President and CEO
Adelaide Schaeffer is the founder and executive director of Champions for Kids, an organization working to mobilize MILLIONS of people to improve the lives of children in their communities.
Schaeffer founded Champions for Kids in 2004 in response to an alarming awareness of millions of children in America and the world who suffer silently and in many cases, die, due to a variety of issues: hunger, abuse, violence, neglect, and abandonment. Many do not have safe or adequate shelter, access to health care and struggle or drop out of school because they do not have the resources and support they need to become healthy adults and productive members of society.
Chief Operations Officer
Cathy Cooper is the Chief Operations Officer of Champions for Kids, an organization working to mobilize MILLIONS of people to improve the lives of children in their communities.
Cathy leads the strategic planning for CFK, including leading the organization’s efforts to cultivate and build a national network of partners and advocates to leverage their resources and influence.
Prior to joining CFK, Cooper served a twenty year tenure, working in various management and leadership positions with Tyson Foods, the world’s largest poultry company. Cathy’s corporate experience in business processes, management and training, as well as years of experience serving in numerous capacities on nonprofit boards and executive committees are invaluable to CFK.
Dr. Blake Brandes
Chief Program Officer
As a Marshall Scholar and PhD recipient, Dr. Blake Brandes has dedicated his life to exploring the intersection of music, academics, and youth achievement. After completing a double major in English (Honors) and French Language and Literature at Wake Forest University as a Graylyn Scholar, Blake was one of 43 Americans to be awarded a Marshall Scholarship, one of the most prestigious awards an undergraduate can receive, to undertake postgraduate study in England. While at the University of Kent in Canterbury, Blake received a first class distinction (the highest award possible) for his Masters degree in Postcolonial Studies. Blake went on to pursue a PhD in Text, Practice as Research at the University of Kent, and he successfully passed his PhD defense in September 2011.
In addition to his educational credentials, Blake has been actively involved in music production and management over the past five years. As President of Decrypt Productions LLC, Blake has produced Top 40 radio singles and MTV-featured songs, developed sponsorships and licensing partnerships, and organized international concerts and tours, in addition to being an active musician and performer of piano, rap, and beatbox (vocal percussion).
Merging his passion for music and academics, Blake has performed numerous hip-hop workshops in the US, UK, France, Morocco, and Egypt. During these workshops, he teaches students and young people how to beatbox and helps them create connections between their passion and their academic studies. Blake also organized the international Conference on Global Youth Cultures at the University of Kent in October 2009, which brought academics and artists from around the world together to foster interdisciplinary dialogue and build relationships that transcend scholar/practitioner divides.
Known for delivering improvisational raps in up to five languages at a time, Blake is dedicated to mediating the perceived gap between the Academy and the streets. From motivating one child in a classroom to motivating millions of people to become Champions for Kids, Blake believes in the power of committed, active citizens to make a difference in their communities and the world.
Senior Strategic Advisor
John Andrews is a marketer with over 20 years of experience with leading brands like Hanes, Eastman Kodak Digital, Newell Rubbermaid, Implus and Walmart. He led the creation of Walmart’s award-winning social media platform, Elevenmoms, an industry-disrupting online customer advocate program. He is also the founder of Collective Bias, a Social Shopper Marketing company that creates content marketing for Fortune 500 brands and retailers. John is a visionary for bridging the gap between the point of influence and the point of purchase with shopper-centric, channel-focused technology and platforms.
Currently, Mr. Andrews is leading the creation of a new consulting model for brands, retailers, technology companies and organizations to help them leverage emerging media and create engagement with stakeholders to drive enterprise value. He also serves as an active advisor for technology companies, retailers, brands and organizations.
As Senior Strategic Advisor for Champions for Kids, John is bringing his passion for disrupting existing business models to cause marketing. His objective is to help the organization reach it’s goal of helping 20 million kids by 2020 by rethinking the cause marketing process through the lens of emerging media and technology. His focus is creating value for all CFK stake holders including brands, retailers and partners by rethinking how resources are deployed to help kids thrive.
Director of Marketing
Magness is responsible for the creative marketing for Champions for Kids, an organization working to make it SIMPLE to help kids in your own community.
Magness brings experience as well as a creative, strategic, and personable style to this pivotal role. Previously, she was the creative services account executive for Compassion International, a nonprofit organization that serves children in need. Prior to that, she worked for six years at Give Kids The World, a resort for terminally ill children as the creative director. There, she participated in marketing partnerships with corporate sponsors such as American Airlines, Kmart, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios, Procter & Gamble, Tide, NASCAR and Walmart.
Magness also planned and implemented creative programs for more than 300 young people per week as a youth director for Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines. Prior to that role, she was the public relations director for Seattle Christian Schools where she implemented a new branding and public relations program.
Magness earned her B.A. in communications/advertising from Washington State University while working in advertising for the college newspaper. Upon graduation, she put her communication expertise to work at KMTT radio station in Seattle, Washington. Chris volunteers in the youth program at church, sits on the MOPS steering team and attends BSF International. The majority of her career has been working with or on behalf of children.
A Seattle native, Christine and her family make their home in Bella Vista, Arkansas. She enjoys time with family, reading, crafts and water skiing.
Director of Business Development
Drew joined the Champions for Kids team as the director of business development, and has over eight years of business development and operations experience in the transportation and logistics industry. The strategic “out of the box” thinking that Drew brings to the table will be instrumental in the growth and development of Champions for Kids’ current and upcoming programs.
After earning his bachelor of science in business administration (specializing in transportation and logistics), from the University of Arkansas, Drew gained experience in the industry working on projects related to rail logistics and turnkey supply chain solutions. Drew gained civic engagement experience through involvement in the Miracle League of Northwest Arkansas.
Drew is a native of Fayetteville, AR and has a wife, Lindsey, who is a kindergarten teacher in the Fayetteville schools, and two daughters, Charley and Campbell . He considers himself an avid outdoorsman and tennis player.
Director of Communications
In order to understand Ivy LaClair a bit better, you need to know her life’s guiding sentiment, summarized by Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” To Ivy, this means living a life filled with faith, creativity, adventurism and bravery.
While pursuing her M.Ed. in higher education at the University of Arkansas, Ivy became versed in nonprofit leadership and volunteer management during her assistantship in the Center for Community Engagement. Through a university partnership with Champions for Kids that resulted in the recruitment and organization of over 200 RazorFest volunteers in 2013, Ivy was first introduced to CFK and the wonderful passion of the organization.
Ivy has a B.A. in communication from Wichita State University, providing her with knowledge that proved valuable during her many years of involvement in college programing such as student activities and volunteer events. In fact, Ivy has been event planning, managing projects and executing communication campaigns since 2005, and she is proud and delighted to bring her experience to Champions for Kids.
As CFK’s director of communications, Ivy coordinates overall communication efforts for the organization. She also provides project management support in various programming areas. One of her passions is civic engagement, and she hopes to assist in building the organization’s programs as they go from Good to GREAT.
Originally from Kansas, Ivy is excited to build a life with her brand new husband and loyal chihuahua in Fayetteville. She loves being outdoors, camping and gardening. She regularly volunteers to maintain the garden at her church, and serves on the local interfaith harmony committee. She also loves a good meditation or spiritual retreat once in a while! In the moments, days and years to come, Ivy plans to develop a wonderful community through volunteerism and friendship in Northwest Arkansas.
Assistant Director of Technology and Operations
Justin's passion for community service began when he served as an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Yvonne Richardson Community Center. He joined the Champions for Kids team with a desire to grow the organization’s online presence. He believes social media is a force multiplier for social engagement, and as CFK continues to grow it will become vital to build out its social media strategy and platforms. Justin has lived in Fayetteville many years, and loves spending time on his land just outside of town. He enjoys hiking, biking, playing basketball, and hanging out with his dog, Lincoln, who he rescued from a shelter.
Senior Program Officer
Kelly Williams joined our team in August 2013 as Senior Program Officer. She is a graduate of Davidson College, where she was an active participant and leader in several community service programs, including the Bonner Scholars program, Alternative Breaks, and Lilly Programs for the Theological Exploration of Vocation. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Religion from the University of Georgia and is completing a Ph.D. in U.S. Religious History at Vanderbilt University. She’s interested in the ability of communities to enact visions of a better world, and she’s thrilled to be part of realizing the Champions for Kids vision.
A native North Carolinian, Kelly has lived all over the Southeast. She now lives in New York City, where she appreciates the ease of public transportation and the availability of takeout at any hour, but misses Southern accents and free refills. She’s learning to play the banjo, trying to live her funniest life, and has never met a taco she didn’t like.
Assistant Director of Operations and Special Projects
"After all, not to create only, or found only; But to bring perhaps, from afar what is already founded; To give it our own identity, average, limitless, free." -Walt Whitman
As Assistant Director of Operations and Special Projects, Anna is highly motivated to get organized and work hard to serve this community. She is passionate about helping people in need and getting their communities involved. She is also passionate about conserving the environment and recycling.
Anna spent six years in the Air Force National Guard, working on F16s and A10s. She received her B.A. in Drama at the University of Arkansas in 2011, and has done contract work for Theatre Squared and the Walton Arts Center. Her experience with the Air Force and Theatre environment have given her confidence, strong communication skills, and a can-do attitude.
Anna is originally from Illinois, but she has spent the last ten years in Fayetteville. She and her husband, Flint, love this area and the people in it. Anna enjoys spending time with her friends and family, traveling, reading, running, going to the theatre, watching movies, rainy days, tuna noodle casserole, and trying new things. Go Cubs!