About hero

About First Steps Kent

Our community vision is that every young child in Kent County will enter kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed in school and life. First Steps Kent is working with our community partners to make that vision a reality.

First Steps Kent is an independent nonprofit organization founded more than ten years ago.

Learn more about the history of First Steps Kent and the Early Childhood System in Kent County.

Our Team

The First Steps Kent team is committed to ensuring every young child in Kent County will enter kindergarten healthy and ready to succeed in school and life.

  • Jennifer Headley-Nordman


  • Heather Boswell

    VP of Community Investments

  • Cati Cortes

    VP of Finance

  • Awilda Diaz

    Project Coordinator

  • Elyse Greene

    Funding Administrator

  • Shelby Glover

    Office Operations Manager

  • Kristen Sobolewski

    VP of Early Care and Education

  • Megan Streng

    Communications Director

  • Christine Timbol Larson

    VP of Impact

  • Jasper Tinoco

    Data Specialist

  • Daniel VanderMolen

    Director of Policy and Grants

  • Kiana Garcia Zaderej

    Funding Administrator


First Steps Kent Commission

The First Steps Kent Commission is committed to making Kent County a community in which all young children and their families can thrive. The Commission serves as our Board of Directors.

  • Kate Pew Wolters
    Co-Chair, Kate and Richard Wolters Foundation
  • Lew Chamberlin
    Co-Chair, West Michigan Whitecaps
  • Josh Sayles
    Secretary-Treasurer, Ernst & Young
  • Leah Atkins
    Parent Leader
  • Amanda Barbour
    Children’s Healing Center
  • Guillermo Cisneros
    Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • Kevin Clay
    Pridgeon & Clay
  • Rev. Howard C. Earle, Jr.
    Beacon Hill
  • Claire Guisfredi
    North Kent Connect
  • Hanna C. Jaworski, MD
    Corewell Health
  • Melinda Johnson, MD
    Community Representative
  • Ron Koehler
    Kent ISD
  • Flora Ma
    Parent Leader
  • Krashawn Martin
    City of Wyoming
  • Kelsey Perdue
    Corewell Health & Grand Rapids City Commissioner
  • Anthony Queen
    Parent Leader
  • Milt Rohwer
    Community Representative
  • Randy Thelen
    The Right Place
  • Michelle Van Dyke
    Heart of West Michigan United Way
  • Sean Welsh
    PNC Bank
  • Doug DeVos, Emeritus
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We want to thank our generous funders for their support of First Steps Kent and their commitment to young children in our community.

Financial Reports

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  • Meetings
  • Minutes