Literacy

Every day, we see firsthand how reading expands a child’s horizons. Our belief that all children should have access to books  both at school and at home - leads us to participate in literacy initiatives across the nation.

Discover how we’re promoting literacy »

Education

As an advocate for early learning, we believe that high quality comes from the inside-out. That's why we're committed to creating exceptional learning environments through involved and engaged teachers; innovative, developmentally-rich curriculum; and operational excellence. 

Learn how we’re working to create, sustain, and promote quality early childhood education »

Our Story

As the largest private provider of early childhood education in the U.S., we’re committed to providing access to quality educational experiences by enriching teacher development, enhancing quality, and building relationships with families, clients, and partners.

Learn more about our business and the difference we’re making every day in local communities around the world »

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Our Executive Team

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Tom Wyatt

Chief Executive Officer
Knowledge Universe-United States

Tom Wyatt is Chief Executive Officer of Knowledge Universe-United States, the nation’s largest private provider of early childhood education and care and the parent company of the KinderCare, CCLC, Champions, Knowledge Beginnings, Cambridge Schools and The Grove School brands.  Under Tom’s leadership, these brands collectively provide early learning and school-age programs to nearly 200,000 children in more than 1,700 locations and over 400 programs around the country.

Previously, Tom served as President of Old Navy since 2008, overseeing all aspects of the brand and supporting more than 1,000 stores in North America. Under his leadership, the brand strengthened its positioning and reclaimed its core customer: a young mom shopping for her family and herself.

Tom first joined Gap Inc. as President, GapBody in March 2006. In February 2007, he was named head of the Outlet division, where he was responsible for Gap Outlet and Banana Republic Factory Stores.

Prior to Gap Inc., Tom held the position of President and CEO for Cutter & Buck. During his tenure, he led the turnaround of one of the nation's top makers of sportswear. Tom's career spans more than 30 years  leading successful consumer brands. He served as President of Warnaco Intimate Apparel, a global designer and manufacturer of highly recognized brand names including Warner's, Olga and Lejaby. Additionally, Wyatt spent more than 20 years with Vanity Fair Corporation, serving as President of Vanity Fair Intimates and Vanity Fair Intimates Coalition.

Additionally, Tom has served on the board of Gap Foundation and Juma Ventures, two organizations focused on education, and is also a member of the Board of Directors of Jack in the Box Inc., a restaurant company that operates Jack in the Box and Qdoba Mexican Grill.

Dr. Elanna S. Yalow, Ph.D., M.B.A.

Chief Executive Officer for Knowledge Universe Early Learning Programs

Dr. Elanna Yalow is Chief Executive Officer of Knowledge Universe (KU) Early Learning Programs and a member of the Board of Directors of Knowledge Universe. She also serves as Professor of Early Childhood Education at the Asian International College, an institution for higher learning and teacher education in Singapore.

In her capacity as CEO, Dr. Yalow oversees several businesses, but most prominently KinderCare Learning Centers and Knowledge Beginnings. She has over 20 years of experience with the organization, and has established strong relationships in the education sector, in thought leadership circles, and the early childhood education industry. Dr. Yalow is also responsible for the development of KU’s educational programs in the United States and for the use of best practices in education, professional development, and quality assurance across KU’s global education programs in the US, Europe and Asia, ensuring continuous improvement of KU’s global best-in-class early childhood education offerings.

Previously Dr. Yalow served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Knowledge Learning Corporation (now Knowledge Universe Education), which operates nearly 1700 early childhood education centers in 39 states, including its KinderCare Learning Centers and Knowledge Beginnings centers. She was responsible for center operations, curriculum development and training, quality assurance, marketing and business development, mergers and acquisitions, and new center development, supervising a total workforce of approximately 40,000 progremployees.

Prior to joining KU, Dr. Yalow served as Associate Director of IOX Assessment Associates where she served as Project Director for numerous state and national level research and development projects in both educational assessment and health education for agencies including the National Institutes of Health, Office of Disease Prevention/Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control, and numerous State Departments of Education. She also served as a lecturer at California State University, Long Beach.

Dr. Yalow has published and presented extensively on issues related to education and health in publications including the Annual Review of Health Promotion and Education, Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, Educational Researcher, Handbook of Human Intelligence, Contemporary Education Review, Personnel Psychology and Curator. She has served as a speaker at the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the Education Writers Association, Parenting Magazine’s Mom Congress, the Milken Institute Global Conference, the Hechinger Institute Seminars on Education and the Media, the World Forum on Early Care and Education and NBC’s 2011 Education Nation Summit. She has made numerous presentations on assessment and evaluation in the education and health care arenas at the American Psychological Association, Psychometric Society, National Council of Measurement in Education, and the American Educational Research Association. She is a contributing author to Education Insights, KU’s blog for parents. http://usblog.kueducation.com/author/elanna/

Dr. Yalow holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the Stanford University School of Education, an M.B.A. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business, and a B.A. in Psychology from the State University of NY at Stony Brook, where she was Phi Beta Kappa. She serves on the Advisory Board of the National Childhood Obesity Foundation, Parenting Magazine’s Mom Congress, and the Child Development Policy Institute.

Dr. Yalow is married and the mother of two sons. She is the daughter of the late Dr. Rosalyn Yalow, 1977 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine.

Mike Ensing

Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer

Mike Ensing joined Knowledge Universe in 2012. Mike has over 18 years of proven expertise in financial management, strategy, mergers and acquisitions, corporate investments, new business formation, information technology and general management. At Knowledge Universe, Mike is responsible for all areas of Finance, including strategy, financial reporting, controllership, accounting, tax, risk, and investor relations, In addition, Mike oversees other KU functions including Procurement and Information Systems and Technology.

Prior to joining KU, Mike spent eight years at Microsoft, most recently as the Chief Financial Officer of Corporate Center and Research & Development Finance. Prior to Microsoft, Mike co-founded and led the international venture-backed strategy and technology consulting firm Dynamis Solutions. He also held  consulting positions at McKinsey & Company where he was part of a leadership group that founded McKinsey’s Detroit office. Mike began his career with Deloitte Consulting focusing on strategy, finance and information technology.

Mike earned a master’s degree from the Kellogg Graduate School of Management at Northwestern University (Beta Gamma Sigma with Distinction) and a bachelor’s of science degree from the University of Michigan (Phi Beta Kappa with highest distinction).

Elizabeth Large

Executive Vice President and General Counsel 

Elizabeth Large joined Knowledge Universe® in 2005. She was promoted to her present position in July 2010 and oversees the operations of the Legal department, providing pro-active strategic and tactical advice designed to advance the business goals while operating well within legal and ethical boundaries.

Before joining KU, Elizabeth had her own law practice, litigating complex civil cases in Oregon, Washington, and California for business, government, and individuals. Elizabeth also litigated constitutional challenges as an Assistant Attorney General for the Special Litigation Unit at the State of Oregon. She has also served in private practice as a member of the trial practice group at Stoel Rives LLP, a leading Northwest law firm.

Elizabeth has a strong interest in serving our local community, with a special focus on literacy. She is currently a volunteer reader and a member of the board of directors for SMART (“Start Making A Reader Today”) and previously volunteered for Project Read in San Francisco. She has also served as a mentor to several first-year law students at Willamette University College of Law and was named Mentor of The Year in 2001. 

In April 2011, Elizabeth was recognized with a Women of Influence award from the Portland Business Journal for both her contribution to KU, as well as her community philanthropic work.  

Elizabeth received her Doctor of Jurisprudence from Willamette University and her bachelor’s degree in economics and history from the University of Washington. She is licensed to practice law in Oregon, Washington, and California.

Wei-Li Chong

Executive Vice President, Human Resources

Wei-Li Chong joined Knowledge Universe in the summer of 2012, where he oversees all aspects of Human Resources and champions the company’s culture as one of the nation’s largest private education and child care providers. In this role, Wei-Li is responsible for all human resource disciplines focusing on creating a work environment that supports approximately 32,000 educators and associates across the country to do their best work to achieve our company priorities, and support our mission with the children and families we support.

Before joining KU, Wei-Li served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources at ANN INC. in New York. In this role, Wei-Li was responsible for corporate human resources and the talent investment strategies for more than 18,000 associates representing the Ann Taylor and LOFT Brands. Through this focus and measurable results achieved, Wei-Li is considered a subject matter expert in the areas of talent management, change management, and the linkage between employee engagement and business performance analytics. His work in this area was published in the Gallup Management Journal and later published in the book, The Best of Gallup Management Journal; 2001-2007 as one of the most thought-provoking articles related to talent management and leadership.

Prior to ANN INC., Wei-Li served in a number of leadership roles for HSN located in St. Petersburg, Florida and Macy’s located in Cincinnati, Ohio.  

Wei-Li earned a Bachelor’s degree in Marketing and Management from the University of Cincinnati.

Shelley Bromberek-Lambert

Chief Operating Officer, CCLC and Champions

Shelley Bromberek-Lambert serves as Chief Operating Officer of of the CCLC and Champions brands. Shelley joined Knowledge Universe in 1985. During her tenure, she has held various positions, ranging from Manager of Business Development, to District Manager, Regional Vice President and most recently Vice President of Operations. She was promoted to her present position in 2012 and oversees the operations of more than 400 Champions programs in 19 states and more than 100 CCLC programs. CCLC is a leader in employer-sponsored near- and on-site child care and early childhood education programs and services, and Champions is a leading out-of-school time provider of extended learning and education programs for school-age children.

A lifelong learner, Shelley utilizes her more than 27 years of experience in the industry to move the early childhood education and afterschool profession forward. For more than a decade she has been an active member of the Illinois Afterschool Network (IAN) as a board member and a state affiliate. In 2010 she was nominated to the National Afterschool Associate (NAA) board, where she is a part of a select group of key leaders developing a strategic plan establishing and fostering key relationships and collaborative work groups. 

Throughout her tenure with KU Shelley has been recognized with several awards including District Manager of the Year, Excellence in Sales Performance, and Excellence in Leadership Initiatives.

Shelley earned her associate’s degree in child development from College of DuPage and her bachelor’s degree in political science from Northern Illinois University.

Mark Schmitz

Senior Vice President, Business Development

Mark Schmitz joined Knowledge Universe in 2012. He is responsible for developing one-size-fits-one solutions that meet the specific needs of today’s progressive employers and their workforce families. Through these solutions, working families have access to convenient, high-quality child care programs that enable employers to increase productivity, reduce absenteeism and attract and retain talent.

Before joining KU Mark served as Senior Vice President, General Manger for Right Management, a global leader in talent workforce solutions, where he oversaw a global portfolio and two lines of business.  He first joined Right Management in 2004 where he was the Vice President of Sales and then in 2007, Market Vice President for three of the firm’s most profitable markets.

Prior to Right Management, Mark was Founder, Principal and Co-Owner of Professional Response & Consulting, Inc. (PRCi).  He led this start-up to one of the nation's top Recruitment Response Management firms.  Mark’s career spans more than 25 years, partnering with some of the world’s most recognizable brands to develop talent and work-life solutions that accelerate individual and organizational performance.  

Additionally, Mark has served as a Board Director with the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce and was Chairman of the Chamber’s Workplace Excellence Committee.  He also served on the Board of PRCi and HR In-Bound.   Mark attended Loyola University of Chicago and has his Six-Sigma Certification from Villanova University.  He lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area and is married with three children.

 

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