Kidpower — A Tapestry Woven by Many Different Hands By Irene van der Zande, Executive Director and Founder


Kidpower’s 2009 conference brought together instructors, center directors, and Kidpower advocates from all over the world.

Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International is a tapestry of many different threads woven by many different hands. Our organization has grown from the ideas, questions, teaching, feedback, and stories of countless people since I first started learning about personal safety and self-defense in 1985.

I want to express my appreciation to each of our Kidpower instructors, parents, students, workshop organizers, program leaders, board members, advisors, volunteers, donors, workshop sponsors, funders, workshop hosts, readers, supporters, and office staff. Thank you for the thought, care, time, and generosity that you have given to bring Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower International to where we are today. I feel honored to have you as colleagues and as friends.

My husband, Ed, used to say that he felt as if he had ended up with a surprise set of in-laws when I first got involved with this work. I want to give a special thank you to the families of all of the people who have given of themselves in order to bring our services to their communities and to help our organization to improve and to grow. Thank you for sharing your loved ones with Kidpower as well as your resources and your own time in building bridges for our organization.

Writing everyone’s story would create a book unto itself.

Program Development

The following people played key roles in the early development of Kidpower.

Timothy Dunphy is the program co-founder of Kidpower. Timothy is a sixth-degree Black Belt and international championship winner in Tae Kwon Do. In the formative years of Kidpower, Timothy was my partner every step of the way in running pilot workshops and evaluating what did and did not work. Timothy’s heart, head, and spirit have been essential to our success in creating a curriculum that is fun, effective, and empowering. Timothy continues to help Kidpower by being there whenever he is needed. He is the founder of a unique system of energy work called Chi-Aura Integration.

Kidpower’s founding board president Ellen Bass is the co-author of The Courage to Heal: A Guide for Women Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and of Free Your Mind: The Book for Gay, Lesbian, and Bisexual Youth – and Their Allies. Through our countless walks and talks for almost twenty years, Ellen defined our underlying principle and has helped make it a reality. She has been a force for making sure that we are truly “walking our talk.” Ellen has supported Kidpower in each of our phases, has inspired me as a writer, and has encouraged me to keep going as a friend.

Along with Timothy and me, Sheryl Doran, Jerilyn Munyon, and Susan Wilde, Psy.D., were on the pilot Kidpower team and helped our program get off to an excellent start.

Sheryl was the founder of the Bay Area Model Mugging (BAMM) Impact organization, a third degree Black Belt in Aikido, and one of the co-founders of Model Mugging. Jerilyn is a 4th degree Black Belt in Aikido. She taught with Timothy and me during Kidpower’s early years and provided business and personal consultation that was critical in our organization’s development. Susan is now a psychologist for the Center for Culture and Diversity in Oakland and has continued to share her mental health expertise with Kidpower over the years.

Our Chicago/Great Lakes Center director, Joe Connelly, is one of the pillars of Kidpower. Joe, who is also a seventh degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do and master instructor at Connelly’s Academy, helped to lead our early instructor training programs and showed us how to take what we were doing with children and apply those lessons to teaching teens and adults. Joe has given us the Angie story, the Pattern of an Attack as a framework for explaining our safety strategies, TeacherPower, and many other key concepts. Joe’s humor and insight have often brightened my day and helped me to regain my sense of perspective.

Joe has been supported since he started running his center by senior instructors Anne Mason and Sterling Goodrich, who have also helped nurture our international work.

I want to acknowledge the origin of the full-force self-defense we teach. I received my first training in full-force self-defense with the head-to-toe padded instructor through the Model Mugging program started by Matt Thomas.

For over twenty-five years, Mark Morris, one of the co-founders of Model Mugging, has been a source to me personally of training, collaboration, and camaraderie. Mark was instrumental in improving the head-to-toe protective armor that makes full force self-defense possible and in evolving the effectiveness of the roles of both the padded instructor and the coaching instructor. He also co-led instructor training programs with me for the IMPACT Women’s Basics course for five years. Mark has done a great deal to help me understand the core of what it means to defend oneself and to manage conflict. He is supported in continuing to build our padded equipment by his wife, Karin Stanger, who first brought Kidpower to Europe many years ago.

One of the people Mark introduced me to was Marsha Kearns, who had taught a self-defense program called Kidpower in Texas with him for a few years. Marsha gave us the Kidpower name, presented our program at the Texas Governor’s Conference on Child Abuse Prevention, and led a center in Austin, Texas, for several years.

Sherryl Kraizer, Ph.D., is the author of The Safe Child Book and the founding director of the Safe Child Program. Sherryl provided consultation to Kidpower in our early years as well as giving permission to incorporate language, ideas, and research findings from her program into ours.

Evolution and Growth

The following program leaders have made major contributions in the spread of our services and the continued improvement of the quality of our programs. I am introducing them in the approximate order in time that they started their involvement with Kidpower.

Steve and Lea Sassone were the first people Timothy and I trained as instructors. Steve now serves as our North Bay Program Coordinator and, with Lea’s support, continues to bring services to his community with joy and with love.

I want to honor the memory of my friend Annette Washington, who was one of my first teachers in this work and who collaborated with me during our early years with the IMPACT Foundation, which then became our Southern California office that she co-led with Janice Flynn. Annette always provided an oasis of peace, love, and power in a busy crowded world. Annette’s passion for teaching personal safety was so great that she would inspire others to become committed as well. This happened so often that I called the result “The Annette Phenomena.”

Our New Zealand Center director, Cornelia Baumgartner, has received a great deal of recognition in her country for the impact of her center’s services on people’s lives. She led the collaboration with the National New Zealand Police that created the Confident Kids program, bringing Kidpower skills to public school children throughout New Zealand. Cornelia is also a fifth degree Black Belt in Aikido. Cornelia is now bringing her creativity and vision to a further evolution of our materials for teens and young adults with developmental delays through the Healthy Relationships project. Cornelia sustains a strong bond with me personally that grows deeper as the years go by, despite the miles that usually separate us.

Cornelia is supported by her partner in life and in teaching, Martin Hartman, who is a senior padded instructor and on the Board for the Kidpower Teenpower Fullpower New Zealand Trust.

Our Montreal Pleins Pouvoirs (which means “full of power” in French) Kidpower Center director, Marylaine Léger, helped our instructor training program grow during its very challenging early phases, brought our Puppetpower and day care programs to a new level, and translated our program into French. Marylaine and her Pleins Pouvoirs staff hosted our Reaching Out Conference in Montreal, bringing our work to professionals from charitable organizations in Africa, Asia, and South America. Marylaine, along with her team, is leading an exciting four-year project to greatly expand our services for elderly people. She is a talented and loving leader with a strong, active center. Marylaine has been a terrific cheerleader for my writing and is continuing to help build our instructor training program.

Marylaine’s partner in life and in teaching, Marc Meilleur, has supported Marylaine in all these accomplishments. Marc is a very experienced padded instructor and is helping our organization to further develop our system for keeping people safe in doing full force work.

Current Board President Janice Flynn is a wonderful teacher, longtime supporter, and a powerful representative for our organization. Janice was on the original board of the IMPACT Foundation and served for many years as our Southern California Program Coordinator. Janice is someone who does whatever needs to be done quietly and effectively. I deeply appreciate Janice for taking care of our dear friend and colleague Annette Washington during her illness, as well as for all of her years of practical help, friendship, and guidance.  Janice is providing leadership and stability for our organization as we work towards long-term sustainability as well as keeping our quality high as we grow.

In her role as our Program Manager of California Services, Erika Leonard has contributed greatly to the increasing strength of our organization, especially through her help with building relationships for service, visibility, and funding. At the time she joined our organization in 1995, Erika was the kind of middle school teacher who inspired her students and had parents fighting to get their children into her class. As a senior instructor, Erika keeps bringing fresh perspectives, new practices, teaching stories, and examples that improve the value and clarity of our services. Her ideas have added to the depth of our program. In everything she does with Kidpower, Erika gives fully of her enthusiasm, energy, creativity, and commitment.

Our Kidpower of Colorado Center director, Jan Isaacs-Henry, has created a model for excellence with her center, which has a strong track record of professionalism and sustainability. She has also brought a number of new program ideas, research, and resources into the Kidpower program. Jan is a former psychotherapist and has shared her mental health expertise with Kidpower in ways that have strengthened the quality of the emotional safety of our work. I cherish the many mornings we have shared a long-distance conversation over a cup of tea or coffee by telephone, giving mutual mentoring to each other.

Jan has been supported every step of the way by her husband, John Henry, who is on her Board and who is a PR expert now coaching me on how to build relationships with the media.

Senior Program Leader Jean Glowacki has provided thoughtful insights, creative adaptations, and support for long-range planning as a member of both our Organizational Assessment Task Force and our Long Range Strategic Plan Committee. Jean is now opening new doors for Kidpower through her involvement with the 4-H organization.

Advocate Michelle Keip has brought our services to families in great need and is a founding donor for our Reaching Out Project. She has given me a great deal of support in imagining the future for Kidpower. Michelle is also a third degree Black Belt in Aikido and founder of a wonderful program for children called Samurai Sprouts. Her partner in life, former padded instructor David Keip, was one of my first self-defense instructors and gave us the Yappy Dog example for explaining boundaries to young children.

Board Member Kim Leisey, Ph.D., is the Associate Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of Maryland Baltimore County campus. With Nancy Young, Kim co-developed our Collegepower program that has been used in a number of college orientation programs. Kim also included Kidpower in her dissertation about the meaning of self-protection for teen girls. She is also the director of our Kidpower Chesapeake and Potomac Center and has served as an extremely effective representative for our organization in the Washington, D.C., area.

Much of our increased effectiveness in training other people to teach is due to Amanda Golert, who is both our center director for Sweden and our Training and Curriculum Development Consultant. Amanda has taught women’s self-defense since 1994 and is also the director of Allakan, which teaches workplace violence prevention. With humor, compassion, and competence, Amanda has provided leadership, structure, and stability both to our system of training and to our organization as a whole. In addition, Amanda’s cartoon drawings in our Safety Comics and Teaching Kits have made our program understandable in a way that transcends boundaries of language and culture. Amanda currently provides support to the development of our new centers, which is an important part of our infrastructure.

With humor and a profound understanding of Kidpower, Training and Curriculum Development Consultant and Senior Instructor Chantal Keeney has greatly improved the content of our curriculum, the management and structure of our instructor training programs, and the effectiveness of our resources for teachers. Chantal also served for many years as a Program Coordinator for our Central Office, bringing order to the functioning of our systems.

Teaching and Program Support

Whether they are old-timers or new to our organization, our instructors, center directors, and program support staff in different parts of the world are at the heart of our programs. The following people served our different centers and offices for ten years or more:

Liam Bauer, Cornelia Baumgartner, Debra Campeau, Stacy Plowman-Clark, Joe Connelly, Jan DeBoer, Timothy Dunphy, Mark Fearer, Joe Ferrando, Nathalie Ferron, Janice Flynn, Guylaine Gélinas, Amanda Golert, Jean Glowacki, Sterling Goodrich, Martin Hartman, Jan Isaacs-Henry, Meredith Henry, Karl Herndon, Chantal Keeney, David Keip, Michelle Keip, Marylaine Léger, Kim Leisey, Ph.D., Peter Lewis, Pd.D., Erika Leonard, Anne Mason, Beth McGreevy, Ian McKitrick, Marc Meilleur, Phil Robison, Steve and Lea Sassone, Eve-Marie Tremblay, Sam Rush-Walton, and Nancy Young.

I want to give a special thanks to my local padded instructor teaching partners. I am not the world’s most athletic person, and they have each made sure that I stayed safe and looked good when doing full force work. Thank you Billy, Timothy, Terry, Liam, Joseph, Ryan, Randy, Mike, and Jamiko.

Thank you to our thousands of service partners and workshop hosts for making it possible to bring our services to their schools, service organizations, businesses, communities, and families.

I want to give special mention to Gateway School and the Santa Cruz Montessori School. The Montessori School has given space for our international training programs and students for our new instructors to learn from for over fifteen years. In 1991, the teachers and staff at Gateway School opened all their classrooms so that I could conduct the pilot programs that led to the foundation of our school programs. Mary D. Geyer, a first grade teacher at that time, came up with the idea of using your body to make a trash can for throwing away hurting words. Gateway continues to have our workshops in their classrooms every year.

Technical Consultants and Professional Advisors

The following people have given generously of their special technical expertise in various fields in ways that have improved the effectiveness of our services or have played a key role in the growth of our organization. They are introduced in the approximate order in time of their involvement.

Carol Middleton is a co-founder of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation as well as director of the D.C. Self-Defense Karate Association, D.C. IMPACT, and Krav Maga D.C. She is now a seventh degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do. Carol has given Kidpower technical consultation since the beginning as well as opened doors for our organization in the Washington, D.C. area and in the martial arts world.

Beth McGreevy is a Business IT Strategy Consultant who got our organization the domain name, created our first Web site, and served as our first webmaster. She created and maintains our international listserve. Beth is also a longtime instructor who taught our first workshop in Israel and now serves as our San Francisco Coordinator and Media and Technology Strategy Advisor.

Board member Peter Lewis, Ph.D., was the head of school at Gateway School in Santa Cruz, California, and now has the same role at The Winston School in Short Hills, New Jersey. As an educator, Peter’s leadership brought Kidpower to both schools in ways that have opened new doors and broken new ground.

Peter Alsop, Ph.D., is a nationally known singer-songwriter, educator, and humorist. He has been an advisor to Kidpower for many years on how to reach a much wider audience with our work. His songs about child abuse prevention are known around the world. Peter also created the Kidpower Wake Up! video, which won an Indie Award.

Lillian Roybal Rose, an internationally known expert in cross-cultural communication, has provided support and consultation to Kidpower for many years. Her seminars help people to overcome prejudices, heal wounds, and build bridges of understanding between people of very diverse backgrounds.

Michael Linehan is the founder and managing director of Marketing Alchemy, which provides profoundly effective Internet-based strategic planning and marketing services. As our webmaster for many years, Michael has generously donated his time and expertise to enable Kidpower to have a high level of presence on the Internet, greatly increasing our visibility to the world.

Board Vice President Claire Laughlin is a communications consultant and trainer. When she was still in college, Claire came to me and said, “What you are doing is important, and I will do whatever it takes to help you.” As a staff person and volunteer, Claire brought order to our Central Office. She is a former instructor and longtime supporter. As chair of the Long Range Strategic Plan Task Force, Claire led the creation of a plan that defines a clear path for Kidpower’s future.

Claire is a classic example of someone whose relatives become a “Kidpower family.” In 2007, Claire’s family decided to have Kidpower be the beneficiary of donations to honor their mother and grandmother Nadine M. Calcagno, whose last wishes were that her family be safe. I want to thank Claire’s aunt and uncle, Dr. Jim and Sue Ellen Calcagno, for their cheerleading and support. Claire’s mother, Karen, and sister, Kristen, are acknowledged below for their important contributions.

Board member Arnie Kamrin is a businessman who has helped Kidpower find the right people to work with in corporations, obtained free Web exposure for Kidpower through Google, and saved Kidpower thousands of dollars in printing costs with Kinko’s. Arnie has also opened his home to Kidpower many times for trainings, gatherings, and meetings. He is a former instructor and longtime donor. Arnie’s daughter and son, Jackie and Rich, are also supporters who have helped Kidpower in different ways since they were children.

Board member Sandra Menefee is an expert on organizational development who provides training and consultation to large corporations. She is a former instructor and center director for Kidpower as well as a longtime donor. For many years, Sandra has given me management coaching that has greatly improved my skills as a leader and has served as a wise and effective mediator when we have needed one. She facilitated and hosted our first two board retreats and led the first joint meeting of our Board and Senior Program Leaders and is currently guiding our Ready Power Committee for emergency preparedness and sustainability.

Board member Nancy Driscoll is a community activist and fundraising trainer for nonprofit organizations. Nancy guided Kidpower through our first major individual fundraising campaigns, led workshops at our conferences, and empowered me to ask people for money and support. She has helped us become more businesslike from the time of her involvement, starting with getting me to put the Kidpower name into the phone book. Through the years, Nancy has continued to provide training and support to help Kidpower to become a strong, successful organization. As our former Board president, Nancy provided important leadership for our Board during a key time of transition.

Senior instructor and training team member John Luna-Sparks is a social worker at the Center for Child Protection at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland who has presented Kidpower at a number of conferences for professionals working with people with special needs. John brings creativity and joy to Kidpower and has been a great support to our international work.

Board Treasurer/Secretary April Yee started by working in our office and is now a manager at an investment capital firm. April is former instructor and a long-time donor who advocates for funding for Kidpower and is taking leadership with our Ready Power Committee for organizational sustainability planning and emergency preparedness.

Board member Abby Bleistein, M.D., shares her medical expertise on how to have Kidpower integrated into the work of health professionals and on technical questions. As a Board member, she has been helping with planning and organizational development. Abby has also made it possible for Kidpower to receive a major multi-year donation for our capacity-building projects.

Supporter Kristen Calcatera is a professional graphic designer who contributed countless hours to greatly improve our marketing materials and the cover and layout of the advanced reader’s copy ofThe Kidpower Book for Caring Adults.

Supporter Lynda Leonard is a professional writer, editor, and photographer and contributed extensive editing of both the text and photographs for our book. Her contributions greatly enhanced our book’s accuracy, quality, and clarity. Lynda is also a longtime generous supporter of Kidpower and Erika Leonard’s mother.

Supporter Jennifer Durham-Gates is a software engineer and a former Board member who gave us important help with technical issues and strategic planning.

Former Board member Laurel Miranda provided essential leadership during our Logo Development Project and served as Chair of our Marketing Committee, as well as being a major supporter. She has also provided extensive review of The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults.

Vancouver Center director and training team member David Harrison, M.D., is an emergency room physician who has a passionate commitment to teaching effective self-defense. Dave has brought further organization and refinements to our services through the combination of his medical expertise with his self-defense background. He has taken major leadership in improving our system of training padded instructors, including learning from Mark Morris how to build and improve the protective head-to-toe padded suit and writing a manual for padded instructors. He is also helping to further develop our training for trainers program.

Advocate Pervaiz Tufail is a management psychologist from Pakistan who trains professionals working with youth in dangerous situations. Pervaiz co-led our Reaching Out conference for professionals from developing countries and is currently using our program through his position with Plan Pakistan.

Advisor Deborah A. Malkin is a California Attorney who donates estate planning services to people who want to make a contribution to Kidpwoer and who has helped us with contracts. She and her family also generously host guests from other countries who are coming to our instructor training program in her home.

Advisor Karen Calcagno of the Advantage Coaching & Family Business Center has provided business consultation that has been useful for staff planning and management of the central office. She is also the mother of Claire Laughlin and Kristen Calcatera, another two important contributions!

For many years, advisor Victor Cheng, who is the author of The Recession-Proof Business and Extreme Revenue Growth, has donated business consultation to Kidpower through his Thanks to his expertise, we are doing a more effective job of packaging and marketing our information. Victor is also a strong Kidpower supporter, who has created a unique way of bringing new resources for our organization.  Dozens of MBAs have found excellent career opportunities thanks to help from Victor’s free six-hour case interview workshop on his website. In the introduction, Victor provides a compelling testimonial about Kidpower and asks that people who have found the case interview workshop to be of benefit make a donation to Kidpower of $47 or more.  As a result, Kidpower has received donations of $47, $50, $100, and $470 from successful job hunters from all over the world. Their gifts have added up to thousands of dollars towards bringing Kidpower skills to everyone, everywhere.

Supporter Amy Tiemann is the Director of our North Carolina Center. Amy is opening new doors for our international organization though her Mojo Mom book and parenting site, her advocacy of Kidpower in all her circles, her coaching to me, her Courageous Parenting book and the new book we are co-authoring, Doing Right by Our Kids.

Supporter Ian Price is a graphic artist who donated his expertise to create our “seed person” logo and will be creating new design for our cartoon-illustrated books and our official first edition of The Kidpower Book for Caring Adults.

Board member Linda Matsumi is a former paralegal who helped Kidpower get probono legal advice in developing more formal employment practices. She is also an expert on weapons defense – and is now starting a Kidpower Center in Montana.

Board member Eileen diFranco is a public relations expert who has been advising Kidpower on how to increase our on-line presence, as well as being a generous donor. She initiated, fundraised for, and organized our One Million Safer Kids film, which is opening many doors for Kidpower.

Law Enforcement Advisors

The members of our Law Enforcement Advisory Committee review our program and give feedback to ensure that what we teach is consistent with crime prevention knowledge and practices.

Police officer Ian Kirkpatrick, a founding board member of our New Zealand Trust, helped create a collaboration between Kidpower and the National New Zealand Police Youth Education Services that led to the Confident Kids program, bringing Kidpower skills to public schools throughout New Zealand.

Deputy Sheriff and former detective Karl Herndon teaches defensive tactics to law enforcement officers. As a longtime padded instructor, Karl has improved our way of teaching by sharing his technical expertise and has been of tremendous support to Kidpower in the Colorado Springs community.

Watsonville Police Chief Manny Solano is a longtime supporter who has given Kidpower credibility with other law enforcement officials, sponsored workshops, served as an ex-officio board member, and provided consultation on criminal justice issues.

Former Community Relations Specialist Jim Howes built a relationship for our organization with the Santa Cruz Police Department, which has co-sponsored many workshops with Kidpower. Jim also provides advice and collaboration on community safety programs.

Although he is not a law enforcement officer, Gavin de Becker is both an expert in the prediction of violence and the best-selling author of The Gift of Fear and Protecting the Gift. Over the last fifteen years, Gavin has provided important consultation and resources to Kidpower concerning questions of violence prevention.

Kidpower Board of Directors and Honorary Trustees

I want to express appreciation to our Board of Directors for their years of encouragement, generosity, commitment, and friendship. Our current Board members are working with great commitment and determination to move Kidpower forward so that we will be able to realize our potential as an organization. To the Board members and supporters of our centers from around the world, I want to thank you for your generosity and commitment to supporting your program leaders in bringing Kidpower services to your communities.

Our current Board officers are Janice Flynn, president; Claire Laughlin, Vice President; and April Yee, Secretary/Treasurer. Our other current directors are  Abby Bleistein, M.D.; Eileen diFranco, Nancy Driscoll; Arnie Kamrin; Kim Leisey, Ph.D.; Peter Lewis, Ph.D.; Linda Matsumi, and Sandra Menefee.

Honorary Board trustee and founding donor Robert Stephens is the owner of the Elkhorn Native Plant Nursery, current President of the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County,  former chair of Audubon California, and a strong advocate for environmental leadership. Robert has been a major annual donor to Kidpower since 1990. Robert’s credibility has opened doors for Kidpower with foundations, newspapers, and other community resources. His kindness, honesty, encouragement, and generosity have helped Kidpower get going and keep moving in the right direction.

Honorary Board Trustee Karen Ho is an accountant who served as our Board Treasurer for many years. Karen greatly improved how we keep our books in the central office so that the quality of our financial integrity is as high as our program integrity. She has sponsored Kidpower classes for all of her family and has been a very generous monthly and annual donor to Kidpower longer than anyone else. Her continual faith in our work has inspired me to keep going, especially during hard times.

As described above, Ellen Bass is our founding Board president and an ex-officio Board member. Nell Cliff, Gayle Ortiz, and Elena Baskin were founding donors to Kidpower, providing seed money and help with opening doors so that our organization could get off the ground.

Logo and Website Improvement Projects

Thanks to three service grants from the Taproot Foundation, Kidpower has had three different teams of volunteer experts for our visual branding and logo development, website development, annual report and brochure, projects. In each case, we received $50,000 worth of services that we would not otherwise have been able to afford. The results are our unique “seed person” logo that has created a powerful visual identity for our organization and a much-improved, upgraded website that will make our Internet resources far more accessible and inspire people to get involved with our organization.

Senior Program Leader Council

Long-term sustainability for our organization requires that the quality of our services does not depend on any one or two specific individuals. Our Senior Program Leader Council members are senior instructors who have organized workshops and who have made a significant contribution to our international organization. Their role is to advise our organization on quality issues, center development, program changes, instructor training, and training for trainers.

Current members include Cornelia Baumgartner, Joe Connelly, Jean Glowacki, Amanda Golert, Dave Harrison, Ph.D., Martin Hartman, Jan Isaacs-Henry, Chantal Keeney, Marylaine Léger, Erika Leonard, Anne Mason, Marc Mieuller, John Luna-Sparks, and Amy Tiemann, Ph.D.

And Thank You to My Family

Kidpower would simply not exist without the love, generosity, and help of the members of my family.

Ed van der Zande has been my husband and life partner for almost 40 years. Ed’s unwavering, constant support, expertise, and commitment have enabled Kidpower to grow up in our home and in our lives. He supported our organization and family for over ten years when Kidpower was getting started and continues to donate most of his time and expertise as our Director of Strategic Planning, Finance, and Grants.

Our children, Chantal Keeney and Arend van der Zande, have shared their family with Kidpower since we began. They are the reasons why I first started doing this work. Also, as Chantal at age eight explained, “Me and my little brother taught her everything she knows.”

As an adult, Chantal has brought extensive leadership, creativity, expertise, and energy to our organization. Her husband, Brian Keeney, supports Kidpower both directly and by making our daughter happy. Arend provides cheerful encouragement when I need it and permission to share potentially embarrassing stories. For years, Arend also gave me computer crisis management at 4 a.m. when I was desperate.

My father, Raim Regelson, has given me a foundation of confidence, teaching me from the time I was small to “walk in as if you own the place.” My mother, Lily Regelson, has given me a foundation of insight, teaching me to tune in to others and to look before I leap. Thank you to both of my parents for teaching me to do good in the world, put important things into writing, and be true to myself.

My sister, Elaine Regelson, shares her management wisdom and helps me to figure out many a human puzzle so that we are the best we can be. Elaine was our first major donor, served on our Board during a transitional time, and gives her sisterly support. Thank you to my brother-in-law Jim Sites for his support and for making my sister happy.

My brother, Ken Regelson, shared his computer expertise for over 10 years, built our first bridge to the blind community, set up our first center in Colorado, which led to all of our other services there, and gives his brotherly support. My sister-in-law, Judy Wong, served on the Board of Directors and led our Organization Assessment Task Force, which has provided the foundation for our Long Range Strategic Plan. Thank you also to Judy for making my brother happy.

Finally, I want to honor the memory of our longtime family friend, Eve Bertrandias, who believed in Kidpower until her death at age 95. Eve helped our office move from piles to files as we got started, opened her home to our traveling trainers for many years, and always had faith that Kidpower would survive and succeed, even during challenging times.

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