Please find the 2018 Speaker Index to the left.

Biographies received prior to the Conference are listed.

Sheila Arredondo

Sheila Arredondo is a senior program associate with the Policy Center and West Comprehensive Center (WCC) at WestEd — a nonpartisan, nonprofit research, development, and service agency. She has extensive experience with inter-organizational and cross-agency collaboration, project design and management, process improvement, policy analysis, tailored technical assistance, and strategic visioning and planning. Arredondo leads the WCC work on career readiness and pathways. In this role she established a regional collaborative of representatives from southwestern state education agencies who lead college and career readiness initiatives. Her leadership helped develop and strengthen state efforts to support school counselors, implement student learning plan processes, and adopt graduation guidelines that include multiple measures and competency-based approaches. Arredondo’s education career began at the University of Colorado as a biology instructor. She worked at the Education Commission of the States (ECS) as a mathematics and science policy analyst and managed the State Leader Forum on Educational Accountability. She also directed a business–education‒community compact in Pueblo, Colorado. Arredondo earned an AB from Occidental College, a MBS from the University of Colorado, and a PhD in higher education with an emphasis in public policy from the University of Denver.

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Beth Bean

Beth Bean is the Director of the Strada Institute for the Future of Work, an institute dedicated to researching the future to advance our learning ecosystem. Prior to joining Strada in March of 2018, Beth served as the Chief Strategy and Research Officer for the Colorado Department of Higher Education.

Before joining the department in 2011, Bean served in several roles in higher education administration at public and private institutions. She is a first generation student who received her Ph.D. in higher education from the University of Denver, her master’s degree from Saint Louis University and her bachelor’s degree from DePauw University in Indiana.

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Vince M. Bertram

Vince M. Bertram, Ed. D., MBA
President and Chief Executive Officer
Project Lead The Way

Dr. Vince Bertram is president and CEO of Project Lead The Way., a non-profit that provides a transformative learning experience for K-12 students and teachers across the U.S. Since Dr. Bertram joined PLTW in June 2011, the organization has grown to serve more than 10,500 schools across the

U.S., trained thousands of teachers, and received numerous national recognitions, awards and partner support.

Dr. Bertram has traveled across the United States, as well as globally, to address audiences on the issues of STEM education, workforce, and the economy. In 2014, he was appointed by the U.S. Department of State to serve as the education expert for its United States Speaker and Specialist Program. He has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives and is also a frequent contributor to national publications. He was appointed by Governor Mike Pence to serve on the Indiana State Board of Education and was reappointed by Governor Eric Holcomb. He is also a New York Times bestselling author with his books Dream Differently: Candid Advice for America’s Students and One Nation Under Taught: Solving America’s Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Crisis. 

Todd Bloom

Todd Bloom

Todd Bloom, PhD

Senior Vice President | Whiteboard Advisors


Todd Bloom, Ph.D. is Chief Academic Officer at the Jefferson Education Accelerator and Research Associate Professor at the University of Virginia Curry School of Education.  Todd leads Jefferson Education’s research and support services.  Prior to joining JEA, Todd was Chief Academic Officer at Hobsons, an advising and admissions company.  Todd has extensive experience in the education market having provided leadership and organizational development services to institutions, state departments and research organizations, as well as private education companies.  Todd started his career teaching elementary school on the Navajo Indian reservations.

Dawn Burns

Dr. Dawn Burns is the Assistant Director of Career and Technical Education and Chief Strategy Officer for the New Skills for Youth initiative in Nevada.  Awarded the $2 million grant from JP Morgan Chase, Nevada created and is implementing a strategic plan to ensure all students graduate college and career ready. Previously, Dr. Burns was the assistant director for Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs in the Clark County School District, Las Vegas, Nevada. She received her Ed. D from the University of Oklahoma in Educational Administration, Curriculum and Supervision. Dr. Burns began her career in education over 35 years ago as a public school business and marketing education teacher in Oklahoma and Texas. Upon moving to Nevada, she became a secondary school-based administrator serving as dean of students and assistant principal.  In 2004, she was the curriculum administrator responsible for opening Spring Valley High School using smaller learning communities as the model.  She has been responsible for the management of state and federal grant funds, developing curriculum and professional development for CTE programs, administration of the workplace readiness and technical skill assessments and oversight of 43 college and career centers. Dr. Burns also served as the district director for the AVID College Readiness System and facilitated the African-American Male Initiative (AAMI) to increase enrollment in AP and honors courses, decrease discipline and attendance issues and develop African –American males using the AVID elective course as the catalyst. She resides in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Gardner Carrick

Gardner Carrick

Gardner Carrick is the Vice President of Strategic Initiatives at The Manufacturing Institute.  Mr. Carrick leads the Institute’s research activities including partnerships with internationally recognized consulting firms and the production of a regular series of reports on the issues and challenges affecting the U.S. manufacturing sector.  

Mr. Carrick also leads the development of a national education data system that will integrate education, certification, and labor market data to deliver outcome information on education programs. He is also leading the development of a new industry-recognized apprenticeship system to change how manufacturers and schools partner to prepare the workforce.  

Previously, Mr. Carrick led the Institute's partnership with the U.S. military to assist veterans and transitioning military personnel prepare for and find jobs in manufacturing and the Institute's work on skills certifications.

Prior to joining the Institute, Mr. Carrick worked at the U.S. Department of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration where he served as the Project Director for a major initiative focused on talent development in regions across the country. He also served as the Communications Director for the agency. 

Prior to joining the U.S. Department of Labor, Mr. Carrick was a Senior Associate at TATC Consulting, a Washington DC-based firm focused on providing expertise to federal and state agencies on employment and education related issues.

Blair Carruth

Dr. Blair K. Carruth is Assistant Commissioner for Academic Affairs and Economic Development at the Utah System of Higher Education.  Dr. Carruth has devoted most of his 36 year career to higher education performing a variety of professional assignments in administrative and teaching capacities.  In conjunction with his work in education, he has performed a number of consulting and training assignments for private industry, has served on several local and national boards, and has presented at multiple state and national conferences.  Part of Dr. Carruth’s current assignment is working with Utah’s higher education institutions in supporting programs that prepare students for career and technical education throughout the state.

Teresa C. Chasteen, PhD.

Teresa Chasteen

Teresa C. Chasteen, PhD.

Dr. Teresa Chasteen is founder, CEO, and President of WIN Learning. Teresa’s background includes a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction, and Measurement and Evaluation. In addition to her 22 years leading WIN Learning, she has 16 years of higher education teaching and administrative experience. Under Teresa’s leadership, WIN has implemented 32 statewide workforce and career readiness initiatives serving education and workforce clients with licenses for more than 10 million users, as well as clients in all 50 states and 10 countries. 




Etta Chavez

Etta grew up in Glenda, Utah. In 2012 she graduated from East High School. Etta continued her education at Webster State University, earning a BS in Criminal Justice and Psychology. She is the first in her family to earn a college degree. Currently, Etta is at pursuing her masters in mental health counseling at Westminster College. Etta’s dream is to become a published author.

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Beth Cobert

Beth Cobert is the CEO of Skillful, an initiative of the Markle Foundation, the state of Colorado, Microsoft, and LinkedIn to create a labor market rooted in skills, regardless of where or how they are obtained. Since her appointment in June 2017, Beth has drawn on her expertise in managing talent, developing partnerships, and harnessing the constructive potential of emerging technology to deepen Skillful’s impact in Colorado and to extend Skillful’s approach nationally. She championed the recently launched Skillful State Network, a nonpartisan collaboration of 20 governors to advance labor market transformation at a scale and pace not possible through individual state actions. Along with the Network, she and her Skillful team introduced the Skillful State Playbook, which lays out the steps needed to create a skills-based labor market and freely shares tools and practices developed on the ground in Colorado. Prior to Skillful, Beth served as Acting Director of the Office of Personnel Management and as the Deputy Director for Management at the Office of Management and Budget under President Obama. Previously, Beth was a Senior Partner at McKinsey & Company, where she worked for 30 years with clients across a range of sectors, including financial services, healthcare, real estate, telecommunications, and philanthropy.

Richard Condit

He currently serves as President of Economic Independence, LLC an education consulting company working to advance multiple pathways to success, career literacy and inclusion of career readiness in the Arizona School Accountability System with goal of having more young people escape poverty and achieve economic independence.

Served 21 years as Senior Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Sundt Construction Inc. where he had responsibility for all the human capital aspects of the company, strategic and tactical planning and for six years corporate marketing.

Prior to his career at Sundt he served as an Associate Superintendent at the Arizona Department of Education responsible for all state programs of Career and Technical Education and Adult Education.

He was a teacher of Vocational Agriculture at three high schools in the Phoenix area.

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Ellen Cushing

Ellen Cushing is the Deputy Director for the College and Career Readiness and Success (CCRS) Center and a senior research & policy analyst at American Institutes for Research. Ms. Cushing has over ten years of experience providing technical assistance support at the national, state and local level on various education reforms including college and career readiness, educator evaluation and educator talent management. Currently, Ms. Cushing is leading several state-based technical assistance efforts focused on developing college- and career-readiness for all students. This work includes supporting states in designing and implementing work-based learning and apprenticeship programs, aligning state Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), the Carl D. Perkins Act and the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) policies and programs and integrating academic, technical and employability skills in PK-16 initiatives.

Previously, Ms. Cushing was the Deputy Director for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation College Ready Integration Portfolio Evaluation. Through this work, Ms. Cushing led a team in the formative evaluation of state policies and practices related to integrating Common Core State Standards and teacher evaluation. Prior to joining the CCRS Center team, Ms. Cushing served as the project manager and technical assistance lead for the Center on Great Teachers and Leaders (GTL Center) and provided project expertise for supporting the implementation of federal and state educator evaluation policies, including student learning objectives (SLOs). Ms. Cushing holds an undergraduate degree in political science from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a master’s degree from George Mason University School of Public Policy.

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Cindy Erwin

Cindy Erwin joined the Center for the Future of Arizona in 2018 as the Director for College and Career Pathways, Phoenix region. Cindy is responsible for working with education and industry partners to ensure that many more young people complete high school and earn a postsecondary credential with labor market value, launching them into initial careers while ensuring that they have the foundation necessary for further education.

Cindy has over 25 years of experience in educational leadership, learning and development, strategic design and organizational transformation in both the public and private sectors. Cindy’s roles in education have included serving students and communities as a teacher, as the planning and first principal of Williams Field High School in the Higley Unified School District, and as an administrator with AAEC Early College High School in both the Paradise Valley and South Mountain communities. Additionally, Cindy worked with the Maricopa Community College District in a leadership role within their Corporate College. In all these roles, Cindy helped define the strategic direction of the organization while keeping the student/learner at the center of the mission of the organization.

After teaching and prior to her school leader roles, Cindy spent several years in the private sector working with Fortune 500 companies such as Eli Lilly and Company and Johnson Controls as well as high-tech startups where she was involved in systems re-engineering and new business launch initiatives. Cindy earned both Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees from Purdue University.

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Steve Fain

Steve Fain is the Executive Vice President of Sales & Professional Development at WIN Learning. 

With over 20 years’ experience in education, Steve, a native Kentuckian; attended Berea College, (KY) where he received a Bachelor’s Degree of Science in Business Management/Marketing. For the past 15 years he has successfully integrated technology and professional development solutions to a wide array of educational institutions across the country such as urban and rural school districts, regional educational service agencies, and state education departments.  At WIN, Steve led the successful implementation of the Ready to Work initiatives in West Virginia and the Career Readiness and Essential Employability Skills Credentials in Kentucky and South Carolina. 

Rich Feller

Rich Feller Ph.D., Professor and University Distinguished Teaching Scholar at Colorado State University has served as President of the National Career Development Association, consultant to NASA, UN, NFL, AARP, and organizations within all fifty states and six continents. His publications include three books, 6 film series, over 100 articles and book chapters, and the Who You Are Matters! board game . He presently directs the Career Planning Program within the NSF’s GAUSSI program, serves as Chief Advisor to , lead trainer for the Job and Career Development Coach program, co-author of Pearson’s Career Decision Making System , developer of , and career consultant to Semester at Sea . His international consultations include projects in Sudan, Egypt, Thailand, China, Korea, Japan, Australia, Singapore, India, Canada and Europe.

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Karla Fisher

 Dr. Karla Fisher is the Provost of the Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD), where she oversees Academic & Student Affairs; Institutional Research, Marketing, Workforce Development and Small Business Administration. 

Dr. Fisher was previously Chancellor of Arkansas State University-Beebe. Dr. Fisher has taught in campus, online, and blended learning environments since 1996. In 2015, she was named the National Council of Instructional Administrators (NCIA) Chief Academic Officer of the Year. This year, she was selected as a 2017-2018 Aspen Presidential Fellow.

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Clark Gilbert

Clark G. Gilbert became the 1st president of BYU-Pathway Worldwide on May 1, 2017.  BYU-Pathway Worldwide was built to bring education to those who might otherwise not have access to a traditional university.  Started as a pilot of BYU-Idaho in 2009, BYU-Pathway now exceeds the enrollment of its originating BYU institutions with nearly 40,000 students in 500 locations around the world.

Prior to his new assignment, President Gilbert served as the 16th president of Brigham Young University-Idaho.  As president of BYU-Idaho, he focused on increased access and student mentoring.  He also pioneered the growth of the university’s online programs—over 20 percent of BYU-Idaho’s campus credits are now taught online.

President Gilbert has also served as CEO of Deseret News Publishing Company and Deseret Digital Media, where he was recognized as the Innovator of the Year by multiple media associations.

Early in his career President Gilbert was a professor of entrepreneurial management at the Harvard Business School where he taught and studied in the field of organizational innovation.  He recently co-authored the book Dual Transformation in Harvard Business School Press, which helps senior leaders look at how to organize for change.

President Gilbert graduated from Brigham Young University with a bachelor’s degree in International Relations. He earned a master’s degree in East Asian Studies from Stanford University and a doctorate degree in Business Administration from the Harvard Business School.

President Gilbert was born in California and raised in Arizona. After serving as a missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Japan, he married his wife, Christine. They are the parents of eight children.

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Rufus Glasper

Rufus Glasper, Ph.D., is President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College, an international nonprofit organization with a mission to cultivate innovation in the community college environment in a continuing effort to advance the community college field and make a positive difference for students and communities.  Dr. Glasper, Chancellor Emeritus of the Maricopa Community Colleges, served as Chancellor from 2003 through February 2016, and previously held district leadership positions for two decades.

Dr. Glasper earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Luther College, Decorah, Iowa, and a master’s and advanced degrees in school business administration from Northern Illinois University. He received a Doctor of Philosophy in higher education finance from the University of Arizona.

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Ellen Golombek

In November 2017, Ellen Golombek joined the National Association of State Workforce Agencies as the Deputy Executive Director.  In her new role, Ellen will oversee NASWA services (also known as CESER)  as well as new business, including helping define the agency’s role in the ever growing world of apprenticeships. 

Prior to joining NASWA, Golombek was the Executive Director of the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment for almost seven years.

During her tenure at the Department, Ellen led an organizational and cultural change bringing a focus to customer service and employee productivity.  Additionally, she brought business and labor groups together to endorse two critical pieces of legislation supporting the performance and long-term success of Colorado’s unemployment insurance system.  Under Ellen’s leadership, Colorado’s workforce regions and workforce centers streamlined their business practices to assure all centers, both state and county run, were providing core services with consistency.  Additionally, she helped with the creation of the Governor’s Business Experiential Learning Commission, whose mission is to expand non-traditional apprenticeships in Colorado through statewide business engagement. 

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Rod Gramer

Rod Gramer is president of Idaho Business for Education, a group of nearly 200 Idaho business leaders working to help transform the Idaho education system into one of the best in the country. A system that sets our students up for success in school, work and life and creates the highly educated and skilled workforce our economy needs for the 21st Century.

Rod spent 38 years working as a reporter, newspaper editor and television news executive. He worked for The Idaho Statesman for 14 years, serving as Political Editor and Editorial Page Editor and columnist. He spent 10 years as Executive News Director at KTVB in Boise, including moderating the Viewpoint public affairs program. For 13 years he served as Executive News Director at the NBC station in Portland, Oregon, turning the station into the Number One source of news for the Portland metropolitan area. Most recently he served as Vice President and General Manager of Bay News 9, a 24-hour news station in Tampa Bay, Florida.

Rod is the author of two books: “Fighting the Odds: The Life of Senator Frank Church,” which he wrote with Historian LeRoy Ashby, and a novel, “The Good Assassin.” He has published articles in numerous publications, including The New Republic, USA Today, Changes magazine, and newspapers throughout Idaho.


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Steve Green

Steve Greene has over 40 years of construction management experience (Superintendent, Project Manager, Senior Director of Human Resources, and Senior Director of Global Workforce Development) with three major international contractors – Fluor, KBR and Bechtel. Steve has been the COO and owner of an industrial construction services company in Atlanta, Georgia.

He has been the Executive Vice President of Operations with 2 Post-Secondary Career Colleges and has taught at the post-secondary and collegiate level. Steve holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Premedical Science from Wofford College in Spartanburg, SC.

He has held Board of Trustee positions with the American Vocational Association (ACTE), the National Center for Construction Education and Research (NCCER), the National Technical Honor Society (NTHS), the Piedmont Council for the Prevention of Child Abuse, and the Fluor Foundation Scholarship Board. He currently participates on a number of workforce development boards and committees, including the Construction Users Roundtable (CURT), the Southeastern Construction Owners and Affiliates Roundtable (SCOAR), the Construction Industry Institute (CII), and SkillsUSA. Greene is currently Vice President of the NCCER in Gainesville, Florida.


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Eric Heiser

Eric A. Heiser, Ph.D.
Dean, School of Applied Technology and Technical Specialties
CTE Director
Salt Lake Community College

Eric Heiser has worked in higher education for the past 13 years.  He spent the first seven years of his tenure as faculty member in the areas of Business, Entrepreneurial Studies, and Criminal Justice.  He has spent the past six years as an academic administrator, serving as a Director, Associate Dean, Interim Dean, and currently as the Dean of the School of Applied Technology and Technical Specialties and CTE Director at Salt Lake Community College (SLCC).  He is the Principal/Owner of Heiser Education Consulting, LLC, an education consulting firm specializing in change management.  He has advised numerous colleges in the areas of change management, competency-based education, and leading change through innovation.  Eric serves as the Vice-Chairman of the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN).  He is also a founding member of the National Advisory Board for Postsecondary Competency-Based Education and Learning Research.

Eric has overseen and is currently leading SLCC’s School of Applied Technology to a transition from a clock-hour format into Competency-Based Education (CBE).  He has spent the past five years working in the area of CBE and Curriculum Development and has been involved in helping to change over 19 academic programs during that time. Eric is a reviewer for the Northwest Commission on Colleges and Universities in the area of CBE.  He has delivered numerous conference presentations on the topic of CBE over the past four years.  He holds a Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership from Colorado State University.


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Shalee Hodgson

Shalee Hodgson is the Initiative Manager for Future Ready Oregon in the Office of Governor Kate Brown. This role involves implementing multiple projects with collaboration across state agencies in an intentional effort to close the skills gap. She also works with multiple state agencies to align policy and leverage resources across the workforce system in Oregon, ensuring that Oregonians and Oregon businesses have equitable access to system services that support their growth and economic prosperity.

Shalee’s previous experience includes implementing both community college and workforce development programs in Oregon and Minnesota, most recently working with Oregon’s Workforce Development system to implement the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, support local workforce boards in developing Industry Sector Partnerships and lead the coordinated system integration and expansion of Registered Apprenticeship Programs.

Shalee also has experience working with Oregon’s community colleges to implement programs such as Career and Technical Education, transfer degree, Adult Basic Skills, Career Pathways, student success and alignment of systems. She is a Marano Fellow from the Aspen Institute’s Sector Skills Academy and holds a Bachelor’s of Science Degree from North Dakota State University as well as a Master’s of Business Administration from Marylhurst University.


Dwight Johnson

Dwight Johnson has served as the State Administrator of Career and Technical Education (CTE) for the State of Idaho since 2014. As State Administrator he oversees a $76 million budget that funds CTE programs at high schools and technical colleges throughout the state.

Mr. Johnson served for 20 years as a senior administrator at the Idaho Departments of Labor and Commerce where he oversaw workforce policy development, community development grants, research and analysis, public communications, and legislative relations. He also served as the Interim Executive Director of the Idaho State Board of Education for 18 months from 2006 to 2007.

He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Political Science from Brigham Young University, a Master of Arts in Public Administration from Boise State University, and is a candidate for a Ph.D. in Organizational Learning & Leadership from the University of Idaho.

Dwight grew up in Idaho Falls and is a fourth generation Idahoan. He and his wife, Michelle, have 4 children.

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Wes Jurey

Wes Jurey is the Founder and Executive Director of Redemption Bridge, a non-profit intermediary, focused on establishing new models for Workforce Development, capable of meeting the unmet demand for mid-level STEM skilled workers, inclusive of youth & adult offenders and Veterans.

He also serves as National Advisor to the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council; Director of Strategic Development to NPower, a national non-profit serving Veterans; and Chairman of the ATIP Foundation, affiliated with the US Department of Agriculture. He was the founding Chairman of the US Chamber of Commerce Institute for a Competitive Workforce, and is the Immediate Past Chairman of the Texas Workforce Investment Council.

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Robin Kroyer

Robin is a former high school science teacher with a Master of Science in Curriculum and Instruction and actively promotes high quality high school to post-secondary career programs and transitions in her current role as Career Pathways Consultant at the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI).  In the past, she has worked with Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development to revise and update YA programs and develop the Child Labor Law Guide for employers.  At DPI, Robin co-led the Academic & Career Planning implementation project, and now is working to develop career pathways from K12 under a national JP Morgan Chase grant.  Robin brings past work experiences in banking, healthcare diagnostic laboratories, and as a quality assurance specialist in pharmaceutical manufacturing.  She currently serves on the Wisconsin Technical College Career Pathways ACT2 Council and the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment Strategic Initiatives Subcommittee. 

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Manny Lamarre

Manny Lamarre serves as the Executive Director of the Governor’s Office of Workforce Innovation (OWINN) and a member of the Governor’s Workforce Development Board. OWINN has the mission of creating a skilled and aligned workforce by engaging with K-12 and higher education, employers, and workforce entities to design career pathways in targeted, high-demand industries, validate industry-recognized credentials, expand apprenticeships, and develop strategies and policies that strengthen the workforce system using labor-market data.

Manny previously worked as a Public Policy Fellow in the Governor’s Office on education and has worked in several states as a teacher and other strategic roles at a foundation. Manny holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science with honors from Wittenberg University, and a Master’s in Education Policy and Management from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, where he was the recipient of the Class Marshal Award for leadership, service, and being an exemplary representative of the Harvard community. Manny also holds a certificate in Educational Leadership and Management from Georgetown University, McCourt School of Public Policy and a design patent.


Robert Lytle

Managing Director, EY Parthenon’s Global Education Practice

Robert Lytle is currently the Managing Director of Boston’s EY Parthenon and is the head of EY-Parthenon’s Global Education Practice. He has been with Parthenon for 15 years. In his time with EY-Parthenon, Lytle He has led client engagements for more than two decades, on general strategy, performance improvement, and investment due diligence across a broad spectrum of educational organizations. His clients include high-growth companies, publicly listed global 100 companies, nonprofit institutions, financial investors, and international governments. In addition, Robert has participated in numerous high-profile corporate turnarounds, mergers, divestitures and privatizations in Europe, North America, Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia. Prior to joining EY-Parthenon, Robert was with Bain & Company and served as a US Army aviator. He holds a BSE in Economics from the Wharton School of Business and an MBA with high distinction from the Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth.

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Cynthia Marco

Dr. Cynthia Marco Scanlon has been passionately involved in the career development field for over 25 years in numerous capacities. Assisting students and adults with their career journeys, motivating the unmotivated, and fostering hope in challenging times is where Cynthia finds her true calling. She is currently the new Director of Credentialing and Special Programs for NCDA.  She has been in leadership roles in NCDA for five years, serving as President 2015-16. Dr. Scanlon has also served in many leadership roles in administration in higher education in career centers, and also as adjunct faculty teaching graduate level counseling courses. 

As a licensed clinical counselor, Cynthia is very proud to have earned the new credential CCC – Certified Career Counselor- as well.   She loves sharing her experiences as guest lecturer at regional and national workshops and conferences, and is always energized by learning from others in the field as she travels and collaborates with key constituents through NCDA! Because of her career expertise, Cynthia has been interviewed by many popular magazines and on-line venues such as Redbook  and Cosmopolitan magazines, MassMutualresources/Blog, Thrillist, EverUp and NBC News. Dr. Scanlon received her Ph.D. at The University of Akron (UA) in Counselor Education and Supervision, and her Master’s in Community Counseling from UA also. Her undergraduate degrees in psychology and sociology were completed at Ohio Northern University.

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Mary Ellen Mason

Director of Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute (HCAT)

Mary Ellen Mason is the Director of the Hotel, Culinary Arts and Tourism Institute (HCAT) at Anne Arundel Community College.  HCAT is a recognized leader for world-class, comprehensive education, training and services vital to the growth and prosperity of hospitality, culinary, casino, and tourism related industries.  HCAT provides a wide array of quality instructional programming; experiential learning; responsive, customized training for business; and accessible community education activities to meet the hospitality and casino gaming needs of the industry and the consumer. 

As director, Ms. Mason’s responsibilities include the strategic planning and management of a large institute offering credit degree and certificate programs, continuing education and workforce training, both open enrollment and contract, and a variety of avocational courses within the hospitality and casino gaming discipline.  Ms. Mason successfully launched and continues to provide leadership to the casino table games dealer school.  She also directs international student internship programs in Italy and Scotland.

Active in many professional organizations, Ms. Mason is an active member of the American Culinary Federation and was immediate past Chairman of the Board of the Restaurant Association of Maryland Education Foundation.  Ms. Mason has a Master of Business Administration from Strayer University and is certified as a Foodservice Management Professional (FMP) by the National Restaurant Association.


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Carrie Mayne

Carrie is currently the Chief Economist and Director of Workforce Research and Analysis at the Department of Workforce Services, where she has been employed for the past 11 years.  She and her staff produce a wide array of tools to aid the public in understanding the state’s workforce.  Carrie has recently been named the director of the Utah Data Research Center, a project established by the legislature in the 2017 general session.  Carrie is also a member of The Utah Economic Council and the Advisory Board for the Economics Department at the University of Utah.  She holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Utah and is currently an ABD PhD in the same field.  Her areas of expertise include labor economics, econometrics, and statistics.  Carrie currently lives in Salt Lake with her husband and daughter.    

Martha McCabe

Martha McCabe serves as the Executive Director for the Kansas City STEM Alliance managing relationships with pK -12 schools, post-secondary institutions, STEM organizations and industry working on strategic education initiatives, community partnerships and workforce needs locally, regionally and nationally.  Martha serves as the project lead for Kansas City’s STEM Learning Ecosystem and coordinates outreach and advocacy efforts serving as a liaison to the national Project Lead The Way and FIRST organizations.  The KC STEM Alliance is recognized as a national best practice model replicated in a variety of cities across the US, most notably the Mass STEM Hub in Boston.

As a clinical exercise physiologist, Martha worked at healthcare facilities in Kansas City and in New Hampshire prior to relocating to Wisconsin focusing on healthcare advocacy and workforce initiatives. With an interest in rural healthcare issues, Martha opened a federal- and state-funded Area Health Education Center (AHEC) earning a National AHEC Outstanding Health Professions Education Program Award, WI Business Friend of Education and WI Department of Public Instruction Outstanding Rural Schools Initiative Award.  She received both her graduate and undergraduate degrees from the University of Kansas and resides in Lawrence, Kansas.


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Jake Mellor

Jake Mellor grew up in several small and rural farming communities located in Utah where everybody knows everybody.  He graduated from Gunnison Valley High School and one year later with his Associates of Science degree from Snow College. With the goal in mind of being able to serve an LDS mission and pay his own way, he earned his CDL and became a truck driver for the next 8 months or so until he had sufficient funds to serve a Spanish speaking LDS Mission to Tampico, Mexico. He enlisted in the Utah Army National Guard at age 17. While fulfilling his 8 year contract he served one tour in Iraq from 2007-2008 during Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. Upon returning home from Iraq, he married Mikaleen Loveless and together they have 3 beautiful children.  He immediately enrolled in at Southern Utah University the Fall Semester of 2008. At Southern Utah, he received the knowledge and work experience he needed to start his own businesses that he still actively runs today. September of 2011, they officially opened their doors for clients in his wife’s hometown of Price, UT.

He is one of only two credentialed CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Professionals in all of Eastern Utah. He is also a CPA candidate and has successfully passed the REG CPA exam. He currently owns five local professional service businesses: An independent brokerage insurance agency, Tatton & Mellor Insurance; a QuickBooks Pro consulting, accounting, and bookkeeping firm, Strategic Bookkeeping, Inc.; a tax preparation firm, Jake Mellor Tax & Accounting Services; a business consulting firm, Strategic Business Consulting Services; and a retirement planning/investments brokerage firm, Jake Mellor Financial Services. He has a team of 12 professionals and they have been making a difference locally now going on seven years.

He is very community oriented and was recently elected to serve a four-year term as one of Carbon County’s Commissioners.  He currently serves on several boards and committees; Talent Ready Utah Core Team, State of Utah Council on Workforce Services / State Workforce Investment Board for both the Operations Committee and as the Chair of the Pathways Committee, Southeastern Utah Revolving Loan Fund Board, Southeastern Utah Association of Local Governments, Southeastern Utah Health Department Board, Four Corners Behavioral Health Board, Carbon County Economic Development Board, Care Coalition Key Leader Board, Planning Commission Board, National Association of Counties Steering Committee for Economic Development and Workforce Services, and others. Jake has found it greatly rewarding to help many local people with regard to their businesses, their finances, and through his positions of trust on these committees.

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Jennifer Mellor

Jennifer Mellor currently serves as the Vice President for the Greater Phoenix Chamber Foundation. In this role, Jennifer the Foundation’s programs, which focus on industry led workforce development strategies and Wellness AtoZ, a community health initiative. Jennifer also manages the Chamber’s economic development program which is focused on business retention and expansion.

Prior to this role, Jennifer served as the Chamber’s Vice President of Program Development and Director of Finance. Jennifer holds an accounting degree from Arizona State University and obtained her MBA from the University of Phoenix. Jennifer serves on the City of Phoenix’s Citizens Transportation Commission and is involved with several local non-profit organizations including the Valley of the Sun United Way Women’s Leadership Council and the Downtown YMCA. Jennifer has over 10 years of experience in accounting and over 20 years of experience in business operations. She is a licensed certified public accountant in the state of Arizona.

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Andrew Meyer

Andrew L. Meyer currently serves as vice president for workforce development at the League for Innovation in the Community College.  Meyer was a senior administrator, including chief learning officer, at Anne Arundel Community College in Maryland for 23 years.  He also held administrative positions at three other Maryland colleges.  Meyer was named Vice President for Learning Emeritus by the Anne Arundel Community College Board of Trustees in 2013.  He is a past president of the National Council for Continuing Education and Training (NCCET).  He has received NCCET’s National Leadership Award and its National Leadership Award for Exemplary Service.  Meyer has authored numerous articles on the topic of workforce development.  He holds a doctorate from Teachers College at Columbia University.

Don Morton

Don Morton retired from Microsoft in November of 2016 where he was a Senior Director and the Site Leader for the Microsoft campus in Fargo. Previously, Don served as Chief of Staff for Doug Burgum at Great Plains and Microsoft from 1999 to 2007. Microsoft acquired Great Plains in 2001.

He has a coaching background, serving as the head football coach at the University of Wisconsin, University of Tulsa, and North Dakota State University. 

Currently, Don is serving as the Chairman on the ND State Board of Higher Education.




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John Nelson

John Nelson is a Career Readiness Consultant for WIN Learning, assisting the Arizona Office of Economic Development’s roll-out of the Arizona Career Readiness Credential (ACRC). The ACRC is helping workers improve their skills, employers find the workers right for them, and Arizona raise its tax base. His diverse career includes founding a public television station in the Chicago market, integrating South African classrooms via television, creating an applied economics curriculum, and developing a safety net for displaced workers at a Fortune 500 company. Nelson was born in England and is a graduate of The Ohio State University.

Barbara Ohm

Barbara Ohm, AVP, Human Resources, Intermountain Healthcare

Barbara Ohm joined Intermountain Healthcare in 2005. She assumed the role of AVP in Human Resources in 2017. In that role, she is responsible for leadership of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, Human Resource Business Partners, and Learning & Development. For the past year, Barbara has lead the development or new HR functions such as DE&I, and the transformation of the HRBP and L&D functions. She has also played a key role in the overall organizational transformation of Intermountain Healthcare to a new value-based model.

Previously, she worked as administrator of Intermountain TOSH – The Orthopedic Specialty Hospital and as operations officer at Intermountain Medical Center. From 1992 – 2005, Barbara worked at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center in Albuquerque, NM. At UNM, she served as executive director of a pediatric rehab/specialty hospital for five years, and held several leadership and staff positions in quality and outcomes management as well as in learning and development.

Barbara earned a BA in Psychology and a Master’s of Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resource Management from the University of New Mexico after transferring from the University of Cologne in Germany. She was born and raised in Bonn, Germany.


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Benjamin Packer

Benjamin A. Packer began his employment at BYU-Idaho in student services in 2004, where he eventually served as the Manager of Admissions through 2009.  Ben’s administrative experience also includes positions at the University of Kansas, the University of Arizona, and Erie Community College in Buffalo, NY, where he served as Executive Vice President for Student Affairs.  He returned to BYU-Idaho in 2016 to serve as the Managing Director of Student Services before becoming the Vice President of Student Success for BYU-Pathway Worldwide in July, 2017.

Ben received an Associate of Arts from Ricks College, a bachelor’s from Brigham Young University, Master’s from the University of Kansas, and a doctorate from the University of Arizona.

Ben and his wife, Sara, are the parents of five children.



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Jason Panici

With over a decade of experience in creating professional development programs for state and local governments, Jason understands the need for industry recognized certifications in the workforce. Leveraging experience in high-technology sales and marketing as well as experience in technology start-ups, Jason is well versed in what it takes to develop a highly-skilled workforce. Jason also has extensive knowledge in creating technology career-pathways with industry recognized certifications as the key outcome.

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Katherine Pappas

s Director of Workforce Strategy for the Partnership for Economic Innovation (PEI), Katherine Pappas oversees the adoption and evolution of Pipeline AZ, a regional workforce platform in Greater Phoenix designed to provide real time insight into local skill needs to better inform labor mobility. Katherine manages key community stakeholder groups and aligns changing marketplace demands to ensure the technology better connects people and jobs. She is responsible for the long-term enhancement, statewide adoption and sustainability of the initiative.  

Prior to joining PEI, she spent over 14 years designing workforce strategies within Apollo Education Group, as Vice President, Professional Services. During her tenure at Apollo, Katherine helped launch and implement an enterprise-wide business-to-business division. In this effort, Apollo sought to sustain new growth by designing solutions addressing the national skills gap in the workforce.

As an executive leader, she led a dynamic client solutions team that responded to talent focused solutions and delivery. Her role as the strategic liaison between corporate clients, government officials, education and business leaders, provided Katherine a tactical understanding of the requirements of workforce and education as ecosystem partners. Drawing upon a comprehensive understanding of higher education, professional development, university operations, in her capacity as a faculty member and as a leader of large-scale initiatives, Katherine specialized in guiding clients through a human capital and agile learning process to help companies maximize talent pipelines.

Katherine earned her dual Bachelor of Consumer Behavior and International Business Administration degree from the University of Arizona. She also earned her Masters of Business Administration/Global Management from University of Phoenix. She resides in Phoenix and enjoys wellness, outdoor, and creative endeavors.

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Cherie Phipps

The Retail Management Certificate is an industry-driven, accredited community college program designed specifically for the retail sector.  The RMCP is now available nationwide, and has been spotlighted at the White House as a tool to build education depth in retail and help “Upskill the Nation”. (2015/2016)

Since its inception in 1999, Cherie Phipps has been the catalyst behind the design and delivery of this vital competency-based program.  In her role, Cherie oversees the program curriculum and learning outcomes, working closely with community colleges and retailers across the nation to prepare workers for advancement and cultivate leadership at all levels.

Cherie began her career in the retail industry as an entry level “courtesy clerk”, bagging groceries for a major grocery chain.  As her career progressed in retail, Cherie held positions in Retail Management, Labor Relations, and Human Resources where she focused on Leadership Development and Succession Planning. 

Cherie simultaneously attended college, completing bachelor's degrees in both Psychology and Sociology. Later she was selected to attend the prestigious FIM (Food Industry Management) Program at University of Southern California (USC), and received a scholarship to complete her MBA with emphasis on Organizational Leadership, also from USC.

The Retail Management Certificate has been the centerpiece of two grants (U.S. Dept. of Labor and League for Innovation in the Community Colleges/Walmart Foundation) totaling nearly $15 million dollars. These grants have led to a revalidation of the competencies, enhanced curriculum, and expansion of the program nationally to the entire retail sector.  

The WAFC has chosen to partner exclusively with Community Colleges because they are Available + Accessible + Affordable and Scalable with credits that are transferable for all graduates. Note that 80% of graduates continue their education toward associate and bachelor’s degrees..

The Retail Management Certificate was developed under the direction of the Western Association of Food Chains (WAFC), a non-profit organization led by top executives in the retail grocery industry, with a pure mission to Advance the Food Industry through Education and Leadership.

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Alberto Puertas

Alberto Puertas is a career/academic counselor for the University Advisement Center at Brigham Young University. His responsibilities include: serving as the International Advisement Specialist at BYU; teaching courses in career strategies, career exploration, and effective learning; mentoring students at risk, and assisting the University in promoting career development issues and objectives. Alberto has a Master of Science in Counseling and Guidance from BYU. He has mentored many college students doing humanitarian work and internships abroad. He has presented workshops and seminars in the United States, Canada, Chile, Bolivia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Haiti, Peru, Philippines, Paraguay, Argentina and India. In his presentations and daily work, Alberto Puertas emphasizes the relationship between meaning, spirituality and career development. He also stresses the benefits and challenges globalization presents to vocational guidance in the international arena to this new millennium. Alberto’s support and dedication to career orientation is tireless. He currently serves NCDA (National Career development Association) as the Latin American Director. From 2008 to 2010, he served on the Board of Trustees for NCDA, which allowed him to see the positive impact of NCDA on career development in this nation and around the world. In addition, Alberto has served as the International Career Issues Committee Chair. In this position, He led the formation of the Ambassadors program to assist the international members of NCDA who needed to network and understand the dynamics of the organization during NCDA annual conferences. Alberto has headed NCDA delegations to South America to promote career development interests and objectives. Alberto Puertas serves as the Chair of the Board for Teens ACT, an organization whose main objective is empowering teenagers at risk for college. His support to local and international community projects is an important component of his contribution to society. In his outreach to the local and international community, Alberto served as a member of the Board of Directors of Southern Cross Humanitarian. Presently, he serves as a member of the Board of Governors for Operation Underground Railroad and the Liahona Children’s Foundation, organizations whose efforts benefit the less fortunate in developing nations. Alberto and his wife Kristen live with their three beautiful children in Orem, Utah. In his free time he enjoys reading, nature, good cuisine and spending time with his family and friends.

Leo Reddy

Mr. Reddy is the Chairman and CEO of the Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC).  An industry-led non-profit, MSSC is the national leader in preparing individuals with the core technical competencies needed in today’s economy for front-line work in advanced manufacturing and distribution-logistics.  MSSC offers Certified Production Technician (CPT) and Certified Logistics Technician (CLT) training and certification programs.  An American institution, MSSC has a delivery system of 1400+ MSSC-authorized test sites and over 2250 MSSC-trained instructors, most at community colleges and high schools, and 95 technical representatives in all 50 states offering services at the community level.  MSSC is the only national certification body to be accredited under ISO 17024 (Personnel Certification) and endorsed by the National Association of Manufacturers for both manufacturing and logistics. 

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David Reile

David Reile is a licensed psychologist, Certified Career Counselor, and executive coach with 30 years of education and experience in career planning, coaching, and consultation. David's education includes a master's degree in community counseling with a specialization in career development a Ph.D. in counseling psychology with a specialization in psychological assessment. David's experience has been applied in organizational development and consultation as well as management of counselors and career development projects in a variety of settings, including healthcare, banking, international organizations, educational institutions, government, and private practice through his company, the Career Development Alliance (CDA). David also taught graduate courses in career development for many years at the University of Maryland, College Park, Johns Hopkins University, and Loyola University in Maryland.

David is immediate past president of the U.S National Career Development Association (NCDA), serving is term as president from 2016-­‐2017. David served NCDA as chair of the ethics committee from 2004 -­‐ 2009, overseeing the 2007 and 2015 revisions of the NCDA Code of Ethics, receiving the 2007 NCDA Presidential Recognition Award for his work on the Code. David has served NCDA as editor of Career Developments (1997-­‐99); web editor of (2000-­‐02); editor of Career Convergence (2002-­‐05); and editor of Career Development Quarterly (2002-­‐2005; 2008-­‐2015). He has keynoted local, regional, and state career development association conferences, including in his home state of Maryland where he is a lifetime member of the Maryland Career Development Association.

Andy Ridley

Andy is the Program Coordinator for the Arizona Career Readiness Credential (ACRC) out of the Arizona Office of Economic Opportunity.  While he holds a Master of Education in Leadership, after 25 years of leading at the elementary, secondary, and university levels, Andy left the school system.  His pursuits led him into workforce development, pointing people and businesses to career and talent solutions. 

He’s an enthusiastic and inquisitive learning leader who motivates others towards goals with a positive sense of humor.  Andy brings a dynamic and hands-on approach to group and individual coaching for leadership and business development, as well as to people pursuing career enhancement.

In his free time (cue laugh track), he coaches individuals, groups, and corporations in reaching goals and thriving through his private program called Becoming Ideal. 

With Andy, gaining new knowledge is refreshingly friendly, while vigorous.  He’s equally engaging with a crowd as with small groups or individuals seeking professional training that leads to positive results.

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Chris Romer

Vice President of University Partnerships, Co-Founder

Chris Romer is a co-founder of Guild Education and Vice President of University Partnerships. Prior to Guild, Chris was the President and Co-Founder of American Honors, which collaborates with leading community colleges to jointly deliver a competitive honors program with top transfer options for students.

Chris is a recognized expert in higher education, public-private partnerships and state higher ed policy. Chris served as a Colorado state senator from 2006 to 2010, where he focused on higher education innovation and improving access and quality of K12 in Colorado.

Chris spent twenty-five years as a banker, financing over $6 billion public/private higher education and transportation projects. Chris is active in the Denver community, as the founder and past president of the Colorado I Have a Dream Foundation and of Colorado Children’s Campaign. 

Chris has a B.A. in Economics from Stanford University.

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Robin Russel

As a member of the Innovation and Pathways unit at Colorado Department Education, Robin supports 178 districts as they implement Colorado Graduation Guidelines and the Individual Career and Academic Plan (ICAP) process.  Before joining CDE in 2014, Robin was the lead college advisor for the Denver Scholarship Foundation where she worked with students, parents, school counselors, principals, and foundations to provide college, financial aid, and scholarship services in 23 schools in Denver Public Schools.  She has also managed community partnerships and project-based learning programs, directed multi-million dollar endowment and capital campaigns, and taught French to middle and high school students.  Robin has a B.A. in French from the University of Virginia, and an M.B.A. in marketing from the University of Colorado.

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Frank Schofield

Frank Schofield is the current superintendent of the Logan City School District, a district that has been actively pursuing increased student access to appropriate technology in all schools, K-12. His career includes service as an elementary and middle school principal, and high school Spanish and Social Studies teacher. Frank advocates for the effective use of classroom technology as a tool for promoting social equity for students from diverse backgrounds.

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Wendi Secrist

Wendi Secrist is the Executive Director of the Idaho Workforce Development Council overseeing implementation of an industry-led statewide strategic workforce development plan.

Ms. Secrist came to the Council with a wealth of experience in workforce development, economic development and education.  Immediately prior to joining in 2017, Ms. Secrist built bridges to industry to inform Idaho’s career and technical education system through its secondary, postsecondary and workforce training programs as the Director of Business Outreach for Idaho Career & Technical Education. She also oversaw development of a statewide micro-certification/badging platform, Idaho SkillStack® to improve communication around the skills and competencies Idaho’s citizens’ possess.

From 2011 to 2014, Ms. Secrist served as Senior Director for ManpowerGroup Public Sector, the world leader in innovative workforce solutions. Ms. Secrist directed the company’s strategy to serve federal, state and local government agencies and leverage ManpowerGroup’s business relationships and cutting-edge assessments, training tools, and staffing methods to improve outcomes through a partnership with the United States’ public workforce system. Prior to ManpowerGroup, she served as Director of Program Planning and Development at the University of Idaho in Boise – building academic and professional development programs, overseeing enrollment management and student services and managing marketing and branding efforts for the University’s graduate, research and professional development center. Before going to the University of Idaho, Ms. Secrist served as Administrator of the Economic Development Division for the Idaho Department of Commerce and Labor, where she successfully recruited companies to the state in addition to assisting many Idaho companies to expand. She also administered the state’s community and rural development block grant funds – distributing around $15 million annually throughout Idaho to improve the quality of life of its citizens. Ms. Secrist’s introduction to economic development was in rural Wisconsin, where she served in a key leadership role at two county-wide economic development corporations.

Ms. Secrist served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Workforce Boards and was secretary from 2013-2015.  Ms. Secrist is a past-president of the Idaho Economic Development Association.  She was the vice president of the 2007-2009 Leadership Boise class and also served as the 2009 chair of the Boise Young Professionals. In 2008, Idaho Business Review recognized her as one of Idaho’s “Accomplished Under 40.”  From 2000 to 2003, when she left Wisconsin, Ms. Secrist served on the Bay Area Workforce Development Board, where she chaired the Performance Committee and served on the Executive Committee.

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Michael Simpson

Co-founder and CEO, PAIRIN

Michael is a son of educators, and corporate intrapreneur turned 3x entrepreneur. His passion for helping people reach their potential was fueled by his own rise from poverty to international recognition as a market strategist. He co-founded PAIRIN after over a decade as a certified coach, and spending six years living in Russia coaching many at-risk young adults to successful careers. As the CEO of PAIRIN, he works to bridge the opportunity gap for future generations by enabling educators and employers to predict and develop behavioral performance.

In this role, he’s had the privilege of partnering with organizations like the U.S. Dept. of Labor, the Center for Data Science and Public Policy, the VA, post secondary institutions and many workforce readiness programs. He’s deeply involved in the regular analysis of soft skills data from >100K entrepreneurs, veterans, students and business people. He is an ICF certified executive coach, avid cyclist, fly fisherman and award-winning chocolatier.

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Brad Smith

Brad Smith is Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer.

In this role Smith is responsible for the company’s corporate, external, and legal affairs.  He leads a team of more than 1,400 business, legal and corporate affairs professionals working in 55 countries. These teams are responsible for the company’s legal work, its intellectual property portfolio, patent licensing business, corporate philanthropy, government affairs, public policy, corporate governance, and social responsibility work. He is also Microsoft’s chief compliance officer.  Smith plays a key role in representing the company externally and in leading the company’s work on a number of critical issues including privacy, security, accessibility, environmental sustainability and digital inclusion, among others.

Smith joined Microsoft in 1993, and before becoming general counsel in 2002 he spent three years leading the Legal and Corporate Affairs (LCA) team in Europe, then five years serving as the deputy general counsel responsible for LCA’s teams outside the United States.

Smith has overseen numerous negotiations leading to competition law and intellectual property agreements with governments around the world and with companies across the IT sector. He has played a leading role within Microsoft and in the IT sector on government surveillance, privacy, intellectual property, immigration and computer science education policy issues. He has played a leadership role locally and nationally on numerous charitable, business and legal initiatives. In 2013 he was named by the National Law Journal as one of the 100 most influential lawyers in the United States. In 2014, the New York Times called Smith “a de facto ambassador for the technology industry at large.”

In addition to his work at Microsoft, Smith is active in several civic and legal organizations and in the broader technology industry. In March 2015, Smith joined the Netflix board of directors. He also works to advance several significant diversity and pro bono initiatives, serving as chair of the board of directors of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) and as chair of the Leadership Council on Legal Diversity (LCLD). In addition, Smith chairs the board of the Washington State Opportunity Scholarship program, at the appointment of the governor.

Smith grew up in Appleton, Wisconsin, where Green Bay was the big city next door. He attended Princeton University, where he met his wife, Kathy (also a lawyer), and graduated summa cum laude with a concentration in international relations and economics. He earned his J.D. from the Columbia University School of Law and studied international law and economics at the Graduate Institute of International Studies in Geneva, Switzerland. Prior to joining Microsoft, he was an associate and then partner at the Washington, D.C.-based firm of Covington and Burling, where he is still remembered as the first attorney in the long history of the firm to insist (in 1986) on having a personal computer on his desk as a condition for accepting a job offer. He can be followed at

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Scott Solberg

Dr. V. Scott Solberg Ph.D, is Professor in the Department of Counseling and Applied Human Development.  Dr. Solberg is working internationally and nationally on the design, implementation, and evaluation of effective career development programs and services for especially high-need youth populations, including youth with disabilities.  His publications, reports, and curriculum translates career development research into practice and policy strategies that are being used by state leaders to guide their career development implementation and policy efforts and by districts and schools to construct K-12 career development programs and services. In Massachusetts, Dr. Solberg has partnered with the Rennie Center for Education Research and Policy, MassINC, and the Mass Department of Elementary and Secondary Education to establish the Massachusetts Institute for College and Career Readiness which builds capacity among districts serving high-need youth populations to engage in career development efforts (Funded by USDoE, IES grant).

Nationally, Dr. Solberg collaborated with the Global Pathways Institute at ASU to establish the National Convening on Career Development that brings together a wide range of national business and education leaders to discuss strategies for moving career development forward as a national security issue. In collaboration with the National Collaboration for Workforce and Disability for Youth and the Department of Labor, Dr. Solberg established and coordinates the State Leaders Career Development Network and presents regularly on the nature and promise of individualized learning plans. Professionally Dr. Solberg regularly participates in the Society for Counseling Psychology of the American Psychological Association, the Society for Vocational Psychology where he is Chair-Elect, International Symposium sponsored by the International Center on Career Development Practice and Policy, the American Educational Research Association, International Association for Education and Vocational Guidance, National Career Development Association, Massachusetts Reach Higher, and the Massachusetts Career Development Association. He is also author of ScholarCentric, a resiliency curriculum used in schools throughout the country.

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Reecie Stagnolia

Mr. Stagnolia has served as Vice President for Adult Education, Kentucky Council on Postsecondary Education (CPE) since July 2009.  Previously, he served as Associate Vice President from 2003-2008.  He was with the Department for Adult Education and Literacy from its creation in 1993, serving in several capacities including Deputy Commissioner, Interim Commissioner, Executive Assistant to the Commissioner and Director of Division of Management Services. 

Mr. Stagnolia provides statewide leadership for Kentucky’s adult education system. Kentucky Adult Education (recently rebranded as KENTUCKY SKILLS U) offers services in 120 counties, supported by over 600 adult educators, 20 central office staff, and an annual budget of $25 million in state and federal funding. Kentucky has an average enrollment of nearly 30,000 students over the last five years.  Since 2000, nearly 161,200 Kentuckians have earned a GED® and 24,000 of those graduates have transitioned to postsecondary education. Over this same period, Kentucky’s working age population without a high school diploma/GED® has declined by 35%, the 4th best decrease in the nation.

Elected by his peers, Reecie is currently serving his 2nd term as Chairman of the National Association State Directors of Adult Education (NASDAE).   Additionally, he has been elected to four, two-year terms on the executive committee and has served on the organization’s policy committee since 2002.

Mr. Stagnolia serves as a board member for the Coalition on Adult Basic Education (COABE), which is considered the nation’s leading professional development network for adult education.  He also serves as Chair of the Adult Education Committee for the National Career Pathways Network (NCPN)

Mr. Stagnolia serves as a member of the Bluegrass State Skills Corporation (BSSC) Board of Directors, as proxy for the president of the Council on Postsecondary Education. He is a member of the Office of Career Technical and Adult Education (OCTAE’s) Technical Work Group (TWG) for the National Reporting Systems (NRS).

On a personal level, Reecie serves as a member of the finance committee and Board of Elders for Southland Christian Church in Lexington, Kentucky.

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Quentin Suffren

Managing Director, Innovation Policy, ExcelinEd

As Managing Director of Innovation Policy, Quentin oversees ExcelinEd’s efforts to develop and promote state policy in the areas of College and Career Pathways, Personalized Learning, and Course Access. He has almost 20 years’ experience in the education sector in a range of roles with nonprofit, for-profit, and government organizations. Previously, Quentin served as Executive Director of College, Career, and Military Preparation and State Director of Career and Technical Education at the Texas Education Agency. He also held leadership positions with Amplify Education, an education consulting and technology firm, TNTP, and The Learning Institute. Quentin began his career as a high school English teacher. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees at the University of Memphis.

Lillian Tsosie-Jensen

Lillian Tsosie-Jensen has served on the Utah State Education Task Force of Native American/Alaska Native Education, the Governor’s Native American Summit, and the Governor’s Task for Women in Education. Lillian currently serves on the Governor’s Multicultural Commission. Lillian’s past experience and service included Board Member of Coalition of Minority Advisory Committee for Utah State Office of Education, Board of Directors, Indian Walk-In Center; Board of Directors, Utah Mental Health Counseling Association; Board of Directors, Utah School Counseling Association; Board of Directors and past President, and Utah Education Association Children At-Risk Foundation. Lillian currently serves on the Utah Coalition of Childhood Protection. Lillian has been honored by Murray Education Foundation with the Pinnacle Award, Utah Technology Council with Educator of the Year, and Utah Career and Technical Association – Career Guidance Counselor of the Year and the association’s Guidance Division with Champion for CTE. Lillian currently is the School Counseling, Equity, Prevention Coordinator at Utah State Board of Education.

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Jason A. Tyszko

Vice President, Center for Education and Workforce
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation

Jason A. Tyszko is vice president at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation where he advances policies and programs that preserve America’s competitiveness and enhance the career readiness of youth and adult learners. This includes the Talent Pipeline Management initiative, the Foundation’s signature workforce development strategy.

Tyszko’s prior experience focused on coordinating interagency education, workforce, and economic development initiatives. In 2009, he served as a policy adviser to Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn’s administration.  In addition, Tyszko was deputy chief of staff and senior policy adviser to the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity.

Tyszko received his Master of Arts from the University of Chicago and his Bachelor of Arts from DePaul University. He is a certified teacher in the state of Illinois.

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Johan Uvin

Dr. Johan E. Uvin is the President and CEO of Institute for Educational Leadership (IEL). Prior to his IEL leadership role, Johan served as the Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Career, Technical, and Adult Education (OCTAE) at the U.S. Department of Education.  Prior to his work at the Department, Johan led the Rhode Island state office that oversees adult education, career and technical education, and GED testing. He also held several leadership positions in education and workforce development in both the public and private sectors. Johan holds a doctorate in administration, planning and social policy, and a master's degree in international education from Harvard University. He also holds a M.A. in teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) from the School of International Training in Brattleboro, Vt.

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Stephanie Veck

Stephanie Veck is the Director of the Colorado Workforce Development Council (CWDC), a dynamic public-private partnership that is a Governor appointed, business-led,coalition of industry, state agencies and their local system partners.

This coalition works to create an integrated talent development system that meets the needs of students, job-seekers, workers and businesses by aligning education, training, workforce and economic development efforts with the needs of industry.

Stephanie serves on the Governors Business Experiential Learning Commission, the Denver Public Schools Career Connect Board,and the Colorado Advanced Manufacturing Alliance Board; as an Executive Board Member of the Colorado STEM Champion’s, and is the Co-Chair of the Governors Workforce and Education Cabinet Committee. She was the founding program director of Colorado Companies to Watch and continues to serve on its Legacy Board. She has become known as a national leader in cross-agency and public-private partnerships, sharing Colorado’s work with national audiences through a variety of outlets.

A Colorado native and entrepreneur, Stephanie grew up on a family farm in the San Luis Valley of Southern Colorado, learning the value of hard work and the strength of community as a young girl.  She earned her business degree from Adams State University and experienced the practical, day-to-day realities of managing a business first by running a rapidly expanding company in three states, and then by starting, and operating two businesses in Colorado.  Prior to leading the CWDC, she worked for the Colorado Office of Economic Development & International Trade. Stephanie balances her busy professional life with the motto “work hard, play harder”, and enjoys the great outdoors with her husband Bill, friends and family including two grandchildren.

Stephanie most appreciates the opportunity to work with volunteers and business leaders throughout Colorado in implementing solutions for our future.  The vision of the CWDC is that every Colorado business has access to a skilled workforce and every Coloradan has access to meaningful employment, resulting in statewide economic vitality. To accomplish this goal, all stakeholders must work together to face the always changing challenges of our labor and economic markets; convening these collaborative partnerships is the role of the CWDC.

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Hong Vu

Hong Vu, Director, Utah Office of Multicultural Affairs

Hong has over 15 years of experience in academia, healthcare and government, where she has demonstrated leadership in developing intercultural competence training and programs. As a child, Hong came as a refugee with her family from Saigon, Vietnam, to Salt Lake City.

Hong has a Master’s in Linguistics, and a Bachelor’s of Arts in Art History, both from the University of Utah. Her life experiences and extensive travel, including two years as an English teacher in Taiwan, have given her a deep appreciation for diverse cultures.

Hong has collaborated closely with Utah Lieutenant Governor Spencer Cox, co-chair of the Utah Multicultural Commission, to translate and implement her vision within the Office of Multicultural Affairs to strengthen the partnership between diverse communities, state agencies, and community leaders.

Jim Zaharis

Jim Zaharis is the Vice President for Education at Greater Phoenix Leadership, a CEO business organization.  Jim served 15 years as the Superintendent of Mesa Unified School District No. 4 in Mesa, Arizona; 35 years in the district as a teacher, coach and district administrator.  He served two years as the Special Assistant to the President at Arizona State University East.  He is the sole owner and President of The Zaharis Group, a private consulting firm.

Dr. Zaharis brings 43 years of experience in education.  Dr. Zaharis has served and chaired numerous boards and commissions in the fields of education, health care, planning and zoning, and economic development.  He currently is a member of the Governor’s – P-20 Council and serves on the Board of Directors for the Arizona Business and Education Coalition (ABEC); The Rodel Charitable Foundation of Arizona; Expect More Arizona and Teach For America.  Dr. Zaharis is President, a founding member, and current member of both the East Valley Think Tank and East Valley Partnership.  He has served on the Board of Advisors for the National Center for Family Literacy.  Currently, he is a primary author and consultant to the P-20 initiative; “Expect More Arizona”, a statewide, multiyear communications campaign.

His community activities include President of the East Valley Partnership, member of:  Mesa United Way Strategic Planning Committee, Board of Directors of ASU’s Arizona Educational Information System.  He is also a past member of the Board of Directors of: First United State Credit Union, Mesa Bank, Good Samaritan Hospital Corporation and PreHab, and past Chairman of the Board of Directors of Helaman House, Inc.

Dr. Zaharis has served as a consultant to various universities, school districts, and corporations in over 47 states and 5 foreign countries. He has served as a visiting professor at Arizona State University, Mesa Community College, the American Association of School Administrators, and the Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development.

Honors Dr. Zaharis has received include being named on the The Business Journal’s top 100+ for “The Valley’s Most Influential Business Leaders” in Education; one of “The Executive Educator 100,” as one of the best school managers in North America; Arizona State Superintendent of the Year; and Distinguished Professor, American Association of School Administrators’ National Academy of School Executives; Arizona’s CTE President’s Circle of Distinction; Teach For America’s Homeroom Hero award winner, Significant “Sig” for Sigma Chi National, and member of Northern Arizona University’s Hall of Fame.

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Jennifer Zinth

Jennifer Zinth serves as Principal: High School and STEM, at Education Commission of the States (ECS), a Denver-based nonprofit, nonpartisan organization serving state-level education leaders across role groups across the 50-states, DC and territories. In this role, Zinth responds to questions from state policymakers and agency staff, conducts state policy research and analysis, authors reports, and offers counsel – including testimony, presentations and other guidance. She is particularly known for developing and maintaining ECS’ one-of-a-kind database of state dual enrollment policies, and for publishing a portfolio of briefs that inform state leaders on various key aspects of dual enrollment policy.

Zinth is nationally recognized for her work on state dual enrollment policies. She has been cited in numerous media outlets, including the New York Times and Wall Street Journal. Zinth has contributed to several external publications; her most recent external publication is an article on STEM for the Council of State Governments’ 2017 Book of the States.