Meet The Team
President of Higher Education Innovation, LLC
DR. MARY LANDON DARDEN
Higher Education futurist Mary Landon Darden is President of Higher Education Innovation, LLC and author of Beyond 2020: Envisioning the Future of Universities in America and the soon to be released Entrepreneuring the Future of Higher Education: Radical Transformation in Times of Profound Change. She earned a doctorate in Higher Education Administration from Baylor University, has nearly three decades of experience in college and university leadership, research, teaching, writing, and speaking. Darden served for five years as a university campus dean and currently offers higher education leadership/entrepreneurship workshops through HEI for college and university presidents and administrators.
Transformation and Innovation Coach
DR. GREG LEMAN
Dr. Gregory Leman is a Transformation and Innovation Coach, Consultant and Change Process Leader. He is a global innovator, an innovation leader and a transformation systems designer-implementer. Leman is a Black Belt in the Innovation Engineering™ System. He served in various operations and innovation leadership roles at Dow Chemical, Cabot Corporation, Cabot-Hüls (Rheinfelden, Germany) and at Great Lakes Chemical until 2005, when he joined Baylor’s faculty. As Clinical Professor in Entrepreneurship at Baylor University, Leman created and led the Technology Entrepreneurship Initiative, including the i5 Practicum in Technology Commercialization in China. He founded the LAUNCH Innovative Business Accelerator at the Baylor Research and Innovation Collaborative (BRIC). He also served as Executive Director of the Start Up Waco entrepreneurial ecosystem for the Waco region.
Leman currently serves as Practice Leader for Innovation and Entrepreneurship track, HEI Visionary Presidents Institute, delivering workshops for current and aspirational College and University Presidents to prepare them to lead transformation on their campuses, and serves in innovation project leader roles on these campuses as needed. He also serves as Chief Engineering Officer for Green Carbon Technologies, a rapidly growing startup turning industrial hemp into green chemistry industrial products.
TEXAS SOUTHMOST COLLEGE
VICE PRESIDENT OF INSTRUCTION
JOANNA KILE, ED.D.
Dr. Joanna L. Kile is currently Vice President of Instruction at Texas
Southmost College. She also has served as the Associate Vice Chancellor
of Workforce Instruction, Executive Director of Transformation, and
Executive Director of the Global Energy Training Institute at Houston
Community College. She holds a doctorate in higher education
administration from Baylor University and a master’s degree in human
genetics from the University of North Texas. With more than twenty-five
years of community college administration experience, her focus is on the
transformation of and innovation in higher education and her expertise is in workforce development.
Legal Issues Coach
WILLIAM R. FOSSEY, PH.D., J.D.
Dr. Richard Fossey is a Professor Emeritus at the University of Louisiana and a former Paul Burdin Endowed Professor of Education. He earned a doctorate in Educational Policy and Planning from Harvard University and a J.D. from The University of Texas School of Law. Dr. Fossey 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.
Special Projects Coach
ROBERT F. DARDEN
Robert F. Darden is the author of 25 books and the co-founder of the world's largest initiative to digitize America's fast-vanishing legacy of Black Gospel music. The Black Gospel Music Restoration Project has been featured in most major radio networks, newspapers and magazines in the United States, Canada, Great Britain and Ireland, and has brought Baylor unparalleled positive attention. Darden, himself the winner of every Baylor University teaching and research award, is a dynamic charismatic presenter, and is as at home in African American churches as on Fresh Air with Terri Gross and in the New York Times, among others. His music-fueled presentations about how universities can use hitherto-unknown collections to reinvigorate donations and create an unsurpassed body of public good has made him a much in demand speaker on colleges and settings on both sides of the Atlantic.
Chief Leadership Innovation Officer
DR. JAY K. BOX
Dr. Jay K. Box has 30 years of outstanding community college leadership, including as President of the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) – one of the top 10 systems in the country. He served on the White House’s American Workforce Policy Advisory Board, the national board for Rebuilding America’s Middle Class, and the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board. Dr. Box was also a member of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s National Advisory Group, the American Association of Community Colleges’ Sustainability Education and Economic Task Force, Southern Regional Education Board’s Commission on Career and Technical Education, and the Aspen Institute’s Innovation In Higher Education Working Group.
Dr. Box is the 2020 recipient of the Lifetime Leadership Award from Higher Education Innovation.
Philanthropy and Development Coach
BENJAMIN MOHLER, M.A., CFRE, ACFRE
Benjamin Mohler is an advancement professional and philanthropic facilitator with 20 years of experience leading institutional advancement offices at both private and public universities, and for a community college system. His background includes key advancement roles at Eastern Kentucky University, the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, Cedarville University, and the University of Texas at Austin. Most recently, he served as the Vice President of Institutional Advancement for the Kentucky Community and Technical College System (KCTCS) and as the Executive Director of the KCTCS Foundation, Inc. In this role, Mr. Mohler helped the KCTCS Foundation increase annual fundraising results by tenfold within two years. Mr. Mohler is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE) and has earned the Advanced Certified Fundraising Executive (ACFRE) credential. He currently serves on the ACFRE Credentialing Board. Mr. Mohler is a longstanding member of the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) and served on the publishing advisory committee for the AFP/John Wiley & Sons Fund Development Series for six years, the last two years as chair. He also serves on the board for the United Way of Kentucky. The AFP Bluegrass Chapter honored him with their Exemplary Service Award in 2015
Government Relations Coach
HON. CHET EDWARDS
The Hon. Chet Edwards served 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 10 outstanding legislatures. In the U.S. House Edwards was Chief Deputy Whip and served on the budget, Armed Forces, Veteran 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 and service to the country. Edwards graduated in from Texas A&M University in 1974 with a BA in economics, and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 1981.
Edwards describes himself as a “recovering politician.”
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Coach