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, and Licensed Addictions Counselor. She joins The Family Tree 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. Substance Abuse treatment and the criminal justice system have been her focus and enable her to better serve clients and participants who receive services from The Family Tree. She also enjoys her time working closely with moms on parenting skills.

She is happily married with two sons. Marie loves to work out and even walks on a treadmill while at work in her office! She loves being active with her boys and enjoying nature outdoors!

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 joined our team in January 2020. She is a native of New Iberia, Louisiana but has been living in Lafayette since 2017. Kristen graduated from The University of Louisiana at Lafayette in December 2019 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a minor in Child and Family Studies. She is married to her high school sweetheart and is welcoming her first child in September 2023. In her free time, Kristen enjoys spending time with family and friends. 

To Kristen, the most beneficial part of life is making a positive impact on someone, even if it is minor. She is passionate about being as helpful as she can be and being there for those needing help.

Jada Venable

(She, Her, Hers)

Support Coordinator

Ms. Jada Venable joined our team in July 2021. She is from Church Point, Louisiana but spends most of her time here in Lafayette, where she attends The University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She will graduate with the class of 2023, having a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology with a minor in Kinesiology. Jada is set on continuing her journey as a life-long learner after graduation and will pursue a Master’s Degree to become a licensed therapist. She has known from an early age that her purpose lies in helping others to go through and to heal from the inevitable obstacles of life. Jada is passionate about holistic health and self-care, a passion inspired by her own nature and the guidance of her mother. In her down time, Jada enjoys quality time with her friends and family, running, writing, and spending time outdoors.

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.

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.