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Caroline Isber (Vice-Chair/Treasurer)

Caroline serves as the Vice Chair of the Board and Chair of the Finance Committee at The Family Place. She joined The Family Place Board after a former chair convinced her it was a wonderful organization.

For 10 years, Caroline was the Washington Consultant for Legislative and Executive Policy Affairs for the Garden Club of America, helping the organization to become a significant player in environmental issues on Capitol Hill. She has also worked in the Secretary’s Office at the Department of Health and Human Services, the White House Council on Environmental Quality, the Office of Global Climate Change at NOAA, and in the Environmental Protection Agency.

She is currently a Climate Policy Center Consultant and Senior Advisor at Clean Air-Cool Planet. She received her B.A. from Mt. Holyoke College.

Ruth Uhlmann

Ruth has served as a member of the Family Place Board Member since 2001. Recruited to the Board as a professional early childhood education specialist, Ruth joined because she was committed to the Family Place’s unique concept and mission as a Family Support Center. She continues to share the passion and belief that the organization can make a difference in the lives of Latino families with young children.

Ruth holds a MED in Childhood Education/Child Development.

Oralia Puente, Ed.D.

Oralia Puente has served at The Family Place since 2006. Much of her life has been in the service of people and community, and that passion has driven her professional, volunteer, and civic work.

Oralia has served on several boards and community organizations in the D.C. area, founded three charter schools, and run for several community offices. Until recently, she was a Technical Assistance Specialist with the Migrant and Seasonal Head Start Project at The Academy for Educational Development. She has also worked with UNESCO, USAID, UNIFCEF and the World Bank. She is now an independent consultant.

Oralia is one of 12 children, a native Spanish speaker, and speaks Bahasa Indonesian and Malay as well. Her formal education started in California and ended at Harvard with a master’s degree and doctorate in education and a Fulbright at Colombia.

Ann B. Barnet (Founder)

Ann B. Barnet, M.D., founded The Family Place in 1980 with a mission group from the Church of the Saviour. A graduate of Harvard Medical School, Ann is Professor Emeritus of Pediatrics and Neurology at George Washington University School of Medicine. She was a member of the department of neurology at Washington’s Children’s National Medical Center.

Numerous reports concerning her research on brain development have appeared in scientific journals. She is the recipient of research awards and community service awards from organizations.

Ann lives in Washington, D.C. She is a member of 8th Day, one of the Church of the Saviour communities. In addition to The Family Place’s board, she serves on the board of Jubilee JumpStart, a child care center in Washington for low-income children.  Her children and grandchildren live in nearby Maryland. You can visit her website at

Helen McConnell, PhD

Helen McConnell currently serves as a member of the Board of Directors, Chair of the Governance Committee, and a member of the Resource Development and Executive Committees for The Family Place. Helen was drawn to The Family Place because of its mission and her close friendships with the organization’s former counselors and board members.

Helen is currently a consultant of the Fetzer Institute for the Charter for Compassion project, and is in the process of founding The Compassion Institute, a nonprofit whose mission is to educate in the principle of compassion. She participates in The Festival Church, and is a founding partner of the Charter for Compassion.

Helen holds a BA from Duke University with a major in piano performance, a Master of Divinity from Duke Divinity School and a PhD from The Catholic University of America in religious studies. She speaks German and French.

Judith Watson

Judith Watson, now a board member, originally became involved at The Family Place by serving as a volunteer for the preschool classes. She had recently retired, and a friend suggested volunteering at The Family Place. She had spent many years living in Latin America and the organization seemed a perfect fit.

A pediatric nurse by education, Judith has traveled throughout Central and South America providing medical training and education. She has also worked at the United States-Spain Council, the Council of the Americas, and several non-governmental organizations.

In addition to The Family Place, she also volunteers at the Palisades Village and the Post Classical Ensemble.

Judith received her nursing degree from Children’s Hospital School of Nursing/Simmons College. She speaks Spanish and Portuguese.

Lawrence Garr (Chair)

Lawrence Garr has served as the Chair of The Family Place for the past year, and had previously served on the Board of Directors for about two years. He became involved with the organization through the request of another board member and because of his belief in giving back to his community.

With more than 30 years of experience in tax law, Lawrence currently works as a tax attorney and a partner at the law firm Dickstein Shapiro LLP. Prior to his law career, Lawrence was a special education teacher for three years.

Lawrence has an AB in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania, a juris doctor from Temple University School of Law and a master’s in tax degree from the Georgetown University School of Law.

Kendall Dorman

Kendall Dorman has been a member of The Family Place’s Board of Directors since 2007, and currently serves as the head of the Facilities Committee. He became involved upon the request of the organization.

Kendall is a principal at Wiebenson & Dorman Architects PC, a company he helped form. He has previously practiced in Chicago, Los Angeles and Phoenix.  He has been lead architect for a variety of projects including Bread for the City’s recent clinic addition, Martha’s Table, Emmaus Services for the Aging, Pyramid Atlantic, 410 GoodBuddY and a variety of residential projects. He is a founding member of Kill Architects, a group that investigates social issues through architecture and art.

Kendall was born in Nebraska, and earned a MA from Arizona State University.

Jonathan Willen

Ronald Del Sesto

Newest Board Member.