Meet our Team

Natasha Kirsch

Founding CEO

As Founding CEO of Empowering the Parent to Empower the Child (EPEC), which operates The Grooming Project, Natasha Kirsch believes in a two-generation approach to breaking the cycle of poverty. Basic needs for food and shelter must be met before a parent can focus on guiding children through school and out of poverty, so a living-wage, family-flexible career for the parent is key. Natasha’s innovative approach to breaking the cycle of poverty and proven success has received several awards and the attention of a national catalyst foundation.

Natasha has an undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Iowa and an Executive Master’s degree in public administration from the UMKC Bloch School. She is passionate about working with mothers and fathers with multiple barriers to entering the workforce, such as low reading skills, severe trauma, or past incarceration and brings experience in both staff and volunteer roles for Healing House, Reach Out and Read, Community LINC and Stop Child Trafficking Now to the EPEC project. Natasha enjoys spending time with her two kids ages 16 and 12.

Jarrod Sanderson, LCSW

Director of Housing and Program Design

Jarrod is a listener, leader, influencer, difference maker, and solution builder with a history of successful organization transformation and change management. Jarrod combines his education and background in direct service with his desire to help nonprofit organizations operate at the highest level. His nonprofit experience spans sectors that include clinical counseling, housing, and youth, family and senior services. He is a respected leader across the nonprofit community, known for his collaborative approach and innovative solutions. He holds the National Institutes of Health Protecting Human Research Participants certification and is a Full Inclusion and Diversity Awareness trainer. Using his educational and experiential background, he has created a series of workshops to help direct-care staff fight the mental and emotional fatigue and burnout that is all too common. He also provides consulting services to help organizations develop an environment and culture that supports this thinking and practice. Jarrod is certified in Social Impact Strategy by the Colorado Institute for Social Impact.

Lacey Adair

Director of Grooming

Lacey moved to San Diego shortly after graduating high school. She had always loved animals, especially dogs. At age of 20, she quickly learned how to groom on the job. She started as a bather and moved up quickly to grooming and managing a salon.
After 6 years in CA she moved back home to Kansas and started grooming for other businesses until deciding to open her own salon. After running her very successful salon of 6 years, she realized she wasn’t as fulfilled as she thought she would be, so she sold it.
She was then hired as a part-time grooming instructor at The Grooming Project and loved knowing that she could give back to women/men in a career that I knew so much about. She found that “teaching” was her passion. She knew grooming would give the students and their families a successful life.
From there she was able to grow with The Grooming Project. She quickly became a full-time lead grooming instructor and started to help and work with, Teri, the Director of Grooming at that time, to develop and organize the system that we use today.
In 2020, Lacey became the Director of Grooming. Her path has not been an easy one, but she views her decision to pursue this line of work as one of the most rewarding choices she has ever made. She is so thankful for Natasha’s vision in opening the school, the great team to work and grow with, and the support from many volunteers of the school. She credits her best friends and family who are always there for her, as well as the many students who help her become a better teacher every day.