Board of Directors
Meet our Board
At the heart of our organization is a dedicated Board of Directors, a group of passionate individuals committed to making a positive impact on the lives of these exceptional children. Get to know the inspiring individuals who lead KIND of the Upstate, steering us towards a brighter and more inclusive future for all.
Anna Kate Brown
Anna Kate graduated from Presbyterian College in 1997 with a degree in elementary education, specializing in early childhood education. She earned a masters in elementary education from Furman University in 2000 and is currently enrolled in Clemson University, set to graduate in the spring (2024) with a masters in literacy. She taught kindergarten in Greenville County Schools for 8 years before “retiring” to be home with her children. In the 15 years she was home, she spent her free time volunteering and serving on local nonprofit boards and the PTAs/PTSAs of her children’s schools. Once her children were older, Anne Kate went back to teaching and is currently in her 4th year teaching kindergarten at Westminster Weekday School. She is married to Will and has 3 children: Beau, Lucy Mac, and Mary Dot.
KIND is important to her for both personal and professional reasons. Her two younger brothers were diagnosed with Fragile X Syndrome as young children in the early 1980s, and her experiences growing up as their big sister led her to teaching. The very first KIND Days were held at the school where she now teaches. No matter what your age or ability, the importance of being KIND is one of the most important lessons to learn.
Candice holds a master’s degree in health administration from the Medical University of South Carolina and a bachelor’s degree in finance from Wofford College. She worked in the health care field for 10 years and found a passion for establishing new innovative population health models that focused on improving the overall health of upstate communities. Candice has served on the KIND Board since 2021.
Candice’s sister, Caroline Giguere, is a co-founder of KIND and her son, Candice’s nephew, Row, is the reason why she is driven to support KIND’s mission. Candice has three children and believes that introducing kindness, acceptance and inclusion of people with disabilities at a young age can provide lifelong benefits. Candice enjoys teaching KIND’s curriculum and seeing the positive impact made on the children served.
Julia was born and raised in Charleston,SC. She and her husband Andy (originally from Anderson) ahave lived in Greenville for 9 years. They have 2 daughters, Emory 7 and Palmer 4. They both went to Clemson, followed by MUSC. Julia has been a nurse for 12 years and currently works as a nurse at Prisma in the operating room.
Julia had an incredible friend growing up named Elizabeth who had a physical disability. While her physical disability worsened over time, her love for life and adventure never stopped. Julia credits Elizabeth’s family for encouraging Elizabeth to do all sorts of activities.. Sometimes in a different way or with a little extra help but if Elizabeth wanted to do it, Julia and family always found a way to make it possible. As they got older, Julia even learned to drive her wheelchair accessible van around Charleston for many adventures. To Julia, this is what KIND is, Kids including and nurturing disabilities and this is what she hopes to share with her own children and community through KIND. Julia’s friend, Elizabeth, taught me that with an open heart and an open mind a friendship to last a lifetime can grow no matter what differences we have. This is something Julia hopes all children can learn.
Kaitlyn Shuman graduated from Wofford College with a B.A. in English ‘12 and then from USC with her M.A.T. in Elementary Education in ‘13. Kaitlyn spent 7 years teaching in title I schools in South Carolina. Kaitlyn met her husband, Jim Allen, at Wofford College and they have 3 children together.
When Kaitlyn’s nephew, Campbell, was born with Down Syndrome two years ago their family mission shifted. The educator in her wanted to teach her children about acceptance and not shying away from the hard questions that can arise with different aspects of disabilities. Campbell is the greatest joy and has enriched not only their family, but also, how her kids love others and their awareness of disabilities so that they can be inclusive of others.
Thus, Kaitlyn has been thrilled to get back in the classroom and educate kids about inclusion and KINDness in general. On KIND Days, Kaitlyn loves how the message unravels organically through a purposeful book and inquiry based questions. Children are so perceptive and it’s amazing to hear the conversations they have about KINDness and the inclusion of others with disabilities.
Kaitlyn is also a volunteer at the Meyer Center and on the Holiday Luncheon Committee.
Leah Stoudenmire, The Rock It! Co.’s Founder and CEO, started her advertising career in Greenville in 2002 when the University of South Carolina graduate started her first post college job with advertising giant, Erwin Penland. As CEO of her full service marketing boutique, she wears multiple hats from steering the company’s mission and vision, spearhead client strategies, drive new business acquisitions, and oversee operations, finance, marketing, and sales.
Being asked to serve on the KIND board was not only an honor but truly an answered prayer for Leah. If you think about it, if you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, it would be KINDNESS, and that’s exactly what KIND of the Upstate strives for. And the fact that KIND promotes inclusion and acceptance of all individuals with special abilities was relatable to me for several reasons and truly touched Leah’s heart.
Ellen was born and raised in Spartanburg, SC. She graduated from Presbyterian College in 2010 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Early Childhood Education. She also received my Masters of Education in Classroom Leadership from Southern Wesleyan University in 2019.
She has been an elementary school teacher for 14 years and is passionate about children’s literature. She thinks it’s the best way to open a child’s eyes to the beauty of the world around us. She loves educating others about inclusion through the pages of the beautiful books KIND has chosen to implement in the programs. She loves creating the lesson plans used on KIND days, which include content study, games, discussion questions, and loads of fun!
She and her husband, Mahon, have two daughters. Mary Hazel is 4 years old and Sarah is one and a half years old.
We Need Your Help
KIND of the Upstate is a registered South Carolina 501(c)(3) non profit organization. 100% of your donation goes towards our mission and is tax-deductible to the extent of the law.