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Our Team

Senior Leadership

Dr. J.D. LaRock

President & Chief Executive Officer

A respected educator, scholar, and policy expert, Dr. LaRock joins NFTE from the Commonwealth Corporation, Massachusetts’ public-private state authority focused on workforce development and regional economic development. As president and CEO of Commonwealth, Dr. LaRock chaired Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker’s Commission on Digital Innovation and Lifelong Learning, producing a blueprint for innovative work-based learning models that garnered significant investment from major foundations.  Previously he served as a senior education advisor to the late U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, leading work on the renewal of the federal Higher Education Act, as well as passage of a law that provided $20 billion in new Pell Grants to college students. As education policy director for former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, he helped author a K-12 education law that enabled turnarounds in low-performing school districts and helped the state win $250 million through the U.S. Department of Education’s “Race to the Top” program.

For much of the past decade, Dr. LaRock has worked as a teacher, scholar, and university administrator focused on experiential learning, entrepreneurship, and the future of work. As chief of staff to the president of Northeastern University, he served on the leadership team that completed the institution’s transformation from a commuter college to a top-ranked global research university. He has also served as Professor of the Practice of Law and Policy at Northeastern and as a Fellow with the Aspen Institute’s Economic Opportunities program.

 

Dr. LaRock grew up in Queens, New York, in a family of public school educators, and is a  proud graduate of the city’s public schools. He went on to earn his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctorate at Harvard University and his law degree at Georgetown University. He currently resides in Massachusetts with his wife Christina, a sign language interpreter, and their daughter Callie.

Denise L. Berkhalter, APR

Director of Communications

A Mississippi native, Denise has nearly three decades of experience in mass communication fields, including as a longtime digital news editor, newspaper editor, reporter, freelance writer, graphic designer, and public relations professional. She has served as Director of Public Relations & Social Impact for YWCA Central Alabama, Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing for the Birmingham Association of REALTORS, Director of Public Relations for the Alabama Association of School Boards, Coordinator of Marketing and Communications for Tuskegee University, and Assistant Managing Editor-News for the Montgomery Advertiser. She has been a member of COSBAC, PRSA, NSPRA, NABJ, and the Alabama Association of Black Journalists. She formerly served as a member of the SAYNO and Montgomery Area Food Bank boards of directors and was national president of the Council of School Board Association Communicators. Denise graduated summa cum laude from Troy University Montgomery (master’s in management) and Jackson State University (bachelor’s in mass communication, public relations emphasis).

Jason Delgatto

Vice President, Curriculum and Research

Since joining NFTE in 2009 as a Program Manager in the Chicago office, Jason has played an integral role in the evolution of NFTE’s next generation instructional resources, from authoring the 12th edition of NFTE’s Owning Your Future textbook to the creation of NFTE’s Entrepreneurship and Small Business Pathway. Prior to his time at NFTE, his experience included working for divisions of Pearson and Kaplan Academic Tutoring as well as teaching in the Chicago Public Schools.

Mary Radford, CPA, MBA

Chief Financial Officer

A seasoned finance executive with more than 25 years experience overall, Mary has devoted the latter part of her career to service in the nonprofit sector, providing guidance to organizations dedicated to supporting underserved communities. Mary came to NFTE from Planned Parenthood, where she oversaw the merger of five regional affiliates and led the streamlining of finance, information technology, and operational functions. Mary earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Public Accountancy at Pace University, graduating with high honors.

Jeannine Schloss

Chief Program Officer

An experienced K-12 educator and former school administrator, Jeannine joined NFTE as a program manager in 2015. She has substantially expanded NFTE’s reach throughout the southeast region, built a high-performing regional team, and taken on a senior leadership role guiding regional operations across the country.

Kimberly Small

Executive Director, West

Since joining NFTE in 2016 as Regional Director for Los Angeles Metro, Kim has worked with her team to increase student reach from 2,000 students to well over 6,000 students throughout Los Angeles County. Kim has spent over 25 years in education focusing her work on the at-risk youth. She continues her passionate commitment to advocate for educational equity for youth in under-estimated communities.

Kene Turner

Director of National Postsecondary and Alumni Programs

Kene specializes in the Development and Implementation of community-based programs, geared towards the economic development of under-resourced communities. Kene is also a business education training specialist with 15+ years of experience in design, delivery, and administration of business education services. He also has experience working with academic institutions, and business entities, with a focus on business education, workforce development, and community development, both in New York and Los Angeles. In the past several years, Kene has helped NFTE’s Los Angeles region expand its program offerings while providing leadership and innovation. Kene has also successfully trained and supported educators internationally, in areas such as China, India, and most recently, Hiroshima, Japan. These and other efforts have helped support Kene’s passion centered around the importance of entrepreneurship as a solution to economic development in disadvantaged communities.

Jane Walsh

Executive Vice President, Chief Advancement Officer

Jane is an accomplished fundraiser with extensive experience leading during times of rapid growth, change management, and transformation. Under Advancement, she oversees fundraising, events and volunteerism. Her proven track record demonstrates success in setting and achieving ambitious, high impact goals. Jane has worked at NFTE for nearly 20 years focused on strengthening, growing, and diversifying the fundraising program to bring about greater sustainability. She brings a deep commitment to and passion for mission-driven initiatives and partnerships that align corporate, foundation and individual philanthropy with a shared vision for strategic impact.

Staff

Arnie Abram

Sr. Manager, National Postsecondary & Alumni Programs

Stephanie Alvarado

Sr. Manager, Alumni & International Services

Estefanny Aybar

Development Director, Los Angeles Metro

Denise Berkhalter

Director, Communications

Chris Brignolle

Interim Executive Director, Southeast

Anthony Curtis

Sr. Manager, Volunteer Programs and Organizational Culture

​Danice Ferguson

Sr. Manager, Training & Professional Development

​Dulce-Marie Flecha

Lead Program Associate, Mid-Atlantic

​Alysha Frankel

Development and Database Manager

Virginia Gary

Program Manager, West

Eva Giorgi

Creative Services Manager

Jennifer Green

Sr. Manager, Programs, New England

Niesha Harripersad

Senior Accounting Associate

Dianna Imrie

Senior Human Resources Manager

Ariel Jackson

Platform Operations Associate

Ronald Jacobs

Senior Manager, Information Technology

Peter Johnson

Development Director, Northeast

Rashida Joiner

Program Manager, Capital

Julianne Kasper

Lead Program Associate, Mid-Atlantic

Dr. Elizabeth Kim

Director, Research & Analytics

Ryan Kinser

Platform Operations Manager

Darlene Lacey

Director, Product Strategy & Innovation

Hannah Lieber

Manager, Research & Evaluation

Victor Martinez

Lead Program Associate, Southeast

Marie McCabe

Director of Financial Planning & Analysis

Trish McKeel

Regional Director, South

Emma Miller

Lead Talent Management & Administration Associate

Scott Nasatir

Executive Director, Midwest

Daria Oliver

Accounts Payable Associate

Liliana Pichardo

Director, National Stategic Partnerships

Robert Piercey

Regional Director, Mid-Atlantic

Careline Romain

Sr. Development Manager, Southeast

Max Rusike-Griffith

Program Director, West
 

Christine Ryan

Curriculum Development Manager
 

Charles Saldarriaga

Accounting Associate

Tiana Schlottman

Development Manager, Midwest

Jason Silveira

World Series of Innovation Program Manager

Meg Stewart

Executive Director, Capital

Alison Swenson

Sr. Manager, Donor & Executive Communications

Suzanne Taylor

Director, Events

Adanma Ude

Regional Director, New England

Miguel Vazquez

Sr. Development Manager, New England

Paul Wilder

Senior Events Associate

Daniel Williams

Program Manager, Southeast

Jeremy Zayas

Lead IT Support Associate​