Co-founders Julie Nowacki and Marian Stiegeler, LPC, have combined their individual passions to form a single vision to help children and teens who are suffering from emotional and social issues. Julie’s father-in-law Rod, who suffered from mental illness took his own life in October of 2016. This tragic event inspired Julie to use her experience in the music industry and community involvement to address the mental health crisis that was affecting youth nationwide Her vision was to create a safe place where kids of all ages could come and express themselves while increasing their social and emotional intelligence. Marian is a licensed professional counselor and always had a dream of opening up a play therapy center based on her own trauma that she experienced when she was younger. When Julie and Marian met July of 2017 in Eugene, Oregon, they found that although their individual visions were incomplete, together their visions made one complete and beautiful dream! And with that, ElRod Center in memory of Rodney Lee Nowacki was born!