Board of Directors


Raul Alegria
Raul’s background includes being responsible for the the development and implementation of business and financial policies and procedures for the Lake Junaluska Assembly of the United Methodist Church. He has been on numerous boards and currently is on the advisory board of the Mexican -American Program Advisory Board, Perkins School of Theology, SMU and the Wells Fargo Bank advisory board of directors , Haywood County NC. He was the Vice President of the Board of Education, Napa Valley Unified School District, Napa CA. He has designed and implemented programs of employee benefits to to meet the needs of church related organizations including hospitals, schools, colleges and children homes.

Connie Casha
Connie is the Director of early learning programs at Middle Tennessee State University. She coordinates the early living services provided by the Home and Community-Bases Early intervention services, the Ann Campbell Early Learning Center and the Child Development Center lab school. Connie has worked in the field of early childhood education as a teacher, coordinator and director of a variety of early childhood programs in the Tennessee State Department of Education for 15 years where she supported the development of the state’s Voluntary Pre-K program from 150 classrooms in 2001 to 934 in 2008.In 2008 Connie was instrumental in bringing to Tennessee training for teachers to understand how to support your children’s social and emotional development. She is an active participant in the research, policies and development of state law creating the Tennessee Kindergarten Program: currently oversee the operation of the 85 million dollar program. Connie is the President of the Tennessee Association for the Education of Young Children She is passionate about working with young children who are at risk.

Ted Dreier
Ted is the Founder of the Children’s Kindness Network, with Moozie the cow as the Ambassador of Kindness. Ted’s life changed when in 1998, when he discovered that children loved and connected with the message of kindness coming from a robotic talking cow he had built. Ted is a nationally known speaker on customer relations and the founder of a mystery shopper service used across the US. In 1998, h e stepped back from his corporate life and committed this chapter of his life to reducing violence among children. HIs history includes authoring four books, teaching in Malawi, Central Africa, a mediator in Dallas, and active in jail ministry in Breckenridge Colorado. As the founder of CKN, Ted recognizes the terrific importance volunteers make in helping spread Moozie’s message of kindness.

Jim Fitzwater
Jim is a senior executive with an extensive record of sales leadership, He offers a background in business organization, sales strategy and rigorous team-building backed by 8 total President’s Club and Crystal Club awards, numerous key-market and account wins. Jim has consistently driven millions in revenue results, while developing top-tier sales teams. As Vice President of Sales – Industrial Cable at Belden, Jim handled direct sales, channel oversight and alliances and created a Named Account program to tap a global customer base. As a result, sales grew at double the market rate and the Industrial Cable division experienced a $72M rise in new spec positions with global accounts. – In the Industrial Solutions Division at Belden, Jim built a new program illuminating critical areas of the sales process, saving up to 40% of sales team hours. Jim is Vice President of Sales – Americas for HMS Industrial Networks where he is responsible for all sales in North and South America. Jim brings a strong background in working with nonprofits in business organization and working smarter – including evaluating effectiveness and results.

Ron Franks
Ron is the President and CEO of HFR Design, an architectural firm founded in 1910 participating in such well known projects as Bridgestone Arena, and renovation of Ryman Auditorium. HFR Design has provided all of our needed printing and copying at no cost for the past four year saving. Ron has followed CKN’s outreach and put us in contact with others who might want to know about CKN. During Ron’s time as President and CEO of HFR Design, he has overseen the growth of our firm’s branding and image, established workplace technology upgrades, initiated in-house mentoring programs, and regenerated the firm’s marketing and sales initiatives.

Monique Gooch
She is passionate about the mission of CKN and weaves in Moozie’s kindness materials with he church programs and other kids programs. She enjoys volunteering , contributing her services full-time or part-time helping those who don’t have a voice. She is in charge of social media marketing for Strength for Service. Monique loves to read and write in her spare time. She is freelance writer and editor. She hosts her own writer’s group in Hermitage. TN.

Elizabeth Jeffers
Dr. Elizabeth Jeffers began her career in education as an admissions representative at the Wood School, an all-girl post secondary school for careers in executive and medical assisting in Manhattan, NY. After completing a thesis on children and empathy for her Masters in Philosophy of Education at the University of British Columbia, she accepted a position as Learning Center Director at the Katherine Gibbs School, after which she was quickly promoted to Director of Education.  During her time there, Elizabeth grew the school from an enrollment of 300 to 1400 and, over a period of one year, went from a student retention rate of 74% to 82% by implementing a Student Support services department.  After leaving Katherine Gibbs, Elizabeth worked as an educational consultant with ten schools on matters of faculty development, student support, program development and review, state and provincial reports and accreditation.  She went on to earn her PhD in Curriculum, Teaching, and Learning at the University of Toronto and worked at the executive level for a number of schools in Canada, the last of which was as Vice President of Academics responsible for eight schools across Ontario.  Since moving to Tennessee, Elizabeth has been actively involved with the Children’s Kindness Network, where she wrote curriculum and was a member of the board.  She currently works as a primary Montessori teacher in Bellevue. Elizabeth is driven by her passion for promoting kindness to facilitate change in a world that struggles with bullying, disempowerment, and disconnection.

Mitchell Korn
Mitchell Korn is one of our nation’s most important leaders in cultural strategic planning, community service through the arts, digital music education technology and community arts partnerships. He is a Senior Lecturer at the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University. He is the Founder and President of Mitchell KornArts, a Bard College Senior Fellow and a former Harvard University Graduate School of Education and Yale School of Music lecturer. The Wall Street Journal has called him a “one-man arts education industry.” Symphony Magazine called him a “music education guru.”He is credited with creating, designing and implementing the nation’s most important and sustainable arts education initiatives, including San Francisco Symphony’s Adventures in Music (celebrating its 29th anniversary), His extensive work for philanthropy includes the Heinz Endowment, MacArthur Foundation, Annenberg Foundation, GE Fund, and Dayton Hudson Foundation. He is the recipient of numerous awards and tributes including Parents Magazine “As They Grow” Award, honoring his efforts in “making the world a safer, healthier, and happier place for children. His personal webb page is http://www.mitchellkornarts.com

Victor Legerton
“Vic” has an extensive background in working with nonprofits, in areas including fund raising, grant writing and strategic planning. He held administrative positions as Executive Director, Chief Operating Office, and Business Manager. He has been very active in several Kiwanis Foundations for over 30 years. Vic has taken a number of courses related to fund raising and used his organizational leadership skills in more than a dozen organizations. For ten years he was in the leadership role in capital campaigns and major gift solicitations for Kiwanis and church and has worked in securing the necessary non-profit documents and certifications needed. Besides Vic’s own involvement in education, his family has been/is very involved in education. Vic’s wife of 45 years was an elementary school teacher for 35 years. One of their two sons works with the Los Angeles County Board of Education in an administrative position with the Head Start programs.

Joey Mertz
Joey Mertz is a Senior Account Manager with Stratosphere Quality, an industrial service provider in the manufacturing quality space. In his time with Stratosphere Quality, Joey has been responsible for developing new markets into a multi-million dollar revenue generating divisions. After graduating from Murray State University, Joey began his career in business while focusing on career and family. Joey is a husband and father to two girls and is passionate about childhood kindness and education of the harmful effects of bullying in young children.

Cathey Pilkinton
Cathey was a teacher with the Metro Nashville Public Schools for 31 years, 28 years as Kindergarten teacher and three as 2nd grade teacher. With her long history in teaching, she is very creative in developing new materials and activities in ways to reach children with Moozie’s kindness message. Her goal is to create and promote educational materials for educators, parents and care givers.

Robert (“Bob”) Rudman
Bob’s background includes, Marketing Management responsibilities with National Broadcasting Co. (Huntley-Brinkley, Jeopardy & Leahr McNeil shows), American Brands & Johnson & Johnson before starting a manufacturers’ representative company which developed new markets of distribution & products for many blue chip companies. He serves on the Boards of Grace Works Ministries and has served on the school board of St. Matthews Church. He received the Exemplary Community Volunteer Award for 2014 and 2015 from the Heritage Foundation of Williamson County, TN. Bob is involved in marketing- consulting for many non-profit organizations. As a father and grandfather, he sees first hand the importance of bringing kindness values to young children.

Jacob Stern
Jacob is the President of Imeriti Financial Network, a life insurance and annuity wholesaler. He works with insurance agents and agencies to provide them with a premier product offering, high quality education and training, and extensive marketing support. He has a strong business background in corporate strategy, sales and management, plus extensive knowledge in mergers and acquisitions. He was instrumental in acquiring three competitors in the insurance wholesaling space to further accelerate Imeriti’s growth. in 2016, he worked with a world class private equity firm, Aquiline Capital, to sell Imeriti and work to build the leading insurance distribution company in the United States. Jacob has a strong passion for bringing kindness to young children to help stop bullying before it begins.