25 Feb Two New Board Members Join Our Tiny & Mighty Team

Michael (right) and Matt (left)

Michael Charles (left) and Matt Holman (right)

A big welcome to our two newest board members Michael Charles and Matt Holman. Together they bring the Tiny Trees board up to six and add a big dose of business strategy, community organizing and fundraising to our team. Volunteering on a board can be hard, it requires diving deep into an organization to understand how it operates and putting yourself out there as an ambassador who shares the Tiny Trees vision with others and who asks for the money and volunteers to make it a reality. For both Michael and Matt it is their passion for the cause that helps them meet the board member challenge. Here is their story:

Michael Charles – Michael is driven by a desire for social change in how we educate our young people and support working families. “I have a passion for ensuring that our youth in underserved communities are being given the same opportunities of their more fortunate peers.  Eliminating the opportunity gap [in education] will take deliberate efforts of our entire community.” Efforts that he is making both on the Tiny Trees board, in his role as the district executive for Boy Scouts of America and as the community liaison for Pramila Jayapal (State Senator representing SE Seattle) where he had the chance during her campaign to hear many people’s stories and gained an intimate understanding of the communities that make up one of the most diverse zipcodes in America – 98118. To fuel this work Michael has developed skills in fundraising including past work managing the capital campaign for the Seattle Goodwill job training center (the new building on the corner of Dearborn and Rainier Ave S).

Michael teaching at Boy Scouts of America

Michael teaching at Boy Scouts of America

“Tiny Tree’s fresh and unique solutions to old problems in early childhood education is inspiring.  The way it intentionally goes about reaching out to communities that are currently being under served by the education system is an important step in ensuring that the opportunity gap begins to narrow.“
–Michael Charles

You can join Michael and volunteer on the Community Outreach Taskforce which he is leading. Together you will be helping to ensure families in all the neighborhoods of Seattle have access to high quality, affordable preschool.

Matt Holman – For Matt the path to Tiny Trees has been a personal one: “My wife & I moved to Seattle in April 2014 shortly after our son Liam was born.  As we both transitioned back to work we experienced the rude awakening that many parents come to realize in Seattle and other major cities, which is that demand for child care services far exceeds quality supply and the costs are barely manageable even with a good salary.  I have had several joking discussions with friends who work in the start-up world about how few sectors seem as ‘ripe for disruption’ as child care and early education, and when I read the Tiny Trees business plan it opened my eyes to just such a disruptive model.”

Matt will help Tiny Trees with strategic planning, using his skills as a management and strategy consultant (Matt has a MBA and a MPH from Berkley) to help build a financially sustainable organization and one that can grow rapidly. Tiny Trees is a strong concept but as it rolls out we will need to test, learn, and adapt rapidly over the next several years. Matt brings the experience and passion to help us grow with grace.

Matt with his children on a recent trip to Wyoming“My own upbringing on the rural Oregon coast involved a heavy dose of outdoor experiential learning, where I have vivid memories of the imaginary worlds I created while exploring the forests, beaches, and sand dunes of my surroundings.  To be outdoors in the elements provides an endless stream of both subtle and profound lessons, and I cannot think of a better time to begin generating this connection than at an early age.”
– Matt Holman

Michael and Matt join four other amazing humans whose introduction from last month is reprinted below:

DSC00532 - 2013-03-05 at 21-28-50Greg Scully – A former classmate of mine from Seattle University’s Masters in Non-Profit Leadership program Greg is the former corporate giving officer at Seattle U. He now works for Altruist Partners helping non-profits create powerful business plans to maximize their impact and fundraising potential, skills that will be a great help for a start up like Tiny Trees. When not building rocket boosters Greg enjoys world travel and photography.

MeandZoeyMiriam Haile – Born in Eritrea Miriam relocated to Rochester, NY with her family when she was two years old. Her parents worked very hard to provide a good education for her and her sister and with their help she received her B.A. in Economics from the University of Rochester and M.S. in Information Management from Syracuse University. She enjoys working with small technology firms and helping take them to the next level and currently works for Entomo. She loves to organize special/fundraising events for great organizations and currently serves on the board for Children’s Hospital labs.

“I’m interested in serving on the Tiny Trees’ Board because of my passion for providing affordable preschool for all families. As a mother of a young daughter, I understand that the cost of high quality preschool can be difficult for many families. I’m very excited about Tiny Trees because they not only provide affordable preschool but they also incorporate outdoor play.”

linkedin ajreiAJ Rei-Perrine – AJ grew up in Seattle, then skipped town to join the Foreign Service.  She served our country overseas as a diplomat for many years, then went into film and produced music videos, a TV series, and movies, one of which was lucky enough to win a Jury Prize at Sundance.

“Some of my earliest memories are the flowers and bugs and dirt I explored while gardening alongside my mom, and I’ve been a hiker and camper since before I could walk.  I love that Tiny Trees will nourish that same passion for the outdoors in the littlest members of our community!”

1700712Marc Zawislak – Marc leads a multidisciplinary team of engineers at The Boeing Company where he has volunteered for the Employee Community Fund for three years, helping build their donor base and organizing fundraising events. A graduate from the University of Michigan with a Master’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering, Marc enjoys running, travelling the world, refereeing soccer games, yoga and reading.

“There are two reasons why I am very interested in serving on the Tiny Trees’ Board: 1) The opportunity to bring affordable preschool to children is a cause which inspires me and I really believe the model is something that has great potential to have a huge impact on young people and education in America. 2) The Growth – I am really interested in helping Tiny Trees grow throughout Seattle and the Northwest, bringing affordable pre-schooling to all children!”

As founding board members these talented folks will be leading our fundraising efforts, including organizing an annual event, building relationships with strategic allies like local foundations and corporations and introducing new people and donors to the Tiny Trees movement. Each one will do so with their own signature style. In the words of Margaret Mead “An ideal culture is one in which there is a place for every human gift.” Together this small but mighty team will help to build a culture where each of us can use our gifts to help Tiny Trees Preschool reach its potential and help thousands of children across the Northwest gain access to a quality academic education and enjoy the joyful outdoor childhood they deserve.

By Andrew Jay – CEO Tiny Trees Preschool, andrew@tinytrees.org


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