Executive directorNorth Bay Children’s Center, 925 C Street, Novato 94949; www.nbcc.net
Age: Are you kidding? Ageless of course!
Professional background: Early Childhood Educator, Executive Director
Education: degree in Child Development
Describe your organization: NBCC is widely recognized as a leader in early care and education providing high-quality child care services for children from 6 weeks through 12 years old. We are well known in our communities for establishing proven, effective early childhood education (ECE) programs that focus on school-readiness and foster health and wellness for families across the income spectrum.
In addition to high quality child care services for more than 360 children on a daily basis, NBCC’s programs address two nationally recognized problems that threaten the futures of our most vulnerable children: the education achievement gap, and the childhood obesity epidemic.
Tell us a little bit about yourself: I am a San Francisco native now living in Petaluma where my husband and I have raised our family for the past 20 years. I have been involved in the ECE field for more than 35 years as a teacher, agency director, and advocate for children’s issues. As the founding director of the North Bay Children’s Center in 1986, I am responsible for the oversight, growth and development of the organization. I have served in leadership roles on various boards and commissions throughout the North Bay further linking our child care community to numerous resources in Marin and Sonoma County.
What is your role in the organization?: Founder, Executive Director
What achievement are you most proud of?: Beside my two wonderful kids? Starting the North Bay Children’s Center at the age of 28 and seeing what it has become. From one small site serving just a handful of children, it has grown into a regional organization that now serves more than 350 children and their families on a daily basis. Negotiating an acre and a half of land for $1 at Hamilton Field in Novato (through the base-reuse plan) is a key component of our growth plan that I am particularly proud of. Looking back on the early days I think about everyone who tried to talk me out of quitting my teaching job to start a non-profit, or suggesting that my desire to build a campus on a former military base was pure fantasy. Being told my visions are impossible seems to be a catalyst for driving ideas toward success.
What is your biggest challenge today?: Being everywhere at once! Luckily I am now an empty-nester so work/life balance is becoming easier. Through NBCC’s recent growth into Sonoma County, I have learned the importance of creating and empowering the next level of leadership within the organization, along with building a strong board. We have attracted some amazing skill and talent and my challenge now is staying a step ahead of all of them!
What is the next major project either under way or on the horizon?: Keeping our curriculum fresh and meaningful is always what’s next. But we are getting underway to create a vibrant, 21st-century campus that will serve as a headquarters for NBCC's expanding programs in Marin and Sonoma Counties. It will serve as a classroom, program lab, training center and offices. It will be part of our mission to promote early education and healthy eating to as many young minds as possible.