Our Staff

Brian Ahlberg: President

Brian took over in January 2015 from the founder of Every Child Matters, Michael Petit. He previously served as Iowa Senator Tom Harkin’s Chief of Staff for 10 years, and before that as his Legislative Director, a position he also held with Minnesota Senator Paul Wellstone. Brian’s resume includes more than 20 years of DC experience in management, legislative, advocacy, and communications positions.

MaryLou Beaver: Director, Every Child Matters in New Hampshire and Maine

Before joining ECM, MaryLou worked with children and families in NH for more than 20 years as Executive Director of a non-profit childcare center and educational coordinator of a federal grant serving childcare professionals among other advocacy positions.


Renee Coe: Policy and Communications Associate

Renee conducts policy research and contributes to the Every Child Matters blog. A native of St. Paul, Minnesota, she came to Every Child Matters after working for Senator Amy Klobuchar. Renee is a graduate of Wellesley College with a B.A. in History.

Ursula Ellis: Director of Campaigns and Communications
Ursula came to ECM after directing a federal education grant in northern Virginia schools. Previously, she was the Deputy Director of the National Community Education Association and the Senior Vice President of the National Association for Hospital Development.

Shanequa Levin: Director, Every Child Matters on Long Island

Shanequa uses the ECM platform to create a bridge between community members and advocacy actions for kids.  She is the founder of the Long Island chapter of Mocha Moms and a founding member of the South Huntington Mothers Center. She is certified in leadership through the Rockwood Leadership Institute, Adelphi University, and is currently enrolled in a leadership course through the University of Connecticut.

Kelli Soyer: Director, Every Child Matters in Iowa

Kelli has past experience advocating for children as a Policy Associate with the Child & Family Policy Center in Des Moines.  She is the past Executive Director of the National Association of Social Workers, Iowa Chapter, where she had the opportunity to advocate on behalf of the profession and the vulnerable populations served by Iowa social workers. Kelli earned her Masters of Social Work from the University of Iowa.

Rebecca Watts: Director of Finance and Administration

Rebecca moved to Washington, DC from Georgia after completing a Master of Public Administration degree and working as a finance professional for non-profit organizations for twelve years.  She is a member of the American Institute of Professional Bookkeepers.