The Connect with Kids Team

Stacey DeWitt, J.D. Co-Founder and Chief Executive Officer

Stacey DeWitt is an attorney and award-winning journalist. During her legal career, DeWitt served as a deputy prosecutor working with disadvantaged children through the juvenile courts and family service agencies, where she developed a passion for helping educate families and communities about life-changing issues. Prior to her legal career, DeWitt was a television anchor, producer and reporter for ABC, NBC, and PBS affiliates. As a broadcast journalist, she developed a deep understanding of the emotional power of storytelling through video and its impact on behavioral change. DeWitt has produced more than 65 documentaries. In 2004, she was honored by Women in Film/Atlanta and received the distinguished Outstanding Achievement Award. As a producer and executive producer, she has won more than 40 awards for her work, including Emmy® Awards, Parents’ Choice Awards, AiMe, Telly, Prism and Associated Press Awards.

DeWitt is also a sought after speaker and educational trainer, providing professional development on student behavior and parent involvement throughout the nation and speaking to parent groups across the country. She also appears regularly as a parenting expert on WXIA television, the NBC affiliate in Atlanta, and reaches local communities with half-hour programs on television and parenting segments broadcast on CBS This Morning, The Doctors, Dr. Phil, CNN, and local television stations.

Education Specialists

Frances Maturo, LCSW, CPP Educational Training 

Frances Maturo is a licensed by New York State as a clinical social worker and certified prevention specialist, and is currently the executive director of the Archdiocese of New York Drug Abuse Prevention Program (ADAPP). She has been instrumental in developing a system-wide crisis team to help the Archdiocesan school communities during times of need and provided assistant to its superintendent of schools to develop policies and procedures for a system-wide bullying prevention approach. Maturo conducts Connect with Kids professional development and parent engagement workshops, including support for the Refuse, Remove, Reasons substance abuse prevention program, developed by ADAPP in partnership with Connect with Kids.

Christine Cavallucci, LCSW, CPP Educational Training

Christine Cavallucci is a licensed by New York State as a clinical social worker, certified prevention specialist, and is director of clinical services for the Archdiocese of New York Drug Abuse Prevention Program (ADAPP). Cavallucci conducts Connect with Kids professional development and parent engagement workshops, including support for the Refuse, Remove, Reasons substance abuse prevention program, developed by ADAPP in partnership with Connect with Kids.

Teresa Goudie, LCSW Educational Training and Cultural Competency

Teresa Goudie is licensed by New York State as a clinical social worker. She is bilingual and serves as both a bilingual trainer and a cultural competency expert on CWK projects and programs. Most recently, Goudie served on the Committee for Special Education for the New York City Department of Education (NYCDOE). Prior to that position, she also served as the Director for Drug Prevention Programs, Region 2/District 9 for NYCDOE and as a regional director for crisis prevention programs.

Representatives

Matt Rymer Texas Representative

Matt Rymer has been in Educational Publishing for over 25 years. He has been an Editor, Marketing Manager, Account Manager and Sales Manager. He is currently an Independent Consultant representing Connect With Kids in North Texas and Oklahoma. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from the University of the Americas in Mexico City, and his Master’s from the American Graduate School of International Management in Glendale, Arizona. He lives in Garland, Texas with his family.

IT Team

Sri Raghunathan IT Director Dave Brown IT Consultant

Dave Brown has been in IT for over 20 years. In that time, he has worked with various non-profit groups, libraries, and educational institutions providing for their technology needs. He has experience in website design, human-computer interaction, web programming, and project management.

Gary “Sam” DeWitt Co-Founder and Chief Financial Officer

Sam DeWitt oversees day-to-day operations and financial responsibilities at CWK. DeWitt is a successful, serial entrepreneur and businessman with a background in management and finance. Prior to co-founding CWK, DeWitt was the co-owner and co-founder of Brent and Sam’s cookies, a gourmet food company that he started in his kitchen with his best friend and college roommate. DeWitt ran day-to-day operations of Brent and Sam’s for over a decade building an enterprise that reached national and international distribution. Following the successful development of that business, he co-founded CWK with his wife Stacey. Brent and Sam’s Cookies is still an ongoing enterprise and is now owned by Lance Crackers.

Video Production and Operations

Linda Bachmann Director, Client Service and Parent/Community Outreach

Linda Bachmann brings more than 25 years of marketing, journalism, public relations and volunteer experience to her role at Connect with Kids. She is responsible for CWK marketing programs and communications including e-newsletters, client best practice briefings and educational product updates, as well as the detailed implementation of client-sponsored initiatives.

Angela Tagliareni New York Client Services Manager

Angela Tagliareni graduated from High Point University with a Bachelor of Arts in Strategic Communications with a minor in Political Science. She has a strong background in communication, integrated marketing, social media and project management. Her experiences include work with 88.5 WFDD NPR Radio at Wake Forest University and sales management with Steve Silver Furniture Company. Angela is our New York Sales Representative and also works with multiple schools and districts in the Northeast Region.

Lauren Johnson Health Promotion Manager

Lauren Johnson has a Bachelors of Arts in Communicative Studies and a Masters in Public Health both from The University of Georgia. Lauren’s research and past work experiences have been focused on health education, behavioral learning theories, program development and evaluation. She has a strong background in project management, social marketing, analytics, metrics, social media and communications strategies. As the Health Promotion Manager, Lauren works with CWK clients to identify social, emotional, health and wellness resources for their community in order to boost school connectedness through improved student behavior, communication skills and parent involvement.

Dave Engeran Video, Graphics and Editing

Dave Engeran has more than 20 years of experience in the always-evolving world of video production, graphic animation and editing. He has been part of the Connect with Kids production team since 2001. He has shot and edited news and sports packages, and set live shots for Atlanta television outlets including WAGA-Fox 5 News, WGCL-TV CBS, and served as senior news editor at WGNX-TV (now WGCL).

Collin Siedor Consulting Producer

Collin Siedor, with a journalistic career that spans more than 35 years, has been part of the Connect with Kids video production team since 2001. He also serves as a consultant to Speakeasy, Inc. of Atlanta, helping to conduct seminars on media relations and communications. Collin founded Dystar Television, Inc., producing documentary programs for domestic and worldwide syndication, and was head of the Documentary Unit for Gannett Broadcasting, producing news specials for all of the Gannett stations in the nation. His work is award-winning, including the Alfred I. DuPont – Columbia University Award for Broadcast Excellence, the Ohio State Award, the Gabriel Award, and various awards and citations from the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, the American Film Festival, the Scott Newman Foundation, the National Education Association, the International Film Producers Association, the Council on International Nontheatrical Events and the National Education Association.

Kolinda Scialabba Consulting Producer

Kolinda Scialabba is an Emmy award-winning writer and producer of educational television programming. With over 12 years of experience in video journalism, she specializes in raising awareness of student issues and parental concerns. Programs created and co-produced by Scialabba include “ParenTVision,” “Love That Book,” “artStage,” “The Author in You,” “Math Rules,” “Kids Can Cook,” “English…Yes, I Can!” and “Spanish for Educators.”  Scialabba holds a BA in Sociology from the University of Delaware and is a member of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences and The Atlanta Press Club.

Debbie Smith Creative Director

For more than 20 years Debbie Smith, owner of Atlanta-based Design Seven Inc., has provided design services to more than 200 clients — from start-ups to educational institutions to Fortune 500 companies. Her firm’s work has been featured in Print, Art Direction Magazine and The Best in Business Card Design and The Best in Brochure Design books, and has been recognized with design awards from Art Director’s Club, International Association of Business Communicators, Public Relations Society of America, Women in Communications and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. She is a founding trustee and a past president of the Atlanta Chapter of the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) and is an active community volunteer.

Ginger Emas Schlanger Communications & Project Management

Ginger Schlanger is a former editor and communications specialist with IBM, and brings 20 years of business writing and project management experience to her role at CWK. Ginger’s content expertise covers print, multimedia and digital platforms, including educational resources; parenting guides; custom websites; magazines and e-zines; social marketing campaigns; scriptwriting; social media strategy, and presentations. She developed and founded The Moms Network, and was a contributing blogger on the first top-five parenting blog site, GNMParents. As a founding volunteer with The Orange Duffel Bag Initiative, Ginger provides support and advocacy to foster youth and homeless teens in Georgia.

Ashley Williamson Design Consultant

After graduating from the University of Illinois, Chicago (UIC) in Chicago Illinois, Ashley Williamson began working for some of the top design agencies in Chicago. With clients ranging from Fortune 500 companies to small local businesses, she honed her design skills in Chicago for several years before relocating to Southern California. While in California Ashley designed and art directed a start-up medical magazine for Northern and Southern Californian physicians in Los Angeles. After returning to Chicago, she took a position at Crate and Barrel’s corporate headquarters where she was a packaging designer for the food and accessory labels. There, she created original designs for their private label holiday items and everyday standard products. While at Crate and Barrel, Ashley met her her future husband (photographer) Andrew, and the two married and moved to Traverse City, Michigan where together they established Williamson Design and Photography, LLC. Ashley focuses on logo development, corporate branding, packaging design, book design and website design. Andrew is the photography end of the business, working for local and national clients.

Chandler DeWitt Associate Producer

Chandler DeWitt has worked for major network television shows including, Project Runway, Celebrity Apprentice and Under the Gunn. Her production experience includes producing, project and talent management, marketing, video editing and design. Author of Inside out: Real Stories About the Inner Choices that Shape Our Lives. Along with her background in editing and website design she is proficient at multiple software programs.

Gayle Armstrong Blizzard, Ph.D. Researcher

Gayle Blizzard is a research and information specialist in community change initiatives, conducting projects using quantitative, qualitative, and mixed research methods, such as focus groups, interviews, and culture identification and comparison  techniques. She works with the Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC), the Calvert Collaboration for Children and Youth, and Barstow Acres Children’s Center, among others. Dr. Blizzard is also a part-time math instructor and teaches five GED subject areas to homeless adults. She is also a certified instructor in English as a Second Language.

Rona Nyambura Office Manager

Rona Nyambura was born and raised in Kenya and came to Atlanta in 1998. She is a graduate of the Pangani Girls High School and Kenya Utalii College, majoring in Front Office Operations. She has worked with Connect with Kids since 2001, greeting visitors and responsible for all order fulfillment and administrative support.