Childcare Provider Representative Voting Process

Welcome to the Childcare Provider Nomination Process for the Board of Directors!

Cynthia Brown

I’m a very active and always used my skills to help people and encourage them and also used strategic‐thinking professional with more than 15 years’ experience in employment services in the non‐profit and higher education sectors. Highly skilled at relationship building with clients and across organizations and teams; exceptional writing, presenting, and interpersonal communication skills. Adept at assessing needs, generating options, and implementing solutions in collaboration with clients and stakeholders. Well‐versed in all phases of recruitment and hiring, including defining job roles, assessing needed skills and qualifications, and evaluating candidates. Experienced at managing projects from the requirements gathering/need identification phase through to completion.

Denise Finnerty

I carry quality skills, a few being, strategic thinking. I am able to review my strategies to identify possible vulnerabilities, such as a potential takeover, availability of large cash balances and under-performing divisions. I am able to hold effective commutations, take constructive criticism, and become a team player in decision making.

Over the past two year I have help organize functions for Wesley United Methodist Church and helped with events for their Children’s Ministry. I am an active Board Member with Bridges Preschool as Director. Over the past 10 years I have helped organize functions for Non-Denominational churches across Tampa Bay and Trinidad & Tobago.

Marie Hammond

My name is Marie Hammond. I am the Owner and Director of Shining Stars Preschool Academy, Inc. in Brandon. We have been licensed to provide for children ages one to twelve years old for 28 years and accredited for 18 of those years. We average 30-50% School Readiness students and 2-4 VPK classes each year. I received my Bachelor of Science Degree in Educational Studies and Leadership with a concentration in Early Education in 2017 and look forward to beginning a Master of Science in Early Education program next month. 

Early Education is my passion, therefore I always have a lot of ideas and input in regard to the different programs that surround early educators. I am involved day to day with all aspects of operating a quality learning environment. I would love an opportunity to connect with and communicate on behalf of our early educator community here in Hillsborough County by serving on the Coalition Board.

As a hands-on Owner and Director of a preschool for the past 28 years, I have much experience with School Readiness and VPK programs as well as the Child Care Food Program, Incentives, TEACH, Child Care Licensing and CLASS Assessments. I am familiar with all programs used for Early Education administration and yet still know what it is like to step into the classroom.

Amanda Jae

As a Childcare Facility Director since 2016 and Faith-Based Provider Representative since 2020, I feel I have exhibited the following professional skills in the Tampa Community: positive and constructive communication, time management, budget development, decision making while under pressure and community building. I also feel that the insight brought by being a director in the field has been invaluable to the decision making when it comes to the needs and goals of providers in Hillsborough County.

Since joining the board of directors in 2020, I continue to have a passion for working with young children and their families! I graduated from the University of Florida (Go Gators!) with a Bachelors of Arts Degree and graduated from the University of South Florida (Go Bulls!) with a Masters of Arts in Teaching Degree. I worked for seven years in Hillsborough County Public Schools teaching Pre-K and First Grade students at Cork Elementary in Plant City as well as the charter school Trinity School for Children in Seminole Heights. My family and I are members at Palma Ceia Methodist Church and I accepted my current position as the church’s Day School Director in June of 2016. The church and school are located in South Tampa and I live in Ballast Point with my spouse and two daughters.

As the current Faith-Based Provider, I not only experienced the changes that came with COVID-19 as a director but I was a voice for providers when it came to ways to support the changing needs of children and early childhood educators of Hillsborough County. As chair of the Service Delivery and Efficiency, we have continued to build the relationship between ELCHC and providers. I am proud of the work of Dr. Hicks and the ELCHC Team when it comes to their devotion, listening and support of early learning providers in both the family home and childcare facility setting. I would welcome the opportunity to continue with the ELCHC Board of Directors as the Faith-Based Representative. My focus would continue to advocate for the needs of children and providers in Hillsborough County and Florida. By meeting and exceeding the needs of our youngest learners, we can create lasting skills that will stay with our students through their lifetime living in our great state of Florida. Thank you!

Sharon Miller

I am a collaborative change agent who has developed a skill set that leaves organizations better off than what I find them. An individual who is able to identify skills sets and resources that will enhance an organizations’ existence and perpetuity. A team builder, who is comfortable with taking team members out of their comfort zone. Finally, a leader with a proven track record of increasing a team’s leadership development via a collaborative approach.

Elma Taghizadeh

I am honored to step into the spotlight today, not as an educator or advocate from the early childhood education sector, but as a childcare center owner deeply committed to the mission and vision of the Early Learning and Childcare Coalition (ELCHC). I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself, share my passion for our mission, and articulate my earnest desire to serve on the Coalition Board. My journey in early childhood education began with a simple dream – to provide a nurturing, safe, and enriching environment for young children to learn and grow. This aspiration led me to acquire Panda Hugs Academy and Tanglewood Learning center, a place where countless young minds have taken their first steps towards a lifetime of learning. Over the years, this endeavor has not only been my profession but also my passion.

As the owner and operator of Panda Hugs Academy, I have had the privilege of witnessing the transformative impact that quality early learning and childcare can have on children and families. Each day, I see the joy on the faces of children as they explore, discover, and develop crucial skills that will shape their futures. I witness the relief and confidence that parents gain from knowing their children are in a supportive and stimulating environment. These experiences have solidified my belief in the profound importance of accessible, high-quality early learning and childcare services for all. My involvement in the ELCHC stems from a desire to expand the positive impact of early childhood education beyond the walls of my childcare center. I am deeply committed to ensuring that every child in our community has access to the same opportunities and resources, regardless of their socio-economic background. By serving on the Coalition Board, I believe I can contribute in meaningful ways to the realization of this vision.

Rubina Tariq

My name is Rubina Tariq. Currently I am running a Childcare center in Tampa. I have a Masters in educational Leadership and in science. I worked as a principal in one of the K-12 school in Broward County for 21 years. In my educational profession, I Assisted academic counsellor to prepare students for college interviews, dual enrollment and monitor other academic activities.Supervised more than 80 teachers and staff members. Monitored the academic performance of teachers and students. Facilitated the implementation of professional learning communities. Organized, planned, and implemented System Parent Academy.Tracked students’ progress and provided individual feedback. Monitored assignment and tests designed to gauge proficiency.

I would like to share and expand and my extensive experience in the field of education by obtaining a position as a board member at Early Learning Coalition of Hillsborough County that will utilize my administrative experience and teaching knowledge to better prepare young students for strong foundation in their early childhood stages.

Isabela Schlabach

Financial Expertise: with a background in finance, accounting, or financial management I can provide valuable insights into budgeting, financial planning, and fiscal responsibility.

Strategic Planning: experienced in strategic planning and organizational development can assist in setting long-term goals, defining a clear mission and vision, and ensuring that the organization’s strategies align with its mission.

Experience in leadership roles, can provide valuable insights into effective leadership development, and organizational management.

Experience working in the nonprofit sector, can provide valuable insights into the unique challenges and opportunities faced by nonprofit organizations.

Annette Eberhart

My name is Annette Eberhart. I am writing this letter to express my strong desire to be considered for the provider representative board member position in this esteemed organization. Having closely followed the accomplishments and strategic vision of the board, my skills, experience, and passion align perfectly with the goals and values of this organization.

With over ten years of professional experience in early childhood education, I have gained extensive knowledge and expertise in leadership. Throughout my career, I have consistently demonstrated a solid commitment to driving growth, fostering innovation, and making strategic decisions that positively impact organizations. Moreover, my experience working in diverse teams and leading successful projects has equipped me with the necessary skills to collaborate and communicate with fellow board members effectively.

As a board member, I am enthusiastic about contributing my unique perspective and insights to the decision-making process. Strong leadership combined with diverse backgrounds and expertise leads to the most effective governance. My vision for the organization is to foster an environment that encourages creativity, embraces new technologies, and prioritizes sustainable practices. By leveraging my experience and skills, I am confident I can add value to the board and support the organization in achieving its long-term objectives.

I am inspired by the vital work undertaken by this organization, and I am eager to make a meaningful contribution as a board member. My dedication, strategic mindset and commitment to excellence make me a strong candidate for this position. It would be an honor to serve alongside esteemed board members and contribute to the continued success of this organization.

Thank you for considering my application. I look forward to discussing my qualifications further and proving my commitment to the organization.

Voting is now closed.

Voting Period

Voting closed on Tuesday, December 5, 2023, at 3:00 pm EST.

Important Information

Only votes received within the specified dates and times will be counted as cast.
Join us on a journey to discover the magic and impact of quality education and early learning experiences. Every child deserves a chance to learn and grow!


All registrations for IECP learning events and workshops are completed online. Registrations are received on a first-come, first-served basis and seating is limited. An account to our online platform is required for all learning event registrations regardless of cost or type of payment used.


Payment, if required, can be made online at the time of registration.


Registrants have up to 48 hours before a scheduled learning event to cancel. A refund will be made to the online account on file.


The event sponsor reserves the right to cancel a learning event due to low registration. If a session is cancelled, those registered will be contacted by email and notified of the cancellation. A credit will be applied to the online account on file.


You are encouraged to log on virtually or arrive in person 5-10 minutes prior to the start time of your learning event. Participants arriving more than 15 minutes late WILL NOT BE ADMITTED TO THE SESSION. Partial in-service credit may be offered, if applicable. Make-up sessions WILL NOT BE OFFERED for any learning event. 


The IECP and ELCHC shall not discriminate against any person because of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity, national origin, citizenship, disability/handicap, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, or age in any aspect of a learning event, training workshop or professional development. The ELCHC also reasonably accommodates individuals with disabilities, handicaps and/or religious beliefs.


Any person with a disability/handicap requiring reasonable accommodations should call 813.515.2340 no later than seven business days prior to the scheduled learning event.


The ELCHC strives to protect the privacy of learners that attend our learning events. Because each learner must register through our online learning platform, each record is restricted from public access. Learners can obtain a copy of their certifications as well as their own demographic/contact information provided. For online support, learners may call 813.515.2340 for assistance accessing their records. Learners are required to verify their Identification at all learning events by showing a state or government issued ID with photograph.


Individuals who participate in ELCHC’s learning events have the right to know about the proprietary interest a trainer/ instructor may have in a product or service prior to attending. All trainers/instructors are required to disclose proprietary interest in any produce, instrument, device, service and/or materials discussed at an event training, program, or workshop, as well as the source of any compensation related to the presentation.


Continuing Education Units (CEUs) may be awarded for all learning events three hours or longer in duration. Learning events less than three hours will be awarded in-service hours upon completion. CEUs will be awarded upon successful completion of the learning event. To successfully complete the learning event, learners must arrive on time, attend all required sessions, be an active participant and complete all related assignments and/or surveys as defined by the trainer/instructor. Online training must have an engagement score of 75% or more. For all online training – CAMERAS MUST BE ON – NO EXCEPTIONS. Participant’s names for online training must match the name provided at registration.  Any required assignments or surveys will be outlined in the Training Description on our online platform. Learners are encouraged to contact trainers/ instructors with any questions and/or clarification needed regarding the successful completion of assignments or surveys. In-service hours will be awarded in place of CEUs if the learner does not meet the requirements of successful completion as defined by the instructor/trainer.
* Trainings may be recorded for educational purposes.


To earn an achievement bonus, you must be teaching in Hillsborough County and meet all the requirements of the course, including pre/post assessments, homework assignments, reflection, and LMS instructor evaluation (if applicable). Each individual is limited to four training achievement bonuses per training cycle, and bonuses will not be given for previously completed coursework. Additionally, a W9 form must be submitted, and the address on the form must match the address on your LMS account. If you have any questions, please contact Abbey Landa at


Upon the successful completion of a learning event/training participants will receive a Certificate of Completion that can be retrieved from their individual online LMS account.


All learning events/training sessions are designed for adult audiences. We ask that all registrants make the necessary childcare arrangements to meet the minimum requirements for participation in the learning event. Childcare is not available.