Board & Staff
Board of Directors
Kristin Norell brings 20 years of sales, licensing and marketing experience to READY! for Kindergarten. Kristin is the International Sales Director for Chronicle Books in San Francisco where she oversees the sales and licensing of the company outside of the U.S. She has previously held the positions of Vice President International Sales at World Book, a Berkshire Hathaway Company, as well as Managing Director, Asia for Universal Uclick, headquartered in Sydney, Australia. Kristin worked directly with newspapers throughout China and Beijing to create and expand the Newspapers in Education program, encouraging literacy and education.
Some of Kristin’s first memories are of her father reading the Sunday newspaper comics with her, which resulted in her interest in literacy, and the mission of The Children’s Reading Foundation.
Kristin has a Bachelor in English and Art History from the University of Kansas and is a graduate of New York University’s Publishing Institute. Kristin has spent the majority of her career in the publishing industry across the fields of publicity, sales, editorial, and rights.
Janice Fox, Ed.D. is a founding member of The Children's Reading Foundation of the Upper Cumberland, Tennessee, established in 2013.
Janice currently serves as the executive director of the Center of Regional Excellence (CORE) for the Upper Cumberland Region, a division of the Tennessee Department of Education.
Janice previously worked in Tennessee public schools for 23 years. She began her career in rural Tennessee teaching early elementary grades focused on reading for eight years. Janice served as federal programs director implementing and managing Title I and federal programs for teacher professional development. She served as director of instruction where she supported teaching and learning for grades K-12 for 10 years.
Janice holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Education from Tennessee Technological University. She earned a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville; an Educational Specialist degree in Administration and Leadership from Lincoln Memorial University; and Doctor of Education degree from Tennessee State University.
Her core belief is that all students can learn at high levels when parents, community members, and educators provide the opportunities they deserve allowing students to reach their full potential.
Nancy N. Kerr
Nancy Kerr co-founded The Children’s Reading Foundation and served as president of from 1996 through 2015. She is the lead author of the foundation’s nationally respected, research-based school readiness program, READY! for Kindergarten.
Nancy worked with school districts and communities nationwide to ensure children learn to read early and well. In this role she has earned state and national recognition, including the U.S. Department of Education’s America Reads Challenge Recognition, an invitation to the White House Conference on Literacy, and a 1998 Washington State Literacy Award from the International Reading Association.
She was one of 20 national leaders serving as advisors to the Campaign for Grade-Level Reading, a 10-year effort of the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Nancy is a former high school teacher and has served on numerous state and regional boards that support families and children.
She has a Bachelor of Science in Family Sciences from Brigham Young University and Master of Educational Leadership from Washington State University.
Nancy loves to play with her grandsons, travel worldwide, enjoys water sports, and art galleries, and, of course, reads at least 20 minutes a day. She and her husband raised their four children in Kennewick, Washington.
Bailey F. Weiss
Bailey Weiss is a senior vice president, executive producer at McCann New York. He has worked in television production for New York advertising agencies for more than 30 years.
He began his film career as a foot messenger making his way around Manhattan delivering negatives and picking up prints. He has produced simple commercials to incredibly complex, multi-million dollar, global productions overseeing vast crews of internationally renowned and Academy Awarding winning technicians and directors.
His love of people and appreciation for the creative mindset, tempered by the responsibility of business, has always guided his natural instincts of diplomacy and respect.
He attributes his interest in literacy to his wife, Regina, who was a reading teacher. He and his daughters, Andrea and Erica, became involved with The Children’s Reading Foundation by establishing a memorial fund to honor Regina and her dedication to children and literacy. Bailey is honored to keep Regina’s legacy alive through his work with the foundation.
Linda J. Vinson
Linda Vinson is a highly accomplished educational consultant and sales professional dedicated to improving learning for all students. Linda brings a proven success record as an educator and educational sales manager to READY! for Kindergarten and The Children’s Reading Foundation.
Linda currently provides professional development for schools and districts in Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and Florida, and is the executive director at Vinson, Comer & Associates. She began her career as a special education teacher working for 22 years in elementary through high school classrooms. Previously, she served as adult education coordinator at the Kentucky Department of Education Vocational Education Division. For 15 years, Linda worked with The McGraw-Hill Companies as an educational consultant, sales representative and regional vice president of sales.
She has a Bachelor of Science in Education from Florida State University and a Master in Education from the University of North Florida.
Lynn Fielding is the co-founder of The Children’s Reading Foundation and the original author of its READY! for Kindergarten curriculum.
He served for more than 20 years as a director of Kennewick Schools, eight years as a director of the Washington State School Directors Association, and as a senior director of the Northwest Evaluation Association.
Lynn is the co-author of three books on early learning and has presented at numerous national and state school board association conferences including Nebraska, Iowa, Oregon, Idaho, and Washington. He is also the author of the children’s book, “Why There’s Always Room for Dessert.”
He presents and consults with school districts interested in leveraged educational reform from birth through grade 12. Lynn holds a Master of Laws (LL.M.) degree in taxation from Georgetown University, he is a tax and business lawyer.
Since mid-2015, Rick Donahoe has served as CEO of The Children’s Reading Foundation. He brings more than 30 years of experience managing grants and contracts from the federal government to the foundation.
Rick also serves on the Richland School District school board in Washington, and is working with the district to establish and implement a pre-K program. He has extensive experience working with the development of nonprofit educational organizations while working with dozens of school districts across the country. His former work as a chemical engineer and project manager provided the opportunity to lead teams on national and international projects.
He earned his Education Administration credential from Washington State University.
He is a certified sea kayak instructor and teaches classes on summer weekends. His six grandchildren have all enjoyed countless readings of “Goodnight Moon.”
Program Manager of READ Up: Stop the Summer Slide
Salem Snowdy leads the outreach and development efforts for The Children’s Reading Foundation national nonprofit. In this role she supports the foundation’s chapters and program sites based throughout the country, which engage families, schools, and communities with early learning and literacy education and programs.
She also works to build awareness and educate communities about the vital role families, schools and communities play in children’s development long before school begins to help raise readers and prepare every child for kindergarten.
Previously, she worked in the financial services industry as a home mortgage consultant and customer experience specialist. Salem also served as a consultant for Business Network International where she provided support to regional chapters through training, leadership team development, and transition planning.
She is a board member of Modern Living Services, a nonprofit focused on housing choice and life enrichment for developmentally disabled adults.
Salem graduated from Columbia Basin College in English and Accounting.
Richard Weldon Jr.
Dick Weldon joined the team as a consultant in 2014, and was hired as business manager in 2015. He possesses a diverse background in both business and education that brings an inquisitive management approach to the foundation. He provides leadership in understanding existing processes, finding ways to validate processes, as well as challenging the status quo by seeking process improvements.
Dick has more than 30 years of experience in both commercial and government contracting in disciplines such as property management, materials management, logistics, purchasing and contracting. He formerly taught business and quality management for 10 years as an adjunct lecturer in the School of Business at California State University, Bakersfield.
Dick earned his Master of Business Administration in Operations Management from California State University, San Bernardino. He is a veteran of the United States Air Force, and enjoys being involved with old cars, especially working on his 1938 Ford.
Chris Axelson brings more than 20 years of warehouse and inventory control experience and 10 years of customer service experience to The Children’s Reading Foundation.
Chris formerly worked overseas for 10 years in South Korea for several companies and municipalities including LG, Hynix, Hyundai, Samsung, City of Cheongju and the South Korean government. He has 10 years of English language instructional experience and co-authored two English as a second language conversation textbooks while living in South Korea.
Chris obtained a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Washington State University with a minor in Addictions Counseling. In his spare time, Chris enjoys traveling with his wife.
Kate Giardinelli has served as Financial Analyst for The Children’s Reading Foundation since 2013. Prior to joining the foundation, she worked as an assurance associate (a.k.a. auditor) for KPMG, and a senior accountant for drugstore.com and Itron, Inc.
Kate received her Bachelor in Accounting and Business Management from Whitworth College, and her Master of Accountancy from Gonzaga University. She loves spending her free time with her husband and two kids, practicing yoga, cheering for her kids at sporting events, traveling, and enjoying the outdoors.
Rhonda Shelly joined The Children’s Reading Foundation in 2013 as Financial Administrator. In this role, she maintains payroll and other financial records, processes sales and purchase orders, and assists with the implementation of the foundation’s U.S. Department of Education federal grant.
She brings more than 25 years of bookkeeping and payroll experience. Formerly, she owned and operated two successful businesses in Libby, Montana. She also served on the Libby School Board and Libby Chamber of Commerce Board, as well as being involved in many other community activities.
Rhonda and her husband enjoy spending free time with their grown daughters, grandchildren, and great-granddaughter, and taking trips in their RV to visit their beloved Montana.
Karla Wilson joined The Children’s Reading Foundation in 2014 as an administrative assistant supporting the READY! for Kindergarten.
Karla brings many talents to the team, including her 10-year background in early childhood education, and fluency and literacy in Spanish. She previously taught, guided and implemented curriculum to children from birth to age 5 in a variety of roles. Prior to that role, she served as a preschool teacher and eventually as director with Knowledge Universe Corporation at KinderCare Learning Centers for more than seven years.
Karla received her Associate of Arts degree from Walla Walla Community College in 2001. Karla’s family includes her husband and three beautiful daughters. When there is free time, she enjoys being outside as much as possible. Favorite activities include going on walks and visiting the Oregon Coast.