May 2014 — So honored to be asked back to Leadership Connections in Wheeling IL to present yet again at their annual national conference for early childhood education leaders. I presented two in-depth seminars on the always timely topic of giving and receiving effective feedback through respectful, empowered communications. Here’s what one attendee emailed me after the presentation: “I had a faculty meeting last night and lauched a “feedback culture” with the Goals of Feedback recipe card you shared with us.  And, I used it for the first time today with an employee I needed to give some feedback to and it went great.  Thank you for sharing such a powerful and empowering tool.  I will be courageous and brave!” ~ Diane Schael, Head of School, Little Gems International, Chicago IL

April 2014 — Had a FANTASTIC time in San Francisco where I co-hosted a three-day meeting to do more sharing of leadership best practices with “mega” child care centers.

March 2014 — Heading to Atlanta to do Feedback Training and Leadership Development for school leaders and child care center administrators plus a “Love Languages” training for early childhood leaders in North Chicago, IL.

Here is what one participant said about the Giving Feedback training: “I thoroughly enjoyed the training. I really appreciate you coming to Atlanta to help us all improve in giving feedback. This was something that everyone in the room could benefit from. I am excited to use my new tools and awesome key phrases during my next feedback session with my team. This was an excellent training.”

January 2014 — A daylong training in Schaumburg IL for early childhood professionals regarding strategic planning and empowered communications ~~ and a Pinwheel Vision Board goal setting workshop for the new year with classroom team leaders at a large school for children up to 6 years of age (see their pinwheel power symbols in the photo below).

Pinwheel Power Symbols for the New Year

Pinwheel Power Symbols for the New Year

November 2013 — Will be hosting an advanced class with an esteemed colleague on Giving Feedback for a large team of early childhood educators and center directors in Lake County IL. Also this month I’ll presenting a two-hour seminar in Lake County IL on how to foster creativity in very young children in group care settings. One of my favorite topics!

October 2013 — Looking forward to meeting with some terrific Fast Trackers and sharing tips and techniques for empowered communications with top tier clients and how to work effectively with parent associations at a training seminar in Lisle, IL.

September 2013 — Life is about inspiration, enjoyment, and celebration! Taking my son to Frank Lloyd Wright’s famous icon, Fallingwater, just outside Pittsburg, PA in honor of his 16th birthday. Followed by a personal “bucket list” trip to Texas to see the Houston Ballet and take a tour of the Houston Museum of Fine Art.  My first ballet ever! Seriously cannot wait!

Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water

Frank Lloyd Wright’s Falling Water

August 2013 — A weeklong visit to San Francisco and San Jose to mentor emerging leaders in large child care centers. I’m very excited to meet the new teams and re-connect with old colleagues for a week of collaboration, mentoring, guiding, and learning together.

Northern California mountains were my beautiful companions

Northern California mountains were my beautiful companions

August 2013 — Second trip to Feed My Starving Children in Libertyville IL with my teen son and friends. All it takes is 22 cents per food bag to donate and a few hours to pack bags high nutrient rich food product to help severely malnourished children around the globe. Learn more about Feed My Starving Children here.

July 2013 — More great trainings and meetings with emerging leaders in Racine WI, Gurnee IL, and Atlanta GA, sharing techniques to build skill sets in Giving Tough Feedback with kindness, compassion, and professionalism. Learning how to communicate from a place of empowerment, even in the face of objections and deflections, is the hallmark of this training seminar.

July 2013 — Do you know what kind of “color” you lead by? Are you a green or red leader? A yellow or a blue? My training on personal interaction style is fun and interactive! Had a great time hosting this one for a large group of classroom team leaders in Gurnee, IL.   We found out who was a visionary, delegator, creative/communicator, and an implementer.

June 2013 — My teen son and I volunteered for an evening at Feed My Starving Children in Libertyville, Illinois and had a wonderful experience packing food product for very needy children in El Salvador. Feed My Starving Children provides severely malnourished children with all-vegetarian Manna-Pack rice meals in 70 countries. The manna-packs are nutritious food in any culture and include over 20 vitamins and minerals. Volunteers hand-pack bags and boxes for shipment.   We are eager to go again and coordinate family and work outtings to also participate in the near future. Learn more about Feed My Starving Children here.   photo523

May 2013 — Meeting with a big room full of growing, emerging leaders and talking about leading with quality and accountability. I’ll also be sharing content on how to give and receive feedback. I love empowering the next generation of leaders who are ready to make their mark on the world!

April 2013 – I’m looking forward to presenting a pre-conference day-long session at the University of Wisconsin-Stout Annual Early Childhood Education Conference. I’ll be co-presenting with a fabulous friend and colleague on leadership and employee coaching for outstanding performance in child care centers and early education programs. Always fun to share empowerment strategies with leaders and directors who serve families and children!

January 2013 — A couple of new projects are in the works for the Pinwheel Girl! One I’m especially excited about is that I am resurrecting a manuscript I wrote for my first children’s picture book! I am hopeful that this will be the year that I get it ready for a publisher. It’s all about finding empowerment and strength from the wisdom of trees ~~ for children!

Illustration by Bob Nonnemacher copyright 2011

Illustration by Bob Nonnemacher copyright 2011

October 2012 — Heading to Banderas Bay MX for a week during which time my teen son and I will be doing some work with PEACE-Mexico to support local residents. PEACE-Mexico is all about empowerment for women, children and families via education and microfinance programs, ESL, health care, animal care, Work for Food programs, and more. This year my son’s annual 2012 Pennies for PEACE campaign yielded $818.19 which will support PEACE’s Action for Food Program. His funds will support the development of 150-200 food baskets of rice, beans, pasta, tuna, tomato paste, toilet paper, and other staples totalling 1,500-2,000 meals for 600 individuals in the Banderas Bay area. Learn more here:

giving is the best form of empowerment

My friend Penny, sister Karen, and my son Keaton volunteering at the PEACE Animal Clinic ~ 2011

October 2012 ~ Thrilled to announce I was honored to present again at the GoAEYC Annual Conference in DesPlaines IL on the very affirming topic of Delivering and Receiving Tough Feedback. Helping women learn how to de-personalize the process of giving and receiving the gift of feedback is one of my favorite topics — empowerment results!  An attendee said “I loved Kendra’s approach. She gave great ideas and usable techniques I can take back to my center to implement.”

To learn more about my ECE workshops, click here.

October 2012 ~ Very excited to announce two confirmed seminars for Illinois Voices for Children/Children’s Home + Aid Society again this fall in Arlington Heights and — new this year — in Evanston. I’ll be presenting a two-hour advanced training on Delivering and Receiving Tough Feedback for two groups of experienced center directors and administrators. This is a great empowerment topic for women leaders! A Center Director in attendance said “Kendra was awesome. She was very informative and she facilitated nice exchanges with the participants. I really learned a lot about feedback.”

To learn more about my ECE workshops, click here.

Ugandan Children

September 2012 ~ The Pinwheel Girl is going to Africa! What an honor it was to donate 150 copies of The Pinwheel Girl Takes Flight, 100 “I Know You” Pinwheel Girl journals, and 50 “You Know What To Do” Pinwheel Girl totebags to The Hope Institute of Uganda. My book will be given to school girls in two orphanages, women in the sewing & beading co-op, and those in surgical recovery. I cannot adequately express how grateful I am for the opportunity to share my voice with these special women and girls who are each on a very poignant empowerment journey.

Learn more about the Pinwheel Girl’s journey to Uganda here.

For more information about The Hope Institute of Uganda, click here.

It’s all about connection!

May 2012 ~ It was another FABULOUS experience presenting a three-hour workshop once again for leaders in child development and program administration at the national Leadership Connections conference in Wheeling, IL. The conference attracts program directors in early childhood education from across the country and is affiliated with The McCormick Center for Early Childhood Leadershipat National Louis University. My workshop was on empowered leadership and strategic planning for program directors involving the use of annual calendars in all areas of operations. We had such a great time in my jam-packed, full-house session. Great questions, great interaction and engagment, great energy from GREAT early childhood educators and leaders!

Leadership Connections is a hallmark conference for innovation and cutting edge training for thought leaders in the field of early childhood education today. I am so pleased to be chosen as a one of the conference’s many distinguished presenters for such an enthusiastic audience of participants as those who attend this renowned event.

At the Leadership Connections Exhibit Hall

I’ll also had a booth where I was signing and selling copies of my inspirational book for women, The Pinwheel Girl Takes Flight, and other Pinwheel Girls gift products, in the conference Expo Hall. Raffle prizes and give-aways, too! I met so many fantastic new Pinwheel Girls from across the country. It’s always so inspiring to hear the triumphant life stories of so many women being true to themselves and living the life they love and want. I got to meet authors, humanitarians, therapists, architects, educators, designers, and more — all fabulous women going after their dreams. All fabulous Pinwheel Girls living without fear. What a FABULOUS three days it was — full of energy, empowerment, and new life!

Also in May 2012 — I had the privilege to guide and mentor 13 up-and-coming leaders in early childhood program administration for a whole afternoon on the topic of total quality management.  What an empowering leadership topic!  We had non-stop discussion on “what is quality” followed by hands on activities. Everyone received a copy of The Pinwheel Girl Takes Flight to keep the momentum going on their empowerment journey. The group’s facilitator later wrote to me “You are such an articulate and skilled presenter; you kept the group engaged and interested the whole time.  Several of the students made mention how informative the session was and how it was a great culmination to the year’s program. Thank you as always for sharing your talents!” It is always so gratifying to mentor new upstarts in their path towards empowered leadership and communication.  What a fun and spirited afternoon it was!

April 2012 – Spent a few days in Des Moines, Iowa and had a GREAT time meeting new Pinwheel Girls there! We did a make-and-take pinwheel power workshop seminar together along with a seminar on strategic communication and leadership. It is ALWAYS so gratifying to see the quiet hush that comes over a room of busy women when they have time to focus on themselves and their own dreams, wishes and goals. There is chat and socializing to be sure…but then all of a sudden there is a silence of mutual concentration on the contents of one’s heart. It is a spiritual comfort — to be in the presence of other women working on themselves while also supporting another woman beside her at the work table. This is exactly what happened with my fantastic group of professional women in Iowa. Go, Pinwheel Girls, go!

To learn more about my empowerment workshops, click here.

Michelle shows off her pinwheel power symbol for renewal, health, and prosperity

March 2012 ~ So excited to announce that The Pinwheel Girl Takes Flight has landed in its first bookstore! A wonderful new bookstore called Back to the Books opened in the beautiful, touristy, historic downtown of Manitou Springs, Colorado this month just in time for the tourist season. Back to the Books specializes in Indie books from authors all over the United States and Canada. I am so excited to be part of this new store in this artsy, picturesque town — it’s perfect for the Pinwheel Girls!

The Pinwheel Girl has landed in Manitou Springs!

Back to the Books specializes in Indie books including the Pinwheel Girl



February 2012 ~ My new e-book, The Pinwheel Girl’s Book of Simple Wisdom, launched this month and it’s 100% dedicated to you and your empowerment. Jampacked with affirmation, inspiration, and BEAUTIFUL photography to help you be COMPLETELY, TOTALLY YOU! The e-book is all about confident and courageous self-expression. Get all the details here.

pinwheels are symbols for power

January 2012~ It’s going to be a fun and highly interactive afternoon as women gather in my home to create their own Pinwheel Power Symbol at my make-and-take Vision Boards with a Spin workshop. To learn more, click here.

October 2011 ~ I had a great time presenting at the GoAEYC Annual Early Childhood Education Conference for child development professionals. My two workshops focused on empowered leadership, strategic planning and the use of organizational charts for program administrators in high quality programs for young children. The conference was held at Oakton Communty College in Des Plaines, IL and several hundred teachers, child care center directors, and ECE leaders were in attendance. Pinwheel Girl gift bags were given away as door prizes.

It is always highly rewarding to see early childhood professionals networking with one another, sharing success stories and tips for operational excellence, and learning from each other’s careers and histories in the field. That’s exactly what we did in my highly interactive, content-rich workshops.

To see a full list of my workshops for Early Childhood teachers and directors, click here.

October 2011 ~It was a fantastic afternoon working with program administrators serving young children and their families affiliated with Illinois Voices for Children. My two hour advanced workshop covered effective communication techniques to use during high stress interactions with parents and families. There are so many committed, passionate, and highly talented early childhood leaders in the field of child development today and our group of nearly 30 attendees in Arlington Heights, IL was no exception. Tons of outstanding talent filled the room as we dove headfirst into exploring how to manage high stress interactions with parent customers.

October 2011 ~ I had the privilege of joining a delegate team of 25 talented, passionate colleagues in New York City where we joined efforts to create a unique and much needed early childhood playspace and pre-Kindergarten reading room for children in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the Bronx, the third poorest neighborhood in the nation.

VIDEO:  See the project video here.

A “before” photo of the playspace and PreK reading room

Inventorying new toys & learning aids for the playspace with Mary

Painting the space with Jevon

An “after” photo of the brand new playspace & PreK Reading Program for Kids in the Bronx! New paint, new floor, new furniture, new toys, games, books, and learning materials! In three days!