Meet the Staff of the Permanent Fund…
Aly Richards, Chief Executive Officer
A native of Newbury, Vermont, Richards formerly served as the Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Shumlin and had leading roles in several of the Shumlin Administration’s efforts to support early childhood—including the federal Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge and Preschool Expansion grants. With experience in education dating back to a gubernatorial appointment to the State Board of Education when she was still in high school, Richards has also convened the coalition that helped to pass a set of education initiatives including free lunch for all low-income Vermonters and the Flexible Pathways bill, which creates a statewide program for expanding dual enrollment and early college. Prior to joining the Governor’s Office, Richards served on the 2008 Obama Campaign and worked as the Mid-Atlantic Deputy Finance Director at the Democratic National Committee. Richards currently serves on the Vermont State Colleges Board of Trustees. A graduate of Brown University, Richards lives in Montpelier.
Jamie Lofy, Chief Operating Officer
Jamie brings two decade of experience in education and teaching to her work at the Permanent Fund. A graduate of UVM’s School of Education, Jamie holds a Master’s Degree in Education with a concentration in reading instruction from the University of Minnesota. She has served as a reading specialist in schools in Colorado, New Jersey, Minnesota, and Vermont, providing direct instruction to students and supporting teachers in developing and implementing reading curricula. Most recently, Jamie served as an Implementation Specialist at Reading Plus, a Vermont-based online reading intervention program that is used throughout the United States and internationally. An avid skier, hiker, runner, and fan of live music, Jamie loves roaming the Green Mountains of Vermont with her husband and two boys, Ben and Silas.
Molly Loomis, Director of Innovation
Starting as the “snake lady” at the Montshire Museum of Science, Molly has gone on to become an expert in the field of informal learning. She has held roles at the Boston Museum of Science, San Francisco’s Exploratorium, served as director of education at ECHO Lake Aquarium & Science Center in Burlington, and was most recently the community education director at Let’s Grow Kids.
Molly attended Vermont public schools, Wesleyan University, and earned her Masters in Education from Harvard and her Ph.D. from Univ. of California Santa Cruz. She conducted research on how families learn together and understands how important the early years are to future success in school and life. She is a Noyce Foundation Fellow and a graduate of the Early Childhood Learning Institute of the Snelling Center. In her spare time, Molly enjoys toddling around town with her three young daughters and husband, cooking exciting things and adventuring in the garden.
Barbara Postman, Senior Adviser/Grants Director
Barbara was the Founding Director of Vermont Birth to Three – now Vermont Birth to Five. Currently she works with the various projects and initiatives of the Permanent Fund. She formerly served as Legislative Advocate and Policy Coordinator at Voices for Vermont’s Children and Kids Are Priority One Coalition, and in the Vermont House of Representatives, where she chaired the Joint House/Senate Committee for Livable Income. She has owned a series of small businesses and worked in consulting, facilitation and training for business and non-profit organizations. She has three adult children and lives with her husband in their empty nest in Brownington. Hobbies include cooking, yoga and hanging out with grandchildren when possible.
Let’s Grow Kids – Robyn Freedner-Maguire, Campaign Director
Robyn Freedner-Maguire was named campaign director for Let’s Grow Kids in December, 2013 after serving as coordinator for Vermont’s Early Childhood Alliance. She has extensive experience coordinating and engaging diverse community groups to achieve positive change on a variety of initiatives. She worked previously at the Vermont State Employees’ Association (VSEA). Before joining VSEA, Robyn worked as the field director of the Vermont Freedom to Marry Task Force where she oversaw the field campaign that gained marriage rights for same-sex couples. Robyn and her partner of 10 years, Naomi, are parents to three amazing children, Neko (6) and the twins, Adem and Aldin (2).
Vermont Birth to Five – Janet McLaughlin, Executive Director
As executive director of Vermont Birth to Five, McLaughlin will lead the initiative’s continued implementation of critical child care quality improvement projects while addressing regional and statewide barriers to creating a system of high-quality child care. McLaughlin will continue to strengthen the symbiotic partnership with VB5’s sister organization, Let’s Grow Kids, in order to achieve the Permanent Fund’s mission of ensuring that every Vermont child has access to high-quality and affordable early care and education by 2025. Before joining VB5, Janet served as special projects director and head of the Food & Farm Initiative at the Vermont Community Foundation where she distributed over $1.6 million to Vermont nonprofits for collaborative projects aimed at building the capacity of the local food system to support farmers and connect Vermonters with healthy food they can afford. Prior to her work for the Community Foundation, McLaughlin served as the national director of Share Our Strength’s initiative Cooking Matters, a cooking-based nutrition education program for families at risk of hunger.