THOUGHT LEADERSHIP TEAM
Over the past 25+ years, Deborah has been helping organizations drive growth through strategic consumer branding, product development, and organizational development. She has led highly successful consumer marketing initiatives in highly complex organizations in consumer packaged goods, higher education and agency settings. Most recently, at Columbia College Chicago, Deb built a centralized marketing team of over 30 marketing communications, design, web development, and public relations professionals. In this role, she developed and implemented the college’s first brand strategy, creating a brand architecture, visual and messaging strategy that highlighted Columbia’s unique position as an arts and media college for students who see the world through a creative lens.
After getting an MBA at Northwestern’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Deb started her career at Helene Curtis (now part of Unilever), leading and developing innovative products for large and successful brands, including Axe, Dove, Degree, and Suave. Since transitioning to the higher education sector, she has developed and implemented unique and compelling brand stories for large public and private universities, healthcare universities, law schools, and independent K-12 schools. She is a sought-after speaker and regular contributor to Inside Higher Ed’s Call to Action blog.
Mark Haas, CMC, FIMC
Mr. Mark Haas helps executives transform organizations to build capacity and perform better. With an emphasis on progressive social causes and science, technology and R&D-focused organizations, he leads groups through change in settings ranging from World War IV military strategy and response, nuclear terrorism, and nonprofit member services to board performance.
Some of his recent projects include revitalizing a human service nonprofit, advising a biotech startup, developing strategy for an environmental advocacy group, reorganizing several National Institutes of Health biomedical research centers, and merging two professional associations.
Mr. Haas has served as the national Board Chair and CEO and is currently a member of the Ethics Chair of the Institute of Management Consultants USA, the standards body for management consultants in the US, as well as a committee chair and chapter president of several engineering societies.
He has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants USA, a Certified Management Consultant, expert witness, invited speaker, lead Baldrige quality examiner, adviser to national technical and professional bodies, and has been a featured professional in “Who’s Who Among Emerging Leaders” and “Who’s Who in America.”
Mr. Haas holds an MCRP (Master of City and Regional Planning) from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, where he was a Teaching Fellow, and a BA in Biology from Colgate University.
Mr. Martin Leifeld has a long and distinguished career in fundraising with Christian and secular organizations – over 24 years, and he and his teams have raised over $500 million dollars for multiple causes, but primarily in the higher ed arenas!
Most recently Martin served as vice chancellor for university advancement at the University of Missouri–St. Louis from August 2008 until July 2018 where he averaged $26.4 million per year in an environment that had less resources year over year. Prior to joining UMSL, he was associate vice president for university development at Saint Louis University where he led a major reorganization that resulted in a 500% increase in donor/prospect engagement and $158 million raised in 3 years, compared with $89 million the prior three years. He’s also worked with the Catholic Diocese of Belleville where he was responsible for raising over $80 million, and Franciscan University.
Kristin Cooper Carter
For over 25 years, Kristin Cooper Carter has helped institutions identify grant funding opportunities from federal, state, and private funding sources. She also provides grant analysis, writing, post-award grant management and reporting in a diverse array of specialty areas that include health and human services, education, public safety, criminal justice, community services, business development and operations, sustainability, community and economic development, program development, program evaluation and nonprofit development and operations. Since 2009, Carter and her team have secured over $230 million in grant funding for their clients.
Carter earned an MA in Program Administration and Evaluation and a BA in Organizational Communication from CSU Chico. She has a professional background in education, renewable energy, and program evaluation and holds multiple professional certifications, including Professional Contracts Manager, Project Management Professional (PMP©), Business Analysis, Sustainable Development Practitioner, Green Building and Sustainable Design, Sustainability Performance Metrics, and a Train-the-Trainer Special Certification in Environmental Justice.
Lauren Bloom, JD, LLM
Ms. Lauren Bloom is an internationally-recognized expert on professional ethics and governance. She began her legal career at the U.S. Justice Department, soon moving into private practice and specializing in standard-setting, enforcement and governance for nonprofit institutions. She has served as General Counsel of the American Academy of Actuaries, where she played a pivotal role in developing and enforcing the U.S. actuarial profession’s code of conduct and standards of qualification and practice. She has also served as litigation counsel to a national accreditation body.
Lauren has advised several boards of directors as an expert on legal compliance and good governance, as well as served as board member and a governance expert on multiple boards, including the Institute of Management Consultants USA and the IMC USA Foundation. She holds a BA in English from Yale College and a JD from the Columbus School of Law, Catholic University of America, and holds an advanced degree in Labor Law with distinction from Georgetown Law Center.