Advisory Board
Maria Strmsek

Maria Strmsek arrived at SRD Straightening Reins with more than 30 years of experience in Volunteer Management both at Henry Mayo Newhall Hospital and Santa Monica Hospital. Ms. Strmsek has a BA in Psychology from CSUN and was past chair representing the directors of volunteers at the California Hospital Association. She was on the board of several professional groups for volunteer management and assisted with planning the annual CA Hospital Volunteer Leadership Conference. After retiring in 2018, Ms. Strmsek offered to assist SRD’s board with media outreach. She also attends community meetings related to mental health awareness and education.

In her spare time, Ms. Strmsek takes classes in watercolor painting and mixed media collage. Her love her animals keeps her busy with her two rescued dogs.

Ms. Strmsek looks forward to assisting SRD Straightening Reins in making a difference in the lives of families and teens who need support with their mental health and well-being.

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Phillis Stacy-Brooks

Phillis Brooks is an award-winning Creative Director with an extensive background in company and product branding, website design, and social media marketing. Ms. Brooks is the founder of Main Street Graphics and the author of the “What Makes Books” series.

Phillis has had the privilege to work with Fortune 500 companies. Including Walt Disney Studios, Healthnet, Lexus, a Division of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A., Inc., Oakland Athletics, John Paul Mitchell Systems, San Francisco Bay Blackhawks, Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc., University of California-Los Angeles, Honda Financial Services, to name a few.

Her passion for non-profits has led her to work with: The Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival, Single Mothers Outreach, Circle of Hope, SCV Charity Chili Cook-Off, Hardship 2 Hope, Bridge to Home, and Mothers Fighting For Others. She serves on the board for Mountain Communities Family Resource Center and is looking forward to serving on the advisory board for SRD Straightening Rein. She is the busy and proud mother of three sons.

Advisory Board - Phillis Stacy Brooks

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Advisory Board - Alex Hafizi
Alexander “Alex” Hafizi

Many of the Santa Clarita Valley has seen Alex grow up through the pages of Santa Clarita Magazine since his parents Moe and Linda Hafizi started almost 30 years ago. Now, he is taking the lead from his parents and spearheading innovative ideas for his company but keeping one thing the same, and that’s avidly supporting non-profits. He has helped with all aspects of non-profit work from fundraising to now sitting as President for Circle of Hope. Alex is always quick to volunteer and gets a sense of fulfillment when seeing an organization or event he is a part impact his community.

To him, non-profit organizations are what keep a community healthy and feel in love with SRD Straightening Reins’ mission he wants to help those who are struggling with mental illness and what better way than with animals. Alex loves animals and has three “fur-children" of his own. He is excited to join the Advisory Board and looks forward to serving his community in this new way.

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Arnold Bryant

Arnold came to the Santa Clarita Valley almost six years ago after he was released from Active Duty in the United States Navy. He and his partner Alexander work hard to get information to the masses through Santa Clarita Magazine and élite Magazine Interactive Media. For Arnold, mental health is no stranger. His mother has suffered long-term depression and anxiety, but through family support and medical professionals, she is living a happy and full life.

Arnold joined the advisory board because he wants to ensure that people who have a mental illness will have another means of support, and with SRD Straightening Reins, he firmly believes this could be the best option. Arnold is an avid animal enthusiast and has adopted three dogs he calls his fur-babies.

Advisory Board - Arnold Bryant

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Advisory Board - Andrew Taban
Andrew Taban

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Jennifer Sindell

Jennifer Sindell, Associate Clinical Social Worker (ACSW) and Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) certified mental health specialist, has a passion for people and horses that is contagious. In utilizing the intuitive nature of horses as prey animals, Jennifer applies psychotherapy to her sessions with the rest of her team (equine specialist and horse), deriving the clients solution-orientation to address all sorts of complicated life experiences, including trauma, abuse, mental illness, adjustment to stressful situations, substance abuse, anger management, and simply a desire for enhancing their ability to enjoy life. She looks forward to meeting you at the barn!

Advisory Board - Jennifer Sindell

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