Governor Mike Pence has named members of the Early Learning Advisory Committee. He says the group will examine the “quality and availability” of the state's early childhood programs and make recommendations for improvements.

September 23, 2013

News Release

Indianapolis, Ind. — Governor Mike Pence today named appointees to the Early Learning Advisory Committee.

“I am pleased that these experts in early learning have agreed to serve on this committee and will be taking a comprehensive look at the quality and availability of early childhood programs in Indiana,” said Governor Mike Pence. “I look forward to their assessment of the opportunities and challenges Indiana faces in early education, and to their recommendations.”

Kevin Bain, of Evansville, will serve as Chairman of the Early Learning Advisory Committee. Currently, he serves as Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of the Welborn Baptist Foundation, which provides grants to not-for-profit organizations that significantly contribute to community health in a fourteen-county area of Southeastern Illinois, Southwestern Indiana, and Western Kentucky. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2008, Bain spent 25 years with various divisions of Bristol-Myers Squibb. Bain is the Founder of the Southwestern Indiana Business Leaders Roundtable on Early Education and is Chairman of the Board for Early Childhood Development Coalition. He earned his undergraduate degree from Hanover College and his graduate degree from the University of Chicago.

Appointed to the Committee, Alonzo Weems currently holds the position of Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Bio-Medicines Business Unit and General Counsel for Lilly USA, LLC. Prior to assuming this role in the beginning of 2013, Weems served as General Counsel and Corporate Secretary for Eli Lilly Canada. He is the past co-chair of the Success by Six Leadership Council, an early childhood education partnership led by the United Way of Central Indiana. Weems earned his undergraduate degree from Wabash College and his law degree from Indiana University School of Law.

Tammy Veselsky, Early Childhood Principal of Traders Point Christian Academy (TPCA), has been named to the Committee. Employed by TPCA for 23 years, Veselsky began as a pre-kindergarten teacher and later took on an administrative role. Before joining TPCA, she worked at a daycare at Southport Heights Christian Church. Veselsky earned her undergraduate degree from Lincoln Christian University.

Melanie Brizzi , Child Care Administrator for the Indiana Bureau of Child Care within the Family and Social Services Administration (FSSA), will also serve on the Committee. In her current role, Brizzi oversees the Indiana Child Care Development Fund, a child care subsidy program that serves approximately 40,000 children per year, and manages the licensing and inspection of approximately 5,000 child care programs. Prior to joining state government, Brizzi owned and operated a licensed child care facility from 1998 to 2004.

Charlie Geier has been named to the Early Learning Advisory Committee. Geier, who currently serves as Director of Early Learning and Intervention within the Indiana Department of Education, has experience as both an administrator and teacher in both Fort Wayne and Indianapolis. From 2004 to 2005, Geier taught English to high school students in Kenya and has spent time as an English as a New Language (ENL) teacher in the Hoosier state. Geier is a graduate of Indiana University and is currently enrolled in Butler University’s Master’s in Effective Teaching and Leadership Program, with an expected graduation this December.

Beckie Minglin, Director of the Head Start State Collaboration Office within FSSA, has been appointed to the Committee. Minglin, of Indianapolis, has worked with Head Start for seven years where, among her responsibilities, she serves on various committees to assist in building early childhood systems. She previously served on the South Indiana Conference United Methodist Church’s Board of Youth Ministries from 1996 to 2006.

Connie Sherman, Executive Director of St. Mary’s Child Center in Indianapolis, and John Burnett, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Community Education Coalition, will serve as Special Advisors to the Committee.

Source: Office of Indiana Governor Mike Pence

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