Patrick G. Ryan, Jr.
Pat Ryan is a business and civic entrepreneur who has created several high growth tech companies. Pat is recognized as one of the few business entrepreneurs who has also achieved dramatic entrepreneurial success in urban education.
Pat currently serves as Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of INCISENT Technologies. INCISENT, recognized by Inc. Magazine in 2008 as the #4 fastest growing privately held software company in the United States, serves as the platform and incubator for innovative industry changing technologies that spin out into high growth companies:
• MAX, Marketing through Automated eXpertise, has reinvented online classified advertising through its innovative Consumer Optimization technologies. MAX provides the content powering ads on major websites across the U.S. through intelligent online advertising systems for major companies such as BMW USA as well as national and regional retailers.
• FirstLook harnesses the power of predictive analytics – the secret behind WalMart's unparalleled success – transforming the automotive industry's retail channel from "supply" to "demand" driven through world class inventory management, creating more efficient and consumer centered retailers prepared to succeed in the wake of the industry's meltdown.
Pat is responsible for INCISENT's vision and strategy as well as leading its innovation incubator for new technologies and businesses. In that role Pat was awarded a U.S. Patent for INCISENT's first generation Expert System Technology as a part of a team from INCISENT and Northwestern University's Artificial Intelligence DevLab. After graduating from Georgetown University with a degree in government, Pat started his career as a teacher on Chicago's West Side and has been a leading civic entrepreneur in education for over twenty years.
Prior to his entrepreneurial business and civic endeavors, Pat attended the Chicago Police Academy where his classmates elected him "Outstanding Recruit." Pat's work in law enforcement included work as a narcotics investigator focused on major gang narcotics activity in the inner-city of Chicago; in this role he received a commendation for leading a $1.1 million cocaine seizure.
After completing his work in law enforcement, Pat returned to graduate school earning a Master of Business Administration from the Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management and a Juris Doctor cum laude from the Northwestern University School of Law.
In addition to his work leading The Alain Locke Initiative, Pat is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization (YPO), the Council on Foreign Relations in New York and the Commercial Club of Chicago. Pat is a Trustee of Northwestern University and a member of its Executive Committee as well as past Chairman of the Advisory Board of Northwestern School of Education and Social Policy. In Chicago, he is a Director of the Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Center and is a Trustee of the Field Museum. Pat serves as a member of the Board of Directors of the Penske Corporation, a $17 billion diversified global transportation holding company.
Pat was named a Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute in 1999 as well as one of the 100 Global Leaders for Tomorrow at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. In 2006 Northwestern's Kellogg School of Management named Pat Social Entrepreneur of the Year for his innovative work in urban education. Pat and his wife Lydia live on Chicago's North Side with their three children.
Chief Executive Officer
Rob Birdsell joined The Alain Locke Initiative as its first Chief Executive Officer in December 2012. Rob brings 20 years of education and business management experience to the organization.
Prior to joining The Alain Locke Initiative, Rob was the President and CEO of the Cristo Rey Network from 2007 through 2012. As President of Cristo Rey, Rob directed the organization through a strategic planning process that led to a shift in focus for the Network – from growth in the number of schools to the quality of outcomes for students. Rob also oversaw the expansion of Cristo Rey's leadership development programs, put in place a disciplined approach to managing growth, and recruited seven new directors to the Cristo Rey Network Board.
Previous to the Cristo Rey Network, Rob was a Managing Vice President with Eduventures, an educational research and consulting firm. Before Eduventures, he was a Managing Director at Clark Consulting, a human capital consulting firm. Rob also taught English Literature for seven years at Marquette University High School in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and at Loyola High School in Los Angeles.
Rob is a frequent speaker on education reform and his articles have been published in USA Today, America magazine, Conversations magazine, Workspan Academic Journal, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Crain's Cleveland Business Journal, On Wall Street magazine and other publications. Mr. Birdsell has a B.A. in English from the University of Wisconsin and an M.B.A. from the Lubar School of Management at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee.
Managing Director, School Leadership Programs
Managing Director of The Ryan Fellowship and member of the Senior Leadership Team of its parent organization, The Alain Locke Initiative, Elaine oversees strategy and operation of The Ryan Fellowship, working to prepare outstanding leaders for charter schools nationwide.
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, Elaine spent 10 years in business development as part of the publishing industry and moved on to teach on Chicago's west side as a member of Teach For America, receiving her teaching degree from National Louis University. She then served as the Director of the Aspiring Principals Program at New Leaders for New Schools in Chicago, before joining The Ryan Fellowship.
Elaine serves on the Board of Directors at Lighthouse Academies' Bronzeville Campus and has been a guest speaker at the George W. Bush Institute's Alliance to Reform Education Leadership, The Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago, Northwestern University's School of Education and Social Policy, and the Accelerate Institute at The Kellogg School of Management.
Director of Admissions, The Ryan Fellowship
As the Director of Admission for The Ryan Fellowship, Erin is responsible for the recruitment and selection of accomplished teachers and school leaders who will become principals ready to create student achievement-accelerating urban charter schools across the country. Erin has also previously worked with The Alain Locke Initiative as its Director of Teacher Identification and Placement for Inner-City Teaching Corps where she was responsible for the recruitment, selection and placement of ICTC teachers. Prior to joining The Alain Locke Initiative, Erin worked for Teach For America's New York regional development team focused on Planning, Operations and Special Events. Erin was also a Teach For America corps member and taught kindergarten in the South Bronx. During that time she led an after school program for kindergarten and first grade students with local middle and high school students acting as tutors and mentors and helped her students attain significant academic gains each year. Erin holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in American Studies and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Science in Teaching from Pace University. She is originally from Thousand Oaks, California.
Director of Teacher Support, Inner-City Teaching Corps (ICTC)
Pat is proud to have been involved with The Alain Locke Initiative and Inner-City Teaching Corps for almost a decade. Pat started out as a corps member in the Faith-Based Community (formerly Volunteer Teaching Corps) track of ICTC from 2003 to 2005. He taught seventh grade homeroom and junior high English for six years at St. Malachy School on the West Side of Chicago, where he led the writing and cross-curricular development committees. He also coached basketball and started a peer mediation conflict resolution program. He is proud of his students' growth in writing and critical thinking skills. While teaching, Pat was also a support person for two different Faith-Based Community houses. Having enjoyed both working with students and mentoring fellow teachers, he joined The Alain Locke Initiative Staff in 2009, where he has worked to support ICTC teachers in their efforts to close the achievement gap. Pat grew up in Milwaukee, Wisconsin and graduated from Boston College with a philosophy degree. He also holds a Master of Science in Education from Northwestern University and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Social Justice Ministry from Catholic Theological Union.
Field Coach, Inner-City Teaching Corps (ICTC)
Erica began her teaching career in 1995 at the Frances Xavier Warde School (FXW) in Chicago, teaching grades four through eight. After leaving the classroom as a new mom, Erica continued her work with FXW as a curriculum consultant and joined The Alain Locke Initiative in 2006. A strong proponent of quality classroom-based research, Erica conducted a number of research projects primarily in the area of assessment and presented her work at the WLU, a national conference sponsored by the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). Erica earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Oakland University and a Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Loyola University.
Director of Teacher Coaching, Inner-City Teaching Corps (ICTC)
After graduating from Villanova University in 2000, Keelin joined Inner-City Teaching Corps Faith-Based Community (formerly known as Volunteer Teaching Corps). She spent seven years working in both Catholic schools and Chicago Public Schools before joining The Alain Locke Initiative as a coach for new teachers. In 2006, Keelin was the Illinois Math Awardee for the Presidential Awards for Math and Science. Keelin holds a master's degree in Education from Northwestern University, and a master's in Literacy, Language and Culture with a Reading Specialist degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Associate Director of Curriculum and Assessment, The Ryan Fellowship
At The Alain Locke Initiative, Kate Pillai serves as the Associate Director of Curriculum and Assessment for The Ryan Fellowship. In this capacity, Kate supports a national cohort of Ryan Fellows to accelerate student achievement in their first year of principalship. Kate develops the planning and execution of Accelerate Institute and the Field Study experience for Ryan Fellows. Additionally, she leads assessments three times a year and a strategic planning process to support Ryan Fellowship alumni in their first year of school start-up.
Previously, Kate served as a member of the Principal's Instructional Cabinet, Social Studies Department Chair, and Tenth Grade PLC Facilitator at the Bushwick School for Social Justice (BSSJ), a Brooklyn-based New York City Department of Education small school. There she combined a strong passion for social justice and history background to motivate and inspire her students, creating a reflective, engaging learning environment that drove student achievement. Prior to her experience at BSSJ, Kate was a Reading Coordinator at Teamwork for Tomorrow, a literacy and enrichment after school program affiliated with the University of Notre Dame.
Kate graduated from Saint Mary's College where she received her Bachelor's in History and Humanistic Studies and was a Presidential Scholar for Academic Excellence. Kate is also a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she received a Master's of Science in Education specializing in secondary social studies education and was the recipient of the Dean's Urban Teaching Scholarship.
Director of Curriculum and Assessment, The Ryan Fellowship
After receiving her undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University, Catherine has pursued her aspirational goal of making a difference in inner-city schools by helping to close the achievement gap. She has worked in high need schools in Detroit and Chicago where she challenged society's expectations of minority, low-income children and sought to redefine expectations for the communities. Catherine moved into school leadership in 2007 to take over as the founding director of a charter school on Chicago's southwest side. Throughout her four year tenure at UNO—Bartolome de Las Casas Charter School, her leadership strengths proved to yield consistent success, increasing proficiency levels on state test scores each year and outperforming neighborhood schools. She is currently pursuing her Doctor of Education in Education Leadership at Roosevelt University. As the Director of Curriculum and Assessment for the Ryan Fellowship, Catherine seeks to develop and support aspiring principals to accelerate achievement in the first years of school operation.
Director of Development
Amy joined The Alain Locke Initiative as the Director of Development in June 2011 and brings over 10 years of fundraising and development experience with a focus on youth development and education. Prior to joining The Alain Locke Initiative, Amy served as Director of Foundation Relations for Glenwood School, a private boarding school for low-income, single parent children. At Glenwood School, Amy oversaw all foundation activity by working closely with the Board and program staff to capitalize on opportunities for foundation and corporate funding as well as helping create strategic thinking for institutional foundation management. Amy also worked to improve strategies to diversify the school's fundraising revenue streams to include public funding.
Amy received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Purdue University Calumet and a Masters in Social Work from Boston University. Her direct social work experience includes working with low-income families and children in a residential setting to provide resources and support that empower families break the cycle of poverty through education.
Field Coach, Inner-City Teaching Corps (ICTC)
Katie Thompson graduated from St. Xavier University. She taught in the Chicago Public School system as a classroom teacher serving grades one through five. Katie was trained as a Reading Recovery Specialist at Alexander Graham and worked extensively with at-risk first graders. She later moved to Robert Healy School, where she and a cohort of teachers wrote and were approved for a grant to create a "Small School," Pathways to the New Millennium, located within Healy School, which created and followed a curriculum focused on technology integration. While teaching at Healy School, Katie achieved her Master in Education from Northern Illinois University, with a concentration in Instructional Technology. She eventually moved out of the classroom to take a position at Nathanael Greene as their Technology Coordinator.
Alain Locke Charter School
Patrick R. Love
Patrick Love taught for several years in underserved communities in Chicago before he co-founded Galapagos Charter School in 2005 where he served as the Executive Director of Academics. At Galapagos, he oversaw a 14% composite increase on the ISAT, which was the second highest growth rate among Renaissance 2010 schools that year. In 2008, he helped the LEARN Charter School network open up a second campus and in the following year he was the Founding Principal of the third LEARN campus located in the East Garfield neighborhood. At LEARN 3rd Campus, he implemented an academic model which resulted in all grade levels being in the 90th percentile rank or higher for academic growth in both reading and math (as determined by 2010 NWEA MAP data). His ability to cultivate a cohesive, high impact instructional team and developing strategic school-wide interventions resulted in more than doubling the number of students at grade level in reading and math by the end of the first school year. He graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Elementary Education. Additionally, he participated in the Execution in Entrepreneurial School Leadership Program (ExSL), an intensive two year administrative training program developed by the Alain Locke Initiative.
Vonyell Foster coordinates and organizes all parent and school-wide events, from Taffy Apple sales to the various parent advisory committee functions. She is dedicated to elimating barriers between parents and Alain Locke Charter School. In addition to her work at Alain Locke, Vonyell is an active member of Communities in Schools as well as various sustainable family building programs in the East Garfield community. Vonyell holds both a Bachelor and Master of Education in Inner-City Studies from Northeastern Illinois University.