Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Thomas C. Dawson serves as Strada Education Network’s executive vice president and chief operating officer. In this position, he oversees on a day-to-day basis the shared services that support the Strada Education companies.
Executive Vice President, Corporate and Business Development
As Strada Education Network’s executive vice president, Corporate and Business Development, Mark L. Pelesh is responsible for exploring new strategic directions and additional opportunities for Strada Education to serve students in higher education.
Senior Vice President, External and Government Relations
Alison R. Griffin has more than 15 years of experience in higher education policy. As senior vice president, External and Government Relations, she manages external affairs and thought leadership events for Strada Education Network and its companies.
Senior Vice President and Chief Talent Officer
Terry Holloway has more than 22 years of experience in talent management and human resources. As Strada Education Network’s senior vice president and chief talent officer, he directs the organization’s talent strategy, including key role succession and talent pipeline management, associate and leadership development, and team effectiveness.
Senior Vice President, Corporate Development and President, Education at Work
As Strada Education Network’s senior vice president, Corporate Development, Larry A. Lutz is responsible for directing business investment, acquisition and partnering initiatives. He serves as president of Education at Work, a Strada Education Network company.
Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President, Operational Support
Shital Patel is responsible for all aspects of Strada Education Network’s information technology and services. She leads the exploration of emerging information service opportunities, issues and solutions for the organization.
Board of Trustees
The Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C.
The Rev. E. William Beauchamp, C.S.C. is president emeritus of the University of Portland, having served as president of that institution for 11 years. He currently is chair of the Finance and Audit Committee of Strada Education Network, formerly USA Funds, and serves on the organization’s Mission Advancement and Philanthropy Committee. Beauchamp was elected to the USA Funds and USA Group boards in 1998.
He served on the board of Lumina Foundation from 2000-2008. He previously was senior vice president of the University of Portland, executive vice president of the University of Notre Dame, and assistant professor of business and associate director of admissions at Alma College. He also has worked as an attorney in private practice and as a financial analyst. Beauchamp received his Bachelor of Science and MBA degrees from the University of Detroit, and his juris doctor and Master of Divinity degrees from the University of Notre Dame.
Beauchamp serves on numerous boards, including those for the University of Notre Dame, Stonehill College, and Holy Cross Family Ministries. He also is on the Honors Committee for the NCAA. Additionally, Beauchamp serves as a member of the Provincial Council for his religious order, the Congregation of Holy Cross, and is the order’s assistant provincial and steward.
Marlene V. Coulis
Marlene V. Coulis was elected to the board of Strada Education Network, then known as USA Funds, in 2011. She currently serves on Strada Education’s Compensation, Mission Advancement and Philanthropy, and Governance committees.
She is a marketing strategy consultant with Coulis Consulting, which provides strategic and actionable marketing solutions to drive brand growth within the consumer and retail environment. Coulis brings to the Strada Education Network board more than 25 years of experience in marketing, advertising, marketing research and strategic planning. Previously, Coulis was a marketing executive with Anheuser-Busch Inc. for 18 years, most recently serving as vice president of consumer strategy, insights and innovation. In addition, she led the integration of the total marketing approach into the combined Anheuser-Busch InBev global company. Coulis also had served on the corporation’s strategy committee, a group of the most senior executives responsible for setting the company’s strategic course. During her tenure, she helped the company become a leading beverage innovator by expanding its brand portfolio to include a full line of American and craft-style beers, select imports, and premium specialty beverages.
Coulis is a graduate of Ball State University. She also is on the board of trustees for Embarc, a Chicago-based three-year program that provides community-driven, experienced-based learning opportunities to low-income high school students to inspire and prepare them for college and career success.
Blake E. Devitt
Blake E. Devitt is a retired CPA and senior audit partner from Ernst & Young, an international public accounting and auditing firm. He was elected to the board of Strada Education Network, then known as USA Funds, in 2006. He currently serves as chair of Strada Education’s Investment Committee and serves on the Finance and Audit Committee.
Devitt was employed with E&Y for 33 years in a variety of roles, including, most recently, national director of the pharmaceutical and medical device industry practice for the firm. Earlier in his career, he was named to a term as an accounting fellow at the Financial Accounting Standards Board, where he researched and helped resolve emerging financial reporting issues while on leave from E&Y. During the late ’80s and early ’90s, he served as the partner in charge of E&Y’s annual financial audits of USA Funds and USA Group. Devitt received his undergraduate degree from Bradley University and his MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
He serves on the board of directors of Baxalta Inc., a global biopharmaceutical company.
Marshall C. Grigsby
Marshall C. Grigsby is president and chief executive officer of Grigsby & Associates LLC, a consulting firm that specializes in educational policy issues and the legislative process. Grigsby was elected to the board of Strada Education Network, then known as USA Funds, in 2002. He currently serves as chair of Strada Education’s Governance Committee and is on the Mission Advancement and Philanthropy Committee.
Grigsby has served as the senior legislative associate for higher education with the Committee on Education and the Workforce of the U.S. House of Representatives. Prior to his service on Capitol Hill, he was an associate dean and faculty member at Howard University, executive vice president and provost and chief operating officer at Hampton University, and president of Benedict College. Grigsby also is the founder, president and CEO of Educational Research Systems, a nonprofit research organization that focuses on comprehensive socioeconomic, educational and policy issues affecting minority students and students of color. He continues to offer consulting and evaluation services to institutions of higher education throughout the United States.
In 2003 Grigsby was inducted into “The History Makers,” a national video database of outstanding African-Americans. The database is housed in the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. He received his undergraduate education at Morehouse College and earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Chicago.
Michael D. King
Michael D. King was elected to the board of Strada Education Network, then known as USA Funds, in 2015. He currently is a member of Strada Education’s Compensation and Investment committees. He is vice president and general manager, global education industry, for IBM, with responsibility for strategy, marketing and sales across schools and higher education. He oversees all facets of IBM’s work with K-12 schools and higher education institutions, including the development of industry-specific solutions. IBM’s portfolio in education includes consulting and information technology services, analytics tools and other software, as well as cloud and high-performance computing.
King has been with IBM for more than 30 years in various executive and management positions, with more than 20 years focused on education and learning. He has held a variety of roles in the education industry, developing programs like ThinkPad University, Insight at School and Learning Village. He also has worked in IBM’s corporate training segment, leading marketing, strategy and partner programs.
He has served on various client advisory groups, such as the California P16 Council, as well as industry associations, such as the Business Higher Education Forum, where he is a member of the Executive Committee. King also serves on the board of directors for both the IMS Global Learning Consortium and the Schools Interoperability Frameworks Association, standards organizations that foster industry collaboration to build more interoperable technology systems. He holds bachelor’s degrees in physics and engineering from Kansas State University and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles.
Erik I. Moreno
Erik I. Moreno serves as executive vice president, business development, for Time Inc., where he is responsible for formulating and executing the strategy for leveraging the more than 90 Time Inc. brands into new digital businesses and adjacencies. He was elected to the board of Strada Education Network, then known as USA Funds, in 2011. He currently serves on Strada Education’s Investment and Compensation committees.
In his previous role as senior vice president, corporate development, for Fox Networks Group, Moreno identified new business and strategic opportunities and worked on the company’s acquisitions and joint ventures. He also served as co-general manager of Mobile Content Venture, and he led 21st Century Fox’s efforts ahead of the Federal Communications Commission’s spectrum auction and other digital initiatives. Previously, he was director of corporate development for eBay Inc., and vice president of corporate development and strategy for Level 3 Communications, a global wholesale telecommunications company.
Moreno began his career at Gleacher & Co., a boutique investment bank specializing in mergers and acquisitions. He is a graduate of the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.
Ilene H. Nagel
Ilene H. Nagel was elected to the board of Strada Education Network, then known as USA Funds, in 2000. She currently serves as chair of Strada Education’s Mission Advancement and Philanthropy Committee and is on the Governance Committee. She is the leader of the higher education practice for Russell Reynolds Associates, focusing on searches for research universities and colleges, for presidents’ provosts, deans and other senior academic administrators. She also is a member of the not-for-profit practice and the academic medicine/health services practice, where she focuses on searches for CEOs of hospital systems affiliated with academic medical centers, for deans of medicine, and for chairs and chiefs of departments within the nation’s most prestigious medical schools.
Prior to joining Russell Reynolds Associates as a managing director, Nagel was the senior adviser to the University of California, senior vice president for academic affairs and provost, and to the Office of the President of the University of California System. Before joining the University of California Office of the President, Nagel was the executive vice chancellor (chief academic officer) of the University of California, Santa Barbara, and before that, dean of the graduate school and associate provost for research at the University of Maryland, College Park. She served for two decades as a full-time professor of law at Indiana University-Bloomington, with visiting appointments as a Guggenheim fellow at Yale Law School, as a fellow at Cambridge University, as a professor of law at Columbia University School of Law, and as a professor of law at the George Washington University School of Law. From 1985-1994, Nagel was a presidential appointee as a commissioner on the United States Sentencing Commission, a full-time, independent agency in the federal judiciary.
Nagel received her Master of Legal Studies degree from Stanford University School of Law and her doctoral degree from New York University. She also is on the Board of Palmetto GBA, a subsidiary of Blue Cross Blue Shield of South Carolina.
William R. Neale
William R. Neale is the senior partner with the law firm Krieg DeVault LLP in Indianapolis. He was elected to the board of Strada Education Network, then known as USA Funds, in 1997 and served as chairman of the board from 2000-2009. He currently serves on Strada Education’s Investment, Finance and Audit, and Mission Advancement and Philanthropy committees. He was director of USA Group from 1997-2000. He received Bachelor of Science and juris doctor degrees from Indiana University.
Neale has numerous community affiliations, including: director of Greater Indianapolis Chamber of Commerce and its executive committee; director of the Indiana University Research and Technology Corp.; a member of the Butler University Business Consulting Group advisory panel; a member and past chairman of the board of visitors of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law; emeritus board member and former chairman of Young Audiences of Indiana; member of Kiwanis Club of Indianapolis; and member of the Indianapolis, Indiana and American bar associations.
From 2000-2007 he served on the board of Lumina Foundation. From 1992-1995 he was a presidential appointee to the Council of the Administrative Conference of the United States, a federal agency formed to advise the executive, legislative and judicial branches concerning administrative law matters.
Ernest J. Newborn II
Ernest J. Newborn II is senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of USI Holdings Corp., the 12th largest insurance brokerage firm in the world. He was elected to the board of Strada Education Network, then called USA Funds, in 2000 and served as chairman of the board from 2009-2014. He currently serves as chair of Strada Education’s Compensation Committee and is a member of the Investment Committee.
He previously served as vice president, general counsel and corporate secretary of Acordia Inc., a formerly Indianapolis-based publicly held insurance brokerage administration company. Newborn also has previously served as associate counsel for Indianapolis-based Anthem Inc. He received his juris doctor degree from the University of Michigan and his undergraduate degree from Drake University.
Until he assumed his current role with USI, Newborn resided in Indianapolis and was active in the Indianapolis nonprofit community. He has received numerous awards for his civic and professional achievements.
Edward R. Schmidt
Edward R. Schmidt currently serves as chairman of the board of Strada Education Network, formerly USA Funds, and is a member of the Governance Committee. He is president and CEO of Silver Creek Partners LLC, based in suburban Indianapolis. He is a retired partner of the Indianapolis-based law firm Krieg, DeVault LLP, a former executive vice president of Sallie Mae Inc., and the former executive vice president, general counsel and secretary of USA Group Inc.
Schmidt joined USA Group in 1991. He was elected to USA Group’s board in 1993 and USA Funds’ board in 1996, and was a director and trustee until July 31, 2000. He was re-elected to the USA Funds board in 2001. He was a member of the Lumina Foundation board from 2001-2009. Schmidt previously served as president of Commonwealth Title Services of Indiana Inc., and senior vice president, general counsel and secretary of Wainwright Financial Corp. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Susquehanna University and a juris doctor degree from the University of Notre Dame. He is licensed to practice law in the states of Indiana, Michigan and Pennsylvania.
He is a member of the American, Indiana and Indianapolis bar associations. Schmidt serves on the boards of Susquehanna University; Indiana Hemophilia & Thrombosis Center; and the Indiana State Chapter of JDRF, the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.