Meet the Team
IZZI: Our Founder
Bring Back Nice was inspired by the vision of a very brave little girl. Bullied since 2nd grade to the point of suicidal thoughts, Izzi and her mom moved to Kansas for a fresh start. Over the first few weeks of living in Kansas, one word kept coming up, “nice.” Everything was nice, everyone was nice, life was getting nice again.
Izzi had long talked about helping other kids like her to not be sad, but to be strong and brave. At dinner one night, Izzi stated to her mom, “It’s not just about kids not being sad, it’s about teaching bullies to be nice. Let’s bring “nice” back everywhere.” Together with her mom, Izzi hopes to bring back “nice” to the world.
Izzi’s favorite way to describe herself is “weird, but in the most beautiful way.” Izzi loves to sing, and has found the stage to be a safe place to be herself. Acting in plays and musicals since she was 4 1/2, Izzi would love to be on Broadway one day. If that doesn’t work out, she’d also love to be a house designer. When not following her passion of singing and designing, Izzi loves drawing, Harry Potter, Minecraft, One Direction, and Pugs.
LORI: Our Executive Director
Above all else, Lori is Izzi’s mom. Lori and Izzi became a family through the blessing of adoption. During infancy, Izzi began exhibiting different symptoms and characteristics that eventually led her to a few diagnoses. Given Lori’s professional background working with children with special needs, she jumped into action to be sure Izzi had every available therapeutic intervention to help her reach her potential.
A Certified Professional Coach, Lori began her career as a teacher before specializing in the field of autism as a behavioral consultant. That led to opening The Loden Group, a qualified vendor with the State of Arizona, serving families living with autism and related developmental challenges. Lori gained her nonprofit experience as the Executive Director of the HollyRod Foundation, and Interim Deputy Director of CoachArt, both Los Angeles-based non-profits. Lori also served as Assistant Head of School for Temple Emanuel Academy Day School. In 2014 Lori was named to the SENG Honor Roll for her work with children who are Twice-Exceptional.
The three years between Izzi’s 2nd and 4th grades were very scary for Lori. The depths of Izzi’s depression and suicidal thoughts prompted Lori to make a huge life decision by moving to Kansas. The move has truly been life-changing for Izzi in the most positive way. Now that Izzi is happy again, Lori is beyond excited to make Izzi’s dream of ending bullying and suicidal thoughts in young children come true.
JESS: Our Program Director
Jess, Lori, and Izzi have a long history together both professionally and personally. Jess first worked with Lori providing services for children with autism. Later, Jess became Izzi’s nanny and through their mutual love of this special girl, she quickly graduated from nanny to auntie and employee to friend. Jess loved and supported Lori and Izzi from afar during their darkest days and was thrilled when they finally made the move to join her in Kansas for a fresh start.
Jess is a wife to Jason, mom to 3 crazy boys, and just beginning to embark on a new adventure into providing foster care. Jess taught kindergarten and has degrees in early childhood and elementary education, training which serves her well as a mama, an auntie, and working closely with Lori and Izzi to Bring Back Nice near and far! In each of her roles, Jess strives to show the children (and the grownups) in her life the importance of character development, integrity, and living a life of love and service. She is thrilled to be a part of Izzi’s movement to Bring Back Nice, because with just a little help and direction every kid can be a NICEkid™!