Reggie Ford is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, mental health advocate, and social activist. A first-generation college graduate of Vanderbilt University, he runs RoseCrete Wealth Management and speaks to audiences about financial empowerment, overall wellness, and the importance of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility.
Carla IliescuFounder, potential
Carla is the founder of potential, a boutique leadership and coaching firm that creates learning experiences to help leaders and teams realize their full potential. Carla began her career in the cosmetics industry and grew to become a global vice president where she was responsible for the development of 10,000+ employees located in 120+ countries.
With over two decades of executive leadership experience, team development, and coaching, Carla recognizes the transformative impact of courageous leadership on both business results and engagement. She shares her wealth of leadership experience and real-life examples with her clients in order to transform performance.
Prior to founding potential, Carla inspired teams as the vice president of global artistry, education and events at Bobbi Brown Cosmetics, vice president of learning and education at Bumble and bumble, vice president of international education at Clinique, and executive director of leadership development. Carla has a B.S. in business administration and is a Certified Dare to Lead Facilitator, Certified Fierce Conversations Facilitator, Gallup Strengths Coach, and Mind Gym Coach.
Penny AbrahamsConsultant & Advancement Department Head, ISM
Penny Abrahams joined Independent School Management in 2010. As a consultant, she specializes in marketing communications, enrollment management, and development. Her experience in these areas comes from working in private-independent schools for more than 13 years and serving other nonprofits for an additional seven years.
Penny’s duties as a consultant also include advising schools as part of ISM’s Digital Solutions team and serving as the convener for ISM’s Advancement Academy, a premier professional development conference that educates and mentors heads of school and development, enrollment management, and marketing communications professionals.
Penny began her career in schools at Ravenscroft, a pre-K through grade 12 school in Raleigh, NC, as an annual fund director and then as director of communications. She then served as the director of admissions & marketing at Academy at the Lakes, a pre-K 3 through grade 12 school located in Tampa, FL.
Penny has served as a member of Ravenscroft’s board of trustees since 2018 and currently chairs the advancement committee.
She graduated with a B.A. in journalism and mass communication from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and holds a Digital Marketing Certificate from the University of Vermont. She also attained International Advancement Program—Leader certification in 2012.
Jim BushPresident, Winkler Group
Jim Bush has been a development professional and fundraising consultant for more than 30 years. Recognized as an expert in his field, he’s helped small and large independent schools raise more than $100 million through major and capitals campaigns, annual fund programs, and endowment and planned giving campaigns.
Prior to joining the Winker Group, Jim devoted his career to being a fundraising practitioner and has developed comprehensive fundraising programs for nationally known organizations including World Vision, the American Red Cross, the YMCA, Northwell Health, and Elon University.
Jim is a noted lecturer, trainer, and teacher. He has presented at more than fifty national and international fundraising conferences; he has been named the top speaker at six national and international conferences. His articles on fundraising have been published in leading nonprofit journals. He has served on the national fundraising faculty for the YMCA and currently serves on the faculty of the South Carolina Nonprofit Leadership Institute.
Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in political science and public administration from Elon University. He serves on the Editorial Review Board of Giving USA, the seminal report on philanthropy in America, and is a voting member of the Giving Institute.
Jennifer CarrollAttorney, Fisher Phillips
Jennifer Carroll is a partner with Fisher Phillips’ Fort Lauderdale office. Jennifer’s practice is focused on the area of employment litigation. Jennifer also counsels employers nationally in all types of employment-related matters. She conducts management and employee trainings, compliance audits, and contract review and drafting. Jennifer is also experienced in pre-suit administrative proceedings.
Jennifer is a member of the Education Practice Group where she counsels independent and private educational institutions on employee, student, and board matters, in addition to litigating matters on behalf of school clients.
Jennifer is a frequent presenter to both educational institutions and corporate associations on all aspects of employment law and risk management in the employment context.
Carolyn ChandlerPartner, Strategic School Leadership
A cum laude graduate of Vanderbilt University, with a M.A. in secondary education/mathematics from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Carolyn Chandler taught English, French, and upper school mathematics before entering the world of independent school administration in 1997 at Girls Preparatory School in Chattanooga, TN. Carolyn left GPS after 19 years to assume the position of assistant head of school at Metairie Park Country Day School in New Orleans, LA, in 2003.
After Katrina came to call in the fall of 2005, Carolyn was named associate head of school, charged with managing all school operations, restoring the storm-devastated campus, and reworking school finances after the loss of 25% of the student body. In the spring of 2006, Carolyn was appointed head of school.
In the years that followed, Carolyn enjoyed participation in local, regional, and national associations; among these were service on the ISAS board, service on The Heads’ Network faculty and Council, and service on the NAIS board. Her involvement with the Klingenstein Center at Columbia University began in 2010 with participation in the Heads’ Program, followed by appointment as a Klingenstein field instructor, and continues into the present with service on the center’s advisory committee. Carolyn’s involvement with five New Orleans charter schools culminated in service as the interim CEO of Bricolage Academy.
Carolyn is currently a partner in Strategic School Leadership, a consultancy serving boards and heads of school. She is certified by KRW, International as both a practitioner and a provider of the Return on Character leadership assessment.
Tim GreenAthletics Consultant, Southern Teachers
During his 32-year career in schools, Dr. Tim Green has served as a teacher, coach, P.E. department chair, and director of athletics. His successful record of independent school athletic leadership includes oversight of teams and coaching staff, budget development, athletic facilities, mentoring programs, coaching evaluation, professional development, and athletic capital improvements. He has served on numerous committees at the collegiate and independent school levels and is certified at the highest level (Certified Master Athletic Administrator) by the NIAAA. Tim currently serves as the director of athletic consulting performing athletic assessments, mentoring, leading the Southern Teachers AD Training Camp, and presenting across the south.
Lorrie JacksonEducational Sales Consultant, Finalsite
With over 20 years working in and for independent schools, Lorrie Jackson is a frequent presenter on school marketing and communications. Previously, she served on NAIS’s tech task force and contributed a chapter to the 2011 edition of The NAIS Handbook on Marketing Independent Schools. In her role at Finalsite, Lorrie helps independent schools across the Southeast improve their website and online communication tools to achieve their marketing and admission goals.
Romayne LeveePartner & Director of Education Strategy, Mission Minded
Romayne Levee is in her element when she’s building something from the ground up. In her 16-years serving the boards of Vistamar School (as founding board chair) and Lewis & Clark College (as trustee and committee chair), Romayne has led and supported teams in raising capital and establishing transformational endowments. She is now the director of education strategy at Mission Minded building their education practice and raising the profiles of the educational institutions they serve from coast to coast.
Christina LewellenExecutive Director, ATLIS
Christina Lewellen is a seasoned association executive who brings a data-driven framework to business planning and strategy, having earned her M.B.A. from the Rochester Institute of Technology and the Certified Association Executive designation from the American Society of Association Executives. She was named the executive director of ATLIS in 2019 and travels coast-to-coast visiting independent schools and their leadership teams. She serves as a trustee for the Harmony Foundation International and is a board member for the Virginia Society of Association Executives.
Rick MelvoinManaging Partner, Strategic School Leadership
Rick Melvoin is currently a lecturer at the Harvard Graduate School of Education and managing partner of Strategic School Leadership. He served as head of school at the Belmont Hill School in Belmont, MA, from 1993 to 2018. A 1973 magna cum laude graduate of Harvard College, with an M.A. and Ph.D. in American history from the University of Michigan, he began his career at Deerfield Academy, where over 14 years he taught, coached, directed plays, and served as history department chair and dean of studies. He returned to Harvard in 1988 as assistant dean of admissions and financial aid and lecturer in history and literature.
He is the author of New England Outpost: War and Society in Colonial Deerfield (W.W. Norton, 1988), Chapel Talks (a compendium of talks from his years at Belmont Hill), and numerous essays on boys, education, and school leadership.
He has been a member of the board of overseers at Harvard University, where he chaired the nominating committee and served on the visiting committees for the college, athletics, and the Graduate School of Education; the boards of trustees of The Winsor School, the Haverford School, and the Epiphany School; the board of directors of The Steppingstone Foundation; and the board of directors of Facing History and Ourselves. He also served as board president of the International Boys’ Schools Coalition and president of The Headmasters Association.
Dave MichelmanPrincipal, Michelman Consulting
Dave Michelman has spent his career in independent schools, with the exception of a brief foray into going to law school and practicing law, as a teacher, administrator, and head of school. He led Chesapeake Academy for 7 years and Duke School for 14. He served on the SAIS board and is currently a member of MISBO’s board. Dave has been an independent school board member and served as president of the board of Student U, a college access and advocacy group in Durham. He has presented at SAIS, NAIS, AIMS, and other conferences. For the last two years, Dave has been a consultant working with heads, boards, and leadership teams.
Brendan SchneiderFounder and CEO, SchneiderB Media
Brendan Schneider is the founder and CEO of SchneiderB Media, a digital marketing agency for schools that focuses on increasing inquiries. He is one of the leaders in the field for teaching on and knowledge about inbound marketing for schools. In addition, Brendan presents and consults on inbound marketing, social media, SEO, and marketing technology at the regional and national levels. With his workshops, blog, podcast, VirCons, and his SEO Coach software, he continues to advance the abilities of the independent school admission, communication, and marketing professional. Brendan is also the founder of The MarCom Society, a community created exclusively for marketing and communication (MarCom) professionals at schools.
Bob WestonSenior Vice President, CCS Fundraising
Bob Weston brings to CCS 30 years of independent school experience and expertise as an educator, administrator, and fundraiser. Over the span of his career, Bob has held several senior administrative positions, and worked extensively on hiring and recruiting faculty, collaborating on institutional strategic planning, and directing annual, major gifts, and capital campaign fundraising programs.
In his most recent role as associate head for external affairs at St. George’s School, Bob directed the communications, alumni relations, and development offices, while also serving as the school’s chief fundraiser. He spearheaded the school’s From These Walls capital campaign, which raised over $32 million for programs, facilities, and endowment. He also directed the fundraising efforts to raise $3.5 million for the construction of two turf fields, and he helped to grow the annual fund during the school’s capital campaign.
As an experienced fundraiser and school administrator, Bob’s deep knowledge of independent schools’ culture, programs, and fundraising needs uniquely positions him to serve our independent clients well.
Bob received his M.A. in English literature from Middlebury College’s Bread Loaf School of English and his B.A. in English from Amherst College, where he also captained the men’s varsity basketball team.