The FirstSteps Administrative Team keeps the company running smoothly. This team is your primary contact for business, scheduling, and PR related inquiries.
Director of Operations
Brynn Gordon, M.A., BCBA
From a very young age, Ms. Gordon had a passion for children and knew that her career would ultimately include working with them in some capacity. After graduating with a B.A. in Psychology, Ms. Gordon spent a few years trying on different hats, such as those of: private tutor, personal assistant, law student, and world traveler. In 2009, she got married and her travels brought her back to Ventura County where she decided to complete her M.A. degree in Psychology. While pursuing her Masters at Pepperdine University, Ms. Gordon sought a career that would fulfill her desire to be of service to children and families. She found a position providing direct ABA treatment to children in Ventura County, and quickly realized she had found her calling in the field of ABA.
Upon receiving her M.A. Degree in 2011, Ms. Gordon was soon led to FirstSteps. She accepted a position as a Therapeutic Instructor due to FirstSteps’ inspiring mission and an opportunity to grow with such a passionate and inspiring agency. Over the course of 6 years, Ms. Gordon held the positions ofLead Instructor, Program Manager, Program Director, and FirstSteps Regional Clinic Director for the Bay Area.
Most recently, Ms. Gordon enthusiastically accepted the position of Director of Operations. She is thrilled to have the opportunity to merge her love of clinical work with her passion for leadership and operations.
Ms. Gordon is inspired daily by the FirstSteps team and the children and families they serve. When she is not working, she can often be found walking the hills and beaches of Ventura County with her husband and their 2 dogs, reading a good book in the sunshine, and traveling with friends and family.
Director of Technology and Facilities
Scott Mindeaux joined FirstSteps in October 2014 as the Director of Technology & Design. Scott started his love of computers at an early age with his first computer being an Apple IIe. He has also been fascinated with all things design. Today as a Creative Technologist, he was able to merge the two sides of his brain and focus his career on IT in creative environments.
Scott started working for an Apple dealer in Orange County. There he continued to develop his skills on Mac and Windows computers, and working with customers and developing business relationships. As his career continued, Scott found his niche in working with computers and design. Scott has worked in IT for several advertising, design and manufacturing companies. Scott's goal of providing excellent service primed him for several hybrid IT and Administration/Operations positions tackling office management, in-house business processes, event and conference management as well as providing a fun and productive environment for his fellow employees.
Today as FirstStep's Director of Technology & Design, Scott manages the day-to-day side of digital operations as well as maintain FirstSteps image with responsibilities in design and website management. Recently, Scott also took on the role of managing facilities here at FirstSteps. Everything from new space planning to office moves and helping out with a clogged sink now and then, Scott is right there to handle it all.
Outside of the office, Scott is a confessed foodie. A Computer Geek by Day, Foodie by Night. His love of food and cooking led to taking a sabbatical from his IT duties to pursue a culinary career. After attending culinary school, Scott managed a cooking school before taking on additional duties in a team that managed over 23 cooking schools. While Scott has returned to IT, Design and Facilities, Scott continues to explore new foods, restaurants and recipes from all over Southern California.
Director of Client Services
Whitney Vance joined the FirstSteps Team in October 2011 as the Administrative Assistant in our Hermosa Beach office. She graduated from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst with a degree in Sociology and Psychology, sparking her interest in working with children with Autism. After working in a classroom for three years, she joined FirstSteps to better serve from the administrative field.
Ms. Vance quickly found her niche in the scheduling department and was drawn to how often she needed to communicate with our staff and families. As such, she is honored to serve all five offices as the Director of Client Services. In her position, she is the administrative liaison for all new clients, overseeing scheduling fulfillment and client relationships. Outside of her professional work, Ms. Vance loves to travel and play rugby.
Director of Client Accounts
Ms. Simons studied Psychology at the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, where she cultivated her passion for helping professions. She has worked in many treatment settings, including a substance abuse treatment center and a community home for adults with developmental disabilities. She has also helped assist and manage multiple front desk positions, where her organizational and communication skills flourished.
One of Ms. Simons' core beliefs is that being of service to others is one of the most inspiring and powerful acts in which to participate, and she is eager to put this value into action here at FirstSteps.
Ms. Simons resides in the beach cities areas and loves taking advantage of all the outdoor activities the amazing weather affords.
Director of Communications & Community Outreach
Jennifer Buckley joined the FirstSteps team in 2014 as the Regional Scheduling Coordinator in the North Los Angeles/Ventura County center and quickly established a rapport with the local families and surrounding communities. Ms. Buckley is passionate and inspired by the dedication FirstSteps demonstrates in improving the lives of children diagnosed with autism and related disorders.
Ms. Buckley began her community service passion at an early age and volunteered with many non-profit organizations and public sectors throughout Utah and Southern California. With over 10 years experience serving local communities, Ms. Buckley values the opportunity to continue to be involved in community events and public outreach. With a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and Economics from California State University, Northridge, as well as a Master's in Business Administration from California State University, Channel Islands, Ms. Buckley continues to cultivate relationships to better serve our families and communities.
Raised in the mountain states of Utah and Montana, Ms. Buckley enjoys a range of sports and outdoor activities. She currently resides in the beach communities of Ventura County.
Regional Director of Scheduling
Jamie MacDonaugh joined the FirstSteps Team in November 2012. Jamie studied Sociology at Saint Mary's College of California in Moraga. After graduating, she soon began her career as an Administrative Assistant at an ABA agency and decided to continue to learn more about the Autism community. Jamie enjoyed the help that she was able to offer to families and decided to continue learning how to make more of an impact on families by becoming a member of the Scheduling Department at FirstSteps. Growing up in a large family and through various types of volunteer work, Jamie is able to act out her passion for serving others by providing the best service to our families that she can.
Jamie oversees and facilitates all therapy schedules and teams for our East Los Angeles and Contra Costa County offices. Jamie enjoys assisting FirstSteps families by collaborating with them and their clinical team to build long term schedules, make necessary schedule adjustments, and to meet evolving needs of our families. Ms. MacDonaugh is originally from Southern California but now resides in Walnut Creek. She loves experiencing new and different parts of the San Francisco Bay area.
Elizabeth deBoer studied at the University of Riverside, where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a minor in Philosophy. She has always had a passion for helping others, and her collegiate studies only furthered her interest in humanities. Driven to explore human behavior, Elizabeth began volunteering for various crisis centers and also started working with children.
Elizabeth joined FirstSteps as an instructor in 2011 with two years of ABA experience already under her belt. She then proceeded to become a Lead Instructor not long after, where she was able to work closely with various Program Directors and help implement treatment that had been put in place. Her journey with FirstSteps continued by taking on more of an administrative role in the West Los Angeles office as the Administrative and Scheduling Coordinator and then became the Scheduling Manager a year later.
In her current role as a Director of Scheduling, Elizabeth manages the scheduling departments for offices located in Hermosa Beach, West Los Angeles, and North Los Angeles/Ventura County. Outside of her professional work day, Elizabeth loves to explore the great outdoors, be as active as possible, and then rest with a good book in hand.