Leadership

Leadership Team

People will always be our greatest asset at Jumpstart. With the passion, dedication and experience of our Leadership Team, we’ve got what it takes to prepare every child to succeed. Read on to learn more about the outstanding individuals leading the way at Jumpstart.

Naila Bolus
Naila Bolus
President & CEO
Naila Bolus is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Jumpstart, a national early education.
Karina Kidder
Karina Kidder
Vice President of Field Operations
Karina Kidder, Vice President of Field Operations, joined Jumpstart in 2003 and has over 18.
Jessica Lazzara
Jessica Lazzara
Vice President of Education & Research
Jess joined the staff at Jumpstart in 2000, but her Jumpstart journey began prior to.
Jamella Lee
Jamella Lee
Vice President of People & Culture
Jamella moved to Massachusetts in 2018 to take on the role of Jumpstart’s VP of.
David Melendez
David Melendez
Vice President of Development
David Melendez joined Jumpstart in 2018 as Vice President of Development. He oversees the development.
Mark Reilly
Mark Reilly
Vice President of Policy & Government Relations
Mark Reilly joined Jumpstart in 2013 and leads its policy advocacy initiatives as Vice President.
Atalaya Sergi
Atalaya Sergi
Vice President of Strategic Partnerships & Programming
Atalaya brings 20 years of experience in education and community engagement, working in public school.
Jennifer Templeman
Jennifer Templeman
Chief Operating Officer
Jennifer Templeman, Chief Operating Officer, joined Jumpstart in 2010 and brought 20 years of financial.
Abby R. Weiss
Abby R. Weiss
Chief Program Officer
Before joining Jumpstart as the Chief Program Officer, Abby Weiss was the Associate Director of.

Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Council

Jumpstart is committed to creating an environment that nurtures unique perspectives, facilitates authentic dialogue and honors the identities of its community members to enhance our ability to close the kindergarten readiness gap. The Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Council brings together members from across the network for reflection, learning, and project planning. Learn more about our DEI work here.

  • Beth Bauman, Director of National Program
  • Drew Esposito, Manager of Marketing, Design, & Digital Strategy
  • Joery Francois, Volunteer Manager
  • Christopher Hernandez, Quality Coach
  • Kortney Hernandez, Site Manager, California State University – Los Angeles
  • Jamella Lee, VP of People and Culture, (Council Co-Lead)
  • Jessie Levit-Shore, Senior Development Writer
  • Maria Monarrez, Senior Manager of Strategic Partnerships & Programming
  • Mathew Moura, Senior Director of Field Programs, Classroom and Community Impact
  • Paulette Pinero, Director of Strategy
  • Meghan Robinson, Site Manager, University of Washington
  • Brandon Rothschild, Site Manager, Jumpstart Hartford
  • Jennifer Templeman, Chief Operating Officer (Council Co-Lead)
  • Michelle Zuzock, Senior Site Manager, Kean University

National Board of Directors

Jumpstart’s National Board of Directors is comprised of individuals from many backgrounds with one thing in common: a desire for every child to enter kindergarten prepared to succeed. Their passion leads strategy, guides governance, and galvanizes support for our organization.

Kim L. Mitchell
Kim L. Mitchell, Co-Chair
Vice President, Program Development & Operations, NPower
Kim Mitchell, VP of Program Development and Operations is responsible for leading NPower’s programmatic direction.
Chris Stadler
Chris Stadler, Co-Chair
Managing Partner, CVC Capital Partners
Christopher Stadler joined CVC Capital Partners as a Managing Partner in 2007, based in New.
Lorie E. Almon
Lorie E. Almon
Co-Managing Partner, Seyfarth Shaw Attorneys, LLP
Lorie Almon is a recognized leader in the field of complex employment litigation. Both Chambers.
Delia Arellano-Weddleton, MSW
Delia Arellano-Weddleton, MSW
Senior Program Officer, Nellie Mae Education Foundation
As senior program officer of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation, Delia oversees the Foundation’s extensive.
Nigel Barker
Nigel Barker
Fashion Photographer, Author, Filmmaker
Nigel Barker is an internationally renowned photographer who opened his New York studio in 1996. He.
Stephanie Blank
Stephanie Blank
Chair, GEEARS (Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students); Senior Advisor, Arthur M. Blank Foundation
Stephanie Blank is a longtime champion of children and education. Blank serves on the Georgia.
Joseph I. Castro, PhD, MPP
Joseph I. Castro, PhD, MPP
President, California State University, Fresno
Joseph I. Castro has served as the eighth president of California State University, Fresno since.
James Cole, Jr.
James Cole, Jr.
Chairman and CEO, Jasco Group, LLC
James Cole, Jr. is the Founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of The Jasco Group,.
Thomas G. Connolly
Thomas G. Connolly
Managing Director, Goldman Sachs
Tom is the global head of the Principal Debt Group within the Merchant Banking Division..
Kim Davis
Kim Davis, PhD
Associate, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Dr. Kimberlynn Davis is a patent attorney at Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton, LLP, and focuses.
Josh Duhamel
Josh Duhamel
Actor
A dynamic and versatile actor, Josh Duhamel is one of Hollywood’s leading males.  Most recently,.
Tamara Jones Dunn, MD
Tamara Jones Dunn, MD
Physician, Stanford Hospital & Palo Alto Veterans Hospital
Tamara's involvement in early childhood education feels like a continuation of her late mother's work.
Yendelela Neely Holston
Yendelela Neely Holston
Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer, Kilpatrick Townsend
Yendelela Neely Holston is a partner with and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer for Kilpatrick,.
David Humphrey
David Humphrey
Managing Director, Bain Capital
Mr. Humphrey is a Managing Director, Private Equity at Bain Capital in Boston, Massachusetts, focusing.
Jackie Jenkins-Scott
Jackie Jenkins-Scott
Founder & President JJS Advising, President Emeritus Wheelock College
Jackie Jenkins-Scott, Founder and President of JJS Advising, is a nationally recognized leader with more.
Greg Johnson
Greg Johnson
Chairman of the Board, Director, & CEO, Franklin Resources, Inc.
Greg Johnson is the chairman of the board and director of Franklin Resources, Inc., and.
Michael H. Levine, PhD
Michael H. Levine, Ph.D.
Chief Knowledge Officer, Sesame Workshop
Michael H. Levine, a child development, early learning and social policy expert is Chief Knowledge.
David Lissy
David Lissy
Chief Executive Officer, Bright Horizons Family Solutions
Dave Lissy is the Executive Chairman of Bright Horizons Family Solutions (BFAM; NYSE), the world's.
Elizabeth Marcellino
Elizabeth Marcellino
Freelance Writer & Reporter, City News Services
Elizabeth Marcellino works as a Los Angeles-based journalist, reporting on a wide range of policy.
Jennifer K. Marrus
Jennifer K. Marrus
Board Member and Advisor
Jennifer Marrus has a wealth of experience in marketing and strategic problem solving in the.
Mark Pinho
Mark Pinho
Managing Partner, St. Victor Group
Mark Pinho is the managing partner of the St. Victor Group (SVG), a private investment.
Mark Polebaum
Mark Polebaum
General Counsel, MFS Investment Management (retired)
Mark Polebaum recently retired from MFS Investment Management, a global asset manager, where he served.
Linda K. Smith
Linda K. Smith
Director, Early Childhood Policy at Bipartisan Policy Center
Linda K. Smith is the Director of Early Childhood Policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center,.

National Early Education Council

Our National Early Education Council (NEEC) is a select group of scholars, leaders, and change-makers who inform the development of our programs to create real and lasting change in children’s lives.

Dale Atkins, PhD
Dale Atkins, PhD
Author and Psychologist
Dale V. Atkins, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist who has more than forty years of.
W. Steven Barnett, PhD
W. Steven Barnett, PhD
Board of Governors Professor and Director of the National Institute for Early Education Research, Rutgers University
W. Steven Barnett is a Board of Governors Professor and Director of the National Institute.
Sherry M. Cleary
Sherry M. Cleary
Executive Director of the New York Early Childhood Professional Development Institute at City University of New York
Sherry M. Cleary is the Executive Director of the New York Early Childhood Professional Development.
Douglas Clements, PhD
Douglas Clements, PhD
Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning & Professor, University of Denver
Douglas Clements is the Kennedy Endowed Chair in Early Childhood Learning and a Professor at.
Molly F. Collins, EdD
Molly F. Collins, EdD
Department of Teaching and Learning, Vanderbilt University
Molly F. Collins is a faculty member in the Department of Teaching and Learning at.
Linda M. Espinosa, PhD
Linda M. Espinosa, PhD
Author and Consultant; Professor Emeritus, University of Missouri-Columbia
Dr. Linda M. Espinosa is currently Co-PI for the Center for Early Care and Evaluation.
Walter S. Gilliam, PhD
Walter S. Gilliam, PhD
Professor of Child Psychiatry and Psychology Director, Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy, Yale University Child Study Center
Walter S. Gilliam is the Director of The Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and.
Roberta Golinkoff, PhD
Roberta Golinkoff, PhD
H. Rodney Sharp Professor, School of Education, University of Delaware
Roberta Michnick Golinkoff, Ph.D., Unidel H. Rodney Sharp Professor of Education, Psychology, and Linguistics and.
Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD
Kathy Hirsh-Pasek, PhD
Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow, Department of Psychology, Temple University
Kathryn Hirsh-Pasek is the Stanley and Debra Lefkowitz Faculty Fellow in the Department of Psychology.
Iheoma U. Iruka, Ph.D
Iheoma U. Iruka, PhD
Chief Research Innovation Officer and Director of The Center for Early Education Research & Evaluation, HighScope Educational Research Foundation
Iheoma U. Iruka, Ph.D., is the Chief Research Innovation Officer and Director of The Center.
Sharon Lynn Kagan, EdD
Sharon Lynn Kagan, EdD
Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood Education and Family Policy; Co-Director, National Center for Children & Families, Teachers College, Columbia University
Sharon Lynn Kagan is the Virginia and Leonard Marx Professor of Early Childhood and Family.
Christopher J. Lonigan, PhD
Christopher J. Lonigan, PhD
Distinguished Research Professor, Department of Psychology, Florida State University; Associate Director, Florida Center for Reading Research
Christopher J. Lonigan is a Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology and an associate director of.
Mariela M. Páez, EdD
Mariela M. Páez, EdD
Associate Professor, The Carolyn A. and Peter S. Lynch School of Education, Boston College
Dr. Mariela Paez is Associate Professor of Early Childhood. She has a doctorate in Human.
Robert C. Pianta, PhD
Robert C. Pianta, PhD
Dean, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia
Robert Pianta, PhD, is Dean of the Curry School of Education, Novartis US Foundation Professor.
Arthur J. Rolnick, PhD
Arthur J. Rolnick, PhD
Senior Fellow and Co-Director, Human Capital Research Collaborative; Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota
Arthur J. Rolnick is a Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative.
Shirley Sagawa
Shirley Sagawa
President & CEO, Service Year Alliance
Shirley Sagawa is the Service Year Alliance’s President and CEO and founder of the Service.
Judith A. Schickedanz, PhD
Judith A. Schickedanz, PhD
Professor Emerita, School of Education, Boston University
Judith Schickedanz is a professor emerita of education at Boston University. During her tenure there,.
Marlene Zepeda, PhD
Marlene Zepeda
Professor Emeritus of Child and Family Studies at California State University, Los Angeles
Marlene Zepeda is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of Child and Family Studies at.

Local Advisory Boards

Across the country, we rely on the support of local board members who are fierce advocates for Jumpstart, passionate about early education, and who live in the areas where Jumpstart’s program is implemented. Our local boards help us spread the word about the work we’re doing by encouraging local companies to get involved, inviting friends and families to join our mission, and much more.

New England Advisory Board

Mark Polebaum, Chair | General Counsel, MFS Investment Management (Retired)
Bill Barke | Chairman, Pearson U.S. Higher Education (Retired)
Ian Blasco | General Partner, Riverside Partners
Grier Tumas Dienstag | Engagement Manager, McKinsey & Company
Eric Greenberg | Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Samuel Karshis | Director of Global Business Development, Bright Horizons Family Solutions
Nakia Maddox-Eubanks | Portfolio Strategist, Bainco International Investors
Hiren V. Mankodi | Managing Director, Charlesbank Capital Partners
Joseph Robbins | Managing Director of Private Equity, Bain Capital
Rebecca Schechter | Senior Vice President, Optum Health

Tri-State Advisory Board

Jennifer K. Marrus, Co-Chair | Fundraising and Board Development Consultant
Mark Pinho, Co-Chair | Managing Director, St. Victor Group
Milena Alberti | Former CFO, Penguin Random House
Lorie Almon | Co-Managing Partner, Seyfarth Shaw LLP
Sharyar Aziz | Managing Director, UBS
April Whatley Bedford | Dean, School of Education, Brooklyn College
Mark Flannery | Sector Executive, Point72
Alice Kim | Managing Partner, DigiConsult
Kellie Lerner |  Partner, Robins, Kaplan LLP
Cynthia Mitchell | Partner, Seyfarth Shaw
Kim Mitchell | Vice President, Program Development & Operations, NPower
Kelsey Nason | Partner, Baretz+Brunelle
Alan Riffkin | Managing Director, Lazard Freres & Co. LLC
Brian Rivel | President, Rivel Research Group
Molly Wythes | Marketing Consultant

Atlanta Advisory Board

Kimberlynn B. Davis, PhD, Co-ChairAssociate, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Yendelela Neely Holston, Co-Chair Partner & Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer, Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP
Yolanda Adrean | District 8 Member, Atlanta City Council  (Retired)
Gerard J. Dash (YPB Co-Chair) | Global Technology Market / Board & CEO Services, Korn Ferry
Michael A. Davis, Jr. | Vice President, Strategic Initiatives and Partnerships, Sheltering Arms Early Education and Family Centers
Nina Schwartz | Founder, Student Leadership Development Program
Wendy L. Shoob | Judge, Fulton County Superior Court (Retired)
Aimee Turner (YPB Co-Chair) | Project Engineer, Croy Engineering, LLC

Northern California Local Advisory Board

Tamara Dunn, MD, Chair | Physician, Stanford Hospital and Palo Alto Veterans Hospital
Vijay Advani | President & Chief Operation Officer, TIAA Global Asset Management
Ryan Buckham | Vice President, Morgan Stanley
Rosy Cohen | Managing Director, Principal Investing, Wells Fargo
Gordy Holterman | Managing Member, BrightForge Technology Holdings
Jed Plafker | President, Franklin Templeton Investments International
Matthew Pielert
| Managing Director, Wells Fargo
Thomas W. Pulley | Managing Director, Fortress
Witek Sobanski | Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Jennifer Sorkin | Managing Director, Treasurer and Head of Operations, Fortress Investment Group

Southern California Advisory Board

Elizabeth Marcellino, Chair | Writer & Journalist
Brad Barrett | Vice President, Capital Group Companies
Sue Gaon | Vice President of Customized Learning Solutions, Lakeshore Learning Systems
Whit Hayslip | Consultant, The David & Lucile Packard Foundation
Becca Patton | Director Early Care and Education, First 5 LA

For more information about our Young Professionals Boards, check your local board page: Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Northern California, Southern California, and the Tri-State area.

Together, we can help all children build the key language and literacy skills they need to take on the world.

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