Our Staff

Management Team

Vickie BrandenburgOwner: Vickie Brandenburg

Vickie Brandenburg holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education and a Unified Degree in Prekindergarten and Special Education. She also holds a National Administrator Credential and is a member of the National Association of the Education of Young Children and the Association of Early Learning Leaders. In 2015, Vickie was invited to become a validator for the National Accreditation Commission. Vickie has over 19 years of early childhood management experience. Most recently she has been the Executive Director of four child care centers located in eastern Iowa.


Haili SmithExecutive Director: Haili Smith

Haili Smith, Lionheart’s Executive Director, has worked with Vickie since beginning her career in 2011. Haili has her Child Development Associate Certificate and her Aim 4 Excellence National Director Credential. She continues her education with annual continuing education. Haili and her husband Colton, live in Iowa City with their daughter, Mylie and their dog CJ. In their free time they enjoy traveling and watching the Cubs. Haili specialty is infants and toddlers but enjoys children of all ages.


Emily BrandenburgDirector: Emily Brandenburg

Emily Brandenburg, Director of Lionheart Early Learning, has worked in childcare since 2011. Emily has her Bachelor of Science degree In Early Childhood Leadership and is a member of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. She continues her education through early childhood trainings in the community. Her and her husband Mike live in North Liberty with their daughter Elouise and two sweet dogs. In her free time, she enjoys biking, traveling and hiking.