Charles Eaton, Executive Director
Charles joined the Foundation in June 2010 with 17 years of prior non-profit management experience. Most recently he led fundraising, business development and marketing initiatives for the Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology (APIC), a growing healthcare association focused on improving healthcare quality and patient safety. Before joining APIC, Charles served as VP of member relations for the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), which organizes the largest tradeshow in North America, the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas. Charles leads the Foundation from his home office in Washington, D.C., where he and his wife are raising four children ranging from toddler to college age.
Charles says: “Getting people jobs is a great job. So many social challenges can be solved by providing someone a meaningful career and a living wage.”
Colleen Attwell, Director of Development
As Director of Development, Colleen Attwell is responsible for raising revenue and engaging partners to support the Foundation’s programs. She has spent her career working for non-profits, including roles at City of Hope, March of Dimes, and Prevent Blindness America. She is based in the Foundation's headquarters in Downers Grove, IL. A native of Michigan and an alumna of Michigan State University, Colleen is an avid Detroit Red Wing hockey fan.
Colleen says: “Working for the Creating IT Futures Foundation allows me to help people change their lives through meaningful careers in the IT industry. Giving people opportunities to succeed is really what we are doing.”
Kirk Smallwood, Director of Corporate Relations
Kirk joined the Creating IT Futures team at the beginning of 2013 and has over 16 years of non-profit experience. Most recently, he was VP of Strategic alliances for CompTIA, creating and managing partnerships with the media, other IT associations and state/regional tech councils around the US. Before joining CompTIA, he was at the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) for 13+ years as Director of Sales Operations for the largest annual tradeshow in North America, the International Consumer Electronics Show, in Las Vegas. Kirk works out of his home office in the Washington, DC area. He is a Virginia native and graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. He has two wonderful kids which keep him busy when he is not working.
Kirk says: "It is very exciting for me to be a part of the Creating IT Futures team. The opportunity to have a dramatic, positive change in a person's life is certainly not something that you find in the usual job. I look forward to making a strong impact with the team."
Eric Larson, Director of Marketing and Communications
Eric has worked in the journalism and nonprofit fields for nearly 20 years. In the early 1990s, Eric served as a staff writer at the Anniston Star newspaper, where he won Alabama Associated Press awards for community service writing and deadline reporting. Eric worked as public grant writer for the AIDS Resource Center of Wisconsin before serving as a Peace Corps health volunteer stationed in the Republic of Kiribati, Central Pacific. Today he serves the Foundation from a home-based office in Raleigh, N.C., where he and his wife cater to three young children.
Eric says: “It’s a real honor to be able to tell the story of how the Foundation is radically changing lives. When you help someone develop a career, you impact every aspect of their personal story for the better.”
Amy Spear, Senior Manager of National Workforce Programs
As a senior manager, Amy works to develop and deploy workforce programs for the Foundation that integrate with its mission. She collaborates with nonprofit and corporate partners to learn best practices in IT workforce development and makes sure that the different parts of the Foundation’s programming work together to deliver outstanding results. She came to the Foundation from the Midwest Heart Foundation, where she worked as Office Coordinator and Administrative Director of Special Grants. When she is not working at her office at the Foundation's headquarters in Downers Grove, IL, she is being kept busy by her young daughter.
Amy says: “The most satisfying part of working for the Creating IT Futures Foundation is when you receive an email or telephone call from a participant who has obtained employment. To hear the excitement and joy in an individual's voice makes me truly enjoy working for the Foundation.”
Kathleen Mrazek, Program Coordinator
Kathleen came to the Foundation with experience in special education, technology support and workforce development. Based at the Foundation's headquarters in Downers Grove, IL, she has worked for three years as Program Coordinator, assisting the Senior Manager of National Workforce Programs in building program awareness and partnerships. Herself a dislocated worker retrained through the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), she has a unique perspective when working closely with the Foundation’s candidates.
Kathleen says: “The most satisfying thing about working for the Foundation is the connection I have with our participants. Encouraging individuals to begin, complete and continue training towards an IT career has been very rewarding.”
Brant Ingalsbe, Workforce Manager - Minneapolis/St. Paul
Brant's day-to-day responsibility has him managing every aspect of the Mpls./St. Paul IT-Ready Apprentice Program site. Brant came to the Foundation in March 2012 with the kick-off of IT-Ready and has over 12 years of community and workforce development experience. He most recently directed an American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) grant awarded to the Blue Green Alliance Foundation and a planning grant with the Governor’s Workforce Development Council (GWDC). Sandwiched between that work, he and his wife cherished living abroad for two years in Seoul, South Korea, teaching English. They now have their hands full with two young children and a house full of pets.
Brant says: “I feel lucky being part of something that is making such a positive impact not just on individuals, but on entire families and the community as a whole. The people we serve provide the real success stories that inspire me every day to keep giving more.”