February 2023

I recently made the difficult decision to step down from my position as CEO of Smart Start of Mecklenburg County at the end of our fiscal year (June 30th ).

For the past three years, I have had the pleasure of working on behalf of the early childhood community with an amazing team of people, both here at Smart Start and with our partners and providers. This decision is tough because I am moving on from people and organizations that have welcomed me, and my commitment to do whatever it takes to support all children and families. The "system" does not welcome change. Frankly, it does not want change. Yet, I have witnessed real change, and have seen more people and groups not only come to the table, but stay at the table because they are capable, compassionate, and driven to do what is right and needed.

My reasons for leaving have nothing to do with the work itself or this wonderful organization. I have other things in my life that require my attention. The reality is that I cannot, in good faith, meet those obligations while giving every ounce of my being to the collective team serving our community. I would be doing a disservice to Smart Start and the community if I tried to do it all.

I am proud that we have built a structure to support a strategy here at Smart Start. Our team and funding have grown, allowing us to go wider and deeper in the community than at any point in our thirty-year history. That will not change. Our Board of Directors and the team here at Smart Start of Mecklenburg County are committed to continuing on this path--a path of opportunity for all children from the moment they are born. To that end, a search process for the next leader has been initiated with the help of the human resources team at the Children and Family Services Center (CFSC). Additional updates will be forthcoming from CFSC or the Smart Start Board of Directors.

Thank you for your support of me and the pursuit of high-quality early care and education.