Cohort 4 – Class of 2020
Owner/Principal, Grand Arbor Advisors
Richland Hills, TX
David Barnett is the Owner/Principal of Grand Arbor Advisors, a registered investment advisory firm that provides financial, retirement and estate planning, and active investment management to individuals, families, small businesses, and non-profit organizations. David began his career in insurance and financial services in 1984. He was Vice President & Agency Director for Christian Fidelity Life Insurance Company from 1989 to 2001, and returned to private practice after leading the company through a successful acquisition by Oxford Life Insurance Company.
David earned a B.A. from the University of North Texas and a M.A. in theological studies from Southwestern Assemblies of God University. He holds the professional designations of Fellow, Life Management Institute; Chartered Financial Consultant; and Chartered Life Underwriter.
Chief Operating Officer, Little Star Center
Tim Courtney is the COO of Little Star Center, a not for profit organization based in Carmel, Indiana, specializing in Applied Behavior Analysis therapy for individuals with autism. Tim and his team have developed expertise in working with insurance companies in order to provide the best care for Little Star’s clients. They are often invited to present at national conferences, and recently published a paper on their innovative apprenticeship model. Tim has been with Little Star for eight years; prior to this he worked as a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, providing clinical services for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Tim is a 2006 graduate of Florida Institute of Technology, where he received his Masters of Science in applied behavior analysis. Tim received his bachelor’s degree in social work from Lewis Clark State College.
Manager, Field Marketing, T-Mobile
Tasha’s passion for entrepreneurship and marketing can be traced back to her creating award-winning fundraising posters as the captain of her high school cheerleading team. She was determined to have the best-looking posters to ensure her team raised the most money for camp and new uniforms. She has always thrived on the challenge to promote various products and services. Tasha has been an entrepreneur and in marketing management leadership roles for telecommunications companies and higher education institutions over the course of her career. Currently she is the Manager, Field Marketing at T-Mobile US.
The phenomenal experiences of being part marketer, part entrepreneur, and part leader introduced her to the power of servant leadership, the beauty of emotional intelligence and the love of life-long learning. They also helped to shape her into the person and professional she is today – compassionate wife, cool mom of twins, globetrotter, self-proclaimed foodie, leadership scholar/practitioner, marketing magician, and tenacious half-marathoner.
Tasha earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the University of Illinois at Chicago and a Master of Business Administration from Benedictine University.
James E. Garrett
Owner, Express Employment Professionals
Kansas City, Missouri
James Garrett is Owner/operator of Express Employment Professionals, located within the Kansas City metropolitan area; in Eastern Jackson County Missouri. Globally, Express is among the largest staffing firms with revenue of more than $3.5 Billion and more than 600,000 working associates. James is the former Deputy Chief and Media Relations Officer for the Kansas City, MO Fire Department. He is also, an expert in human behavior and workforce performance. In Mr. Garrett current role, he leads a team of staffing professionals that service a territory of more than 2,000 businesses in both the industrial operations and office services sectors.
James Garrett has built a solid career focusing on people, performance, productivity and profitability. Specialties include: Organizational Development, Training, Leadership Development, Performance Management, Assessments, Workforce Management and Strategy, Goal Setting and Planning, Succession Planning, Project Management, General HR, Diversity, Team Building, Emotional Intelligence, Pre-employment Testing, Performance-based Budgeting & Developing High Performance Organization.
Financial Advisor and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor, Merrill Lynch
Dawn Harris Jeffries is a Financial Advisor and Chartered Retirement Planning Counselor with Merrill Lynch. She has been with the organization for nearly 16 years as a financial advisor and in a variety of management positions.
Dawn began her career as a Bank Examiner for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, focusing on U.S. branches for foreign banks and international branches of U.S. banks. She joined Merrill Lynch in 1998, and has worked in a variety of roles across the US and Europe, including serving as the Global Head of Product Supervision for the Managed Solutions and Investments Business in the Global Wealth Management Division with oversight for nearly $1 trillion in client assets.
Dawn is actively engaged in her community and church, and is the founder of Girls Light Our Way nonprofit organization which focuses on health, self-efficacy, and financial literacy for girls.
Chief of Communications, Center for Values-Driven Leadership
Amber Johnson is the Center’s Chief Communications Officer, and a Senior Research Associate. She also oversees thought leadership and executive student recruitment for the Center, and is actively involved in the Center’s research and consulting practices. Amber brings 15 years of experience in communications, marketing, and non-profit fundraising and administration.
Before coming to the Center, Amber spent seven years in various leadership positions with World Vision, a Christian humanitarian organization. In this capacity, she served as a media correspondent from Pakistan, led travel groups in Tanzania, and helped launch World Vision’s social-network based engagement and fundraising platform, Team World Vision. Prior to her work with World Vision, Amber was a Peace Corps volunteer in the Kingdom of Tonga, and served as the University Editor at Taylor University in Upland, Indiana. She served as adjunct faculty in marketing and public speaking at Taylor and at Ball State University.
Amber holds a M.A. in communication studies, with an emphasis in rhetorical theory, from Ball State University and an undergraduate degree, also in communication studies, from Malone University in Canton, Ohio.
Chief Engineer, Ford Motor Company
Brett Hinds is the Chief Engineer of Ford Motor Company’s Electrified Powertrain System Engineering. In this role, Brett is responsible for Ford’s global hybrid and battery electric vehicle, powertrain system engineering, control system engineering and vehicle drivability. Brett has had a 27-year career with Ford in the area of engine and powertrain product development, including assignments as manager in Powertrain Research and as Chief Engineer of Engine Design in Ford’s European office.
Brett is a graduate from Lawrence Technological University, class of 1990, with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering. In 1996, he earned a Master’s of Science in Engineering Management from Oakland University.
Senior Manager, IT, Office of CIO, Exelon
Downers Grove IL
Angie Karesh is a Senior Manager, IT, Organization Change Management Office, at Exelon, America’s leading competitive energy provider, with one of the cleanest and lowest-cost power generation fleets. Its utilities serve millions of electric and gas customers.
Angie began her career in marketing at The Quaker Oats Company prior to being purchased by PepsiCo. She has also been an entrepreneur, specializing first in OD Consulting and later running a business in the trades with her husband.
Angie is an alumnus of Illinois Benedictine University with her Bachelor’s in Business & Economics and later her Master’s in Management and Organization Behavior.
Director of Dental Services, Salt Lake City Veterans Administration Medical Center
Salt Lake City, UT
Dr. Chris Lauritzen is a professor and group practice leader at the University of Utah School of Dentistry. The school leads the profession in dental education, discovery and outreach, providing comprehensive and value-driven care for each patient. Dr. Lauritzen recently retired from the US military after 35 years, rising from private to colonel. He served as an infantryman and Special Forces officer, and then as became a dentist following a parachute accident.
Chris was the president and owner of Texas Dental Professionals in Midland, TX. The events of September 11, 2001, motivated him to sell his business and re-enter active duty as a dentist. Colonel Lauritzen deployed a number of times and commanded six military dental clinics, as well as one airborne infantry unit. His accomplishments include Mastership in the Academy of General Dentistry and board certification from the American Board of General Dentistry.
Chris received a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts from Utah State University, a graduate certificate in International Healthcare Leadership from Park University, a master’s degree in Health Services Management from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, a Doctor of Dental Surgery from the University of Nebraska, and two post-doctoral residencies in the Army’s Advanced Education in General Dentistry and the Air Force’s Comprehensive Dentistry residency.
Sr. Ethics Advisor, Boeing
St. Louis, MO
Colleen Lyons joined Boeing in 2013 as the Ethics Advisor, Vertical Lift; she moved to St. Louis in 2015 to serve in a senior capacity for Boeing’s $12B global defense services business. Prior to Boeing, Colleen served as the Ethics Officer for the VA Puget Sound Health Care System, founded EthicalStability and served as a consultant to the Corporate Governance Forum in the Middle East. Prior to becoming an ethicist, Colleen was in a variety of positions at IBM, Gartner and EY, and started her career on Capitol Hill. Colleen is a Certified Professional Ethics and Compliance Professional and has received numerous awards for her contributions, most notably the VA End-of-Life Advance Directive initiative.
Colleen’s education includes degrees from Rutgers University (BA, Political Science), University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine (Master, Bioethics) and Princeton Theological Seminary (non-degree graduate, Global Ethics).
Captain, U.S. Coast Guard (Ret.)
New York, NY
Daniel McClellan, Captain, U.S. Coast Guard (Ret.), serves as an independent consultant advising clients on policy and strategy, organizational leadership and maritime affairs. While living and working abroad in the Middle East, he led consulting projects to improve national preparedness and response to a broad spectrum of maritime and organizational risks. During his 27 years of distinguished service with the U.S. Coast Guard, he served as Chief, Office of Strategic Analysis, and as Commander of a combined U.S. Coast Guard–U.S. Navy patrol force executing maritime security operations in Southwest Asia. He was selected to lead the development of the nation’s first National Strategy for Maritime Security and served as the U.S. Coast Guard representative to the White House Council on Environmental Quality’s Interagency Ocean Policy Group. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Ocean Discovery Institute, a non-profit organization supporting science, technology, engineering and math education for children in underrepresented communities. Captain McClellan holds a B.S. in Government from the U.S. Coast Guard Academy, a M.S./MBA from Johns Hopkins University, and served as a National Security Fellow at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University.
Chief Operating Officer, Hawthorne Animal Hospital
Ted McKinney is the COO of Hawthorne Animal Hospital, a veterinary clinic providing routine wellness, 24-hour emergency care, orthopedic and minimally invasive surgery. HAH has four locations in the Greater St. Louis region.
Prior to joining Hawthorne in 2013, Ted spent 20 years working in the logistics and distribution field at United Parcel Service, Walgreens Distribution and Customized Distribution Service.
Ted is a graduate from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. He has an MBA with an emphasis in Project Management, and he is a Six Sigma Green Belt and has a Lean certification from Purdue University.
CEO, Learn & Play
Downers Grove, Illinois
Learn & Play is a game creation company that creates games to be played across multiple platforms, from cards to virtual reality.
Mike began his career as an auditor and ultimately became the CFO for several for profit and nonprofit organizations. In 2004, he retired and bought a 235-acre farm to raise goats. After goat herding for several years, Mike moved back to Chicago to lead his own start up consulting company, IT3, which worked specifically to use technology to financially stabilize Federally Qualified Health Centers (FQHC). FQHC’s are the primarily health care providers in underserved areas across the U.S. He developed the first school-based FQHCs in Lake County, Indiana, the poorest of Indiana’s 92 counties. He served on the Board of the Purdue School of Nursing and in 2011 was appointed the Managing Director of the Center of Global and Urban Sustainability at Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana. During this time, Mike lived in the Dominican Republic for several years.
Mike is a Veterans Affairs-rated 100% disabled veteran and on the heart transplant list because of his Gulf War service in the U.S. Marines. He currently enjoys living on a heart pump (L.V.A.D.). Mike has a B.S. in Finance from St. Louis University and an M.B.A. from Purdue University.
Senior Manager, Diversity Strategies & Planning, U.S. Cellular
Salwa Rahim-Dillard is the Senior Manager of Diversity Strategies & Planning at U.S. Cellular Corporation. She has 15+ years of experience designing and implementing transformative and business-relevant diversity and inclusion strategies that build inclusive leadership competence, increase engagement, enhance brand eminence and improve employee performance.
Salwa has also served as an adjunct professor at Governors State University; worked in Diverse Segments for Wells Fargo; and was the President and CEO of an award-winning mortgage brokerage that focused on fair lending for blacks, Latinos, veterans and women.
Salwa graduated summa cum laude with a Masters in Human Performance & Training from Governors State University, earning the Distinguished Scholar Award. She received her undergraduate degree at DePaul University, cum laude; completed executive education at Dartmouth; is Prosci Change Management Certified and an Intercultural Development Inventory Qualified Administrator
Enterprise Project Manager/Process Engineer, New Belgium Brewing
L. Tran is a Project Manager/Process Engineer for New Belgium Brewing, the fourth largest craft brewery in the United States. In her role, she works with internal teams to identify and deploy process improvement projects to gain efficiencies and cost savings, and to launch and support different types of software applications.
Tran’s career has spanned over 10 years, across multiple industries including telecom, government and manufacturing. She has been both an employee and consultant embracing the challenges that each offers. A natural problem solver, Tran has one objective in all aspects of her life: adding value through continuous improvement.
Never complacent, Tran is a self-proclaimed lifelong learner and has graduated from Regis University in Denver, Colorado, three different times. In 2014, she completed a Master’s of Nonprofit Management degree and a Post Master’s Certificate in Nonprofit Executive Leadership. In 2007, she completed a dual MBA in Operations Management and International Business with certificates in Technical Management and Project Management. As an undergraduate, she triple-majored in Neuroscience, Psychology and Mathematics in 2003. She also minored in History that same year. Additionally, she has completed the Master Six Sigma program (and all corresponding certificates) from Villanova University.
Co-founder and Managing Director of Testing House de México, and Professor at the Western Institute of Technology and Higher Education (ITESO)
Guadalajara, Jalisco, México.
Francisco is the Managing Director of Testing House de Mexico (THMx) and Professor at the MBA program of the ITESO University. THMx is a company whose mission is to creatively engineer sustainable and innovative testing and measurement solutions for the electronics industry, as a means to produce happy customers. Under Francisco’s leadership, THMx survived the global crisis of years 2008-2009 and afterward the company was honored with multiple recognitions, for instance, the Jalisco State Export Award in 2010 and 2016, the National Export Award in 2011, and the National Prize for Technology and Innovation XII and XVI.