Meet Our Advisory Backboard

Joel Strom, Board Chair

Joel is the founder and CVO of Chief Value Officers. His practice is focused on only one thing; helping CEOs accelerate their company’s Strategic Value and moving their businesses from ordinary to extraordinary. He developed the concept and process of Strategic Value acceleration based on his five decades of practical experience as a business owner, advisor, investment banker, and CEO. Both his own companies and his clients have realized spectacular results by following his Strategic Value creation methods.

His recently published book, CEO to CVO, Moving Your Company from Ordinary to Extraordinary was written to help CEOs begin their journey to creating extraordinary companies with extraordinary value. It’s available on Amazon where it gained # 1 new release status.

Charles Cox

Charles is a senior technology and business operations leader focused on continuous improvement and leadership development for growing organizations. With a background in software engineering and experience at Microsoft, Sony and HBO, Charles coaches businesses, non-profits and leaders to achieve results and scale their organizations to deliver increasing value.

A certified Scaled Agile Consultant, Change Management Practitioner, and AWS Cloud Practitioner, Charles currently resides in Seattle, Washington, where he leads engineering and business operations teams in the streaming media space.

Kareem Neal

Kareem Neal is a self-contained special education teacher in Phoenix, AZ. He has taught students with cognitive delays for 24 years. He is the 2019 Arizona Teacher of the Year award recipient and is a 2022 inductee into the National Teachers Hall of Fame. He was awarded an honorary doctorate from Northern Arizona University for his contributions to special education in Arizona. He is a 2019-2021 Understood Teacher Fellow. He is also on the board of directors for the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards. He helped pilot the National Network of State Teachers of the Year Mentorship program.

Kareem’s passion is connecting all students in schools, springing from his awareness that students with learning differences did not truly feel like members of their school communities. This led him to evaluate his own educational journey and how students in black communities often did not feel like education spaces were for them. He is now a restorative justice trainer for the Phoenix Union High School District. He focuses on building community by eliminating bias that comes from a lack of connection with people who are different from each other.

Hope Parker

Hope has spent her life in education working in preschool through university environments. Hope studied Elementary Education and Early Childhood Development at Montana State University – Bozeman, M.Ed at Arizona State University, and is DISC and CPP assessment certified. She spent several years working as a 6th grade STEM teacher then transitioned to managing a top Full-time MBA program and then a Director of a K12 Engineering Education and Outreach program. Currently she develops STEM youth trainings and programming, teaches undergrad and dual enrollment design thinking classes, and runs entrepreneurship programming for students and educators in Colorado . Hope’s passion is to help children change their lives and impacting the world around them!

Richard Ramos

After Richard earned his doctoral degree in leadership and learning in 2018, he set his sights on making structural changes in the areas of equity and inclusion as Roosevelt School District’s executive director of Innovation and Learning. In this position, he approaches each day as a chance to pioneer innovative solutions to the unique needs of all Roosevelt students by embracing opportunity that comes with the unknown.

Prior to joining RSD, Richard spent seven years as a teacher working to engage seventh and eighth grade students in social studies lessons connected to the real world, before moving to an administrative role in 2001. Over a span of 16 years as a principal and assistant principal, he endeavored to reshape educational leadership roles. Richard grew up in the small, copper-mining town of Globe, Arizona. As a student, he overcame difficulty adapting to a school environment through my resource teacher and other support systems. This experience at an early age set him on this path toward serving as an educator for the last 27 years.

Nedda Shafir

Nedda Shafir has been in the field of education for many decades with experience as an elementary teacher, curriculum specialist, adjunct university professor, author, district administrator and public information officer. She has utilized her expertise in the areas of public relations, communications, marketing, business partnerships, community engagement, customer service, media training and crisis management to help businesses, non-profit organizations, schools and districts.

Nedda has a Bachelor’s Degree in Elementary Education, a Master’s Degree in Early Childhood Education, is a Reading Specialist and is credentialed as a school administrator. She has done educational consulting and presentations nationwide in the areas of communications, community engagement, crisis management, public relations, leadership, strength-based coaching and language arts. Nedda has a passion for creating sustainable change and assisting organizations in developing strength-based systems of success and has been honored for her work in the area of school public relations and volunteering.

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