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
Elizabeth Monday, M.A. BCBA
Elizabeth Monday began working with children diagnosed with autism in 2002 while completing her Bachelor of Arts Degree at San Diego State University. Little did she know then that she would continue on this path, building a career for which she is passionate, and helping so many children and families impacted by Autism.
During her undergraduate work, Ms. Monday joined the Child Language Lab, directed by Dr. Soonja Choi, at SDSU. Throughout graduate school in linguistics, Ms. Monday continued to work as a research assistant and was responsible for conducting studies that examined cross-linguistic differences in the acquisition of spatial relations and had the honor of presenting these research findings at the International Conference on Infant Studies.
Upon moving to the Los Angeles area in 2006, Ms. Monday began working at FirstSteps. Over the course of the next ten years, Ms. Monday would hold the positions of Lead Instructor, Program Manager, Program Director, Regional Clinic Director and now, Director of Operations. In this time, Ms. Monday also completed her Master's thesis on the syntax and discourse of maternal input, as well as completing additional coursework in the Communicative Disorders department at California State University, Long Beach. She also became a Board Certified Behavior Analyst while at FirstSteps.
As the Director of Operations, Ms. Monday is excited to merge her passion for serving children and families with her love of leadership and designing new and innovative processes that allow all members of the FirstSteps team to learn and grow. Being a behavior analyst, she is excited to implement her knowledge of Organizational Behavior Management in her everyday practice. Ms. Monday is proud to be a part of such a wonderful team and cherishes her work on a daily basis.
Outside of her days with FirstSteps, Ms. Monday enjoys spending time with her 2 children and husband. Their favorite activities always involve nature, be it hiking, bike riding, or just enjoying the time outside.
Director of Human Resources
Jessica Coffey obtained a Bachelors Degree with a double major in Communications and Spanish from UCSB, then returned to her home town here in the South Bay where she began her career in the field of office administration. Jessica came to FirstSteps in May 2012 with a background in event planning and office management, where she gained the organization and communication skills that made her a great fit for the FirstSteps admin team.
After working as the Administrative Manager for 2 years, Jessica welcomed the challenge to transfer into the role of Director of Human Resources. In her current position, Jessica handles all employee matters and sincerely enjoys the constant interaction she has with our outstanding team that work hard to positively impact the lives of our young clients.
Aside from her days spent at FirstSteps, Jessica enjoys spending time with her two beautiful children, striving to offer them the same memorable childhood that her parents created for her. Jessica's hobbies outside of work include getting together for playdates with her children and their friends, hosting and shopping garage sales and enjoying time at home with her husband, kids and dog Louie.
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 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 degree 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.