click on a picture to learn more about that staff member.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Elle is from the UK. Her background is in content creation for high-end brands and travel.
She lives in Hong Kong with her husband Rick and their two kids in Hong Kong. Reia is 8, creative, and an aspiring fashion designer, and Rafferty is 4 and crazy for emergency vehicles.