Meet Our Staff


Marie Collins, MA, LPC, LMFT, LAC
(She, Her, Hers)

Executive Director

Mrs. Marie Collins is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Licensed Addictions Counselor, and Neuro-Somatic Intelligence Practitioner. She joined The Family Tree in 2016 after working for ten years at the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office. She is originally from Acadiana and graduated with her Master’s in Counseling from Louisiana State University. Mrs. Collins is passionate about enhancing meaningful programs that assist the community and working families. Her experience in working with both adults and youth makes her a wonderful asset to The Tree. She enjoys working with people from all walks of life and assisting them in their personal growth journey of learning about one’s self and empowering individuals. She also enjoys her time working with staff on skills to regulate their nervous system.

She has been married since 2003 and has two sons. Marie loves self-care and advocacy! She enjoys growing a jungle of plants and can be found walking in nature!

Toni Bailey

(She, Her, Hers)

Director of Operations

Mrs. Bailey is a lifetime resident of the Acadiana area and loves that her position as Director of Operations allows her to work with members of her hometown community and make big impacts in a place she holds near and dear to her heart. She joined the team after 18 years as an Executive Administrative Assistant and Billing Supervisor with an Inpatient Treatment Facility governed by a cooperative agreement between Lafayette Consolidated Government, the Lafayette Parish Sheriff’s Office, and the State of Louisiana Office of Behavioral Health. Throughout her career, she has had the pleasure of working with diverse populations and applies her experience of working with clients, community stakeholders, law enforcement, and government officials to ensure impeccable implementation of all agency programs/services that will result in optimal outcomes for clients and participants. She is passionate about getting the best possible care for her clients and is an advocate for service affordability, program accountability, and equitable access to care.

Toni is married to one of Lafayette’s finest firefighters and has two adult children. She also has two furbabies, a boxer and a Maltese. As a family, they enjoy spending time together, cooking, dancing, and sports. Toni is also an essential oil enthusiast. She’s crazy about the powerful benefits of essential oils and believes there’s nothing they can’t help with.

Kristen Romero

(She, Her, Hers)

Operations Supervisor

Kristen became a part of our team in January 2020. She is originally from New Iberia, Louisiana, and has resided in Lafayette since 2017. Kristen obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Child and Family Studies from The University of Louisiana at Lafayette in December 2019. She is happily married to her high school sweetheart and welcomed their first child in September 2023. During her free time, she cherishes spending time with loved ones.

Kristen finds fulfillment in life by positively impacting others, no matter how small the gesture and she is dedicated to offering assistance and support to those in need.

Tahjarell Angelette

(She, Her, Hers)

Support Coordinator

Born and raised in New Orleans by way of Ruston, LA Tahjarell found her way to Lafayette, all thanks to her studies. Currently navigating senior year at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette,Tahjarell is diving deep into psychology with a side of human development and family studies.

When not hitting the books,Tahjarell is acing the game of American Sign Language (ASL) after three years of dedicated learning. Off-duty, catch her on the tennis court, crafting poetry, or lost in a good book or music vibes. Family and friends time? Always a priority.

Living by the mantra “always find the joy in the little things,” Tahjarell embodies positivity. Your next visit to The Family Tree promises a warm smile and dedicated assistance from her.

Lana Venable

(She, Her, Hers)

Support Coordinator

Lana joined our team in May of 2024. She is a lifetime resident of Church Point, Louisiana. She spends most of her time in Lafayette as she is currently studying at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She expects to graduate in May of 2025 with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science with a concentration in Cybersecurity.
Lana enjoys gardening, running, reading, and spending time with family and friends in her free time. Lana is passionate about supporting others in overcoming any difficulties they may face. She aspires to be a source of positivity, brightening the day of everyone she comes across

Laurie LaFleur

(She, Her, Hers)

Community Action Network (CAN) Coordinator

Laurie was born and raised in Broussard, La. She is genuinely honored and overjoyed to join The Family Tree Healthy Start team as the Community Action Network (CAN) Coordinator. She has worked two previous tenors with The Family Tree Healthy Start Program from 2005-2010 and in 2014- 2016 when Healthy Start was relaunched and again in 2023. Her previous experience of over 15 years with the Healthy Start program and other non-profits will be vital to making connections with the community to create new and lasting relationships and collaborations. Her unwavering commitment remains dedicated, strong, and passionate to fulfilling the mission of The Family Tree Healthy Start program. She is fully dedicated to serving and meeting the needs to provide community resources for mothers, babies, and families in our community. Laurie and her husband Chris, enjoy traveling, home projects, traveling with Chris’ Cajun band, sharing quality time with their 3 beautiful grandchildren, and daughter and son-in-law, and rescue cat Kalle.

Gabrielle Riles

(She, Her, Hers)

Fund Development Specialist

Meet Gabrielle “Gabby” Riles, our newly appointed Fund Development Specialist at The Family Tree. Hailing from the Big Easy, Gabby earned her Cajun-Creole stripes in Lafayette through her experience as a local news reporter in the Hub City.

With an M.S. in Broadcast and Digital Journalism from Syracuse University and a B.A. in English from Fisk University in Nashville, TN, Gabby combines a dynamic background in news reporting with a fresh enthusiasm for nonprofit fundraising and marketing. Her mission is to leverage her communication and relationship-building skills to garner support for our cause.

Beyond the hustle, Gabby is a devoted dog mom to her 12-year-old toy poodle, a companion since he was six weeks old. In her downtime, she enjoys shopping, attending concerts and festivals, cooking, and exploring Lafayette’s vibrant food scene.

As a valuable addition to The Family Tree, Gabby is eager to contribute her expertise to advance our mission. Connect with her to discover our exciting events and fundraising opportunities and learn how to become a Friend of The Family Tree.