Client Relations Our client relations team is dedicated to building long-lasting, supportive, and engaged partnerships with educators, families, and all those who work with us to make our mission a reality. With more than 30 years of expertise in the fields of education and child advocacy, we have developed a team of passionate professionals who truly understand the challenges faced by children and the adults who support them. We are committed to working with our clients, not just for our clients, by providing access to and ongoing support of high quality, research-based programs and tools that will lift children up today and help create a safe and positive society in the future. Join our growing team! Visit our Careers page to learn about our current openings. Kelly Merkling Director of Client Relations × Kelly Merkling Director of Client Relations Kelly began working at Committee for Children in 2017. As client relations manager, she provides strategic leadership and development to all sales and customer support staff at Committee for Children. Kelly brings over 20 years of client management and sales experience to the role, previously working in the software, ecommerce, online advertising, and education industries. Before joining Committee for Children, Kelly worked at Apollo Education Group as the director of industry strategy, creating educational partnerships with industry leaders and national associations focusing on workforce development. She also worked as director of implementation and strategy, supporting Fortune 500 partnerships in developing strategic plans to support the needs of working learners. Kelly graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in business management and human resources management. Territory and Account Managers Amy Walker National Education Partnerships Sr. Manager × Amy Walker National Education Partnerships Sr. Manager Amy joined Committee for Children in 2002. A graduate of Western Washington University, Amy previously worked in education and technology sales, international business, and preschool and elementary school classrooms—also teaching at a university in Argentina. She has many years of experience consulting on violence prevention, bullying prevention, child abuse prevention, and social-emotional learning while working with hundreds of school districts around the country and presenting at dozens of conferences in the U.S. and abroad. As a member of our international team, Amy has led district sales and training for our partner agencies in Australia and the U.K. We are always grateful to Amy for the passion and dedication she brings to our mission and for the millions of children whose lives are better because of the work she does at Committee for Children. Lisa Wright Regional Account Manager, West Coast × Lisa Wright Regional Account Manager, West Coast Before joining Committee for Children in November 2017, Lisa was a teacher trainer with Peace Corps Indonesia, where she designed and coordinated youth development programs focused on diversity, health, secondary education, and leadership skills for elementary through high school students. In addition, Lisa worked with Sofia Blake, wife of US Ambassador Robert O. Blake, Jr., on cultural training for her university program in Indonesia. She has volunteered as a tutor for elementary students and brings more than seven years of marketing, client relations, and consulting experience to Committee for Children. Lisa has intimate knowledge of international development and experience working with and leading youth empowerment programs. She received a bachelor of arts in communications with a specialization in public relations from Michigan State University. Lisa speaks four languages: Mandarin Chinese, Bahasa Indonesia, Malaysian, and English. Jennifer Sanderlin (Balogh) Territory Manager, South × Jennifer Sanderlin (Balogh) Territory Manager, South Jennifer joined Committee for Children in 2013 as our regional outreach manager for the southern U.S. Previously, Jennifer was an early childhood classroom teacher, a nonprofit director, and an after-school program trainer. She is a graduate of the University of Washington. An integral part of our team, she is a strong resource for clients planning and sustaining their Second Step program implementation. Jennifer currently manages and creates our live and on-demand webinars to help clients stay connected, no matter where they are. Working at Committee for Children is an extraordinary source of joy for Jennifer, and she appreciates the opportunities for her to make a big impact on the world every day. Kyra Rhoads Regional Account Manager, South × Kyra Rhoads Regional Account Manager, South Since December 2017, Kyra has been Committee for Children’s regional account manager for the southern US. She brings over 15 years of experience working with a diverse range of nonprofit agencies—including healthcare, education, and youth-outreach programs—in both management and volunteer capacities. She considers client relations, strategic planning, and sales and marketing to be her premium skills. Kyra graduated with a bachelor of science in business and economics from George Fox University and studied nonprofit management at the Institute for Organization Management—the professional development program of the US Chamber of Commerce. Yvette Braddock, MEd Territory Manager, Central × Yvette Braddock, MEd Territory Manager, Central Yvette has worked as an outreach manager at Committee for Children since 2015. Before her time here, she spent nearly 12 years in the education field and 3 years in the consultative field, bringing to Committee for Children a wealth of experience. Yvette served as an assistant director for an after-school program, assistant preschool/kindergarten teacher, and most recently, a behavior analyst supporting high school students with IEP goals. She is passionate about children and building social awareness programs that contribute to positive and productive futures. Yvette graduated from the University of Washington, where she received her bachelor’s in psychology and master’s in special education with an emphasis in behavior analysis. As an Assyrian born in Baghdad, Iraq, her first language is Assyrian. Not many people know that Assyrian is both a term used to identify the culture and also a language! Zach Sherman Regional Account Manager, Central × Zach Sherman Regional Account Manager, Central Zach has worked at Committee for Children since 2013. After attending the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma and completing a double major in economics and international political economy, he moved to Seattle and worked in the fast-paced customer service departments of tech startups like Zulily and Blue Nile. After his work there, he took part in an internship at a Seattle-based nonprofit called The Borgen Project, where he applied skills learned in college to help spur grassroots political activism around the country. This was his first taste of nonprofit work and served as motivation for joining Committee for Children. Zach has also helped to improve the FAQ section on SecondStep.org, making it quick and easy for users to find answers to their questions and use our programs more effectively. Kate Tovias Territory Manager, Northeast × Kate Tovias Territory Manager, Northeast Kate began working at Committee for Children in 2014. Prior to that, she was an academic intervention specialist and long-time elementary and middle teacher. Kate brings a teacher’s perspective to her work with districts, schools, and organizations throughout the northeast U.S. Kate has two bachelor’s degrees: one from Seattle University in psychology and one from Central Washington University in elementary education. Kate is also certified in leadership and management from Cornell University. Chad Parke Regional Account Manager, Northeast × Chad Parke Regional Account Manager, Northeast Chad brings over 18 years of experience in the telecommunications and IT industry to his role as regional account manager at Committee for Children. He has a unique perspective on the challenges many school districts face with technology, given his experience dealing with the IT needs of school districts. Concerned about the difficulties that today’s youth face both in school and their daily lives, Chad is excited to introduce and talk about the Second Step curriculum with educators in the northeastern US. He looks forward to having a positive impact on students’ lives and fully believes that social-emotional learning is the key to their success. Rick Paul Territory Manager, Mountain/Plains (Alaska/Hawaii) × Rick Paul Territory Manager, Mountain/Plains (Alaska/Hawaii) December 2017 offered a change in professional path for Rick and his 20 years of sales experience as he began a new role in territory management at Committee for Children. With a background in software sales, he places tremendous value on being customer-centric, goal-oriented, and attentive to detail. Eager to explore where this new path may lead, Rick believes in Committee for Children’s mission to foster the safety and well-being of children through social-emotional learning and development. He earned his bachelor of science in economics, with a minor in Spanish, from the University of Utah. Rick loves to fish, ski, and sail. Majella McNeese Sales Operations Manager × Majella McNeese Sales Operations Manager Majella began working at Committee for Children in 2016. She has a combined 10 years of experience as an elementary and middle school teacher and taught the Second Step program to fourth, fifth, and sixth graders for four of those years. Majella went to Australian Catholic University in Brisbane and earned a bachelor’s degree in education with a focus in primary education. Here at Committee for Children she heads up our request for proposal (RFP) process, is on the Second Step Leadership Institute facilitation team, and helps with online tutorials for training administrators on our Child Protection and Bullying Prevention Units. International Business International Business Manager Carolyn Hubbard continually seeks opportunities to increase our reach around the world and partner with educators and youth-serving organizations to provide every child equitable access to our programs. International team members strive to make our programs easy to use for educators and institutions in our own backyard and around the globe. Carolyn Hubbard International Business Manager × Carolyn Hubbard International Business Manager Carolyn has been at Committee for Children since 2012. She previously worked in publishing for over 10 years, spent four years as a bilingual fifth-grade teacher in Title 1 schools, and managed a small nonprofit organization in Kenya. Carolyn has strong cultural competency and is an engaging bilingual trainer and presenter. She received her undergraduate degree from Pacific Lutheran University and completed the Graduate Teacher Credentialing Program at Mills College. At Committee for Children, Carolyn works with government departments and educational research organizations on the study and development of Spanish-language adaptations of the Second Step program for Mexico and Latin America. She has produced audio and visual resources in Spanish and has built partnerships in Brazil and Australia. Growing up in Australia, she got the “wanderbug” early and has made it a point to continue to travel in—so far—every continent but Antarctica.