Early Childhood Expert and Foundation Leaders from Across the State Join Board of Directors

Foundation and university leaders from the Golden LEAF Foundation, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and East Carolina University have joined the board of directors for the North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF). The NCECF board also elected Easter Maynard, Director of Community Investment for Investors Management Corporation, as the Chair for a two-year term.

Easter Maynard is an experienced non-profit leader and grant maker, leading the ChildTrust Foundation and currently serving as the Director of Community Investment for Investors Management Corporation, parent company of Golden Corral Corporation. She received her bachelor’s degree from Wake Forest University and her MSW from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As a literacy advocate, Ms. Maynard serves on the boards for Golden Corral Corporation, the Triangle Community Foundation, Methodist Home for Children and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Wake County. 

A native of New Jersey, Sheresa Blanchard has been a practitioner and consultant in early childhood, special education and early intervention for over 10 years. Currently, Ms. Blanchard is an assistant professor in birth through kindergarten at East Carolina University in the department of Human Development and Family Science. Dr. Blanchard earned her bachelor’s degree in Elementary and Special Education from Seton Hall University, a masters in birth through kindergarten from University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNC-G) and a doctor of philosophy from UNC-G with a focus in emotional and social development, early childhood and early intervention.

Peggy Carter retired as vice president of the Novant Health Forsyth Medical Center Foundation and previously served as the vice president of corporate affairs for Sara Lee Corporation’s apparel operations. Carter serves on a wide array of boards across the state with the Winston-Salem State University’s Foundation, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute and Winston-Salem Chamber of Commerce. Carter earned her bachelor’s degree at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a masters in news journalism at the University of Georgia.

Since October 2008, Dan Gerlach has served as president of the Golden LEAF Foundation. After working as a budget analyst for the New York State Assembly for five years, Mr. Gerlach spent seven years as the director of the NC Budget and Tax Center and seven years as the Senior Fiscal Advisor for Governor Easley. Gerlach holds a Master in Public Administration in state and local public finance from Syracuse University and Bachelor degrees in economics and English from the University of Notre Dame.

Tracey Greene-Washington is an experienced leader with over with eighteen years of professional experience working nationally, regionally, and statewide in philanthropy and the non- profit sector. Mrs. Greene-Washington serves as the director of special initiatives at the Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust, leading the strategic implementation of Healthy Places NC, focused on improving the health of 10 to 12 rural counties, and Great Expectations, an early childhood initiative working to help Forsyth County’s youngest children be prepared for success in school and life by the time they finish kindergarten. She is also the founder of CoThinkk, a giving circle comprised of African-American and Latinx members in Western North Carolina. She holds a Bachelor Degree in Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and received her Master Degree of Social Work from the University of South Carolina.