Chief Executive Officer
Connie Stophel serves as Chief Executive Officer of Episcopal Children’s Services, a national leader in early childhood education serving over 25,000 children and their families annually in Florida. Her commitment to excellence, superb leadership, and dedication to innovation are only exceeded by her passion for our mission of creating opportunity for the children we serve to reach their full potential in life.
With most of her professional career dedicated to Episcopal Children’s Services, Connie was appointed to CEO in 2003. Under her leadership, Episcopal Children’s Services has dramatically increased its revenues, from $13M to $89M, and expanded our service area to 14 counties in Florida. Her sound fiscal and operational management combined with her extensive expertise in early childhood development and ability to collaborate with community partners has resulted in numerous state and national grants and awards.
Episcopal Children’s Services programs, serving children from birth to age 5, have been recognized for their quality and comprehensiveness by authorities including the Florida Partnership for School Readiness, Yale University, and the University of Florida. Connie’s commitment to raising the quality of early education goes well beyond the walls of our direct services, with our work to develop and certify childcare providers, development and publication of early learning curricula and enhancement of other childcare centers through professional development for educators.
Connie was honored The Ultimate CEO award by the Jacksonville Business Journal in 2017. Episcopal Children’s Services continues to be recognized as one of the largest nonprofits in the region as the Jacksonville Business Journal named us as the “Second Largest Nonprofit in Northeast Florida” in 2021. Our work continues to be rewarded by our commitment to excellence by the Office of Head Start with the $24M award for Head Start/Early Head Start for Central Florida and Lake Counties, $5.3M for Early Head Start for Duval County, and most recently, $5.4M for Head Start for Alachua County.
Connie holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration from Jacksonville University and earned her Master of Public Administration from the University of North Florida. She is currently a Doctoral candidate in educational leadership at the University of North Florida, where she is finishing her dissertation. Connie is also a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children, the National Head Start Association, the Association of Fundraising Professionals, Nonprofit Center of Northeast Florida, Jacksonville Women Leaders, The JAX Chamber, Business Journals Leadership Trust, former member of the Women’s Giving Alliance, longtime Rotarian, and a graduate of Leadership Jacksonville.
Connie is relentless in fulfilling the mission of Episcopal Children’s Services, ensuring that she and her leadership team hold themselves to the highest standards, so that we deliver the highest quality of services, utilizing data-driven practices that result in demonstrable outcomes. Despite this wealth of accomplishments, Connie is a servant leader known for her humility and concern for others. Her dedication has ensured hundreds of thousands of young children enter kindergarten ready to learn, building a foundation for success in school and in life.
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