List of Members

Dr. Ralph Marino, Jr.

Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools - School Superintendent
Dr. Ralph Marino is the Superintendent of Hewlett-Woodmere Public Schools, a District comprised of approximately 3,100 students. Dr. Marino's background in education spans nearly 24 years. He has served as Superintendent of both Horseheads and Hunter-Tannersville School Districts. In addition, Dr. Marino served as the Middle and High School Principal at Hunter-Tannsersville, as well as the Middle School Assistant Principal at the Ravena-Coeymans-Selkirk School District. He also has classroom teaching experience. Currently, Dr. Marino serves on the Governing Board of the American Association of School Administrators. He also is an active member of the National Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development and the New York State Association of School Business Officials.

Barbara-Ann Mattle

Child Care Council, Inc. - Chief Executive Officer
Barbara-Ann Mattle is the CEO of Child Care Council, Inc., a Child Care Resource and Referral service for Monroe, Wayne and Livingston Counties. The agency provides direct and supportive services to parents seeking out-of-home care for young children; educational programs for child care providers, parents, and the community, and CACFP administration. She also serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Early Care and Learning Council, and is an appointed member of the National Association for Family Child Care Accreditation Council and U.S. Senator Kristin Gilibrand’s Children’s Health Committee.

Jim McGuirk, Ph.D.

Astor Services for Children & Families - Executive Director and CEO
Jim McGuirk, Ph.D., is the Executive Director and CEO for Astor Services for Children & Families. Astor provides early childhood and behavioral health services to over 6,000 children annually in the Hudson Valley and the Bronx. In addition, Dr. McGuirk serves as President of the Board of Trustees of The Children’s Foundation of Astor.

Mary McHugh, LCSW-R

New York State Office of Mental Health - Director of Strategic Clinical Solutions, Division of Children and Family Services
Mary McHugh, LCSW-R is the Director of Strategic Clinical Solutions, Division of Children and Family Services in the New York State Office of Mental Health (OMH). In this capacity, she oversees several programs supporting the Achieving the Promise Initiative, which is changing the way clinical services are provided and accessed to reach better outcomes. Mary is a member of the Early Intervention Coordinating Council within the New York State Department of Health. Prior to joining OMH, she worked for more than 20 years as a clinical social worker, supervisor and administrator.

Anne Mitchell

Early Childhood Policy Research - President
Anne Mitchell is President of Early Childhood Policy Research and co-founded the Alliance for Early Childhood Finance. Published widely, she has worked with more than half the states in the country as well as foundations, federal agencies and national organizations. A former child care center director, she is Past-President of the National Association for the Education of Young Children and served as a member of the Board of Education in Greenville, NY for 18 years. Ann has received awards from the New York State Association for the Education of Young Children, the Bank Street College Alumni Association, Scholastic, Inc., National Louis University, the New York State Child Care Coordinating Council and the New York State and the National Associations for Family Child Care.

Janice M. Molnar, Ph.D.

New York State Office of Children and Family Services - Deputy Commissioner, Division of Child Care Services
Janice M. Molnar, Ph.D. is Deputy Commissioner of the Division of Child Care Services in the New York State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), providing oversight and monitoring of more than 21,000 regulated child care providers and another 47,000 legally-exempt providers in New York State. Trained as a developmental psychologist, her 30-year career includes work in the public and non-profit sectors, concentrating on program and policy issues affecting children, youth, and families.

Donna M. Noyes

Bureau of Early Intervention, New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH)- - Co-Director
Donna M. Noyes, Ph.D., is Co-Director, Bureau of Early Intervention, New York State Department of Health (NYSDOH). Her work in the Bureau of Early Intervention has included all aspects of planning, implementation, and operation of New York’s early intervention service delivery system for infants and toddlers with special needs. She has contributed to a variety of Bureau management activities, including development of program regulations and clinical practice guidelines, reimbursement policies and methodologies, development and launching of the New York Early Intervention System (NYEIS), and implementation of a child and family outcomes system to evaluate the impact of early intervention services on program participants. She served as President of the national IDEA-Infant Toddler Coordinators Association (ITCA) in 2014.

Jenn O'Connor

Prevent Child Abuse New York - Director of Policy and Advocacy
Jenn O’Connor is the Director of Policy and Advocacy for Prevent Child Abuse New York, where she focuses on impacting the root causes of abuse through policy change, thereby strengthening families and the systems that serve them. She also co-chairs Winning Beginning NY and sits on several nonprofit boards. Over the last two decades, Jenn has acquired expertise in maternal and child health, mental health, and early learning. From championing the expansion of health insurance coverage at the National Conference of Insurance Legislators; to creating the mental health program at the National Governors Association; to advocating for a comprehensive home visiting system at the Schuyler Center for Analysis and Advocacy; to leveraging the voices of law enforcement, business, and retired military leaders as NYS Director of Council for a Strong America; she has demonstrated her effectiveness in affecting policy change. Jenn has served as staff for both the Senate Majority (Republican) and the Assembly Majority (Democrat). She has a degree in Creative Writing Arts and a minor in Sociology, as well as a certificate in non-profit management and leadership from Rockefeller College of Public Affairs and Policy. Last but certainly not least Jenn is the former (but still active!) foster parent of a teenage girl and pet parent to Zelda.

Carol Saginaw

Center for Children’s Initiatives - Chair‎
Carol Saginaw retired from the Early Care & Learning Council (ECLC), in 2010 after nine years as Executive Director. In her tenure, ECLC initiated what has become New York’s quality rating system, QUALITYstarsNY. Carol served as the first Executive Director for the Alliance for the Mentally Ill of New York State (NAMI NYS), and served as Assistant Director in the Bureau of Forensics Services, New York State Office of Mental Health. She is a founder and co-convener of Winning Beginning NY and served on Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board under Governors Spitzer and Patterson. She currently serves as Board Chair of the Center for Children’s Initiatives in New York City.

Mary A. Shaheen

United Way of New York State - Vice President
Mary A. Shaheen is Vice President of United Way of New York State, serving 40 local United Ways statewide. She first joined UWNYS as Director of the Early Childhood Investment Fund, a state-wide public/private partnership aimed at finding local solutions to early childhood priorities. She chaired the committee that developed criteria for 2-1-1 designated regional call centers and continues to serve on the 2-1-1 New York’s Application Review and Oversight Committee. She is also a member of the Leadership Group for New York State Partners for Children, the USNY Early Childhood Cabinet and OASAS’ State Epidemiological Outcomes Workgroup. Prior to joining UWNYS, Ms. Shaheen worked for 10 years in local youth programs and as staff member to Assembly Majority Leader James Tallon.

Patricia Uttaro

Director of the Rochester Public Library and Monroe County Library System
Patricia Uttaro is the Director of the Rochester Public Library and Monroe County Library System. Ms. Uttaro's current work is focused on early learning and literacy. In addition to teaching reading, she works with young families on parenting skills. Ms. Uttaro, a passionate reader herself, believes that the ability to read is the most important skill needed to live a productive, successful life.

Lorelei A. Vargas

Deputy Commissioner for Early Care and Education - Administration for Children's Services
New York City
Lorelei A. Vargas serves as the Deputy Commissioner for Early Care and Education with New York City's Administration for Children's Services. In this role, Lorelei is responsible for administering all aspects of the city's publicly-funded early and education system, which serves the needs of close to 110,000 children with a $1.1 billion annual budget. Lorelei has over two decades of professional experience working in the non-profit sector with a focus on improving education and helping to strengthen the lives of children and families.