NC Early Childhood Foundation Announces New Leadership Roles and Responsibilities

The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) is pleased to announce new organizational restructuring and staff appointments.

Mandy Ableidinger now serves as the Deputy Director of NCECF. In this role, she will be responsible for promoting research-based early childhood data, policy and practices; convening state leaders to bridge systems and sectors to improve outcomes for young children and families; and supporting the Executive Director to advance NCECF’s mission. Ableidinger has served as NCECF’s Policy and Practice Leader since 2016.

As the Finance and Operations Manager, Kaylan Johnson promotes strong fiscal policies and ensures systems are in place for financial management by managing the Foundation’s bookkeeping, budgeting, and finance-related reporting functions. She will expand her roles and responsibilities to provide programmatic support for the Pathways to Grade Level Reading initiative by coordinating internal and external events and managing meeting planning. Johnson has served as NCECF’s Accounting Associate since 2019.

Mary Mathew now serves as NCECF’s Collaboration and Policy Leader, where she spearheads state and local collaboration across systems and disciplines to advance a shared vision and course of action that maximizes impact for young children and families. This includes leading the policy arm of the NC Pathways to Grade-Level Reading Initiative, and supporting the collective efforts of NC Campaign for Grade-Level Reading communities. Mathew began her role as Collaborative Action Manager in March 2019.

In a newly established position, Sumera Syed serves as the Organizational Equity Officer to support NCECF’s intentional emphasis on racial equity in shaping and sustaining an inclusive and equitable culture. Responsibilities include contributing to the organization’s mission by providing programmatic support to NCECF staff and leading the organizational effort to establish strategies to ensure that diversity, race and equity are woven into the fabric of NCECF. Syed has served as Organizational Manager since November 2016.

As Community Engagement Leader, Lisa Finaldi will continue to lead NCECF’s Family Forward NC initiative to create family-friendly workplaces that benefit employers, parents and the health and well-being of children. Through this initiative, more business leaders are now champions for early learning programs, recognizing the value to our economy in North Carolina. She will also continue to co-lead the NC Campaign for Grade-Level Reading with Mary Mathew. Finaldi has been at NCECF since its inception in 2014. 

“The brilliant team at NCECF is ready to step into new roles in line with who we are and where we want to go. I am thrilled to recognize their contributions and I believe this new organizational structure best reflects the value of each team member,” says Muffy Grant, NCECF Executive Director.