Amy Jaffe Barzach joined The Women's Education and Leadership Fund as director in November 2011 bringing her experience as a social entrepreneur and life coach. Founded by Barzach in 1997, Boundless Playgrounds is the first national nonprofit dedicated to helping communities create inclusive, barrier-free playgrounds where children, with and without disabilities, can play and learn together. During Barzach's tenure as its founding executive director, this award-winning organization defined a new standard for children's playgrounds in the United States and beyond, and partnered with 135 communities in 25 states to develop inclusive playgrounds for schools, parks, and hospitals.
Barzach has been the subject of countless articles about her work and received numerous awards, including the Martha Stewart Dreamers Into Doers Award. In 2008, she established Powerful Inspiration LLC to help people and organizations find their passion, capitalize on their unique strengths, and discover their own power to make a difference.
When elected into Ashoka's global fellowship of social entrepreneurs in 2002, Barzach was one of the first Ashoka Fellows in North America. Before founding Boundless Playgrounds, Barzach served as vice president of marketing for The Hutensky Group in Hartford, Conn., and did training for the National Main Street Center in Washington, D.C. She holds a bachelor of science in economics from the University at Albany, and a Master of Business Administration from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute's Hartford Graduate Center.
"As a resident of West Hartford, I have been inspired by the University of Hartford and WELFund's programs and events," Barzach said. "Serving as the director of WELFund is the opportunity of a lifetime and I look forward to joining the team.
Alexandra Coury joined the Women's Education and Leadership Fund as the Program Manager in November 2013. Prior to joining the WELFund family Alexandra (Alex) was the Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Services for the University's Department of Athletics. In her time in Athletics she oversaw the Academic Department, and under her direction in 2011-12 the Hartford Hawks won their first America East Academic Cup since 1996-97. The Hawks then went on to win back-to-back Academic Cups for the first time in school history in 2012-13. Alex also advised the Hartford student-athletes in their leadership and community outreach initiatives as well as directed a variety of community and department events.
Alex started her tenure at the University of Hartford as a recruited member of the softball team. During her time as a student-athlete she was elected to represent all nine universities of the America East Conference to the NCAA Division-I Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. Within the role Alex voiced the opinions of Division-I student-athletes on NCAA operations and legislation to NCAA officials, school presidents and athletics administrators. She also spent time as the Division-I student-athlete representative on the NCAA Committee on Women's Athletics.
Alex has earned two degrees from the University of Hartford. She holds a bachelor of science in management from the Barney School of Business with a minor in communications from the School of Arts and Sciences, as well as a Master of Business Administration from the Barney School of Business.
"I am thrilled to promote and assist with all the wonderful programs WELFund has to offer. As a graduate of the Laura Johnson Initiative I know firsthand how these programs can impact a woman's life in a positive way," Coury said. "I am thrilled to take on a new challenge at the University of Hartford and elated to create new ways to empower females to be better leaders."