“Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”—John Fitzgerald Kennedy

  • Judy JablonExecutive Director

    I ignite innovation and provide strategic direction to execute Leading for Children’s mission to realize shared power and a commitment to equity. Before beginning Leading for Children, I enjoyed more than 35 years in early learning as an educational consultant, facilitator, and author. I am driven to provide the best possible early learning experiences for children, while simultaneously creating environments where educators thrive.

  • Nichole ParksDirector of Programs

    I support the development and implementation of programs at Leading for Children that promote transformational relationships, work directly with our partners to foster collaboration and co-construction of programs, and contribute to the development of resources in our LFC library. Prior to joining Leading for Children, I was the Quality Rating Improvement System Program Coordinator with A-State Childhood Services in Arkansas. My role included establishing short- and long-term coaching partnerships with teachers and directors, supporting teams to offer individualized and diverse professional development programs to early learning providers across the state.

  • Gretchen Henderson Chief of Staff

    I manage the administrative, financial, and operational activities of Leading for Children. I am a strategic partner to Judy Jablon and the leadership team, and ensure timely and effective completion of projects and initiatives. Before joining Leading for Children, I spent more than 15 years as a project manager in the fields of medical communication and nonfiction book publishing. In these roles I oversaw large projects and created systems and processes to streamline operations.

  • Kenecha Brooks-SmithProgram Leader

    I facilitate Learning Network sessions, support partners on their path to development, and assist with project coordination with Leading for Children. Before joining Leading for Children, I was a classroom educator, subsequently moving into administration. I supported early childhood liaisons, coaches, and professional development specialists as they worked to coach, model lessons, and provide technical assistance within Mississippi’s childcare centers. I also ensured that staff maintained procedures and reviewed data for continuous improvement.

  • Lauren Farmer Donor Relations Coordinator

    I nurture relationships with philanthropists by communicating about Leading for Children’s programmatic work and the impact of our donors’ giving. I also support LFC’s marketing and outreach initiatives. After teaching preschool in college, I joined a Bright Horizons leadership team, coordinating the center’s day-to-day activities. As an HR Business Partner with Goodwill, I experienced first-hand the human impact nonprofits provide to our communities and the importance of the team members, funders, and donors who work behind the scenes to make this impact possible.

  • Christine ShraderProgram Leader

    I oversee the project management of multiple contracts for Leading for Children and facilitate the planning and delivery of various program activities. Before joining Leading for Children, I spent over 25 years teaching, directing, assessing, and coaching in early care settings and systems, led by a desire to support educators and families.

  • Joelle WheatleyAssociate Director of Strategy

    I support Leading for Children’s vision and mission through ongoing evaluation of our impact and consistent implementation of our strategic priorities. Prior to joining LFC, I provided strategic guidance and evaluation support to statewide early learning systems, philanthropic organizations, and departments of education. Most recently, at 3Si, a social sector consulting firm, I worked to improve outcomes for children and families throughout the state of Washington.

  • Margo L. Dichtelmiller, Ph.D.Professor Emeritus, Department of Teacher Education, Eastern Michigan University

    Board Chair. Margo Dichtelmiller has provided professional development experiences to educators across the country and is the author of numerous publications including The Power of Assessment and Work Sampling System.

  • Vik GuptaVik Gupta Consulting

    Board Treasurer. Vik Gupta is a consulting director of finance to a number of non-profits. He devises and implements robust financial systems, strengthens internal controls, and is responsible for overall financial strategy. He advises start-up non-profits on risk and compliance matters as well as the role of finance in effective mission delivery.

  • Renée SkolaskiExecutive Director & CEO, Help for Children

    Board Secretary. Since 1998, Help For Children (HFC), has worked to prevent and treat child abuse both at home and abroad. A global foundation, historically supported by the alternative asset management industry, Help For Children provides grants to effective child abuse prevention and treatment interventions across three continents, in seven countries and 13 cities, making the world a safer place for children.

  • Kallie AultmanAssociate Director of Partnerships, Office of External Relations, The George Washington University

    Originally from Minnesota, Kallie Aultman has a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of St. Thomas and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business. She currently lives in New York, but works in Government and External Relations at The George Washington University in Washington D.C, where she manages projects that partner with the local and federal governments and finds external funding opportunities. Prior to her current role, she worked at the National Immigration Forum in D.C. and at the Permanent Observer Mission of the Holy See to the United Nations in New York.

  • Andrew DavisChief Partnership Officer, Shine Early Learning

    Andrew Davis works with programs nationwide to focus on closing the achievement gap. He brings a deep understanding of corporate education and their foundations. As an advocate for children, a public speaker, and general problem-solver, Andrew shares the best of what he has observed from programs across the country striving for lasting, positive change.

  • Robin Hancock, MA, Ed.D.Director of Global Learning and Community Engagement, The Packer Collegiate Institute

    Dr. Robin Hancock is an educator, researcher, documentary filmmaker, and consultant. Her research centers on the value of teaching global citizenship education to very young children. Dr. Hancock’s most recent book, “Global Citizenship Education: Resources and Strategies for Educators and Communities” will be released through Taylor and Francis in December 2020. Robin is the producer of a docuseries about global citizenship for young children titled World Class Trip, which is currently in production.

  • Alison MasutaniVice President of Operations, Partners in Development Foundation

    Alison Masutani manages the Tutu and Me Traveling Preschool, which serves thousands of Native Hawaiian 0-5 year-old children and their caregivers. This program has become a national model for outreach to native peoples, especially those living in rural and remote areas. She oversees the implementation of programs and all related issues including staffing, fiscal needs, quality assurance, and efficiency.

  • Kwamara Thompson

    Social entrepreneur, Kwamara Thompson has always been fighting for positive change by leading with her passion for education. As an accomplished speaker, consultant, educator, and activist, Kwamara has started multiple ventures throughout her career to help people improve their lives, to help organizations become equity and empathy focused, and to help alleviate the structures of systemic racism. Kwamara has always believed that entrepreneurship and education are often the best ways to attain financial freedom; to live the quality of life you want to live. A natural-born businesswoman, Kwamara started her entrepreneurial career at the early age of eight, when she began creating her own children’s books and then selling them to her friends. When she first began working as a classroom teacher, Kwamara was also consulting on the side, helping school districts develop curricula and after school programming. Eventually, she decided to formalize these endeavors and create her own consulting business, TEC: Thompson Education Consulting, helping school districts, non-profit organizations, and small businesses, with professional development, programming, and creating high-performing positive work environments. As a Black female entrepreneur, Kwamara wants those in her community to succeed, and through marrying her passions for leadership, activism, and education, she has been able to help many in her community attain their financial and entrepreneurial goals. Over the past 10 years, Kwamara has created multiple initiatives, products, and services all under the TEC umbrella, acquiring multiple streams of income, servicing individuals across the country, and helping companies create more equitable, empathetic, and human-centered organizations.

  • Laura EnslerAdvisor, Strategic Partnerships

    I support Leading for Children in identifying potential collaborators who share LFC’s vision and mission. With the LFC team, I help navigate growing relationships with external partners and their communities. In addition to my work with Leading for Children, I have been a consultant, facilitator, and coach in early learning and leadership for over 30 years. In 2013, I founded FirstStepNYC, an early childhood center co-located in a public school in Brownsville, Brooklyn and its affiliate program, the Early Childhood Leadership Institute for NYC.

  • Lisa Holton Advisor, Publications and Development

    I help the Leading for Children team create, publish and distribute books, webinars, and digital resources; I partner with Judy Jablon and the team on development strategy and execution, and I serve as a strategic advisor to the senior team. As a former children’s book publisher, digital media entrepreneur, and nonprofit Executive Director, I bring a deep passion for Leading for Children’s mission and experience in getting things done.

  • Serene StevensSenior Facilitator

    I support educational leaders through coaching and facilitating conversations to encourage growth that impacts the children and families whom they serve. I began my professional journey 20 years ago as an early childhood teacher working with children aged 6 months to 4 years. From there, I served as a Program Director in New York City and then in the Bronx, New York. I currently teach as an Adjunct Lecturer at the Borough of Manhattan Community College and provide educational coaching and consultation.

  • Egda VelozAdvisor, Bookkeeping and Accounting

    I provide financial and accounting services to Leading For Children. My focus is to ensure that the LFC maintains a sound and fiscally responsible accounting system. I also collaborate with Judy Jablon and Gretchen Henderson to help them analyze financial information. I bring almost two decades of diverse financial and business experience as a Certified Public Accountant. I help non-profits achieve organizational, mission-driven success by establishing practical and strong accounting practices.

  • Ahmed YearwoodAdvisor, Digital Media Strategy

    I utilize the myriad of media tools to tell the stories of Leading for Children Learning Networks. I listen for stories of impact and transformation, visualize them, and share via the website, social media, video clips, and more. Through Y INTERACT, the creative agency I founded 20 years ago, I have partnered with brands in non-profit, education, sports entertainment, and financial services, among others. Since 2019, my primary role has been to oversee the design of accessible custom websites and applications for users of all abilities at Princeton University.