Keri Vellis - Founder & President
Keri Vellis and her husband are passionate and involved parents of six children: three biological and three adopted through the foster care system. Keri always enjoyed reading with her children but was surprised to find that the local bookstores and libraries did not offer age appropriate, yet engaging books relating to foster care and the experiences that those children encounter. She wanted the kids she fostered over the years to feel comfortable with new families and pets, schools and activities. It occurred to her that there was a void for all of the children who moved through the system, not just hers.
This is when she decided to write Sometimes. When she read it to her little ones, they immediately related to the story. Keri knew she needed to find an illustrator and publish her book. Through a swift series of coincidences, Keri was connected with illustrator Jin Lehr, a foster child herself! Having aged out of the system, Jin could actually feel the emotions of what Keri had written because she had gone through it as a child.
Keri's goal is for her books to help children transitioning to another home feel good about themselves and understand that there can be loving people around them and happiness in their lives. Keri and her thriving, busy family live in Sonoma County in Northern California.
Sandy Hernandez - Vice President
Sandy Hernandez is a mother of two with a successful career in visual communications and branding. While working with Keri Vellis on the production and publishing of her books, Sandy realized there is a big need to distribute the helpful and necessary resources to the children and families within the foster system. With the help of Keri’s Kids, she and the board are dedicated to place the books in the hands of the thousands of at-risk and foster children nationwide. In her free time Sandy enjoys cooking, traveling, writing and socializing with friends and family. Her talkative rescue dog Phinley is her closest companion.
Kelly Elward - Secretary of the Board
Dr. Kelly Elward is a northern California native, a mother of two and a full-time practicing dentist. In her private time, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends, playing with her French Bulldog, Tilly, and making the most of life. She is passionate about causes that support the underserved and marginalized populations in our community and is therefore proud to serve as the Secretary of the Board for Keri’s Kids. She believes strongly that all children deserve to know that they are not alone in their plight, that there are people who care and are willing to help, and most of all--that they are valued.