Amy Blouin

Amy Blouin is the founder and Executive Director of the Missouri Budget Project. Amy has a Master of Social Work from St. Louis University (1996), and a BA in Political Science and Religious Studies from Loras College, Dubuque Iowa (1991). Amy previously served as the Director of Advocacy for Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of St. Louis and as Government Relations Staff for the United Way of Greater St. Louis. Amy has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Saint Louis University, spent time working in Central America and with the Iowa Department of Economic Development European Office in Frankfurt, Germany. Amy has worked on state tax and fiscal policy issues for more than 15 years and has received regional and statewide recognition for her work.  In 2012, the St. Louis Business Journal named Amy “One of the Most Influential St. Louisans.” Other awards include a “40 Under 40″ award from the St. Louis Business Journal and the Missouri Women’s Network 2010 Award for Advancing Women’s Equality.

Janet Dankert

Janet Dankert has a bachelor’s degree from Emory & Henry College and more than 25 years of experience in non-profit management and leadership.  She is currently the Executive Director for Community Partnership of the Ozarks, a local non-profit organization with more than 60 full and part-time staff members and an annual budget of $3.4 million. In this position, she provides leadership and support to a 33-member board of directors, executive committee, and four other board committees. Janet also provides leadership at the state level through a network of 20 Community Partnerships across the state.  Before moving to Missouri, she directed a children’s health program for many years in the Appalachian Mountains of Southwest Virginia. Janet is a graduate of Leadership Springfield Class 27 and was named one of Springfield’s 20 Most Influential Women in 2015.  She is currently a member/volunteer with Rotary Club of Springfield, League of Women Voters of Southwest Missouri, North Springfield Betterment Association, United Way of the Ozarks, the Good Community Committee, Any Given Child Advisory Committee, Junior League Advisory Council, Healthy Living Alliance Advisory Council, the Impacting Poverty Commission, Every Child Promise, GFWC Sorosis Club of Springfield, and the Midtown Neighborhood Association.

Ruth Ehresman

Ruth provides staff coordination for the St. Louis Family & Community Partnership. A Vision for Children at Risk staff member since 2013, Ruth has spent the last 15 years advocating in the public interest for policies in Jefferson City. She was the policy director of Citizens for Missouri’s Children for 11 years and the director of health and budget policy at the Missouri Budget Project for six years. Ruth has participated in the development of public policy at the state level on issues relating to the budget and revenue, health care, welfare reform, child welfare, nutrition, livable wages and child care. Ruth is currently a member of the board of directors of the Missouri Family Health Council and Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice, and is co-chair of the Jobs With Justice Workers’ Rights Board. She is a member of the Catholic Charities Advocacy Advisory Council. Ruth was selected as a Health Care Hero in Policy by the St. Louis Business Journal in 2007, and as a Distinguished Alumni by the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University, 2008. She has received the Child Advocate of the Year award from the Council on Child Abuse and Neglect, the Dr. James Kimmey Lifetime Achievement Award from the Missouri Health Advocacy Alliance, and The Mickey Rosen Community Advocate Award from the Missouri Association of Social Welfare. She holds a master’s degree in social work from the Brown School of Social Work at Washington University.

Ken Hussey

Ken Hussey serves as the Director of Leadership and Civic Engagement for the Missouri State Alliance of YMCAs. In this role, he provides leadership to the YMCA Youth and Government programs in Missouri and Kansas, while also assisting with national YMCA youth leadership programs. With the Alliance, he works with Missouri YMCAs to advance their policy priorities at the local, state, and federal levels. Prior to his current role, Ken served as the Executive Director of the Missouri Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, a statewide association comprised of over 1,100 pediatricians and residents in Missouri. He served as the lobbyist for the chapter, advocating for children’s health issues at the State Capitol. Since 2013, Ken has served as a councilman on the Jefferson City Council. He currently chairs the Public Works and Planning Council Committee. He is active in the community, and involved with organizations such as Rotary, Chamber of Commerce, and Serve Jeff City.

Casey Hanson

Casey Hanson is the Policy and Communications Coordinator for the Missouri AfterSchool Network (MASN), housed at the University of Missouri in Columbia, where she earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Master’s in Public Affairs. Prior to joining MASN in 2014, she coordinated a statewide project aimed at expanding the state’s longitudinal data system to include more early childhood and afterschool related data. Casey’s passion for afterschool and early childhood education has been fueled by her direct experiences as a program volunteer, staff person, and participant. She also has experience working directly for legislators and as a community organizer for candidates and issue-based campaigns.

Wendell Kimbrough

Wendell E. Kimbrough serves as Chief Executive Officer of St. Louis-based Area Resources for Community and Human Services (ARCHS). Wendell is the architect of ARCHS’ intermediary funding model that annually improves the lives of more than 150,000 children and their family members. ARCHS currently funds and enhances a portfolio of 30 St. Louis area education and social service programs provided at 380 locations.Through his leadership, ARCHS has achieved numerous national and regional awards including four “What’s Right With the Region” honors by FOCUS St. Louis. Wendell is noted for 40 years of for-profit and not-for-profit organizational experience including executive posts at Coca-Cola and Tropicana Products. He has served on the boards of the After School for All Partnership for St. Louis, Missouri KIDS Count, St. Louis Mayor’s Task Force on Youth and Families, and the State of Missouri Governor’s Pre-K Readiness Panel. A native of East St. Louis, IL, Wendell has an MBA from the Walter E Heller School of Business at Roosevelt University in Chicago, Illinois and a BA in Business Administration from Clark Atlanta University in Atlanta, Georgia.

Dean Olson

Dean Olson is the President & CEO of The Family Conservancy in Kansas City.  He has a Master’s in Public Administration from the University of Missouri-Kansas City and a Master’s in Social Welfare from the University of Kansas.  He is a champion for early learning, school readiness, family resiliency programs, and strengthening families.

Stephanie Seger

Stephanie Seger is the Manager of Government Relations at Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City. With 9 years’ experience working in child health policy, Stephanie is a well-versed lobbyist and passionate advocate for the health of all children. Her experience at the Capitol and in public policy is utilized by other organizations serving children. She is on the board of the Mother and Child Health Coalition, where she serves as legislative advocacy committee co-chair and as chair of the Operation Breakthrough Leadership Council. Stephanie has a Masters of Social Work and Masters of Arts in Public Policy Management from The Ohio State University. She resides in the Hyde Park neighborhood of Kansas City, MO will her husband, Dan and dog, Sparklesworth.