Board of Directors


Susan Gordon Bird


"I saw the suffering of several family members and young friends who at a time in their lives when everything should have been possible, just sat on the sidelines with depression."

Susan Gordon Bird, Co-Founder

Susan has more than 20 years of experience as a worldwide sales and marketing executive in the software industry at companies including Macromedia and Frame Technology. She has helped take three companies from under $10 million in revenue to more than $150 million in revenue. In an executive capacity, she has also overseen sales, operations, technical support, and customer service and help lead three companies through the IPO process. Susan has served on several boards. Most recently she was a board member of a non-profit youth anti-sex trafficking organization. She was involved in opening the first Safehouse in Costa Rica for youth that had been trafficked.

Her and her siblings have suffered from different forms of anxiety. Susan's parents never hesitated to get them the help they needed or talk to them about it. Susan and her siblings were the lucky ones. Now that Susan is a mother, she witnesses so many other youth suffer silently, not knowing who to talk to and where to get help. Unfortunately, many of her daughter’s peers and Susan's own peers growing up never received treatment, which led to severe implications and sometimes even suicide. Susan wanted to do something that would help young people become mentally healthy adults. Hence SafeSpace was created.


Liesl Pike Moldow


“I experienced depression as a 15-year-old so I know what it’s like to feel that sadness that doesn’t go away —the dark emptiness that something is wrong.”

Liesl Pike Moldow, Co-Founder

Liesl Moldow is a graduate of Stanford '87 and Harvard Business School '93. Liesl spent 4 years in sales for MCI Telecommunications. In 1993, Liesl joined US West Telecommunications in their multimedia group in the US and London. Liesl joined TCI Cable as a part of their Interactive Ventures group. She then worked for in new business development.

Liesl is a mother of 4 and experienced anxiety and depression as a 15-year-old. She is determined to help other young adults develop tools and coping mechanisms to manage their own difficulties.


Annie Kim

Managing Director

"Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start."
Nido Qubein

Annie Kim, Managing Director

Annie Kim moved to the Bay Area in late 2009 from Los Angeles to be a part of an innovative mental health program within Alameda County. She was promoted to Program Director in early 2012 and has facilitated over a hundred workshops at local, state and national conferences, summit meetings, and county committees advocating for mental health wellness for all. She has been known to cultivate community alliances to strengthen the voice of families, caregivers and consumers who are all impacted by mental health challenges. Over the past ten years, she took a once known as: "a county contracted pilot program" into a well respected community based organization nominated for the National Association of Counties Achievement Awards in 2018; she received the Family Advocate Award from Dartmouth in 2015; and Transitional Age Youth (TAY) Program Award in 2014. She has extensive background in building nonprofit programs from an operational standpoint, along with expansion and contract procurement.

Kim attended New York University and graduated from UCLA. She looks forward to continuing to empower the youth and their initiatives while cultivating community partners in this mission to bring awareness to teen mental health. "You're not alone."

Aris Payan

Aris Payan

Youth Engagement Specialist

“Mental Health is not a destination, but a process. It’s about how you drive, not where you’re going."

- Noam Shpancer, PhD

Aris Payan, Youth Engagement Specialist

Aris Payan was born and raised in San Mateo and comes from a Dominican family. She graduated from Aragon High School, attended the College of San Mateo and earned her degree in Organizational Communication from California State University Channel Islands. Aris joined the SafeSpace team in the Fall of 2021 as the Youth Engagement Specialist and comes with several years of experience in community non-profit work. She has been working with Youth in different capacities over the last 8 years and she is very passionate about elevating youth voice, building up the leaders of our future, and advocating for the most vulnerable communities. Ms. Payan has extensive skills in public speaking, interpersonal communication, leadership, and she is fluent in Spanish. Through her lived experience, she looks forward to contributing to the work of the SafeSpace Youth Action Board and moving the needle.


Lesley Martin

Board Member, Former Managing Director

Lesley started as a volunteer developing the SafeSpace Youth Board, then she became the first Managing Director who played a major role in putting SafeSpace on the map. She retired in February 2020 and moved to the Board working on special projects.

Lesley Martin, Board Member, Former Managing Director

During her three year tenure as the SafeSpace Founding Director, Lesley created the SafeSpace Youth Action Board empowering teens from local schools to work with schools and communities to open the conversation around teen mental health issues. Lesley spearheaded a variety of initiatives that promoted the youth voice through short films and community-based projects. Upon her retirement in 2020, Lesley has stepped onto the Board and will work on special projects that will promote Safe Space initiatives nationally.

Lesley brings years of experience in the education field. She has served as a Middle School Principal at Tierra Linda Middle School in San Carlos, California, and at Taylor Middle School in Millbrae, California. She has worked as a teacher at Hillview Middle School in Menlo Park, California, Summit Charter School in East San Jose, and as a Principal Leadership Coach in San Jose and East San Jose Schools. During her tenure, both the Taylor Middle School and Tierra Linda Middle School received California Distinguished School Awards. The Taylor Middle School was featured in the documentary film Bully for it’s anti-bullying efforts. She has also been a play therapist at the Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles.

Beyond her career in education, Dr. Martin is deeply involved in children’s welfare on the peninsula as a Board member and Board Chair at Star Vista. She holds a Master of Science in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin in Madison, and a Ed.D. in Education Leadership from Mills College.


Brad Robertson

Director of Finance

“I have family experience with drug addiction, suicide and other mental health issues such as bi-polar disorder.”

Brad Robertson, Director of Finance

Brad has over 25 years of experience as a financial professional. Having graduated from UCLA and USC Business School, he is an alumnus of Price Waterhouse Coopers. While living in Los Angeles, Brad served as Business Manager in the Entertainment Industry. Returning to his native San Francisco Bay Area, he was Corporate Controller / CFO for several start-ups before starting his own company as a business and tax consultant.

Brad has family experience with drug addiction, suicide, and other mental health issues including bipolar disorder. Regarding mental health, he believes there should be no person suffering in silence and that early intervention is the key to a successful and productive life. One of his goals is to expose the many positive aspects of psychotherapy to help reduce the associated public stigma.


Stephanie Brown, PhD

Board Member, Mental Health Addiction

"Stephanie Brown, Ph.D. is a pioneering theorist, clinician, researcher, author, teacher and consultant in the addiction field. As a psychologist, she directs the Addictions Institute, Menlo Park, California, an outpatient psychotherapy clinic."

Stephanie Brown PhD, Board Member, Mental Health Addiction


Stephanie Brown, Ph.D. is a pioneering theorist, clinician, researcher, author, teacher and consultant in the addiction field. As a psychologist, she directs the Addictions Institute, Menlo Park, California, an outpatient psychotherapy clinic, where she also maintains a private practice. The author of 11 academic and popular books, plus training videos and a video on the stages of family recovery, Stephanie is an internationally recognized expert on the trauma and treatment of alcoholics, all addicts and their families. Especially well known for her theories and treatment of adult children of alcoholics, she lectures worldwide.

She received the Bronze Key Award (1983) and the Humanitarian Award (1984) from the National Council on Alcoholism and the Community Service Award from the California Society for the Treatment of Alcoholism and other Drug Dependencies in 1986. In 1991 she received an Academic Specialist Award from the U.S.I.A. to teach in Poland. More recently, she received the Norman Zinberg Memorial Award from Harvard University (2000), the Clark Vincent Award from the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (2001), and the Janet Geringer Woititz award from Health Communications, Inc. (2005).


Kristina Cullinane

Board Member

“We all have mental health, and the more we talk to each other about it, the more we learn about our own. Mental health does not have one answer or vaccine that will cure-all. It's an ongoing battle, but it's one that we can fight and overcome together. ”

Kristina Cullinane, Board Member.

My name is Kristina. I'm a Bay Area native, born and raised in San Mateo where I attended St. Matthews Catholic, Saint Ignatius College Preparatory and then went on to The University of Arizona where I graduated with a Bachelors Degree in Communication and Psychology. Shortly after, I went on to work in NYC to work in real estate. A few months into the "real world," my life came to a screeching halt on October 30th, 2016. My sister, Aliya Rose Cullinane, took her life.

It was truly the worst day of my entire life, waking up to a call from my dad confirming the news that my baby sister was gone. Even writing this now is difficult, hard to believe, something I never wanted to accept. I miss her every day and will forever live with the grief in my heart, but through the communities like Safe Space, I understood better the silent battle my sister fought. I want so badly to bring her back, but since I can't go back in time and changed what happened, I will continue to share her story, her light, and remind everyone that they are loved. I hope I can do by reliving the most painful day of my life to rewrite someone else’s story by sharing my sister’s because I wouldn’t wish this pain, loss, or grief on anyone.

I moved back home shortly after as I could not grieve alone across the country away from my family. I needed them. I needed a community like Safe Space, and there are so many things that came into my life after my sister left that I needed to feel close to her again. Currently, I am working as a Real Estate Agent alongside my dad, who is forever my superhero. I am continuing on my 4th year as a Raiderette, following in the footsteps of my beautiful mother ( Raiderette circa 1980), my role model! I also teach some fitness classes, but since quarantine, I have taken it virtually! All of this has helped immensely with my mental health recovering from the loss of my beautiful baby sister, whom I know is watching over us all.

Now more every day, mental health is so essential to our world. In a year of isolation and social distancing, it's worn heavy on many, and I’m here to remind everyone that you don't have to go through it alone. We all have mental health, and the more we talk to each other about it, the more we learn about our own. Mental health does not have one answer or vaccine that will cure-all. It's an ongoing battle, but it's one that we can fight and overcome together.

I'm honored to be a part of Safe Space. Since I've gotten more involved with the community, I've learned so much about my mental health through the youth board. They have gifted me a new perspective on the grief and loss of my sister. I am so proud of each of the young adults I've seen growing so much throughout my past three years with Safe Space. Truly incredible!

Dr. Navneet Singh

Dr. Navneet Singh

Board Member

"As a pediatrician, I see patients every day who have mental health issues.  I believe that they and their parents need support."

Dr. Navneet Singh, Board Member.

Navneet completed his undergraduate training at Stanford, where he did an interdisciplinary major in biology and psychology, focusing on childhood development. He then attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine and completed a Pediatrics Residency at Stanford University. He has been working as a General Pediatrician for over 20 years and is currently practicing in San Jose for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation. He is married and has two daughters and a fluffy furry pet dog named Rolo. In his free time, he enjoys spending time with family, cooking, hiking, traveling, and cracking Dad jokes.


Remi Sobomehin

Board Member

Full bio coming soon!


Chris Tanti

Founding Advisor

“I've seen the looks of hopelessness on the faces of youth at risk of harm.  They don’t have the energy to do anything about it. They feel shame, guilt, anger, and even rage.”

Chris Tanti, Founding Advisor

Chris Tanti is an experienced CEO within both the private and public sectors who can demonstrate experience both nationally and globally. Chris was appointed Safe Space Chair and Chief Advisor in 2017. He continues to be a support to the organization. Prior to this Chris was the Chief Executive Officer at Headspace-Australia for a period of ten years. Chris initially established Headspace as a provider of mental health services to young people, grew the organization and delivered revenue. He transformed the organization from the University of Melbourne to an independent not for profit, engaged multiple funding streams and expanded the clinical footprint nationally and internationally by 2016. Previously Chris was the General Manager of The Melbourne Clinic, Australia’s largest private mental health service. Before this Chris’s career included roles in mental health operations and youth alcohol and drug service delivery.


John Bautista

Board Member, Legal

“John Bautista, a member of Orrick's Board of Directors and Technology Companies Group, leads Orrick's international Technology Companies practice connecting Silicon Valley with Europe and Asia. Orrick is recognized for its work in the community and pro bono efforts and John is particularly interested in youth mental health issue. SafeSpace is a pro bono client of Orrick.”

John Bautista, Board Member, Legal

Full bio coming soon.


Dina Jackson

Director of Technology

“After experiencing depression as a teen and seeing the suffering of friends and family, I want be part of the solution...ensure teens feel heard, families feel supported and create an community of hope.”

Dina Jackson, Director of Technology

Full bio coming soon.

Our Partners

Thoughtful coordination of services is critical.

At SafeSpace, we believe that youth benefit greatly from a cohesive continuum of care that spans from early intervention and prevention to acute inpatient services. While more than $120 billion is spent annually on mental health disorders, much of this care is disjointed and not focused on early intervention and prevention or just not accessible. For this reason, we are teaming up with partners to assist us in providing quality clinical care.

We believe these alliances will ensure that any clients who walk through our door will have access to the appropriate level of care.


Want to become a partner?

SafeSpace chooses its clinical partners and non-clinical partners carefully. We require that they both have a focus on youth between the ages of 12 to 26 and the ability to provide programs for all socio-economic backgrounds, and offer hours of operation that are convenient for the community they serve. Here are some other specific requirements:

If you’re interested in becoming a SafeSpace partner, reach out to our Managing Director, Annie Kim,

Non-Clinical Partners

  • A minimum of three years of experience working with teens and young adults
  • Will offer best practices in its category, and several communication options to meet the needs of the age group it serves. i.e. (text, email, phone, a bi-lingual option)

Clinical Partners

  • A sliding scale payment option and variety of insurance options.
  • Provide evidence-based therapy, and option of off-site therapy, and emergency service option
  • Mandates continual education programs for its employees to keep them up to date on scientific advances.
  • Works with SafeSpace to ensure the clinical environment is warm and friendly·    Offers therapeutic programs that are suitable for the community it serves.
  • Offers a bilingual option based on the needs of the community.
  • Has a long-term vision to work with SafeSpace to service multiple communities throughout the U.S., and expand services beyond the current moderate continuum of care.