Institute (NCICDP) Board of Directors

Ashley Allen (Assistant Treasurer) is the Work Environment and Compensation Coordinator with EQuIPD (Education, Quality Improvement, and Professional Development) at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and serves as the Institute’s assistant treasurer, co-chair of the Institute’s Workforce Compensation Workgroup, and serves on the Institute’s Fund Development Committee. She has worked extensively with early childhood professionals to improve the quality of the adult work environment, which research directly links to staff well-being and ultimately, the quality of care for young children. Her role bridges communication between early childhood educators needs and policy decisions that best meet those needs collectively. Ashley also serves as adjunct faculty at Stanly Community College, Greensboro College, and UNCG. She completed her Birth through Kindergarten licensure, English & Visual Arts degrees, her Masters of Education, and currently focuses on her doctoral work – all from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Ashley works on projects and committees locally and at the state level with the sole purpose of highlighting the value of early childhood educators and bringing more attention and resources to the field.

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/25

Assistant Treasurer Term Ends: 12/31/25


Dr. Vickie M. Brinkley serves on the Institute’s Advancing the Education of the Workforce & Higher Education workgroup.
Although she started her career as a Center Director and Teacher in child care/preschool classrooms, most of her professional work experience  has been in the area of higher education.  For several years, she  was the Director/Associate Professor, Family Life Center, at Georgia Southern University.  At the time of her retirement several years ago, she was the Early Childhood Education Program Coordinator/Professor at Rockingham Community College.   
Her commitment to working on behalf of children and families has followed her into retirement life in her local community where she is a member of her local partnership’s NC Pre-K committee, a member of the Head Start Policy Council, and a member of the Teacher Advisory Committee at Greensboro College.

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/24

Anna Carter currently works through a federal TA contract to support states in the Southeast with their CCDF grants. Previously she worked in NC in positions at the Division of Child Development and Early Education as the Director and Deputy Director up until 2019. Anna also served as the President of Child Care Services Association from 2013 to 2017. Anna joined the Institute Board in 2020 and serves as a co-chair of the Institute’s Workforce Compensation Workgroup and serves on the Institute’s Outreach and Public Awareness Committee. 

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/27

Cathy Collie-Robinson is an early childhood professional with over 25 years of experience.  Her professional experiences include Preschool Teacher in a variety of settings across multiple states, Technical Assistance Provider with a Child Care Resource and Referral Agency, Head Start/Early Head Start Education Coordinator, Community College Instructor, and currently the Director of the Early Childhood Program at Durham Technical Community College. She received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Child Development and Family Life from Radford University and a Master of Education Degree with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from Towson University. Cathy serves as Co-Chair of the Institute’s Outreach and Public Awareness Committee and Co-chair of the Advancing the Education of the Workforce and Higher Education Workgroup.

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/27

Consuellis Hawkins-Crudup (Treasurer) has served on the NC Institute of Child Development Professionals Board where she participates on the ECE Advancing the Education of the Workforce & Higher Education workgroup, serves with the Executive Committee as Treasurer and Co-Chairs the Institute’s Fund Development Committee.

Professionally, she has over 25 years of experience with young children and families.  She currently works for East Coast Migrant Head Start Project as the School Readiness Manager.  She specifically provides training and technical assistance to Head Start staff for collecting and analyzing school readiness data to support child outcomes.  She has  a strong interest in working with teachers because they are pivotal to children’s school readiness success.

She’s a native of Franklin County, North Carolina and enjoys spending family time with her husband and two sons.

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/26

Treasurer: 2024 & 2025; Past Treasurer: 2026 Treasurer Term Ends: 12/31/26

Dr. Archana (Anu) V. Hegde (Assistant Secretary) is Professor in the department of Human Development and Family Science at East Carolina University. Dr. Hegde primarily works with pre-service and in-service teachers’ in the Birth through Kindergarten Program. Her formative background is in Human Development and Family Studies, with a specialization in Early Childhood Care and Education. Over the years, Dr. Hegde has worked on several interdisciplinary projects with faculty in the department of Nutrition, Engineering and Social-Work. She is known for her work in teacher education and teacher professional training. Her research has been funded at both state and federal levels. She is currently funded by NIH, HRSA and the N.C. Division of Child Development and Early Education, all related to teacher training and student development. For the Institute, Dr. Hegde serves on the Higher Education Workgroup and on the Executive Committee as Assistant Secretary.

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/24

Assistant Secretary Term Ends: 12/31/24 (begins Jan. 24)

Norma W. Honeycutt is an expert, international award-winning Early Childhood trainer and consultant. She is the Executive Director of Partners In Learning Child Development and Family Resource Center and a state-wide advocate in Early Care, Education, and Intervention.

She is certified to provide Triple-P, Special Instruction for Infants and Toddlers, and holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Child and Family Development from the University of North Carolina in Charlotte and a Master’s Degree in Birth through Kindergarten.  For more than four decades Norma has used her skills to support children and their families. She is a highly regarded and popular trainer and speaker.  She is passionate about quality in Early Childhood, making sure that children receive the best possible care and education to help them reach their full potential. She has worked within the education, health and social services sectors, performing a wide range of roles such as teacher, director, education consultant, and child care commissioner.

Norma serves as the Institute as Co-Chair for the Advancing the Education of the Workforce and Higher Education Workgroup.

Norma is married and is the mother of five adult children and seven grandchildren, which is why she is able to speak from the heart to parents and all those who care for or educate children.

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/24

Katura Jackson (Past Treasurer) is a native of North Carolina.  She is married and has three adult children.  After graduating from Spelman College in Atlanta, Georgia with a degree in Political Science she found her way into the field of early care and education working at Child Care Resources in Charlotte.  She didn’t plan to stay in the field, but enjoyed the opportunity to work and advocate on behalf of children and families.  At Child Care Resources, she managed the parent services until 1999.  In 2000, she accepted the position of Executive Director at Work Family Resource Center and made the move to Winston-Salem, where she currently oversees the daily operation and management of the agency.

Katura serves on several local and statewide boards working to improve the quality of child care in North Carolina.  She serves as the Past Treasurer of the North Carolina Institute for Child Development Professionals as well as Co-chairs the Fund Development Committee and Professional Development Workgroup. 

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/24

Past Treasurer: 2024; Treasurer Term Ends: 12/31/24

Dr. Meredith Jones is currently an Assistant Professor at the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and program coordinator of the Leadership, Policy, and Advocacy for Early Childhood graduate program. Dr. Jones research interests include supporting leadership and advocacy skills of early childhood professionals, supporting early childhood pre-service teachers, and exploring global perspectives of early childhood education and child development. She is a North Carolina native and began her career as a Title I pre-kindergarten teacher with Union County Public Schools in Monroe. She earned a Bachelor of Science and Masters of Education degrees in Child and Family Studies from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a Ph.D. in Education with a concentration in early childhood education from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Dr. Jones serves on the Institute’s Advancing the Education of the Workforce & Higher Education Workgroup and co-chairs the Outreach and Public Awareness Committee.

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/26

Edith Locke (Vice President) is the Vice President of the Professional Development Initiatives Division at Child Care Services Association. In her role she also serves as Director of North Carolina’s T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® Scholarship Program and provides technical assistance and support to organizations nationwide who are administering the scholarship program. Edith serves on a variety of early childhood focused committees at the local, state and national levels. She serves on the Institute’s Advancing the Education of the Workforce & Higher Ed. Committees as well as the Executive Committee as the organization’s Vice President.

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/27

Vice President Term Ends: 12/31/26 (begins Jan. 24)

Deidre McMahon (Secretary) earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC. She later earned her Master’s Degree in Early Education – Leadership and Policy from UNC-Wilmington and was a TEACH Scholarship recipient. Collectively, she has worked in Early Childhood for 20+ years. Deidre joined Southwestern Child Development Commission, Inc. in 2009 and for the past fourteen years, she has worked in a variety of positions in both Child Care Resource and Referral and a shorter amount of time in Child Care Subsidy Services. Deidre moved into a leadership position for Southwestern in 2015, when she accepted Southwestern’s Statewide Child Care Resource and Referral Director’s Position. In this role, she joined the NC Child Care Resource and Referral Council. In 2020, Deidre accepted the Assistant Director’s position for Southwestern and serves alongside Executive Leadership to oversee overall agency management. Her Thought Leadership is focal on several components for Southwestern, these include: Organizational Development, Grant Coordination, Organizational Communication, Bridging Services/Thought Leadership, as well as, Advocacy and Statewide Early Care and Education Programs. While managing these areas, Deidre obtained her Executive Certificate in Non Profit Leadership from Duke University. As Deidre’s position continues to evolve, she developed and implemented Southwestern’s Workforce Development Unit. Within this unit, she oversees additional regional workforce projects, including the recruitment of new early educators, supporting professional development and higher education opportunities while implementing competitive compensation plans. Specifically, Deidre developed the Pathways to Early Learning Project, which supplements ApprenticeshipNC, a program supporting on the job training and increased education for future Early Learning Professionals. Deidre also serves on a variety of local, regional and statewide committees and enjoys the service and professional growth that comes with these opportunities. Deidre serves as a member of the Institute’s Advancing the Education of the Workforce & Higher Education workgroup and on the Executive Committee as the Institute’s Secretary.

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/27

Secretary Term Ends: 12/31/27

Anna Mercer-McLean (President) has been director of Community School for People under Six, a five-star licensed child care center, for over 31 years with an amazing staff of early educators.  She holds a Level 12 Early Educator Certification with a Masters in Business Education and Bachelors in Business Administration, both from NC Central University. She received coursework in Early Childhood Education from UNC Chapel Hill and Durham Technical Community College.  She has worked in the Early Care and Education field for over 33 years.  Anna has been a long-time advocate for accessible, affordable and quality early care and education and a well-compensated workforce.  She currently is the President of the NC Institute for Child Development Professionals (NCICDP–the Institute), and serves on the Outreach and Public Awareness Commitee.  Also, Anna serves on the board of the Orange County Partnership for Young Children (first NC Smart Start agency). In addition, she has served on numerous other national, state and local boards and committees through the years, including NAEYC, NCaeyc and NCPC; and presented at numerous national, state and local conferences.
Anna is married to John, and they have three wonderful adult children –John IV, Christina and Faith; and five beautiful grandchildren–Lauren, Christian, Evin, Eli and Eden.  They are a tennis family.  God is first in her life, followed by family and the joy of  giving back through community service.

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/25

President Term Ends: 12/31/25 (President: 2024; Past President: 2025)

Sue Russell has recently retired as Executive Director of the T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® National Center which helps states implement effective workforce strategies to create education, compensation, retention and career pathways for their early care and education workforce. Sue had over 50 years of experience in the early childhood profession, as the President/CEO of Child Care Services Association, a policy consultant with the NC Division of Child Development and Early Education, a child care coordinator with the Orange County Department of Social Services and as an early childhood educator at the Community School for People Under Six.  Her work includes successful national workforce initiatives like T.E.A.C.H. Early Childhood® and Child Care WAGE$®.  She has worked on the development and implementation of effective policies and systems to improve access to high quality early childhood programs for all children, and led research teams on numerous studies of the early childhood workforce, the early care and education system and access issues for children from families with low incomes and infants and toddlers. She continues to serve on numerous state and national boards and committees and has served terms as both President and Treasurer of the NAEYC Governing Board. Sue currently serves the Institute on the Fund Development Committee.

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/24

Erin Speer Smith (Coordinator) has been in the Early Childhood Education field for over 20 years serving in roles working directly with children and families as a floater, assistant teacher, lead teacher, child care center administrator and Child Life Specialist (in hospital settings). In addition, she has spent many years in roles supporting the ECE workforce including a Child Care Resource & Referral Provider/TA Specialist, and in the NC Community College System (NCCCS) as an Early Childhood Education faculty instructor in local community colleges, Director of Allied Health and Education Programs at Johnston Community College and at the NCCCS office as the state’s Early Childhood and Public Services Program Coordinator. Erin graduated with her B.S. in Human Development-Child Care Teaching & Administration from Radford University and her M.A. in Human Development from Pacific Oaks College. Erin currently assists the Institute in coordinating various activities and serves on the Higher Education Workgroup and the Outreach & Public Awareness Committee. She also serves on the Higher Education Accreditation team at NAEYC as the Training Specialist. She, her husband and three daughters live in Wake Forest, NC.

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/26

Florianna Justice Thompson, also known as Flo, started with Wake Tech as an Early Childhood Education, Instructor in January 2000 and has recently retired. She holds a BSHS in Family Relations and Child Development from North Carolina Central University; M.Ed. from Strayer University. Flo has over 44 years of experience in Early Care and Education. Prior to coming to Wake Tech, Flo worked as a Program Coordinator with Wake County Smart Start, Assistant Director Kidworks Child Care at Wake Med, Early Arrival Coordinator and 3rd grade TA at Fuller Elementary School, and many other roles in childcare.  A frequently called upon presenter and advisor for early childhood issues and diversity training. Flo brings expertise in promoting diversity in personnel preparation in the field of early childhood and in supporting learning for culturally, linguistically, and experientially diverse adult learners. Flo has worked in a variety of roles with a focus on children and families as teachers, director, consultant, advocate, presenter, and parent. She serves on the Institute’s Compensation Workgroup. A native of North Carolina her vision is to awaken the sleeping village and restore the old African Proverb, “It takes a whole village to raise a child.” And her favorite e-mail closing? Smile.

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/26

Victoria Vample (President Elect) serves as Program Director with Guilford Child Development Regional Child Care Resource and Referral where she uses her leadership skills to supervise the Early Childhood Specialist, Education Trainers, Scholarship Specialist and Parent Provider Specialist and overseeing the day-to-day program operations. She has worked in the field of early childhood education in various roles for over fifteen years.  She also serves as President Elect on the Board of Directors for the North Carolina Institute for Child Development Professionals and serves on the Institute’s Fund Development Committee. She is the Vice President of the Guilford County Council of PTA’s. She also serves on the Guilford Technical Community College Early Childhood Advisory Board. 

Victoria holds a B.S. in Child Development and Family Studies and a Masters of Education with a focus on Leadership, Policy and Advocacy in Early Childhood. 

Victoria is married to her wonderful husband Andre. Victoria also has one teenage daughter Kaitlyn.

Board Service Term Ends: 12/31/27

President Term Ends: 12/31/27  (President Elect-2024; President 2025-2026; Past President– 2027)

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