Florida Campaign Leadership
CEO of the Florida Children’s Council
Matt Guse is the Chief Executive Officer of the Florida Children’s Council. In his role, Matt leads businesses, organizations, agencies and other key stakeholders in work efforts that support Florida’s children, youth and families. The Florida Children’s Council serves as the statewide umbrella organization for the Children’s Services Councils. With intentional focus on collective impact and evidence-based strategies, Children’s Services Councils work in partnership with federal, state and community partners to fund services that improve outcomes for children, youth and families. As Chief Executive Officer, Matt is responsible for providing direction, leadership and oversight of the organization, including financial management, human resources, fund development, and public relations.
Prior to joining the Florida Children’s Council, Matt served as the Chief Executive Officer of the Early Learning Coalition of the Big Bend Region, Inc. (ELC). The ELC administers a variety of early care and education related services, including the School Readiness and Voluntary Prekindergarten programs. Matt also previously held the position of Assistant Director, and for a short time the Interim Director, of Florida’s Office of Early Learning where he managed the day to day operations of the agency. Other professional experience includes the Department of Juvenile Justice, community-based care, several nonprofit organizations and the public education sector. He is a veteran of the United States Navy and a graduate of the University of Central Florida. Originally from Wisconsin, Matt has been living in Florida since 1988 and currently resides in Tallahassee with his wife, Shannon. They have two children, Morgan, 19, who attends the University of South Florida, and Mitchell, 16, a junior at Leon High School.
Director of Grade-Level Reading at the Florida Children’s Council
Jennifer Faber is the Director of Grade-Level Reading at the Florida Children’s Council, providing leadership support and coordination for all aspects of the Florida Grade Level Reading Campaign. She works closely with the existing and developing community campaigns by providing technical assistance to the Community Leaders Network, ensuring access to resources needed to set outcomes for children, implement aligned activities, and demonstrate progress toward goals. Additionally, Ms. Faber helps facilitate connectivity among the campaign’s Early Childhood Policy Thought Leaders Forum, the Early Learning Business Leaders Alliance and the Funders Collaborative to ensure synergy and alignment throughout the campaign.
After earning her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Sport Management at Robert Morris University (Pennsylvania), Ms. Faber relocated to Florida in 1986 to continue her career in early education. She co-authored the Florida Standards for Quality Afterschool Programs and the Florida Core Competencies for Afterschool Practitioners; served as the content expert for Florida Department of Children & Families online school-age modules; served eight years on the Florida After School Alliance Board of Directors; was a founding member of the Florida Afterschool Network; served as an Afterschool Alliance Ambassador and afterschool accreditation endorser; and lead several statewide network initiatives focused on provider/child relationships, early learning curriculum and quality afterschool services. Her extensive background in early learning and her reputation as a high-energy trainer has led to speaking engagements in 38 states as well as Germany and Japan.
Over the past thirty years, Ms. Faber has advocated for early learning issues, written articles for local, state and national publications, provided training and technical assistance to a wide variety of audiences, and assisted in the design of Florida’s early learning and afterschool professional-development systems. Her endless commitment and enthusiasm to “provide quality early learning experiences for all children” has made her lifelong work a daily pleasure!
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