Always wanted to know more about the people behind our programs? We're starting a new 'Staff Spotlight' column on our blog, so stay tuned for further installments. This month we'll be starting things off with Ellie Mashhour, ICRI's COO.
Name: Ellie Mashhour
Job Title: Chief Operations Officer
Q1. Tell us about your role at ICRI
I am responsible for directly overseeing the operation of all of our local childcare sites and working to improve the quality of our ECE programs. I ensure the health of our international programs including communicating regularly with our international Country Directors to make sure our sister schools are successful and our children are happy, healthy, well-fed, and receiving any medical attention they need. As the COO I also manage ICRI's budget and engage in consulting projects as needed.
Q2. Can you briefly describe your typical working day?
I usually start my day at Hearts Leap where I check in with staff and greet parents and children as they arrive for the day. Often I'll then spend some time in each classroom sitting with the children, discussing matters with teachers, working on the environment, and admiring the teacher's documentation of children's projects.
Then I check in at ICRI to ensure the staff there have what they need and I take that time to address any needs of our international programs as well.
Q3. Why did you choose to work for ICRI?
ICRI is my second home. I am thrilled to work with colleagues who share my goals. The work that ICRI does fulfills me in every way and the organization is everything I could hope for in a workplace. I couldn't find a better match for my philosophy in life.
Q4. Tell us about something about ICRI you are particularly excited about at the moment.
I am particularly excited about a new ICRI fundraising initiative that hopes to raise much-needed funds for the children of Nepal. ICRI’s Nepal Himalayas trek, taking place 23 Feb – 4 March 2016 is a new concept for ICRI that will not only bring together ICRI supporters for a once in a lifetime experience of trekking in the Himalayas, but through their fundraising, aim’s to raise enough money to build a new early childhood center in Nepal, which would transform so many poor Nepali children’s lives.
Q5. What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy walking on the trails near my home and sitting by the ocean.
Q6. What makes you happy?
When I see a smile on a child's face. When I hold a child in my arms and comfort them. When I accomplish something that I really believe in.
Q7. What makes you angry?
I don't get angry, but I get disappointed or frustrated when I see unfairness in life. I don't let it stay with me for too long, though.
Q8. When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I always wanted to go to Africa from age 6 when I saw a documentary on TV. I wanted to be a nurse or doctor to help children there.
Q9. If you could invite five people to dinner, dead or alive, who would they be?
Gandhi, Wayne Dyer, Elisabeth Kubler-Ross, Barack Obama.