A big thank you to our 2016 presenters for sharing their experiences and expertise!
Presenter: Lori Buxton, Early Childhood Consultant and Board Member of the Association for Early Learning Leaders
Lori Buxton has been part of the early care and education community since 1995. She has served children and their families as a children's pastor, classroom teacher, program director, and child care administrator. Lori is a leader who encourages and equips, challenges and inspires, and is deeply committed to serving those who in turn serve families in early education. She is an Executive Associate with Professional Early Education Associates; the founder of the Gulf Coast Director's Network, serves on the Association's Board of Directors and is the chair of the Ambassador Committee.
Presenter: Bob Siegel, President of Leadership Reigns, LLC and Board Member of the Association for Early Learning Leaders
Bob Siegel is the President of his own training and consulting company, Leadership Reigns, LLC. In his career, Bob has worked as a preschool teacher, long-time child care director, graduate school teacher, children's museum director, and the National Director of Children’s Services for Easter Seals, Inc. As a national expert, he often provides training and consultation in the areas of inclusion, workforce issues, and the business and fiscal aspects in the Early Care and Education field. Currently, Mr. Siegel is serving on AELL Board of Directors, as well as the Board of Directors of the World Forum Foundation. During his career, he served as the Board President for the Early Care and Education Consortium and the Illinois AEYC.
Presenter: Colleen Tracy Haddad, Executive Director of the Association for Early Learning Leaders
Colleen Tracy Haddad is Executive Director for the Association for Early Learning Leaders. She began her career in early childhood at Florida State University's Lab School and holds a bachelor's degree in child development. While working with the Florida State Center for Prevention and Early Intervention Policy, she completed her master's degree in early childhood education with a Pre-K handicap endorsement. Colleen has been both a teacher and director.
Presenter: Cathy Henris, President/CEO of Active Learning Centers, Inc. and Vice President of the Association for Early Learning Leaders
Cathy Henris, is President/CEO of Active Learning Centers, Inc. an early childhood private preschool company. In her 27-years in the industry, she has worked in all aspects of of the child care field as a teacher, director, program specialist at state level, owner and trainer. Cathy holds a bachelor's degree in early childhood education and business. She has held offices in early childhood organizations and serves as Vice President for the Association's Board of Directors.
Presenter: Mary Hornbeck, Executive Director/Owner of Special Beginnings Early Learning Centers and President of the Association for Early Learning Leaders
Mary Hornbeck began her career in early care and education in 1989, when she became the Owner of Special Beginnings Early Learning Centers. Her company has grown through the years, with five locations that serve over 275 families. As Executive Director, Mary leads a 10 member management team and 75 staff members. Mary holds a bachelor's degree in human development and family life from the University of Kansas. As a national trainer and consultant, Mary's topics include: leadership & management, staff development, as well as early education policy & procedure. Mary is active in her local community, is a member of the National Federation of Independent Businesses and of Women Who Mean Business. She serves as President of the Association for Early Learning Leaders.
Presenter: Ron McGuckin, the “Child Care Lawyer” and Board Member of the Association for Early Learning Leaders
Ronald V. McGuckin has gained a national reputation as "The Child Care Lawyer.” He is a practicing attorney in Bucks County, PA, with years of experience in child care law. He is a lecturer and consultant, training child care professionals on a variety of management and legal issues. Co-author of a variety of publications including Current Issues in Child Care, Ron has volunteered on numerous boards, including the Association for Early Learning Leaders.
Presenter: Erin Schmidt, Director of Accreditation for the National Accreditation Commission
Erin Schmidt is currently Director of Accreditation with the National Accreditation Commission. She has 20 years of experience in the field, having held positions as a teacher, director and college instructor. She holds a master's degree in educational psychology, with an emphasis in ECE.
Presenter: Bobette Thompson, President/CEO of Child Care Systems of America, Inc. and Former Board Member of the Association for Early Learning Leaders
Bobette Thompson is President/CEO of Child Care Systems of America, Inc., an early education management and consulting company. All company-owned sites are accredited by the National Accreditation Commission. She has participated in the opening of 25 centers and consulted with numerous others and serves on state child care committees, presents at conferences and actively participates with the Association. She was president of the Association’s Board of Directors from 2011 – 2012 and currently serves as past President Ex-Officio.