Tara Colton, Executive Director
- Kristen Merkle Cutforth, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer
- Jean Henningsen, Director
- Robert Moore, Director
- Keith Rasmussen, Vice President
- Mark Romaninsky, Senior Director
- Patience Walker, Senior Director
Tara Colton is Executive Director of Seedco, a 30-year-old national nonprofit organization that operates workforce and work supports programs in five states: New York, Connecticut, Tennessee, Maryland and Georgia. Tara was appointed Seedco’s Executive Director in January 2017 after joining Seedco as Senior Vice President of Programs in 2015. She has more than 15 years of leadership experience in both the public and nonprofit sectors, focused on developing and advancing innovative programs and services for workers, families, and businesses. Her previous positions include: Associate Vice President for Program Development and Planning at FEGS Health & Human Services; Managing Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Human Capital Development; Executive Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Adult Education, Director of Strategy and Partnerships at the NYC Department of Education’s Office of Adult and Continuing Education, and Deputy Director at the Center for an Urban Future.
Tara holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from the Baruch College School of Public Affairs, a Bachelor’s Degree in Government from Wesleyan University and completed the Coro Leadership New York Program. She was selected as one of New York Nonprofit Media’s inaugural “40 Under 40 Rising Stars,” received the Statewide Leadership Award from the New York Association of Training and Employment Professionals (NYATEP) and is a board member of the NYC Employment and Training Coalition. She lives in Maplewood, New Jersey with her husband, son and daughter.
Kristen Merkle Cutforth
General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer
Kristen Merkle Cutforth is Seedco’s General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. She oversees the legal department as well as the corporate compliance program, which functions in an independent and objective manner to review and evaluate compliance issues/concerns within the organization. Kristen came to Seedco following a long career at the National Science Foundation, Office of Inspector General, where she served in a variety of roles including an Attorney Advisor to the Office of Audits and the Assistant Counsel to the Inspector General. She also worked for the University of Washington in their Grant and Contract Accounting office as an accountant as well as in their Center for AIDS and STD. Cutforth holds a Juris Doctor from Georgia State University and a bachelor’s degree in business from the University of Washington.
Jean Henningsen oversees Seedco’s Work and Family Supports and Workforce programming for the Baltimore metro region. She manages a growing team of staff who work on a variety of programs, including facilitating enrollment into financial assistance programs via Seedco’s EarnBenefits program, health insurance access, and leading the West Baltimore Community Pathways Collaborative in partnership with Bon Secours Community Works. Prior to joining Seedco, Jean worked for the Annie E. Casey Foundation for four years on multiple national grant portfolios. She holds an MSW from University of Maryland, Baltimore City.
Robert Moore oversees Seedco’s Work and Family Supports and Workforce programming in the New York City area. He has led the rollout of Seedco’s second federal Fatherhood program, a five-year grant selected by the funder for an intensive long-term research study. Mr. Moore has been working in the nonprofit sector for over ten years and has extensive experience developing and managing innovative programs that serve low-income communities. Prior to joining Seedco in 2015, he was the Director of Operations and Finance at Storefront Academy Charter School in the South Bronx. He received his MS from Fordham University, with an Executive Education Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership.
Keith Rasmussen leads all of Seedco’s programs across the country, spanning the organization’s Workforce and Work and Family Supports program portfolios. He brings over a decade of management and operations leadership to this position along with expertise in service delivery, human resources, oversight of multiple program models and systems, knowledge of job recruitment and retention, and experience in a variety of program-evaluation techniques. Before joining Seedco in 2012, Keith held leadership positions at ResCare, Goldman Sachs and Deloitte & Touche. He studied business administration at Brooklyn College, CUNY.
Mark Romaninsky oversees Seedco’s programs on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, with a focus on health coverage enrollment funded through the Maryland Health Benefit Exchange and the Center for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Mark oversees a team of enrollment professionals who assist Maryland consumers in finding affordable health coverage. Prior to joining Seedco in 2013, he focused his career on workforce development and training. As a Program Manager at the US Department of Labor, he provided contract oversight to Job Corps vocational training centers in several states throughout the Philadelphia Region, including contract compliance, policy development and analysis, proposal evaluation and technical assistance. As a Director of Operations with Del-Jen, Inc. and a Project Director with Dynamic Educational Systems, Inc., Mark managed teams in Mississippi, Florida, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Ohio and New England who provided youth employment and training services through DOL programs. Mark received a BA from SUNY-Cortland.
Patience Walker oversees all local operations and program portfolios for Seedco’s Mid-South Regional Office. She leads the Mid-South Career Pathways Collaborative, as well as a recently-renewed program providing workforce services to Memphis-area youth, among other programs. Patience has more than 15 years of experience in the nonprofit sector, which includes operational management, project direction and talent management with specific experience in the areas of education, workforce and economic development. Prior to joining Seedco in 2015, Patience served as the Associate Executive Director for the Memphis Shelby Crime Commission. She has also held positions as Director of School Operations for the Achievement School District, Grants Specialist for Shelby County Schools and Associate Executive Director for LeMoyne-Owen College Community Development Corporation. Patience earned a BA in Psychology from Spelman College in Atlanta and an MBA in Management from Union University in Jackson, TN. She is a graduate of the Leadership Memphis Executive Program.