Chris Wilford has over 20 years of experience quarterbacking marketing and business initiatives in the technology and higher education sectors. Since 2004 Chris has held marketing leadership positions in the OPM space or as a consultant that constructed strategic marketing plans that drove revenue and online enrollment growth for clients such as: Villanova University, University of South Florida, Scranton, Jacksonville, and Michigan State universities among others.
Chris is noted for engineering innovative, strategic marketing plans that propelled enrollments for undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs. Pioneering new markets and educational products for a range of partners, Chris has designed marketing solutions that prioritized ROI, leveraged the latest marketing techniques to create strong program and institutional differentiation strategies, all while simultaneously meeting student quality metrics. Chris earned a BS in Business Management from Brigham Young University, and a MBA from the University of Phoenix.
Bethany comes to Emerge Education with a BS in University Studies – Business from Texas A&M University. Her extensive experience as the Senior Accounting Manager for Hersha Hospitality Management brings a new, fresh perspective to the accounting team. Beth is also passionate about volunteering and is currently a member of the Steering Committee for the United Way of the Capital Region’s LINC Program.
As an Information Systems Consultant to Emerge Education, Shawn Boksan formulates technology visions and incorporates them as technological developments.
Shawn sets the standards for technological development at Emerge by implementing and managing organizational information systems, software applications and IT support and infrastructure systems. He also directs IT plans, schedules, policies and programs for data processing, network communication, business operations, computer services and management. Shawn has a varied background in project management, IT and marketing/graphic design and has worked in all capacities during his career. He owned a successful IT consulting business providing solutions and support to small and mid-size organizations in Pennsylvania.
Shawn served in the US Army as a Special Forces Communications Operator from 1990-1996 in various worldwide locations achieving an honorable discharge. He resides in Seven Valleys, Pennsylvania with his wife, Courtney and their four children.
Connect with Shawn on linkedin here.
GERARD P. O’SULLIVAN, Ph.D. serves as Emerge Education’s Senior VP for Accreditation and Compliance. Dr. O’Sullivan holds a Ph.D. from The University of Pennsylvania, a master’s degree from Vanderbilt University and the baccalaureate degree, summa, from Fordham University. He is also a graduate of Harvard University’s Institute for Educational Management. For almost thirty years, Dr. O’Sullivan has served independent higher education in roles of increasing responsibility, from faculty member and program director through Dean, Vice President for Academic Affairs, and then Provost. Dr. O’Sullivan has published articles in Change: The Magazine of Higher Education, Dean & Provost, Thought and elsewhere.
Dr. O’Sullivan is a reviewer for The Journal of Catholic Education and The Journal of Catholic Higher Education and he was a charter member of the team which developed the Association of Catholic Colleges and Universities’ CIMA rubrics and evaluation instrument (Catholic Identity and Mission Assessment). For the past fifteen years, he has served the Middle States Commission for Higher Education as an evaluation team chair, team member, and Periodic Review Report reader and he has worked with the Pennsylvania Department of Education on several projects related to effective measures of instructional hours, state authorization, and approval of out-of-state IHEs. Dr. O’Sullivan has also written, co-written and directed successful multi-million dollar grants and grant activities from USDE (Title III, Strengthening Institutions Program), The Teagle Foundation, Lumina, and others.
He is a long-standing member of and mentor for the Council of Independent Colleges (CIC). He also assisted members of the Pennsylvania Legislature in drafting model legislation for the Commonwealth’s adoption of SARA, the State Authorization Reciprocity Agreement. He is especially interested in strategic preparedness, strategic planning and budgeting, accreditation and compliance.
Jim has 20 years of experience at the administration level within higher education institutions. He now uses that experience to help connect higher ed institutions with solutions that allow them to move from surviving to thriving.
Oversees activities related to the business development of Emerge Education and the academic strategy for Emerge’s partner institutions. Held roles as the VP of External Relations, Academic Dean and Director of Online Enrollment at Crown College (MN). Currently serves as a Business Development Consultant at Mission Advancement as well as a J Center Affiliate at the University of Minnesota. Click here to read Jim’s dissertation.
Connect with Jim on linkedin here.
During his 11-year term as President of Midway College, a small private liberal arts school in Kentucky, William B. Drake, Jr. accomplished significant results, including a tripled enrollment and endowment, a masters level change with the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS), and expanded the campus while adding no long-term debt.
With the help of his resourceful spirit of leadership, the college recorded the greatest enrollment growth in its history and expanded its mission in serving more students in need of a special, nurturing environment. Prior to leading Midway College to significant growth, Dr. Drake served as the Vice President for Development at two institutions and was directly responsible for raising in excess of 100 million dollars over a ten-year period.
Dr. Drake currently serves as the Senior Vice President for Accreditation with Emerge Education. He provides a unique set of services to ensure that institutions meet reaffirmation guidelines or deliberatively move off of probation or warning statuses with SACS. Additionally, Dr. Drake serves as a Trustee of Sweet Briar College in Virginia, where he provides significant leadership to the board and administration.
He is a Member of the Registry of College and University Presidents and served as a Trustee for the Commission on Colleges, Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (2009-2012). He served on over 25 SACSCOC Committees and 15 National Accreditation Committees and was a member of the Executive Committee of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics and the Women’s College Coalition.
Scott works in collaboration with our clients and our own knowledgeable teams to design and implement successful partnerships.
He draws from 25-years of broad professional experience, including his work with Embanet and Embanet-Compass Knowledge Group, where he developed a solid reputation for building strong client relationships. Most recently, he was responsible for synchronizing technology assets and people resources at Pearson Education in pursuit of large scale, enterprise-wide partnerships.
Prior to his career in higher education, Scott served as a lead executive at a pre-eminent statewide association, where he was responsible for every aspect of administration and management from budgeting, personnel and policy matters to new project development and public relations. Scott earned his BA from Indiana University of Pennsylvania and MPA (ABT) from Pennsylvania State University.
Connect with Scott on linkedin here.
Mr. Balsavage currently holds the position of CEO at Advantage Engineers which is an engineering consulting firm specializing in telecommunications and geotechnical engineering. As founder of the firm, he has developed and led a management team and directed the firm to annual sales of over $20 million with 5 regional offices serving the mid-Atlantic region. Advantage has been recognized in multiple trade publications as a leader in the industry and recognized in 2013 in the top 100 fastest growing engineering firms in the US.
Mr. Balsavage holds a BSCE from Pennsylvania State University and is a licensed professional engineer in Maryland, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. He is a member grade of the American Society of Civil Engineers and Geotechnical Institute. He is a member of the Pennsylvania Society of Professional Engineers and has served on the board of directors for this organization.
David L. Desfor serves as Treasurer and Corporate Secretary of Hersha Hospitality Trust(NYSE: HT) and has been a principal partner of the Hersha Group since 1991. The Hersha Group is comprised of affiliated businesses surrounding the construction, ownership, and management of hotel properties.
Mr. Desfor is comptroller of the Hersha Group of Companies. In this role, he is responsible for managing the corporate treasury and overseeing financial reporting for the company. He has been involved in the hospitality industry since 1982. Prior to joining Hersha, Mr. Desfor co-founded and served as President of a management company whose concentration was focused on conference centers and full-service hotels. Mr. Desfor has served, and continues to serve, as a board member for various community service organizations. These affiliations include The Whitaker Center, Channels Food Rescue, and Harrisburg Academy. Along with his business Partners at Hersha Group, philanthropy is one of his passions. David earned his undergraduate degree from East Stroudsburg University in Hotel Administration.
Michael S. Murchie is a Senior Vice President for M&T Bank Corporation and responsible for M&T’s Commercial Specialty Businesses which includes bank wide responsibility for the following businesses: Investment Banking; Asset Based Finance; Commercial Equipment Finance; Healthcare; Not for Profit; Government Banking; Financial Institutions; National; International Trade Finance and Private Equity. In addition, Michael is a member of many committees at M&T including the bank’s Senior Loan Committee, Maryland Manager’s Loan Committee and Executive Sponsor of the Relationship Enhancement Committee.
Prior to Michael’s current role, he was a Regional President for over ten years for M&T Bank leading M&T Bank’s Pennsylvania’s Community Banking initiative in the Central and Western regions (which includes Harrisburg, Carlisle, Chambersburg, Altoona and Pittsburgh), and also directing Commercial Banking operations in those regions.
Furthermore, Mike had oversight responsibilities for M&T’s Community Banking and Commercial Banking efforts in its Northern Pennsylvania Region (which includes State College, Williamsport, Wilkes- Barre, Scranton and Pottsville)
Mike received a Bachelor’s of Arts from Williams College, cum laude and a Master’s of Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
He began his banking career with M&T Bank in Buffalo, N.Y. in 1991 as a commercial real estate lender. He relocated to Portland, Oregon in 1996 to launch M&T Bank’s commercial real estate operation in the Pacific Northwest. While in Oregon, he became a founding member of the Portland Affordable Housing Trust.
In 2001, Mike relocated to Harrisburg, Pa to lead the Commercial Real Estate Lending team in Pennsylvania. In 2002, he became President of the Southern Pennsylvania region (now known as the Central and Western Pennsylvania region).
Dr. Eric Spangenberg is in his first year as Dean of the Paul Merage School of Business at the University of California, Irvine. He previously served nine years as Dean of the Carson College of Business at Washington State University.
Dean Spangenbergs’s expertise in, and commitment to online program delivery led to the Carson College being recognized in US News & World Report as the number 1 program for 2013 in online graduate business education; these programs were also recognized in 2013 as number 1 with regard to serving active military personnel and veterans. Similarly, his commitment to internationalization of the Carson College resulted in rankings over the last several years consistently in the top 20 in international business in US News & World Report. The Carson College has also been ranked for several other research accomplishments.
An award winning teacher and world-renowned researcher, Dr Spangenberg earned a Ph.D. in marketing, with an emphasis in social psychology, from the University of Washington in 1990. He maintains an active research agenda and is committed to graduate education, serving as chair or dissertation committee member for several Ph.D. students across several disciplines; he has also remained globally active as a graduate mentor and instructor while serving as dean. Dr. Spangenberg’s research interests include psychometrics, social influence, and environmental psychology. He is particularly well-known for his work on the effects of olfactory and musical cues in the retail environment as well as for the effects of self-prediction on people’s future behaviors. His research has been published in the field’s top journals including the Journal of Marketing, the Journal of Marketing Research, the Journal of Consumer Research, the Journal of Consumer Psychology, the Journal of Retailing, and the Journal of Applied Psychology. His work has been cited in the Times, the Economist, Fast Company, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and on BBC, CBS, Yahoo News, Salon, and Boing, as well as numerous other international print, television, and online media outlets. He has also been consulted as an expert in online education by many of the same sorts of publications.
Dr. Spangenberg led the Carson College in several record years of fundraising, recently nearing completion of their campaign goal of $75 million in support of advancing the college’s vision of transforming student lives while positively impacting business and academic communities around the globe.
With a passion for excellence, Lori is committed to seeing her students succeed!
Lori spent 10 years learning how to build a business from the ground up as the Managing Partner of her own food production company. Once the company was running well, she was able to apply those same financial strategies to the field of higher education. She identified a critical lack of financial counseling for students within an overwhelming number of higher education institutions. While finding the right school and program is important, being able to afford that education is imperative. Lori assists her students by advocating effective and affordable programs that aid in the development of practical, long-term strategies that enable each student’s education goals.
Tisa manages the administrative functions within the enrollment office, which includes communication strategies and planning. She also maintains Emerge Education’s CRM, client portfolios, data integrity and reporting.
Tisa has 20+ years of experience within higher education. Roles included Director of Records and Registration/Student Services, Director of Enrollment Services, Associate Registrar, Interim Registrar and various other positions within Career and Transfer Services, Admissions, and Counseling.
She is also responsible for the implementation of administrative strategies that aid in the growth of the organization, by ultimately ensuring client enrollment goals are met.
Kelly Lougee works with our partner institutions to ensure the highest quality experience possible. Her success as an Online Academic Programs Manager is tied to her ability to develop strong professional relationships with key stakeholders and co-workers that produce proven results.
Kelly has 20 years of professional experience in project and account management. For the past 13 years, she worked for a statewide association where she managed training programs for local government officials through contracts with the commonwealth.
Kelly earned her BA in Communications from Elizabethtown College with concentrations in Public Relations and Marketing.
Beth draws from over 19 years of higher education experience to help guide students in making sound educational decisions that inevitably lead to career success.
After teaching at the elementary level for a few years, she began her higher education career in 1996 teaching Trigonometry and Calculus. Beth then moved into college administration. She has held positions in various departments, including Director of Education, Director of Career Services, Career Services Advisor, Externship Administrator, Registrar, Continuing Education Coordinator, and most recently Admissions Representative.
Michele has over 15 years of industry experience primarily in the fields of fitness/training, insurance and financial services. Before joining Emerge Education in January 2015, Michele spent the previous 13 years as a Premium Insurance Auditor where she excelled at connecting with clients. As an Account Manager Michele generates new leads and partnerships primarily for Emerge’s lead generation services.
Sara has over four years of higher education experience, starting with employment at The Learning House, Inc. She worked with six schools over the course of four years, including Concordia University – St Paul, Point Park University, and King University.
Sara held the roles of enrollment counselor, senior enrollment counselor, and enrollment manager. As an enrollment counselor and senior enrollment counselor, Sara carried an ever-increasing application load, often acting as the only counselor for the client she was working with at the time. During her time as enrollment manager, she led her team to consistently meet and exceed their goals.
Before joining the Emerge team, Gina worked in higher education at both StraighterLine and The Learning House.
Gina has worked in online higher education for 6 years. She helped to build the call center for The Learning House Inc., fending the best contact strategies that worked for its schools. She also served as an enrollment councilor for StraighterLine, helping students choose the correct classes they would need to further their degrees, as well as guiding them through the enrollment process.
With 10 years of sales experience, Mr. Hale is well-versed in creating compelling and emotionally-driven connections with customers. His sales experience has given him a comprehensive understanding of consumer behavior that is directly applicable to his position as Student Recruitment Manager at Emerge Education.
During his 20-year career within the field of higher education, Mr. Hale has transitioned from an Admissions Representative to Director of Admissions. During his tenure, he has been recognized as Director of Admissions of the Year multiple times. He was also a member of the President’s Club and Chairman’s Team. Under his leadership, he has successfully guided an admissions team through 26 consecutive starts, meeting and exceeding enrollment goals.
Bill Gutshall has compiled nearly 27 years of higher education experience as an instructor, academic department director, and Director of Career Services.
Bill has assisted thousands of students with their course planning, interpersonal communications and writing skills, and professional development. His dual approach to graduate services involved continual community outreach and partnership building with employers coupled with delivering intensive group and individual career-readiness instruction to students. While directing General Education for the past six years, Bill has written, introduced, mapped, and assessed curriculum, directed faculty development and effectiveness, launched student integrity initiatives, and counseled and advised students daily.
Kimberly was a teacher for many years in the Camp Hill School District. While there she taught many grade levels and worked her way up to head teacher in the district. Kimberly sat on many committees including the Technology Implementation Committee, Professional Development Committee and Curriculum Development Committee. She piloted many programs and led numerous train the teacher events in the district. In 2005, she became a stay-at-home mother to her three children, Owen (16), Caleb (14) and Lilly (12).
Upon returning to the workforce in 2011, she worked for the Mechanicsburg Navy Depot, the US Postal Service, and finally entered higher education with The Learning House Incorporated. Kimberly worked her way from Enrollment Counselor, to Senior Enrollment Counselor to Enrollment Manager in a short period of time with the company. Kimberly has worked Concordia University, Saint Paul, and was manager of Lesley University in Cambridge MA. While working CSP, Kimberly had one of the largest application loads for TLH. Lesley University’s online programs had a 69% increase with Kimberly at the helm.
She has a great ability to connect to students, follow-up with them and dedicate herself to the growth of higher educational institutions under her care. She is very excited to be part of such great opportunities here at Emerge Education LLC and we welcome her to the team!
Toby has over seven years of experience in higher education student recruitment. Before joining Emerge Toby was a Director of Admissions, Associate Director of Admissions, Lead Admissions Coordinator, High School Presenter, Marketing Manager, and a Foster Parent Recruiter. He is also a licensed attorney.
Before joining the Emerge Education team, Taylor was the Senior Digital Advertising Specialist at the Reynolds and Reynolds Company.
Taylor executes Emerge Education’s digital marketing efforts including paid search and social media marketing with the goal of maximizing lead generation and student applications. Taylor works with clients in order to develop and execute an effective digital marketing strategy. He is an avid sports fan and loves to be outdoors.