Buzz has spent 14 years in the Michigan legislature, including serving as Democratic Floor Leader in the Senate and as Democratic Leader in the House. He was Co-Chairman of the 2008 Michigan Presidential campaign of Barack Obama. In 2013 he founded and Co-Chaired Turnaround Detroit, the Super PAC credited with electing Mike Duggan Detroit’s Mayor. His career began as a senior counselor to two Members of Congress representing Michigan.
Buzz’s past work includes creating rigorous academic standards for Michigan schools, electrical and natural gas deregulation, and creation of tax incentive laws that helped spur development in Detroit.
Vice Chairman Elect
David is a strategic change agent who has specialized in education policy and has broad experience in major state and federal policy areas. He creates visionary initiatives and manages a team dedicated to innovation in a government and/or business environment. He has spent the last fifteen years working on transformational reforms of public education, and has extensive experience in public speaking and writing.
John currently serves as Since the first University Prep school opened in 2000, the Thompsons have funded eight state-of-the-art charter schools within downtown Detroit seven of which are a part of U Prep School System.
David Rudolph is the founder and senior managing partner at D. Ericson & Associates Public Relations (DE&A PR). Established in 1996, DE&A PR is a full-service public relations and integrated marketing firm that specializes in providing creative, innovative and professional public and media relation services. David previously worked in the corporate communications and community relations department for the Palace Sports & Entertainment and the Piston-Palace Foundation, forming notable programs such as the PARK Program – Partnership to Adopt and Renovate Parks for Kids - an $8 million project to renovate selected public parks in the city of Detroit. David serves as board secretary at Detroit Enterprise Academy.
Ralph is the Founder and President of New Paradigm for Education, a non-profit organization that specializes in maximizing student learning potential through proven education practices. Bland is an accomplished, motivated professional with over 15 years experience in instructional leadership, planning, implementation and curriculum design. He has been recognized nationally for his leadership in education reform and his passion for replicating quality options throughout Michigan.
Megan DeKraker serves as the director of strategy and development at NHA. In this role, she carries out the development strategies for NHA and is the key leader behind the growth NHA has seen across the country over recent years. Megan has been with NHA since July 2008, and has held many previous roles including work in intervention services.
Megan started her career as a teacher in the Los Angeles Unified School District after graduating from Claremont McKenna College with a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Biology. She also holds a Master of Arts degree in Education from Claremont Graduate University. Megan is fluent in Spanish and has used that skill in her teaching jobs where she taught both English-only and bilingual classes.
Mohamad founded Global Educational Excellence in 1998, with the mission to empower academies of choice by nurturing academic excellence, positive character traits and an appreciation of all cultures. Global Educational Excellence operates three schools in Detroit, two each in Hamtramck, Dearborn, and Dearborn Heights, and one each in Toledo, Ypsilanti, and Ann Arbor. Together, the schools have 650 employees and 4,500 students.
Juan Martinez, Ed. D.
Juan José Martínez is a proud Detroiter and a passionate educator. A former two-term elected member of the Detroit Board of Education, Dr. Martínez has served as the School Leader of Cesar Chavez Academy High School for the past 12 years and more recently, he has assumed additional responsibility as the Director of District Operations for the Cesar Chavez Academy District. Dr. Martínez believes that education is the great equalizer.
Education changed my life. At Cesar Chavez High School, I get the opportunity to shape the lives of 700 students everyday. Inspiring young people and opening them up to new experiences is extremely gratifying.
Greg is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the political organization industry. Skilled in grassroots organizing, crisis communications, coalitions, international relations, and corporate communications, Greg has positioned himself as an entrepreneurial leader in the education reform movement.
Corey leads a team of passionate professionals dedicated to transforming public education through leadership in chartering schools, overseeing and supporting their operations and evaluating their performance.
Corey was named the executive director of the Center in March 2019 after more than 10 years of service at the Center. He began at the Center as the director of fiscal performance and accountability and also served as one of the Center’s deputy directors. As deputy director, Corey led several areas of the Center including, the charter application process, new school development, general administration, information technology and university relations.
Tom Butcher worked for Grand Valley State University since the 1980’s, however, more recently, served as Vice President and General Counsel since 2014. Tom was involved in the development of charter schools including urban high schools in Detroit working in partnership with GVSU’s charter schools office over the years. Upon his retirement he continues to support the MI charter school movement by serving on MAPSA’s Board of Directors.
With a master’s degree in piano performance from the University of Michigan, Eileen Weiser has served on the University Musical Society Board of Directors, the UMS Senate, and U-M’s Victors for Michigan Campaign. She is a past executive director of the McKinley Foundation and served for eight years on the National Assessment Governing Board and on Michigan's State Board of Education. Eileen is on the board of the Michigan Science Center and works to advance the arts, digital learning and STEM education in Michigan's K-12 schools.
Sarah joined Choice Schools Associates in 2001 as the Director of Human Resources and transitioned to the executive leadership team as Vice President in 2013. Sarah stepped into the role of CEO in 2017 where her main role is to keep the company focused on the culture and values that have given Choice Schools a strong track record of success. Sarah oversees all function areas within Choice Schools Associates.