Recreating the Future of Higher Education Via Proven Success
DR. JAY BOX
President of Kentucky Community and Technical College System
Dr. Box was named the second president of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) on November 19, 2014. He is a community college graduate and has more than 30 years of experience in community college leadership. Dr. Box has a history of leadership within KCTCS, having served as the president of Hazard Community and Technical College from 2002 – 2007, followed by being named KCTCS vice president. In 2009, he was named chancellor and served in that role until being selected president of the System.
Executive Director of the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers
Lee Lingo, Executive Director of the Kentucky Association of Manufacturers, has three decades of experience in non-profit management, sales, and marketing. He has successfully worked with stakeholders at all levels ranging from local to international to strengthen economic opportunities. He is a graduate of Murray State University, the US Chamber of Commerce’s Institute for Organizational Management, Leadership Hopkins County, and is a World Trade Center Kentucky Certified International Commerce Specialist. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Executives and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce's Infrastructure, Transportation, and Logistics and International Policy committees and currently serves on the KCTCS Foundation, Kentucky Association for Economic Development and World Trade Center Kentucky Board of Directors. Lee has been a strong national advocate for the completion of Interstate 69 which will connect Mexico and Canada
DR. MARY DARDEN
Dr. Mary Landon Darden became the President of HEI, LLC in 2015 after serving for five years as the Center Dean of Concordia University Texas San Antonio. She holds a doctorate from the Scholars of Practice program in Higher Education Administration at Baylor University and has more than two decades of higher education administration experience. She is the author of a book published with the American Council on Education (ACE) and Rowman and Littlefield (R&L) titled Beyond 2020: Envisioning the Future of Universities in America and is writing her second book on entrepreneurial leadership for the future of higher education, also to be published by R&L and ACE.
HON. CHET EDWARDS
U.S. Congress 1991-2010 and Texas State Senate 1983-1990
Chet Edwards served for eight years in the Texas Senate and 20 years in the U.S. House of Representatives. In the Texas Senate, Edwards was a Member of the Senate Education Committee, and Texas Monthly named him “One of Ten Outstanding Legislators.” In the U.S. House, Edwards was a Chief Deputy Whip and served on the Budget, Armed Services, Veterans Affairs and Appropriations Committees. He wrote the 2009 law that provides a full GI college scholarship to every military child in America who has lost a mother or father in service to country. Edwards graduated in 1974 with a BA in Economics from Texas A&M University and in 1981 received an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
MS. RAMONA CURTIS
Director of Diversity Outreach Programs at Tulsa Community College
Ms. Ramona Curtis is the Director of Diversity Outreach Programs at Tulsa Community College. She is responsible for Diversity Outreach Programs including the Diversity Outreach Center. She retired from Baylor University and moved to Tulsa in 2019. In 2015 she won the Baylor University Diversity Enhancement Award for her tireless work on campus, and in and outside our community promoting diversity in its many forms, seeking social justice, and to inspiring cultural competency.
DR. GREG LEMAN
Clinical Professor of Innovation at Baylor University
Dr. Leman is a Clinical Professor in Entrepreneurship at Baylor University. His current role is focused on gaining early stage funding that enables Baylor research-based tech companies to launch in the local region. He recently served as a Loaned Executive, filling the role of Executive Director for Start Up Waco, a newly founded nonprofit whose mission is to formalize and optimize the greater Waco ecosystem for entrepreneurship. He is the Founder of the LAUNCH Innovative Business Accelerator at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC). The primary focus of LAUNCH has been on accelerating on-target innovation at firms ranging from start-ups to Fortune 100 clients around the globe. Over the past 11 years, as a tech-biz venture coach, he has accumulated a 75% success rate in taking teams to their next major strategic milestone, and his clients include national innovation competition winners.
DR. RICHARD FOSSEY
Paul Burdin Endowed Professor of Education at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette
Dr. Fossey has a doctorate in Educational Policy and Planning from Harvard University and a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law. He taught Higher Education Law for 25 years and was lead editor of a higher education Law text titled Contemporary Issues in Higher Education Law (2nd and 3rd editions). He conducts research and teaches graduate-level courses in education law and policy. Prior to pursuing a higher-education career, he practiced law in Alaska, where he represented a number of rural school districts in Alaska Native communities.
DR. ROBERT C. CLOUD
Professor of Educational Leadership at Baylor University and Former President of Lee College
Dr. Cloud is a professor of higher education and chair of the Department of Educational Leadership (EDL) at Baylor University. He holds four academic degrees and is a former community college administrator, having served as president of Lee College in Texas for ten years and as vice president and dean in three other Texas colleges. Dr. Cloud’s current research interests include higher education leadership, educational law and policy, current issues, governance, the federal student loan program and student debt, and organizational behavior. His edited books on legal issues and governance in the community colleges are required reading in graduate higher education leadership programs across the nation, and his 1995 booklet titled Drugs in Society was a National Health Information Awards winner.
DR. ROGER PARROTT
President of Belhaven University
Dr. Roger Parrott is in his 31st year as President of Belhaven University in Jackson, Mississippi, serving 5,000 students through both traditional and innovative delivery systems. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in Higher Education Administration. He is a third-generation college president and was one of America’s youngest college presidents when first elected at age 34. He has served on a variety of national higher education boards, as well as on international ministry boards. Roger is the author a book articulating his leadership philosophy – The Longview: Lasting Strategies for Rising Leaders.
DR. ALEX PARNIA
Dr. Alex Parnia currently is the president of MSM-USA, a leading worldwide platform supporting the international education sector. Prior to joining MSM, Dr. Parnia was the president of EC Higher Education, where he formed pathway partnerships with U.S. universities that are ranked in the top 200 by U.S. News and World Report. Previously, as president of Pacific Oaks College & Children’s School, he closed a deficit gap of $4 million within 24 months, increased revenue from $8 million to $22 million and grew the enrollment from 480 to 1300 students all within three years. Dr. Parnia has also served as provost of Nichols College, executive vice president of Cambridge College and was a tenured faculty member.
PROFESSOR ROBERT DARDEN
Professor Journalism, Public Relations and New Media
Professor Darden is the author of more than two dozen books. As one of the nation's leading experts on black gospel music, he is the founder of the Black Gospel Music Restoration Project -- the world's largest initiative to identify, acquire, scan, catalogue and digitize America's fast-vanishing legacy of vinyl from gospel music's "Golden Age." Darden and his research and collection have been featured in The New York Times, Fresh Air with Terry Gross, the BBC, NPR and hundreds of other media outlets and provides the gospel music for the Smithsonian's National Museum of African American History & Culture.
DR. Steve Tyrell
President of Excalibur Consulting Group, and former President of North Country Community College
Dr. Steve Tyrell currently is the president of Excalibur Consulting Group (ECG). ECG provides critical assessments and innovative implementation plans for institutions responding to fiscal constraint, enrollment declines and political unrest. With 36 years in higher education, Tyrell served the last seven years as president at North Country Community College and 29 years prior in student affairs and student support services at Alfred State College, MIT, Michigan Tech and SUNY New Paltz. He has a doctorate in Rhetoric and Technical Communication from Michigan Tech and a masters and baccalaureate degree from SUNY New Paltz.