Matt and Rochette Dahler, Founders
Rochette Dahler, CEO, and Matt Dahler, Vice President: Founders of LSP and affiliated companies; which Rochette officially formed in 2002. Her introduction into the childcare industry began in 1998 in a home-based educational daycare. Over the following three years her in-home childcare business grew and evolved into a passion and a dream for making a change for what Early Care could become in her own community of Springfield, Missouri. The overwhelming demand for Rochette’s unconventional and enthusiastic approach to Early Care fueled her dream. Her first school exceeded all expectations and was slated for expansion within one year.
Since that time, Little Sunshine’s Playhouse has grown from a true grass roots home based business to a well-developed national franchise system, branded to serve and compete. Rochette and Matt serve on the Executive Board of Directors. Rochette’s educational accomplishments include Summa Cum Laude double degree achievement in Early Childhood focused degrees. She is also a Certified Franchise Executive graduating class of 2013; which is the highest distinction in Franchising, with the International Franchise Association. Her professional accomplishments include formation and trademarking of the Kiddie Cams™ and LuvNotes™ systems for proprietary use by Little Sunshine’s Playhouse franchisees and corporate schools. Under their leadership, the company has been recognized as a Top New Franchise by Franbest Networks at www.topnewfranchises.com, six year running ‘Best Of Category’ by The NewsLeader, a Top 20 Children’s Franchise by Opportunity World Magazine, Franchise Gator’s Top 100 (2014 and 2015 wins) and Top Emerging in 2014, Inc 500’s 2014 and 2016 list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the US and Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2014 Franchise 500 list. Rochette is also an award recipient of the Springfield Business Journal’s ’40 Under 40′ for 2015. Matt is a licensed realtor in multiple states and often times he secures real estate for new locations. He is also a Certified Franchise Executive graduating class of 2013, with the International Franchise Association.
Their passion is Little Sunshine’s Playhouse! Each of their three children have attended Little Sunshine’s Playhouse schools with great educational, emotional and social success… and they are excited to share with other families what Little Sunshine’s Playhouse has given to their family.
Amber Riddle, Chief Financial Officer
Amber Riddle is the Chief Financial Officer of Little Sunshine’s Playhouse. Amber graduated from Republic High School, then obtained a B.S. in Accounting from Missouri State University. In 2016, Amber received her MBA, also from Missouri State University. Amber’s career with Little Sunshine’s Playhouse began in May of 2016 as the Director of Finance and Human Resource, where she was able to be introduced to the company’s mission and interact with and support the schools within the system.
This experience cultivated a passion within Amber and she quickly realized she wanted to expand her involvement to help Little Sunshine’s Playhouse continue to achieve wide-spread success and growth. With that goal in mind, she was able to meet and exceed all expectations in her role and accepted the position of CFO in 2017.
Amber is deeply committed to Little Sunshine’s Playhouse and all the employees and families each program impacts. She is proud of her role within the company and works diligently to ensure the best practices and processes are in place to provide a positive experience for everyone within the system.
Amber and her husband Luke have two children. Cam, who is in elementary school and Emma, a Little Sunshine’s Playhouse student.
Abby Davis, Chief Operations Officer
Abby Davis is the Chief Operations Officer for Little Sunshine’s Playhouse. Her background in Human Environmental Science from the University of Arkansas, along with ten prior years of industry experience, brought her to Little Sunshine’s Playhouse in 2012 where she served as the Program Director for the Rogers, Arkansas location. During her time as a school manager, she met and exceeded the goals and expectations within that position and realized her passion to expand and provide support and encouragement to all other management teams, school staff, families and children within the Company.
With that goal in mind, Abby’s growth continued within the organization and evolved in 2017 when Abby accepted the position of COO and currently oversees all locations, including pre-operational and operational schools across the nation, providing support to both corporate and franchise schools in the capacity of school leadership growth and operational guidance.
Abby resides in Carthage, MO with her husband and four children (who are Little Sunshine’s Playhouse graduates and students).
Mary Bozarth, In-House Counsel
Mary Bozarth is the In-House Counsel for Little Sunshine’s Enterprises, Inc., the Corporate Office of Little Sunshine’s Playhouse. Mary graduated from Parkview High School, then obtained a B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL in 2003. In 2006, Mary earned her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law.
Mary’s career in law began as an Equal Justice Works Fellow, where she partnered Women in Distress and Legal Aid of Broward County to offer holistic legal advocacy to women and children who were victims of violence. Following Mary’s fellowship, she worked in private practice in south Florida, primarily focusing on complex commercial litigation, specifically employment and consumer fraud. In 2014, Mary returned to her hometown of Springfield, Missouri and joined the Missouri Attorney General’s Office where she handled prosecuting civil and criminal cases on behalf of the Consumer Protection Division, as well as defending the State of Missouri in litigation, primarily in employment discrimination cases. Mary also serves as a professor at Missouri State University, where she teaches a mid-level class on court procedure and constitutional rights.
Mary has a passion for education, working with children and families, and is deeply-committed to Little Sunshine’s mission. In her spare time, Mary volunteers as the Assistant New Member Chair for Junior League of Springfield, an Associate Board Member of Springfield Little Theater, as well as a Board Member for Diaper Bank of the Ozarks. She is also on the Children’s Ministries Counsel at her church, and volunteers as a Sunday School teacher.
Mary and her husband Chris have one daughter, Madeline.
Kaley Harmon, Director of Marketing & Expansion
Kaley began her journey with Little Sunshine’s Playhouse in August 2010 as a Teacher’s Assistant at Springfield III. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Child and Family Development (with emphasis’ in Early Childhood and in Administration) and her Master of Business Administration in Marketing and Management, both from Missouri State University.
While having the opportunity to execute responsibilities from every level of a school’s team, Kaley learned exactly how a successful school operates from the ground up. She learned what it takes for a school, and more importantly the students, to be successful. She has a passion for children, but that passion reaches beyond one classroom and she now focuses on bringing the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse program and philosophy to children across the country. After spending a year under the guidance and leadership of CEO, Rochette Dahler, Kaley knew she wanted her relationship with this inspiring company to transition into a lifelong career. She was promoted to the On-boarding Specialist, and just six months later took over Marketing, as well. She is goal and detail oriented and has an unrivaled passion for perfection in operations.
Kaley oversees the expansion and marketing for all programs. She actively assists and supports school leadership with every aspect of the critical construction phases. From the first steps of development through grand opening, Kaley is an integral partner in success for every new school.
She also develops and oversees the execution of marketing campaigns for all upcoming and operational Little Sunshine’s Playhouse schools; which involves social media planning, advertising, public relations, event organization, sponsorship and continued research on the most effective marketing strategies available. Kaley is keyed into the specific marketing and promotional needs of every markets within the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse system and is deeply committed to help drive success for each program.
Julie Hayes, Senior Accounting Executive, CFE
Julie began working for Little Sunshine’s Playhouse in August 2002 while obtaining her CDA (Child Development Associate). Her initial role was within the initial founding Little Sunshine’s Playhouse School location on a teaching team, and later into senior management. There she had the opportunity to learn details about the company’s business operations, educational standards, management-style and eventually company accounting. Julie’s long-term loyalty and commitment to Little Sunshine’s Playhouse, her knowledge and specific skill sets make her an invaluable team member. Her daily role includes management of tuition collections, QuickBooks support, reporting analysis and general administration. She is a notary in the state of Missouri; as well as an active International Franchise Association member and Certified Franchise Executive of the International Franchise Association’s graduating class of 2015.
Julie and her husband, Michael, reside in Springfield, Missouri with their two children (both Little Sunshine’s Playhouse graduates).
Cathy Harmon, Education and Safety Coordinator
Cathy joined the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse corporate team as the Education and Safety Coordinator in June of 2016. She holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Elementary Education with Early Childhood Certification from (Southwest) Missouri State University and a Master’s in Curriculum and Instruction from William Woods University. She has over 23 years of experience in the education field where she has taught both Kindergarten and 2nd grade. She has an extensive background knowledge of Kindergarten readiness and preparation, curriculum design, and educator mentorship, with a long history of developing successful lifelong learners in the classroom.
In her position, Cathy oversees Little Sunshine’s Playhouse proprietary curriculum, Creatively ShineTM and will amend and revise as needed. She conducts hands-on classroom observations and administers quality assurance reviews. She handles new staff trainings and equips all educators with the resources needed to manage successful classrooms. Her goal and primary focus is to provide guidance and support to LSP programs through their management and educator teams.
Cathy currently lives on a farm in Mt. Vernon, MO with her husband, Mark. In her free time, she loves to play golf and read. She also enjoys spending time with her six grandchildren and one grand-dog.
Brittni Bates, Director of Marketing
Brittni recently joined Little Sunshine’s Playhouse corporate team as Director of Marketing. She grew up in Welch, Texas, and graduated from Texas Tech University where she received a B.S. in 2009 and M.S. in 2011, both in Agricultural Communications. Brittni has past experience in marketing and branding as well as internal and external communications.
Brittni manages the execution of Little Sunshine’s marketing campaigns and ensures Little Sunshine’s maintains a consistent brand across all platforms; which involves social media planning, advertising, public relations, event organization, sponsorship and continued research on the most effective marketing strategies available. She is committed to helping drive success for each program.
Brittni and her husband, Jason, live in Mount Vernon, MO, where they own a registered cattle operation and have an Australian Shepherd, Jake.
Tanya Brown, Accounting Executive
With 20 years of accounting experience, Tanya Brown joined Little Sunshine’s Playhouse as accounting executive in 2017. Tanya provides support to schools in the areas of payroll and daily accounting functions.
Tanya and her husband Matt have 3 boys, Austin, Hunter and Chase. They also have a 14 year old lab, Lacey, who is a big part of their family. Tanya enjoys spending time with her boys, which usually involves sporting events.
Mel Martz, Executive Assistant
Mel Martz began working for Little Sunshine’s Playhouse in 2017 as an administrative assistant. In her role, Mel provides administrative support to ensure efficient operation of the corporate office and to corporate schools. She ensures the corporate office is equipped and maintained appropriately for efficient operation and supports the team in any way she can.
Mel is a current student at Missouri State University and is pursuing a degree in Communications. After graduation, her plan is then to go on to receive a Master’s Degree in counseling. Mel has always had a passion for students and children and believes that it is her calling to be an available and encouraging voice to the next generation. She is very excited to be a part of the team and work for the mission of Little Sunshine’s Playhouse!