BOARD MEMBER SPOTLIGHT: Ginger Ward
"There are so many diverse and innovative projects happening at ZERO TO THREE."
Editor’s Note: We’ve invited ZERO TO THREE Board Member, Ginger Ward, to share her perspectives and reflections with you. Ginger has been a member of the Board of Directors since 2011 and is currently serving her third and final term on the Board. You can learn more about her leadership in the field of early childhood development on her bio page on the ZERO TO THREE website.
What has it meant to you to be a member of ZERO TO THREE’s Board of Directors?
It has been an honor to serve on the ZERO TO THREE Board of Directors. My tenure began 9 years ago the year we hosted the ZERO TO THREE annual conference in Phoenix. I have always admired the work of ZERO TO THREE, and this experience gave me the opportunity to become more directly involved.
Throughout my tenure it has been incredible to work with Matthew and his dedicated team at ZERO TO THREE. I’ve seen the organization continue to deepen its knowledge and impact by bringing together the perspectives of many fields, specialties, and research about the importance of early experiences.
During my time on the Board I’ve had the opportunity to work with so many extraordinary individuals who shape the infant mental health and early childhood field. It’s been inspiring to work with such a dedicated group over the years. This experience has also been invaluable to my professional growth. I am looking forward to continuing a partnership with Mathew and ZERO TO THREE.
What is happening at ZERO TO THREE right now that you are most excited about?
There are so many diverse and innovative projects happening at ZERO TO THREE. I am especially excited about the impact the organization is having with Think Babies™ Campaign. The organization’s public policy efforts have resulted in increased bipartisan support of what we know babies and families need to thrive.
I’ve been fortunate to bring families from Southwest Human Development’s programs to Washington, DC, to participate in Strolling Thunder™ for the last 3 years. For the families, being able to share their stories with lawmakers to advocate on behalf of babies everywhere was a transformational experience. I am excited about the opportunity to bring Strolling Thunder to Arizona in the future.
The organization’s exceptional communications have helped to advance the work of ZERO TO THREE and bring national attention to the field. The work that Ernestine and her team have done to advance the ZERO TO THREE brand has helped to significantly extend its reach and name recognition.
Overall, I continue to be amazed at the thoughtful and strategic growth of the organization. Under Matthew’s leadership, ZERO TO THREE has launched a multitude of major initiatives to help advance its mission to ensure all babies and toddlers have a strong start in life.
Having participated in ZERO TO THREE’s strategic planning for the organization, what is one new opportunity, outcome, or strategy that you are eager to implement?
ZERO TO THREE has an impressive history of supporting and nurturing the emerging leaders in the infant and early childhood mental health field through its many programs, products and the Fellows Program. The most recent strategic planning included a renewed focus on growing the size and expertise of the early childhood mental health workforce. I’ve seen first hand the growing need for skilled leaders and IECMH clinicians and for policies and systems that train and retain them. As a widely known and well-respected provider of professional development, technical assistance, and policy development, I believe ZERO TO THREE is well positioned to help address this issue.