NC Early Childhood Foundation Announces New Board Chair and Vice-Chair

The North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation (NCECF) is proud to announce the election of a new Chair and Vice-Chair of its Board of Directors. Effective January 1, 2022, Patti Gillenwater will serve as the new Chair of the Board and Rashidah Lopez Morgan will step into the role of Vice-Chair.

“NCECF is delighted to welcome Patti Gillenwater and Rashidah Lopez Morgan to their new leadership roles. We are so fortunate for their brilliant minds, passionate hearts, and deep commitment to our work,” said Muffy Grant, Executive Director of NCECF.

Portrait of Patti GillenwaterPatti Gillenwater has served on NCECF’s board since 2014 and most notably served as Vice-Chair for the past three years. During her time at NCECF, Patti has played an integral role in the strategic planning process, board development and recruitment, and serving as one of the first members of the Racial Equity Committee. Over the years, she has invested her time to advocate and support all children to have access to a world-class education.

Patti is the President and CEO of Elinvar, an executive search firm focused on mission-driven leadership. She has received numerous certifications in assessments related to leadership and team performance – she completed the Harvard Business School Executive Education program, Governing for Nonprofit Excellence in 2012, and became a BoardSource certified and trained consultant in board governance in 2020.

Rashidah Lopez Morgan joined NCECF in early 2021. As the Principal Consultant with Education First, an education policy and strategy consulting firm, Rashidah has dedicated much of her career to improving outcomes for children in the public K-12 system. “I pursued a career in education because I was appalled by the inequities that Black and Brown children experience as they seek a high-quality education,” says Rashidah. “I credit a quality education with positively impacting the trajectory of my life and believe every child deserves a high-quality education.”

Rashidah is currently Vice-Chair of the Charlotte Lab School Board of Directors and serves on the Community Investment Committee for Smart Start of Mecklenburg. She completed Community Building Initiative’s Leadership Development Initiative and Race Matters for Juvenile Justice focused on building the capacity of leaders to address issues of racial inequities and disparities.

The Board and staff are incredibly grateful for Easter Maynard’s service as Board Chair from 2018-2021. Easter will step into the role of Past Chair and continue to serve as a strong advocate for all children across the state of North Carolina. A list of NCECF’s board members can be found here.