Bullying can take many forms – the effects can be life-changing and lasting. It’s time we stand together to change the narrative. TKC is dedicated to empowering the next generation of kind leaders.
While the core operating team of The Kindness Campaign is listed below, our team spans nationally and internationally in the hearts of all dedicated to our mission of empowering the next generation of kind leaders.
Andra Liemandt | Founder
Andra Liemandt is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, drummer in an all-female band and most importantly, a mother to two precious girls. In 2013, she was stunned and heartbroken to learn that a friend’s 12-year-old daughter committed suicide after being bullied at school. While the number of tween and teen suicides has steadily increased over the past five years, she was shocked at the lack of preventative resources for elementary schools to combat this sad reality. In response, Andra created The Kindness Campaign (TKC). TKC is built on the foundation that if we teach children how to first be kind to themselves and then be kind to one another, we can change the peer-to-peer culture in schools and ultimately save lives.
I had my own personal experiences with bullying growing up. Even as an adult I had to overcome some of the emotional scars that I had from childhood. However, nothing that I experienced could prepare me for how I felt as a mom. Helping my daughters navigate the complexity of bullying was overwhelming. The idea of Enoughie Buddy and using Kindness was my way to create a voice in what felt like a hopeless situation. I believe together we can change the future for our children.
Nina Gilkerson | Chief Operating Officer
Nina Gilkerson started her career in corporate finance at JP Morgan, worked as a strategy consultant, and most recently served as COO of A Little Bundle. With a strong heart for children and history as a competitive swimmer, she co-founded the nonprofit Everybody Swims to provide underprivileged children in the NYC area access to free swim lessons. Through her work with children it became apparent that bullying is a sad reality for many who lack an understanding of their own self-worth and the power they hold to both harm and lift up others.
A nasty comment can have a lasting impact on a life - staying with the recipient over decades - I was teased in high school for my “swimmer” shoulders - ten years later I can still remember the sting and humiliation felt in that moment
Lori Hobbie | Chief Program Officer
Lori Hobbie began her career as an educator in East Africa, working with rural and urban schools in Congo and Tanzania. With over 20 years of teaching in public and private sectors, Lori has extensive training in curriculum development and mentoring teachers. Her awareness of mindfulness in the classroom was built on a foundation of service to the others. Lori brings her passion for educating the whole child to The Kindness Campaign.
Being bullied in elementary school had a profound impact on my worldview. Because I was bullied, I believed that bullying was a sign of strength. When I became an educator, I could see the same cycle repeating itself and I knew I had to do something to stop it.
Dan McKenna | Board Member
Dan McKenna has 18 years of experience in the field of education and currently serves as Head of School at St. Gabriel’s Catholic School. Before coming to St. Gabriel’s in 2013, Dan was principal at St. Francis Xavier School in Wilmette, IL. He is a graduate of Marquette University (BA) and Loyola University (M.Ed.). Passionate about helping children to develop not only their minds, but also their character, Dan joined the board of The Kindness Campaign in 2016 and has influenced TKC’s approach to curriculum and interactive experiences.
As an educator, I have seen the crushing impact cruelty and indifference can have on the development of a child's self-esteem. I have also seen transformative and contagious power of kindness. That is why I am so passionate and excited about TKC.
Jenny Mason | Board Member
Jenny Mason is the bass player in the Mrs, a band on a mission to encourage women to see themselves as enough. Jenny is a dedicated member of the community, serving on the board for The Center for Childhood Protection and as a member of the National Charity League. She believes that by showing children how to love themselves as they are will encourage their growth into the kind leaders of tomorrow. Jenny has been an instrumental board member for The Kindness Campaign since 2016.
I was bullied and left out quite a few times growing up - it made me feel empty and lonely. I made it my mission to always be friendly and inclusive in my interactions so no one would feel the way I felt.
Donna Tryba | Board Member
Donna Tryba currently serves as the Community Outreach Director for Ride Austin, Austin’s premier non-profit ridesharing service. Donna joined the Kindness Campaign as a board member in 2016 and has since played an integral role in development.
I have a close friend who suffered bullying in high school. Rather than feel ashamed of this experience, she allowed this struggle to make her stronger. She transformed this adversity into strength and ambition which helped her achieve professional success and personal happiness.
Andrew Mason | Board Member
Andrew Mason has been a financial advisor in the Austin area for the last 25 years; specializing in creating retirement income through covered call option strategies for private clients. He believes that being present for his family is instrumental in influencing their progress. Andrew has actively served for The Center for Childhood Protection and currently advises for The Kindness Campaign.
Being a father of three, I have witnessed how classmates can break each other down. I want to change the story for my own children and their generation.
Tracey Marshall | Board Member
Tracey has been active in community service and philanthropy for over 25 years. Passionate about children’s causes, she has drawn on her degrees in education and her varied professional experiences to serve in leadership roles with many non-profits. Currently, Tracey serves as Co-chair of the Board of the Rise School of Austin, as a member of the Board of The Kindness Campaign, and actively supports programs of the jkl Foundation. In her summer community, Tracey serves on the Advisory Board of Nantucket Community Sailing and the Capital Committee of Nantucket Cottage Hospital. Tracey most enjoys a hands-on, active role with the charities and nonprofits she chooses to support.
Bullying as a child can lead to bullying as an adult. My next door neighbor was a bully to me and I struggled with the emotional turmoil of that and how it affected my other relationships. This experience opened my eyes to the epidemic of bullying plaguing our nation.