Betsy Wagenhauser

President

Betsy Wagenhauser has been a part of Ferst Readers for more than four years. She served on the Board of Directors beginning in 2011, then moved into the role of President in January 2013. However, her relationship with Ferst Readers began years earlier - in 2000 when she enrolled her one year old son in the Ferst Readers program.

 

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Board of Directors

Lisa Chester

Lisa Chester is Executive Director of Warrick Dunn Charities, Inc. and a Strategic Planning and Senior Marketing Insight Expert. Lisa currently directs and manages the work and structure of national program initiatives that address the needs of underrepresented populations within at-risk communities in the areas of economic empowerment, affordable homeownership, wellness and children’s bereavement.

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Dr. Stan DeJarnett

Dr. Stan DeJarnett currently serves as the Executive Director for The Georgia Vision Project: A Vision for Public Education, a collaborative project developed to transform Georgia’s public schools by maximizing potential in two primary areas: 1) student achievement and 2) trust and support for public education in every community. This venture, begun in 2009, has the support of 80% of Georgia’s local school systems, Georgia’s colleges and universities, the business community and the leading educator organizations in Georgia. The Vision Project’s research-based recommendations are being implemented with success in school systems all over Georgia. Other states have begun their own Vision Projects using the Georgia model.

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Eve Goldstein

Eve Goldstein is a retired attorney. Since graduating from Columbia Law School, she has held a variety of positions, including a faculty position at the University of Colorado, Principal Regional Counsel for Health and Human Resources of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and attorney at Jones Day in Atlanta.

She is currently a Board Member and docent at the Breman Jewish Heritage and Holocaust Museum and co-chair of the Holocaust Survivor Legacy Committee. She is a past president of Jewish Family & Career Services and has previously been a volunteer literacy tutor in the Atlanta Public Schools.

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Kate Hall

Kate Hall is a Human Resources professional with a focus on Compensation, Performance Management and HR Systems. Kate currently works at SunTrust in the Total Rewards space. Prior to SunTrust, Kate was the Senior Director of Compensation and HR Systems for ServiceMaster in Memphis, TN. Before that, Kate was a Director in Total Rewards at The Coca-Cola Company and was a consultant at Towers Perrin (now Willis Towers Watson). Through her consulting and corporate roles, Kate has experience building innovative rewards programs in a variety of industries, including Healthcare, Home Services, Financial Services, Manufacturing and Consumer Goods. Kate graduated from Vanderbilt University, where she studied Economics and Music. She returned to Atlanta in 2016 with her husband and son, where they have been keeping busy with various home improvement projects.

Nancy Hall

Nancy Hall has served as Interim Executive Director of Georgia Public Broadcasting since July 2004. Prior to being appointed to the Interim position by the GPB Board of Directors, she was the Director of External Affairs and served as the liaison to the Georgia General Assembly and Georgia's Congressional delegation for GPB. She also serves as President of the Foundation for Public Broadcasting in Georgia.

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Jan Haywood

Janika (Jan) Haywood is founding principal of The J. Lyles Group, LLC, a consulting agency that specializes in marketing strategy, public relations media placement and web development for private companies. In the past two years, Haywood has secured media placements in 11 Alive News, Atlanta Journal Constitution, Modern Luxury and HLN News. Prior to founding The J. Lyles Group, she worked at GEICO in management for 14 years. Jan is Mercer University alum and serves as a member of organizations such as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc. and The Junior League of Atlanta, Inc. Haywood and her husband have two children.

Robin Ferst Marhaver, Founder

Listening to a local Madison, Ga. plant executive discuss the difficulty finding employees who could read at the required level for hiring, Robin Ferst was inspired to start the non-profit Ferst Readers in 1999 which she dedicated to fostering literacy and creativity in pre-kindergarten children.

Following a successful business career in Commercial Mortgage Banking, Real Estate development and Private Trust investment management, Robin lived in numerous cities before returning to Georgia and has once again selected her native Atlanta as her home.

Robin served as a member of the Georgia Public Telecommunication Commission Board of Directors and the Governor’s Commission on Hearing Impaired and Deaf Persons. She serves as a member of the Atlanta Speech School Advisory Board and the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education. During her time in Madison, she served as a founding board member of the Community Foundation of Morgan County and initiated the Morgan County Early Childhood Reading Coalition -the pilot for the present day Georgia Rural Library Initiative.

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Brigitte Roufail Peck

Brigitte Roufail Peck is a founding partner and current owner of Capstone Advancement Partners, a fundraising consulting firm based in Atlanta, GA. She works with a wide spectrum of nonprofit organizations to develop strategies that reflect each client’s needs and situation. Her favorite part of her job is working with dedicated staff and volunteers who are committed to turning an organization’s dreams into reality.

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Margaret M. Quinlin

Margaret M. Quinlin is President and Publisher of Peachtree Publishers, an award-winning independent publishing house founded in 1977. In 1990, she bought controlling interest of Peachtree, and became the third President and Publisher in the history of the company at the age of 39.

Throughout her life, her father’s great love of books and her Irish mother’s strong love of stories and verse supported her own passion for language and books. Originally planning to be an architect, Quinlin studied art and found the picture book to be the perfect art form, a marriage of words and art, a sensory experience for young and old alike.

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Julie Steele

Dr. Julie Steele currently serves as principal of Lamar County Middle School in Barnesville, Georgia. Dr. Steele’s career as an educator includes years as being a classroom teacher, an Instructional Coach, and an Assistant Principal. Dr. Steele has been an administrator in Lamar County for the past 15 years.

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Amy Burton Storey

Amy Storey has more than 20 years of experience in integrated marketing communications, working for global public relations agencies, corporations and book publishers, including KEF Media, Weber Shandwick, MSL Group (formerly Manning, Selvage and Lee) and HarperCollins Children’s Books. She is currently an independent consultant working with Peachtree Publishers. 

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Staff

  • President
    Betsy Wagenhauser 

  • Accounting and Development Coordinator
    Amy Zygler 

  • Director of Operations
    Glenda Cofer 

  • Program Coordinator
     

  • Regional Program Coordinator
    Debbie Ross 

  • Regional Program Coordinator/Technology
    Michelle Maddox 

  • Grant Coordinator
    Kelly Freyer 

  • Administrative Assistant - Registration and Database/Translations
    Claudia Jasso 

  • Administrative Assistant Publications/Social Media
    Olivia Ramfos 

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Ensuring that children develop early literacy skills is one of the most important things we can do - as parents, as teachers - and as a society.

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