Staff

Laura Slay

Executive Director

Laura Slay has more than 20 years of experience in organizational development, fundraising, philanthropy and managing strategic initiatives and programs in support of hundreds of millions of dollars in private funding.

As acting director of corporate and foundation relations at Washington University School of Medicine, she was responsible for major campus events, grant writing, and stewardship of private funding for medical campus programs, including a state-of the-art library, capital campaigns, and Alzheimer’s research.

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Peter A. Franzen

Associate Executive Director - Email

Peter A. Franzen is CEAM’s associate executive director, a role he took on in 2014 after two years with the organization. His previous position was director of development. In his current role Peter manages day-to-day operations and strategic direction and provides development leadership and support.

Peter has dedicated the past 24 years to improving the quality of life for children, families, and communities in Saint Louis.  In 1991 Peter came to Saint Louis from Portland, Oregon to perform a year of voluntary service with a local community agency serving children and families. He developed and implemented social groupwork programs for children and teens including after-school programs, interest groups, teen clubs, day-camps and a summer camps. After accepting a full time position with that organization in 1992, his year as a volunteer turned out to be the beginning of a career.

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Cici Tompkins

Community Outreach Manager - Email

For 20 years, Cici has been involved in education with the firm belief that investing in our children is the most effective way of solving our societal problems. Cici’s first year as a teacher was here in St. Louis at the St. Michael School in 1998. There she was central to “The Scent Project” that was published in the book Bringing Learning to Life, by Louise Cadwell. The project was also presented at multiple education conferences across the country. In 1999, Cici was recruited by Make-A-Mess and Make-Believe School, in Boulder, Colorado to act as a curriculum development consultant and art director.

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Nicholas Elmes

Communications Manager

Nicholas Elmes has spent his life learning what does and does not work in education.

Growing up in a family of educators in rural Virginia, Nicholas quickly learned the value a quality education could bring to economically disadvantaged populations.

In his previous career, Nicholas spent 15 years as a newspaper editor covering the intricacies of education policy in Virginia and North Carolina. Over the years, he saw how innovative practices could transform student success and opportunities in public school systems and how private and charter schools could provide new education choices for parents and students seeking programs better suited for their own children’s needs.

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Karla Ramirez

Outreach Team Supervisor

Karla Ramirez born and raised in St. Louis had the privilege of attending both public and private schools. Now as a college student, she see’s first hand, unprepared high school graduates entering into higher learning intuitions and the challenges that they face. This, along with the knowledge that her alma mater is at risk of being unaccredited, has her working with CEAM to create change to allow children a choice for a better future.