Katarina Fjording

Katarina Fjording

The Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative, a nonprofit organization that works to improve educational outcomes for children, has added a new board member and two staff members.

Katarina Fjording has been elected to the organization's board of directors. Fjording is the vice president of purchasing and manufacturing in the Americas for Volvo Car Group. An automotive veteran with 28 years of global industrial operations experience from Europe, Asia and America, she has held several senior positions before moving to the Lowcountry. She also serves as a board member for Sunfleet Car Sharing, American Red Cross of Lowcountry SC and the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.

“She is passionate about education and workforce development in our region and will make real contributions to our work.” Anita Zucker, chair of the board, said. 

Alexa Stephens, who has been serving as the organization's director of data management and analysis, has accepted a new position to oversee its community engagement work as director of strategy and community insight. Stephens will continue to report to Cradle to Career Collaborative CEO John C. Read, and her work will be overseen by a board committee to be chaired by Barbara Kelley-Duncan, who retired last year as CEO of Carolina Youth Development Center.

Filling the vacancy left by Stephens at director of data management and analysis is Sarah Piwinski. She previously served as a program manager with EarthEcho International, where she oversaw an international environmental education program. Prior to that, she was the research data and measurement director for Trident United Way. Piwinski holds a bachelor’s degree in marine biology and a master’s degree in public administration, both from the College of Charleston.

Ashley Heffernan has joined the staff as the director of communication and administration, replacing Amy Asper, who has decided to return to part-time employment. Heffernan most recently worked as a staff writer at the Charleston Regional Business Journal. Prior to that, she worked in the public relations office of the Medical University of South Carolina and at various media outlets. Heffernan holds a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Carolina Wilmington.

The Tri-County Cradle to Career Collaborative is a community-wide movement in Berkeley, Charleston and Dorchester counties with the goal of improving the quality of life of its citizens and its workforce through education.