems building. She has worked extensively within the home visiting, child care, education, and child welfare sectors. She has provided a broad range of support and technical assistance across different states and communities, focusing on systems work to develop strategies and programming to improve the quality of the prenatal to five system. Jessica also has expertise in creating and implementing information and referral systems and has supported various states and communities in designing their own to best leverage existing resources, identify gaps, and streamline processes across programs. Jessica’s work with P5 utilizes her professional experience to support comprehensive fiscal analyses and cost modeling projects across several states and communities. Based in Delray Beach, FL, Jessica is a native Spanish-speaker and also provides fiscal modeling content expertise for Spanish-speaking professionals on behalf of PS. Jessica holds a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education and Master of Science in Child Development from the Erikson Institute.
Karen Rhinehardt has 25 years of experience in the early childhood field, most recently working in early childhood policy. She has worked as a pre-kindergarten teacher, child care center director, Head Start disabilities manager, and as North Carolina’s Head Start Collaboration Office Director. Prior to joining P5, Karen was the Deputy Director of Early Learning at The Hunt Institute. At P5, Karen focuses on building relationships with policy leaders to support building state and community fiscal capacity and building robust prenatal to five systems. Karen is based in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Katie Fallin Kenyon
Katie Fallin Kenyon has over two decades of experience in birth to early childhood research, policy, and systems change. At P5, Katie provides support on fiscal mapping and cost modeling, with a focus on data collection, survey design and implementation, as well as data analysis and report writing. Since 2018, Katie has worked as an independent consultant providing support to nonprofit, philanthropic and government clients in areas such as strategic planning, research and evaluation and programmatic and policy development related primarily to child care and early learning. Prior to becoming a consultant, Katie served as Director of Early Care and Education as well as Assistant Director of Research and Evaluation at First 5 LA, an independent public agency created by California voters to change systems and policies to better support children birth to age 5. Katie holds a Ph.D. in Applied Developmental Psychology from Claremont Graduate University and a B.A. in Psychology from Scripps College. Katie lives in Pasadena, CA with her husband Matt, their daughter Camille, and their pug Mimi.