OUR TEAM

Marcia Taborga, PhD Co-founder and Consultant

Dr. Marcia Taborga is a licensed clinical psychologist and co-founder of Seedling Consulting Group. She holds Masters and Doctoral degrees in clinical psychology from Arizona State University (ASU) where she developed statistical methods to assess program outcomes and researched therapies for young children and their families. Dr. Taborga has conducted research at UC Berkeley, ASU, and at the Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic and has worked clinically in university and community mental health clinics such as UCLA’s Neuropsychiatric Institute and Clinic and Saint John’s Child and Family Wellness Center.

Dr. Taborga has over two decades of experience working in and with non-profit organizations and worked for eight years at the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (DMH). She was instrumental in the successful implementation of evidence-based and promising practices (EBPs and PPs) throughout Los Angeles community mental health clinics serving children. She shifted the paradigm at LA County; integrating positive service goals into DMH’s Quality and Improvement using the Strengthening Families framework. She also created a mental health curriculum for Abriendo Puertas which disseminated nationally as an evidence-based practice (EBP) for Spanish-speaking community parent-leaders.

Dr. Taborga bridges high-quality research with her experience in real-world programs to offer highly effective, practical solutions.

 

Christine Bae, LCSW and MPH Co-founder and Consultant

Christine Bae is a co-founder and consultant with Seedling Consulting Group working on projects in advocacy, development and implementation. Her passion and interest lies in health and human service systems working to improve the well-being of children, youth and families including policy and planning, program development and implementation, quality management and evaluation in the areas of mental health, maternal and child health, juvenile justice, foster care, and violence prevention.She served as a Mental Health Clinical Program Head at the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LACDMH) with the Mental Health Services Act (MHSA) Prevention and Early Intervention (PEI) Program Administration. During her time with LACDMH, Ms. Bae supervised a number of multi-disciplinary teams, worked with over 120 contracted providers, managed multi-million dollar countywide programs with federal, state and local funding, and participated in a number of major initiatives such as PEI, Specialized Foster Care Programs, and the MHSA Community Services and Supports Plan. She has also worked with a number of developers of Evidence Based Practices and Promising Practices and served the lead for the rollout and implementation of Managing and Adapting Practice in Los Angeles County.Ms. Bae is a Coro Health Leadership Fellow, and holds Masters Degrees in Social Work and Public Health with a major in Maternal and Child Health and a focus on Health Administration from San Diego State University, and a Bachelor of Science in Psychobiology from the University of California, Los Angeles. She is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and is currently the Assistant Vice President of Quality Management at Hathaway-Sycamores Child and Family Services.

 

Grace Bahng, PhD, MPP, MDiv Consultant

Grace is a consultant with Seedling Consulting Group and an Associate Professor of Global Studies at Azusa Pacific University. She teaches courses on global poverty, globalization and international development, and humanitarian aid. She also teaches community development in APU’s Los Angeles Term program and directs its internship program working with nonprofit organizations and promoting community-based experiential learning. Her research interests involve understanding and assessing how communities and organizations work together to increase learning, build capacity, and alleviate poor conditions; specifically, her research interests include: social protection for vulnerable populations, collaboration in community development, community-based climate-compatible urban development, and community-based action research. Grace received the Henry Reining, Jr. Dissertation Award in Public Administration for her research on the impact and implementation of microfinance provision for caregivers of orphans and vulnerable children (OVC) in Ethiopia, where she conducted field research for Vision Fund International (a subsidiary of World Vision International). She holds a Ph.D. in Policy, Planning, and Development from the University of Southern California, a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Southern California, and a B.S. in Computer Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). In addition, she holds a M.Div from Fuller Theological Seminary and has worked in and with a variety of organizations, including technology start-ups, urban youth organizations, community development organizations, microfinance institutions, local churches, and research institutions, throughout her career.

   
Lorna Boyd, MEd Consultant

Lorna is an educator working as a consultant with Seedling. She earned her teaching credential and Masters in Education from UCLA. For twelve years, she taught the elementary grades for the Los Angeles Unified School District. She was twice awarded Who’s Who of American Teachers. Additionally, she has successfully organized large community events inclusive of over 80 neighborhood entities by managing teams of volunteers and parent partners. She has received recognition for her volunteer work from her local school Parent Teacher Association with the VSP (Very Special Person) award. She most enjoys connecting with children and sharing in their excitement of learning. Lorna utilizes her skills in community planning, organizing, and teaching to consult in administration, education, and community services.

   
Angelica Fuentes, LCSW Consultant

Angelica is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker working as a consultant with Seedling. She earned her Master’s in Social Welfare with a concentration in Community Mental Health from the University of California, Berkeley. For the last seven years she has provided clinical and outreach services to children, teenagers, adults and families throughout Los Angeles in her work with the Los Angeles County (LAC) Department of Mental Health (DMH) and as an independent contractor with the Victim Compensation Program. Additionally, she has conducted various aspects of contract monitoring involving thorough program analysis that incorporates services evaluation and fiscal tracking for countywide DMH programs. Using the information gathered, she has provided agencies with technical assistance, making recommendations for program improvement, and created monitoring reports to help agencies track their progress. In addition to her work with Seedling, she continues to work with LAC DMH as a training coordinator and assists her husband with the administrative end of their restaurant, Papi’s Pizzeria.

   
Joe Garcia, PhD Consultant

Joe Albert Garcia, Ph.D. is a consultant with Seedling Consulting Group working on grants and evaluation projects. He received his B.A. in Psychology from UC Berkeley and his M.A., C.Phil, and Ph.D. from UCLA in Clinical Psychology with a minor in Statistics. Joe is also a Professor of Human Services (applied Psychology) at the California State University at Fullerton. He teaches in the areas of research methods for the social sciences, counseling methods, child abuse prevention, and specialized treatment delivery to Hispanics. Joe’s interests are focused on child and adolescent mental health delivery issues and the ways in which human service delivery goes from the university setting to actual practice. Thus his interests include studying known best practices and how they can be delivered in actual practice – otherwise known as translational research. His specific interests include the efficacy of treatments, therapist-client engagement, and mental health economics such as the cost-effectiveness of social services. His projects include studying why children leave treatment prematurely in real world settings rather than completing treatment and uncovering what factors lead to increased participation in treatment by families, studying the cost-effectiveness treatments such as medication interventions or behavioral interventions for children with ADHD, providing an evaluation of a social-emotional based parenting paradigm being delivered to both already successful families and families at risk, and providing research and evaluation support to the Magnolia Place Initiative (MPI) in Los Angeles. The MPI is a large project aiming to improve the conditions of children in a 500 square block neighborhood across multiple domains including academic, health, economic, and mental health outcomes.

   
Denise Matsumoto, LCSW, MPA Consultant

Denise is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker working as a consultant with Seedling Consulting Group. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cal Poly Pomona and Master’s in Social Work at Cal State University, Long Beach with concentration in Child, Youth and Families. She has been working in the field of Social Work for over 25 years as a Therapist, Forensic Interviewer, Supervisor, Multi-Disciplinary Assessment Team (MAT) Assessor, Auditor, and Case Manager. She also recently obtained a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at California State University in Northridge. She is currently working at a nationally renowned rehabilitation center as a clinical social worker working with stroke, brain injury, spinal cord injury and pediatric patients. She enjoys working with her patients toward their road to recovery and instilling hope back into their lives. In her free time, Denise enjoys dining, traveling, spending time with her family & friends and being a soccer mom to her daughter, Lauren.

   
Amalia Sirolli, PhD Consultant

Amalia is a licensed clinical psychologist working as a consultant with Seedling Consulting Group and as a PCIT therapist for Counseling 4 Kids. Amalia received her Masters and Doctoral degrees from Arizona State University (ASU) where she received specialized training in developing and evaluating preventive interventions to be used in low-income communities and she studied the impact of acculturation on parenting across multiple generations of Latino families in the US. Amalia has worked as a therapist, supervisor and administrator of clinical programs across a variety of clinics. Her approach in each of these endeavors has been one of building on families’, supervisees’ or program strengths. She is a certified trainer of trainers in PCIT and was trained by Dr. Nancy Zebell, from U.C. Davis. She has over 12 years of experience utilizing PCIT skills to work with families of diverse backgrounds, both in the clinic and in their homes. Amalia truly believes in the power of praise, and giving children attention for their appropriate behaviors, and feels that the world would be a better place if we all learned to focus on each other’s strengths and good deeds. The clinics where she has worked have struggled to let her go because during her work at these institutions they have more than doubled the number of families that they served, and have improved the quality of those services. Amalia believes in identifying the needs of the community, meeting those needs and then evaluating the results of those efforts to build on what worked and improve what did not. At Seedling, Amalia conducts cost-effectiveness research, quantitative and qualitative analyses, develops measures, and conducts interviews/focus groups to evaluate programs.

Greg Srolestar, MPP Consultant

Greg is a policy analyst who focuses on the interconnected challenges facing Los Angeles youth, including educational barriers, the child welfare system, mental health, housing instability, and other impediments to success. He has written about Title I tutoring and the free provision of glasses in schools, spoken to a range of audiences about the child welfare system, and appeared on KPCC to discuss the need for specialized foster care families. He is a graduate of UCLA’s Master of Public Policy Program and holds a B.A. from Vassar College.