Mary Lou Burke Afonso
Mary Lou Burke Afonso is a 20-year veteran of Bright Horizons, having served in a variety of leadership roles in nearly every aspect of the organization, including operation, finance and client relations. In her current role as Chief Operating Officer, North America Center Operations, she is responsible for overseeing the operational leadership and management of all North America-based child care centers and schools. She also oversees all center relations with current clients. Mary Lou is a graduate of Boston College School of Management. Her two daughters are graduates of Bright Horizons early education and preschool.
Maribeth Bearfield joined Bright Horizons in 2017 as SVP, HR and Chief Human Resources Officer. Maribeth brings a background as an educator and more than 25 years of human resources experience to our organization. Prior to joining Bright Horizons, Maribeth served as CHRO at Kaseya Corporation and Hanover Insurance, and as Chief Talent Officer at State Street. Maribeth has also held positions at Cisco Systems, Oracle and GTE.
Vice President, Back-Up Care Advantage Program & Operations
Marc is charged with delivering exceptional customer experiences and first-rate care for the 4.5 million client employees supported Bright Horizons’ Care Advantage Program. Passionate about customer service and continuous improvement, Marc is a recognized advocate for developing a high-performance culture and has been a featured speaker at IQPC’s Call Center Week.
Senior Vice President of Education
Susan has more than 30 years of experience managing quality child care programs. She was instrumental in development of the first back-up center to achieve accreditation from the National Association of Young Children. Susan, who holds a doctorate degree from Temple University, now oversees Education and Development at Bright Horizons.
Vice President, Client Relations
Nancy has been with Bright Horizons for 20 years. She started as an infant teacher in one of our centers when her daughter was 3 months old! All three of her children (ages 22, 20 and 15) are Bright Horizons graduates. Nancy’s education is in Community and Human Service Management; she is thrilled to have been able to use her education and experience to grow with the company. Currently leading a team of Client Relations Directors across the county, Nancy truly enjoys face to face contact with clients, where she can use her experience with the company and her familiarity with our services to help bring a higher level of work life success to client employees. Some of the clients Nancy has worked with include: The Home Depot, Goldman Sachs, American Express, ESPN and Kohl’s.
Vice President of Client Relations
Kim leads a team of client relations directors that seek to support and strengthen relationships with clients that sponsor on- or near-site child care centers. Previous to her current client relations role Kim has held leadership positions in operations as well as work/life consulting. She holds a BA in Psychology from Wheaton College and a MA in Teaching from National Louis University. Kim lives in a busy household outside of Atlanta with her parents, husband, teenage daughter and two dogs.
Jonathan has spent the last decade working at the intersection of strategic HR and enterprise technology. He has learned a great deal about converting a talent management strategy into an operating plan through direct conversations with HR leaders and numerous industry surveys. These experiences have sparked a fascination with how leading employers create a better environment for their workforce, and how that environment drives consistent business performance. Jonathan holds an MBA from Clark University.
A member of Bright Horizons’ Executive Team, Patrick has overall responsibility for EdAssist and College Coach. Patrick and his teams are dedicated to enabling superior performance for clients and their employees through better education while also reducing stress through better financial wellness. Patrick believes that our job is to unlock human potential and is passionate about how we positively change lives here at Bright Horizons.
Managing Director, Institutional Research, Horizons Workforce Consulting
Lucy is the Managing Director of Institutional Research with Horizons Workforce Consulting. After careers in early education and as a sociology professor, she has spent the past eleven years consulting with corporate and university clients, researching and writing about work-life issues, and speaking at national conferences. Lucy has two sons, ages thirteen and five.
Vice President, Educational Consulting, College Coach
Elizabeth Heaton leads College Coach’s strategic marketing efforts and is responsible for partnerships and new product development. She also oversees manages both the retail sales team and a team of College Coach consultants. Elizabeth began her admissions career at the University of Pennsylvania, where she chaired university selection committees, evaluated potential athletic recruits as one of the school’s athletics liaisons, and oversaw the university’s portfolio of admissions publications. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Cornell University and is a member of the National Association of College Admissions Counseling.
Chief Culture Officer
As the Chief Culture Officer at Bright Horizons Family Solutions, Dan is responsible for the delivery of leading-edge people solutions to more than 20,000 employees. Recognized as a values-driven business professional, he is a contributing author to Inside the Minds and has also been a featured speaker at the NEHRA annual convention, SHRM, the Conference Board, and NAAHR.
Research Analyst, Horizons Workforce Consulting
Rachel specializes in the development, analysis, and reporting of employee-focused surveys for Horizons Workforce Consulting, ranging from child care needs assessments to employee engagement. With a background in work-family research and organizational effectiveness, Rachel uses her expertise in both to craft recommendations to clients and colleagues to maximize their survey results. Rachel holds a Ph.D in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Louisiana State University and a B.A. from Rhodes College.
Director of Client Relations
With a diverse portfolio of midwest clients, Jessica focuses on helping organizations run their Bright Horizons programs and ensure their ROI. She’s consulted on wellness and well-being at 3M and Best Buy, and provided academic advising at Capella University. Jessica’s passionate about building relationships, assisting others with their personal and professional goals, and helping families manage their work/life energy. She resides in Minneapolis with her husband, two children, and the family dog, Stella.
Director, Talent Management
Jessica is responsible for connecting employees and management to the most effective learning and development opportunities offered by Bright Horizons. She also helps facilitate internal collaboration for organizational success. Jessica brings nearly 20 years of experience in professional development and higher education administration to her role. Prior to this role she led both the EdAssist Client Relations and Academic Partnerships teams. Jessica is a mother to twins, and holds a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies from Tufts University, a Master’s degree in International Communication from American University and has completed PhD coursework in International Higher Education Policy at the University of Maryland.
As a former Bright Horizons preschool teacher, Jeannie has seen what child care means to clients firsthand. She also offers a view from the Millennials camp, cluing us into what’s challenging today’s largest demographic, and what they really want. She holds a BA in Psychology from Valparaiso University and currently resides in the Boston area with her husband, Brett, and Jordy, their Mini Australian Shepherd.
Karin works with a diverse portfolio of clients winding down the east coast providing ongoing, strategic support for multiple Bright Horizons services, including educational advising, special needs and back-up care programs. Karin works with HR professionals at some of the leading pharmaceuticals, law firms and government agencies to help ensure they reach their work/life goals. Karin lives in the Greater Boston area with her husband and their 3 children, including lively twin boys.
Academic and Student Support Manager, EdAssist
Cristy comes to EdAssist with a great deal of experience in adult education, formerly the Assistant Director of Graduate and Professional Studies Admissions at Rivier University and the Assistant Director of Graduate Admissions at New England College. Cristy holds a Bachelor of Arts in English and Communication from the University of New Hampshire and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from New England College.
Ellen writes about talent management, employee engagement, and work/life balance trends. Ellen brings a wide perspective of human resource topics gained through working with industries from large engineering and construction firms, to government and academic organizations and nonprofits.
With a career ranging from freelance to full-time, Lisa has a diverse employment background as perspective. Lisa writes frequently “from the trenches” about the real life challenges of people in today’s workplaces: from the tensions of being a working mother, to working with millennials in the digital age, and everything in between.
Evan joined Bright Horizons in 2017 as Digital Marketing Manager. Evan brings more than 10 years of digital experience in the areas of social media, search marketing, website management, eCommerce and web analytics. Prior to joining Bright Horizons, Evan served as Social Media Manager at Xenith and led Digital Talent Strategy at Staples.
Rachel Robertson, MA, is the VP of Learning and Development at Bright Horizons Family Solutions. She has more than twenty years of experience in the early education field from professional development and education quality consultant, to classroom teacher, to early childhood center director, to curriculum writer. She is the author of numerous early childhood articles and presents professional development seminars at national conferences. Whether she’s developing resources for teachers, working with parents, playing with children in a classroom, or writing books, she is committed to supporting children’s healthy development. In her free time she can be found spending time with her two daughters or with her toes in the sand on one of San Diego’s beautiful beaches.
Alan has a long professional history of helping clients to optimize their HR processes. As director of client services at EdAssist, he helps large employers build education assistance programs that support their unique recruitment, talent management and learning needs. Prior to EdAssist, Alan served as vice president of client services at Bright Horizons, where he led a regional team responsible for helping large employers design and manage dependent care benefits for their employees.
Director of College Finance, College Coach
Kathy is a higher education professional with over 26 years of experience in the financial aid and enrollment management field. She came to College Coach after fourteen years at St. Olaf College — ten years as director of financial aid and four years as assistant vice president of enrollment and dean of student financial aid. Prior to St. Olaf, Kathy worked in the financial aid offices at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania, the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, and Eastern Virginia Medical School. She is committed to the ideal of college access for all deserving students and to helping families manage the complex process of financing higher education.
Director of College Finance, College Coach
Shannon works with College Coach’s corporate clients, delivering college financing workshops and providing personalized counseling to employees. She has over 10 years of experience in student financial assistance, at Boston University and Tufts University, and has also served as an active member of MASFAA’s Early Awareness and Outreach Committee, as a trainer for DOE’s National Training for Counselors and Mentors, and as a volunteer for FAFSA Day Massachusetts.
Vice President, Horizons Workforce Consulting
Jennifer leads the Horizons Workforce Consulting group specializing in workforce management and HR solutions. She has more than 20 years of experience helping to create workplace environments that let employees and their organizations reach their highest level of performance, from conducting dependent care needs assessments to developing strategic work/life balance initiatives and beyond.
Linda Whitehead has been with Bright Horizons for over 25 years. Linda leads the Education and Curriculum team, where she writes and oversees the curriculum for over 650 centers and schools. Linda is also heavily involved with family communications and child care center accreditation. She was also instrumental in creating Bright Horizons’ flagship 120+ hour eCDA teacher credentialing program. She holds a B.S. in Child Development, an M.S. in Life Span Development, and a Ph.D. in Family Studies.
Andrea Wicks Bowles
Senior Consultant, Director Global Initiatives, Horizons Workforce Consulting
Andrea works with Bright Horizons clients to enhance the effectiveness of their employees and strengthen their position as an employer of choice. Her knowledge of child care policies, organizational effectiveness, and work/life industry trends combined with analytical skills is used to help clients uncover their unique issues and challenges. Andrea, a frequent speaker at work/life conferences, is a key contributor to Bright Horizons’ research investigations.
HR Business Partner and Diversity Manager
Deborah brings 19 years of experience in the field of Human Resources and works to collaborate with operations to offer support and guidance in the areas of employee relations, talent and performance management, employee involvement, compensation and overall trouble-shooting. In addition, Deborah leads the company’s efforts in weaving diversity and inclusion within the Bright Horizons culture.
Deborah holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Central Michigan University. Deborah is married and has two boys who play hockey.
VIce President, Organizational Development & Learning Services
Helen oversees the corporate Learning and Development Function at Bright Horizons and is also responsible for maximizing the impact of the enterprise-wide integrated talent management suite. Helen has played a pivotal development role at Bright Horizons for eight years and previous to that worked in senior HR and Learning and Development roles in domestic, European, and EMEA environments for BMW, Gillette and P&G. Helen is passionate about increasing the strategic impact of learning and development interventions, and exploring the use of technology to replicate the power of a high touch culture.