The dynamic team leaders at Committee for Children work tirelessly with individuals, vendors, and organizations to make our mission possible. Whether they’re scaling our message, telling our story, creating dynamic, user-friendly design, advocating for children, or recruiting the very best in their respective fields, these are the people who champion our vision every day. Wendy Allen-Belleville Director of Marcom Read Bio × Wendy Allen-Belleville Director of Marcom Wendy is a marketing communication thought leader who thrives on storytelling and is committed to developing content that’s focused on diversity, equity, and inclusion. The northern California native spent 18 years in Hollywood working in the television industry at Paramount Pictures. Wendy was a page on The Arsenio Hall Show and Cheers and a production assistant on the sitcom Wings before becoming a writers’ assistant and building a career in comedy writers’ rooms. In 2007, she turned her talents toward marketing and corporate communications. As Committee for Children’s director of marketing and communications, Wendy is responsible for developing and executing strategic campaigns and deliverables to elevate the organization’s brand identity, support its programs, and help reach more children with social-emotional learning (SEL). “I get to be part of something special, to put my whole energy into transforming the lives of millions of children,” she says. Wendy’s SEL superpower is building positive relationships. She believes in the philosophy of “designing alliances” with coworkers by being intentional, collaborating, and building trust. She also encourages open and honest communication with the goal of forming authentic and healthy relationships. Athletics are a big part of Wendy’s life—she’s a former skydiver and competitive gymnast who comes from a Pac-12 and NFL football family. In her spare time, when she’s not reading, she’s often watching her son’s college track meets. As an advocate of child well-being both at work and at home, Wendy has served as a foster parent along with her husband for years. The couple adopted their second son through foster care. Matt Carroll Director of Software Engineering Read Bio × Matt Carroll Director of Software Engineering Matt Carroll has always been interested in how software could help people. Matt was most recently the senior director of platform development at Limeade, an employee experience software company, and previously spent 15 years at Microsoft in a variety of roles. After working at a company centered around helping improve the employee experience, Matt was excited at the prospect of transitioning to an organization focused on social-emotional well-being. “I was interested in the opportunity to improve kids’ psychological well-being through SEL [social-emotional learning]. So many people—both kids and adults—suffer from emotional distress and don’t get the support they need,” he says. “Between having two teenagers and seeing their social-emotional triumphs and troubles over the years, and being a late-bloomer emotionally myself, I can really appreciate the value of being taught these skills at a young age.” As director of engineering for Committee for Children, Matt guides the engineering practice and architectural direction of digital content creation and delivery systems. In his role, he designs elegant architectures and leads teams from inception through delivery. He sees his SEL superpower as empathy—specifically his ability to hear and understand others’ perspectives and try to find solutions that bring out common goals. “In my role at Committee for Children, this comes into play when mentoring my team,” Matt says. “It’s important to understand their interests and strengths and align their needs with that of the organization. I try to connect with how people are feeling, not just guide them in their work.” Matt graduated from the University of Washington with a bachelor’s degree in computer science. Loretta Corwin Director of Finance Read Bio × Loretta Corwin Director of Finance Loretta has always been able to see the bigger picture. Part of her role as Committee for Children’s director of finance is understanding how systems, data, people, and processes are connected to then help inform strategies, work plans, and activities. “I feel like it was meant to be,” Loretta says. “All of my experiences—what I felt has gone right and what I would’ve done differently—prepared me to be in this role.” Loretta was first attracted to Committee for Children by the chance to make a real difference. “Where there’s growth, there’s the opportunity to influence change, and that sparked my attention,” she says. As director of finance, one of Loretta’s top goals is to help cultivate an equitable environment where employees can learn from mistakes, reflect, and succeed as individuals. She appreciates the work of operationalizing strategy and enjoys collaborating with other departments to achieve goals. “I don’t want people to see the finance department staff as policemen of dollars—I strive to have them think of us as true partners,” she says. Loretta believes her social-emotional learning superpower is self-reflection. Each morning, she reflects on how she wants the day to go and what she hopes to accomplish. At the end of the day, she reflects on what went well and what she would have changed. “The power of self-reflection is that you see opportunities in everything,” she says. “That’s what’s so exciting about this role. It’s an opportunity to see how different parts of the organization are connected.” Michael Eckert Director of UX and Program Design Read Bio × Michael Eckert Director of UX and Program Design As Committee for Children’s director of UX and program design, Michael Eckert leads the team of designers who develop the user experience (UX) and visual design components of our Second Step® family of social-emotional learning programs. The team strives to elevate the user experience by improving how features are organized, ensuring that information is presented to educators in a way that’s easy to understand and navigate and increases accessibility and inclusivity. “We want to make it simple for schools to set up and roll out our programs,” Michael says. “Teachers are already overburdened, so our goal is to help educators find their way around, know what resources are available to them, and get started as quickly as possible.” Michael has always been passionate about design. With more than 15 years of experience developing software across mobile, desktop, and hardware devices, he held a variety of design and leadership roles at Microsoft before working as a senior UX design manager for Nordstrom. Through design, Michael is committed to meeting people where they are and guiding them to where they need to be. “It’s about understanding how to see things through the viewer’s eyes,” he says. “Instead of imposing a design on them, you’re letting them discover a design as they work through something.” Michael credits the welcoming culture at Committee for Children as a major motivation for joining the company. His overall goal as a leader is to foster a positive, supportive environment where everyone on his team is given the chance to challenge themselves and, as a result, grow as both designers and people. Frances Francia Director of Project Management Office Read Bio × Frances Francia Director of Project Management Office “Education is where my heart is,” says Frances Francia, who joined Committee for Children to support a culture of continuous improvement and learning as director of project management. “The people and culture here drew me to this organization,” she says, adding that she’s also excited about the opportunity to play a bigger role in driving positive change in children’s lives. Frances, who runs half-marathons as a hobby, understands that going the distance to meet ambitious goals requires patience and endurance. She developed those traits, along with a deep understanding of people, technology, and process, in various project management roles across industries. She has experience as a Scrum Master and Agile leader and knows how to triage team and customer issues with grace and a sense of humor. Most recently, she led program management and platform delivery across six teams at McGraw Hill, where she was recognized as a highly skilled, empathetic project manager with entrepreneurial energy and a nuanced understanding of how to get big projects done. In addition to her professional experience, Frances has been a longtime volunteer tutor, which she says is a refreshing balance to her office work. Though she became familiar with Committee for Children while working at McGraw Hill, Frances recalls that she first experienced Second Step® programs as a student at Madrona Elementary in Seattle. “I remember learning about conflict resolution in first grade through Second Step (lessons),” she says, “and though I might not have realized it at the time, those skills are truly impactful.” Frances’s ability to calmly manage fast-moving projects and clear obstacles with common sense and an upbeat attitude helps her teams be most effective, but she says appreciating diversity is her social-emotional learning (SEL) superpower. “I see everything through that lens,” she says, explaining that she has an ethnic studies degree from University of California, Berkeley, and lived experience as a second-generation immigrant. A lifelong learner, Frances says she’s currently gaining a lot of knowledge about social-emotional skills mothering her two-year-old. “We talk about big feelings and learn a new lesson together every day,” she says with a smile. Carolyn Hubbard Director of International Partnerships Read Bio × Carolyn Hubbard Director of International Partnerships As International Partnerships director, Carolyn Hubbard wears multiple hats and collaborates with organizations on initiatives in more than a dozen countries and in multiple time zones—all on any given day. It’s all part of her work to help organizations around the world choose and adapt resources to fit their social-emotional learning (SEL) curricula interests and needs. Since joining Committee for Children in 2012, Carolyn has developed partnerships in Australia, Brazil, and China; produced full Spanish curricula for eight grade levels; and started initiatives in Mexico and Panama. In looking for an organization that had education and international priorities at its core, she found the perfect fit here at CFC—and found a link to her roots as well. “The clincher was the subject matter,” Carolyn says, “since my father’s PhD dissertation, written back in 1972, was about what we now call SEL, and it was part of my upbringing.” Unsurprisingly, she names her SEL superpower to be self-motivation, and her career certainly reflects that. Carolyn graduated from Pacific Lutheran University with her bachelor’s degree in international studies, Spanish, and publishing, plus certificates in education and global management. Before joining CFC, she worked in publishing at Lonely Planet for more than a decade, spent four years as a bilingual fifth-grade teacher in Title 1 schools, and managed a small nonprofit organization in Kenya. Kerry L. Hughes Director of Business Systems Read Bio × Kerry L. Hughes Director of Business Systems As the director of business systems, Kerry L. Hughes makes sure Committee for Children runs on systems that are always in good working order and with the correct security and permissions. She also oversees data reporting and analytics. Kerry earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Central Washington University and is a certified information professional (CIP). Prior to joining CFC in 2019, Kerry spent 15 years at Emeritus Senior Living, where she served as the director of financial applications. In working for a large and growing organization, she gained valuable experience that now informs her role in enabling CFC to successfully scale up. “I wanted to work someplace where I felt like I could contribute, so it was a nice blend of what I was looking for and what I thought I could give,” she says. A self-described lifelong learner, Kerry is curious about physical objects and systems—she wants to know how things work. “I’m always going to ask the next question and the next question,” she says. This helps her form a deeper understanding of both systems and people—and is part of her self-identified social-emotional learning (SEL) superpower, perspective-taking. Kerry loves the fact that even though she doesn’t directly work with children, she still has the opportunity to impact their lives through her role at CFC. “I want to make sure that anything that my team and I do helps Committee for Children be able to grow, pivot, and change as needed,” she says. “It’s all about the success of the organization and furthering the mission to positively and equitably affect the lives of millions of children annually.” Brandon Hurtado Director of Information Technology Read Bio × Brandon Hurtado Director of Information Technology Brandon is the director of information technology (IT) at Committee for Children. With more than 20 years of technology experience and more than 10 years of IT management, he provides strategic direction and leadership for the organization’s IT services, infrastructure, systems, and data center. Brandon leads a team responsible for developing and implementing IT initiatives as well as strengthening IT infrastructure to handle future growth and global expansion. Brandon is focused on ensuring the team can support and accomplish the technical goals of all CFC departments and says, “I’ve worked with shifting priorities and helped mitigate potential pitfalls. Part of my role is fostering technical growth, and that means making sure the team has the training, mentorship, and development opportunities they need to support technology goals.” Brandon joined Committee for Children in July 2022. As a father of two young children, Brandon says he was eager to join a company focused on helping kids grow and thrive. Brandon says, “I’m excited to use my experiences and skillset to help accomplish CFC’s technical initiatives, but more than that, I have the chance to be part of the mission, to reach more kids and change more lives across the globe.” In his spare time, Brandon enjoys traveling, learning about new technology, and spending time with his wife and two daughters. Stefani Kauppila Director of Curriculum Read Bio × Stefani Kauppila Director of Curriculum As director of curriculum, Stefani Kauppila leads the team responsible for the vision and strategy behind Committee for Children’s innovative social-emotional learning (SEL) programs. Detail-oriented and a problem-solver by nature, Stefani sees issues through both a microscopic and telescopic lens. “I’ve always found big, hairy problems enticing,” she says. “But it’s by having an open mind, being willing to listen, and accepting some failure that I have learned to drive solutions with the greatest impact.” Stefani was drawn to Committee for Children’s research-based approach and its vision of safe children thriving in a just and peaceful world. She previously worked as an elementary and middle school teacher before developing web-based mathematics curricula at DreamBox Learning. It was there that she discovered a talent for designing learning experiences in technological environments, and a passion for leading teams and forming partnerships with educators and families. Stefani says her SEL superpower is building positive relationships. She believes it’s important to keep the big picture in mind without losing sight of the needs of individuals. “I call it benevolent friction, where you’re hard on ideas and soft on people,” she says. “Strong, trusting relationships will lead to more impactful conversations that help us reach the best solutions for our clients, our products, and the world.” Stefani holds a bachelor’s degree in liberal studies and a master’s in teaching from Seattle University. She earned a certificate in women’s leadership and is on the board of advisors of the Tombolo Institute at Bellevue College’s Design Thinking Program. Stefani is also the author of two children’s books, Share Fairies: You’re a Big Kid Now and Share Fairies: Get Schooled in Sharing. Noah Koritz Director of Client Success and Support Read Bio × Noah Koritz Director of Client Success and Support Noah joined Committee for Children in 2019 after spending a decade in education services—starting as an after-school teacher and moving into teacher training, program management, territory management, and finally national sales and partnerships. In his current role as director of client success and support, Noah leads the team that assists clients who use Second Step® social-emotional learning (SEL) programs. He enjoys helping ensure educational leaders can empower their students and staff with SEL. “I believe in the importance of social-emotional learning in our society,” he says. “This was not a subject that was explicitly—or often even implicitly—taught in school when I was growing up, and I feel that my classmates and I would have benefited enormously from this type of programming.” Noah, who has a bachelor’s degree in history from Beloit College, says his SEL superpower is social engagement—he’s always excited to meet and engage with others, both inside and outside of the workplace. Michael LaTempa Director of Legal Read Bio × Michael LaTempa Director of Legal As director of legal for Committee for Children, Michael LaTempa enjoys using his SEL superpower of problem-solving to help the organization move forward. With over a decade of legal experience in various areas including corporate compliance, contracts, intellectual property, licensing, privacy, and non-profit, he supports CFC’s mission to positively and equitably transform the social-emotional well-being of 100 million children annually by 2030. “I’ve always been interested in working for a place with a larger mission and knowing that the work we do will help reach those goals,” he says. As director of legal, Michael provides leadership and strategic management of legal activities critical to CFC’s mission and legal compliance. Naturally, Michael’s role requires an ability to juggle many critical objectives simultaneously. “I support all CFC business functions at once by identifying, analyzing, and resolving matters of all sorts,” he explains, and adds, “Similar to how I manage having four young kids at home.” Outside of his work for Committee for Children, Michael enjoys skiing, hiking, kayaking, cooking, and spending time with his family. Angie Maynard Director of Content Platforms Read Bio × Angie Maynard Director of Content Platforms Angie Maynard has always been a connector. She began her career in education as a teacher in elementary and early childhood classrooms, in both public and private schools. After transitioning out of the classroom, she landed at McGraw-Hill, a leader in educational publishing and technology, and grew her experience in project management as well as content and product management. Angie discovered Committee for Children early in her teaching career while seeking out learning resources for her students, and she’s been an advocate for the organization ever since. “The mission deeply resonated with me,” she says, “and I knew I wanted to be a part of it someday.” That hope came true in 2018 when Angie joined CFC, first as project manager and then as senior manager of content. Angie’s knack for connecting and organization serves her well in her new role as director of content platforms where she’s responsible for strategy and prioritization of content-driven platforms and tools. She collaborates with CFC teams to ensure content is accessible, extensible, and functional. As a leader, one of Angie’s greatest strengths is her sensitivity to the needs and feelings of those around her. She checks in on friends and coworkers consistently and is always willing to lend an empathetic ear. When she’s not connecting the dots for CFC, you can find Angie connecting literal dots in her science-themed needlepoint projects, taking an occasional hike, or spoiling her two dogs.