John Brandon (Co-Chair)
MCCOY’s President has over 30 years experience in the youth development field as a youth worker, counselor, caseworker, trainer, and agency executive. He holds a B.A. in History, a MDiv. in Theology, and a M.S. in Marital and Family Therapy. Brandon has guided numerous community planning projects and initiatives in the youth development arena during his career and serves on a variety of community boards and committees. He is a certified trainer in the Advancing Youth Development curriculum; a certified assessor for the Youth Program Quality Assessment/Improvement process; a trained facilitatator for the Sustainability Planning Process, and an adjunct professor for the School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis. At MCCOY, John is responsible for overall agency management, staff development, strategic planning, partnership and relationship building, and fund development. An avid bicyclist and a voracious reader, Brandon is happily married and the father of one adult daughter.
Tasha R. Green Cruzat (Co-Chair)
Tasha R. Green Cruzat is Voices for Illinois Children's President. She has more than twenty-five years of experience in the public and private sectors of education, business, and government. Immediately prior to joining Voices, Tasha served as the Chief of Staff to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, where she was responsible for an operating budget of $4.2 billion. Previously, Tasha was with the State of Illinois as the Senior Management Advisor to the Governor's Office of Management and Budget and before that as the Chief Operating Officer for Central Management Services, one of the largest state agencies. Tasha holds a BA in Political Science from Brooklyn College, an MA in Education Administration from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and an MBA from the University of Notre Dame. Tasha was born in the city of Chicago and raised in Evanston, Illinois. She is married to Edward Cruzat and currently lives in Chicago's Bronzeville neighborhood. In her spare time, Tasha enjoys mentoring children, playing golf and tennis, along with spending time with her family.
Robert C. Fellmeth (Treasurer)
Professor Robert C. Fellmeth is a tenured law professor at the University of San Diego (USD) School of Law and is Founder and Executive Director of USD's Center for Public Interest Law and its Children's Advocacy Institute. He is the holder of the Price Chair in Public Interest Law at the USD School of Law, one of two such chairs in the nation. A graduate of Stanford University and Harvard Law School, Fellmeth was one of the original "Nader's Raiders," organizing the student groups in 1968 as part of the early consumer movement, and directing the Nader Congress Project in 1970-72. As a deputy district attorney and Assistant U.S. Attorney in San Diego from 1973-81, he litigated 22 antitrust actions and founded the nation's first antitrust unit in a district attorney's office. He currently serves on the board of directors of Public Citizen Foundation (Chair from 1994 to 2014), the National Association of Counsel for Children (President of Board from 2010-12), First Star Foundation, and the Maternal and Child Health Access Foundation. In the past he served on the board of directors of Consumers Union and California Common Cause and served as counsel for Voices for America's Children. He has taught at the National Judicial College, the National College of District Attorneys, and the California Judicial College. He has litigated 40 published appellate cases, drafted/sponsored 65 state and federal statutes, authored or co-authored 14 books or treatises, including The Nader Report on the FTC (Baron, 1968), The Politics of Land (Grossman, 1970), California White Collar Crime (with Papageorge) (Tower Publishing, 4th edition 2013), and the law school text Child Rights and Remedies (Clarity Press, 3rd edition, 2011).
Dr. Robert Sanborn (Secretary)
Dr. Sanborn is the President and CEO of CHILDREN AT RISK. Under his leadership, notable achievements include launching the Public Policy & Law Center, CHILDREN AT RISK Institute, and the Center to End Trafficking and Exploitation of Children; directing significantly increased media attention to the issues championed by the organization; and increasing the organizational capacity to drive macro-level change to improve the lives of Houston’s most defenseless children. He recently received the Houston Area Association for the Education of Young Children “Advocate of the Year Award” and the “Seeds of Hope” award for his work to end poverty at a systematic level through advocacy with community organizations and an increased awareness among public officials and the media.
A noted leader, advocate, and activist for education and children, Dr. Sanborn earned his undergraduate degree at Florida State University and his doctorate at Columbia University in New York City. Before entering the non-profit sector, he had a distinguished career in higher education at institutions such as Rice University and Hampshire College. He has worked and served as a senior leader with many organizations, always bringing with him a focus on innovation, collaborations with like-minded groups, resource developing partnerships, and a belief that all children deserve extraordinary opportunities to succeed.
Elizabeth Burke Bryant, JD
Elizabeth has served as Executive Director of Rhode Island KIDS COUNT since it began in 1994. A native of Providence, Rhode Island, Elizabeth received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Vermont and a law degree from the George Washington University Law School. Previous positions include Policy Director for the City of Providence; Housing Court prosecutor; and consultant to Rhode Island Housing, The Rhode Island Foundation, and the Women's Prison Mentoring Project. Elizabeth is Co-Chair of the Rhode Island Early Learning Council, serves on the board of the Partnership for America's Children, and is actively involved in many local and national organizations and efforts including the United Way of Rhode Island, the Alliance for Early Success, and the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading. She is the recipient of the Florette Angel National Child Advocate of the Year Award.
Larry Marx has been Executive Director for The Children’s Agenda since 2012. For 30 years, he has served as a leader in campaigns to enact new public policies at the local, state, and federal levels on a wide range of issues, as well as in campaigns for various local, state, and federal elected officials throughout the Midwest. Since 2014, Larry has served on the seven-member Board of Directors of the Partnership for America’s Children, a national federation of 50+ children’s advocacy organizations. He is nationally recognized as social change strategist, convening conferences of national funders and experts on papers he wrote on democracy issues at the Johnson Foundation’s Wingspread in Wisconsin in 2007, and on progressive narrative at the Rockefeller Brothers’ Pocantico Center in New York in 2013. Prior to moving to Rochester in 2010, Larry served as Executive Director of Citizen Action, the largest public interest group in Wisconsin for 12 years. As Executive Director of the Donor Collaborative of Wisconsin, Larry built and coordinated a network of 25 individual major donors in the state which gave $2.3 million over two years to 15 advocacy organizations. In addition to the board of the Partnership for America’s Children, Larry also serves on the board of national USAction Education Fund and on the Community Relations Committee of the Jewish Federation of Greater Rochester. Larry is married and the proud father of two girls, Natalie and Naomi.
Michelle joined NC Child in October 2014. Michelle has worked in the field of children's advocacy for almost 20 years in North Carolina. She has served in a number of executive and leadership positions including Project Director of the Partnering for Excellence Initiative at Benchmarks, Executive Vice-President for Prevent Child Abuse North Carolina, and Public Action Director at the NC Child Advocacy Institute, the organizational predecessor to NC Child. Michelle is the 2012 recipient of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration on Children, Youth and Families Commissioner's Award and the 2012 North Carolina Pediatric Society, Tom Vitaglione Child Health Advocacy Award. A graduate of Loyola College in Baltimore, Maryland, Michelle holds Master's degrees in English and Social Work from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Jenifer serves as Executive Director of Our Children Oregon, bringing 15 years of experience in community development/affordable housing, grass-roots power building, and organizational leadership. Previously she served as the Deputy Director of Avenue Community Development Corporation in Houston, TX. During her tenure, she developed a nationally recognized model for place-based, community-led transformation. In 2017, she and partners received the American Planning Association’s National Planning Excellence Award for Advancing Diversity & Social Change. Subsequently, Avenue was selected for the National BUILD Health Challenge. In 2018, she was awarded the prestigious Rubinger Fellowship by the Local Initiative Support Corporation, which led her to Oregon and to the board of the Partnership for America's Children.