Susan Kopicki, President

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 sales and marketing for a manufacturing company. After graduating from Duke University in 1967, she moved to California where she raised two daughters. Visiting them and her five grandchildren brings great joy.

Susan: “I joined Childs-pace’s Board of Directors when our founder MaryAnn Ready invited me and I haven’t been able to leave since. Childs-pace, the children and the families and the staff are high on my priority list. Plus, I firmly believe the powerful concept 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 a strong community’s priority list.“

Elizabeth Fondren, Secretary

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.

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."

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 as a single mother 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.”

Nancy Geerlings, Member

Nancy has served on the Board of Directors since 2015. Her teaching career spanned 35 years and included teaching English and drama at the secondary and college level in Colorado and for the Newport Mesa School District. She earned BA and Masters degrees from Ball State University and spent many years as an actress and singer in summer stock and regional theater. She has been married for over 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 Granados was born in Long Beach. She enrolled her son, Anthony, in Childs-pace when he was nine years old. 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.

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.