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.
Judy Smith Educational Training and Sales
Judy Smith brings 31 years of experience as a middle and high school teacher (English, drama and speech) and administrator (professional developer and curriculum coordinator) with the Rockwood (Missouri) School District. She has conducted a variety of workshops for educators nationwide, has taught graduate education classes at Lindenwood, Maryville, and Webster universities in the St. Louis area, and has served as a consultant to the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (DESE).
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.
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.
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 Social Media
Ginger Emas Schlanger engages targeted audiences through a combination of digital social platforms as a contributing blogger on social media’s first top-five parenting blog site, GNMParents, the Huffington Post, Sharewik.com and The Balancing Act, and served as national web editor for Skirt! Magazine. As a former editor and communications specialist with IBM, she developed The IBM Multimedia Handbook and continues to develop new strategies in social media, digital content, community development and social marketing.
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.