Education Team

Meet the Education Team

Ahren Hoffman, CTRS, CPE
Business Development Director

Ahren Hoffman is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and began her career in the toy industry in 2007. In her past role as Manager of Industry Relations & Partnerships at the National Lekotek Center, Hoffman evaluated toys and play products beneficial for all children, especially those with disabilities, at, a project of Lekotek. Hoffman also provided support services to members of the toy industry to share the developmental potential and possibility of toys and play products for children of all abilities. These collaborations allowed Hoffman to contribute to the creation of multiple toy guides and have the opportunity to be published in a manual related to the benefits of sensory play.

Hoffman is active in the lecture circuit presenting to organizations and professionals in the field of child development as well as within the toy industry creating presentations and webinars for retailers, manufacturers and sales representatives. Hoffman also regularly contributes to a variety of print and online publications to advocate for the power of toys and play.

Hoffman received her Bachelors of Science in Therapeutic Recreation with a minor in Psychology at Central Michigan University.

Contact Ahren
(312) 222-0984

Cora McCarron
Education Administrator


Cora grew up in Lincoln Square, Chicago, until her family moved to Park Ridge, Illinois, in 2000. She received a Bachelor’s degree in both International Studies and in Spanish from DePaul University. She then went on to continue her education in International Studies in the dual BA/MA program at DePaul, and is currently working on her thesis. Her specific concentrations in International Studies were International Relations and International Political Economy.

After graduate school, she went to work on political campaigns for the 2018 Midterm Election and the 2019 Chicago Municipal Election. Cora has always had a desire to work in an organization or a field that is mission-driven, and that is what led her to work with ASTRA.

In Cora’s free time she likes to listen to podcasts, visit museums and parks, and spend time with her family and friends.

Contact Cora:
(312) 222-0984 Phone