ReadyNation’s 1,000+ members educate policymakers and the public to advance effective policies and programs that improve business competitiveness by helping children get a good start in life.

Hear from John Pepper, ReadyNation member and former CEO of Procter & Gamble, on why you should join ReadyNation today.

ReadyNation Updates

ReadyNation Open Letter on UN Sustainable Development Goals Report

ReadyNation is delighted to announce the release of an Open Letter from more than 120 business executives across five continents, commending the inclusion of early education in the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals report.  The letter will be conveyed to UN staff at the first-ever Global Business Summit on Early Childhood Investments, October 1-2 in New ...

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ReadyNation is Now Hiring!

ReadyNation is looking for a Program Assistant to help support business leaders to become champions for improving the economy through effective investments in children and youth.  This is a great entry-level position with exposure to business executives as well as state, national and international child and family policy. Full-time with benefits, in Washington, D.C.  To apply ...

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The Business Case for Preschool

John Pepper, Co-Chair of ReadyNation's CEO Task Force for Early Childhood and former Chairman and CEO of Procter & Gamble, joined Marcia Franklin, host of Dialogue, for a conversation on early childhood education. In "The Business Case for Preschool" Mr. Pepper discussed his belief that early childhood education is critical to improving the declining skills ...

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“As a Republican and as a business leader, my primary focus is on bottom-line results. I care about solutions that work – the kind of policies that transcend ideology. That’s why I’m a proud member of ReadyNation, an organization that advocates for bipartisan, research-based solutions that are proven winners.”

– Roy J. Bostock, Vice Chairman of the Board of Delta Air Lines, a former Chair of Yahoo! Inc., and a retired director of Morgan Stanley


Our Priority Issues


We support early education to build the foundation for the STEM workforce.

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We support high academic standards and innovative high school models.

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We provide technical assistance to groups developing early childhood pay for success.

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ReadyNation Business Champions

In 2013-2014, ReadyNation members contributed to winning more than $1 Billion in new state funds, and in 2014, they helped win more than $1.3 Billion in new federal funds.

Wendy Valenti BC
Wendy Valenti – Executive Director, Collinsville Chamber of Commerce (Illinois)

“Employers and employees, alike, are attracted by a strong education system. Local economies benefit enormously when we ensure quality preschool and child care programs are part of the local landscape.”

Read Wendy Valenti’s full profile

View the full list of Business Champions

Jim Spurlino BC
Jim Spurlino – President, Spurlino Materials (Ohio)

“In the concrete business we invest great resources in the foundation of a building to ensure the structure is strong and will hold up over time. We need to do the same for our children. We should prioritize early investments for our children’s health and education foundation to maximize their potential, break the cycle of poverty, prepare them for school, and minimize costly interventions later in life.”

View the full list of Business Champions

Elizabeth Timm BC
Elizabeth Timm – Retired Maine Market President, Bank of America

“Making school achievement in Maine relevant to the working world and capable of inspiring aspirations is one of the greatest challenges in keeping our local economy strong.”

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Gideon Badagawa BC
Gideon Badagawa – Executive Director, Private Sector Foundation Uganda

“ReadyNation is wonderful. You and Lloyd Lamm [banker and ReadyNation member] gave us an invaluable honor and scaled up the Private Sector Foundation Uganda profile in advocating for Early Childhood Investments. I received a follow up from the Speaker of the Parliament’s office appreciating this initiative. This was great. Your entire team was so exceptional, and your advice, materials and participation were so helpful. I am so inspired.”
View the full list of Business Champions

Paul O’Brien – President, The O’Brien Group (Massachusetts)

“If quality early education is available, it can be a salvation to children and is increasingly important in an economy that is becoming less physical and more brain-oriented.”

View Paul O’Brien’s full profile here
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Tom Welsh
Tom Welsh – President, MBL-USA Corporation (Illinois)

“It’s at the early ages, when a child’s mind is formed, that we stand the best chance of helping them to become motivated.”

Click here for Tom Welsh’s full profile

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J.B. Pritzker – Managing Partner, The Pritzker Group (National)

“It was blindingly obvious that the most efficient, fiscally responsible way to spend money is on young children. It’s also the most rewarding.”

View J.B. Pritzer’s full profile here
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Eva Blum, Connie Bond Stuart, Peter Danchak and Mike Harreld, PNC Financial Services Group, Inc. (National)

“The children of today are the workforce of tomorrow, and unless we support them with early childhood education, the future workforce will not be of the size and ability to meet the needs of a global economy.”
– Former CEO and Executive Chairman, PNC Financial Services Group, Inc.

View the full PNC profile here
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Norman Durgin
Nelson Durgin – retired Executive Director, Phillips Strickland House, and Mayor, City of Bangor (Maine)

“Investing in pre-K education is an initial, incredibly important step in building the workforce of tomorrow—a workforce that will be able to help Maine prosper. Investments in quality pre-K can help give children the skills they need to achieve academically. Those improved academic outcomes also lead to children being better future workers, which, in turn, can help improve Maine’s economy through greater productivity.”

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Laurie Lachance BC
Laurie Lachance – President, Thomas College and former State Economist and President & CEO Maine Development Foundation (Maine)

“To attain our vision of ‘A High Quality of Life for All Maine People,’ we must ensure that each and every Maine child has access to high-quality care and education from birth. Investment in early childhood IS economic development. It is not just a social and moral imperative, it is an economic imperative. Our future begins here.”

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Hugh McDonald and Stacy Sells – CEO, Entergy Arkansas and Senior Vice President, Cranford Johnson Robinson Woods (Arkansas)

View Hugh McDonald and Stacy Sells’ full profile here.

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Chris Hall BC
Chris Hall – CEO, Portland Regional Chamber of Commerce

“Part of our current challenge is that we not only need to train students for the jobs in today’s workforce, but for the jobs of the future. We need a workforce with ‘deeper learning skills’ so Maine businesses can compete successfully in a global economy.”

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Rudy Valdez
Rudy Valdez – Vice President, South West Ideas for Today & Tomorrow (Illinois)

“ReadyNation aims to shape stronger and more economically prosperous communities through education that starts at the earliest ages. It’s imperative the business community commit to removing obstacles to education and development, and invest in the future workforce of this great nation.”

Click here for Rudy Valdez’s full profile

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Barry Downing – President, Northrock, Inc. (Kansas)

“Early childhood education is a smart financial investment and a moral responsibility. We owe it to these children to have a chance to arrive at school prepared to succeed. It’s both a head and a heart issue.”

View Barry Downing’s full profile here.
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Steve Rich
Stephen Rich – Architect (Maine)

“The idea we need to understand is that pre-K education is workforce development. …If your foundation proves to be weak, cracks will show up and settlement will happen, and it’s much more expensive to repair those cracks and problems after the fact.”

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Chris Emmons BC
Chris Emmons – CEO, Gorham Savings Bank (Maine)

“Business executives are now telling policymakers that continuing the status quo of inadequate early childhood investments should not be an option. We know too much not to make a better decision on priorities.”

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Steven Pound BC
Steven Pound – Associate Director of Workforce Development, Cianbro Institute (Maine)

“The first step for improving Maine’s economy is to become a lot more creative and demanding in the education we are providing our Maine students.”

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Keith Krutz BC
Keith Krutz – President, IMS Buhrke-Olson (Illinois)

“We need kids to develop creativity at an early age… [It] is essential in ensuring a highly skilled workforce.”

View Keith Krutz’s Full Profile

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Kenneth McNeely – President, AT&T (California)

“If we invest now, we can put children on the right path. If we wait 10-12 years, saving these kids becomes more expensive and may be impossible.”

View Kenneth McNeely’s Full Profile
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Lisa Ventriss – President, Vermont Business Roundtable (Vermont)

“Achieving universal pre-k for three- and four-year-olds is an issue that moves forward incrementally. Collaborate with the business community and place them in a lead role. The pre-k community can’t do this alone – and they will not be able to achieve success if they aren’t united in their effort.”

View Lisa Ventriss’ full profile here
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Tim Hussey BC
Tim Hussey – President and CEO, Hussey Seating (Maine)

“In almost any field, increased skill levels are needed. Take manufacturing. Where once ability to follow fixed procedures was all that was needed, today we reward initiative, persistence, and the ability to make independent decisions.”

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Yellow Light Breen
Yellow Light Breen – Executive Vice President, Bangor Savings Bank (Maine)

“One of the best kind of factories we can invest in is a learning factory.”

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fred webber bc
Fred Webber – Chair, Maine State Workforce Investment Board (Maine)

“We need to improve our education system in order to provide Maine’s businesses with a highly skilled workforce for the future. As a businessperson, I know our students need to be better prepared. Why? According to a 2013 report… if current education and workforce trends don’t change, Maine will face a shortage of 15,000 highly skilled workers.”
View the full list of Business Champions