Board of Directors

Natalie Weiss

Ms. Natalie Weiss

Executive Director, Open Books, Board Chairperson

Ms. Natalie Weiss is the Executive Director for Open Books, a nonprofit social venture that operates an extraordinary bookstore, provides community programs and mobilizes passionate volunteers to promote literacy in Chicago and beyond. Ms. Weiss previously served as the Chief Operating Officer and Director of School Supports for the Illinois Network of Charter Schools (INCS) where she worked to improve the quality of education throughout Illinois by providing statewide advocacy, increased public awareness and essential school support services for charter schools. Ms. Weiss went to INCS through a fellowship program with NewSchools Venture Fund where she had been a Senior Analyst. Ms. Weiss began her career as an Analyst at the consulting firm Cornerstone Research. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Ms. Weiss is the Chairperson of the Lighthouse Academies Board of Directors.

James Catterall 2

Mr. James S. Catterall Ph.D.

Co-Principal Investigator, Centers for Research on Creativity

Mr. James S. Catterall is Co-Principal Investigator at Centers for Research on Creativity (CRoC).  He is a Professor Emeritus at the UCLA Graduate School of Education & Informational Studies where he has served on the curriculum and education policy faculty from 1981 to 2012.  He served as Director of Imagination Group, a collaboration group of academics, students, teachers and art professionals interested in learning through the arts.

Mr. Catterall’s research focuses on the roles of the arts in human development, with an emphasis on basic roles of imagery in cognition and on arts-related instructional and curriculum policies impacting teaching and learning.  He is nationally known for works related to children at risk, and in recent years for his studies examining the influences of participation in the arts and learning development.  Mr. Catterall also served as director of multi-year evaluation of the Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, a program which pairs artists and teachers for interdisciplinary teaching.  Reports of his longitudinal studies and the CAPE research can be found in the Champions of Change volume available on the Arts Education Partnership website.  Mr. Catterall holds a Ph.D. in Education from Stanford University, an M.A. in public policy from the University of Minnesota, and an B.A. with honors in economics from Princeton University.

Joy Collins

Ms. Joy Profet

General Manager, Essence Communications, Inc.

Ms. Joy Profet is the General Manager of Essence Communications, Inc., overseeing the brand’s strategic, financial, and administrative functions.  Her work at Essence is focused primarily on creating revenue growth strategies across all media platforms and identifying and entering new businesses. Prior to joining Essence, Ms. Profet was Vice President of Business Development for NBC Universal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies. Prior to joining NBC, she was an Associate in JP Morgan’s Investment Banking Division, where she focused on serving media clients in the field of mergers, acquisitions, divestitures, equity and debt offerings and capital maximization strategies.

Ms. Profet is a graduate of UCLA with a degree in Business Economics, where she received the Jackie Robinson Foundation Scholarship. She also holds a Master of Business Administration degree from the Harvard Business School. She is a recipient of The Network Journal’s 40 Under-Forty Achievement Award (2010); the Women United in Philanthropy’s Woman of Excellence and Achievement Award (2011); and the Uptown Summer Classics Hearts in the Streets, Inc Award (2011). She formally sat on the board for the Bronx Lighthouse Charter School and has also served as Community Service Chairwoman for the Seven Roses Legacy Foundation. She is an active member of the Jackie Robinson Foundation Alumni Association, HBS’ African-American Alumni Assoc., the HBS Alumni Club of New York, UCLA Alumni Assoc., Sponsors for Educational Opportunity Alumni Assoc., and the LEAD Program in Business.

David Hoffman

Mr. David Hoffman

Professor of Law, Beasley School of Law at Temple University

Mr. David Hoffman is a Professor of Law at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University.  Mr. Hoffman has been teaching corporate and contract law for more than six years.  He has written over dozen published articles in the fields of the empirical analysis of law, corporations, and the psychological aspects of legal rules.  Mr. Hoffman holds a B.A. in Archaeology and History from Yale University and his J.D. from Harvard Law School.  Mr. Hoffman is the Vice Chairperson of the Board of Directors.

Elizabeth Holland

Ms. Elizabeth Holland

CEO, Abbell Credit Corporation

Ms. Elizabeth Holland is the Chief Executive Officer of Abbell Credit Corporation, a sixty-year old private real estate investment, development and management company with an approximately 2 million/sf portfolio, comprised of shopping center, office, and enclosed mall properties.  She is responsible for overseeing all business and legal matters, including development, financing, leasing, capital improvements, and investor and tenant relations.  Ms. Holland is active in the International Council of Shopping Centers, currently serving as a Member of the Board of Trustees and as Central Division Vice President.  Other Board memberships include Vice Chair Development Partners of Uptown United; Business and Professional People for the Public Interest (BPI); and 1,000 Friends of Iowa.  Ms. Holland holds a J.D. from Brooklyn Law School and a B.A. from Hamilton College.

Mary Anne Lock

Ms. Mary Anne Lock

Co-Founder, Lock Educational Consulting, LLC

Ms. Mary Anne Lock is a consultant and co-founder with Lock Educational Consulting, a company that offers customized educational services to schools and school districts in the areas of Standards and Indicators for School Improvement, standards-based curriculum and instruction, arts infused instruction, literacy, leadership, instructional coaching and program evaluation. She brings over thirty years of diverse educational experiences to provide consulting which includes designing professional development, implementing professional development training and mentoring teachers and administrators in elementary, middle and high schools across the nation.

Prior to co-founding Lock Educational Consulting with husband, Larry, Ms. Mary Anne Lock was a programs consultant and an artist and instructional coach at the Collaborative for Teaching and Learning, a non-profit organization that works with educators to improve instruction and increase learning for all students. While at CTL she worked with projects such as the Striving Readers National Literacy Initiative, the Lumina Foundation Community College Literacy Initiative, the National Forum to Accelerate Middle Level Reform, Gear Up, Accelerated Schools and Different Ways of Knowing, a comprehensive arts-infused, interdisciplinary curriculum for elementary and middle school. Starting her career as a public school teacher, Ms. Lock taught at the elementary, middle and high school levels, as well the college level. In 1989, she was named the Kentucky Teacher of the Year. Over the course of her career, Ms. Lock has done extensive coaching, consulting and presenting in the public and private sectors for local, state and national audiences, including the U.S. Virgin Islands. Ms. Lock holds a Bachelor of Music Education degree and a Master of Arts degree, both from Western Kentucky University.

Andrew Towne

Mr. Andrew Towne

JD/MBA Candidate at the University of Pennsylvania

Mr. Andrew Towne is currently pursuing a JD/MBA at the University of Pennsylvania as a Morgenthau and Friedman Scholar.  The son of a music professor and a symphony manager, Mr. Towne attributes much of who he is today to his arts-infused upbringing.  Mr. Towne has worked for CarVal Investors, Goldman Sachs, and the Boston Consulting Group, and he currently promotes intercultural exchange as a Trustee for Youth For Understanding.  Before graduate school, Mr. Towne served in Iraq with the CIA.  He holds a B.A. with honors in political science from Yale University, and he spent a year at the University of Nairobi, Kenya, as a Boren Scholar.  An avid outdoorsman, Mr. Towne has won a national rowing championship and climbed five of the seven summits.

Khori Whittaker

Mr. Khori Whittaker

President and Chief Executive Officer, Lighthouse Academies, Inc.

Mr. Whittaker started his career as a fifth grade teacher in Long Beach, California through the Teach for America movement. He was an early employee at InsideTrack, Inc. working to improve college access and completion for students across the country. Mr. Whittaker led recruiting at InsideTrack during a critical growth phase and led InsideTrack’s Community College Impact Initiative team, successfully launching, for the first time, unique student coaching and train-the-trainer programs in two states and ten college campuses. He also served as Assistant Director for Undergraduate Admission at Stanford University. Prior to joining Lighthouse Academies, Mr. Whittaker launched and led the grassroots and community engagement team at the Foundation for Florida’s Future. He serves on the board of directors of Global Glimpse, Inc. and the advisory board of the Drug Free America Foundation. Mr. Whittaker earned a BA in Economics from Princeton University and a MA in Political Science from California State University, Long Beach.