Leadership Team

KinderSystems P Hawk profile

Lara Oerter

President & CEO

Lara Oerter is the President and Chief Executive Officer of KinderSystems, Inc. She has over 25 years of experience in technology, product development, operations, sales and finance. Prior to joining KinderSystems, she served as the Chief Operating Officer for Avenu Insights and Analytics, was Chief Operating Officer of PrecisionHawk, Inc. and served as Chief Financial Officer for TNTP. Lara spent 11 years at Blackboard Inc, playing a number of different leadership roles in sales, client management, product development, marketing and M&A. She earned her MBA from the Harvard Business School and her BA from Georgetown University.

Lara is an expert at building SaaS businesses and is passionate about growing impact companies that improve children and families’ lives while developing positive, team-oriented cultures and creating meaningful value for clients, employees and investors.

Why KinderSystems?

KinderSystems is made up of a bunch of people who are passionate about how technology can help our clients be more successful.  We have the opportunity to play a role in helping the overall child care system better support kids and families – and that is really motivating to me. And getting to do this work with a group of talented, dedicated and fun colleagues makes every day interesting.

Favorite part of the job?

Every day I have the opportunity to learn from so many different folks who are experts in their field. I love meeting with customers and hearing about the goals they are trying to accomplish – and how our software can help them meet their goals. That is the most important piece to me.

Outside the office?

Our two teenagers Josie and Nathaniel keep my husband Brian and me quite busy. We live in the Washington, DC area and so try to take advantage of the incredible number of opportunities to do fun and interesting things in our area. We have two Covid rescue puppies (Brigitte and Mika) who are definitely the two most demanding members of our family. Some of my great passions in life are international travel and theatre. So I am planning multiple international trips (even if I don’t yet know when I can take them) and am the Treasurer of Imagination Stage (a nationally recognized Theatre for Young Audiences based in Bethesda, MD).

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KinderSystems Norbert Haupt

Norbert Haupt

Executive Chairman/Founder

Norbert Haupt is the founder of KinderSystems.

Besides providing product vision and technical direction to the company, Norbert works primarily in business development, defining and delivering systems for childcare subsidy programs. He is a nationally recognized industry expert on topics related to child care center management, subsidy administration and child care fraud detection and prevention.

Under Norbert’s leadership, KinderSystems has established itself as one of the premier companies serving child care subsidy administration, with systems installed in many states and local agencies.

Why KinderSystems?

KinderSystems is an exciting place to work. The team spirit is strong, everyone is dedicated to the outcome and to our customers. People intuitively know when to put in the extra effort. Everyone is committed to quality and proud of their work.

Favorite part of the job?

I often tell young people that ask for career advice to choose something they like to do. After more than 25 years at KinderSystems, I really haven’t had to “work.” Every day is different, every day brings new challenges and new opportunities. The creative aspect of my job keeps me motivated and enthusiastic.

Outside the office?

I try to read at least an hour every day, alternating between technical, science and cosmology books in the non-fiction area, and classics as well as lots of science fiction and especially time travel stories on the fiction side. I review every book I read. I am also an oil painter, but I don’t get to do nearly enough of that. When I have time, I hike and climb, preferably tough mountains.

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Renée Barnstone

Chief Financial Officer

Renée is responsible for the oversight of the financial operations of KinderSystems.

Renée’s prior service includes over 30 years as the business leader, board advisor and investor with multiple SaaS, data analytics, services & technology, media/publishing, insurance, professional services and retail companies. She currently serves on the boards of several non-profit organizations.

Her experience includes numerous transformations and multiple successful exits. She is valued as a trusted advisor on strategic, operational, and financial issues and has worked with boards on crisis management including shareholder actions, security breaches, macroeconomic events, and complex merger strategies.

Why KinderSystems?

Protecting our children and helping them grow into the future leaders of our society has always been a passion of mine. I served on the board of the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy and volunteered as a mentor to young girls at Camp CEO for the Girl Scouts of Greater Atlanta for many years. I view my work with KinderSystems as an extension of this opportunity to play a role in shaping the future of our society.

Favorite part of the job?

In my role, I have the vantage point of looking across the entire ecosystem of our company, investors, and customers to help scale and inspire growth and solve our biggest challenges. When I was early in my career, I used to say, “The buck stops here – ultimately everything we do flows through the financial statements.” It is absolutely true.

Outside the office?

You will find me finding peace on a hiking trail, on a plane ride to explore new parts of the world, or relaxing with family and friends.

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Richard Turcott

Senior Vice President of Marketing

Richard is Senior Vice President of KinderSystems, Inc. He has over 28 years of experience growing SaaS businesses across several industries. Prior to KinderSystems, he served as VP Global Marketing at Emergn, Sr. Director of Marketing at Insulet Corporation, CEO at Mill33, and CMO at Curata and Constant Contact. Richard earned his MBA at Northeastern University.

Why KinderSystems?

KinderSystems provides software services to organizations that serve the needs of children and their caregivers. KinderSystems helps improve the lives of people in very tangible ways.

Favorite part of the job?

KinderSystems and our customers are passionate about what we do to help improve the lives of children. When I start my day, I am delighted to be part of a team that is making a difference in children’s lives.

Outside the office?

I live outside of Boston with my wife and two daughters. I enjoy the outdoors and have run 20 marathons including 7 Boston Marathons and 2 ultra-marathons. I also love hiking New Hampshire’s 4000-foot peaks and back-country skiing. When indoors, music of all genres is always playing. As a music enthusiast and collector, I have over 300 vinyl records in my collection.

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KinderSystems Hamid

Hamid Kelishadi

Senior Vice President, Head Start

Hamid Kelishadi leads KinderSystems’s business in the Head Start market. He joined KinderSystems when it merged with COPA software in October 2021. As the founder and architect of COPA, Hamid has been involved in providing software technology solutions for the early education market and social service programs since 2001. He works collaboratively to provide educational, administrative and management solutions that enhance Data Management, collaboration and administrative processes.  COPA’s solutions are designed to complement and enhance an organization’s existing technology infrastructure.

He is a graduate of San Diego State University and holds a degree in Engineering.

Why KinderSystems?

COPA’s mission has always been to use synergy and cooperation to provide the best possible solutions to our clients and facilitate the work of those serving our children and families. Combining forces with KinderSystems creates a much larger infrastructure and a combined set of unique expertise and products that provide the most comprehensive nationwide solution for the subsidized early childhood market regardless of funding source.

Favorite part of the job?

I’ve always believed that life needs a purpose and what better than contributing to the well being of our children. I find that purpose in doing my part in facilitating the work of dedicated and much deserved staff who provide those direct services.

Outside the office?

 I have a 6 yr old son and a 9 year old daughter who keep my wife and I quite busy. We live in suburban Los Angeles and any free time I find is spent reading, listening to music, watching favorite teams’ soccer matches and hanging out with friends and family.

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KinderSystems leadership team protrait

Jorge Robledo

Vice President of Operations

Jorge Robledo is the leader responsible for infrastructure, customer success, and State Operations.

Before joining KinderSystems, Jorge spent time working in the news and broadcasting industry, Non-profit sector, and Information Security.

In his early years, Jorge ran a hosting company where paid customers subsidized free access for those who could not pay for it and wanted to learn more about Linux and open source software.

Why KinderSystems?

 Providing effective tools for those involved in childhood development is extremely important. Kids are the building blocks of our society, and our future as humanity depends on their success.

Favorite part of the job?

My job is highly dynamic, and every day is different. It requires constant learning. I have the opportunity to improve processes around me continuously.

Outside the office?

I enjoy spending time with my family, traveling, hiking, and learning about how macro and microeconomics affect market dynamics.

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KinderSystems Rich Powell

Rich Powell

Vice President of Engineering

Rich Powell has been with the company for over 20 years.  He is the chief architect of the company’s applications and manages our team of developers.

Before working at KinderSystems, Rich spent time working in several vertical markets including machine control and computerized parking systems.

Why KinderSystems?

KinderSystems is a nimble company that adapts quickly to the needs of their customers and excels at customer service.

Favorite part of the job?

I work with a great group of people that feel like an extended family.

Outside the office?

I enjoy spending time with my family, photography, playing the guitar, cooking and working out.

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Kate Byers

VP of People

Kate leads the People function at KinderSystems, overseeing talent acquisition, compensation and benefits, talent management, training and development, and culture and engagement. Kate is passionate about people strategy, coaching and development, and ensuring employees have the programs, resources, and framework so they can focus on their roles.

Prior to joining KinderSystems, Kate worked at HomeAdvisor/Angie’s List, as the Vice President of Human Resources, and spent time consulting with small businesses. Kate holds a B.A. from the University of Colorado.

Why KinderSystems?

I’m a firm believer in providing people the tools they need to focus on what they do best- and KinderSystems provides tools to help childcare providers focus on the children.

Favorite Part of the job?

In my role I get to work with people in every role, in every department. I’m a true “people-person” and appreciate the opportunity to work with, and learn from, a smart team of leaders.

Outside the office?

My husband and I live in Denver, Colorado, so when we’re not working, we’re usually outside doing all the Colorado things: hiking, biking, snowboarding, skiing, paddle boarding. When we’re not outside I’m usually puttering around in my garden or kitchen, starting new projects (think knitting or puzzles or learning how to make spicy jam for cheese), or I’m reading. I also serve on the Board of our HOA and volunteer at a local non-profit organization, BookGive.

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