Our Board & Staff
Board of Directors
Jaryd P. Kase (Founder) - President
Jaryd is a strategic management consultant with programmatic, financial, and partnership experience in economic development programs based in developing countries. His ability to hire and train multicultural and multilingual teams has allowed for his programs to gain the acceptance of the local communities in which he has worked.
Jaryd designs programs that are results-based. He strongly believes that a non-profit must not be measured by the percentage of its revenue that goes to programs, but by its impact. He designed Les Enfants d’Abord around this belief, and Jaryd has cultivated a board and staff who champion this idea. Jaryd’s intimate understanding of the problems faced by the communities in which he works and the resources that are both available and needed, allows him to identify and reach out to partners who can provide the appropriate support for his work.
Jaryd holds a Bachelor’s degree from Tulane University and a Master’s degree from Harvard University. He also holds a Graduate Certificate in Strategic Management from Harvard University and was part of the 2017 cohort of the Youth Leadership Program’s Leadership Development Series in New Orleans, Louisiana. He is certified as a CA-AM by the Association of Strategic Alliance Professionals. He has lived and worked in multiple countries, including Dakar & Thiès, Senegal. He founded Les Enfants d’Abord with Valentin Faye following discussions about the needs of the community that they had both observed. In addition to English, Jaryd speaks French, and is learning Wolof (ndank ndank).
Roslyn Grossman - Vice-President, Acting Treasurer
Roslyn is a finance, accounting and human resources executive with 15 years of experience as the CFO for a large non-profit. Her strong management skills allowed her and her staff to successfully maintain the extensive list of financial documents required for non-profits, while meeting all filing deadlines and working with external stakeholders during the organization’s annual financial audits. Her contributions to the creation of annual budgets ensured that all programs would operate without interruption.
Roslyn is a recipient of the Nat & Muriel Glanz Award for Caring, Mentoring, and Affecting the Lives of Others. She has volunteered and been on the committee for a free summer camp for children with cancer and their siblings. Her work ethic and the commitment that she makes to causes in which she believes is contagious and has shaped the work of those around her and positively impacted the organizations with which she works.
Roslyn attended City University of New York and SUNY Farmingdale and is a member of numerous professional associations. She has joined the Board of Directors of Les Enfants d’Abord so that she can continue working on youth programs and contribute her extensive experience working in non-profits to the success of its programs.
Carol E. Robbins, Secretary
Carol Robbins is a C-Suite multi-faceted financial services and marketing executive with broad operational and international experience. She builds differentiated, valued brands and leverages digital to drive business momentum and growth. She combines strategic and commercial acumen with marketing and general management expertise.
Carol drives digital facility across the enterprise and embraces the multi-channel rules of customer engagement. A results-oriented executive, she builds high performance, diverse teams. Successfully transitioning her skills across consumer packaged goods, printing/publishing and financial services, Carol is a versatile, strategic leader who inspires innovation, develops new products, and refocuses, integrates, restructures and transforms businesses. Carol is currently providing branding and marketing consulting services to entrepreneurial companies.
Carol holds a B.A. cum laude from Barnard College and an M.B.A. from the Graduate School of Business at Columbia University. She also completed executive education in Strategic Marketing Management at Harvard Business School. Her participation in Les Enfants d'Abord draws on her passion for children and education.
Dr. David Robinson-Morris
David W. Robinson-Morris, Ph.D. is the founding Director of The Center for Equity, Justice, and the Human Spirit at Xavier University of Louisiana, Assistant Professor in the Division of Education and Counseling, and serves the university’s Director of Corporate and Foundation Relations. He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership and Research with a dual concentration in Higher Education Administration and Curriculum Theory, and an Education Specialist (Ed. S.) Certificate in Educational Leadership with a focus on applied research, measurement, and evaluation both from Louisiana State University (LSU).
By day, David is a social justice and human rights advocate, academic, and higher education fundraiser liaising with local, regional, and national foundations and corporations to meet the growing institutional and educational needs of the Xavier University of Louisiana community. In the evenings, Dr. Robinson-Morris engages educational leadership doctoral students at Xavier University of Louisiana. Previously, he taught higher education administration masters and doctoral students at the University of New Orleans and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse as an adjunct professor teaching courses in quantitative and qualitative research methodology, college student development theory, the history of higher education, and teaching, learning, and curriculum in higher education.
Dr. Ibrahima Seck
Ibrahima Seck is a member of the History department of Cheikh Anta Diop University of Dakar (UCAD), Senegal. His research is mostly devoted to the historical and cultural links between West Africa and Louisiana with a special interest for religious beliefs, music, foodways, and miscellanous aspects of folklore. In 1999, he defended a doctoral dissertation entitled “African Culture and Slavery in the Lower Mississippi Valley, from Iberville to Jim Crow.”
Dr. Seck is also a dedicated collaborator of the West African Research Center also located in Dakar, Senegal, where he initiated the Bouki Blues Festival in 2002. This festival and other events are as many opportunities which allow him to connect West African musicians and musicians from the US South. Dr. Seck is now holding the position of the director of research of the Whitney Plantation Museum of Slavery, which is located between Wallace and Edgard in St. John the Baptist Parish in Louisiana. He is the author of a book on this historic site entitled “Bouki fait Gombo: A History of the Slave Community of Habitation Haydel (Whitney Plantation) Louisiana, 1750-1860. [New Orleans: UNO Press, 2014].
Valentin Faye (Founder) - Executive Director (Thiès)
Valentin has over 30 years of experience directing community education projects in Senegal in addition to being trained as an accountant. Valentin began his career as a teacher in Senegal’s capital, Dakar. He quickly rose to the position of Director and relocated to the city of Thiès, where he now lives with his family.
Valentin’s community organizations have been partnered with and affiliated with large international NGOs. Valentin successfully met all of their reporting requirements while utilizing funds in a way that made a significant impact on his community, in line with the objectives of his organizations. Valentin excels in community outreach and has used these skills to promote Les Enfants d’Abord’s programs in the community and identify the children and families that could benefit most from our programs.
As Executive Director, Valentin works closely with the Board and his staff to execute successful programs and oversee all work needed for Les Enfants d’Abord to achieve its mission. Valentin holds a degree in accounting. He founded Les Enfants d’Abord with Jaryd after discussions on how to best help under-served children in his community.
Eliza W. Kase - Director of Curriculum (New Orleans)
Eliza is an educator and a strong proponent of the concept of “teaching the whole child”. Eliza believes that an educator’s task extends far beyond ensuring a student’s academic success. Rather, it means looking at a student’s entire life, and making sure he is socially and emotionally healthy, and physically safe and nurtured at home. Eliza’s high emotional intelligence and genuine passion for youth development helps her to make strong positive connections with students.
Eliza has more than six years of classroom teaching experience and has developed excellent curriculum-writing skills, which she brings to Les Enfants d’Abord as we develop new educational programs for different ages and purposes. Eliza ensures that Les Enfants d’Abord’s programs are in line with international best practices, apply the latest teaching techniques, and are appropriate for the target students.
Eliza holds a Bachelor’s degree in English from Tulane University, a Master’s degree in Journalism from Boston University, and a Master’s degree in Teaching from Brandeis University. She also spent several months in South Africa, where she volunteered at the Baphumelele Children's Home, an AIDS orphanage outside Cape Town. Eliza is excited to contribute her experience and passion to further the mission of Les Enfants d’Abord.