Brooke Freeland, Managing Director firstname.lastname@example.org Brooke is the Managing Director of The Couch Family Foundation. In her position at the Foundation, Brooke is responsible for setting the strategic direction of the Foundation and for advising Trustees on their philanthropic giving.
Previously, Brooke worked as the Legislative Director for former Massachusetts State Senator Robert O’Leary, where she focused on pre-k-16 education policy. Most recently, Brooke worked as the Communications Director for Strategies for Children and the Early Education for All Campaign, an advocacy organization based in Boston, Massachusetts. Brooke participates on the board of several nonprofits including Positive Tracks, Hypertherm HOPE Foundation, Generation Serve and the Women's Fund of the Austin Community Foundation.
Brooke grew up in the Upper Valley region of NH. She holds a BA from Colgate University and a MPA from New York University. She currently resides in Austin, TX with her husband and two young daughters.
Michael is a program officer with Mott Philanthropic and provides consulting services to the Couch Family Foundation. Trained as a historian, Michael began his career working for museums and the National Park Service before establishing an editorial office for a start-up online publisher of business and leadership content. For the past ten years Michael has worked on issues of both practice and policy in youth development and education across the continuum from early to higher education. Michael served as research director for the Build the Out-of-School Time Network, policy analyst for the Rennie Center for Education Research & Policy, and managing editor of a peer reviewed journal at Boston College’s Lynch School of Education. Most recently, Michael worked with the CAYL Institute on a Race to the Top – Early Learning Challenge Grant on pathways to postsecondary credentials for early educators who are English language learners.
Michael received his MA in American Studies from Notre Dame University and was a member of the 2010-2011 Massachusetts cohort of the Institute for Educational Leadership’s Education Policy Fellowship Program.
Jessie is a program officer with Mott Philanthropic and provides consulting services to the Couch Family Foundation. Prior to working at Mott Philanthropic, Jessie worked with Philanthropic Advisors as a program associate. She previously served as executive director at English for Action, a nonprofit in Providence, Rhode Island, that provides community ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) programs. She also worked in communications at Hunt Alternatives Fund, a family foundation based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
Jessie completed a BA in Literatures in English at Brown University and an MBA at the Heller School for Social Policy & Management at Brandeis University.
Paula is the grants manager with Mott Philanthropic and provides consulting services to the Couch Family Foundation. Prior to working at Mott Philanthropic, Paula worked with Philanthropic Advisors as a grants administrator. She previously served as consultant to several family foundations around the Boston area. Paula recently served a term as the New England Chair for PEAK Grantmaking (formerly Grants Managers Network).
Paula completed her BA in Fashion and Business at Framingham State University.
Sara Kobylenski is a strategic consultant to the Couch Family Foundation, supporting efforts to foster greater cross-sector collaboration and coordination among community based organizations working with children and families in the Upper Valley of New Hampshire and Vermont.
Prior to working with the Foundation, Sara served as Executive Director of the Upper Valley Haven for almost 10 years. Sara went to the Haven from her 4 year role as a Field Services Director for the Vermont Agency of Human Services. Before that she served for 20 years as the Vermont Division Director for Casey Family Services and 15 years as a supervisor and direct practice social worker with other child and family services organizations. Over the years Sara has worked in numerous collaborative initiatives for improved community outcomes.
Sara earned her BA from Simmons College, MSW from the University of Pennsylvania and certificate in Leadership from Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.