How does childhood impact our sense of purpose? Discover how early childhood development and education influence the habits and goals of successful leaders in every field. Listen and relate to biographical childhood stories that taught our guests about life and themselves.LEARN MORE
Former Mayor Brockman, who previously served as the Mayor of New Braunfels, played a key role in the city being recognized as one of the best places to live in America, as voted by Money.com. With a distinguished career in education and leadership, he made a lasting impact on students and families, emphasizing the importance of nurturing environments for children to thrive.
Julie Kashen is the Director of Women's Economic Justice and Senior Fellow at The Century Foundation - an independent think tank conducting research, developing solutions, and driving policy change to improve people’s lives. Julie has over two decades of experience advocating for issues around work and family, caregiving, economic mobility, and labor in government and nonprofit sectors. She was key in drafting major national legislation, including the first paid sick days bill and the Child Care for Working Families Act. She also contributed to creating the first National Domestic Workers Bill of Rights.
Katie McLain is a seasoned child care provider and early childhood educator with a lifelong commitment to nurturing young minds in Louisiana. As a director on the Wonderschool platform, she brings her extensive experience to create impactful learning environments. Katie's career has been dedicated to providing exceptional care and education, and she recently founded Thrive Early Family Childhood Center in West Monroe, Louisiana, to support first responders and their families during the pandemic.
Regen Horchow, an advocate for early childhood education in Dallas and Texas, joins us on the podcast. She shares how her upbringing in Dallas shaped her outlook on education, parenting, and philanthropy. Reflecting on her parents' emphasis on progress over perfection and fostering conversation, Regen discusses the importance of these values in early childhood development in this engaging episode.
Ruben Harris, CEO of Career Karma and co-host of Breaking Into Start-Up podcast, shares how his Seventh-Day Adventist upbringing influenced his entrepreneurial mindset and approach to success. He emphasizes the importance of personal journeys, lifelong learning, and trusting instincts.
Isabelle Hau, is the first executive director of the Stanford Transforming Learning Accelerator. Isabelle founded and led the U.S. education practice at Omidyar Network and, in 2020, spun off Imaginable Futures, a global philanthropic investment firm that is unabashedly impact-first.
Sarah Rittling is the executive director of the First Five Years Fund. Sarah is widely regarded as a national leader in the field of children's advocacy due to her years of expertise in politics and legislation, her collaborative approach, and her dedication to using innovative early childhood policy as a way out for children in poverty. From brain development to political analysis, the work she is leading at the First Five Years Fund is among the most comprehensive and up-to-date on all aspects of the lives of young children today.
Socorro is the director of Art & Wonder Preschool in New York City, an incredible program on the Wonderschool platform. Socorro was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and has degrees in Women’s Studies and Early Childhood Education.
Nini Diouf is an early childhood educator and entrepreneur. She is the founder of Nini's Jolie Jardin Wonderschool, a popular french bilingual preschool in Alameda County. Nini's Jolie Jardin Wonderschool is helping to expose children to different languages and cultures, which can broaden their perspectives and understanding of the world. Originally from Senegal, Nini received a prestigious preschool education that influenced her and made her aware of the role of language and children's emotions on a personal and systemic level.
Governor Jane Swift is an American politician and nonprofit leader. From 1999 to 2003, she was the 69th lieutenant governor of Massachusetts. From April 2001 to January 2003, she was also the state's acting governor. She was 36 when she became acting governor of Massachusetts, making her the youngest U.S. governor or acting governor. As a mom and leader, Governor Swift has been a huge advocate for raising the bar for early childhood education and access.
Our guest today is David Calabrese. David is the founder and director of Little Earthlings Forest School in San Fransisco. Little Earthlings is a hugely successful and beloved program that has been a big player in the outdoor school movement in Northern California. Unlike many other programs nationwide, David's Wonderschool sustained and even grew in demand during the pandemic. An artist, philosopher, and father, David can teach others how to pursue knowledge and take risks in nature.
Ryder Pearce is the founder of Skip, a mission-driven company based in California that has helped over a million people since 2016 get easier access to government-related services and information. Ryder also founded a rideshare company in Vancouver, B.C., and has worked directly to improve government services in New York, Beijing, Tbilisi, and Ahmedabad.
Rachel Schumacher is a nationally recognized strategic thinker and expert on early childhood policy with 25+ years of experience at the national, state, and local levels. Rachel is the current project director of the Raising Child Care Fund. Her previous work included working in the Office of Child Care in the Administration for Children and Families, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and J.B. and MK Pritzker Children's Initiative.
Brett Hurt is the CEO and co-founder of data.world, an Austin-based Certified B Corporation and public benefit corporation. data.world makes it easy for everyone—not just the "data people"—to get clear, accurate, fast answers to any business question. data.world's cloud-native data catalog maps its customers siloed, distributed data to familiar and consistent business concepts, creating a unified body of knowledge anyone can find, understand, and use. data.world is also home to the world’s largest collaborative open data community, including public COVID-19 datasets.
Rich McDonald’s storied 25-year career as Fender’s inspirational and charismatic product visionary is well documented. He has long been considered the modern-day Heart and Soul of one of America’s most symbolic and iconic brands. His career accolades include induction into the Music and Sound Retailer’s Hall Of Fame, being a member of the esteemed NAMM Board of Directors, and is the recipient of the trade's Lifetime Achievement Award.
Lee Jacobs is the founder and partner of Long Journey Ventures and Edelweis.vc. He has a penchant for helping new startups and businesses deemed ‘weird’ in their infant years. Some companies Lee has backed early on are Fitbit, Blue Bottle, Space X, and Uber. Notably, Lee was an early investor in Wonderschool, and his wife, Rebecca Grubman, was the first Wonderschool employee!
Professor, author, and coach Carole Robin is a pioneer in helping leaders in tech, business, and high-level organizations tap into the power of interpersonal relationships to better their outcomes and lives. Her book, Connect, co-authored with David Bradford, based on their legendary Stanford Business class– “Interpersonal Dynamics (aka “Touchy Feely”)” has helped thousands of business leaders deepen their relationships while elevating their career trajectories.
Derreck is a third-generation Oakland, Ca native and is now running for mayor of his hometown. He is a successful entrepreneur whose Oakland-favorite restaurant, Home of Chicken and Waffles, employs 70% incarcerated staff. During Covid, Home of Chicken and Waffles was contracted to prepare 200+ meals daily by Steph, Ayesha Curry, and The World Central Kitchen through The Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation.
Mayor Michael Nutter served as 98th Mayor of the City of Philadelphia, his hometown. As mayor, he managed Philadelphia through the Great Recession, and the City's credit rating was upgraded to “A” by the three major credit agencies for the first time since the 1970s. Mayor Nutter joins us to talk about his early childhood in Philly and urban policy.
Dr. Dan Wuori is the Senior Director of Early Learning at Hunt Institute. He helps lead the Institute’s expanding work in the early childhood policy landscape. Dr. Wuori reflects on his childhood as the son of a pediatrician and later in life when he began his educational career as a kindergarten teacher.
Chris passes the mic to Wonderschool board advisor, executive coach, and tech founder Shane Metcalf. Shane talks about his unconventional education, the role of music in his life, and why he became the founder of 15Five, Built using Positive Product DesignTM.
Louise Stoney is a pioneering advocate for child care who has spent her career focused on systems change. She is known for developing The Iron Triangle approach to the child care business sustainably. Louise opens up with Chris about being the child of pioneering civil rights advocates and how that led her to be a leader in child care reform.