Kathy Glazer joined the Foundation as president in 2012. Under her leadership and with a talented team, the Foundation promotes innovative partnerships to ensure that every region in Virginia will ensure equitable opportunities for all families with young children to thrive. Previously she worked in early childhood policy roles including with the national BUILD Initiative and in Virginia state government, where she led the development of key initiatives including the Smart Beginnings network and establishment of the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. Kathy has helped secure policy achievements and major investments from public and private sources for Virginia’s progress in advancing school readiness for young children. She enjoys working with national colleagues to develop policy guides including the National Academies’ Transforming the Financing of Early Care and Education report, SREB’s Building a Strong Foundation: State Policy for Early Childhood Education, and Alliance for Early Success’ Build Stronger: A Child Care Policy Roadmap for Transforming our Nation’s Child Care Roadmap. Kathy received her BA from the University of Georgia and MPA from Virginia Commonwealth University.
As the Vice President of Strategy, Karin focuses on building strategic partnerships to advance school readiness, working with the legislature, business community and early childhood stakeholders to increase public awareness and advance policies in support of an equitable, high-quality early childhood system in Virginia. Her past experiences include appointments at the White House, the US Department of Health and Human Services, and the Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs at the US Department of State. Karin received her bachelor’s degree from the College of William and Mary and her master’s degree from the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education.
Sharon Brager serves as Fund Development Manager, overseeing outreach and engagement with VECF’s private sector partners, including corporations, foundations and individuals. A primary focus of Sharon’s work is grant writing and cultivation and stewardship of donor gifts. Sharon has more than 30 years experience in fund development, having started her career in Washington, DC after graduating from Duke University with a degree in economics. She has worked with a range of non-profit organizations in Richmond and feels passionately about the importance that a quality early childhood experience can play in one’s future. She enjoys walking her dogs and spending time outdoors with her husband and three daughters.
Mollie Brooks serves as the Grants Manager for the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. In her role, she manages the coordination of the operational and fiscal administration of VECF’s grant initiatives to support an equitable, high-quality early childhood system in Virginia. Mollie’s prior experience includes managing the corporate foundation and community engagement program at a Fortune 500 company and serving as part of the operational team for a healthcare client of the world’s largest association management company. Mollie holds a bachelor’s of business administration degree from James Madison University and a master’s degree in nonprofit studies from the University of Richmond.
Tiana Brown serves as the Communications Associate for the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. She brings a progressive approach to corporate communications – applying strategic direction, creative thinking and leadership to support company goals, across a multi-functional workplace. Tiana has a breadth of experience across many areas, which includes but is not limited to project management, diversity, equity and inclusion, and integrated marketing. She has provided communications expertise everywhere from the Federal Government arena to a nationally recognized engineering firm and is now excited to lend her experience to VECF!
Jaimie H. Caleb is the Preschool Development Grant (PDG) Operations Advisor providing strategic oversight and guidance that supports VECF’s operational commitments to the statewide initiative. She brings hands-on, practical knowledge to the project amassed over 20 years of having worked for and consulted within government, nonprofit and higher education settings. Jaimie’s passion lies in supporting individuals and organizations to increase their capacity to perform impactful work. She is also the Founder and Principal Consultant of a small, women and minority owned consulting and real estate investment firm based in Richmond, VA. Jaimie earned a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University (Go Rams!) and a MS in Organizational Development from American University in Washington, DC. When she's not spending quality time with her family, you can find her - hands deep in the dirt - caring for the veggies in her year-round garden.
Robin Grossman is the Operations Director for VECF. She enjoys seeing the big picture of VECF’s scope of work and diving into the details of project and operations management to create efficiencies for our work. She has more than 20 years of project management experience including serving as an AmeriCorps Member in central Kentucky, directing service-learning efforts for Emory & Henry College, and managing early childhood grant-funded initiatives with United Way of Southwest Virginia. When she’s not deep into the details of operations, Robin enjoys gardening, photography, time with her family, and exploring urban and mountain settings on foot.
As the Vice President of Community Networks, Amy Hatheway leads efforts to help communities build equitable systems that make it possible for all young children and their families to thrive. Amy has worked as a preschool teacher, early interventionist, parent educator and Head Start administrator, and was a founding member of several local and regional early childhood coalitions. Before coming to VECF, she was Vice President of Planning and Resource Development for a community action agency where she and her team were responsible for program design, planning, assessment, and grant writing for its 25 anti-poverty programs. In her work with children, families, and early childhood leaders, she’s learned that there’s no ceiling on what people can accomplish when they put their minds to it.
Morgan Janke serves as the Ready Regions Director coordinating the strategic change and operational activities necessary to cultivate a statewide network of regional hubs ready to support the success of children in all areas of the Commonwealth. She is dedicated to working in partnership with communities to create programs, policies, and systems that ensure every child has access to the resources and opportunities they need to lead healthy and happy lives. Morgan received her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and her master’s degree in public administration from the University of Colorado.
Jade currently serves as Operations Associate for VECF. She earned her Bachelors of Science Degree in Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University. Beginning her career in diagnostic and stabilization services, Jade developed a passion for therapeutic programs, specifically those tailored to the emotional development of children in residential settings. She continued her career as a Case Manager providing Mental Health Skill Building and Intensive In-Home services for adults. For the last year and a half, Jade served as both Behavioral Therapist and Operations Coordinator for Next Steps Behavioral Centers, offering ABA and EIBI for children diagnosed with Autism and related disabilities. With a wide range of community and clinical experience, Jade also brings a strong administrative background to her new role at VECF.
As Senior Community Liaison for Health and Nutrition, Emily Keenum supports child health and nutrition priorities across multiple initiatives, including Virginia’s Developmental Screening Initiative and Nemours Children's Health Systems Childhood Obesity Prevention initiatives. She believes that optimal early health equips children to thrive, and that improved and equitable policies, practices, and resources that assure healthy experiences and settings for children are essential elements of a strong early childhood system. Emily received her bachelors and master’s degrees in Counseling from Virginia Commonwealth University.
As a career early childhood professional, Jenna Martin brings a deep, well-cultivated appreciation for the vital importance of early education initiatives in all their various forms. With direct experience as an educator, program director, and non-profit leader Jenna has seen—from multiple angles—the fundamental difference quality early childhood education makes. She holds a degree in Early Childhood Education from University of Massachusetts.
Shekinah Mitchell serves as the Community Liaison for Systems Equity supporting the development and implementation of VECF’s Ready Regions strategy. Her role focuses on the remediation of systemic barriers to facilitate equitable engagement of families. With over 12 years of nonprofit experience ranging from youth development and affordable housing to workforce development and equitable community revitalization, Shekinah brings a broad range of perspectives underscoring the need for equity to start early. Shekinah holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from Radford University and a master’s in urban and regional planning from Virginia Commonwealth University. As a Richmond native, she enjoys walking near the James River and is looking forward to filling her passport with new destinations around the world.
Lucy Mitzner serves as the Community Liaison for the Preschool Development Grant Birth-Five (PDG) at VECF. PDG is a federally funded, multi-year effort to unify Virginia’s birth-to-five early childhood care and education programs and providers across an equitable, high-quality, comprehensive system. Lucy supports community partner implementation of PDG and progress of regional early childhood systems-building goals. A graduate of the University of Maryland, College Park and Bank Street College of Education, her passion and interest have always focused her efforts on advancing early childhood development and experiences for young learners. Lucy has held positions as a teacher, literacy coach, evaluator, and education program officer, and is an avid consumer and fan of early childhood literature--you’ll find her exploring every children’s book section she can find!
As VECF’s Chief Learning & Engagement Officer, Anitha Pai spends most of her time guiding and coordinating the organization’s technical assistance efforts. Over the last 10 years, she has supported growing start-ups, large global firms, and education organizations to develop and scale mission-focused initiatives both in the US and abroad. Anitha is passionate about bringing people together to create meaningful learning experiences and brings a spirit of optimism, authenticity, and purpose to her role.
Angela Rice serves as VECF’s executive assistant. She supports the efforts of the President as well as multiple teams in the organization by coordinating daily tasks and projects for various programs and grants under VECF’s umbrella of services. A Virginia Commonwealth University graduate, Angela brings to VECF keen reasoning, time management and data analysis skills as well as the ability to work both independently and as part of a team.
Dr. Alyson Williams is the Community Liaison for Mixed Delivery Grants (MDG), an initiative that provides access to high-quality preschool for at-risk 3- and 4-year-olds in private settings. She provides relationship-based technical assistance to communities in their development and implementation of MDG. Alyson has over 20 years of experience in early childhood education. She has been an infant-toddler teacher, a center director, a non-profit executive, and has worked in research, evaluation, and higher education. Alyson has a particular interest in the development of the early childhood workforce and the ways that MDG can support the competencies and compensation of early education professionals.
Catherine Worrell serves as the Community Liaison for Classroom Quality at VECF and supports quality improvement efforts across multiple initiatives, including Virginia Quality, PDG, Mixed Delivery, and Ready Regions. She strongly believes that working with communities to develop equitable systems and policies is essential for continuous quality improvement and that educators should receive the same comprehensive, holistic, and strengths-based support that they provide for children and families across Virginia. Before joining VECF, Catherine worked in early childhood research, policy, and evaluation and most recently supported quality improvement efforts for Head Start at D.C. Public Schools.
Terri Ziegler serves as the Finance Manager for VECF. She works closely with other members of the Finance and Operations team as well as the Community Networks Team to manage various grants. Terri also works with subrecipients to ensure that payments are processed in a timely manner as well as updating budget revision requests. Terri has many years of experience helping with financial accounting for both small businesses and not-for-profits. Before joining VECF in March of 2020, Terri spent the previous 11 years working at RCG CPA Advisors. Terri enjoys escaping to the mountains with her husband and her dog, Millie on as many weekends as possible.
Krysta Jones is the Director of the Virginia Promise Partnership, and has over 20 years experience and expertise in grassroots organizing, political advocacy and community engagement. She has served as staff for several elected officials and candidates, founded a nonprofit to increase African-American political participation, lobbied for two national associations, and hosted and produced several local media programs. Krysta centers her work around empowering leaders and developing policies which will lead to an equitable society. She has a BA in Political Science from the University of Florida and an MA from the Graduate School of Political Management from The George Washington University.