Today we present the 25 and 20 year INA Service Pin recipients to you. Come back on Thursday to view the remaining ones. To learn more about the INA Service Pin Awards please visit the INA website.
25 Years Kellie Geres
With 25 years in private service, Kellie Geres has become an industry leader specializing in working with divorced parents, transitioning to household management and promoting nanny support groups and their development.
Growing up in northern Minnesota, Kellie had early exposure to child care, as her mom had an in-home day care. Caring for others transferred over as Kellie got older, and when she was 14 she became a candy striper at the local hospital and later worked on a teen hot-line, doing peer counseling to area students.
When she was 19 she met a colleague through the teen hot-line who was moving to Rye, NY to be a nanny, and it sounded like something Kellie could do. Three weeks later, Kellie was on a plane to New Jersey, and thus began a career she never imagined, and that brings her here receiving her 25 year INA Service Award Pin.
Kellie served on the International Nanny Association (INA) board of directors for over 10 years in numerous positions, and in 1997 was honored the International Nanny Association Nanny of the Year. Kellie is the current president of the Domestic Estate Managers Association (DEMA) DC Chapter. Kellie has also played an important part in the development of the INA Service Award Pin Program.
She is also past president of Association of D.C. Area Nannies (ADCAN), the longest running nanny support group in the country, and serves as an advisor to SitterCycle. She is also national co-chair along with Angela Jackson for National Nanny Recognition Week (NNRW), of which she is a founding supporter. NNRW was created by Mary Clurman, Judi Merlin and a group of dedicated nannies, and continues to this day to bring awareness and celebration to nannies across the country, and soon-to-be international awareness.
Kellie maintains several industry related sites, including
www.nannygroups.com, www.AllThingsNanny.com, www.NNRW.org and is part of the Development Team of Regarding Nannies. She is also the founder of NannyTrainings.com, and owner and moderator of Nanny Island.
Kellie has presented at several industry events including Nannypalooza and the INA Annual Conference, has been interviewed for television, print and radio.
Kellie resides in the Washington, DC metro area. When not wearing her many hats in this industry, she enjoys traveling, reading and a really good glass of wine.
Her 25 years is in March 2014 just in time for conference!
20 Years Monica DeBaca
Monica grew up in Whittier, Ca just outside Los Angeles. She is the youngest of 3 children and was brought up by a wonderful mother who taught her to love, enjoy life and be happy. Monica has been working with children since she was a teenager. first babysitting for local families then as a nursery attendant at a local church. From there she became a after school Recreation
Leader, then became a Pre-School Teacher for 2 years.
In 1986 while enrolled in Early Childhood education and Growth classes
Monica was approached by a friend asking her if she would consider becoming a Professional Nanny. Monica loved that idea. She enrolled at The Nanny Institute of Beverly Hills and she was on her way! Monica has been a Professional Nanny for 25 years! Having worked with children raging in ages from 3 months to 17 years old.
Monica has now become a Household Manager as well as the Nanny. Bringing on more responsibilities and loving every minute of it. Monica’s goal is to pride herself on being ” one step ahead” of the parents and being able to anticipate the needs of the children and the family.
Monica loves her job and is thankful for the wonderful families she has worked with as everyone has taught new things and helped her grow to the professional she has become. She loves what she does and will continue to always doing her best.
20 Years Kenda Reeser Autumn Horst
Kenda Horst has lived and worked in San Francisco for twenty years. She grew up in central Illinois, the youngest of three children. Her family lived in the country on twenty acres of timber. Kenda first started to love cooking as a child. Partly because she was the youngest, cooking dinner became her “job” in the household. When she was in middle school and in high school, she also took care of neighbor children. She would get off the bus with them twice a week, so their parents could meet their evening schedule commitments. In addition, Kenda worked away from home at summer camp, from 1986 through 1994. She started as the camp sitter for the children of staff. Over the following years, her roles and responsibilities expanded, as she worked as a counselor, art director, and on the kitchen staff.
She moved to San Francisco to be a live-in Nanny in 1993. She fell in love with her work and then with the City. During that first year of being a Nanny, Kenda finally understood what her parents had given her as she was growing up: a loving home, a happy family life, and opportunities to grow and be challenged. Over the years, Kenda has discovered the great joy she finds in being with children and in watching their pure delight in life.
In addition to working with children, Kenda enjoys using her skills to help keep a family running smoothly in their day-to-day activities. Kenda likes to help the children she cares for to have time to explore their world and to grow in a safe, happy, and healthy way.
Outside of work, Kenda volunteers with PFLAG (Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians, Gays, Bisexual, and Transgender persons) as theTreasurer and as a Board Member of the local chapter. In addition, Kenda serves on several committees at First Mennonite Church of San Francisco, her home congregation. Kenda finds rich rewards in giving back to the communities for which she is a member.
20 Years Susan Fordham
Susan’s parents moved into their new home in an up and coming small steel town in Southeastern Pennsylvania. Her Father was a blue collar worker and her stay-at-home Mother was happy tending to her 2 children in their small, ranch style home. Fortunately, there were many children around the same age as Susan, and many parents with newborns and infants. Susan always seemed to be the one who was constantly surrounded by neighborhood children, playing ring-around-the-rosie and/or hopscotch. She never minded being around the children because they made her smile and laugh, two things she always loved to do, even to this day!
In Susan’s teenage years, she became the go-to babysitter in the neighborhood. Almost every Friday and/or Saturday, you would find Susan in someone’s living room, sitting on the floor with a board game spread out on the floor and the sound of laughter would fill the air.
Susan always knew she had a special way with children, a way that most people don’t understand – a sixth sense, if you will. In the years to come, Susan would be a Nanny for her newborn nephew for 2 years, spent 4 years as a Co-Teacher in an Infant/Toddler room, co-founded an in-home day care center for almost 3 years, worked a total of 10 years for a family in New Jersey caring for their 2 girls and spent almost 10 years as a Co-Teacher in a Toddler room in the hospital preschool.
In 2001 after Susan moved to California, she did some babysitting until a Nanny position presented itself to her, where she stayed for 2 ½ years caring for a 4 month old little girl. She then found a lovely family looking for a Nanny for their 4 month old little boy, then 13 months later, a bouncing baby boy came along; Susan stayed with this family for 5 ½ years, and consequently became the little boy’s Godmother.
She was fortunate to have found several other families that have benefitted from her years of experience and love. Susan’s life has been full and she would not have wanted it any other way. Honest, punctual, responsible, fun, dependable, loving, caring, nurturer and a keen sensibility are all words that her past employers have used to describe Susan. Susan will retire someday, but will always have her hand in something “child-oriented”. Children complete her life, children make her smile and children have kept her young at heart!
20 years – Mary Jean (MJ) Rippon
Mary Jean Rippon known to many of her friends as MJ has been in the nanny industry since 1989. That was the year she took her first plane ride to Los Angeles to attend nanny school. MJ attended The Nanny Institute of Beverly Hills earning a certificate in child development. One of her classmates Buffi Gentry has continued to be a friend to the present day.
Mary has lived and worked the breadth of Los Angeles from the Hollywood Hills to the Westside of Los Angeles south to The Palos Verde Peninsula and South Bay. She has been both a live-in as well as a live out nanny. Mary Jean has chosen to specialize in the infant and toddler stage of development. Starting from a few days of life to a few years, she has been able to be a part a little one’s start to life. Mary Jean’s longest position was a little over five years. Her employers have said that she is Mary is reliable, conscientious, and hardworking and engages the children in her care. They also have said how Mary has the ability to get down and play to engage a child at their level. Mary talks about the “wonderment factor” and loving watching as a child’s eyes show the joy of life as they know it.
Mary Jean has volunteered thru the years with a number of worthy causes over the years. Most notably the Los Angeles Marathon, The Los Angeles Mission Women’s Center and her favorite 22 yrs as a member of her church choir.
Mary has taken classes at the local community colleges as time permits over the years taking all the Early Childhood Education classes that came her way. She has earned an additional certificate in Child Development. She has also earned a certificate in Family Child Care and has earned two certificates in Infant Studies.
Mary’s professional affiliation over the years has encompassed membership in L.A.N.S. (Los Angeles Nanny Society), SoCaliNannies, NAN, INA and NAEYC. Mary was also a certified foster parent for a number of years to teenage boys.
Mary lives with her husband Eric 2 spoiled Muttlets named D.O.G. and Gali as well as a grown foster son named Cody.
Be sure to check back on Thursday April 17 2014 for the rest of the INA Service Pin recipients!