ETC Institute

Our mission is to cultivate well-being and flourishing by resourcing individuals, families, and communities with knowledge and skills needed for intentional relationships that embody compassion and hope.

Our Commitment

We believe that attachment rich, emotionally safe relationships are vital for individual and community well-being. We know that people have great capacity to grow and overcome
adversity when cared for in supportive, nurturing environments. To that end, we are committed to creating and delivering evidence-informed, healing-centered resources, services, and support at an individual and community level.

The Legacy that Brought Us Here

The ETC Institute program is rooted in Empowered to Connect’s deep legacy. At its start, the impetus of Empowered to Connect was a felt need in the adoptive and foster community for training and support.

Through flagship parenting courses, the podcast, the YouTube channel, collaborative partnerships, and our network of trainers, we have been a leader in providing attachment rich, trauma informed knowledge and skills. We have impacted and supported tens of thousands of parents, caregivers, and professionals over the last decade.

What Compels Us Forward

As the larger Empowered to Connect organization grew, the ETC Institute program was created to be the primary avenue for continued innovation, creativity, resource development, and
research as the larger organization expands its reach.

While our courses and trainings will continue to be especially helpful for caregivers of children
who have experienced adverse childhood experiences (ACEs), toxic stress, and maltreatment, or who are neurodiverse, our resources and supports have been expanded and updated to meet the needs of a broader audience of parents, professionals, and community leaders.

ETC Institute Team

Mark Ottinger

Executive Director

Tona Ottinger

Senior Director of Programs

JD Wilson

Director of Communications

ETC Institute: Director of Communications

Matt Smith Ph.D.

Director of Well Being and Care

MFCC: Clinical Director of Counseling

Stephanie Davidson

Research Manager

MFCC: Clinical Therapist

Becca McKay


ETC Institute: Program Manager

Nicole West Ph.D

Research Manager

MFCC: Clinical Therapist

Jesse Faris

ETC Institute: Program and
Training Specialist

George Moore

ETC Institute: Training Specialist

Safe & Secure: Training Specialist