Elizabeth Fondren, President

Elizabeth Fondren was raised right here in Orange County and is one of the original Childs-pace kids in the founding class of 1978. She now is an attorney in private practice, with a focus on family law (child custody, support, asset division and debt assignment). She joined Childs-pace’s Board of Directors in 2012 at the invitation of our founder, MaryAnn Ready, who now lives and supports Childs-pace from her home in Washington. She was elected Board President in December 2017.
 
Elizabeth: “Volunteering my time on the Board is my ‘chicken soup for the soul’. It feels so good to be able to give back to the organization that served as such a life-line to my mother when I was young and she was a single working mother. I hope my daughter Farrah is fortunate enough to participate in a program like Childs-pace."

Dennis McCarter, Treasurer

Dennis’ extensive business and financial experience includes a decades-long career in consulting and management. He founded three companies and currently represents a national consulting firm to the non-profit world. He first joined the Childs-pace Board in 2011 and also serves on the Board of The Center for Spiritual Living. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in English, earned an MBA from University of Washington, where he was student body president, and participated in an Arthur Young & Company accelerated accounting program. Dennis loves children, enjoys writing children’s stories, volunteers in Childs-pace classrooms and at special events, supports fundraising efforts and shares his financial knowledge with staff and board members.
 
Dennis: "I was drawn to Childs-pace after just one visit to the Costa Mesa site. I saw smiling, happy kids who were engrossed in their activities. I witnessed a caring, thoughtful staff. I knew then these kids were in a "better" place and that I wanted to be a part of it."

Nancy Geerlings, Secretary

Nancy’s teaching career spanned 35 years and included teaching English and drama at the secondary and college level in Colorado and for Newport Mesa School District. She earned BA and Masters degrees from Ball State Univ. and performed in summer stock/regional theater. She has been married for 50 years, has four children and six grandchildren. Her lifelong commitment to children, education and fine arts brings energy and creativity to her work on behalf of Childs-pace.
 
Nancy: “Childs-pace has for almost 40 years been “love” in action. The teachers and aides, the administration and the board members commit their skills and their hearts to the children and their families, helping them in their lives, enhancing their educational experience and wrapping all that up in caring and compassion.”

Amy Granados, Member

Amy was born in Long Beach. She enrolled her son, Anthony, in Childs-pace when he was nine years old. He is now in high school at Early College High School and hopes to become a pilot with the US Marines. Amy is a supervisor at Staples in Costa Mesa. She joined the Childs-pace Board in 2015 and provides valuable input based on her experience as a parent of a Childs-pace kid.
 
Amy: “After enrolling Anthony in the program I realized that Childs-pace wasn't just some place you drop off your child over the summer or after school. They have plans and agendas that include unique activities and experiences. Every day, when I picked up Anthony, he showed me something new he had made or worked on that day. The teachers and aides made sure they were active outside and did hands-on activities that made them think. Childs-pace is such an important part in my life and Anthony's and that is why I volunteer. I will always lend a helping hand when possible to Childs-pace and I know that Anthony will continue visiting his mentors.”

Rosalind Freeman, Member

Rosalind’s diverse life experience adds a unique perspective and understanding for Childs-pace’s mission and work. Her background includes working an organic farm for 10 years in West Virginia and raising young children on Guam and in Palm Springs. She moved to Huntington Beach in 1986, where she became a paralegal in corporate documentation. Rosalind has always been active in her community, served on her local library board, owned her own dance studio and ran for California State Assembly in Huntington Beach in 2010.
 
Rosalind: “I volunteer and support Childs-pace because when my children were growing up, quality after-school programs were scarce and unfocused. Children deserve better. Childs-pace provides a safe, secure, enriching environment while supporting the child and family and promoting healthy development.”

Susan Kopicki, Member

Susan has volunteered with Childs-pace since 1996. She is retired from teaching for the Orange County Department of Education and between 1980 and 2000 worked in magazine publishing and marketing. After graduating from college in 1967, she moved to California where she raised two daughters. Her kids and five grandchildren bring great joy.

Susan: “I joined Childs-pace’s Board of Directors a long time ago and cherish the whole experience, the staff, families and children. I am grateful for the support so many community members and friends of Childs-pace and hope they know their caring has supported families and children for 40 years and laid the foundation for the next 40!  I firmly believe that consistent, high-quality childcare that provides children the tools and experiences they need for healthy development in a safe and enriching environment must be very close to the top of any functional community’s priority list."

We thank our staff, our families, children, volunteers, donors and supporters for their support and look forward to many more years of Childs-pace serving its communities!