Patricia Alvarez de Fallon, President | Terms of Service: 4/2022-04-2023, 11/2019-03/2022
Patricia grew up in Puerto Rico until she moved to South Bend, Indiana, to pursue a Business degree from the University of Notre Dame. Since graduation, she has worked for the E&J Gallo Winery in different sales and management roles. She is trained in data analytics and public speaking and is a Certified Specialist in Wine. She has lived in Chicago, Northern California, and New York City. In 2016, she finally set roots in Ann Arbor. Patricia is married to a Michigander and together they have two boys that attended Manzanitas for preschool. She enjoys spending time with her family and friends and attempting to tackle the endless list of home improvement projects.
Jeff Wilkerson, Treasurer | Terms of Service: Treasurer, 1/2023-12/2023; Member-at-Large, 10/2022-10/2024
Jeff received his Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Central Michigan University in 2010 and went on to co-found a small multinational logistics company that specialized in material delivery for manufacturing in Asian markets. In 2013 Jeff began investing in single family residential rental properties before expanding into commercial and industrial real estate. During this time Jeff also began actively developing raw land for future development in growing markets in coordination with a number of local architectural, engineering and construction firms. He co-founded an Ann Arbor-based home building startup that focused on producing net zero energy homes for the residential market and served as an active member in EBBA, the Energy and Environmental Building Alliance. Jeff’s current efforts are dedicated to overall company growth and project management as the founder and director of A2 Collaborative, a local design firm that provides architectural and site planning services. Jeff is also the managing partner of A2 North Maple Properties and North Maple Road Apartments.
Katie Pieper, Secretary & Manzanitas Family Representative | Term of Service: 06/2022-06/2024
Katie Pieper moved to Ann Arbor in 2019 with her husband and dog after many years in Chicago, where she worked in various public interest law and nonprofit positions. Katie is a graduate of Grinnell College and holds a JD from the University of Illinois College of Law. From an early age Katie has been motivated to empower others and work with overlooked communities, most recently working for the John Howard Association, a prison watchdog organization, monitoring Illinois prison conditions, and advocating for people incarcerated in facilities across Illinois. Katie is now focusing on her two small children, and is appreciative to have her toddler at Manzanitas, an organization with a mission and people upholding values that align with her own.
Ricky LaFosse, Green Apple Family Representative | Terms of Service: 11/2021-11/2023, 11/2019-11/2021
Originally from Massachusetts, Ricky moved to Ann Arbor in the spring of 2019 to join the University of Michigan’s Center for Academic Innovation as a Compliance and Policy Lead. He is licensed to practice law in Indiana and is a Ph.D. candidate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies at Indiana University, where he previously earned his J.D. Prior to transitioning into a career in compliance, Ricky taught middle school English as a Teach For America corps member in Las Vegas and completed an M.Ed. in Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Nevada - Las Vegas. He also holds a B.A. in English from the University of Massachusetts. Ricky is a proud Green Apple Garden parent, and spends much of his free time attending U-M sports events and exploring Ann Arbor’s restaurants, coffee shops, and parks with his wife and daughters.
Lilly Connett, Green Apple Family Representative | Term of Service: 11/2021-11/2023, 11/2019-11/2021
Lilly Connett grew up in the Midwest, fell in love with Michigan at an early age and finally moved to Ann Arbor in 2014. She is a Principal at the Boston Consulting Group where she helps companies with a wide range of strategic questions. She holds a BA and MBA from the University of Chicago as well as a MS in environmental sciences from the University of Michigan. She is the proud parent of two Green Apple students and one alumnus, and loves spending time with her family exploring this beautiful state - from the Great Lakes to Ann Arbor parks.
Sam Larson, Manzanitas Family Representative | Term of Service: 06/2022-06/2024
Sam has lived in Ann Arbor with his wife since 2016, and both their children attend Manzanitas. He has a B.G.S. from the University of Michigan, with an emphasis on political psychology and survey methods, and is currently a data analyst for a newswire. His early career was spent in the food industry, and included running the family butcher shop, operations consulting for local food distributors throughout Michigan, and opening a full-service restaurant.
Lauren Gwin, Member at Large | Term of Service: 10/2021-10/2023
Lauren was born and raised in California but was somehow not scared off by the concept of "winter" when she moved to Ann Arbor to pursue her PhD in Literature. Prior to receiving her doctorate, she studied Polish, Yiddish, and world literature in France, Hong Kong, Lithuania, and Poland. She now teaches a variety of courses in the English department at the University of Michigan, but she has still never been to a football game. If she's not teaching about writing, reading, or taking care of her rambunctious kiddo (a Green Apple alum), she's probably learning something new about beekeeping.
Past Board Members
Amanda Bloomfield, Treasurer 4/2022-12/2022; President 1/2021-3/2022; Member-at-Large, 12-2018-12/2020
Whitney Tarver, Member at Large, Mud Day Committee Chair, 8/2019-8/2022
Michael Allerding, Treasurer, 2019-2022
Nimish Ganatra, President, 2019-2020
Stephanie Moore, Secretary, 2018-2020
Ann Stalhandske, Member at Large, 2018-2020
Oliver Hart, III, Member at Large, 2019-2020
Pete Blank, President 2018-2019
Dianne Curry, Member at Large 2016-2019
Ashley Waddall Tingstad, President 2017-2018
Amanda Maurmann, President 2016-2017
Dr. Samm M. Pryce, 2016-2017
Andrew Kelley, Board Fellow and Treasurer 2015-2017
Stephen Woodcock, Member at Large 2015-2017
Katie Jedynak, Secretary 2015-2017
Cheryl Rivera, Secretary 2015-2016
Emily East, Treasurer 2015-2017
Tom Drake, President 2015-2017
Board Member FAQ
Feel free to email email@example.com with any questions not covered below.
Why join our board?
“At Apple Playschools we are committed to our mission and vision, and truly believe in our play-based and child-centered approach to education. Serving on the board offers an opportunity to support this approach and mission directly! Whether you are passionate about cultural inclusion, environmental stewardship, or the building blocks of a more equitable world, serving as a board member will allow you to realize these passions every day. In addition to giving back to the community, you will have plenty of opportunities to grow professionally including developing a sharp financial mind, expanding your team building abilities, improving fundraising and development expertise, and so much more.” -Pete Blank, Interim Board President
Joan Garry: https://www.joangarry.com/reasons-join-nonprofit-board/
What’s the monthly time commitment?
Approximately 5 hours per month, including one 2-hour board meeting and committee work, emails, phone calls, and attendance at Apple Playschools events. This work may vary due to time of year or specific projects the board member undertakes. There is also an annual 8-hour board retreat during the summer months or two 4-hour board retreats per year (format is determined by current board members according to scheduling needs). Board meeting days/times are set each August and typically will fall on the same evening/week of month. In addition, board members are asked to do one site visit for each of our three school sites each fall, and are invited to come for “board hour” at an all-staff in-service meeting or event each year.
How long is a board term?
Board terms are two years. Officer terms are one year. Board members can serve up to six consecutive years at a time. Because there is about a 6-month learning curve for new board members to become acquainted with the full functioning of operations, it is crucial to the long term stability of the organization for board members to make a full two year commitment.
Are the Board of Directors paid or compensated for service?
No. All board positions are 100% volunteer.
How many Board Members will the board have?
We strive to maintain a board of 9-11 members. Our maximum size is 13 board members with family representatives never comprising more than half of board membership.
What is your ruling year?
Does Apple Playschools have a Strategic Plan?
Yes! Our Strategic Plan includes major goals over a 5 year period and provides general direction for our decisions.
What does the board oversee?
The Board oversees the governance of the organization, ensures the organization has the necessary resources to deliver its mission, and provides support to the Executive Director, including conducting the Executive Director's annual performance review. When at full capacity, Apple Playschools has approximately 120 families enrolled in total, approximately 45 employees, and an annual budget of $1.4-1.6M. Financial information, including our 990 tax returns and budget information can be found on the Apple Playschools Guidestar Profile.
What is the fundraising commitment for the Board Members?
As is best practice, we expect every board member to make a financial contribution to Apple Playschools at least annually. While we do not have a minimum contribution amount, we ask that a board members' contribution to our organization is one of their top three philanthropic gifts in a year. In addition, board members serve as essential ambassadors for our organization in the community and all board members actively participate in fulfilling our annual fundraising goals.
What are the responsibilities/expectations involved?
We expect board members to contribute Time, Talent, and Treasure. Many board members contribute heavily in one area and less in another. The Board Member Memorandum of Understanding is available below, and gives full details of specific expectations.
What key skills or specific roles are needed?
We are looking for board members with expertise in Business, Accounting/Finance, Law, Nonprofit Management, Fundraising and Development, Building and Property Development, and Commercial Real Estate. We are especially interested in board members who are bilingual in Spanish and English. Roles for board members include Executive Committee roles (President, Secretary, and Treasurer), committee chairs for Fundraising and Finance committees (and any others that are formed by the Board to meet organization needs), and members at large. The Board elects its own Executive Committee and committee chairs after each new board convenes in the Fall.
What sets us apart from from a typical nonprofit? What makes our Board unique?
Like our organization, our board is highly collaborative, somewhat informal, and committed to equity, inclusion, feminism, and radical respect. We believe in play, gratitude, and lifelong learning. We practice honesty, fiercely advocate for our community, and wrestle with hard questions using our guiding principles and social justice branches as the frame and foundation of our work.
Green Apple Garden Lower Playschool
Green Apple Garden Upper Playschool
Manzanitas Spanish Immersion Playschool
Laura Wolfe, Director
2664 Miller Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Brandi Siemers, Director
511 Miller Ave.
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Leticia Diaz-Gonzalez, Director
2626 Packard St.
Ann Arbor, MI 48104