About Us

Mission Statement

The Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri supports policies that encourage access to high quality educational options for all Missouri students, including those who do not succeed in a traditional academic setting.

Board of Directors

Rachel Keller Brown

Co-founder, Co-owner, Pelopidas and President, Keller Capital Group

Rachel Keller Brown is co-founder of Pelopidas, LLC, a comprehensive, influence management firm that offers issue advocacy, non-profit fundraising, capital campaign development and government and public affairs consulting.  She also is president of Keller Capital Group, LLC, a fundraising and political consulting firm.  [Full bio]

Kevin Short

Managing Partner & Chief Executive Officer, Clayton Capital Partners

Kevin Short is the co-founder and Managing Director of Clayton Capital Partners, a St. Louis-based investment banking firm specializing in merger and acquisition advisement.  [Full bio]

Norma Speckhard

Adjunct Professor, University of Missouri-St. Louis

Norma Speckhard, Ph.D., is an adjunct professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis where she is an instructor of education classes for graduate students in the Teach for America Corps. She has an extensive background in education with a focus on special education and educational therapy.  [Full bio]

Tyler Alcorn

Adjunct Professor, Ashcroft Group

Tyler P. Alcorn is a Principal with The Ashcroft Group, a Washington, DC-based firm specializing in strategic consulting for corporations worldwide in the areas of national security, corporate governance, litigation strategy, crisis management, regulatory advice and entrepreneurial ventures. [Full bio]

Vincent J. Mannino

Executive Vice-President, R.G. Ross Construction

Vincent J. Mannino is executive vice president of R.G. Ross Construction Co., a commercial and residential general contractor and construction manager based in St. Louis.  For 35 years R.G. Ross has provided commercial construction services on such projects as the Gravois Bluffs Shopping Center in Fenton, Cannon Design Groups St. Louis home office, and the Chess Club and Scholastic center of St. Louis. [Full bio]

David Schmid

Vice President – Institutional Services Group at Regions Morgan Keegan

David works with Regions Morgan Keegan as Vice President in charge of the Institutional Services Group.  Prior to that, Dave was a senior institutional business development representative for The Commerce Trust Company.  Prior to joining Commerce Trust, he sold financial information products to large institutions and broker dealers for Reuters, Inc and Bridge Information Systems. [Full bio]

Ed Weber

Client Executive for International Business Machines, Inc.

Ed Weber is a currently a Client Executive for International Business Machines, Inc. During his 10+ years with IBM, Ed has held several leadership roles that have afforded him the opportunity to lead high performance sales teams and work with some of IBM’s largest clients. [Full bio]

Corey Quinn

President, De La Salle Middle School

Mr. Quinn began his role as president of De La Salle Middle School in July 2008, but his first trip to the school was in 1998. As a first-year teacher at Rockhurst High School in Kansas City, Mr. Quinn and a team of students and teachers helped clear out the space that would eventually become home to De La Salle Middle School. [Full bio]



Laura Slay

Executive Director

Laura Slay has more than 20 years in marketing communications and public relations. Her professional involvement with education issues in Missouri started nearly five years ago when she was brought on board to manage communications for the Children’s Education Alliance of Missouri.[Full bio]


Kate Casas

State Director

For more than 10 years, Kate Casas has been committed to establishing strategies, policies, and objectives that aim to improve the state of education not only for Missouri families, but for families nationwide. In 2005 Kate received acceptance into Teach for America, a highly competitive national teaching program in at-risk urban school districts. [Full bio]


Peter Franzen

Director of Development

Peter Franzen has dedicated the past 19 years to improving the quality of life for children, families, and communities in Saint Louis.  Most recently Peter served as director of development for the online, regional news organization the St. Louis Beacon and before that as director of development with The St. Louis Black Repertory Theater.  [Full bio]


Chris Geden

Community Outreach Director

Chris Geden has spent the last 14 years working with youth in the St. Louis area. Chris began his career at a group residential facility; there, he honed his skills with at-risk youth, many of whom suffered from abuse, trauma or mental illness. After working in this residential-care setting, Chris moved on to providing direct services for middle-schoolers. [Full bio]


Office Contact

4742 A McPherson Avenue

Saint Louis, Missouri 63108

P: 314-454-6544

F: 314-454-6521