Keynotes and Guest Speakers

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  • 7/24/2019 Keynotes and Guest Speakers


    OPENING KEYNOTE, " Educ ate, Ad voc ate, Collaborate and Inno vate"

    wi th Ron Herndon!

    Ronald D. Herndon, Chairman of the Board, National Head Start AssociationRon Herndon served as chairman of the National Head Start Association from 1993 - 2013. Aschairman, he served as an ambassador representing the needs of the Head Start community tomembers of Congress, the administration, and the general public. He also provided guidanceand leadership to the 49- member board that sets policy and determines direction for theassociation. Under his leadership, NHSAprogressed immensely. Major accomplishments

    include: major legislative gains; improvements in technology for Head Start children, parents,and staff; creation of the NHSA Academy; establishment of important business partnerships;and maintenance of a sound financial base. Since 1975, Ron Herndon has been director of the

    Albina Head Start program in Portland, Oregon. Under his direction, the program is the recipientof numerous federal grants in support of local Head Start projects. These grants have beenused for major building projects and the development of programming for Head Start parentsand staff in Portland and surrounding communities. The program Mr. Herndon overseesprovides comprehensive full day service to more than 1,000 Head Start children from the areassurrounding Portland.

    BREAKFAST KEYNOTE, Pam Sch iller, Ph.D.

    Pam Schiller is a curriculum specialist and freelance author and speaker. Dr.

    Schiller has worked as a childcare administrator and has also taught in the public schools. She

    served as Head of the Early Childhood Department at the University of Houston, where she also

    directed the Lab School. Dr. Schiller shares her extensive knowledge in workshops, radio, and

    television interviews, and as a popular keynote speaker and author. She is the author of nine early

    childhood curriculums, including the internationally acclaimed, Frog Street Pre-K, Frog Street

    Threes, Frog Street Toddler and Frog Street Infant programs. In addition, she has authored thirty-

    six childrens books, more than thirty teacher and parent resource books and a numbe r of other

    creative projects such as activity books, DVDs and CDs. Pam lives in Cypress, Texas.



  • 7/24/2019 Keynotes and Guest Speakers





    Holly Elissa Bruno, MA, JD, is a best-selling author, international

    keynote speaker, ground-breaking radio host and seasoned team builder. She served as

    Assistant Attorney General for the state of Maine and Assistant Dean at the University of Maine

    School of Law. While working as Associate Professor and Dean of Faculty at the University of

    Maine-Augusta, Holly Elissa was selected OutstandingProfessor.An alumna of Harvard

    Universitys Institute for Educational Management, she teaches leadership courses for The

    McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadership and Wheelock College. Holly Elissas books

    include the best-selling, What You Need to Lead an Early Childhood Program: Emotional

    Intelligence in Practice (NAEYC, 2012), Managing Legal Risks in Early Childhood Programs

    (Columbia Universitys Teachers College Press, November 2012) and Learning from the Bumps

    in the Road (Redleaf Press, 2013). Her first book, Leading on Purpose was published

    by McGraw-Hill in 2008. The Comfort of Little Things: An Educators Guide to Second Chances,

    was released in June to rave reviews from both within and outside the early childhood field.

    iTunes has ranked Holly Elissas radio programs in its top 200 k-12 podcasts. Tune in to Holly

    Elissas online radio program, Heart to heart Conversations on Leadership: Your guide to

    making a difference can also listen to Holly Elissa being

    interviewed on NAEYC Radio, National Head Start Association Radio, and National Association

    of School Principals Radio. Holly Elissas keynotes receive stellar audience reviews

    internationally and across America. To recovering attorney Holly Elissa, life is too short to

    anything but enjoy it daily.
  • 7/24/2019 Keynotes and Guest Speakers


    Yasmina Vinci, MA, MPA / National Head Start Association Executiv e


    YASMINA VINCI, MA, MPA As a seasoned leader in both executive and policy

    roles, Yasmina Vinci's professional experience and capabilities have delivered improvements in the lives

    of children at the national, state, and local levels. She is now Executive Director of the National Head

    Start Association (NHSA). Yasmina came to the National Head Start Association after several years as

    principal and founder of EDGE Consulting Partners. At EDGE, Yasmina pursued local, national and

    global projects that utilized the knowledge, experience, and connections of her years in human services

    and early education, to enhance the capacity of organizations to thrive as competent, strategic entities

    capable of influencing policy. Yasminafounded EDGE after receiving her Master in Public Administration

    degree from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government.Yasmina brought to her NHSA role over ten years

    of executive director experience at another national organization. As the first Executive Director of the

    National Association of Child Care Resource & Referral Agencies (now Child Care Aware America) she

    led NACCRRA's transition from an all-volunteer association of fewer than 200 child care resource and

    referral agencies to a powerful national network of 860+ community-based organizations. In this role, she

    worked with affiliate organizations, other national advocacy and research organizations, the press, federal

    and state governments, and the US Congress to implement NACCRRA's system-building public policy

    agenda on early care and education. Under her leadership,NACCRRA organized the national grassroots

    campaign that was instrumental to securing the funding for child care in the welfare reform legislation.

    Yasminas portfolio of experience is grounded in service as executive director of an early care and

    education program serving low-income families and as development director for a cluster of non-profitchild care centers. In State government, she had the opportunity to supervise Head Start research,

    administer the federal Dependent Care Grant and plan for New Jerseys implementation of the very first

    Child Care and Development Block Grant. Yasmina currently serves on numerous advisory boards and is

    a member of the International Organizing Committee for the World Forum on Early Care and Education.

  • 7/24/2019 Keynotes and Guest Speakers


    Kay W illmot h / Region al Program Manager, Office of Head Start

    Ms. Willmoth has over twenty-five years of managerial experience in

    administering a variety of human services and income assistance programs. As the Regional

    Program Manager, she provides leadership and direction to 239 Head Start and Early Head

    Start programs in the Region V States of Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio and

    Wisconsin. She manages an annual budget of over $1.1 billion that provides comprehensive,

    quality services to approximately 140,000 preschool children in the Head Start program and

    17,000 infants, toddlers and pregnant women in the Early Head Start program. During her

    career, Ms. Willmoth played a key leadership role in the implementation of welfare reform,

    including Temporary Assistance to Needy Families block grant and the Child Care and

    Development Fund, and in the operation of the Child Welfare and Child Support Enforcement

    programs. Through the delivery of technical assistance and direction, she supports grantees in

    meeting Head Starts core mission to promote the school readiness of low income children by

    enhancing their cognitive, social, and emotional development.

    Tommy Sheridan / Director of Governm ent Affairs, National Head Start

    Associat ion

    Thomas Sheridan, NHSA, is the Senior Manager of Government Affairs for

    the National Head Start Association (NHSA) in Alexandria, VA. He came to NHSA in June 2009

    and has been in his current role since 2012. In this role, Tommy works with the Head Start

    community to lobby, advocate, educate, and inform Congress, the White House, and the

    Federal Administration about Head Start and early learning. Tommy is NHSAs representative to

    Congress, the Administration, and national coalitions and organizations. He also plays a

  • 7/24/2019 Keynotes and Guest Speakers


    significant role in developing, strategizing, coordinating and implementing the Head Start

    communitys vision for the future of early learning. Prior to his career atNHSA, Tommy

    worked in the Minnesota State Senate, on several political campaigns, and as a sales

    manager. Tommy received an Honors Bachelor of Arts from Saint Louis University and

    will complete his Masters of Public Administration degree in the summer of 2014 fromGeorge Washington University.

    Emmalie Dropkin / Director o f Policy , Data and Research , National Head

    Start A ssoc iat ion

    Emmalie Dropkin leads the Center on Policy, Data, and Research and