Dana Carroll serves as Springfield’s Child Advocate for the Every Child Promise. Dana has been with the Community Partnership of the Ozarks for nearly 15 years. She has experience with child care, early childhood education, and parent education particularly teen parents, at-risk parents, and families who are homeless. Dana is married and has five children. She and her husband have experience with children with special needs, children with challenging behaviors and fostering and adoption of children.
Vickie Dudley serves as the Executive Director for Children’s Center of Southwest Missouri, Children’s Center, a not-for-profit child advocacy center serving twelve rural southwest Missouri counties with four locations, provides a child-focused setting for the assessment and treatment of child abuse. Previously, she held leadership positions at Cox Health and Mercy in Springfield for nearly 30 years. Notably, was her role as Director of Mission Services at Mercy where she led numerous community out reach and advocacy efforts. Dudley has a B.S in Health Promotion from Missouri State University and a Masters in Health Care Mission from Aquinas Institute of Theology.
Tracy Greever-Rice is the Co-Director of Research at the MU Center for Health Policy and serves as the Missouri KIDS COUNT Program Director for the Family and Community Trust (FACT). Prior to her current position, Tracy served as the Director at the Office of Social and Economic Data Analysis at the University of Missouri- Columbia.
Amy Hill serves as the Vice President of School-Based Services at Burrell Behavioral Health.
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.
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.
Steven R. Lewis
Steven is the Director of Mid-America Regional Council Head Start Program. He is responsible for providing leadership and oversight to the Head Start Program that represents 2400 children and 520 staff delivered through 17 contracted providers across 52 locations in the Kansas City, Missouri metropolitan area with an operating budget of $40 million. A board of 33 locally elected directors from nine member counties and six largest cities in the region hold the program accountable.
Jill Meriweather’s enthusiasm for early childhood education began while writing her undergraduate thesis – a comparative analysis of post-segregation education policy in Stellenbosch, South Africa and Kansas City, Missouri. A Kansas City native – Jill was a Head Start and Accelerated Kindergarten teacher in Las Vegas, Manager of Teacher Leadership Development at Teach For America – Kansas City, and the Coordinator of Early Learning Programs for the Hickman Mills School District. Currently, Jill is an Early Learning Program Manager at Mid-American Regional Council and focuses on readiness, public policy, and workforce priorities. Jill received her Bachelor of Arts from Harvard, her Master of Education in Early Childhood Education from the University of Nevada in Las Vegas, and her Graduate Certificate in Administration and Supervision from Johns Hopkins University.
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.
Sanaria is the Executive Director of Vision for Children at Risk. She joined the organization in 2013 as director of Project LAUNCH, a federally funded program to improve young child wellness in the 63106 and 63107 ZIP codes of north St. Louis. Previously, she served for over five years with Child Care Aware of Missouri, most recently as director of training and inclusion services. She has been in the early childhood field for 15 years, and has 10 years of statewide and regional management experience in the area of social and emotional well‐being of children, families and communities, training and educating service providers, with focus on inclusive practices. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and is working toward a master’s in business from Webster University.
Devon has varied experience working in schools as an administrator, instructional coach and classroom teacher. He works to develop community partnerships to offer meaningful and authentic learning opportunities for students. Devon is a former UnidosUS National Institute for Latino School Leaders fellow, focusing on using federal policy to improve teacher development and retention. He is a former National Principal Fellow for Relay Graduate School of Education. Devon is also an active musician in Kansas City.
Katie is from the Hannibal area and resides in rural Ralls County. Katie began her journey with the foster care system early in life when she was in foster care herself. Katie always says she considers herself lucky because she was able to be raised by her grandparents who were eventually able to adopt her when she was an adult. Katie graduated from Truman State University with a degree in Justice Systems, and is currently finishing up her last year of law school at Mizzou and will be graduating in May with her law degree. Katie also has experience working as a social worker and in a juvenile office. Katie licensed and trained foster parents throughout the state of Missouri for three years.
Erica Williams is active in her community and is deeply concerned about the economic status of north St. Louis County and particularly its black citizens. Through her academic research and community involvement, she has linked St. Louis’s racist past to North County’s current economic status and the racial inequality blacks still experience. Her passion and dedication led to her founding a collaborative, community benefit organization called A Red Circle. Red, because all blood is red and a circle to represent safety and unity. In addition to her work with A Red Circle, Erica is a St. Louis Master Gardener, co-chairs MOCAN – Missouri Council on Activity and Nutrition and its Food Systems Work Group, sits on the Youth Ed & Development committee of Kids Win-Missouri and participates in HomeGrown Stl, is on the executive board committee as treasurer for Missouri Health Care for All and is a member of the Nine Network Community Advisory Board. She is the recipient of a Focus St. Louis Award, My Name is Need, an Impact Award, and an award from the Coalition for Human Rights.