click on a picture to learn more about that staff member.
Noelani Pearl Hunt is the Interim CEO of Hand in Hand Parenting. She has been active in many cultural communities for over 15 years. She is the first Filipina America elected to the Santa Clara Unified School District Board of Education (Alviso, Santa Clara, and Sunnyvale). Her volunteer work includes both public service and professional efforts with San Jose Jazz, Cinequest, Next Vista for Learning, and most recently as the President/CEO of Living Classroom which focuses on inspiring children to learn through garden based-education.
She is currently serving on the board of Building Peaceful Families as their Vice Chair. In 2015 Noelani was awarded Most Influential Filipina Woman in the World, Silicon Valley Business Journal’s 40 under 40 award, and was inducted into the East Side Union School District Hall of Fame. Noelani has been a long-time advocate for education, previously serving on the boards of organizations such as the Santa Clara Schools Foundation, the Wilcox Dance Team Boosters, and Next Vista for Learning. She is also a passionate advocate for women’s rights, social justice, and the environment, having served on the boards of DAWN (Democratic Activists for Women Now), the Asian Pacific American Democratic Club, and BAYMEC (a local LGBT rights organization).
Noelani strives for excellence in everything she does, fueled by a belief in the fundamental right of equality for all. She understands the positive impact that a well-rounded education can have on a community, and she strives every day to ensure that local students receive the education they need and deserve.
Noelani earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Santa Clara University. She was the first in her family to attend college and ultimately plans to obtain a Ph.D.
Paul Russell, born and raised in Marin County, left the Bay Area at 18 to attend the University of Chicago where he studied Religion and Humanities. Post-graduation, his 8-year career with REI took him from Chicago to Arizona and finally back to California, where he became executive Director at the Alameda Food Bank.
Paul’s attraction to Hand in Hand is two-fold. He loves the potential of Hand in Hand’s work to reach a global audience, but also admires the tools’ abilities to transform families on an individual level, like it did his own. He credits Hand in Hand with his ability to connect deeply with his young children Jonah, Galen, and Amaya and his wife, Jamie.
He brings a valuable skill set of being able to focus on, and manage, multiple areas of the organization at once. Paul is inspired both by success stories of parents whose lives have been revolutionized by Hand in Hand, and the desire to change the global parenting methods from disciplined, spanking, “time-out” ones to the connected, “time-in” Parenting by Connection method. His vision is for Parenting by Connection to be an everyday part of the mainstream parenting conversation.
When he’s not working on transforming others’ families, he’s at home transforming his own. All his free time goes to his children and they spend as much time outside as possible. He feels lucky to have a large enough back yard, complete with chickens and a creek, to explore nature on a daily basis with his family.
Paul lives with his family in Oakland, California.
Patty Wipfler is the author of the upcoming book Listen: Five Simple Tools to Meet Your Everyday Parenting Challenges. She was born, raised and educated in California, graduating from Occidental College in 1968, and is the mother of two sons. The focus of her work since 1974 has been teaching basic listening, parenting, and leadership skills to parents. She directed The School, a non-profit parent co-operative preschool in Palo Alto, and later directed Neighborhood Infant Toddler Center for Palo Alto Community Child Care. She has led over 400 residential weekend workshops for families and for leaders of parents in the U.S. and in 23 countries.
In 1989, she founded the non-profit Parents Leadership Institute, which evolved into Hand in Hand Parenting. As Director, she has written 14 booklets, produced videotapes and audiotapes, and has written over 100 articles for Hand in Hand on the principles and benefits of Parenting by Connection. To date, Hand in Hand has sold over 800,000 of these booklets in English, Spanish, Chinese and Japanese.
Patty Wipfler’s articles have been published in Mothering Magazine, the Bulletin of Zero to Three: National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families, Child Welfare News, and in many local newsletters for parents. She has been a keynote speaker at Association for the Education of Young Children conventions in Chicago and Philadelphia, and has done workshops and trainings throughout California, and in Oregon, New Mexico, Texas, and Massachusetts, as well as in Beijing, China.
Patty lives with her husband in Palo Alto, California.
Velma found out about Hand in Hand Parenting in 2012 and became an instructor in 2017. Hand in Hand helped her learn how to love her self and her son well in easy, as well as challenging times. She is passionate about helping parents thrive, loving children in all their moods, and learning to play to build connection.
Velma has experience with early NICU trauma, supermom syndrome, postpartum depression, separation anxiety and child aggression.
Velma lives in St. Louis, Missouri and works in the local community with parents and schools.
Julianne Idleman has been with Hand in Hand since 2006. She brings many years of experience in corporate training, organizational design and personnel management to her work in the non-profit sector. Juli writes about parenting and family life. She edits our monthly newsletter, Connecting!, and has spoken on National Public Radio.
Juli has been using Parenting by Connection tools since 2002 to connect with her school age daughter and two young adult stepchildren. She enjoys sharing the science behind Parenting by Connection with other parents, “No pressure, folks, but that game of peek-a-boo you just played built new neural connections in your baby’s brain. The deep breath you took instead of yelling at the teenager who’s pushing all your buttons just allowed them a moment to practice regulating their own emotional states. What you do to promote connection, even the very small things, matters.”
Juli is active in the homeschooling community and also volunteers to support the social and emotional needs of gifted students. Juli develops educational gardening programs and especially enjoys working with toddlers.
Juli lives with her husband and daughter in San Jose, CA
Read Juli’s posts on our blog:
Read Juli’s articles:
Elizabeth joined Hand in Hand in 2009. In her role as Administrative Assistant, she is responsible for order fulfillment, office management, video editing, and keeping us all sane. She believes Hand and Hand Parenting has taught her the importance of listening with compassion and connecting with others, something that is not very common in this technological era. Her favorite part of working at Hand in Hand is knowing that she helped someone every single day.
Elizabeth doesn’t have children, but she uses our tools, particularly Special Time, to build stronger relationships with her little brother and younger cousins. During her free time, she is completing her college degree, reading, working out and stargazing.
Elizabeth lives in Palo Alto, CA.
Jana is a recent college graduate from University of California Santa Cruz with a BA in intensive psychology. During college, she volunteered for a student-run organization working with female inmates and saw first hand the emotional strain a lack of family connection creates. With Hand in Hand Parenting, she can help families reconnect and bond in a behind the scenes way.
When she is not working, you can usually find her cuddling her cat Kiki while reading a book.