KidsReadyNC | 2018 HIGHLIGHTS2017 HighlightsMEDIA




(Times/Topics are Subject to Change | Last Updated January 26, 2018)

2018 Emerging Issues Forum

February 5, 2018
Raleigh Convention Center
8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.


Network with leaders and learners from every North Carolina sector, region, and perspective. We welcome stakeholders and all members of the general public. Hear from leading national and local experts in business, early childhood, economic development, education, finance and government – all sharing practical “hands-on” information and tools on how to design, implement and fund childhood initiatives that make a difference in your local community!

Morning | Money Ball: An Investment Plan for Our Kids


8:00 – 8:20 a.m. | Welcome

  • Chancellor Randy Woodson
  • IEI Director Leslie Boney

8:20 – 9:10 a.m. | Charting a Path Forward: Blue Ribbon Commission Findings | Presentation Here

Blue Ribbon Commission Chairs and BRC Members

  • Senator Chad Barefoot, NC Senate
  • Jim Hansen, Regional President, PNC Bank
  • Brenda Howerton, President, NC Association of County Commissioners

MODERATOR: Tom Campbell, host of “NC SPIN”

9:10 – 9:45 a.m. | Financing for Impact: The Role of Large-Scale Private Capital

  • Audrey Choi, Chief Marketing Officer and Chief Sustainability Officer, Morgan Stanley

9:45 – 10:20 a.m. | Perspectives from the Executive Branch

  • Governor Roy Cooper

10:20 – 10:35 a.m. | Break & Networking

10:35 – 11:15 a.m. | Building Blocks for Kids: Federal Support for Early Childhood

  • Congressman David Price, U.S. House of Representatives (Representing the 4th District of North Carolina)

11:15 – 11:45 a.m. | Pathways to Grade-Level Reading: Taking Action to Improve Early Literacy


Afternoon | Reinforcing The Case For Early Childhood Investment


11:45 a.m. | Lunch (provided)

12:20 – 12:50 p.m. | The Role of Philanthropy in Early Childhood Initiatives

  • Joe Crocker, Director of Local Impact in Forsyth County, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust
  • Tracey Grayzer, President, Impact Alamance
  • Lori O’Keefe, President and CEO, Triangle Community Foundation

12:50 – 1:40 P.M. | American Business Speaks Up: Third-Grade Reading Proficiency Key to Closing the Skills Gap
 | Presentation Here

Introduced by: Stuart Frantz, President and CEO, Investors Management Corporation                

  • Jim Goodnight, Co-Founder and CEO, SAS
  • Venessa Harrison, President, AT&T North Carolina
  • Jim Hansen, Regional President, PNC Bank

MODERATOR:  Susan Perry-Manning, Deputy Secretary for Human Services, NC Department of Health and Human Services

1:40 – 2:30 p.m. | Policy 101 for Kids: The View from Raleigh

  • Sen. Chad Barefoot, NC Senate
  • Rep. Craig Horn, NC House of Representative
  • State Superintendent Mark Johnson, NC Department of Public Instruction
  • Sec. Mandy Cohen, NC Department of Health and Human Services

MODERATOR:  Donna King, Managing Editor, North State Journal

 2:30 – 2:45 p.m.Break & Networking (proceed to either Track I or Track II)


Afternoon Closing | Talent Levers for North Carolina’s Future


This year, after a morning of panels and speakers, you will have the opportunity to immerse yourself in one of two afternoon “tracks” to discuss “Talent Levers for North Carolina’s Future.” (You will have the option to select either Track I or Track II during the registration process.)

2:45 – 4:20 p.m. | TRACK I (Main Ballroom – AB)

  • Health & Wellness: Lifelong Benefits & Long-Term Cost Savings (2:45 – 3:35 p.m.) | Presentation Here
    • Carolyn S. Langer, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, MassHealth; Director, Office of Clinical Affairs, Commonwealth Medicine & Associate Professor, UMass Medical School
    • David Olds, Ph.D., Professor of Pediatrics and Director, Prevention Research Center for Family and Child Health, University of Colorado Department of Pediatrics; Founder, Nurse-Family Partnership
    • David Tayloe, M.D., Pediatrician, Goldsboro Pediatrics, PA & Past-President, American Academy of Pediatrics

MODERATOR:  Laura Gerald, M.D., President, Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust

  • Early Education: First Steps & The Path to Success (3:35 – 4:20 p.m.)
    • Nicole Gardner-Neblett, Advanced Research Scientist, Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute, UNC-Chapel Hill
    • Hedy Nai-Lin Chang, Executive Director, Attendance Works
    • Brian Sickora, Executive Director and General Manager, UNC-TV

MODERATOR:  Cindy Watkins, President, North Carolina Partnership for Children

2:45 – 4:25 p.m. | TRACK II (Room 302 – ABC)

  • Enhancing the Bottom Line: Family-Friendly Business Policies That Work (Hosted by NC Early Childhood Foundation, with support from Blue Cross NC) | Presentations: Family Forward NC and Research Analysis.
    • Andrew Herdman, Vice President Human Resources, Mayne Pharma
    • Rich Neimand, President, Neimand Collaborative
    • Fara Palumbo, Chief People Officer at Blue Cross NC
    • Sepi Saidi, President and CEO, Sepi Engineering and Construction, Inc.
    • Napoleon Wallace, Deputy Secretary at the NC Department of Commerce
    • Tracy Zimmerman, Executive Director, North Carolina Early Childhood Foundation




Business Smart. Family Friendly. Future Ready.

Businesses of all sizes can lead the way when it comes to supporting children’s healthy development with the added benefits of improving productivity, reducing absenteeism and attracting and keeping top talent.

Be the first to hear the results of new research of more than 300 NC businesses about their practices, including their motivations and barriers to creating family friendly workplaces!

Join Blue Cross NC and the NC Early Childhood Foundation for a breakout session that will feature:

  • NC business leaders from a range of industries and sizes sharing the challenges and opportunities they face in offering family-friendly policies that provide an economic advantage.
  • New insights into the landscape of family-friendly policies offered by businesses in the state, and the motivations and barriers leaders say they face.

Attendees will learn how:

  • Family-friendly workplaces provide a competitive advantage in attracting and retaining talent, increasing productivity and employee satisfaction and reducing absenteeism.
  • Family-friendly policies are not just about paid leave. There are a range of doable actions businesses of all sizes can take.
  • Workplaces that support parents have a direct impact on their children’s health, well-being and future academic and career achievement. Family-friendly workplaces provide an immediate payoff and long-term gains, hence “Business Smart. Family Friendly. Future Ready.”

4:20 – 4:40 p.m. | Break & Networking (Return to Main Gallery)

4:40 – 5:25 p.m. | Sesame Street in Communities: Fostering Children’s Well-being Through Nurturing Connection

  • Jeanette Betancourt, Ed.D., Senior Vice President, U.S. Social Impact, Sesame Workshop

(Brought to you by The Community Foundation of Western North Carolina)

5:25 – 5:30 p.m. | Closing Remarks

5:30 p.m. | Day One Ends

February 6, 2018
Duke Energy Hall, Hunt Library
NC State’s Centennial Campus
8 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.


Join us on Tuesday, February 6, 2018 at Hunt Library on NC State University’s Centennial Campus for a series of “hands-on” workshops on the nuts and bolts of local early childhood development work. We will be combining national experts with local practitioners to provide the training framework for leaders to begin the process of implementing many of the strategies identified from Day One of the Emerging Issues Forum. Space is limited for Day Two!

A Primer on Local Early Childhood Capacity Building


8:00 – 8:30 a.m. | Opening Plenary

  • Warwick Arden, Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, NC State University
  • Jack Cecil, President, Biltmore Farms, Chair, IEI National Advisory Board
  • Elizabeth Gaines, Senior Fellow, The Forum for Youth Investment

WORKSHOPS (Two sets of the same concurrent sessions (1 hr. 15 mins. each session.)

8:30 – 8:45 a.m. | Break

8:45 – 10:00 a.m. | Workshop Session I

10:00 – 10:20 a.m. | Break

10:20 – 11:35 a.m. | Workshop Session II

11:35 – 11:45 a.m. | Break

11:45 a.m. | Closing Plenary

  • Elizabeth Gaines, Senior Fellow, The Forum for Youth Investment

12:30 p.m. | Day Two Ends


Day Two Presentation Slides:


Starting on a Shoestring:  Implementing programs on a limited budget is doable! In this workshop, local leaders will learn about the effective/novel use of existing talent and resources; innovative and cost effective partnering solutions; and effective coordination and streamlined governance to accomplish more with limited resources.

Organizer:  Elizabeth Gaines, Forum for Youth Investment  |  Presentation Here

Communication and Engagement:  Successfully navigating early childhood systems can be challenging. This workshop will focus on effective strategies for collaboration, leadership models, strategic communications, as well as outreach and engagement challenges and their solutions.

Organizer: Tina Chen-Xu and Ryan White, Public Consulting Group | Presentation Here

Issues in Program Selection and Implementation:  One of the biggest impediments to successful early childhood systems improvement is figuring out what programs to implement and how to successfully implement them. This workshop will focus on evidence-based program selection, and fidelity in implementation.

Organizer:  Oscar Fleming and Laura Louison, National Implementation Research Network, (at the) Frank Porter Graham Child Development Institute | Presentation Here

Effectively Using Data to Drive Your Effort:  Data is the center piece of any successful early childhood initiative. In this workshop, participants will learn how to find the data you need, how to drive learning, adaptation and improvement.

Organizer:  Kim McCombs-Thornton, NC Partnership for Children | Presentation Here

Working Effectively Across Organizations:  Managing the activities of partner organizations is the hallmark of all collective impact work. In this workshop you will learn about governance/leadership, aligning activities, effective coordination, communications networks, and how to effectively deploy backbone organizations to accomplish it all.

Organizer:  Janice Gruendel, Institute for Child Success | Presentations One, Two and Three

Local Funding for Early Learning: A Community Toolkit:  Financing is by far the biggest hurdle in launching an early childhood initiative. Experts will provide information on the different local revenue streams available to local communities, offer tools to assess your community’s readiness levels, and feature insights on the strategies other communities have used to secure revenue streams available under existing law.

Organizer:  Alexandra Forter Sirota, NC Budget & Tax Center; Lisa Finaldi, NC Early Childhood Foundation | Presentation Here