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.
Julie Burns serves as an Operations Associate with the Finance and Operations team at the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation. Having worked in a variety of educational settings such as schools, museums, libraries, and nonprofits, she brings a passion for education and a strong administrative and customer service background to her role at VECF. Julie holds a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Mary Washington and a Master of Arts in Teaching from George Washington University.
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.
Accountability Liaison for Early Childhood Care and Education Providers
Vanessa Di Leo
Accountability Liaison for Early Childhood Care and Education Providers
In this role at VECF, she supports and champions early educators through advocacy, relationship-building and concrete supports designed to help teachers and children succeed. Vanessa received her bachelor's degree from the University of Virginia and her master’s degree in Museum Studies from Virginia Commonwealth University. She has more than 20 years’ experience in early care and education, family engagement, learning facilitation and talent development. She has worked as a national consultant, grant writer, program evaluator, mentor, coach and facilitator, and is currently a volunteer Tour Guide at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Vanessa enjoys gardening, hiking, reading and spending time with her children and pets.
Abby is the Accountability Liaison for Ready Regions, an initiative that brings unprecedented levels of coordination, accountability, and family engagement to early education programs in every community in Virginia. Abby has held an interest in promoting accountability within public programs, first as an early childhood educator, classroom observer, and then ensuring compliance at a school network level. Most recently, she specialized in monitoring equity among students with disabilities and English learners and general policy compliance at the charter school authorizer in Washington, DC. Abby holds a Bachelor of Social Work from James Madison University and a Master of Social Work from Catholic University.
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.
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 the Ready Regions Director, Emily Keenum leads technical assistance planning for Virginia’s statewide network of Ready Regions. She is dedicated to producing learning processes that connect partners responsible for on-the-ground early childhood systems-building to consultants and experts in early childhood policy, program, and research. Through targeted skill-building and supporting individual and organizational capacity, Ready Regions can deliver early childhood systems that ensure all Virginia families and young children thrive. Emily received her bachelor’s 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.
Tara is the Operations Associate with the Finance and Operations team at VECF. Her passion for helping others has influenced her work in the government, non-governmental organizations and non-profits. Tara has experience working in contractual/grant work for international development organizations and is excited to expand her knowledge in operations management and project management to better contribute to the initiative of our mission. Tara obtained her bachelor’s degree from Virginia Commonwealth University and a master’s degree from American University.
Angela Rice serves as VECF’s office manager. 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.
As the Chief Accountability Officer, Becky works with a diverse team to ensure that the Virginia Early Childhood Foundation’s programs deliver on their promise to support the quality, equity, and sustainability of Virginia’s early childhood care and education system. Prior to joining VECF, Becky founded and directed Carolina Demography, an applied research unit at the University of North Carolina that used population-level data and other research to provide context and perspective to people and organizations working to shape the state’s future. She earned a BA in Sociology and Political Science from The Ohio State University and an MA and PhD in Sociology from Duke University.
As Project Manager for VECF’s Mixed Delivery program, Abigail Vo supports regional leaders as they help providers implement this innovative model for increasing equitable access to high-quality early childhood care and education. Abigail began her career as an early childhood special educator and went on to conduct research on relationship-based models for promoting healthy social-emotional development in young children. She has also conducted research in other content areas, served as a consultant and coach for providers and families, and worked as a nonprofit grant coordinator. Abigail received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Virginia, and her M.Ed. and Ph.D. in Education from Virginia Commonwealth University.
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.