The ExEL Board Chair also serves as Executive Director and CEO as ExEL has no paid employees. Brian Ingvalson, current president, has been involved in education all his life, as a learner, teacher, administrator and adjunct professor at the University of MN. Brian was one of the founders and board members of ExEL. Dr. Ingvalson recently was honored when he was selected as a Governor of the National Association of Non-Profit Organizations and Executives.
Originally, ExEL was primarily a “flow through” non-profit that generated resources and shared 100% of its net earnings with Early Learning Centers providing tuition assistance for students living in poverty. ExEL determined that just “being a flow through non-profit” was not enough - it also needed to broaden its scope and impact on the community. The board of directors recognized in that ExEL needed to make changes in 2016 if it was going to be successful in its vision and mission. The following year, under Dr. Ingvalson’s leadership, ExEL developed a 3-year Strategic Plan. The board recognized that one of the most significant barriers to quality early childhood education is financial inaccessibility. With tuition at $800 - $1,000 per month per child, early childhood education costs rival housing costs in the family budget. Lack of early learning opportunities greatly impacts a child's future success and can create lingering academic and social barriers once they begin elementary school. Utilizing the goals in its 2020 Strategic Plan, ExEL has expanded its impact on this significant community problem “head-on” by focusing on three sectors of our Collier County. (ExEL’s “2020 Strategic Plan” is attached later in this section.)