Our Team

Don Kleinfelder

Executive Director

Mr. Kleinfelder has worked in the non-profit sector for over 25 years, including 20 years as Executive Director. He holds a MS in Hydrology/Hydrogeology from the University of Nevada-Reno, and prior to entering the non-profit sector, worked in the private sector as a hydrogeologist, focusing on groundwater remediation.

Under his guidance, Child Advocates has grown from serving 25 foster youth in 2006 to over 500 foster and at-risk youth in 2015. He is a Board Member for the Nonprofits' Insurance Alliance of California and is Co-chair of the Placer Collaborative Network. Don is a former member of the California CASA Board of Directors and the former Chair of the Placer County Community Services Commission. He is also an active CASA volunteer, working with his fourth youth. Mr. Kleinfelder assumed the Executive Director position in November 2006.

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Amber Lane Celmer

Development Director

Amber comes to us with a B.A. in Sociology from California State University, Chico (CSUC) with an emphasis on Women's Studies.  While in college, she led the Elementary School Environmental Program within CSUCs Community Action Volunteers in Education program, and also volunteered for the CSUCs Women's Center, where she organized events such as the campus's annual 'Take Back the Night Week' event.

Over the last ten years Amber's professional experience has focused on Client Services, Strategy, Marketing, and Business Development.  In addition, Amber has personal experience with the CA foster care system, and this led to her involvement with the California Youth Connection and other youth advocacy organizations over the last 20 years. Formerly a Case Supervisor for Child Advocates, Amber now oversees Development and Social Media for our program.

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Jason Allen

Case Supervisor

Jason Allen comes to Child Advocates with a focus in Communications and Journalism from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin. He has over 10 years of experience working with children and families in various communities with a focus on youth with significant mental health and behavioral challenges, and delinquency struggles.

Originally from Southern California, Jason is excited to return to his home state and begin a new journey advocating for children and families in the local communities, supporting them in building on their strengths in order to maintain stability and success in their

In his prior work, he has been a Wraparound Supervisor, Care Coordinator for families, and Probation Officer. Jason’s
expertise and broad knowledge of working with children and families makes him a perfect fit for our organization.

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Taylor Baierlein

Case Supervisor

Taylor holds a B.A. in Psychology from Sacramento State University. She studied Journalism and Early Childhood Development as well and worked as the Editor-in-Chief and features writer on the newspaper there. She volunteered at Shiners Hospitals for Children for a year in the Therapeutic Child Life Center and has been working with children/youth coaching, mentoring, and teaching in various roles for 10 years. Her passion to serve children and people has allowed her to travel to Spain, Italy, Scotland, Jamaica, France, Germany, Holland, and Mexico.

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José Huizar, MA

Placer Mentors Project Supervisor

Before joining Child Advocates of Placer County, José completed his M.A. in Applied Anthropology from San Diego State University in 2015, where he developed a background in international research.

As a graduate student, José completed his thesis work in a rural community in Oaxaca, Mexico, where he worked alongside a community support group for elders who had been left behind by migrant family members. In addition, he led a U.S.-Mexico research team that examined the process of deportation at shelters in Tijuana, Baja California. His passion for helping those who are most vulnerable has also led him to volunteer at a children’s after school mentoring program in Oaxaca, Mexico, and at a center for unaccompanied immigrant children in San Diego, California.

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Jamie Nichols

Case Supervisor

Ms. Nichols has her B.S. in criminal justice from California State University Sacramento and has completed Master’s coursework in criminal justice at CSUS. Before coming to Child Advocates, Jamie spent four years as a case manager for Volunteers of America (VOA) where she worked with AB-109/Re-Entry clients. As part of the Court Re-Entry team, she taught life skills, anger management, and domestic violence education. She has also worked directly with domestic violence victims. Prior to her work at VOA, Jamie was a Deputy Probation Officer for Solano County and a probation assistant for Sacramento County, where she worked with both juvenile offenders and at-risk youth.

Jamie is truly passionate about supporting all youth, particularly the most vulnerable in our community, and is excited to help Child Advocates of Placer County expand the CASA program in both Placer County Dependency and Delinquency courts.

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Volunteer Case Supervisors – These wonderful volunteers have stepped up to become volunteer Case Supervisors. Combined they oversee 95 cases – the workload of two full-time employees!
Beverly Albright
Kristin Bergesen
Elizabeth Duffy
Val Gerry
Tracy Hanly
Susie Klinefelter
Helen Ohman
Grace Pettingill
Kathryn Ries
Karen Salem
Cathy SooHoo

Erin Williams

We also could not function as efficiently without our “Office Angels” – volunteers who help with our administrative duties
Judy Pinegar
Barbara Childress
Grace Pettingill
Marcia Haus
Denise Kissack
Amy Palmero
Jane Govier

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