PORTLAND, Ore.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Knowledge Universe®-US (KU-US), one of the nation’s largest private education and child care providers, has announced the appointment of Sheri Southern as Executive Vice President of Partner Development.

“She is a proven leader whose ideas and innovations have resulted in measureable improvement in employee engagement, and we are excited to have her on board.”

In this role, Southern will lead the human resources team, which is responsible for serving approximately 32,000 educators across the country and the employees who support them from the company’s United States National Support Center in Portland. Recently, she served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources and Organizational Development for GTECH, a Providence, Rhode Island-based global gaming technology and services company. While at GTECH, Southern transformed the company culture into one based on performance that aligned with GTECH’s “Customer First” strategy. In addition, Southern has held a variety of leadership roles at HomeGrocer.com, Starbucks and Safeway Incorporated.

“Sheri brings leadership, energy and compassion to our business,” said Peter Maslen, Chief Executive Officer, Knowledge Universe, globally. “She is a proven leader whose ideas and innovations have resulted in measureable improvement in employee engagement, and we are excited to have her on board.”

"I am thrilled to have the opportunity to work with and learn from all of the employees at Knowledge Universe, and through them positively impact the lives of families and children,” said Southern. “We will continue building on the organization's momentum to become the employer of choice, globally.”

Knowledge Universe is one of the largest employers in Portland, as well as one of the largest employers of teachers nationwide. It recently was rated number one in a survey of Oregon’s largest private companies by the Portland Business Journal.

About Knowledge Universe®–US

Knowledge Universe is a leading private provider of early childhood and school-age education and care, serving more than 200,000 children throughout the United States. Knowledge Universe business lines include the KinderCare® Learning Centers, Knowledge Beginnings®, The Grove School®, Cambridge Schools™ and CCLC® brands, which all offer early childhood education and care through approximately 1,700 community-based centers and employer partnerships; and the Champions® brand, which provides more than 400 before-and after-school academic enrichment programs and summer camps to primary and middle schools nationally. For more information, visit www.kueducation.com.