At the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL), our board members come from the private, public, and non-profit sectors to help us chart our course. They provide CAEL with a unique perspective on the ways higher education, business, labor, and government affect the success of adults in their pursuit of higher education.
Tom Balanoff is President of both SEIU Local 1 and the SEIU Illinois State Council. Under Balanoff’s leadership, Local 1 streamlined the union’s internal structure by creating the first Member Resource Center—a state-of-the-art call center and grievance-handling center—and by centralizing regional organizing resources in the local’s Campaign Center, which runs strategic organizing and contract campaigns. As president of the Property Service Section of Union Network International—which includes more than 50 building service unions in 40 countries—Balanoff negotiated a ground-breaking international organizing agreement with ISS, the world’s largest cleaning company.
San Diego City College, San Diego Community College District
Anthony E. Beebe, Ed.D., has been an instructor and administrator in higher education for over 25 years. Dr. Beebe is President of San Diego City College, a large, highly diverse urban campus located in the heart of downtown San Diego. Prior to coming to San Diego City College, Anthony served eight years as President of the San Diego Continuing Education (SDCE), also part of the San Diego Community College District and the largest separately accredited institution of its kind in the nation. SDCE serves more than 100,000 students each year from seven comprehensive campuses and 300 community and neighborhood sites.
Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn is vice president and general manager of the Business Enablement and Strategy team within Cisco Services. In this role, she leads Learning@Cisco, Technical Services strategy and operations, and the Center of Excellence for innovation, globalization, and commercialization. Beliveau-Dunn is a recognized expert and award- winning executive on workforce education, the social enterprise, cloud and software-as-a- service, collaboration software, and knowledge systems. In 2008, Beliveau-Dunn brought the first social education system in the industry to market, the Cisco Learning Network.
Chris Bustamante, Ed.D., serves as President of Rio Salado College, the largest in headcount of the ten Maricopa Community Colleges located in metropolitan Phoenix, and the largest public online community college in the nation serving approximately 70,000 students annually, including over 43,000 online students. Dr. Bustamante was appointed to his position in June 2010 after serving as the college’s Interim President, Vice President of Community Development and Student Services, and Dean of Academic Affairs. Previously, he served in senior level government affairs positions for the Maricopa Community College District.
Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area
Dr. John C. Cavanaugh is the President and CEO of the Consortium of Universities of the Washington Metropolitan Area. The Consortium consists of 14 universities: American University, Catholic University, Corcoran College of Art and Design, Gallaudet University, George Mason University, George Washington University, Georgetown University, Howard University, Marymount University, National Defense University, National Intelligence University, Trinity Washington University, University of the District of Columbia, and University of Maryland College Park. Previously, he served as Chancellor of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education.
John Colborn joined the Aspen Institute in 2014 after 15 years as a program officer and senior executive with the Ford Foundation. In his role as a program officer with the Ford Foundation, Colborn undertook a range of grant making efforts focusing on industry- targeted workforce development partnerships, workforce development policy, and community colleges resulting in improved economic and educational opportunities for tens of thousands of Americans. He also played leadership roles in organizing networks of workforce development and community college funders. Over the last several years, Colborn has served as vice president at the Ford Foundation, overseeing its global operations.
Mary-Beth Cooper, PhD, DM, is the 13th president of Springfield College, bringing experience from a long and distinguished career in higher education administration and community leadership. Choosing to work in education administration because of its vibrant atmosphere, the guiding forces in Cooper’s career have been her passion for learning, her yearning for intellectual stimulation, and her vision for human potential. She firmly believes that education can be the answer to creating a prosperous, successful community of thinkers and doers. In addition to her administrative leadership, she takes seriously her role as a mentor to and advocate for students, women, and athletes.
Chief Human Resource Officer, Archer Daniels Midland
Michael D’Ambrose is senior vice president and chief human resources officer for Archer Daniels Midland Company and an officer of the corporation. In this capacity, he oversees all global human resources, payroll and security operations as well as corporate services and facilities. Prior to joining ADM, D’Ambrose served as executive vice president, Human Resources, for First Data, one of the world’s largest providers of transaction processing services for retail companies. He has held senior human resources roles at Citibank, Citigroup, Toys ’R‘ Us Inc. and Travelers Mortgage Services as well as key roles at Ingersoll- Rand Corporation.
Garcia Higher Education Consulting, Inc. and President Emeritus, Texas Association of Community Colleges
Rey García has served as President and CEO of the Texas Association of Community Colleges (TACC) since 1995. Prior to his current position, Dr. García served as Special Assistant for Education to former Texas Lieutenant Governor Bob Bullock. He also served as Education Policy Specialist for the Texas Senate Research Center. Dr. García served as Director of Forensics and Instructor in the Department of Speech Communication at Texas State University in San Marcos, Texas.
Former Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer
Michael “Mike” G. Johnson is UPS’s Chief Human Resources Officer. Mike is responsible for managing human resources for an organization of 400,000 employees worldwide. Committed to maintaining UPS’s reputation as an employer of choice, Mike oversees the company’s human capital strategy to develop and retaining a diverse and highly-skilled workforce while transforming his function to better align to the company’s mission. Mike began his career with UPS in 1975 as a part-time package handler in Los Angeles. Throughout his career, he has taken on increased responsibilities in operations and HR positions in various parts of the U.S., including New York, Chicago and Atlanta.
Dr. Kendrick is the President of Gateway Community Technical College. Dr. Kendrick was the first African-American woman to hold the position of Associate Dean and Dean of the School of Business at Milwaukee Area Technical College, and went on to become the highest-ranking African-American woman in the Wisconsin’s system of higher education as Executive Vice President of Milwaukee Area Technical College where her “inclusive style of management and concern for students” distinguished her as an effective and powerful leader.
Kimo is the Chief Learning Officer at Hilton Worldwide. In this role, Kimo is responsible for strategic oversight of learning and development at Hilton Worldwide, based in McLean, Virginia. Previously, Kimo was responsible for the Center of Excellence for Learning at Marriott International. Before this, Kimo led Management Engagement for the enterprise of Marriott International. Further, in a previous role, Kimo was Vice President of Human Resources for Renaissance Hotels and Resorts, North America. He has also served as the Vice President of HR Design and Practice Leader for Learning of Marriott International.
Since 2012, he has served as President and Vice Chancellor at Kwantlen Polytechnic University, in British Columbia, Canada. In 2008 he was appointed President of Empire State College at the State University of New York. With his colleagues at SUNY Empire State College, he expanded the range of graduate and undergraduate offerings, worked towards more effective shared governance, improved retention and quality, and substantially raised the profile of the institution as an alternative and unique institution. His final contribution was a bold new proposal for “Open SUNY” in which all the SUNY colleges and universities could collaborate to form the largest public open and online system in the US.
Since her arrival on campus in 2009 as the sixth chancellor of the University of Wisconsin- Parkside, Dr. Debbie Ford has emphasized all that makes the University "Real. Amazing." Prior to joining the learning community at UW-Parkside, Dr. Ford served as Vice President for Student Affairs at the University of West Florida, and Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at Spalding University (Kentucky).
Dr. Arthur F. Kirk, Jr., assumed the presidency of Saint Leo University on January 1, 1997, after serving as president of Keuka College (New York) for 13 years. He possesses over 28 years’ experience as a chief executive officer leading private colleges through transformational change and growth. Dr. Kirk received his bachelor’s degree in history and his master’s in administration and supervision from Kean University in New Jersey. He earned his doctorate from Rutgers University, writing his doctoral dissertation on small college survival strategies.
Dr. Bruce H. Leslie assumed the duties of the Alamo Colleges Chancellor on November 1, 2006. As Chancellor, he is the chief executive officer of the Alamo Colleges overseeing five colleges, a $480 million budget and a student enrollment of over 67,000 credit and another 30,000 continuing education students each semester. Prior to assuming the chancellorship of the Alamo Colleges, Leslie served as chancellor of the Houston Community College System, Chancellor of the Connecticut Community-Technical Colleges, a state system of 12 colleges, and as President of Onondaga Community College in Syracuse, New York.
Teresa Lubbers was appointed in 2009 to serve as Indiana's Commissioner for Higher Education, the coordinating agency charged with ensuring that the state's postsecondary education system is aligned to meet the needs of students and the state. Prior to joining the Commission, Lubbers served in the Indiana State Senate for 17 years, leading on education and economic development issues as Chair of the Senate Education and Career Development Committee.
A nationally recognized teacher, scholar, and academic leader, Dr. William J. McKinney became Valdosta State University's ninth president on July 1, 2012. Prior to arriving at VSU, Dr. McKinney served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs and Professor of Philosophy at Indiana University-Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). During his tenure at IPFW, Dr. McKinney led the successful regional reaccreditation by the North Central Association's Higher Learning Commission as well as the process that lead to IPFW's Engaged University designation by the Carnegie Foundation. In his four years at IPFW, sponsored research, grants, and contracts increased by 33 percent. Under his leadership, IPFW also had significant increases in full-time tenure track faculty, and the percentage of female and minority faculty.
Charles R. “Chuck” Middleton has had a long and distinguished career in higher education, currently serving as Roosevelt University’s 5th president. For nearly 50 years, he has taught more than 5,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and along with more than 90 scholarly and public policy papers, authored the book The Administration of British Foreign Policy, 1782–1846. In 1989, he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. In addition to his commitment and work in higher education, Dr. Middleton's dedication to community engagement, including advocacy for inclusiveness, social justice, and LGBT rights, is evidenced by his many professional and civic commitments.
Human Capital Development and Executive Education, Cornell University, ILR School
Steve Miranda is the Managing Director for Cornell University’s “Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies” (CAHRS). CAHRS is the world's leading partnership between industry and academia, devoted to linking people and knowledge to achieve excellence in human resources. Prior to his role with Cornell, Steve was the Chief Human Resource and Content Integration Officer for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).
Barbara E. Murphy assumed the presidency of Johnson State College in July 2001, a public liberal arts and pre-professional college of 1900 students—including a statewide B.A. completion degree program. Prior to coming to JSC, she served as president of the Community College of Vermont, a member of the Vermont State Colleges system and Vermont’s only community college.
Antioch University welcomed Felice Nudelman as the new Chancellor on July 1, 2012. She has spent the majority of her career in education, both on college campuses and for the past 12 years with the New York Times Company, where she most recently served as executive director of education. In this capacity, Ms. Nudelman was responsible for developing and overseeing education initiatives, including The New York Times Knowledge Network.
Dr. Elsa M. Núñez became president of Eastern Connecticut State University. She came to Eastern with more than 20 years of previous experience as a senior administrator at such institutions as the University of Maine System and City University of New York. Dr. Núñez also has held positions as a tenured faculty member at Ramapo State College, the College of Staten Island of the City University of New York, and Lehman College of the City University of New York.
Dr. Annette Parker became President of South Central College in 2013. Prior to that she was the System Director, National Center of Excellence in Advanced Automotive Manufacturing; System Director Workforce & Economic Development, Kentucky Community & Technical College System and the Department Chair, Manufacturing Engineering Technologies-Technical Careers Division; Lead Faculty/Faculty - Computer Aided Drafting & Design, Technical Careers Division, Lansing Community
Dr. Richard L. Pattenaude joined Ashford University in 2012 as President and Chief Executive Officer, bringing with him more than 40 years of experience in various leadership positions in higher education. From 2007-2012, Dr. Pattenaude served as Chancellor of the University of Maine System, after serving for 16 years as President of the University of Southern Maine. He also spent five years as Vice President for Academic Affairs at Central Connecticut State University, five years as Associate Vice President for Academic Affairs at the State University of New York at Binghamton, and six years as a member of the Political Science faculty and the Associate Dean of Arts and Sciences at Drake University.
Brenna Preisser leads Talent Management and Learning and Development for Brunswick Corporation. She has 13 years of progressive experience as an HR Business Partner and over the past five years she has led the Human Resource function for two of Brunswick's core divisions.
Dr. Jill Wakefield is a visionary leader recognized for developing strategic partnerships and innovative solutions and for the depth of her experience in higher education. She became chancellor of the Seattle College District in January 2009 after serving five years as president at South Seattle College, where she directed the development of leading-edge programs and an architecturally vibrant campus. During her 30-year career at South, she also served in a wide variety of positions.
Client Adoption, Sales Effectivenss, and Messaging, Monster
Eric Winegardner is Vice President of Client Adoption for Monster Worldwide. Eric is a skilled professional recruiter with wide exposure to Internet sourcing. He joined the Monster team in 2004 after being a vocal customer for over six years. Eric was a charter member of the Monster Customer Advisory Group and worked with the executive management team to set direction for emerging products and services. Prior to joining Monster, he was responsible for the US recruiting operations of a Fortune 500 financial services organization. He also spent three years as a recruiter in a niche Executive Search firm.
Chief Human Resources Officer, Covanta Energy Corporation
Michael “Mike” A. Wright is Senior Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer of Covanta, a world leader in sustainable waste management and renewable energy. Mr. Wright joined Covanta in June 2009 and is charged with leading the Human Resources function on a global basis in the areas of strategy and programs, labor relations, compensation, benefits, and talent management. From April 2008 to April 2009, he served as President of The Wright Group, Inc., a boutique Human Capital consulting firm specializing in the areas of Leadership Development & Diversity, Labor & Employee Relations, Performance Management & Coaching, and Change Management. Prior to starting his own business, Mike gained 25 years of hands-on experience in driving cultural and organizational change.
CAEL’s Leaders Council is a group of thought-leaders who represent CAEL’s work in adult learning to their networks, emphasizing the urgent need to bring new research, innovation, and advocacy to life, and talking about the philanthropy required to support it.
President and CEO of CAEL since 1990, Pamela Tate is recognized for her work within the higher education, public, and private sectors to make it easier for adults to get the education and training they need to succeed. Pam has worked with employers on tuition assistance policy, implementation of career and educational advising for employees, and exemplary practices in employee learning and development. She has led CAEL in the development of projects that unite business, government, labor and postsecondary education to address workforce skill shortages - resulting in industry-sponsored degree and certificate programs on-line, industry-wide career pathways programs, and regional lifelong learning and talent development initiatives. Among Pam’s numerous professional activities, she currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Excelsior College, and is a member of the Commission on Quality Assurance and Alternative Higher Education, formed in 2013 by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation. Pam completed her doctoral coursework at the University of Pennsylvania, Annenberg School of Communications, and earned master’s degrees in both English and Journalism from the University of Illinois at Champaign.
Since the founding of CAEL in 1974, Diana has held numerous positions in the organization. Currently, she manages association services such as the annual CAEL International Conference, Prior Learning Assessment training workshops and webinars, and higher education publications. Prior to this, she served as Managing Editor of The CAEL News, Director of Training for Workforce Development, and Director of Conferences and Training. Diana has extensive experience designing and delivering training for prior learning assessors and education advisors, and for managing these networks. She has also been instrumental in policy development and implementation of comprehensive learning systems for both employed and retrenched workers in the U.S. and South Africa.
Scott A. Campbell, Ph.D. leads the area of higher education services. Scott brings more than twenty years of leadership experience from the college and university context. Scott came to CAEL after serving more than eight years as the Dean for the School of Graduate and Professional Studies at Edgewood College in Madison, WI. Prior to his appointment at Edgewood College, Scott was Executive Director of Partnership Development for New Ventures of Regis University, an innovative organization which assisted colleges to develop their adult and accelerated degree programs. Scott received his PhD in Higher Education and Student Affairs Leadership from the University of Northern Colorado (December 2005). He holds his Master’s degree from the University of Missouri – Kansas City and a B.A. in History from the University of Oklahoma. He was drafted by and played with the Montreal Expos organization for two seasons following his collegiate career.
Beth Doyle leads LearningCounts, CAEL’s online portfolio assessment service. She oversees the academic team to ensure high quality delivery of online courses, compassionate student support, and rigorous assessment of learning. Beth also supervises operations and technology processes to ensure streamlined delivery of portfolio assessment and develops process and technology improvements that will prepare LearningCounts for substantial growth. Previously, Beth was the Associate Vice President for Marketing and Communications at CAEL. In that role, she served on the original planning team for LearningCounts with CAEL Board of Trustees members, higher education leaders, and higher education policy experts. She created the initial LearningCounts marketing plan and later served on the 2015 task force, which examined the evolving business model and growth potential of LearningCounts. For over 9 years, Beth has worked directly with CAEL’s highest-level clients and partners to raise awareness of CAEL and its mission and provide marketing consulting services and training.
She has 20 years of experience in brand building, marketing, and public relations. In her previous role as VP for Account Services at a Chicago advertising agency, Beth managed the development of successful marketing strategies, media plans, and market research for a wide range of companies, non-profit organizations, and educational institutions. Beth earned her bachelor’s degree as a returning adult student at the School for New Learning at DePaul University. She also has a certificate in advertising design from the College of DuPage and completed the Executive Development Program at Michigan State University.
Kristen joined CAEL in June 2012 as Director of Academic Technology and Student Engagement of LearningCounts. Today, she is the Senior Director of LearningCounts, leading all internal LearningCounts operations. Before joining CAEL, Kristen was part of the Innovation Lab at Southern New Hampshire University, where she helped write the proposal for a self-paced, competency based associate’s degree that was awarded the Next Generation Learning Challenge Grant for College Completion (SNHU’s College for America Program). Kristen also worked at the City Colleges of Chicago for nine years, managing academic technology projects, including a system-wide launch of their first Learning Management System! Kristen earned an M. Ed. from the University of Illinois and a Bachelor’s of Science in Communications and Musical Theater Certificate from Northwestern University. Also an actress and singer, Kristen continues to perform in Chicago. Past regional theatre appearances include Chicago Shakespeare Theater, The Second City, and Drury Lane Oak Brook.
Shawn is a convener, fixer and problem-solver who is firing on all cylinders when innovating or developing strategies to build and deploy successful business models and systems. At CAEL since 2006, she juggles a combination of business development, business strategy, product development and project delivery responsibilities. Shawn is a systematic thinker with strong interpersonal skills which she has leveraged to lead the creation of interactive workforce development strategies that increase awareness of, and job readiness for, the energy, telecommunications, healthcare, early childhood education and development, bio-science and advanced manufacturing industries. Shawn holds a bachelor of Journalism from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln and is currently taking graduate courses in Organizational Leadership with an emphasis in strategy and innovation.
Associate Vice President Client Relationships and Strategic Partnerships
Since joining CAEL in 1999, Susan has been instrumental in developing industry-led online education programs in the telecommunications industry, The National Coalition for Telecommunications and Learning (NACTEL) and a parallel initiative in the energy industry, the Energy Providers coalition for Education (EPCE), and has served as NACTEL’s Executive Director since 2001. Her broader work at CAEL has included the development of career pathways. Prior to coming to CAEL, Susan was the Director of Corporate Education at Regis University, Denver, Colorado. She holds a Master’s degree in Adult and Community Education from Colorado State University and works in CAEL’s Denver office.
Associate Vice President, Research and Policy Development
Becky Klein-Collins is the Associate Vice President, Research for CAEL with responsibilities in conducting new research to benefit adult learners and developing new approaches for policy change at both the federal and state levels. Since 1995, Becky has overseen a range of projects during her time with CAEL, from the integration of public and private funds for worker education and training to the administration of employer-funded tuition assistance programs. Her research projects have focused on the impact and value of prior learning assessment (PLA), competency-based degree programs, state indicators for adult learning, best practices in serving student veterans, mature workers, innovations in nursing education, exemplary practices of employers in workforce development, and system-transforming practices in workforce development. Becky has a bachelor’s degree from Grinnell College and master’s degrees from Indiana University and the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy.
As Vice President of Client Relations, Lynn leads the corporate-facing sales, account management and delivery activities of the organization. Lynn first joined CAEL in 1997 and has held a number of varied positions within the organization. From 2009 – 2013, Lynn transitioned to serve as Vice President for Sales and Marketing at EdLink, LLC, a tuition management company jointly owned by CAEL and ACT, Inc. When EdLink was sold successfully by CAEL in 2013, Lynn returned to CAEL as VP of Client Relations, where she focuses on strategic growth and customer satisfaction for CAEL’s corporate clients. Lynn has more than 30 years of business leadership experience in sales and marketing, management and program delivery, client relations, communications, editing and publishing. Lynn earned her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at New Paltz and, like many adult learners, had attended multiple intensive training programs and graduate courses as she traveled across the country to pursue her career.
Amy Sherman is the Associate Vice President of Innovation and Policy at CAEL. Her work focuses on increasing access to adult learning and improving its quality. At CAEL since 2001, Amy promotes policy that will strengthen America's workforce through research, coalition-building, advocacy, and technical assistance to state and federal policy leaders. Her diverse areas of expertise range from increasing degree completion through Prior Learning Assessments to building capacity at colleges and the workplace to better serve adult learners. Amy also leads CAEL’s work to expand educational opportunities for veterans and military-affiliated students. Prior to joining CAEL, Amy was Executive Director of the Manufacturing Workforce Development Project (MWDP), a project funded by the U.S. Dept. of Labor. Amy also practiced in the area of employment law at major law firms such as Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. Amy earned her law degree with honors from Northwestern University School of Law.
Gloria joined CAEL in December 2000 as the Director of Finance and Operations and was promoted to Associate Vice President of Finance in July 2009. She manages all of CAEL’S finances including the budget. For her entire career, she has been in accounting and finance for non-profit organizations. Gloria holds an MBA from Purdue University and passed the CPA exam in 2001.
Dorothy Wax, MS, PHR, CPLP has been with CAEL since January 2002, working with clients in telecommunications, finance, healthcare, and other industries to develop and provide career and educational advising programs for their active and transitioning workforce. In addition, she helps higher education institutions deliver high-quality advising services to adult learners and provides training on a variety of topics. Dorothy’s background includes more than 20 years in non-profit management including positions in fundraising, education, human resources, and public policy. Dorothy has also worked in human resources consulting, and as a broadcast and print journalist. Dorothy holds a master’s degree in human resource administration from Temple University, a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Moravian College, and a certificate in human resources from Cornell University.
Vice President, Workforce and Economic Development
Joel Simon joined the CAEL team in 2006, and created the Workforce and Economic Development division in 2012. Joel brings more than 20 years of experience working with community stakeholders to increase engagement, wealth and quality of life. He has provided consulting to multi-stakeholder workforce and economic development initiatives in 41 states, and has worked with public and private partnerships to understand and address skills needs in a variety of existing and emerging sectors. Prior to joining CAEL he worked for the Computing Technology Industry Association (CompTIA) to address skills challenges in the Information Technology sector and develop partnerships between communities and IT firms. From 1999-2004 he served as the Assistant Director of Workforce Solutions – the employer services arm of the City of Chicago’s Mayor’s Office of Workforce Development where he supported the City of Chicago’s efforts to attract, retain and expand businesses by designing and implementing workforce development initiatives for economic development prospects and projects. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Northwestern University and a Master of Arts from the University of Chicago.
Phyllis has led CAEL’s Philadelphia regional office since 1993, and now holds the position of CAEL Senior Advisor. She was responsible for designing and implementing the Department of Labor funded Nursing Career Lattice program in 10 sites throughout the country. As part of her interest in designing initiatives for mature workers, Phyllis has conducted research for the Conference Board and Civic Ventures, helped to develop and implement the Tapping Mature Talent project, and created the Mentors 4 STEM program. Phyllis and the workforce development staff have created many CAEL consulting products, including Educational Strategy Sessions, Workforce 2.0 tools, and Supervisor Circles. She has also served on the CAEL team that consulted with the MassJobs Council to shape the One-Stop Career Center System in Massachusetts. Phyllis’ educational background includes a master's degree in teaching from Harvard University, a master's degree in city planning from the University of Pennsylvania, and a bachelor’s degree from Smith College.
Jo has just taken over the position of Vice President for Product Development at CAEL. Throughout her professional career, Jo has created and established innovative and sustainable workforce solutions. In her most recent leadership role with CAEL, she provided strategic guidance and oversight for CAEL’s signature initiatives: NACTEL and EPCE, two online industry alliances that were established in the late 1990’s. These two innovative workforce collaboratives were established with the telecommunications, electric and nuclear utilities industries to create high quality, online, contextualized degree and training programs in response to industry workforce needs. Throughout her thirty-five year professional career, Jo has led and managed new and enterprising solutions for local, regional and national clients. The teams Jo has led have been successful in their design and delivery of client-focused solutions in the field of adult learning. Jo has held numerous leadership positions in a social service agency and in two Denver-based community colleges. Jo earned a master's degree from the University of Denver and a bachelor's degree from the University of Kansas. Over her career, Jo has served on a number of both community non-profit and for-profit business boards of directors. Representing CAEL, Jo interfaces with leaders in workforce development, philanthropy, economic development and higher education in the Denver area and across the Rocky Mountain region.
Associate Vice President, Client Relations and Career Services
Laura is the Associate Vice President, Client Relations and Career Services. She rejoined CAEL in 2011 as Senior Project Director where she designed, developed and implemented projects in higher education, business and industry, and workforce development. From 1986 to 1999, Laura served in a variety of roles at CAEL including Director of Operations, Director of Program Design and Research, Managing Director of Workforce Program Delivery and Vice President for Product and Service Development. Laura completed doctoral coursework at the University of Pennsylvania where she worked for several years in the Department of Psychiatry in research, editorial and administrative positions. She also holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pennsylvania in psychology and communications.
Gabi Zolla currently serves as Chief Operating Officer. She oversees finance, human resources and grants management, while also leading CAEL’s Innovation and Policy Unit. Gabi joined CAEL in July 2000 as the Director of the President’s Office, before moving into the position of VP for Research, Policy, and Programs. In her tenure at CAEL, Gabi managed a 3-site, 7-year demonstration of Lifelong Learning Accounts in the hospitality, manufacturing and healthcare sectors-where employers matched employee education contributions and tested out a new savings model. Gabi also managed a 10 site, Department of Labor-funded Tapping Mature Talent initiative, where she worked deeply with communities on investing in their fifty-five plus workforce. Before joining CAEL, Gabi was the Communications Manager for the American Bar Association’s Commission on Women. She has an extensive background in philanthropy, having worked at both the Ford Foundation and the Annie E. Casey Foundation. Gabi holds a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law and a bachelor’s degree in English from Knox College.