Caryn is an International Coach Federation, Professional Certified Coach, a Somatic Experiencing Practitioner™ and a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker with more than seventeen years of coaching experience. Caryn works with executives, emerging leaders and curious individuals by providing coaching and learning. Caryn partners with her clients so that they live into their potential while owning their sense of agency, mastery, vulnerability and uniqueness. Caryn’s strengths lie in inspiring positive attitudes, and assisting clients to discover their core values and connect with a deeper sense of themselves. Clients work on improving their decision making, emotional intelligence, and collaboration skills. Clients find themselves taking action steps that they have longed to take and making the changes that they have longed to make. Caryn loves working with diverse and motivated people who are interested in cultivating their embodied self-awareness, discovering their passions and contributing their unique gifts to the world. Caryn seeks to facilitate change by assisting people to get out of their own way and breakthrough change resistant habits.
Caryn is a lifelong learner. In 2004, Caryn embarked on training in Pesso Boyden System Psychomotor and continues learning in that attachment-based, emotion focused and neuroscience informed healing modality today. Caryn received her Post Graduate Certificate in the Neuroscience of Leadership from Middlesex University and the NeuroLeadership Institute. In 2013 Caryn became the first Somatic Experiencing Practitioner™ in Alabama. She has been assisting for the last five years at all levels of Somatic Experiencing trainings. Caryn conducts workshops on the Neuroscience of Leadership and Somatic Leadership, and Nervous System regulation.
Formerly, Caryn worked as an attorney specializing in retirement planning, as an Executive Director of a nonprofit organization specializing in creating cultures of inclusion, conflict resolution, and leadership development. Subsequently, Caryn worked as an inpatient and outpatient social worker/therapist.
Caryn received a Suma Cum Laude Bachelors in Business Administration from Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business, a law degree from New England Law and a Master in Social Work from the University of Alabama Caryn is married and has three adult sons.
Twenty-nine years ago, my husband and I found ourselves faced with an infertility problem and IVF provided us with the opportunity we needed and wanted. It was a "game-changer" and we feel so fortunate and blessed that I wanted to give back.
Lisa was born and raised in the greater New York City area. She left in 1977 and after a brief time in Indiana and 3 years in Las Vegas, Lisa and her husband, Alan, came to Birmingham for his job. Careers changed but they’ve call it home ever since. Lisa was accepted into UAB to resume college studies. She went on to earn her degree in Accounting, a CPA Certificate and a job with a “Big 8 Public Accounting” firm. It kept her interest until she saw a future helping companies move their accounting to computers. In 1985 she started a new business in a new field – accounting, business management and CRM systems - and over 30 years grew Kianoff & Associates to one of the Top 30 largest women-owned businesses in Birmingham. In 2015 she sold it one of the state’s largest public accounting firms and retired 2 years later. Lisa and Alan have a love of the outdoors and spend time biking and hiking. Covid has temporarily halted international travel, but it didn’t stop them from loading up bikes for 3 road trips in 2020-21.
There was nothing but questions in the late 1980s when Lisa first confronted issues of fertility. Resources were scarce and technology offering hope was, no pun intended, in its infancy. Fortunately, there was a young woman physician in town who was achieving success with some of that technology. Dr. Kathryn Honea of ART Alabama and her team provided the skill, guidance and understanding to help maneuver through the physical, emotional and financial strains of infertility. Daughter Natalie – who now has children of her own - was Lisa’s first IVF baby in 1987 and Hayley, in 1990, Alabama’s first baby born from a frozen embryo. Lisa and Alan are forever grateful their move to Alabama enabled them to become a family.
Danielle received her bachelor's degree from Indiana University. She moved back to her hometown of Birmingham to attend UAB for her DPT. She currently works at UAB Spain Rehabilitation Center as a physical therapist. Danielle and her husband, Ben, have one son Eli, age 1 and are loving dog parents to their Labrador Retriever, Sophie.
After learning about JFF, Danielle felt a passion to help support those going through the struggles of infertility. Building a family should not be an isolating experience. JFF makes much needed services available to the Jewish community and beyond and Danielle looks forward to her involvement.
Lauren Schwartz joined Collat Jewish Family Services as Executive Director in March of 2011. A Memphis native, she holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Cornell University and a Master’s in Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania.
Lauren began her career at CJFS as a Clinical Social Worker in 1992, providing counseling, case management, and financial assistance to clients. She later honed her non-profit management skills as the Director of Advancement for the N.E. Miles Jewish Day School, where she was responsible for fundraising events, marketing and recruitment.
Since taking the helm at CJFS, Lauren has developed a strategic approach, focused on building comprehensive services, collaborative partnerships, and sustainability. Lauren is passionate about the CJFS mission to strengthen families, enrich quality of life, and improve mental health and wellness.
Lauren is deeply committed to her work in Birmingham and the Jewish community, but her most meaningful roles in life are being partner to her husband and mom to her three children.
JFF’s successful model of education, support and connections to families experience infertility is a natural fit with the mission of CJFS. Our partnership expands the breadth of services we provide and the families we can touch.
Robert Studin was the Executive Director of Financial Advisory Services for Lincoln Financial Advisors. He worked with Lincoln from 1994 to his retirement in 2019. Rob joined First Financial Group of the South, Inc. (Lincoln's local affiliate) in 1985. He served as the President of the Firm and Director of the Firm's Planning Department. Prior to joining First Financial Group, Rob practiced as a Certified Public Accountant with Arthur Andersen.
He received his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Alabama and his JD from Cumberland School of Law.
In his role as Executive Director of Financial Advisory Services for Lincoln Financial Advisors, Rob was responsible for the Delivery of Wealth Management and Financial Planning Services on a national basis.
Rob is currently enjoying his retirement spending time with family and friends, spoiling his four grandchildren, woodworking, playing golf and looking forward to resuming travel.
I have a fabulous grandson that was conceived with the help of IVF and a gestational carrier. We received a lot of guidance and emotional support through the process. Every time I look at my grandson, I know it is a miracle. I would like to help others have that experience.
Michelle Bearman-Wolnek, LICSW is the executive director and co-founder of Heart Gallery Alabama. Michelle is a native of Birmingham, AL. She graduated from the University of Maryland with a BA in Psychology and received her Masters in Social Work from Tulane University. Since moving back to Birmingham in 1996, she has worked at Collat Jewish Family Services, Children’s Hospital of Alabama, Children’s Harbor, Children’s Aids Society’s Alabama Pre/Post Adoption Connection (APAC) Program and for the Heart Gallery of Alabama. Michelle is passionate about children, both her own and those in the community. She is an active member of numerous community organizations and is the recent past president of Collat Jewish Family Services.
She was a 2018 TedX speaker. A 2017 Vulcan Community Award winner. A 2016 Smart Honoree recognized by the Women’s Fund of Greater Birmingham, a graduate of the 2013 Nonprofit Executive Leadership Institute, a graduate from the Momentum Class of 2010-11 and a graduate from the Leadership Birmingham class of 2008. Heart Gallery Alabama was recognized as a 2017 Nonprofit of the Year award winner from the Birmingham Business Journal.
Michelle is an adoptive parent who struggled with infertility. During this time she was the president of the Resolve Alabama Chapter, an organization who supports others going through infertility. She is involved with JFF so that others feel less alone and supported in the Jewish community.
Rabbi Adam M. Wright is the spiritual leader of Temple Emanu-El. He is from West Bloomfield, MI – a suburb of Detroit. Adam earned his Bachelor of Arts, cum laude, in Religion and Judaic Studies from Wheaton College (Norton, MA). After college, he pursued graduate studies at Vanderbilt University Divinity School (Nashville, TN), where he earned a Master in Theological Studies focusing on the Ancient Near East and Early Judaism. After Adam’s tenure at Vanderbilt, he enrolled at the Hebrew Union College – JIR to begin his rabbinic training. At HUC-JIR, he earned his Master in Arts in Hebrew Letters, Master of Arts in Jewish Education from HUC-JIR’s Rhea Hirsch School of Education, and a Graduate Certificate in Jewish Non-Profit Management from HUC-JIR’s Zelikow School of Jewish Nonprofit Management. Rabbi Wright has served Jewish communities in Victorville, CA, Fountain Valley, CA, Pacific Palisades, CA, Occidental College Hillel, Tarzana, CA, and Cedars-Sinai Medical Center Spiritual Care Department. Rabbi Wright served on the Advisory Board for Stand with Us, San Diego, an organization committed to developing community support, instill enthusiasm and increase identification with Israel and effectively counter-public misrepresentation and demonization of Israel. Rabbi Wright served as the Associate Rabbi at Temple Solel in Cardiff-by-the-Sea, California from 2014-2019.
Rabbi Wright lives in Birmingham with his wife, Rachel, an internist and pediatrician at UAB, their daughter Lillian, and their twins, Maisie and Teddy. Rabbi Wright played four years of collegiate tennis and still relishes his time on the court. He is also an avid Detroit Red Wings fan.
The first commandment in Judaism is to be fruitful and multiply. However, so many Jewish families have difficulty fulfilling this mitzvah because of infertility. As a Jew, rabbi, and father, I am committed not only to counseling families who struggle with interfertility, but teaching the Jewish world the complexities and challenges of pregnancy.
Rabbi Adam Wright