National Network Summit - Kids in Need Foundation

Kids In Need Foundation

National Network Summit 2019

June 26-28, 2019 | St. Louis, Missouri

Tickets are now available! Secure your ticket here

Book your hotel room here. 

Join us at the annual Kids In Need Foundation National Network Summit! This event offers teacher free stores across the country the opportunity to enhance their nonprofit work through networking, lectures, panels, and discussions around best practices. This three-day event is open to our Full and Junior Affiliate members, as well as those currently operating teacher free stores or considering opening a teacher free store.


The Summit will include collaborative sessions throughout, and opportunities to deep dive into critical topics and provide tangible steps and ideas to grow your organization. Bring your own collaboration success stories as well so that others can implement in their Centers.

The Summit will also include a tour of the KidSmart Tools for Learning Resource Center, our 2019 Summit host.

Preliminary schedule*:

Wednesday June 26
Collaboration Groups 9:00 am – 3:00 pm followed by Resource Center Tour at host location KidSmart Tools for Learning and then the Welcome Dinner
Thursday June 27
Development Breakfast at 7:15 am followed by Collaboration Groups and Educational Sessions through 5:00 pm
Friday June 28    
Networking Breakfast at 7:15 am followed by Collaboration Groups and Educational Sessions through 12:00 pm
*Schedule is subject to change



Keynote Speaker   

Maxine Clark

Maxine Clark is one of the true innovators in the retail industry. During her career, her ability to spot emerging retail and merchandising trends and her insight into the desires of the American consumer have generated growth for retail leaders, including department store, discount and specialty stores. In 1997, she founded Build-A-Bear Workshop®, a teddy-bear themed retail-entertainment experience. Today there are more than 400 Build-A-Bear Workshop stores worldwide.

In June 2013, Maxine stepped down from her Chief Executive Bear role to apply her entrepreneurial skills to her passion for improving K-12 public education and to invest in and mentor women and minority entrepreneurs. Maxine credits her teachers as her foundation for success—classroom teachers and mentors alike. To honor them she gives back. Her next “act” is to make public education much more consumer friendly by creating more access for families and students to systems and supports to enrich each child’s learning experience. Launched in 2015, is her first product, Blueprint4SummerSTL, a free and easy-to-use mobile app designed to help ALL families navigate the best summer activities for their children. Her latest venture is the Delmar DivINe™—the transformation of a neighborhood eyesore into a multi-use real estate development to open in Spring, 2019. Maxine is also a Managing Partner of Prosper Women’s Capital, a St. Louis based fund created to invest in women owned businesses in the St. Louis area and a member of the Board of Advisors of Lewis & Clark Ventures, a St. Louis based private equity firm.

In 2008, Maxine Clark was named one of The 25 Most Influential People in Retailing by Chain Store Age; in 2006, she was inducted into the Junior Achievement National Business Hall of Fame. Maxine was named one of the Wonder Women of Toys by Playthings magazine and Women in Toys, and was also one of the National Finalists in Retail for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year 2004. In 2005, the National Association of Small Business Investment Companies made Build-A-Bear Workshop Portfolio Company of the Year; it was named one of the International Council of Shopping Centers “Hottest Retailers of 2004” and the Retail Innovator of the Year for 2001 by The National Retail Federation. In 2017 Build-A-Bear Workshop was named to the FORTUNE Best Companies to Work For® list for the ninth year in a row. In 2017 Maxine was named to the Missouri Public Affairs Hall of Fame and in 2015 was named Women of the Year by the Greater Missouri Leadership Foundation.

In addition to her seat on the Build-A-Bear Workshop Board, Maxine is a member of the Board of Directors of Footlocker, Inc. and Gymboree. Maxine is a recent past member of the National Board of Trustees of Teach For America and is on the local St. Louis regional board, the Board of Trustees and the Executive Committee of Washington University in St. Louis, The Board of Directors and Executive Committee of Barnes Jewish Hospital and its Goldfarb School of Nursing, the Board of Directors of Beyond Housing and Parents As Teachers, the national Board of PBS and the local Nine Network of Public Media Board of Directors where she is the recent past Board Chair. She is also a member of the Committee of 200. Maxine is a graduate of the University of Georgia, and holds an Honorary Doctor of Laws degree from Saint Louis University and A Doctor of Humane Letters in Education from the University of Missouri St. Louis and an Honorary Associates degree from St. Louis Community College. In 2006, she published her first book “The Bear Necessities of Business: Building a Company with Heart”.

State of Education  

Dr. Kelvin R. Adams

Dr. Kelvin R. Adams is in his 11th year as Superintendent of Schools for the Saint Louis Public Schools in 2018-2019. He oversees more than 22,000 students in grades Pre K – 12 and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the District’s 4,000-plus employees and $400 million budget.

“Creating Great Options” for the children of St. Louis is Dr. Adams’ focus. His vision has helped create single-gender classroom schools, an African-centered curriculum school, a nationally recognized school for new Americans, a new medical and bioscience high school, a designated educational therapeutic support school for Pre K – 8, and the expansion of early childhood classrooms.

In 2015, he wrapped up the District’s $155 million facilities improvement plan, which resulted in updated cafeterias, modernized classrooms and increased technology for students. Starting this year, he will oversee the allocation of Proposition 1 funding for early childhood education, character and alternative education options, improved safety and security equipment and personnel, and competitive salaries for teachers and staff.

The results speak volumes. Under Dr. Adams’ guidance, Saint Louis Public Schools has increased its graduation rate, improved state test scores and boosted attendance rates each year. In 2012, the District’s accreditation status was upgraded from Unaccredited to Provisionally Accredited. In 2015, the District earned enough points to be Fully Accredited.

Prior to joining Saint Louis Public Schools, Dr. Adams held positions as Chief of Staff, Associate Dean/Interim Dean and Charter School Liaison, High School Principal, Middle School Principal and Executive Director of Middle Schools.

Dr. Adams received a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership in Administration from the University of New Orleans in 2005. He earned a M.A. in Elementary Education from Xavier University in 1991 and a B.A. in Elementary Education and Special Education from Northeast Louisiana University in 1978.


Fund Development  

Linda B. Haley, CFRE Principal

Linda B. Haley was named the 2016 Outstanding Fundraising Executive by the St. Louis Regional Chapter of AFP (Association of Fundraising Professionals). Since 1995, Linda has successfully developed funds, helping to raise more than $100 million for various non-profits, including religious, social services, educational, and healthcare organizations.

Linda has a breadth of “in the trenches” development experience that makes her an invaluable resource to organizations of all sizes.  She’s worked at small, mid-sized, and large charities, leading development initiatives to incredible successes along the way.

Realizing a long-time dream, Linda started Let’s Build Hope, LLC, in 2013, where she now guides nonprofit agencies by teaching, coaching, and mentoring development teams, senior staff, and Board members.  She has also developed – and teaches – a week-long Annual Fund Training Camp to educate fundraisers and volunteers about the intricacies of successful fund development and the need for a true culture of philanthropy.  Linda is a strategist and a creative thinker – her ability to see development efforts in a linear way and to understand both problem and solution make her an invaluable resource to nonprofits.

Linda has been a CFRE since 2001 and serves in various volunteer capacities with non-profits in St. Louis; she is especially passionate about mental health.  Linda speaks both locally and nationally about fund development and is a vocal advocate for nonprofits who seek to change the fabric of the communities in which they serve.


Questions? Contact Jessica Hoffman, Manager of Network Relations and Outreach Development


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