Denine Torr joined Dollar General in the fall of 1999. As Senior Director of the Community Initiatives division, she oversees corporate and foundation giving, employee volunteer engagement efforts, and assists with the development of cause related partnerships for Dollar General’s forty-three state market. Denine has designed and executed funding initiatives for Dollar General that have raised more than $100 million for charity. She has been instrumental in the creation of Dollar General’s Employee Assistance Foundation and growth of the Dollar General Literacy Foundation. Since 1993, the Dollar General Literacy Foundation has awarded more than $143 million to literacy initiatives that have helped more than 9 million individuals learn to read, receive their high school equivalency or learn English.
Jose Cruz is the chief executive officer for the San Diego Council on Literacy, a model urban literacy coalition. He has 26 years of experience in the literacy field and is known in the national literacy network for his leadership in organizing collaborative efforts for literacy. He is the recipient of the 2003 San Diego Union-Tribune, “Educator of the Year” award, and has served as president of the National Alliance of Urban Literacy Coalitions and the San Diego Branch of the International Dyslexia Association. He is a two-time recipient of the International Reading Association's "Celebrate Literacy Award," and, in 2007, was recognized by KPBS and Union Bank as a Hispanic Heritage Month “Local Hero,” in the Education category. Jose is a native San Diegan, a graduate of the University of Southern California, and a product of the San Diego Community College District.
Jack is an equity member in the accounting firm of Dermody, Burke & Brown, CPAs, LLC, headquartered in Syracuse, N.Y. He has over 40 years of audit and accounting experience and has developed a wide range of industry specialties. Currently, he serves as the firm’s chief financial officer. He has also served as a member of the firm’s Executive Committee and was the head of the Quality Assurance Committee.
Morgan Battle is the director of Tucker Capital. He has worked as lead strategic advisor to both public and private companies. He represents his clients in mergers and acquisitions processes and negotiates complex strategic partnerships. His sector expertise has focused on educational publishing, educational technology, consumer products, and media. Morgan’s clients have ranged from entrepreneurial start-ups like GenomeWeb, BenchPrep, and LearnBig, to influential not-for-profits such as National Geographic, The American Council on Education, Battelle Memorial Institute (the largest independent nonprofit in the world), and PBS, where he helped the organization reimagine its commitment to education.
Additionally, Morgan is passionate about working with emerging educational technologies and purposeful entrepreneurs. He currently serves as an advisor to Princeton University’s Keller Center for Entrepreneurship. Prior to joining Tucker, he was an executive at FOX Sports, where he negotiated media partnerships for the network’s core properties, such as the Daytona 500, NCAA College Football, and the Super Bowl. Morgan received his BA in History from Lafayette College.
Ginger has served as the executive director of Literacy Services of Wisconsin in Milwaukee since 2014. This year, she led the organization through a strategic merger with Milwaukee Achiever Literacy Services and now leads the combined organization. Ginger previously held the role of director of development and marketing at the Urban Ecology Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During her 10 years as a member of the leadership team there, the organization grew tenfold, adding two new neighborhood centers and developing 50 acres of urban land into natural areas dedicated as outdoor classrooms. Prior to joining the nonprofit sector she served as the senior director of production at Reiman Publications/Reader’s Digest, and as the production director at Milwaukee Magazine. Ginger holds a BA in business from Michigan State University and an MBA from Alverno College. In 2016, she was awarded the competitive Harvard Business School Club of Wisconsin scholarship for Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management executive education course at the Harvard Business School.
Ruth J. Colvin is the founder of Literacy Volunteers of America (LVA), which she started in 1962. In 2002, Literacy Volunteers of America merged with Laubach Literacy to become ProLiteracy. Ruth is an honorary member of the board of directors of Literacy New York and a member of the board of directors and a tutor at Literacy Volunteers of Greater Syracuse.
She received the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2006, the nation’s highest civilian award. She was also inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame in 1993 and received the U.S. President’s National Volunteer Action Award in 1987. She is the author of
Tutor 8th edition, READ, I Speak English 5th edition, A Way With Words, and In the Beginning Was the Word. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University and nine Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees.
Marty Calanche has struggled with reading since he was a child. He has always been able to learn skills on the job, and in the 1980s he worked with the flight safety parts for the Apache helicopter. Marty was laid off in 1992, and he moved to Tucson, Arizona, in hopes of working for Raytheon. But despite having a letter of recommendation, Marty was told that he would need his GED to apply for a position. He came to Literacy Connects in 2010 and has since participated as a student, student ambassador, member of the advocacy committee, and board member. Marty is still working towards earning his GED. In 2013, Marty was invited to be on the floor of the Arizona House of Representatives as the honored guest of his local representative. Since learning to read, Marty has also followed his dream of learning to play guitar.
As an ongoing student with Literacy Connects in Tucson, Marty looks forward to working with the ProLiteracy board of directors. He is honored to be part of ProLiteracy’s continued efforts to increase access to quality literacy services.
Sherrie Claiborne is president of Nevils Realty and The Nevils Group. She also has her own private company, Sherrie Claiborne & Associates. A retired educator, Sherrie taught high school English, drama, and debate for 18 years, while also working with at-risk students. She served for 22 years as an administrator in an adult education program and was a certified Laubach Tutor Trainer.
Sherrie has written more than $50 million in grants for adult education. She developed the Tennessee Model Adult High School and ran a 10-county mobile GED Testing Center that was recognized as one of the leading adult education programs in the nation. Sherrie has also served as president for three prominent literacy organizations: the Tennessee Association of Adult and Continuing Education, the Commission on Adult Basic Education, and the National Coalition for Literacy.
Brian Fox is director of learning outsourcing with Accenture, where he formerly served as senior manager of change management and training. Before that, he was manager of accounting and financial systems for The Pfaltzgraff Co., a financial analyst and cost accountant for Ford New Holland (now CNH), and a finance officer for the United States Army. Brian is the former chair of the ProLiteracy America Governance Council and former chair of ProLiteracy Worldwide’s accreditation review panel. He is also the former Mayor of Christiana Borough, Pennsylvania, and serves as the board secretary for the Christiana Historical Society.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s from Lebanon Valley College.
Steven Lux is the Director of Executive Education at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, where he is responsible for overseeing the School’s mid-career graduate degree programs and developing and managing various executive management trainings for both domestic and international audiences. Steve also teaches graduate level courses at the Maxwell School on subjects related to nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) and civil society.
Prior to his work with the Maxwell School, Steve spent 12 years living and working in Southeast Asia, the first year as an English teacher through WorldTeach and ultimately as Regional Director of a Thai NGO—Population and Development International—overseeing projects in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia. Steve’s first job out of college was with Computer Science Corporation (CSC) as an information systems analyst. Steven Lux has an AB degree in Economics from Harvard College (1989) and a MPA from the Maxwell School at Syracuse University (1997). He currently serves as President of the Board for the DeWitt Community Library Association.
He holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Notre Dame and a master’s from Lebanon Valley College.
Kathleen A. Hinchman
Kathleen is a professor in the Reading and Language Arts Department at Syracuse University and is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs in the School of Education. She teaches courses and seminars in literacy methods, and is a co-editor of the Journal of Adolescent and Adult Literacy. Among her achievements are grants, articles, and books, including work on Reconceptualizing the Literacies in Adolescents’ Lives, Best Practices in Adolescent Literacy Instruction, and the Adolescent Literacies Handbook of Practice-based Research. Her current work explores policy implications of literacy-related school reform and the use of formative design of assets-based literacy instruction methods. Long involved in community literacy initiatives in Central New York, Kathleen has also served as a board member and president of the New York State Reading Association and the Literacy Research Association.;
David J. Rosen
David was executive director of the Adult Literacy Resource Institute at the University of Massachusetts in Boston—a greater Boston adult education professional development and training center—from 1986 to 2003. Since then, David has worked as an independent consultant and has has recently provided education and evaluation services to World Education’s Education Tech Center, Jobs For the Future on competency based higher education, TERC as an evaluator of the Massachusetts SABES adult basic education mathematics professional development center, and Essential Education developing an online guide to blended learning for adult educators. He is the moderator of two U.S. Department of Education-sponsored LINCS communities of practice: Integrating Technology and Program Management. He is also a co-moderator of Adult Educators Using Facebook for Education (AEFE) as well as an online group focusing on competency-based/proficiency-based adult education.
Tom is a partner with Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC in Syracuse, N.Y. He is a labor and employment law attorney and deputy chair of the firm's labor and employment law department. He graduated from Cornell University and The University of Chicago Law School. Tom has served as counsel to ProLiteracy since 2012. He previously served on the Board of Directors for Legal Services of Central New York, Inc. and for the Huntington Family Centers, Inc. in Syracuse. He was president of Huntington’s Board from 1998-2002.
Steven C. Toy
Steve is the CEO of TaxChat, an Uber-like platform for pairing tax filers with tax preparers via a smartphone application. Over the past 25 years, Steve has been part of leadership teams that have brought five digital product and service businesses to untapped revenue and enterprise growth. Steve has made adult literacy the primary cause that he supports with his time and resources for the past 20 years. In the mid-90s, Steve was asked to join the board of Vision Literacy, a program he has remained connected to despite several moves around the country.
As Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Le Moyne College, in Syracuse, N.Y., Kate oversees 12 departments, 14 programs, honors and core curriculum, and 130 faculty members in humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences. She is the author of Mother/Country: Politics of the Personal in the Fiction of Colm Tóibín and the editor of two critical editions, one of J. Sheridan Le Fanu's novella Carmilla, with Syracuse University Press (2013) and the other, Norah Hoult's Poor Women!, with Anthem Press (2016). Her latest monograph, Trauma and Recovery in the 21st-century-Irish Novel, is forthcoming with Syracuse UP (May 2018).
Maria is senior director of digital publishing for Aptara Inc. She oversees interactive e-book design and development across multiple platforms and devices. She has a wide range of experience in educational publishing, e-learning, and digital technology. After graduating from Rochester Institute of Technology in 2005, Maria spent her first several years helping big publishers such as HMH and Pearson grow sales with leading-edge e-book production and digital solutions. Having driven the development of a highly skilled team of 250 interactive e-book specialists, she has a significant amount of experience managing on and offshore resources. Over the past five years, she has led the development of unique workflows and scalable production models to produce over 10,000 advanced digital solutions for tablets, mobile devices, and web browsers for leading clients in both publishing and enterprise.
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