Staff & Boards of Directors

WECA employees are steadfast advocates for early childhood professionals and early care and education in Wisconsin. The organization is led by an administrative team and governed and guided by a volunteer Board of Directors.

Ruth Schmidt

Ruth Schmidt

Executive Director

Ruth, who has led WECA since 2002, is a respected voice for early care and education on the local, regional, state, and national levels. She has extensive executive leadership experience working with organizations, associations, counties, and municipalities. Ruth serves on various local and state ECE-focused organizations and coalitions and is a leading advocate for strengthening ECE and its workforce through policy and systems improvement. She has a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College.

Jeanette Paulson

Jeanette Paulson

Director of Workforce Initiatives

Jeanette, who has worked at WECA since 1997, helps provide direct oversight to the many of its programs, including the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Wisconsin and REWARD Wisconsin Stipend programs, in addition to membership, conference, and training. Jeanette holds a master’s degree in adult education with an emphasis in early childhood education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and feels strongly about supporting the early childhood workforce with education, increased compensation, and overall well-being. Jeanette supports statewide early childhood workforce research and co-authored the Wisconsin Training and Technical Assistance Professional Competencies for those working with adults in ECE.

Board of Directors

Stephanie Harrison, WECA Board Presesident

Stephanie Harrison

President
Location:
Madison, WI
Organization: Wisconsin Primary Health Care Association
Serving since: 2020

Dr. Toshiba Adams, WECA BOD Secretary

Toshiba Adams, Ph.D

Vice President
Location:
Milwaukee, WI
Organization: Milwaukee Area Technical College
Serving since: 2020

Dr. Toshiba Adams, WECA BOD Secretary

Tanya Marcoe

Treasurer
Location: Fond du Lac, WI
Organization: ADVOCAP, Inc.
Serving since: 2023

Stephanie Harrison, WECA Board Presesident

Precious Woodley, M.Ed

Secretary
Location: Madison, WI
Organization: The Goddard School – Verona
Serving since: 2023

Dr. Toshiba Adams, WECA BOD Secretary

Sarah Barton

Location: Milwaukee, WI
Organization: Early Head Start
Serving since: 2021

Latisha Spence-Brookens, WECA Board Member

Dr. Tim Bartholow

Location: McFarland, WI
Organization: Timothy L. Bartholow, LLC
Serving since: 2023

Patricia Wooldridge, WECA Board Vice-President

Yimma Davila Castro

Location: Milwaukee, WI
Organization: Yimma’s Bright Beginnings Daycare LLC
Serving since: 2023

Stephanie Harrison, WECA Board Presesident

Renuka Mayadev

Location: Madison, WI
Organization: University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Partnership Program
Serving since: 2021

Latisha Spence-Brookens, WECA Board Member

Latisha Spence-Brookens

Location: Menomonee Falls, WI
Organization: Moraine Park Technical College
Serving since: 2021

Stephanie Harrison, WECA Board Presesident

Kristin Blanchard Stearns

Location: Sheboygan, WI
Organization: Lakeshore Community Health Care
Serving since: 2023

Latisha Spence-Brookens, WECA Board Member

Alex Ysquierdo

Location: Columbus, WI
Organization: Wisconsin Supplier Diversity Program
Serving since: 2023

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