Our corporate leaders and experts in early childhood education manage KinderCare’s operations nationally to ensure the highest quality care.
Tom Wyatt, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer
Paul Thompson, President
Before joining KinderCare, Paul was with Safeway from 2005-2015, starting as the VP of Finance. Over the next eight years, Paul held a variety of roles of increasing responsibility, including Group VP, Financial Planning and Analysis, and SVP, Finance, Pricing and Enterprise Systems. Prior to joining Safeway, Paul worked at Pillsbury for 13 years.
Dr. Marquita Davis, Chief Academic Officer
Marquita has more than 20 years of experience in early childhood education, non-profit leadership, government and philanthropy, including nearly six years as deputy director of Early Learning at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where she led the foundation’s multi-state early learning strategy which aims to ensure all young children have access to high-quality, effective and affordable preschool.
Prior to her work at the foundation, Marquita was the executive director of a large non-profit agency. At this same agency, she previously served as deputy director of child development services overseeing several early childhood federal programs, including Head Start, Early Head and Child Care Partnerships. Appointed by two governors, Marquita also served as the director of finance for the State of Alabama, commissioner for the Alabama Department of Children’s Affairs, and Pre-K director for the state of Alabama.
Jessica Harrah, Chief People Officer
Jessica Harrah is the Chief People Officer for KinderCare, overseeing human resources for the company’s 35,000 employees nationwide. She leads HR operations, talent acquisition, employee experience, employee relations, travel and meetings, and talent investment and culture. Since joining KinderCare in 2005, Jessica has held numerous roles within the company, including SVP of Human Resources, Senior Associate Council, and Staff Attorney.
Jessica’s commitment to improving access to childcare for working families and elevating teachers, many of whom are working moms, is what informed her decision to work in early childhood education. She is a firm believer that engaged teams produce the best work and drive positives outcomes both for the company and for society. Jessica challenges her team to build an environment where people are proud to work and continually pushes for experiences that are authentic to KinderCare’s mission and culture.
Tony Amandi, Chief Financial Officer
Before joining KinderCare in 2009, Tony worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers for nearly 10 years in their Audit and Assurance practice. He also served as the project leader for a Fortune 100 company during the first year of 404 controls implementation and integrated audit approach and lead the audit and advisory engagements of public and non-public, multinational and multilocation companies.
Dr. Elanna S. Yalow, Vice Chair and Senior Advisor
In her current role, Elanna works closely with stakeholders actively engaged in policies and practices that support working families including local, state, and federal agencies, early childhood education providers and advocacy partners. She also helps advance the quality of KinderCare’s unique educational offerings and supports the company's ongoing new business development efforts.
Prior to joining KinderCare, Elanna was Associate Director of IOX Assessment Associates, serving as Project Director for educational assessment and health education research and development projects. She is actively engaged in educational policy at the federal and state level. She has testified on Capitol Hill about the importance of quality early childhood education and participated in White House-led initiatives. In 2020, she was appointed by the Governor of Oregon to its Task Force on Access to Quality Affordable Child Care. She publishes and presents extensively on issues related to educational policy and practice, both globally and domestically.
Elanna is a Board member of Guardian Child Care and Education, a child care company operating in Australia, and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce. She holds both a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.
Lindsay Sorhondo, Chief Innovation Officer
Lindsay Sorhondo is the Chief Innovation Officer for KinderCare Learning Companies. In her role Lindsay oversees business and growth strategy, as well as family and center operations. She brings the company’s transformational work from a vision into reality, helping identify new avenues of growth and expanding on a foundation of operational excellence.
Lindsay joined the company as Director of Employee and Family Experience in 2013. For the last eight years, she has helped the organization build stronger business and execution capability – working across all National Support Center departments and with field leadership to drive business outcomes.
Prior to joining KinderCare, Lindsay worked at ANN Inc. in New York City. She also served as a consultant for Gallup.
Jeff Spiegel, Chief Brand Officer
Dan Figurski, President, KLC for Employers and Champions
Dan Figurski is the President of KinderCare for Employers and Champions, bringing 20 years of experience in sales, marketing, and business management to his role at KinderCare Learning Companies.
In his time with KinderCare, his leadership has accelerated the growth of Champions before- and after-school programs, allowing best-in-class programming to serve more children and families with the brand’s authentic engagement.
Most recently, his role has extended to include KinderCare for Employers.
Prior to joining KinderCare, Dan worked in the K-12 educational software segment, where he helped create and lead the acceptance and growth of digital subscriptions for both schools and publishers.
As a father of four, Dan is passionate about helping children learn.
Michael Canavin, President, KCLC and Crème de la Crème Schools
Michael Canavin is the President of KinderCare Learning Centers and Crème de la Crème Schools.
Since joining KinderCare Learning Company in 2015, Michael has held a number of roles including Regional Vice President and Senior Vice President for KinderCare Learning Centers before moving into his current role in 2022.
Before joining KinderCare, Michael was with Family Dollar Corporation for 10 years starting as Regional Vice President and advancing to Divisional Vice President. Prior to that Michael worked for Mervyn’s Department Stores for 11 years and Jordan Marsh Department Stores for 8 years.
Nathan Smalley, SVP Corporate Financial Planning & Analysis
Nathan Smalley is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Financial Planning and Analysis for KinderCare Learning Companies. In his role Nathan oversees the financial and strategic planning of all corporate and field functions across the organization, including annual operating plan development and long-term strategic investment analysis, aligning financial strategies with overall business objectives. Nathan also oversees KinderCare’s operational reporting and analytics, enabling data-driven insights that inform key business decisions.
Before joining KinderCare, served as the Vice President of Operations Finance for Walmart. Nathan has also held previous finance leadership roles with AT&T, General Mills and Continental Airlines.
Abe Lietz, Senior Vice President, Chief Information Officer
Abe Lietz is a Senior Vice President and the Chief Information Officer (CIO) for KinderCare Learning Companies. Abe leads the Information Technology function and is charged with driving digital transformation to support business growth and managing all key enterprise business systems which includes in-center, family facing, mobile, data analytics and back-office applications as well as all supporting infrastructure.
Prior to joining KinderCare, Abe was the CIO and Vice President of Customer Service Operations for Curves and Jenny Craig, where he led a complete transformation of the IT organization, as well as managing the service contact center for both brands to drive a best-in-class service experience for customers, franchise owners and corporate users. Prior to Curves and Jenny Craig, Abe was Chief Architect and Head of Divisional IT for Life Technologies (now part of Thermo Fisher Scientific), where he was responsible for driving technology strategy, new technology incubation, and overall technical architecture for the IT infrastructure and applications footprint, as well as all instrument and software system product lines.