Kathe Petchel

Broker Support & Operations/Staffing Consultant


Kathe Petchel knows first-hand what goes into owning and operating a childcare business.

Founding Bright Beginnings Preschool in 1984, Kathe launched the school as a small, in-home, half-day preschool and, through her hard work and dedication, grew it into a full-service, full-time childcare center. The school now operates in three locations in the Charlottesville area and serves more than 300 families.

At HINGE, Kathe provides broker support functions on a range of tasks throughout the transaction process. From developing new contacts to helping with business valuations, her goal is to help each transaction be as seamless as possible.

Kathe is also a part of HINGE’s THRIVE Consulting team where she shares her operational and staffing knowledge with fellow childcare business owners—helping them build positive company cultures, operate their centers more effectively and build stronger teams by implementing improved recruiting, hiring and onboarding strategies.

While Kathe treats everyone like family, she does have one all her own: her husband, Bob, her two daughters, Meg and Molly, and her two dogs, Fat Boy and Grace. In her spare time (when's that?!), Kathe enjoys yoga, pilates, cooking and baking, gardening, traveling and reading. 

Kathe earned her B.S. in Early Childhood and Elementary Education from Penn State and completed early childhood coursework at the master’s level at the University of Virginia and James Madison University.