Our Executive Director in Action

Our Executive Director in Action

Our Executive Director in Action 150 150 Ivy Marsnik

The Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi (RKMC) Foundation for Children has announced the appointment of Carolyn Smallwood to its board of directors.

Carolyn Smallwood is entering her 10th year as executive director of Way to Grow, Inc., an early education and elementary organization that serves over 2,000 people each year. Prior to Way to Grow, she served as vice president for sales and marketing at Twin Cities RISE! She also served as the executive director of the Minnesota Minority Supplier Development Council.

Before entering the nonprofit field, Smallwood was the director of supplier diversity with ADC, The Broadband Company, and held a variety of senior positions with U.S. Bancorp.

She earned her BA degree in marketing and finance from the University of St. Thomas and completed Harvard’s Executive Programs for Nonprofits. Smallwood has a passion for work in diverse communities, a solid background in marketing, strong executive experience, an inclusive leadership style and a dynamic presence.

Smallwood currently sits on Governor Mark Dayton’s Early Learning Council and on the board of trustees for the College of Saint Benedict and the MacPhail Center for Music. Most recently, she was selected by Mayor Betsy Hodges to co-chair the Cradle to K Cabinet, designed to eliminate disparities for children from prenatal to three years old in the City of Minneapolis.

She also serves on the African American Leadership Forum, MinneMinds Advisory Committee, Promise Neighborhood Solution Action Group, and the FATHER Project Committee.

“Carolyn understands the critical importance of education in building a strong future for our children, and she has developed an array of skills in a career spent advocating for women and the underserved,” said Michael Ciresi, board chair of the RKMC Foundation for Children. “We’re honored to welcome her to the Foundation’s board.”

Information provided by the Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi Foundation for Children. To learn more, visit rkmcfoundationforchildren.org.

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