Meet Our Team

BBF employees form a statewide network of early childhood professionals, working both in communities and on the state level. We use a collaborative model to work toward meeting the diverse needs of Vermont’s young children and families.


Morgan Crossman

Executive Director

As the Executive Director of BBF and Vermont’s Early Childhood Data and Policy Center, Dr. Crossman is responsible for leading the vision and strategic plan of Vermont’s early childhood system and serving as the primary advisor to the Governor and Legislature on the well-being of children from prenatal to age 8 and their families, using evidence and data to inform policy and service provision.

A native Vermonter from Rutland, Dr. Morgan Crossman is the Executive Director of Building Bright Futures (BBF) and Vermont’s Early Childhood Resource, Data, and Policy Center. Morgan holds a PhD in Social Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University, specializing in Child, Youth, and Family Policy as well as Disability Policy, and a master’s degree in Applied Developmental and Educational Psychology from the Lynch School of Education and Human Development at Boston College. Prior to joining BBF, she was appointed to the Harvard-wide Pediatric Health Services Research Fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital for Children. There she led many research studies focused on service integration and improving care transitions for children with special health care needs and their families as they navigate multiple complex service systems over the life course. During this time, she also taught two graduate classes as Boston University’s School of Public Health as an adjunct faculty member: “Children with Special Health Care Needs” and “Preventing Mental Health Disorders: A Life Course Approach.”

She served previously as the Clinical Research Program Manager for the Laboratories of Cognitive Neuroscience at Boston Children’s Hospital within the Division of Developmental Medicine. In this role, she submitted multimillion-dollar federally funded grants and coordinated the implementation of multi-site national research projects focused on families of children, youth, and adults with autism spectrum disorders and other neurodevelopmental and related disabilities, such as Rett syndrome, Down syndrome, and Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (TSC). She was also trained to conduct clinical assessments of children using the Mullen Scales of Early Learning and the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule.

To this work she brings a strong background in the quantitative and qualitative research methods necessary to critically examine issues for Vermont’s youngest and most vulnerable children and families. Morgan has specific expertise in child development, maternal and child health and well-being, early intervention, and early childhood education for children with disabilities and special health care needs. Her work emphasizes the importance of early childhood development through the life course theory, which is a layered conceptual framework that can be used to understand factors that contribute to optimal health and well-being. This approach examines how patterns or trajectories develop over a lifetime, across generations and within many contexts, suggesting that exposures and contexts during early childhood influence later health and well-being. Stemming from this lens, Morgan views families as the most critical context for child development. Morgan’s career has always been informed by a social justice framework with a focus on the promotion of equitable outcomes for families and children.

As Executive Director of Building Bright Futures, Morgan partners with stakeholders in early care, education, health, and mental health sectors to advance the goals and strategies of Vermont’s Early Childhood Action Plan to impact conditions for Vermont’s children birth to age 8. She is also responsible for advising the Governor and Legislature on matters of early childhood in Vermont using a data-driven approach.

Morgan also manages the comprehensive infrastructure of BBF’s Early Childhood State Advisory Council and 12 Regional Councils and works with individuals, organizations, and agencies to develop best approaches for an integrated system that advances data-driven progress for all Vermont’s young children and their families. In addition to her work at the systems level, Morgan directs Vermont’s Center for Research, Data and Policy, a powerful tool for BBF and its stakeholder network as they seek to understand the challenges and successes of children and families in the state and craft strategies that turn the curve on some of the biggest hurdles facing Vermont families. Through collaborations with partners across the state of Vermont, Morgan seeks to build the capacity of BBF to serve as the state’s neutral convener of key stakeholders, resources, and the most up-to-date, high-quality, accurate data to inform key policy recommendations that will ultimately improve the system of services for children and families.

Morgan resides in Hinesburg, Vermont, with her husband Chris and daughter Amelie.

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Beth Truzansky

Deputy Director

Beth Truzansky has spent her career bringing people together to respond to complex social issues. She has worked with state agencies, nonprofits, municipalities, and small businesses to build systems that are responsive to the changing needs of the communities, families, and individuals they serve. Beth’s skills are in engaged decision-making, strategic systems change, organization development, training, and group facilitation. Her roots in the Quaker process have led to a unique understanding of community decision-making. In 2014, Beth joined Building Bright Futures, and has served in multiple roles including Regional Manager, Early Childhood Action Plan Coordinator, Interim Executive Director, and now as the organization’s Deputy Director.

Beth Truzansky has spent her career bringing people together to respond to complex social issues. She has worked with state agencies, nonprofits, municipalities, and small businesses to build systems that are responsive to the changing needs of the communities, families, and individuals they serve. Beth’s skills are in engaged decision-making, strategic systems change, organization development, training, and group facilitation. Her roots in the Quaker process have led to a unique understanding of community decision-making.

In 2014, Beth joined Building Bright Futures, and has served in multiple roles including Regional Manager, Early Childhood Action Plan Coordinator, Interim Executive Director, and now as the organization’s Deputy Director. In her current role, she guides the engagement of the BBF team and over 500 early childhood leaders to implement and monitor progress toward Vermont’s Early Childhood Action Plan, the state’s five-year strategic vision. Beth and her team are dedicated to elevating family and community voices to build a more integrated and coordinated system that improves the well-being of children and their families.

Beth launched her career with the City of Burlington, leading community safety and neighborhood organizing efforts and managing numerous AmeriCorps programs. She worked with hundreds of National Service members and was inspired by the great sacrifices they made to build leadership skills, promote volunteerism, and address some of the community’s most pressing challenges. Responding to the changing demographics of the Burlington area, in 2010 she launched the We All Belong Program, a DEI initiative to support organization and systems change in municipalities and Vermont nonprofits.

Beth earned her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Vermont and has traveled extensively around the world, first as a student and later with her family. In 2022, Beth lost hearing in her right ear, and she recently received a cochlear implant. She is learning to navigate life with her disability and has a newfound appreciation for how quickly one’s life and abilities can change. Beth is involved in her community and brings her life experience as a former foster and adoptive parent, and member of the LGBTQ+ community. She loves to explore Vermont’s woods and waterways by foot, boat, or ski. Beth lives in Burlington, Vermont, with her partner, Tracy, and their two teenage daughters.

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Ali Dieng

Regional Manager for Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle

Ali Dieng is a passionate and dedicated community leader who supports BBF’s Chittenden, Franklin, and Grand Isle regions. Ali joined the BBF team from the education sector, where he engaged parents, educators, and community partners by running Parent University and served in various roles for the Burlington School District over 13 years. Ali is committed to building more equitable and accessible systems and brings his expertise engaging diverse perspectives, especially those from different socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds. Ali also brings an understanding of the early childhood, after-school, and social service systems and a desire to cultivate connections across the three regions he serves in Northern Vermont. Ali is a 2016 graduate of the Snelling Center for Government’s Early Childhood Leadership Institute. His education background is in international law, which he studied at the University of Mauritania in Africa. In addition to his work with BBF, Ali loves being involved in the community in various capacities. He currently serves on the board of directors at the Champlain Valley Office of Economic Opportunities (CVOEO) and is in his second term as a Burlington City Counselor. He resides in Burlington with his wife, Angela, and their two daughters.

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Anna Brouillette

Policy and Program Director

As Policy and Program Director, Anna Brouillette supports BBF’s efforts to utilize evidence and leverage partnerships to improve well-being for Vermont’s children and families. Anna joined the BBF team after holding a number of roles in the early childhood policy field, most recently with the Prenatal-to-3 Policy Impact Center, where she analyzed and supported states’ progress towards implementing effective policies for young children and their families. Anna holds an MEd from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where she studied education policy and management and served as a Saul Zaentz Early Education Initiative Fellow. Prior to graduate school, she worked with Let’s Grow Kids as a Policy and Research Analyst. Anna brings a background in early childhood systems analysis, data and statistical analysis, and Vermont’s policy landscape to the team. Anna is an avid reader, a native Vermonter, and enjoys spending summers at her family’s camp in the Northeast Kingdom.

Courtney Hillhouse

Regional Manager for Southeast Vermont, Northern Windsor and Orange, and Springfield Area

Courtney serves as the Regional Manager for Southeast Vermont, the Springfield Area, and Northern Windsor & Orange counties. Courtney has a passion for creating social change and improving the lives of children and families and the early childhood workforce. She brings diverse skills in community outreach, public health, prevention, marketing, and community problem-solving to this role, which builds on her work most recently as a Community Outreach Specialist in community health with Mt. Ascutney Hospital and Health Center. Her passion is in providing equitable access to services, particularly building quality child care with a universal foundation of social and emotional support. Courtney devotes time volunteering as a member of the Windsor Rotary Club and enjoys reading, hiking, kayaking, and finding other adventures throughout New England’s stunning landscape. Courtney holds a MA and a BA in Communications and Media Studies from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She lives in Cavendish, Vermont, with her two sons and two cats.

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Darla Senecal

Regional Manager for Bennington, Rutland, and Addison

Darla serves as the Regional Manger for Bennington, Addison, and Rutland counties. She works to support collaboration among families, educators, community partners, and others dedicated to creating the best outcomes for children and families. Darla has spent much of her career working in community service, first as a volunteer, then as a Recreation Director for 17 years, and most recently as a newly elected Selectboard member in the Town of Bristol, Vermont. Working on projects that bring communities together is when Darla finds herself most energized. Darla can often be found working in her gardens, regularly accompanied by her cat Angus.

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Dora Levinson

Research and Data Director

Dora serves as the Research and Data Director for Building Bright Futures and Vermont’s Early Childhood Data and Policy Center ( In both roles, she works with the most high-quality, up-to-date data and evidence to inform policy and practice. She continues to find inspiration in seeing the impact that effective policies and community collaboration have in shaping the lives of children and families. Dora lives in Dummerston, Vermont, with her partner, toddler, and dogs and enjoys hiking, cuddling, cooking, and building community.

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Kate Bailey

Network Manager

As Network Manager, Kate helps foster accessible and efficient systems of communication and impact across the BBF Network. Her areas of expertise include making sure all voices are heard, appreciative inquiry, and meeting facilitation. She holds a master’s degree in Health Advocacy with a focus on equity-based health policy and community organizing. Before BBF, Kate worked at Vermont Legal Aid, where she helped Vermonters navigate the complex worlds of health insurance and public benefits. She moved to South Burlington in 2017 and currently serves on the city’s school board. Kate is an advocate for reproductive justice and works to support each person’s right to have a child or not and to raise children in a safe, healthy environment. Kate lives with her spouse, dog, and cat and enjoys biking, quilting, and traveling.

Katie Mobbs

Office Manager

As the Office Manager for BBF, Katie wears many hats, and her tasks range from accounts payable and receivable to event planning to human resources to maintaining day-to-day operations for BBF. Katie has over 20 years of experience in this field; before coming to work for BBF, she worked for the Visiting Nurse Association for many years. In her free time, Katie enjoys spending time with her family exploring the woods of the Northeast Kingdom.

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Kelly Hayes

Regional Manager for Lamoille Valley and Central Vermont

Kelly Hayes brings extensive experience to our team of Regional Managers. She has over 20 years of experience as an early childhood professional, having worked as an infant/toddler teacher, an early interventionist, a home-based provider, and a center director. She holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education from Plymouth State College and an M.S. from Wheelock College’s “Birth to Three: Development and Intervention” program. Kelly graduated from Vermont’s Early Childhood Leadership Institute and is a member of the Advancing the Profession Task Force with the Vermont Association for the Education of Young Children (VTAEYC). Kelly lives in Waitsfield with her two children, Daniel and Lily, and their dog, Bailey. She enjoys hiking, biking, and camping with family and friends.

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Kitty Foster

Data Coordinator

Kitty supports the work of the Data and Policy team to make data-informed decisions about Vermont’s Early Childhood System. She first became involved with community engagement and nonprofit work as a project lead for the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps. Following this role, she worked as a research assistant for The Adolescent Brain and Cognitive Development Study, which supported data collection for a nationwide data set on brain development and child health. In her role as a research assistant, she was able to coordinate with a nationwide consortium that included a Center for Data Analysis and Informatics and Resource Center.

She enjoys understanding the many moving parts that can help children and families thrive and access the resources they need. In her free time, Kitty loves being on the water swimming or sailing, learning new visual arts mediums, and making good food with friends and family.

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Linda Michniewicz

Regional Manager for Caledonia/Southern Essex and Orleans/Northern Essex

Linda is the Building Bright Futures Regional Manager for Caledonia, Essex, and Orleans Counties. She has devoted her career to early childhood education, starting as a preschool teacher, Head Start director, and most recently, the Early Childhood Program Coordinator for the Caledonia North Supervisory Union. Linda serves on the boards of directors of Northeast Kingdom Learning Services, the Lake Region Union High School, and elementary and middle school boards. She is also a Justice of the Peace and is on the Board of Civil Authority for the Town of Westmore, where she resides. She enjoys living in the NEK and taking advantage of all the great outdoor natural resources it has to offer!

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Michelle Kersey

Vermont Early Childhood Fund Grants Manager

Michelle Kersey is thrilled to join the Building Bright Futures team as the Vermont Early Childhood Fund Grants Manager. She comes with more than two decades of fundraising experience and looks forward to using her understanding of the grant application process to create a strong program for BBF. Most recently, she has worked for a nonprofit affordable housing organization, raising funds to help create homes and provide housing-based services for community members with low and moderate incomes. She started her professional fundraising career at the Montshire Museum of Science, where she enjoyed the sounds of joyful children exploring hands-on science exhibits.

Michelle is passionate about social justice and ensuring equitable access to resources for everyone. Recognizing the impacts of social drivers, she is excited about helping to improve the well-being of children and their families throughout Vermont.

Michelle holds a B.A. from Dartmouth College, and serves on the Steering Committee of the Vermont Affordable Housing Coalition. In her free time she enjoys cooking, reading, fishing, mowing the lawn, and renovating a home in Chelsea with her partner John.

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Nathaniel Millarhouse

Finance Manager
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Tanya LaChapelle

Family Leadership Coordinator

Tanya LaChapelle is a compassionate leader who supports BBF’s family leadership and partnership efforts, including the Families and Communities VECAP Committee. Tanya has a background in early childhood education, with recent fieldwork coaching and advising early childhood programs toward better outcomes for children and families. She is dedicated to building informed systems and brings expertise in instruction, administration, and mentoring. Tanya has served in various committee roles focused on workforce development, quality improvement, partnership development, child health, and nutrition. She eagerly joined the BBF network to nurture parent partnerships and elevate parent leadership. Outside of work, Tanya loves reading and dabbling in art and nature. She resides in Colchester with her two children and tropical fish.

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Valerie F. Wood

Early Childhood Systems Evaluator

Valerie brings expertise in both quantitative and qualitative research and evaluation methods to her role as Early Childhood Systems Evaluator. She leads BBF’s effort to monitor and report on Vermont’s progress towards building an integrated, well-resourced, data-informed early childhood system that ensures all children have a healthy start, families and communities play a leading role in children’s well-being, and all children and families have access to high-quality opportunities that meet their needs. As a parent herself, Valerie understands the importance of centering the experiences of children and families in this work, and appreciates the critical role the early childhood system plays in supporting healthy child development, family well-being, and community-building.

Valerie earned an M.S. and a Ph.D. in Applied Social Psychology at Colorado State University. During her graduate studies, she focused on positive youth development and delinquency prevention, community psychology, personality psychology, and conflict resolution. After earning her doctorate, she worked for the Vermont Department for Children and Families’ Family Services Division and the Vermont Department of Mental Health. Both positions were focused on program evaluation, quality improvement, data analysis, and reporting.

Most recently, Valerie held a non-tenure track position as a Research Assistant Professor at the University of Vermont’s Center on Disability and Community Inclusion. There, Valerie worked on a number of interdisciplinary research and evaluation projects, primarily focused on using research and evaluation methods to improve the child welfare and public education systems in Vermont. Valerie’s applied expertise in interdisciplinary program evaluation and research methods, as well as her experience working in Vermont state government systems, makes her a great fit for her role at Building Bright Futures.

Valerie lives in Colchester with her husband, James, their two children, Jessica and Justin, and a variety of four-legged family members. When she isn’t working on improving Vermont’s early childhood system, Valerie enjoys spending time with friends playing board games with friends, curling up with a good book, watching a good movie, trying new recipes, and enjoying Vermont’s hiking and biking trails.

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