Board of Advisers
Brick Casey, rapper, songwriter, co-producer
John E. Keilly is a managing partner of Strategic Partner’s, LLC, a firm that helps clients better understand and act on the rational and emotional drivers of “big ticket” consumer purchases. Previously, he was a marketing and product planning executive with Ford Motor and one of the company’s first brand managers. Keilly was a key player in the company’s project to better understand the wants and needs of today’s youth. He later led a similar consumer insight project that targeted the Baby Boomer generation. He is active in mentoring and helping young people make good choices and navigate their way through the complex modern world.
Sporty King is co-founder of Hey U G L Y. He is an author, poet and international public speaker who inspires students and parents to have healthy self-esteem, a positive attitude, positive vocabulary and intolerance for bullying. He has reached over 500,000 students across the country through speaking venues at junior high and high school assemblies. Sporty is reaching teens through Hey U G L Y’s eM-POWERment Day in-school presentations during a time where it is said they can’t be reached. But most important, he helps them change. Momma Hawk, former Principal of Paderewski School in Chicago says it best, “Sporty King transformed my entire student body. I know we have all had motivational speakers who have done something in our schools, but this guy is a miracle worker. Children and parents love him and my school has had remarkable growth in reading and writing under his services.”
Leslie Kolber is national accounts manager, new business development at EdGate Correlation Services LLC, a learning management and instructional technology solutions company. Their products include INFORM, SCHOOLNOMICS, EDUCATION WORLD, SCHOOLNOTES, TOTAL READER and SUCCESS. Leslie brings a passion for improving the lives of children and 20 years of sales and marketing experience to the Advisory Board. She is dedicated to helping kids get the tools they need to deal with the tough issues they face today.
Rieva Lesonsky, former editorial director of Entrepreneur magazine has been covering the entrepreneurial marketplace for over 22 years, believes that the path to success lies in taking control of your own destiny. Her motto: “If you believe and if you persist, all things are possible,” applies whether you’re a 40-year old business owner or a 14-year old teenager. While she loves living in Irvine, CA, she remains a New Yorker at heart.
Elise Nothstine, B.A. Liberal Studies has over 11 years experience working in child abuse and neglect prevention/crisis intervention. She also developed and coordinated an art project for the “boys” of the Domincan Republic which she is currently writing a book.
Erik Pocock is an 18 year-old LGBT+ activist from Massachusetts, where he is an active leader in his high school and community. Erik understands that the coming out process can be tough. He went through a lot and he wants to make sure others don’t have to go through what he went through. He plans to attend college where he will be studying accounting and finance.
Jill Zimmerman Rutledge, M.S.W. LCSW is a psychotherapist who has been counseling youth for over 30 years. Jill maintains a private psychotherapy practice in Avon, Colorado. She has had a long association with ANAD (Anorexia Nervosa and Associated Disorders), an international self-help organization. She is also on the clinical advisory board for Hey U.G.L.Y. – Unique Gifted Lovable You. Zimmerman has published two award-winning self-help books for adolescent girls, Dealing With The Stuff That Makes Life Tough: The Ten Things That Stress Girls Out and How To Cope With Them (McGraw-Hill, 2004) and Picture Perfect: What You Need To Fell Better About Your Body (HCI, 2007).
Jeanie Stone, School Based Educator, is founder of Respect Day and the Respect Team at Oxford Hills Comprehensive High School in South Paris, Maine. A 17 year owner of a successful children’s clothing store, she is currently the coordinator of violence prevention events and presents sexual violence prevention information for the Rape Education And Crisis Hotline organization throughout Oxford County, Maine. She worked with a teen empowerment group to create an after school coffee house for teens; co-founded the Learning Center, an academic tutorial program; the Oxford Hills Skate Park, empowering teen boys to lead the project; and established ropes courses within the high school. Jeanie has 3 grown children who are married, and each of them have 2 children, all her pride and joy!
Lisa Washington, M.A. in Education is the educational correspondent for ABC-TV and a Kohl McCormick award-winning teacher.