Governing Board Information


The Michigan Association for the Education of Young Children (AEYC) Governing Board provides mission-based leadership and strategic governance. 

Governing Board

President



Cheryl Priest
2024-2026

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Immediate Past President



Heather Lucus
2024-2025

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Vice President



Lyndsay Carey
2024-2026

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Secretary



Melissa Thiebaut Marinelli
2024-2026

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Treasurer



Bonnie Bonifield
2023-2025

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Member-at-Large


Christian Boyer
2024-2026

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Jolene Charbeneau
2023-2025

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Trisha Dart
2024-2026

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LaTonya Redfearn
2024-2026

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Kari Shepherd
2023-2025

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Aarie Wade
2023-2025

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Erin Wilks
2024-2026

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Jennifer Wixson
2023-2025

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OPEN - Student Member At Large
2023-2025

Committee Chairs


Kirsten Charnesky
Advocacy Committee

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Jennifer Griffith
Awards Committee

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Tammy McDaniel
Nominating Committee

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Bonnie Bonifield
Finance Committee - Chair

Lyndsay Carey
Membership Committee - Chair

Qualifications for Governing Board Members


  1. Be a current member of Michigan AEYC.
  2. Understand and commit to Michigan AEYC’s vision, mission, core values and beliefs, strategic direction, and the NAEYC Code of Ethics.
  3. Possess high-quality leadership skills with a commitment to the early childhood field.
  4. Possess strong interpersonal skills; open to various perspectives and other points of view.
  5. Possess or willing to learn governance skills and non-profit functions with knowledge of and/or experience in Michigan AEYC.
  6. Willing to learn and strive to represent the varying interests of Michigan AEYC members.
  7. Willing to uphold the association’s commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging as embodied by its core beliefs.
  8. Agree to submit to a criminal background check and sex offender registry check.

Board Members Duties

  1. Carefully prepare for meetings by reviewing the provided background materials.
  2. Attend and participate in regular Board meetings and other meetings specific to the Board position (e.g., executive committee member, membership committee member).
  3. Fully participate in group discussions by respectfully offering and listening to diverse points of view.
  4. Serve as an ambassador for the association.
  5. Serve as a liaison between the membership and the Governing Board, reflecting in both directions for mutual benefit and the development of Michigan AEYC priorities.
  6. Attend and volunteer at Michigan AEYC’s Annual Early Childhood Conference.
  7. Share knowledge of issues affecting high-quality early learning and the early childhood profession.
  8. Understand the policy, fiduciary and legal responsibilities of a nonprofit Governing Board member.
  9. Review outcomes and metrics created by Michigan AEYC for evaluating its impact and measuring its performance and effectiveness.
  10. Make thoughtful decisions that are in the best interests of the entire association.
  11. Participate with other Board members in the approval of Michigan AEYC’s annual budget, audit reports.
  12. Contribute to the annual performance evaluation of the Executive Director.
  13. Assist in identifying and recruiting potential Board members ensuring Michigan AEYC’s commitment to a diverse Board and staff that reflects the communities Michigan AEYC serves.

Service on the Michigan AEYC Governing Board is voluntary and without compensation except for reimbursement of expenses in relation to Board members’ duties that comply with Board policy. Approved travel and other expenses associated with Board service are covered by Michigan AEYC.

A Statement of Solidarity Against Racism


The values of Michigan AEYC compel us to speak out against racism. Our core values are deeply rooted in the early childhood profession. We seek to be a high-performing inclusive organization that is enriched by and continually grows from our commitment to diversity, as embodied by our core beliefs. We vehemently condemn violence against black people and other people of color, and stand in solidarity with those speaking out for justice and change.

As much as we hope to be better, hope is not a strategy for change. Instead, we are committed to advancing racial equity through collective action. This involves exercising our power to change practices, rules, and norms within our organization that erode trust, put individuals in harm’s way or perpetuate discriminatory practices. This also involves supporting early childhood educators’ obligation to advance equity in the early learning settings by embracing diversity and inclusion as strengths, upholding fundamental principles of fairness and justice and working to eliminate structural inequities that limit equitable learning opportunities for children.

We recognize our past practices have not been sufficient and are committed to doing better. Michigan AEYC is taking the following actions and are committed to continual evaluation of these practices:

  • Signing on in support of the NAEYC Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Education Position Statement,
  • Committing to using the statement to make decisions, develop strategic plans, priorities, and programming. (NAEYC Resources for Living the Advancing Equity in Early Childhood Position Statement)
  • Reviewing our recruiting and outreach practices for our governing board and staff to ensure they are equitable and inclusive.
  • Providing ongoing board and staff professional development to explore implicit bias and promote cultural awareness.
  • Advocating for racial equity in policy and legislation.

Racial prejudice and discrimination have been an issue in our world for far too long. We are listening and want to learn from each of you who root your identities in communities of color about how we can do better. We see you, we are here for you, and we are ready to learn with open hearts and minds. Please do not hesitate to contact us at miaeyc@nullmiaeyc.org, or by calling 517-351-4183 X313.