Cloud

Leadership

Leadership

Rochette & Matt, Chief Executive Officers & Vice President at Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

Rochette & Matt,
Founders and Owners

Matt and Rochette are the 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 daycare 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, partnered with her excitement for the Reggio Emilia philosophy fueled her dream.  Her first school exceeded all expectations and was slated for expansion within one year with over 140 students on a waiting list eager for placement.

Since that time, Little Sunshine’s Playhouse has grown from a true grassroots home-based business to a well-developed national preschool organization. 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. Both serve as executive board members of the Pediatric Brain Foundation.

Their professional accomplishments include the formation and trademarking of LuvNotes® systems and the development of the Creatively Shine®curriculum inspired by the acclaimed Reggio Emilia education philosophy. Under their leadership, the company has been recognized as a Top New Franchise by Franbest Networks, Inc. 5000 2014 and 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 list of 5,000 Fastest Growing Private Companies in the US and Entrepreneur Magazine’s 2014 Franchise 500 list, Springfield Business Journal’s Dynamic Dozen in 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020 as well as many dozen best of category wins for best preschool in several cities across the country. Rochette was also an award recipient of the Springfield Business Journal’s ’40 Under 40′ for 2015.

Their passion is Little Sunshine’s Playhouse. Each of their three children, Gillian, Riley and Paxon 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

Brett, President at Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

Brett,
Chief Executive Officer

Brett serves as the CEO of both Little Sunshine’s Enterprises, Inc. and Playhouse Development, LLC., guiding both the operational and the real estate development components of LSP.

He has a passion for finding immediate and strategic solutions and guiding people to succeed. His vision is to continue to cultivate and support a thriving leadership and workplace environment that is vital to school health and performance. Having an elementary school principal in the family has given him unique insight on education and placing children in their very best position to thrive. That background is what attracted Brett to Little Sunshine’s Playhouse, where its mission is to do just that.

He obtained his B.S. in Mathematics from Creighton University in 1996. In 1999 he earned his Juris Doctor degree, also from Creighton University.

His career in law begin at Shughart Thomson & Kilroy (now Polsinelli) in Kansas City where he worked for 5 years in commercial litigation. In 2004, he and his family moved to Springfield, Missouri to work for Baird Lightner Millsap, PC, the last 13 of which as a partner. In his 15 years in private practice in Springfield, Brett evolved his practice into a thriving transactional consulting business, where he represented numerous local, regional and national clients on various business and real estate issues, including a close working relationship with Little Sunshine’s Playhouse. Brett has been actively involved in various activities over his professional years, including 7 years on the Missouri Bar Board of Governors and the same amount of time on the board of the Springfield Workshop (now SWI Industrial Solutions), where he served as Board Chairman for 2 years. He has been honored as one of the Best Lawyers in America since 2012, a Missouri Super Lawyer since 2012 and is AV Preeminent Rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Brett is married to Kristen, an attorney who works as a permanent law clerk for the Honorable M. Douglas Harpool of the United States District Court for the Western District of Missouri. They have three children—Quinn, Kennedi and Ellie, who keep very busy with school, athletic and other activities. Brett and Kristen value school first and activities second but most of all they value quality time with the entire family. Much of that family time in the summers is happily spent at Table Rock Lake, but outside of that and periodic vacations, family dinners, game nights and local hikes are a constant source of joy.

Amber, Chief Financial Officer at Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

Amber,
Chief Financial Officer

Amber’s career with Little Sunshine’s Playhouse began in May of 2016 as the Director of Finance and Human Resource. 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.

As the Director of Finance and HR, Amber 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.

In 2019, Amber was a Springfield Business Journal “40 Under 40” honoree, and in 2020 was named the “Financial Executive of the Year” by The Springfield Business Journal.

Amber and her husband, Luke, have two children, Cam and Emma.

Abby, Chief Operating Officers at Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

Abby,
Chief Operating officer

Abby joined the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse family in 2012 as Program Director at the Rogers, Arkansas location. Her background in Human Environmental Science from the University of Arkansas, along with ten prior years of industry experience, brought her to LSP ready to take on an exciting new role. 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, all Little Sunshine’s Playhouse graduates and students.

Mary, General Counsel

Mary, General Counsel

Mary joined the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse & Preschool® home office team as their In-House Counsel in 2017 and was promoted to General Counsel in 2019. Mary obtained a B.A. in History and Political Science from the University of Miami 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 law and consumer fraud.

In 2014, Mary returned to her home town 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. In 2017, Mary was appointed by the Governor of Missouri to serve on the Missouri Child Abuse & Neglect Review Board, where she reviews appeals of decisions made by the Missouri Children’s Division. In 2018, Mary was appointed by the Greene County, Missouri Commissioner to serve on the Domestic Violence Shelter Board. In 2019, Mary was appointed by the Springfield, Missouri City Council to serve on the Mayor’s Commission on Human Rights and Community Relations, which exists to foster mutual understanding and respect among all racial, religious, and ethnic groups. Among other duties, Mary’s role on the Commission is to investigate discrimination complaints.

In her spare time, Mary volunteers as the 2020-21 Management Director for Junior League of Springfield and as an Advisory Board Member for Diaper Bank of the Ozarks. Mary was also a Springfield Business Journal “40 Under 40” honoree for 2018, and a “Most Influential Women” honoree for 2019.

Mary and her husband have one daughter and one son, both who are students at Little Sunshine’s!

Heather, Director of Admissions at Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

Heather,
Director of Admissions

Heather’s career with Little Sunshine’s Playhouse began in 2009 as the Program Director for the Ozark, Missouri location. Heather graduated from Glendale High School, then obtained a B.S. in Communications from Missouri State University. Prior to her journey with Little Sunshine’s Playhouse, she’d worked in other early childhood centers from teaching to management for over 10 years.

At the end of 2014, Heather’s family relocated to Green Bay, Wisconsin for her husband’s job.  For nearly three years, Heather worked part time for a private preschool and also the public school as an aide where her youngest son attended.

In December 2017, Heather’s family was relocated back to her hometown of Springfield, Missouri. Her family was thrilled to come back to their hometown where their extended family and close friends reside. Heather’s connections with the LSP family was kept intact while she was away, in hopes someday she’d come back. This move provided the opportunity for Heather to do just that! Heather’s experience, along with her deep-rooted passion for Little Sunshine’s Playhouse, made it possible for her to help Little Sunshine’s Playhouse continue to achieve wide-spread success and growth. She accepted the position of Admissions Director in 2017.

Heather is 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.

Heather and her husband Jonathan have three children; Ava, Ethan, and Lincoln, a Little Sunshine’s Playhouse student.

Mel, Director of Expansion at Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

Mel, Director of Expansion

Mel began working for Little Sunshine’s Playhouse in March of 2017. She quickly fell in love with LSP’s culture and mission. In March of 2019 she was promoted to Director of Operations where she oversaw all systems and daily operations at the school level and manages all new school development. She provided resources to each operational and pre-operational school and ensured systems are being run correctly and efficiently.

As the Director of Expansion, Mel manages the operational side of schools in development.

Mel and her husband, Jonathan, have one child, Beckham. They currently reside in Springfield, MO.

Kelly, Director of Marketing at Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

Kelly,
Director of Marketing

Kelly Yust is the Director of Marketing. She is an experience marketing professional and has been in the industry for almost 10 years. Marketing is not just her job; it’s her hobby and she loves learning as much as can from marketing leaders across all industries. Her greatest passion in marketing is getting to know her audience, understanding their pain points, and finding a way to effectively communicate a solution that drives action.

In her current role for Little Sunshine’s Playhouse, Kelly is responsible for developing and overseeing the implementation of Little Sunshine’s national marketing strategy. This includes all campaigns, content marketing, advertising, social media, design, and PR activities.

She is a proud graduate of Oklahoma State University and Missouri State University where she received bachelor’s degrees in Political Science and Broadcast Journalism respectively.

Kelly and her husband have two children and live in Southwest Missouri. They love attending their children’s sporting events, watching college football, and camping – really anything outside.

Luke, Director of Properties and Development at Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

Luke,
Director of Properties and Development

Luke started with both Little Sunshine’s Enterprises, Inc. and Playhouse Development, LLC. in March 2020. Luke has a background in construction, landscaping, and facilities management.

Within his role as Director of Properties and Development, Luke manages all current properties and construction development of future properties. With the current and projected growth, Luke works closely with our Development team to continue bringing the magic of LSP to new markets. He also works closely with the leadership teams at schools nationwide to ensure our schools remain in top shape for our families. Luke brings a diversified background to our team that will assist in the continued success of the Little Sunshine’s organization.

Luke and his family live outside of Republic, Missouri. Amber, his wife, is also a member of the Little Sunshine’s team. They have 2 children, Cameron and Emma, who constantly keep them running from one activity to the next! When time allows, Luke enjoys the lake and working on classic cars. His ideal vacation either involves the beach or a simple weekend trip to the lake.

Little Sunshine's Playhouse Controller, Susan Stipps

Susan,
Financial Controller

Susan joined the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse corporate team as a Financial Controller in October 2019. Her focus includes working with the CFO and accounting team to support the goal of ensuring best practices and processes are in place to provide quality, timely financial reporting and accounting support throughout the organization.

Susan grew up in Shawnee, Kansas, living with her parents and four siblings. She graduated from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School. In 1991, she received her Associate of Arts degree from Johnson County Community College, then moved to Springfield to complete her Accounting degree at Missouri State.

During her 25 years in private Accounting, Susan has been blessed with wonderful mentors and co-workers along the way that taught her what a great team can do when working together toward the same goal.

Susan lives in Springfield with her husband, Kevin, and has two grown sons that currently attend Missouri State. Kevin and Susan are recent empty-nesters but still have their extremely spoiled dog, Maya. They love taking vacations and spending time with family and friends.

Julie, Senior Accounting Executive at Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

Julie,
Senior Accounting Executive

Julie began working for Little Sunshine’s Playhouse in August 2002 while obtaining her CDA (Child Development Associate). She initially started on the teaching team when the first Little Sunshine’s Playhouse & Preschool opened, and was later promoted to 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).

Tanya, Accounting Executive at Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

Tanya,
Accounting Executive

With 20 years of accounting experience, Tanya 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.

Briley, Accounting Executive at Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

Briley,
Accounting Executive

Briley joined the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse corporate team as an Accounting Executive in February of 2020. He was born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, where he graduated from Kickapoo High School in 2015. He then traveled to Searcy, Arkansas, where he attended Harding University and graduated with a degree in Accounting in the Spring of 2019. Since the turn of the year 2020, he began at Missouri State University as a graduate student. He is currently working toward his Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus in Data Analytics or Quantitative Risk Management (still undecided). Briley has a passion for numbers and how they affect people.

In his free time, Briley enjoys spending time with family and friends, singing, listening and playing music, watching sports (such as baseball, basketball, and football), and scuba diving (when he gets the chance and when the weather cooperates). He is also very active in education, song leading, and service at Water Mill Church of Christ where he worships.

Kaci, Recruitment and Compliance Coordinator at Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

Kaci,
Recruitment and Compliance Officer

Kaci joined the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse corporate team in 2018. She obtained her degree in elementary education from the University of Northern Iowa and has since combined her knowledge with children and team building to fulfill the role of Family Life Director at a local multi-campus church. Kaci has a passion for supporting leaders and connecting passionate goal getters to the ultimate goal of making a difference in the lives of children. That passion, plus the culture and model of Little Sunshine’s Playhouse & Preschool, makes her role as Recruitment and Compliance Coordinator an exciting one.

Kaci and her husband have 2 ambitious teenagers, Josiah and Kloey. While most of their time involves attending kids’ events, they do enjoy spending as much time as possible outdoors.

Marcy, Digital Marketing Specialist at Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

Marcy,
Digital Marketing Specialist

Marcy joined Little Sunshine Playhouse corporate team as a Digital Marketing Specialist in 2018.

Marcy is originally from Chesterfield, Missouri where she still visits frequently to see her parents. She graduated from Missouri State University and received a Bachelor’s Degree in Public Relations and Mass Media. Marcy has worked as a Web Developer for many years.

She is responsible for helping the Director of Marketing with campaigns, digital advertising, email marketing, the website and the Luvnotes program.

Marcy and her husband, Kyle, have two children, Chloe and Stella, a Little Sunshine student. She and her family enjoy spending time outdoors and going on new adventures.

Little Sunshine's Playhouse Social Media Coordinator, Alex Lofaro

Alex,
Social Media Coordinator

Alex joined the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse corporate team as a Social Media Marketing Coordinator in October 2019. Born and raised in Springfield, Missouri, Alex graduated from Kickapoo High School in 2015. Four years later, he graduated from the University of Missouri in 2019 with a degree in journalism, emphasizing his studies in strategic communication. Having built a background in design and art direction, Alex has a passion for creating things.

Alex is responsible for making and curating content for the Little Sunshine’s Playhouse social media accounts, as well as managing the communication and engagement among their followers. Additionally, Alex assists in other digital marketing efforts, such as adjusting campaigns in order to meet ever-changing goals.

In his free time, Alex enjoys listening to and playing music, staying active through fitness, acting like he can cook well, watching sports and traveling whenever the opportunity arises.

Kayla, Systems and Compliance Coordinator at Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

Kayla,
Systems and Compliance Coordinator

Kayla joined Little Sunshine’s Playhouse corporate team in July of 2019 as Executive Assistant, working alongside the executive team on executing key projects. In February 2020, Kayla became the Systems and Compliance Coordinator working with many of the software systems the executive team uses.

Before joining LSP she worked in the front office at Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Center. She assisted patients with scheduling and helped to make their check-in process as smooth as possible. Prior to that, Kayla was able to stay home and care for her 4 young children!

Kayla has also taught dance to children ages 18 months to 17 years at both Sonshine Performing Arts Academy and her own studio for 13 years!

On a personal note, she is passionate about serving others and being a mommy to her four young children. They live happily on a farm near Republic, MO with her husband Kyle.

Andrea, Executive Assistant at Little Sunshine's Playhouse & Preschool

Andrea,
Executive Assistant

Andrea joined Little Sunshine’s Playhouse in August of 2015 where she worked as a teacher for nearly four years. She started as an assistant teacher, became a lead toddler teacher, and due to her hard work and passion she was promoted to Head Teacher where she worked directly with the school’s leadership team.

In February of 2020, Andrea joined the home office team as an Executive Assistant where she will continue to support LSP’s mission of bringing high-quality child care to children across the country.

During her time as a teacher, Andrea earned her Associate of Arts in Business and is currently finishing her bachelor’s degree at Missouri State University. In her free time, she enjoys being outside and staying active. She also loves to cook and spends her weekends working on cars with her boyfriend, Garrett. They love going on road trips together and spending time with friends.