Acelero Learning recruits the highest quality staff possible.
Our team is the best equipped to serve your children, your family, and your community. We are proud to say that all of our teachers have an associate's or bachelor's degree in early childhood education or equivalent and our senior leadership team is comprised of experts in education, health, finance, and operations. Our growing board of directors is made up of respected community leaders, educators, attorneys, financial managers, and Head Start parents.
SENIOR LEADERSHIP TEAM
Board of Directors
Kellner Professor in Pediatrics / Director of the Center for the Advancement of Underserved Children, Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW)
Dr. Earnestine Willis has established her career in maternal and child health and has practiced in urban communities facing health disparities for more than three decades across several large cities. She has led numerous successful initiatives including early literacy promotion; oral health improvement; adverse birth outcomes through a community-based life course perspective; child advocacy; school-based health services; emergency preparedness; supporting lactation in the workplace for women returning to work; and effective interventions to address health disparities.
In addition to her roles as Professor and Director, Dr. Willis has a secondary appointment at MCW in the Institute of Health & Society (IHS). Under Dr. Willis’ leadership, MCW’s Community Pediatrics Training Initiative (CPTI) was initiated as a local collaboration with five higher education institutions and 10 community-based organizations. Before coming to MCW, Dr. Willis spent 15 years directing a federally qualified look-alike health center at the University of Chicago.
She has a longstanding track record of advocating for children and has taken on various leadership roles to document the social and health needs of children in underserved neighborhoods and has designed effective interventions to address health disparities for low-income families. Currently, she is the Principal Investigator for the Community Health Improvement for Milwaukee’s Children (CHIMC) project, which is funded by NIMHD/NIH, and she serves on the boards of the Penfield Children’s Center, Acelero Learning - Wisconsin, and National Government Services, Inc. From 2000 to 2003, Dr. Willis was the Chair of the State of Wisconsin Tobacco Control and Prevention Board and led the state in the development of its tobacco prevention program. She is the recipient of the Community Impact Award from the Medical Society of Milwaukee County.
Dr. Willis completed medical school training at Harvard Medical School and postdoctoral training for her master’s in public health at Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her pediatric residency training at Rainbow Babies & Children’s Hospital in Cleveland, OH. In 2012, she was recognized for her exemplary community efforts by being awarded an honorary Ph.D. from Cardinal Stritch University. She completed fellowships in general pediatrics and leadership development, and was a recipient of a Robert Wood Johnson Health Policy Fellowship.
Coordinator of Marketing and Fund Development, Racine County Workforce Solutions
Kimberly Payne serves as the Coordinator of Marketing and Fund Development at Racine County Workforce Solutions. She has 20 years of experience in the education and non-profit sectors where she has held positions such as Vice President of Community Impact at United Way of Racine County, Dean of Students at 21st Century Preparatory School and Director of Student Life at the Community College of Baltimore County. A Racine native, Kimberly is a proud graduate of J.I. Case High School. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology from Drake University and a Master’s Degree in education from Iowa State University. Kimberly is committed to the local community and she is passionate about education, advocacy and ensuring that our local community continues to thrive.
Retired Senior Executive
Kris Ols is a talented senior executive with over 25 years experience in risk assurance, compliance, audit, accounting and process improvement. She brings a wealth of experience in areas such as business risk mitigation internal audit, Sarbanes-Oxley 404 internal control compliance and fraud risk assessment. As a strategic thought leader on emerging and existing risk issues, Kris’ primary focus is on protecting shareholder value.
Ms. Ols founded Compliance Integration Solutions, LLC, which provides leadership consulting and meaningful guidance for projects that improve shareholder value by partnering in the development and implementation of innovative solutions. In her position as the Vice President, Process Review & Controls for Veolia Environmental Services, and Deputy Director of Internal Audit, North America, Ms. Ols and her team developed annual audit plans and risk mitigation strategies for the $2B dollar organization. She advised senior management on emerging trends in corporate governance, fraud prevention measures and participated in the development, implementation and management of entity wide compliance hotline. Kris held progressively responsible positions at Veolia. Early on she led the financial integration of acquired businesses ensuring smooth assimilation into the organization, minimizing the cost burden on the operating systems. She held management positions with Allied Computer Group, Supervalue Inc., Abbott Laboratories and United Parcel Service.
Kris recently co-founded Essential Strategies workshops presenting various relevant topics to area business leaders. Kris is dedicated to her profession as she has achieved several certifications as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE), Certified Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) and Chartered Global Management Accountant (CGMA). She is a current member of the AICPA, WICPA, and ACFE - Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. Kris earned a Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from University of Wisconsin Parkside and Bachelor in Business Administration (BBA) in Accounting from University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee.
Director-Regional Institute, Teach For America – Milwaukee
Brianne Stuard has been an educator since 2005. A University of Wisconsin – Madison graduate with a BA in Legal Studies, Ms. Stuard joined Teach For America and taught kindergarten and first grade in rural South Dakota for three years. She moved to New Orleans, LA shortly after Hurricane Katrina and spent three years as a Program Director for Teach For America – New Orleans, coaching new early childhood teachers and expanding student access to high quality early childhood programming in the six parish Greater New Orleans region. Throughout her career, Ms. Stuard has coached new early childhood educators in Houston, Phoenix, and Tulsa; and established a new partnership with Sheltering Arms Early Learning Center in Atlanta, GA. A Wisconsin native, Ms. Stuard moved to Milwaukee in 2011 to take on the role of Managing Director, Teacher Leadership Development, leading the expansion and redesign of the teacher coaching and support team for 250 new teachers over three years. She is currently leading the team in developing the Milwaukee Summer Institute, which will accelerate the development of 70 incoming Milwaukee teachers, set to launch in the summer of 2017.
Ms. Stuard is a long term early childhood advocate; is pursuing a Masters Degree in Educational Professional Development from Alverno College; leads several congregational committees at All People’s Church; is an avid gardener and is proud to call Milwaukee home!
Experienced Associate, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Dimas Garcia is a young business professional working for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as an Experienced Associate. While at PwC, Dimas has worked on many audit engagements for both public and private companies within the Greater Milwaukee Area. As a Milwaukee local, he has obtained both his Bachelor of Business Administration and Master of Science Management in Professional Accounting from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee. Dimas has also passed all four Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exams and is currently waiting to take the Ethics exam before becoming CPA certified. Being that this is an early part of his career, Dimas is excited to be a part of the Acelero Learning team and looks forward to making an impact within the Milwaukee and Racine communities.
Vice President, Counsel, U.S. Bancorp Fund Services, LLC
Alia Vasquez is an attorney specializing in federal securities laws, and specifically, the Investment Company Act of 1940. As an attorney at USBFS, Alia advises internal business lines and investment management (mutual fund) clients regarding various aspects of federal securities laws, compliance, and corporate governance issues. Alia also serves as the Secretary of Series Portfolios Trust, a multiple series mutual fund trust. Prior to joining USBFS, Alia was an associate at Godfrey & Kahn, S.C. She also served as a judicial intern in the Milwaukee County Circuit Court and the Wisconsin Court of Appeals District 1. Alia obtained her undergraduate degree from Yale College and her juris doctorate from Marquette University Law School. Alia is particularly interested in issues affecting women and children. Previously, Alia served on the Executive Board of Directors for the Benedict Center, a non-profit organization advocating and providing alternative sentencing programming for women.
Darcy K. Schwartz
Global Supply Chain Finance Manager, Rockwell Automation
Darcy Schwartz is a business professional with over 15 years experience in accounting, finance, internal audit and management. Darcy currently supports the global supply chain finance activities for Rockwell Automation which includes customer care, logistics, materials and sourcing. Previously Darcy was Manager of General Audit with Rockwell Automation and prior to that Director of Audit Operations and Internal Control with Veolia Environmental Services North America and she has also held several positions while increasing responsibilities with each at Veolia Environmental Services, JohnsonDiversey and the Village of Mount Pleasant.
Darcy considers herself a world citizen having visited approximately 60 countries with some being multiple times as a part of her career and recreational experiences.
Darcy is dedicated to her profession and she has achieved several professional certifications as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Certified Internal Auditor (CIA), Certified Fraud Examiner (CFE) and a Certification in Risk Management Assurance (CRMA) and she is a current member of the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE). Darcy earned a Master’s degree in Management with a concentration in Professional Accounting from University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and Bachelor of Science - Business Management in Accounting and Finance from University of Wisconsin – Parkside Kenosha.