• Dr. Eric Karolak

    Chief Executive Officer
    Dr. Eric Karolak is Chief Executive Officer of Action for Children, the source for child care and early learning services in central Ohio. Previously, he directed the efforts of the Early Care and Education Consortium (ECEC), an alliance of more than 8,000 early learning programs providing care and education for nearly 1 million children across the U.S.
    From 2001 to 2006, Dr. Karolak led the National Child Care Information Center, the largest federal clearinghouse and technical assistance center focused on child care and early education for low income families. He has worked closely with states developing the technical aspects of child care assistance programs, quality rating systems, and partnerships across early childhood programs. He has conducted policy research and fiscal analysis in the areas of child welfare, child care, women’s labor force participation, and public housing, and has testified before committees of several state legislatures and both houses of Congress.
    Dr. Karolak also has served on numerous boards and advisory panels including those of national early childhood organizations, a non-profit child care center, a local government agency, and a metropolitan United Way. He currently serves on the Boards of the Ohio Child Care Resource and Referral Association, the Ohio Association for the Education of Young Children, and the Human Services Chamber of Franklin County, and also is a member of the Future Ready Columbus Advisory Council and the Groundwork Ohio Advisory Council. He holds a doctorate from The Ohio State University.
  • Dana Wright

    Director, Organizational Measurement + Performance
    Dana has spent most the past two decades as an advocate for children, their parents and their families. She joined Action for Children in 2006 as a Family Wellness Specialist and assumed various roles in the agency since then including Director of Family + Community Engagement, and most recently, Managing Director of Programs. In October 2020, Dana assumed the role of Director of Organizational Measurement + Performance.
    As part of the agency’s leadership team, Dana provides guidance to agency programming, including working closely with the directors, project managers, coordinators and support staff to ensure programming deliverables are achieved on time and on budget. She also collaborates with area community leaders to promote and maintain effective agency partnerships.
    Dana holds a Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Community Services from Bowling Green State University and a Master of Arts in Early Childhood Education from Ball State University. She and her husband have two children and live in Westerville. Most of her free time revolves around youth sports, but she also finds time to tinker with making custom jewelry.
  • Angela Daniels

    Director of Family and Community Engagement
    Angela Daniels is the Director of Family and Community Engagement at Action for Children.
    As an adult learner, she graduated from Columbus State Community College with an Associate’s degree in American Sign Language Interpreting in 2006. She returned back to school and received her bachelor’s degree in Sociology from The Ohio State University in 2009. She joined the AFC team in January 2017 after six years at the Center of Vocational Alternatives (COVA) where she served as Program Manager and a Benefits Specialist.
    Angela’s personal and professional experience has lent itself to the support she provides to all of the quality programs at AFC. Angela understands that empowering people will positively impact their future, family and community.
  • Jessica Brown

    Director of Organizational Advancement
    Jessica Brown joined Action for Children in early 2018 to serve as the Director of Organizational Advancement, where she is responsible for all development and marketing activities for the agency. Jessica holds a longstanding dedication to positively impacting the lives of children, in our community and throughout the world. She has more than ten years of experience in the field of nonprofit development and fundraising. Previously, Jessica served as the Development Director at the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, where she created the development strategy as well as specific tactics to grow revenue, securing financial support from individuals, foundations, and corporations. She also served as the Director of Grants for Heshima Kenya, an NGO that protects and empowers unaccompanied refugee girls and young women living in Nairobi, Kenya. Prior to Heshima Kenya, she held positions with the Ounce of Prevention Fund and the Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, both located in Chicago. She previously served on the board of the Chicago Chapter of the National Organization for Women (CNOW), and was the CNOW Health Team Leader where she coordinated yearly activities for volunteer staff in order to impact and improve health of women and girls in Chicago. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of Dayton, and a dual Masters Degree from the University of Chicago’s Harris School for Public Policy and the School of Social Administration.
  • Katherine Glenn-Applegate

    Director of Quality Innovations
    Dr. Katherine Glenn-Applegate (she/her/hers) is the Director of Quality Innovations, helping providers and early childhood professionals meet and exceed their goals for high quality care and education.
    Prior to joining Action for Children in 2019, Kat was a professor and director of the early childhood teacher licensure program at Ohio Wesleyan University. She was also a teacher of young children in New Hampshire and Boston. She has written and presented for academic, practitioner, and lay audiences on topics such as preschool quality and accessibility, families' preschool selection factors, promoting positive teacher dispositions, and teaching sensitive topics.
    Kat holds degrees from OSU and Plymouth State University in New Hampshire. She loves reading, hiking, and Motown music. She and her spouse have two delightful, talkative young children.