As President and Chief Executive Officer of Parents as Teachers, Constance Gully is responsible for leading the strategic direction of the organization while ensuring the overall growth and maintaining the fiscal stability and impact of the organizations efforts. Gully has nearly two decades of experience in the public and not for profit sectors.
Prior to joining Parents as Teachers, Gully held several leadership roles during her 16-year tenure at Harris-Stowe State University, most recently serving as its interim president and executive vice president for business and financial affairs. She has a master’s degree in business administration from Lindenwood University, and a bachelor of science in accounting from Illinois State University. She is a Missouri-licensed certified public accountant, and is a member of the Missouri Society of Certified Public Accountants and the National Association of Black Accountants.
As a mother who herself experienced the benefits of Parents as Teachers, Gully is committed to making sure Parents as Teachers keeps growing into the future in order to reach and serve families no matter where they are.
Cheryle Dyle-Palmer, M.A.
Executive Vice President/Chief Diversity Officer
With four decades of experience, Cheryle Dyle-Palmer has dedicated her career to the care and attention of the developing child and the family as an ever-changing social institution. She has been a constant advocate and champion for the underserved.
As Executive Vice President and Chief Diversity Officer, Dyle-Palmer administers the national office’s infrastructure as it increases its presence in early childhood education, and has been instrumental in developing culturally sensitive curricula and an overarching protocol for encouraging cultural responsiveness and humility.
Prior to joining Parents as Teachers in 2002, Dyle-Palmer was an adjunct instructor in the department of early childhood education at Harris Stowe University. She also served as chief executive officer for NBA Kids Care, a spin-off non-profit of the National Benevolent Association, where she was instrumental in establishing major early childhood and family support programs in the southeastern region of the United States and was the force behind the replication of Parents as Teachers in high stressed communities in Florida and Georgia.
Dyle-Palmer holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology with a minor in social work and education and a master’s degree in sociology from the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She also holds a certificate in senior management skills and leadership from the Human and Organizational Development Institute (University of Chicago), and the John F. Kennedy School of Government/Harvard Executive Leadership and Management.
Christie L. Olden joined Parents as Teachers as Chief Financial Officer in June 2017. Olden is responsible for ensuring the fiscal stability and accountability of the $13.7 million budget for Parents as Teachers. She also oversees the organization’s information technology and human resource functions.
Olden has 28 years of management experience with a number of public accounting organizations, financial institutions and as a franchised business owner. In these roles, she managed budgeting, forecasting, strategic planning, auditing, tax accounting, and business and asset management leadership. Olden was most recently with Bi-State Development, where she held a number of responsibilities for the organization including accounting supervision, budget analysis, risk management, and benefits guidance and reporting.
Christie Olden is an Illinois licensed Certified Public Accountant and Certified Fraud Examiner, and has a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville (SIUE), and Bachelor’s Degrees in both Accounting and Business with a specialization in Marketing and Management from SIUE.
Vice President of External Relations
In her role as Vice President of External Relations, Jill Saunders provides strategic leadership and direction to elevate Parents as Teachers' national, regional and local visibility and to increase understanding and impact of the mission and goals of the organization.
Saunders is backed by over 30 years of senior management experience in corporate, not for profit and agency public relations, marketing and brand communication. She was a part of the founding team of Build-A-Bear Workshop, where she led the corporate public relations and foundation management areas for the international company from its inception in 1997 through 2014. Prior to that, Saunders was founder and chief executive officer of Saunders Marketing Group with national clients in retail, consumer product, not for profit, healthcare, education and institutional businesses and organizations.
Alison Gee, MPH
Vice President of Government and Community Engagement
As Vice President of Government and Community Engagement for Parents as Teachers National Center, Alison Gee leads the advocacy efforts for the organization and the strategic partner relations management for growth and business development.
Gee has a 30-year background in advocating for maternal and child health and was previously VP of Public Policy for Planned Parenthood of the St. Louis Region & Southwest Missouri; COO of the Health Policy Institute, a Missouri-based education and advocacy group; and Director of a Washington, D.C.-based PAC. She worked on development and implementation of the Missouri Medicaid Managed Care (MC+) program, and has played a key role in the development, drafting and passage of Missouri state legislation on pre-natal substance abuse, collaborative practice regulations, and maternal and child health care reform.
Vice President of Program Implementation and Support
Kerry Caverly is the Vice President of Program Implementation and Support for the Parents as Teachers national office. Kerry has been part of the PAT national office team for the past 23 years. Prior to joining the national office, Kerry was a certified PAT parent educator for a local St Louis area school district and community college child development center. Kerry’s current responsibilities include oversight for the expansion and replication of the Parents as Teachers evidence-based home visiting program. Kerry and her team are responsible for the development of Parents as Teachers affiliates and the program implementation support provided to affiliates across the nation. Caverly also serves as the Parents as Teachers model representative for MIECHV (Maternal and Infant Early Childhood Home Visiting). Kerry represents Parents as Teachers at a variety of conferences and speaking engagements nationally. During her time with the national office, Kerry was a primary writer on several Parents as Teachers curriculum including Young Dads, Young Moms: A Curriculum for Peer Facilitated Groups, Supporting Infant/Toddler Care Providers, Focus on Fathers, Parenting Apart, and Supporting Care Providers through Personal Visits.
She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development and has earned hours toward a Master’s degree in Adult Education.
Vice President of Professional and Program Development
In her 25 years in the field of early childhood, parenting education and family support, Donna Hunt O’Brien has always had a close connection to Parents as Teachers. After receiving her degree in child and family development at the University of Missouri-Columbia, O’Brien worked at the St. Louis Community College Child Development Laboratory for eight years. There she had the opportunity to mentor college students, learn from master teachers, study and implement different approaches to early education, and became a certified Parents as Teachers parent educator. She continued her graduate study in child and adult education at Southern Illinois University–Edwardsville. Soon after, O’Brien became adjunct faculty teaching a number of early childhood courses, while leading accreditation teams and coordinating a family child care quality assurance program for the state of Missouri.
Since coming to the Parents as Teachers National Center, O’Brien has served in many roles. As a national trainer O’Brien has instructed hundreds of early childhood professionals. As child care training coordinator, O’Brien supported the implementation of Parents as Teachers in child care settings. She has been the principal writer for major Parents as Teachers curricula and, as training manager, developed training manuals and procedures for training support, as well as mentored a cadre of trainers and training teams nationally and internationally.
Currently, O’Brien directs the training of thousands of parent educators worldwide, oversees the development and updating of Parents as Teachers’ trainings and curricula, and works to sustain and grow Parents as Teachers through new partnerships and innovative programming.