Our Board of Directors:
We would like to welcome our newest board member - Mara Fortin
Mara Fortin is an attorney, small business owner, political advocate, philanthropist, community leader and, most importantly, a mom. She has three children, two teenage daughters and a six-month-old son. Mara was the first franchisee ever to open a Nothing bundt Cakes bakery. She gave up her practice of law twelve years ago, moved her family back to her hometown of San Diego when her daughters were two and nine months old and started on her small business venture. In addition to building and selling a successful business that employs more than 130, mostly women, in the San Diego county market, Mara has sat on the boards of several small business advisory councils and is very active in our community. We are honored to have Mara join our board...welcome!
Jabez LeBret, Chief of Schools at Sisu Academy, Chairman of the Board (Business)
A former business owner, financial analyst, and management expert, Jabez is one of the co-founders of Sisu Academy. He brings an extensive business background to the operations and planning of Sisu Academy.
Jenny Darroch, Dean of the Drucker School of Management, Claremont Colleges (Education)
As an educator, author, and presenter, Jenny brings both extensive knowledge of post-secondary schools and a strong business acumen. Her position at Drucker School of Management gives her a unique perspective on the future of both higher ed as well as workforce needs.
Caroline Vander Ark, President Getting Smart (Education)
As president of Getting Smart, a learning design firm, she oversees client engagements, the day-to-day operations of the company, and business development. Caroline specializes in storytelling, strategic communication, professional learning and organizational management.
Rocco Cortese, Principal, The Heritage Group (Financial & Land)
With experience in building both a company and a fund, Rocco provides valuable business guidance. His company focuses on commercial real estate and this has helped Sisu Academy navigate the process of securing a location.
Jack Berkman, Owner, Berkman PR
Jack Berkman is a nationally recognized and multi-award-winning PR and Communications and Branding firm, whose clients are among the most prestigious in their respective professional fields, regionally and nationally. He has more than 40 years of experience in the PR and Communications field.
Jennifer Raffard, JD, and Manager at Salesforce (Legal)
Jennifer brings a strong legal and business background to the group, and her focus on intellectual property is important as we grow our school model.
Glynna Hoekstra, Executive Vice President, Balfour Beatty (Facilities)
In 2015 Glynna was named San Diego’s Power Woman of the Year. She has extensive experience in school construction in California and is well connected to the school ecosystem in the state.
George Bailey, Consultant, a former executive at Sony and IBM (Executive Leadership)
From IBM to Sony, George has run large divisions with a focus on innovation and expansion. This experience helps guide our process and structure as we build this organization.
Nancy Batterman, Nonprofit Consultant, and former CEO, Options for All (Nonprofit)
Nancy brings almost 25 years of experience as the CEO of a large nonprofit in California that focuses on helping adults with developmental disabilities become independent through work training and housing support.