Reach Out and Read Affiliate Network

Affiliate Leadership

Reach Out and Read affiliates are statewide and regional offices affiliated with our National Center. They work directly with ROR program sites to ensure the effective implementation and quality of the Reach Out and Read model.

Where we work
Where We Work

Our network of statewide and regional offices ensures our expansion as a public health intervention that drives early relational health and Reach Out and Read’s integration within communities. Reach Out and Read affiliates are structurally diverse; with fiscal sponsorship ranging from the ROR National 501c3 to local AAP Chapters. All ROR affiliates receive support, technical assistance, and resources from the National Center.

PRIORITIES

Affiliates provide direct support to sites within a designated geography. They offer providers a personal connection to Reach Out and Read while engaging clinical sites to ensure that the model is delivered with fidelity. By developing local partnerships to position ROR as a key player in cross-sector frameworks to support children and families; advocate for the program with stakeholders in the geographic region they serve; and collaborate with the Reach Out and Read National Center to ensure sustainable growth and expansion of ROR’s work with quality across the country.

Affiliate Leaders
Amy Crosby

Statewide Coordinator, Alabama

Amy Crosby has been the Statewide Coordinator for Alabama since 2020. Amy has worked with children and families in a variety of settings including federal and state prisons, public and private schools, childcare centers, and nonprofits for over 15 years.

Amy graduated cum laude from The University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Development and Family Studies with an additional concentration in Social Welfare. Amy has also completed post-graduate work in Human Development and Family Studies.

Click here to visit Alabama’s site.

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Anne Stafford

Chief Executive Officer, AzAAP Arizona

Anne Stafford is the Chief Executive Officer of the Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AzAAP), the home of the Reach Out and Read Arizona Affiliate (RORAZ). Anne is responsible for the organizational oversight of the RORAZ program and its integration with the pediatrician members of AzAAP. With undergraduate degrees in Organizational Communication and Public Relations, as well as a graduate degree in Organizational Administration, Anne is committed to strengthening caregiver/child bonds through opportunities to educate both providers and families on the importance of early relational health and its impact on lifelong success.

Click hereto visit Arizona’s site.

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Callee Boulware, MBA

Regional Executive Director, Carolinas, Virginia and Washington, DC

Callee Boulware has served as Executive Director of Reach Out and Read in the Carolinas beginning in 2001 and led the team through regionalization with Virginia and Washington, D.C. She currently leads a staff of committed team members, and works with state and regional partners to build ROR throughout the region that includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, and Washington, D.C.

Callee received her Master’s in Business Administration from the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina and is deeply committed to making Reach Out and Read a strong, sustainable reality for all children across the Carolinas. Callee is also a member of Leadership NC Class XXIV, an Advisory Board member of Capita, and a Riley Institute DLI graduate.
Click here to visit the Carolina’s site,
Click here to visit Virginia’s site.
Click here to visit Washington DC’s site.

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Anne Tengler

Executive Director, Colorado

Anne Tengler joined Reach Out and Read Colorado as Executive Director in 2019. Anne has led the Colorado affiliate through an important period in its history, strengthening financial health and sustainability, doubling the number of program interactions in a child’s first year through the addition of its Back to Birth program enhancements, and supporting their amazing providers and staff through the uncharted waters of a global pandemic. Anne leads a dynamic team of professionals dedicated to expanding the program in Colorado with strategies that focus on strengthening partnerships with providers, families, and supporters so that all Colorado children will eventually benefit from the Reach Out and Read program model as a standard, yet critical, aspect of pediatric care.

Click here to visit Colorado’s site.

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Amy Erickson

Executive Director, Georgia

Amy Erickson serves as the Regional Executive Director for Reach Out and Read Georgia and is responsible for leadership and oversight of the organization as well as its administration, operations, programming, sustainability, and strategic plan. Other key duties include development and fundraising activities, relationship management, marketing, community outreach, and employment-related leadership. Her innovative approach to engaging with more than 1,200 pediatricians, medical providers and employees has led to optimal scaling of growth with fidelity and a deep commitment to improving outcomes for the most vulnerable populations.

Amy has 24 years of experience working in the private sector for leading national education, digital, and entrepreneurial companies. She has been a member of the Junior League for 31 years and is a current sustaining member of the Junior League of Atlanta. She is a founding Board member of the National Charity League, Northeast Atlanta Chapter, and founding member of the Young Men’s Service League, Northeast Atlanta Chapter.

Click here to visit Georgia’s site.

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Emily Marchese
Emily Marchese

Executive Director, Greater New York

Emily Marchese is the Executive Director of Reach Out and Read of Greater New York. Prior to joining Reach Out and Read, Emily was the Executive Director of Roots and Wings, a privately funded social service agency that provides housing, education, and case management to aged-out foster young adults. Over the course of five years, she doubled the revenue and size of the program and built an outcomes-focused culture across all areas of the organization, yielding national awards and recognition for excellence in program innovation. Before joining Roots & Wings, Emily was the Director of Foundations and Corporations for Student Sponsor Partners, where she was responsible for a multi-million dollar grant portfolio, as well as college readiness and retention program pilots. Prior to that, she worked at the Partnership for Inner-City Education as Manager of High School Programs, managing thirteen distinct scholarship programs across all five boroughs. Emily is the graduate of Harvard Business School’s Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management, the Robin Hood Foundation’s GRIT program for non-profit leaders, the Stand Together Catalyst program for non-profit “disrupters”, Fairleigh Dickinson University’s Philanthropy & Resource Development program, and Columbia Business School’s Developing Leaders Program for Non-Profit Professionals.

Emily is a Cornell University and London School of Economics graduate, and lives in Rutherford, NJ with her six-year-old son, Oliver.

Click here to visit Greater New York’s site.

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Kirsten Rogers

Coordinator, Greater Philadelphia

Kirsten Rogers plans and implements the budgeting, quality assurance, outreach, and community-relations initiatives of Reach Out and Read Greater Philadelphia. Kirsten also coordinates medical provider trainings and provides technical assistance to 82 Reach Out and Read Greater Philadelphia sites. In addition, since 1999 she serves as Coordinator of Reach Out and Read at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

Prior to joining Reach Out and Read Greater Philadelphia in 2002, Kirsten worked as a certified child life specialist at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia in Philadelphia and The Mount Sinai Hospital in Manhattan and project assistant in venture capital and merchant banking at Morgan Stanley in Manhattan.

Click here to visit Greater Philadelphia’s site.

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Cindy Ogrin
Cindy Ogrin

Director, Illinois

Cindy Ogrin has been the Director of Reach Out and Read Illinois since 2018 leading its fundraising and programmatic initiatives. Reach Out and Read Illinois is a program of the American Academy of Pediatrics Illinois Chapter, where Cindy serves as the Fundraising and Marketing Director as well. As a dedicated advocate of children’s initiatives, Cindy has been influential in boosting Reach Out and Read Illinois’ fundraising capacity and partnerships with statewide agencies to grow the program’s footprint statewide.

Prior to joining Reach Out and Read, Cindy served as the Director of Strategy and Growth for a community-based nonprofit focused on maternal child health and was a fundraising consultant for many Chicago nonprofits that focus on early childhood initiatives.

Click here to visit Illinois’s site.

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Madison Shepherd, MA

Program Manager, Indiana

Madison Shepherd serves as the Program Manager for Reach Out and Read Indiana and is responsible for leadership of the program, fundraising, training, and strategic planning. Since 2019 Madison has tremendously deepened the quality of the programs throughout the state and cultivated many relationships to create growth and sustainability.

Madison has been working in the non-profit sector since she completed her Bachelor’s Degree in Public Health in 2015. She began her career as the Education Director at United Way. Many of her efforts were focused on spreading awareness throughout the community regarding the importance of early education, managing programs, and strategic initiatives.

Madison completed her Master’s degree in Public Management with a concentration in Public Policy from Indiana University. She is passionate about empowering vulnerable children and families to overcome barriers by creating and implementing solutions & awareness.

Click here to visit Indiana’s site.

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Molly Topf
Molly Topf

Executive Director, Iowa

Molly Topf works with Reach Out and Read Iowa to deliver our early literacy program to the children and families of Iowa, providing technical assistance, training, fundraising, community outreach and other support. In addition, Molly works to provide guidance and support through grants, sponsorships, events, and other fundraising partnerships. Molly manages the board, social media, communications, and various coalition projects and initiatives. In Molly’s time with Reach Out and Read Iowa, the number of programs has grown 60% to serve thousands of children and families, including community health centers, residency programs, and urban and rural locations.

Before joining Reach Out and Read Iowa, Molly worked for 14 years as the Community Relations Manager for Barnes and Noble where she developed and executed a results-oriented community relations program. In her professional roles, Molly has cultivated and maintained positive relationships with educational, literacy, literary, cultural, and arts organizations in the central Iowa area.

Click here to visit Iowa’s site.

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Jenny Horsley
Jenny Horsley, MBA

Executive Director, Kansas City

Jenny Horsley has been with Reach Out and Read Kansas City since 2015, and in the role of Executive Director since 2017. This dynamic team has a librarian on staff choosing books for all partner clinics, a medical director building clinic relationships, the executive director building funding and community relationships, and a marketing and communications professional promoting our great efforts to donors and supporters.

Jenny has a master’s degree in Business Administration from Columbia College, a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Missouri / Columbia, and over 30 years of non-profit experience in local, national, and government entities.

Click here to visit Kansas City’s site.

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Donna Lowry, MD

Medical Director, Michigan

Donna Lowry serves as the medical director for Reach Out and Read Michigan. She is committed to the clinical intervention of the program because it builds equity from the beginning of life by coming alongside the family journey with a simply brilliant community approach to child development. Starting in West Michigan, it has been exhilarating to hear parents and healthcare providers say, “Reach Out and Read, we want that!”

In my past role as an academic and private practicing Obstetrician Gynecologist I sought action driven, access focused innovation. After self-funding my Hope College undergrad and Wayne State University School of Medicine degrees, I completed residency at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Magee-Womens Hospital. Post completion of residency in Obstetrics & Gynecology, I concentrated my clinical and research interests in Pediatric & Adolescent Gynecology until I traded it in to focus on navigating life with my own sick infant son. Most recently, she completed ACEs Master Trainer to elevate early childhood health equity solutions through ROR and other pragmatic strategies.

Click here to visit Michigan’s site.

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Kristen Hoplin, MA

Executive Director, Minnesota

Kris became the Executive Director in April 2018, after serving as Reach Out and Read Minnesota’s Program Director and with fifteen years of experience in the nonprofit sector. She has a bachelor’s degree from St. Olaf College and a master’s degree from The University of Chicago, as well as a certificate in nonprofit management. Having two young daughters has reignited Kris’ passion for books and she is thrilled to work with our board, partners, and donors to promote early childhood literacy.

Click here to visit Minnesota’s site.

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Kim Byam

Executive Director, New Jersey

Kim Byam has been the Executive Director of Reach Out New Jersey since 2009, leading its fundraising and strategic initiatives. As a dedicated advocate of Reach Out and Read’s vision, Kim champions programs that improve cognitive and social-emotional well-being for all children, particularly those growing up in low-income communities and facing systemic barriers.

Kim has extensive and varied experience in the non-profit sector. Prior to joining Reach Out and Read, Kim served as Director of the Annual Fund for Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey, and Assistant Director of Development for Project Bread, an anti-hunger organization located in Boston.

Click here to visit New Jersey’s site.

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Alex Chu, MBA

Regional Exececutive Director, Notheast
MA, CT, VT, NH, and Upstate New York

Alexander (Alex) Chu currently serves as the Executive Director of Reach Out and Read Northeast Region. With more than 20 years’ experience in strategic planning, youth development, finance, operations, and program evaluation, Alex’s priority for the Northeast is to enhance the educational and social impact of our programs for a diverse client base.

Alex’s experience extends across the non-profit Human Services and Education sectors, where he has led efforts to support behavioral health providers in profitability and market positioning; led time-study efforts to support organizations in better understanding their outcomes and services; advised public and private school districts on revenue enhancements and philanthropic support; and conducted reviews of data systems and capacity building opportunities for agencies supporting adoptive families. Prior to Reach Out and Read, Alex worked for Public Consulting Group, Thompson Island Outward Bound, and the YMCA. He serves on the boards of multiple non-profit and public agencies including as Chair of the Board for the Boston Green Academy 6-12 Horace Mann Charter School, and as Secretary for Camp Starfish, a summer camp for youth with developmental disabilities. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from Boston College, and a Master’s in Business Administration in Public and Non-Profit Management from Boston University.
Click here to visit Massachusett’s site.
Click here to visit Connecticut’s site.
Click here to visit Vermont’s site.
Click here to visit New Hampshire’s site.
Click here to visit Upstate New York’s site.

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Jessica Mortensen, MLIS

Regional Executive Director, Northwest, Washington & Oregon

Jessica Mortensen became the first Regional Executive Director of Reach Out and Read Northwest after overseeing the regionalization of Reach Out and Read’s programs in Oregon and Washington in the fall of 2021. She currently oversees a high-performing staff and provides strategic direction for more than 400 medical clinics that reach over 200,000 families annually at well-child visits. Jessica was Reach Out and Read Washington’s Program Director (2010–15), Deputy Director (2015–17), and Executive Director (2017–21).

During her tenure with Reach Out and Read Jessica has cultivated partnerships and relationships that support healthcare professional practice change. She played a pivotal role in the creation and implementation of a program quality evaluation and improvement system that Reach Out and Read adopted nationally, and currently co-chairs the National Book Committee. She completed her Master’s in Library and Information Science at the University of Washington and her undergraduate degree in Spanish and Art History at Whitman College.

Click here to visit Washington’s site.
Click here to visit Oregon’s site.

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Amber Pierce

State Director, North Carolina

Amber Pierce is the State Director for Reach Out and Read North Carolina. In this role, she oversees the implementation of systems and partnerships that supports a team of program managers and almost 400 active ROR programs in the state. Prior to becoming State Director in 2021, she worked as a Regional Program Manager with ROR, supporting the Greater Charlotte and Triad Region in NC.

Prior to her time at ROR, Amber managed quality improvement projects in communities and medical practices as part of the NC Assuring Better Child Health and Development initiative and the NC CHIPRA Quality Demonstration grant. Amber’s background also includes experience in the areas of early intervention, behavioral health, social services, parent advocacy and training, and systems change strategy. She has dedicated her career to identifying and addressing gaps in early childhood systems with a mission to create resources and dialogue to open pathways that give all children an equal opportunity to flourish.

Click here to visit North Carolina’s site.

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Lori LeGendre

Program Director, Ohio

Lori joined Reach Out and Read in 2000 in Northwest Ohio expanding regional presence from one to twenty-five locations. She provides program support to existing and potential Ohio sites/staff and advocates for Reach Out and Read throughout the state.

Lori has worked in health-based parenting/early childhood programming for 32 years including pediatric in-patient care, NICU service coordination, perinatal coaching and teen parenting education. Partnering and Parent Education are her two favorite “P’s” and she believes that in addition to focusing on early childhood development we need to focus on early childhood parenting and engagement to make an impact.

Click here to visit Ohio’s site.

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Lori Lake, M Ed

Executive Director, Oklahoma

Lori Lake serves as the Executive Director for Oklahoma and provides oversight of the state program including training, programmatic support, and technical assistance to medical practitioners, as well as evaluation of programs and development of quality improvement plans. Loris is also responsible for recruitment of new providers and healthcare facilities and the necessary development support to sustain and expand Reach Out and Read within Oklahoma, as well as forming partnerships and creating new initiatives with state agencies, foundations, and corporations. Under her leadership, the number of participating sites in Oklahoma has increased by 146%; therefore, resulting in significantly more children and families served.

Lori joined the non-profit world after a 32-year career in the public education system. With a Bachelor of Science Degree in Special Education and a Master’s degree in Education, she served as a special education teacher, reading interventionist, consulting teacher, and instructional/literacy coach. She has extensive experience in the areas of literacy, academic assessment, educational advocacy, teacher-training, professional development, and the creation/development of new educational programs. During her tenure in the public-school system, she was honored as a Council for Learning Disabilities Teacher of the Year and was the recipient of both the Hospital Corporation of America Teacher Award and the Frist Teacher Award.

Click here to visit Oklahoma’s site.

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Emma Course
Emma Course

Affiliate Coordinator, Orange County, CA

Emma Course has been the coordinator of the Reach Out and Read Program for the American Academy of Pediatrics Orange County Chapter since 2012. Previously, Emma worked at CHOC Children’s Hospital for over 10 years as the Reading Program Coordinator.

Emma’s extensive experience coordinating successful and organized programs has contributed to her achievements of keeping books organized for distribution, book inventory, fundraising and connecting with possible book donors, as well as lending technical support for bi-yearly reporting and program requirements.

Click here to visit Orange County’s site.

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Aimee Falso
Aimee Falso

Executive Director, Rhode Island

Aimee Falso serves as the Executive Director for the Rhode Island affiliate and has been a member of the team since 2017. She has been an integral part of the growth of the organization and has been a hands-on leader from fundraising to evaluation, to choosing and delivering books to sites. Taking advantage of the small size of the state, Aimee transformed the way the RI affiliate works with sites and positioned the organization to be more responsive to site’s needs. She led the effort to create specially curated book orders for each of the 70 medical sites they serve.

After graduating from Providence College with a degree in Public and Community Service Studies, she began a career working in various community and educational agencies throughout Rhode Island. Her passion has always been working with children and families, forging connections that strengthen the community. Aimee’s previous work as a private school teacher and librarian, youth program director with the YMCA, an early childhood small business owner, outdoor educator, and community center staff member, have given her the wide range of experiences and skills to lead this small but mighty affiliate!

Click here to visit Rhode Island’s site.

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Gary Shipper
Gary Shipper

Director, St. Louis

Gary Shipper has been the Director of the Reach Out and Read St. Louis Affiliate, operated and supported by SSM Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital, since 2013. The affiliate serves the St. Louis metro area, which incorporates counties in both Missouri and Illinois. Gary has overseen the expansion from 27 sites to more than 50. Gary cultivates ongoing relationships with site representatives, promotes enthusiastic participation and manages annual distribution of more than 95,000 books to over 50,000 families.

Prior to joining the St. Louis affiliate, Gary enjoyed a successful career in marketing communications. Gary carries a strong belief that early childhood literacy is key to elevating children from low-income families to higher levels of achievement, both academically and in life.

Click here to visit St. Louis’s site.

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Tara Milibrand
Tara Milibrand

Project Director, San Diego

Tara Milbrand is the Associate Executive Director of the American Academy of Pediatrics, CA Chapter 3 and the Project Director for Reach Out and Read San Diego, Tara joined the organization in 2005 to head up the new Reach Out and Read San Diego program. Under her leadership, the program has grown from 30 to 99 locations throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties becoming the standard of care in the region. Tara specializes in program planning and development, community building, and quality improvement.

Tara’s has a passion for working on projects that support children and families, ensuring that every child reaches their full potential. She received a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, San Diego and a master’s in administrative social work from San Diego State University.

Click here to visit San Diego’s site.

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Emily Bartels

State Director, South Carolina

Emily Bartels serves as the State Director of Reach Out and Read in South Carolina. She began her time with ROR in 2006 as a Program Specialist and then Program Manager. During her time, she has served most South Carolina programs as well as a portion of Western North Carolina. Since 2020, Emily has led the South Carolina team in state-based work and collaborating with regional partners in North Carolina, Virginia and Washington, DC.

Emily is a native of South Carolina and a graduate of the College of Charleston. Emily serves in various volunteer capacities in her community thru Baby Read Advisory Board, church and local schools. She is committed to supporting all families and children in South Carolina with Reach Out and Read giving clinicians the tools they need to help families created healthy, sustainable relationships.

Click here to visit South Carolina’s site.

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Jocelyn McConnell
Jocelyn McDonnell, MEd

Affiliate Director, Texas

Jocelyn McConnell has been the affiliate leader of Reach Out and Read Texas, housed at the Children’s Learning Institute at UTHealth Houston, since 2015. Partnering with 900 clinicians across Texas in 200 pediatric and family medicine clinics, she leads a dynamic team in promoting positive interactions. Through the joy of reading aloud, the affiliate team serves clinics as they support families in building safe, stable, and nurturing relationships.

Jocelyn is a Licensed Professional Counselor whose practice focus was on clients recovering from childhood trauma. She recognizes the powerful role of attachment in mediating adverse childhood events. Jocelyn has worked at the Children’s Learning Institute for fourteen years, supporting early childhood research projects in many roles. Jocelyn’s favorite role is as a coach and trainer to parents (Play and Learning Strategies, PALS), teachers, and now, medical providers. Jocelyn received a bachelor’s degree from Plan II in Social Sciences at the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in Educational Psychology-Counseling from the University of Houston.

Click here to visit Texas’s site.

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Karin Mahony, MEd, MSW

Executive Director, Wisconsin

Karin Mahony has been the affiliate leader of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin since its founding. She oversees a dynamic and growing team and works with the ROR Wisconsin Advisory Council, local, state, and regional partners to support the healthy development of children and their families throughout the state. Over the past the past 11 years, she has overseen the growth of a committed and dedicated network of ROR participating clinics from 55 to more than 250.

Karin’s varied career as a pre-school teacher, child protective services worker, infant mental health specialist, freelance writer, and health care trainer has been the perfect warm-up for her current role. Karin received a bachelor’s degree in psychology and social relations from Harvard and Radcliffe Colleges, a master’s in early childhood education from Washington University in St. Louis and a master’s in clinical social work from University of Missouri-Columbia.

Click here to visit Wisconsin’s site.

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Amy Crosby

Statewide Coordinator, Alabama

Anne Stafford

Chief Executive Officer, AzAAP Arizona

Callee Boulware, MBA

Regional Executive Director, Carolinas, Virginia and Washington, DC

Anne Tengler

Executive Director, Colorado

Amy Erickson

Executive Director, Georgia

Emily Marchese
Emily Marchese

Executive Director, Greater New York

Kirsten Rogers

Coordinator, Greater Philadelphia

Cindy Ogrin
Cindy Ogrin

Director, Illinois

Madison Shepherd, MA

Program Manager, Indiana

Molly Topf
Molly Topf

Executive Director, Iowa

Jenny Horsley
Jenny Horsley, MBA

Executive Director, Kansas City

Donna Lowry, MD

Medical Director, Michigan

Kristen Hoplin, MA

Executive Director, Minnesota

Kim Byam

Executive Director, New Jersey

Alex Chu, MBA

Regional Exececutive Director, Notheast
MA, CT, VT, NH, and Upstate New York

Jessica Mortensen, MLIS

Regional Executive Director, Northwest, Washington & Oregon

Amber Pierce

State Director, North Carolina

Lori LeGendre

Program Director, Ohio

Lori Lake, M Ed

Executive Director, Oklahoma

Emma Course
Emma Course

Affiliate Coordinator, Orange County, CA

Aimee Falso
Aimee Falso

Executive Director, Rhode Island

Gary Shipper
Gary Shipper

Director, St. Louis

Tara Milibrand
Tara Milibrand

Project Director, San Diego

Emily Bartels

State Director, South Carolina

Jocelyn McConnell
Jocelyn McDonnell, MEd

Affiliate Director, Texas

Karin Mahony, MEd, MSW

Executive Director, Wisconsin