Jim Horne CPA
President and Chair
CEO, The Horne Group
Former Florida Commissioner of Education
Jim Horne was the founder and president of Horne Group, a governmental consulting and business development firm. From 1994-2001, Horne served in the Florida Senate where he held key leadership positions, including chairman of the Ways & Means Committee, Finance & Tax Committee, and Education Appropriations Subcommittee. In 2001, Florida Governor Bush appointed Senator Horne as the 1st appointed Commissioner of Education.
Chairman, Florida School Choice Fund
Vice Chairman, American Federation for Children
John Kirtley is co-founder of KLH Capital, a private equity firm based in Tampa. In 1998, Mr. Kirtley created the Children’s Scholarship Fund of Tampa Bay, which partnered with the national organization and provided privately funded scholarships for lower income children to attend the schools of their choice. He is former president of Children First America and a former Director of the American Education Reform Foundation. Mr. Kirtley is currently vice chair of ASC, chair of the Florida PRIDE Scholarship Fund, and chair of the Florida affiliate of All Children Matter. He also serves on the Board of the James Madison Institute.
Patricia Levesque, M.A.
Executive Director, Foundation for Florida's Future
Executive Director, Foundation for Excellence in Education
Patricia Levesque heads the foundation begun by former Florida Governor Jeb Bush to improve the quality of education in Florida and across the nation. Ms. Levesque is also the managing partner of Meridian Strategies, LLC, a communications, strategic planning, and governmental consulting firm in Tallahassee, Florida. Prior to her leadership of these foundations, Ms. Levesque served as Deputy Chief of Staff for Governor Jeb Bush beginning in October 2003. In this capacity she oversaw state agencies responsible for education, general government services, business and professional regulation, elder affairs, veteran’s affairs, workforce, lottery, and juvenile justice.
Emilia May Fanjul
Emilia May Fanjul is a Founding and Board Member of Fundacion MIR and active in the Central Romana Hospital in La Romana, Dominican Republic. She is the Board Chair of Everglades Preparatory Academy and Glades Academy Elementary charter schools in Pahokee, Florida and on the Advisory Board of New Hope Charities, Inc. in West Palm Beach, Florida. She serves on the Board of Trustees of the Animal Medical Center in New York City; is an Associate Trustee of Boston College, Boston, Massachusetts, and a former Member of the Board of Trustees of the Palm Beach Day School in Palm Beach, Florida. She is also a Dame of Malta American Association of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta. Mrs. Fanjul attended Chapin School, New York City, through the eighth grade then St. Timothy's School in Stevenson, Maryland, 1964. She attended Smith College, Northampton, Massachusetts, 1964-1966 and graduated from Barnard College, New York City, Bachelor of Arts, 1966-1968.
Judith W. Stein, Ed.D.
Executive Director, National Institute for Educational Options
Dr. Judith Stein was on the founding board of two Florida charter school organizations and organized the first four Florida charter school conferences through NIEO. Dr. Stein has also served as the Executive Director of the Division of Magnet/Innovative Programs for The Miami-Dade County Public Schools. She was the Director of Career Education and a national leader in the career education movement. She served as President for the American Association for Career Education, a policy board member of the American Vocational Association; Guidance Director and the Executive Chairman of the International Collaboration Conference on Career Education in Miami.
Dr. Stein was also the founding President of the State organization for Magnet Schools/Programs, Consortium of Magnets/Public Choice Schools (COM/PCS).
Since 2009, Lauren Hollander has served as Chief Executive Officer of Mavericks in Education, LLC based in West Palm Beach, Florida, a professional educational services provider that manages non-profit tuition-free public charter high schools offering a high-tech, mastery-based curriculum specifically designed for students at risk of not graduating from traditional high schools in Florida. The firm plans to add additional schools in Florida and in many of the forty states that currently permit charter schools. As of 2015, MIE is actively engaged in the management of six non-profit high schools with a total enrollment of approximately 3000 students and about 200 faculty and staff.
Upon graduation from Florida Southern College in 1985 with a degree in Business Administration, Lauren joined with her father to create Choice Restaurant Equipment in West Palm Beach, Florida. Together they built one of the most successful and profitable commercial foodservice equipment dealerships in the nation. During her tenure, she orchestrated the merger and acquisition of several South Florida based dealerships. Rising through the ranks, Lauren was ultimately promoted to Chairman and Chief Executive Officer with responsibility for multiple locations and over $50 million in annual revenues. Lauren was also involved in a leadership role with Supplies and Equipment Foodservice Alliance (SEFA), a nationwide network of independent equipment dealers formed to optimize their combined purchasing power and marketing resources. She served on the SEFA Board of Directors including two terms as Board Chairman and three terms as Chairman of several key committees. In 1997, Lauren orchestrated the sale of Choice Restaurant Equipment to Clark Foodservice of Elk Grove Village, Illinois.
Lauren Hollander is also Licensed Real Estate Broker and has been involved in the real estate industry since 1979. Her family owns and operates two highly successful real estate brokerage firms, Hollander Real Estate and Frenchman’s Real Estate with offices in West Palm Beach, Florida. These firms specialize in residential and commercial brokerage as well as real estate development. Lauren and her family also own and operate Flagler Home Corporation, a firm that manages their personal investment in commercial real estate. Together, they have been involved in over $500 million in South Florida real estate transactions.
Lauren was born and raised in West Palm Beach, Florida, and currently resides in Palm Beach Gardens with her husband, Steve. She is an active member of JupiterFirst Church, and enjoys travel, golf, and tennis in her leisure time.
Jonathan K. HageJon Hage is one of the nation’s leading social entrepreneurs committed to improving the US Educational System. As founder and CEO of the nation’s first AdvancEd/SACS-accredited education management company – Charter Schools USA – he has been a leader in changing the face of education in our country. CSUSA is one of the fastest growing companies in the US, founded in 1997 and growing to over 8,000 employees educating 70,000 students in 76 schools across 7 states. In the last 4 years, he hired over 5,000 new employees while adding 50,000 new student stations. He also founded Red Apple Development, which has privately financed approximately $600 million/3,300,000 square feet of new schools in the last 5 years. More importantly, his schools have produced some of the strongest gains in reading, writing, science and math in the nation based on state and federal performance standards, with their strongest gains among low- income students. Today, CSUSA has over 22,000 students on waiting lists with a 94% graduation rate of which 96% go on to college or technical schools and a 95% parent satisfaction rate.
A graduate of the University of Miami School of Law and School of Engineering, Ignacio Zulueta is the Executive Director of a consortium of companies dedicated to assisting charter schools in identifying and securing funding for their facilities. In addition, as vice-president of Academica, he has been active in helping charter schools grow and succeed both financially and academically. He is a strong advocate of choice in education.
Joseph D. Chisholm
Former chairman and board member at Global Outreach Charter Academy in Jacksonville, Joseph Chisholm is currently Vice President of School Development at K12, Inc. where he leads efforts to create new virtual learning opportunities for students and families in multiple states. Prior to joining K12, Mr. Chisholm worked with Edison Learning, Inc., an educational consulting and school service company and a leading public school achievement partner. From 2001 to 2004, he was Vice President then Executive Vice President, Marketing and Corporate Affairs at HOSTS, a math and reading educational product and services company with programs in over 1600 schools throughout 40 states, Puerto Rico, and El Salvador. A graduate from Michigan State University, East Lansing, Mr. Chisholm earned a Master of Science degree from American University in Washington, D.C. He also served in the United States Navy as a Naval Officer and Naval Aviator, and as a Pentagon staff briefer to the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff and other top military and government decision-makers and as the Pentagon project officer for the Chief of Naval Operations. Mr. Chisholm was pilot and mission commander of a 12-member combat aircrew and supervised aircraft maintenance operations consisting of 200 personnel and $250 million in aircraft assets. After retiring from the U. S. Naval Reserve with the rank of Commander, he served as Senior Policy Advisor to the Michigan State Senate.