Melissa Mares is our new Director of Early Childhood Initiatives
This week, we said farewell to our V.P. of Early Childhood and Policy Initiatives, Bill Jaeger, and celebrated his long and dedicated tenure at the Children’s Campaign. In the midst of this transition, we are thrilled to know that our early childhood agenda will continue to thrive with Melissa Mares’ leadership as our new Director of Early Childhood Initiatives!
Melissa first joined our team as an Early Childhood Policy Fellow in 2020 and became a Senior Policy Analyst in January of 2022. In these roles, Melissa coordinated the community input process that led to the creation of Colorado’s new Department of Early Childhood, and supported the transition planning for the department as a member of the Early Childhood Leadership Commission’s Transition Advisory Group (TAG) where she advocated for the needs of families and providers throughout the process. Melissa also serves as the co-convener of two critical coalitions that the Children’s Campaign facilitates: Raise Colorado and the Growing Our Future Coalition. During the 2022 legislative session alone, Melissa played an invaluable role in the coalition, policy, and advocacy management that led to our successful early childhood agenda.
Colorado’s early childhood landscape is undergoing transformative systems-changes – due in part to the hard work and dedication of Bill, Melissa, and our network of stakeholders, policy experts, advocates, and coalition partners from across the state. For all these reasons and more, our team is so excited to see Melissa lead our early childhood work moving forward. Congratulations, Melissa! Click here to learn more about Melissa and her work!