2015 Nanny of the Year™
Marly Higgins Driskell of Spring TX
Since Marly was 8 years old, she has always wanted to be a nanny and has molded her whole life around this. Kids have always seemed to be fascinated by her and she has always found herself surrounded by them. Marly graduated from the National Academy of Nanny Inc. in Denver, CO. She worked for the president of NANI as nanny to his 2 boys during her training. For over 21 years, she has been a nanny for both boys (5) and girls (8) from newborns to young teenagers, including a set of twins. She has created and developed fun and educational activities that are age appropriate to help children use their imaginations. She has traveled with families on vacations and also had complete responsibility while parents were away for weekend trips. She has worked with parents who are medical doctors, CPAs, a child psychologist, a Houston Police Department homicide detective, a FBI agent, an air traffic controller, a pharmaceutical sales person, and many who work in the oil industry. She provides the same professional attitude towards each parent. Marly became interested in working overnights with newborn multiples as a result of working with her family that has twins. As a Certified Overnight Care Specialist and Newborn Care Specialist she is experienced with newborn preemie multiples (several sets of twins, triplets, quadruplets, and a set of quintuplets). She is confident when dispensing prescribed medications, monitoring oxygen levels and the cardiorespiratory monitor. Many of the babies suffer with reflux and Marly helps them get relief by providing the prescribed medications and elevating them for at least 30 minutes after each feeding by making a safe nest so they aren’t lying flat which can cause more pain. For gas pains, she provides exercises that help to relieve the gas. She teaches the parents these methods of relief so they are confident in their interactions with their babies.
2014 Nanny of the Year™
Sheri Lopez of Scottsdale, AZ
Sheri Lopez’s career spans more than three decades, caring for children of all ages, however recently defining her role as a Birth to Age 1 Nanny. She demonstrates an ongoing commitment of furthering her education by attending educational workshops, seminars and child related courses, is the first to volunteer to share her knowledge, skills and wisdom, and is a tireless volunteer both in the nanny industry and in her community. Sheri displays an overwhelming dedication to professionalism and support of the nanny industry. An amazing leader, Sheri is a role model for all nannies to look up to in the coming year. In addition to her nanny career, Sheri volunteers her time as a Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA ) in the Phoenix area, to the American Red Cross – teaching CPR/First aid to both parents and caregivers and Babysitter Training courses to teens. She is founder of ‘The Professional Nanny and Newborn Care Specialists of Arizona’ (www.pnncsofaz.com), a support group for nannies and newborn care specialists. She volunteers with Child Help, The Ronald McDonald house, Free Arts of Arizona and “A Date on Me” where she provides a free night of babysitting to returning soldiers to thank them for their service to our country. In 2012 Sheri joined the INA Board of Directors, where she has been a huge asset to our association!
2013 Nanny of the Year™
Joanne Barrow of Valley Cottage, NY
Joanne feels honored to have given her working life to helping families raise children for the last 22 years. She has cared for a family struggling to overcome the loss of their mom, children whose parents were in the middle of a divorce, and helped a busy single mom adopt, care for, and connect with her children. Joanne moved stateside from England when she was just 20 years old through an Au Pair program and become a true professional American nanny. Joanne was nominated by Faith Popcorn and Glenn Kaufman who had this to say about her: ” My daughter was 3 years old when she was adopted from China and had never heard a word of English. Though play and everyday activities Joanne worked tirelessly with her to develop a command of the English language. Joanne was instrumental in helping her adjust to the monumental transition” commented Faith. “She has a work ethic and proactive nature as great as any I have witnessed, and both her time management and organizational skills make the countless tasks, decisions, actions, needs, and challenges of a typical day and substantial projects seem virtually effortless. She anticipates and assesses situations with a level of thoughtfulness and decisiveness required to take the nanny role to a level beyond the highest of expectations” added Glenn.
2017 Update: 2015 bought about some changes both personally and professionally. First came marriage and motherhood to 4 wonderful stepchildren, followed by a well timed opportunity and transition to move from nanny to nanny recruitment and
Nikki Gribble of Bethesda, MD
Nikki Gribble is a graduate of the English Nanny & Governess School and certified professional nanny. Gribble has five years of professional nanny experience, is an INA Credentialed Nanny and has been a member of INA since 2006. She is also a member of ADCAN (Association of DC Area Nannies), the oldest nanny support group in the United States and holds basic water rescue certification through the American Red Cross. Nikki has carved out a niche for herself in caring for multiples. She was nominated for this prestigious award by her employers who are parents of twins.
Marcia Hall of Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Read Marcia’s Acceptance Speech
Marcia Hall has been working with children and families for the past twenty years. She is a Certified Professional Nanny, an INA Credentialed Nanny, and an ACPI Certified Coach for Families. Marcia is a graduate of the English Nanny and Governess School (1997) and of the Academy of Coaching Parents International (2010) and has served as a certified minister, children’s ministry director, and foster parent. Marcia has been on the INA Board of Directors for more than 6 years and currently serves as the President. Marcia resides in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with her husband Scott and three amazing children. She believes that the knowledge she has gained through becoming a parent is invaluable to her career. She now understands on a deeper level the stress and emotions parents face as they make decisions and raise their children. Marcia is a work-from-home-mom and while she is not currently working as a nanny, she will always be one in her heart. These days she can be found caring for not only her own children but others in her home. In addition to this, Marcia founded Nanny Coaching Team with a goal to help nannies better understand their unique role within the family. Marcia’s past employers describe her as “a partner in caring for our children,” “a resource for sound, solid parenting advice” and “integral to all of our lives.” In her years of childcare experience, Marcia has cared for children aged newborn to teen and has worked with children who have special needs. Marcia feels honored to have seen many of her charges (and her own children) through becoming a big brother or sister and helping instruct families who were struggling with discipline and behavioral issues. She feels fortunate she’s able to have the best of both worlds, staying home with her children and making a positive difference in the nanny industry. Marcia recently launched her own business, Strong Roots Family Coaching because she believes that all children are born with great potential. It’s her desire to continue help children discover their gifts and help their parents find the best ways to nurture, support and encourage them through both her nanny and coaching careers.
Greta Schraer of Batavia, Ohio
Read Greta’s acceptance speech
Greta Schraer has been in the childcare industry for over 20 years. She began working with children at age 12, after becoming a Red Cross Certified Babysitter, and has loved it ever since. Her positive spirit, natural leadership, and simple admiration for children, has left her a treasured member of many families. While working as a nanny for young triplet boys, Greta began meeting more and more nannies during their adventures around Cincinnati. Seeing a common desire to connect, in 2009 she started CincyNanny, a community for nannies. Greta’s entrepreneurial drive, and high standards for care have led her to be a national leader in the professional nanny world. Through INA she has volunteered on the INA Board of Directors, been credentialed and earn a Service Award Pin. CincyNanny has continued to grow now offering coaching and placement to families. Greta has a passion to mentor nannies and feels privileged to guide families as they navigate their way through quality care choices for their children. She hopes that CincyNanny will continue to set a standard for the nanny industry in this city and beyond. Greta is married to the love of her life, Doug, and they have two sons, Isaac and Luke. Greta loves to learn, travel, theology, organization, teaching dance, and managing projects for her church. She thinks there is nothing better than the warmth of a sleeping baby, the sound of a rainstorm, a walk on the beach with her husband, or a full-bodied cabernet.
2017 Update: CincyNanny has grown from a community offering training, social events, and coaching for nannies, to offering services to families as well! Families can choose the full service placement or a DIY option to meet their needs. Personally, Greta loves being a mom and watch her own kids learn and develop character. In the fall they will both be in school, Isaac starts Kindergarten and Luke starts PreK!
Words of Wisdom: This world has so much to offer us, but we often don’t take the adventure or risk because of our own fear. Be willing to fall or fail to go for the big stuff, even when you mess up, you learn. You are called to something, take steps forward that even when you aren’t sure. It is easier to change course when you are already moving!
Read MaryAnn’s acceptance speech
Being a nanny means that I am able to immerse myself in what I love. I love working with children, and I have been blessed with the ability to follow my passions, enjoy my loves, and use my skills in my career. I want to know that I make a difference in others’ lives and being able to make children’s lives fun and interesting, while also gearing their environment and activities to develop their skills and interests, thrill me. What other job in the world allows you to arrive at work to smiles and squeals of delight, play and receive hugs and kisses all day, and be sadly missed at the end of the day? I am an excellent nanny who always strives to do my very best. For years, I have looked to my mentors and seen areas in my own life that I would like to grow and develop. I have worked hard to become the person I am and to reach my personal goals. The thought of being considered a leader use to scare me, but then a wise friend told me, “You have the ability to use your knowledge to mentor others and to help the next generation of nannies reach their goals to be their very best, and that is what you should do.” That is my current goal. I want to give back to the nanny community that has helped me become the person I am today.
I am proof you are never too old to reinvent yourself! At 49 I became a full time nanny. At 54 I started The Traveling Nanny specializing in tempoary care. By 60 I was only doing travel and newborns! Keep Dreaming!
2009 Update: Since receiving the NOTY™ award, Donna has continued to work as a traveling nanny. This past year, she enjoyed assignments that took her to such wonderful destinations as the French Polynesian Islands, Alaska and Turkey, to name a few. Donna has enjoyed being an active member of INA and regularly writes articles for INAVision, the association newsletter. “Carrying around a tote bag with INA’sNanny of the Year™ provided me with many opportunities to share my nanny experiences with curious folks who wanted to know more about what my bag meant,” said Donna. Donna looks forward to serving on the 2009 INA NOTY™ selection committee, and attending the 2009 conference where™award.
2017 Update: I am proof you are never too old to reinvent yourself! At 49 I became a full time nanny. At 54 I started The Traveling Nanny specializing in tempoary care. By 60 I was only doing travel and newborns! Keep Dreaming! I have shifted “again” and devote my work time to travel and newborns combined with coaching new parents. I decided to work less, travel for pleasure more and make travel memories with my 2 grandsons! My husbands says my version of “less” is a work in progress!
Words of Wisdom: Don’t be afraid to change course. Disappointment happens less when you do your homework. For goodness sake just laugh more – lighten up!
Read Christy’s acceptance speech
Christy Ochs is not your typical nanny. She is the mother of four who took an unusual path to becoming a nanny, a professional caregiver who is a genuine advocate for children, and she represents a positive role model for the in-home child care industry and the International Nanny Association (INA). On May 18, INA awarded Christy its highest honor, The 2007 Nanny of the Year™ (NOTY™) Award during its 22nd Annual Conference held in Alexandria, Virginia. When Christy turned 42, she decided her child rearing days were not easily left behind—even though she had already reared four children, one with Downs Syndrome, and two step children. “I chose to be a nanny because the idea of doing for the parents what I would have loved to have had done for me as a young parent was very appealing. I loved the idea of not only providing a secure and loving environment for their children, but also taking some of the daily pressure off of their shoulders by doing their laundry, straightening up the house and helping the children with their school assignments.” Christy is now working with her third family and cares for three-year-old Hawk who attended the conference with his mother. During the award ceremony, he presented flowers to Christy. “My boss, Jill, nominated me for the NOTY™. I was so honored and touched to have been nominated, especially by my employer. Lots of people go through their entire working lives without feeling appreciated. I can’t tell you how much this nomination meant to me. Every time my little charges say “I love you Nana!” I feel like Nanny of the Year.” What does it take to be INA’s Nanny of the Year™? Officially, it takes at least five years of professional nanny experience, an education in the field of child care, a nomination from a nanny recruiting agency or employer, and several references. Unofficially, it takes a lot of love and patience. Christy is the founder/moderator of the Denver Area Nanny Association. She has been a member of INA since 2001, and is also a member of NANC (National Association of Nanny Credentialing) and Nanny Support Group Leaders. She was inspired to start the Denver Area Nanny Association in 2003 after attending her first INA conference. Now with over 600 members, the group arranges play dates, nanny dinners and coffee gatherings, and organizes and participates in CPR/First Aid training for nannies.
2009 Update: Since receiving the NOTY ™ award, Christy has enjoyed working with the same family that nominated her. She has now been with that family for 6 years and her charges are now ages 6, 4 and 2. In January of 2008, the family moved into a new house and Christy was able to reduce her hours to 30 per week so that she could help out with her new grandbaby.
Christy continues to play an active role in her local nanny support group,Denver Area Nanny Association. Last spring she asked one of the other nannies in the group to take over leadership. “The new moderator is doing a super job and we have such a wonderful group of Nannies here in Colorado!” said Christy.
2017 update: Christy worked with the family that nominated her for 10 wonderful years, and although she was sad to move on, this family will always hold a special place in her heart and she still keeps in very close contact with them. Since leaving that job Christy has worked with two other families and is currently working with an adorable 11 month old boy. She still believes being a nanny is the greatest job in the world!
Words of wisdom: Listen when a child talks to you. Give him your full, undivided attention and he will know he is special enough to deserve your focus.
A former lead preschool teacher and day care assistant director, Becky has been a career nanny with the same family for over sixteen years. She has been an active member of the INA since 1989 and was one of the first members to pass the INA Nanny Credential Exam. Becky has served as INA President for two years and on the Board of Directors for six years, as well as on many INA committees. In 1998 Hillary Rodham Clinton presented Becky with one of Parents Magazine’s awards for outstanding achievement in the childcare field.Introducing Becky Kavanagh as 2006 INA Nanny of the Year™. Becky was nominated for Nanny of the Year™ by Mary O’Connor of Nannies from the Heartland, a Plymouth, Minnesota based placement agency in which she works part time as a placement counselor. For the past two years, Becky has served as the president of her local nanny group, Twin Cities Professional Nannies (TCPN). She has been an editor and contributor to the TCPN newsletter for over four years. She is an active volunteer in the Girl Scouts as the leader of two troops, also the event chair and in serves at the leadership level in Prairie Star Service Unit. Becky was awarded the Outstanding Leader and Valued Volunteer honor.
Becky is very special to many people:
“More than anyone else in my life Becky has taught me how to be the father I hoped and dreamed I would be. For me she has been the “owner’s manual” that children don’t come with.” said Paul Kunkel, Becky’s employer.
“She has a presence that somehow always communicates a sense of her absolute confidence in us, not only at every dance recital and orchestra concert, but every day. I have a deep and tremendous respect for Becky, and I consider myself profoundly lucky to have had her as my nanny.” offered Cassie Peitzman, Becky’s oldest charge.
INA’s 2006 Nanny of the Year™ selection committee had this to say, “Becky stood out because she has been with one family from the children’s birth all the way through their teen years. On top of this, she saw the family through divorce and the blending of two households, all the while staying very active in her community and in the in-home child care industry on a local, regional and national level. She is a totally selfless and giving person.”
2009 Update: In 1998 Becky received one of Parents Magazine’s awards for outstanding achievement in the child care field! After serving on the INA Board for six years in the late 90’s and early 2000’s, Becky took a hiatus for a few years. Now Becky is back in full swing, and serving in her second year as INA board secretary. She has also returned to serve on her local nanny group’s board of directors. Becky enjoys contributing regularly to several newsletters and working part time at a nanny placement agency. Becky has been a nanny for 19 years, has worked with children of all ages and is celebrating 26 years in early childhood education.
Jenny Brown of Kirkland, WA
Congratulations to the 2005 International Nanny of the Year™ award recipient, Jenny Brown from Kirkland, Washington. A former lead preschool teacher, Jenny has been a career nanny for over ten years. She has been a member of INA since March, 2004 and passed the INA Nanny Credential Exam at the 19th annual conference that was held in Boston, MA. Jenny is Heartsaver First Aid certified and holds her CPR certification in Pediatric Basic Life Support. For the past six years, Jenny has served as the President of her local nanny group, Northwest Nanny Association. She is active in her community, participating in several charitable organizations, including organizing annual holiday projects for the patients at her local Children’s Hospital and filling Christmas stockings for the Seton House, a transitional home for unwed mothers and their children. In September, 2004, Jenny organized a National Nanny Recognition Week social event that united nannies, families and agency owners to honor those dedicated to working in the in-home childcare industry. Jenny has written several articles for her nanny group newsletter, taught and attended several educational workshops and has been interviewed for newspaper articles relating to the nanny industry. Jenny’s portfolio was amazing and consisted of letters of recommendation from past employers, agency owners and heartfelt letters of support from her former charges, with whom she still remains close. A true professional, Jenny will be a dynamic representation of today’s professional nanny.
2009 Update: Since receiving the 2005 NOTY™ award, Jenny has done many new things. First, she went back to school and completed a yearlong Early Childhood Education program. “It was difficult at times to manage working full time and attending school full time, but I loved the program and was sad when my coursework ended,” said Jenny. Jenny is now just a few classes away from earning her Early Childhood Education degree. Jenny has also expanded her career skills and completed a doula training program. “This has been an interest of mine for many years and I am eager to start the process of becoming DONA (Doulas of North America) certified,” said Jenny. On the nanny front, Jenny is no longer with the family that nominated her. “The unfortunate piece of the nanny puzzle is the fact that the family/children grow up and no longer need a nanny,” she said. Jenny has remained close to the family, and the kids hold a special place in her heart. “I have been fortunate to have gone from one great family to another amazing family in my nanny career,” she said.
“One thing remains the same,” said Jenny, “My passion for the nanny industry.”Jenny has continued her position as the Northwest Nanny Association’s president and is constantly looking for speakers, meeting topics, classes and finding ways members of the nanny group can help out in their community; all on top of her day job, caring for a two year old boy and his one year old sister. “After being a nanny for 14 years, I am happy to say that I love it now as much as I did when I started, and I remain honored to have been chosen as the 2005 NOTY™.”
Michelle LaRowe Conover has more than 20 years of nanny industry experience. As an International Nanny Association credentialed nanny and Nanny of the Year award recipient, Michelle has authored several parenting books including Nanny to the Rescue!, Nanny to the Rescue Again! and Working Mom’s 411. Michelle has also served as executive director of the International Nanny Association, executive director of Morningside Nannies, editor in chief of eNannySource.com, and as an expert content contributor, product reviewer and consultant for a variety of major brands. To educate the next generation of nannies, Michelle launched NannyTraining.com where she serves as lead educator. Michelle lives on Cape Cod in Massachusetts with her husband and two school-aged children. There she serves as an elected official of her district’s school committee, a youth basketball coach, and a Girl Scout leader.
2009 Update: After receiving the NOTY™ award, Michelle was featured in several newspaper and magazine articles and she appeared on several different television programs. As a result, she was contacted to write a parenting book, and has since authored Nanny to the Rescue!, Nanny to the Rescue Again!, and Working Mom’s 411. Her fourth book will be out in 2010. Michelle also wrote a chapter in the Experts’ Guide to the Baby Years and she regularly contributes articles to several magazines, including TWINS Magazine. Michelle continued working with the boys she cared for since 1999 until they relocated across the country in December of 2006. She still talks to them often and has had the opportunity to visit them in their new home. In 2007, Michelle got married, relocated to Cape Cod, and in July 2008, Michelle and her husband Jeff welcomed their first baby, Abigail into the world. “Being a nanny for so long has certainly prepared me for all the ups and downs motherhood has to offer” says Michelle. “Abigail, is amazing and although everyone kept telling me I’d do things so differently with my own, I haven’t experienced that yet.” You can learn more about what Michelle is up to at www.michellelarowe.com.
2017 Update: Michelle continues to enjoy being a wife, mom and being an active member of her children’s school community. She recently launched NannyTraining.com, an online nanny training program that is currently being reviewed for accreditation. Michelle continues to be a managing partner of Longhorn Leads and oversees the day to day operations of Morningside Nannies, an award-winning Houston based nanny agency.
Words of Wisdom: Never sacrifice your convictions for consensus. Always stand up for what you believe in, even if you feel like you are standing alone.
An active member of INA since 1993, Michelle McNabb of Seattle, Washington,was among the first to take and pass the INA Nanny Credential Exam.She also serves on the organization’s Membership and Nominating Committees and is an active participant in the INA-sponsored Nanny Mentor program. “The definition of being a nanny has evolved so much over the years. No longer considered ‘just a babysitter,’ nannies are respected,dedicated professionals responsible for and entrusted with the care of young children,” stated Pat Cascio, president of INA. “Michelle McNabb is a true representative of our organization.She is committed to her job and to her families, and understands the value of education in terms of in-home childcare and safety, as well as the need to adapt to an ever-changing childcare environment. We are very proud to have her represent INA as Nanny of the Year™.” “Being named Nanny of the Year™ means so much to me,”added McNabb. “It is truly an honor, and I am especially privileged to have a job that I thoroughly enjoy. Not only do you get to teach children in a one on one environment, but you learn from them and laugh with them. It doesn’t get any better than that.” McNabb, 34, was nominated by Annie Davis of Annie’s Nannies,Inc. in Seattle, WA. She has been with the company since 1995 and according to owner Annie Davis, “Michelle is committed to children’s educational,social and emotional well-being. She contributes to their overall development through lesson plans that she creates, play dates and lots of tender,loving care.” In addition to INA, Michelle McNabb is involved with Seattle based nanny associations and participates in a number of related volunteer activitie s. She stays current on topics including children’s literature,parenting issues and child development research, as well as age appropriate toys and products. Prior to becoming a nanny, Michelle served as a preschool teacher. She also holds bachelor’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences Education from the University of Idaho.
Marni started her nanny career in 1987. She currently lives in Highlands Ranch, Colorado. Marni understands the responsibilities of a nanny as well as a household manager and has experienced live-in as well as live-outroles in her years in the industry. Her hobbies and interests include reading, gardening, exercising, walking with her English Bulldog Kramer,caring for her three birds and mentoring other nannies. Marni’s current employer writes, “Marni allows (us) to pursue our passion for our work while providing a loving, safe and nurturing environment for our children. Our kids know that we love them because we care enough to have someone like Marni spending time with them when we can’t.”
Ginger Swift of ABC Nannies, who nominated Marni, wrote this; “We are very pleased to nominate Marni Kent as Nanny of the Year. She is experienced, dedicated and a credit to her profession.”
2013 Update: Marni is a career nanny with over 27 years of service, and she currently resides in San Francisco, California. She has held jobs as a household nanny and baby nurse. She currently travels frequently with her executive employer and infant charge. She is the 2002 International Nanny Association’s Nanny of the Year. She authored the INA Mentor/Protege program, chaired INA mentor program, She is active in the nanny community and has spoken at the Denver Area Nanny Conference, INA conference, and Nannypalooza; written a column with INTL Guild Of Butlers, Careernanny.com, Be The Best Nanny newsletter, a sponsor for INA conferences, NNTD, NAN.
Carol has been an INA member since 1998. Carol is a live-out nanny for one charge, age four. Along with several various teaching positions she has held seven nanny jobs. Carol holds a B.A. in Child Development and an M.A. in Education. From 1990 to 1992 Carol served in the Peace Corps in the Kingdom of Lesotho. She was the primary resource trainer for 70 teachers and assisted in the education of over 3000 students.She traveled by foot up mountainsides to reach local villages to introduce materials and various teaching methods. Her employers say, “Carol is trustworthy, reliable and a hard worker. She is a mother, teacher, playmate and friend. She challenges herself to understand children and always searches for ways to develop and teach our son. Carol, you are outstanding!” Carol’s goal is to bring awareness of the Nanny Profession to the public. She is proud of her accomplishments. And so are we of Carol and all the nominees. Congratulations!
Tess has continued her work as a professional nanny for a fabulous family. She now has 25 years of experience under her belt. Tess has enjoyed traveling with her work family and mentoring her twin sister,Julia, as she is becoming involved in the nanny profession. Tess also continues to help spread the word about INA, the local Twin City Nannies group and to raise awareness about our profession.
How receiving the NOTY™ award has impacted her career: Tess says that “The award validated me as a professional and gained me new respect from my peers, employers and others interested in the nanny profession.” Tess says that she has also “given my mother and mother in law something to brag about.”
Words of wisdom: Plan on working hard and steady to achieve your goals. Find a family that you can love and that will love you back. Do not stay where you are not appreciated. So many nannies stay because of the children, but it benefits no one if you are not appreciated. So many nannies crave that high profile job, and although the perks are there, if you are not appreciated the number of trips you have gone on or the number of private jets you’ve been on just doesn’t matter. None of that matters if they don’t love you.
Heidi was a nanny for the Prusak family, and their 3 children when she was awarded the honor of 1999 NOTY, and was their nanny from 1995 till she married in 2002. Heidi is now the mother five children of her own. Heidi say that “Nannying was a great experience to prepare me for becoming a mother”.
Cynthia has been weaving together her passions and talents in the arts, with her nanny career, for over three decades. As a nanny, she has served families in Colorado, California, and Connecticut. Many of these children, whom she has cared for, are now adults and have become parents themselves. Cynthia considers herself extremely blessed to remain a part of their lives, all of these years later. One of her specialty areas as a nanny has been caring for children who were newly adopted from China, and assisting with their transition to this country, both emotionally and through focusing on their speech and language development. Another area of expertise has been fostering creativity in each of her charges. In addition to caring for children, Cynthia began recording her children’s CDs in 2000: Jumpin’ Up to the Moon and Jumpin’ On Down the Road. She has served as an educator with arts organizations such as the Denver Center for the Performing Arts and Swallow Hill Music School. In California, she was involved in the development of the “Little Bears” music program for the Blue Bear School of Music. In 2009, she began her Jumpin’ With Cindy Music Blog for parents, educators, and nannies where she shares her passion for arts education for children. Her involvement in the INA includes serving on it’s board of directors from 1993-1997, where she chaired the Membership committee. Cynthia has served as the co-chair of the INA NOTY Mentor committee, and she has contributed as a writer for INA publications. She is also an active presenter at conferences for nannies and educators and has presented at both New England and Colorado AEYC conferences, INA and Nannypalooza conferences, as well as NNTD events in both Denver, CO and Glenview, IL.
How receiving the NOTY™ award has impacted her career: Cynthia says “It was a wonderful experience to serve the nanny profession as NOTY™. One highlight was being featured on a local PBS program. I was not filmed or interviewed, but journalists from the Denver area discussed a story about me that was written in the Denver Post. They focused on my high level of education and professionalism. It was such an honor to be treated with respect by the press and not to be involved in a”tabloid level” of reporting. I was proud to be able to spread the word that there are many true professionals who have chosen to become career nannies.”
2009 Update: Cynthia is working as a nanny in the Denver area for an 18 month old girl and is celebrating her 10th year as a member of the faculty at the Denver Center Theatre Academy. In her spare time, she assists with a children’s choir, and recently performed with the choir on her hammered dulcimer. Cynthia also enjoys being active in INA and writes for the associations newsletter, INAVision. Cynthia hopes to release her first lullaby CD, Jumpin’ Into Dreamland, this spring.
2017 Update: For the past 3 years, Cynthia has been caring for 5 children, now ages 6-16, while also launching her Jumpin’ to the Beat music classes in the Denver area.
Words of wisdom: Continue evolving in your nanny career. Whether it is implementing something new into your current routine as a nanny or developing a new area of expertise, always keep growing as a nanny. This is my formula for longevity in this profession!
With 28 years in private service, Kellie Geres has become an industry leader specializing in working with divorced parents, transitioning to household management and working with nanny organizations and agencies providing consulting, small business and social media services. Kellie has taken her skills and works with industry organization APNA and INA by coordinating industry conferences, and various special projects for both organizations. In addition, Kellie is the national co—chair for National Nanny Recognition Week, DEMA DC chapter president, and maintains several industry blogs including Regarding Nannies and NannyTrainings.com.
Kellie was named the 1997 International Nanny Association Nanny of the Year, and in 2014 was honored with the Domestic Estate Management Association Lifetime Achievement Award. Kellie has presented at several industry events including Nannypalooza, INA, and National Nanny Training Day and has been interviewed for television, print and radio. Kellie resides in the Washington, DC metro area. When not wearing her many hats in this industry, she enjoys traveling, reading and a really good glass of wine.
How receiving the NOTY™ award has impacted her career: “It was an honor to be recognized by my peers and industry professionals for the work that I love to do and my dedication to my profession” says Kellie. “Receiving NOTY™ allowed me to really seek out jobs that would treat me as the true professional that I am and to be recognized and appreciated for the professionalism and ethics I bring with me to the job.” The children in Kellie’s care also recognize the importance of being a NOTY™ and are quick to correct anyone who mistakes her for a baby-sitter. “They take pride in the fact that their nanny is a NOTY™.” A highlight in my term of NOTY™ was being invited to Nashville to meet with local nannies and assist them in starting a local nanny group for nannies in their area. In the fall of ’97 (Louise Woodward)?? was sentenced, and as a result I was sought out by the media for comments.
In July 2004, Kellie moved to the Washington, DC area, where she has been with a family for many years. Kellie is currently the President of ADCAN – Association of DC Area Nannies (www.dcareanannies.com) and isco-moderator of Nanny Island (www.nannyisland.com). Kellie also holds membership in INA, NANC and APN.
Words of wisdom: Be creative in finding new ways to make your nanny career interesting. Look”outside the box” for new avenues to travel on your nanny journey.
No information on Ms. Crowfoot is available.
Like most other career nannies, Gail did not intend on becoming a nanny, but fell into the profession after graduating from Oklahoma State University with a degree in Family Relations and Child Development. In 1987, she moved to Dallas to be a nanny for the Silcok Family. She continued to be a nanny for 16 1/2 years to that same family,the family she was with when she received the 1995 Nanny of the Year™ Award. Gail worked as a nanny full time until May, 2004. She currently teaches Kindergarten at Westminster Presbyterian Preschool & Kindergarten in Dallas, Texas. She also works as a part time nanny four afternoons per week. In her spare time,she enjoys reading and watching sports and is an active member of her church. Gail is still in close contact with the family she served when she received the award. Gail shares with anyone that will listen how she has been blessed by her relationship with James and Hunt. She still spends time with James, watching his soccer games, talking on the phone and doing lunch.Unfortunately after a brief illness in December, 2002, Hunt passed away.
How receiving the NOTY™ award has impacted her career: Gail says that she felt it reconfirmed that her choice of being a nanny was the right one, and it confirmed that being a nanny is a significant and extremely important role in today’s world.
2009 Update: Gail still teaches Kindergarten at the same school and enjoys working as a part-time nanny 3 days per week with the same family. Gail still remains close to James, who is beginning his junior year at Princeton University and is still an active volunteer with the children’s ministry at her church.
Words of wisdom: Stand up for yourself and what you feel strongly about. It is important and beneficial to be involved with an organization like INA, especially when you are a young nanny and just starting out.
Madison has enjoyed working as a nanny and for seven years worked as a full time nanny for the most amazing parents ever – Bruce Willis and Demi Moore. Over the years, she also started placing nannies with exclusive families. Madison was sought out by the one and only Gary Peskin of Roses Agency to work in Los Angeles in 2001. Madison now resides in San Fernando Valley with her fiancée Gary and her 7 year old daughter Kistler, and continues to work as a freelance nanny headhunter for exclusive families. Madison continues to maintain a loving relationship with all of her charges and incorporates them into her life as much as possible. She also mentors nannies across the country and encourages a positive attitude pertaining to all the aspects of being a nanny.
How receiving the NOTY™ award has impacted her career: Madison says “Honestly receiving the NOTY™ Award didn’t impact my career. I am a strong believer that only you can impact yourself. In the moment it was fun and I loved receiving the award, but I was hoping it would help connect me to more nannies as I traveled.”
Words of wisdom: To me a nanny is someone that has a long term relationship with a family – longer than a year. Stay connected – you are an intricate part of the family and your relationship is special and unique.
Glenda has been a nanny for 21 years. She holds Bachelor’s of Arts degrees in Social Work and in early Childhood Education.She also holds certificates for teaching infants, toddlers and Sign Language. Glenda has attended 16 annual INA Conferences and served on the INA Board of Directors for 7 years. While on the board, she created the Special Needs Resource list on theINA website. She has also chaired the NOTY™ Award Development Committee and served on the Mentoring committee.
How receiving the NOTY™ award has impacted her career: Glenda says she felt proud and humbled that her peers thought her worthy to represent all nannies. “I believed I was a professional before I received the award, but having the award showed potential employers that I was a true professional.” Glenda says it was also a catalyst for herto continue her education and to read more professional books and articles.
2009 Update: Glenda has worked with special needs children and children with learning disabilities,delayed speech, low muscle tone and central auditory processing issues throughout her career. In the fall of 2006, she moved back to her home state of Minnesota and has since moved back to the Chicago area where she is currently working with 10 month old twins. Glenda now has 18 1/2 years of nanny experience and has passed the INA Nanny Credential Exam.
Words of wisdom: Be the best person and nanny you can be. Remember you are very important in children’s lives; be aware that what you do or say can impact young minds. Make an effort to develop interests outside of work and develop a circle of colleagues, people you can go to with questions or for moral support.Also, be thinking about what you want to do in 5, 10 or 15 years from now. Do you want to specialize in a certain area? Infant care, special needs or multiples are growing areas of expertise.
Janet worked for the Flores family for 11 years (1986-1997) and received her Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education while working as a nanny. From 1992-1995 she taught kindergarten while Whidden, her charge,went to school. In 1996, she moved to the Lamplighter School in Dallas, Texas to teach first and then second grade where she remained until 2000. Her father passed away in July of 2000, and it was then that she decided to return to her home state. She currently teaches kindergarten at Oregon Episcopal School in Portland, Oregon.
How receiving the NOTY™ award has impacted her career: Janet says that she felt a responsibility to nannies that lived in her area and sought to provide support and friendship to them. She went on to become a member of the INA Board of Directors, where she worked on the ethics and evaluation standards for the association.
2009 Update: Janet’s former charge, Whidden, just became engaged! She will be graduating from the University of Washington sometime next year and will continue to teach at Oregon Episcopal School. Janet recently went to Dallas, Texas to present a workshop at the NAEYC conference where she was surprised to see Gail Bittle the 1995 Nanny of the Year™ in her workshop.
Words of wisdom: Be professional! Your presence provides stability and continuity in the lives of children who generally have parents who are very active both professionally and in the community. As nannies, we nurture the future, and it is by our example that each child learns to become the best that he/she can be.I value the years I spent as a nanny, as I learned from both my employers and other nannies about so many aspects of professionalism. Through the close relationship with my employers, I developed the communication skills which have become valuable in my current job. I admire the commitment and energy that it takes to be a nanny. I will always consider my 11 years to have been critical to my personal and professional growth and development.
Glenda was in the nanny industry for 31 years. She spent almost 23 years working with the same family. Glenda was privileged to see and be a part of the changes and progress in the nanny industry over the last 30 years. Glenda was a founding board member of INA. Through her early involvement in INA she formed her professional roots. In 1992 she (co-founded with the late Harriette Grant and Dr. Eva Harkness) the National Association of Nannies. This was the first national professional organization “run by nannies for nannies.” She was instrumental in bringing nannies together on a national level and helping them find their voice and see their power to make a difference in an industry that had no official standards. She is proud of the fact that some of the groundwork for those changes were laid long before the internet became our way of communication and connection. NAN also adopted NNRW and helped to promote and grow the event until NAN folded in 2005. Glenda was part of the Regarding Nannies Development Team, the creator of the Nanny Transitions Workshop and has mentored, supported and encouraged nannies of all ages over the years. Glenda serves on the INA Conference Committee to help bring timely information and education to nannies each year at conference. Glenda is also the founder of the INA Service Award Pin Program. This program honors and recognizes nannies, educators and nanny related business owners for their time and service in the industry. She is a frequent guest with the Nanny Coaching Team’s online educational workshops. In 2016 she was honored to receive the INA Meritorious Service Award for her contributions to the Nanny Industry.
How receiving the NOTY™ award has impacted her career: Glenda says that receiving the NOTY™ award was the most wonderful day in her life- that is, until her wedding day. Receiving the award gave her the confidence, self esteem and validation she needed to carry her through the tough times she encountered the next 2 years of her life.
2009 Update: Glenda is still working part time for the same family and celebrated 15 great years with them in December, 2008. She considers it such a privilege to be able to start with a newborn baby and stay until the job is finished. “So many nannies do not have that opportunity, and it is one of the highlights of my nanny career” says Glenda.Still married to Terry, they stay very busy as part owners of the local airport. Glenda feels fortunate to have a husband that has always supported her professional activities. “My work in INA and NAN helped prepare me and give me the confidence I needed to jump n many of the opportunities that have come my way over the years. My life has truly been enriched by being involved in the nanny profession on a national level. I’ve met so many amazing people along the way.”
Words of wisdom: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate! Know what you want, know what you need,stand up for yourself, but also try to be supportive of your employers. Don’t present a problem without offering a solution and always be ready to meet in the middle.
2017 Update: Glenda is retired. Family commitments keep her busy but, when she has time, she loves to paint and create. She and her husband Terry spend as much time as they can at their lake house. In 2016 Glenda became a Brave Living Certified Instructor to teach the class Soul Restoration. In 2017 she hopes to be able to move forward on that.
Words of wisdom: Respect and mutual respect is such a huge part of the nanny/employer relationship. Remember that respect and communication are a two way street and most importantly, never underestimate the impact you have on the lives of the children in your care. They are always watching you.
In July, 1961, Harriette Grant began her career as a nanny. At that time there were no newspaper articles about nanny salaries or benefits, formal nanny training programs in the United States, or nanny support groups available.There weren’t even any nanny organizations in existence. Harriette was just 19 when she started taking care of Sylvia Whitman, and in the book Like a Second Mother Sylvia wrote affectionately about the woman who cared for her for 9 years, the woman she nicknamed “Rat.” Sylvia remained close to Harriette over the years and was with her in her final hours when she passed in 2002.
In 1970 Harriette moved to Washington D. C. to care for the Brown children, where she stayed for 20 years watching “her children” graduate from High School and then college. While she was in D.C., Harriette began to get serious about creating a support system for nannies. She was a founding mother of the very first nanny support in the US, the Association of D.C. Area Nannies (ADCAN). This group is still running strong today and prides itself on being the oldest nanny support group in the nation.
Harriette was also a founding member of the International Nanny Association, has served on its board of directors,and was the INA’s first Nanny of the Year™ in 1990. In 1992, she was one of the three founders of the National Association of Nannies. Harriette moved to New York City in 1991 and became a founding member of the Professional Nannies of New York nanny support group.
The pioneer of our field, a friend of many and an inspiration to all, Harriette’s contributions to the nanny industry will never be forgotten.