Meet the Leadership of

Andy Myers

President & Chief Executive Officer

Andy was named President and Chief Executive Officer in 2021, after rejoining Waterford as Chief Operating Officer in June 2016—nearly 21 years after starting his career in education technology sales. After that first role, Andy filled several leadership positions in sales and marketing before becoming COO for Pearson’s digital learning business unit and later Senior VP of Digital Product Development for Pearson’s U.S. K-12 curriculum division. More recently, Andy served as CEO at Scientific Learning and as CSO at Renaissance. Andy holds an MBA from the University of California at Berkeley.

Claudia Miner, PhD

Executive Director & Cofounder of Waterford Upstart

Claudia came to Waterford in 2007 with more than 25 years’ experience. She has developed, piloted, and scaled Waterford Upstart projects in Utah and across the United States. She is project director of the completed federal Investing in Innovation (i3) Validation grant and the current Education Innovation and Research (EIR) Expansion Grant. She was honored as a “Women Entrepreneurs Changing Education” by the Omidyar Network. Claudia received her PhD from Washington State University.

Jenni Torres, EdD

Senior Vice President of Curriculum and Instruction

With over 25 years of experience in education, Jenni is a passionate curriculum designer and educator who manages the development of research-based content, correlations to standards, and creation of teacher and family resources. During more than a decade in the classroom, Jenni was selected by the U.S. State Department as a Fulbright Exchange Teacher for Uruguay and was awarded Teacher of the Year honors at the school, county, and district levels. Jenni earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, her master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and her doctorate at American University in Educational Policy and Leadership with a focus on centering the voices of families in curriculum design. She is a proud military spouse, mother to three resilient children, and a fervent believer that literacy changes lives.

Jim Lund

Senior Vice President of Program Success

Jim has spent over 35 years in education and technology driving programs that help all children learn. He began his career as a Minnesota teacher and continued to grow in companies like Apple, Pearson, and the nonprofit MIND Research Institute. Jim’s diverse background includes the classroom, building user experience and professional development teams, and managing software engineers. At Waterford, Jim manages all aspects of the Waterford Upstart family journey: recruiting, implementing, training, and supporting participants. Jim holds a bachelor’s degree in education and a master’s degree in technology for training and development.

Kathy Landon

Chief Operating Officer

Kathy Landon brings 20 years of experience in leading diverse teams, finding creative solutions to perplexing problems, and structuring business systems and processes. Her passion for excellence and efficiency drive teams to deliver solutions that delight clients and customers. The teams Kathy leads are responsible for ensuring is building and delivering the right things, the right way.

Kim Fischer

Executive Vice President of Marketing & Communication

As the National Spokesperson for since 2018, Kim Fischer has helped garner media attention from top outlets such as The New York Times, PBS, USA Today, and The Associated Press, while also strengthening relationships with key stakeholders in government and nonprofit sectors. Prior to joining Waterford, Kim spent 16 years in journalism shining a light on the issues of violent crimes against women and children. Kim received a Gracie Award for Best Hard News in 2017 and was recognized as a 2018 Child Advocate of the Year by Prevent Child Abuse Utah.

Leah Dozier Walker

Executive Vice President of Community Engagement, Equity & Inclusion

Leah Walker joined in 2021 after serving as the first Director for Equity and Community Engagement at the Virginia Department of Education. Leah has devoted her career to advancing social justice and community impact. With more than 20 years of public sector experience in human services, Leah has worked as a program administrator and policy advisor in the administrations of Virginia Governor Timothy M. Kaine and Richmond Mayor Dwight C. Jones, as well as in the office of Congressman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott. She earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in political science from Hampton University, and a Master of Public Administration from Virginia Commonwealth University.

Lori Pugh

Chief People Officer

Lori joined in July 2019 as Chief People Officer after spending nearly eight years overseeing human resources for Deseret Digital Media and the Deseret News. She has over 20 years of professional experience not only in human resources, but administration, training, marketing, and legal—mostly in high tech industries. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Education from Brigham Young University and a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Utah.

Mike Hight

Chief Technology Officer

As CTO, Mike is responsible for Waterford’s product vision and software development. Mike has 15+ years of experience building products and analytic platforms in healthcare, politics, e-commerce, and education. His deep understanding of data and analytics has allowed him to repeatedly solve seemingly intractable problems. Mike holds a master’s in information systems from Boston University.

Rebecca Kelley

Executive Vice President of Advocacy

An attorney and community builder, Rebecca Kelley is a skilled executive who has devoted her career to philanthropic advocacy supporting education, health, and equity-advancing programs for children and youth from cradle to career. As Waterford’s Executive Vice President of Advocacy, she is responsible for advancing Waterford’s mission and growth within philanthropic, government, and public spheres. Prior to joining Waterford, Rebecca scaled evidence-based programs through America’s land grant universities (via 4-H), YMCA of the USA, and StriveTogether’s collective impact initiatives. Rebecca holds a Juris Doctorate from the University of Cincinnati College of Law and is a member of the Ohio Bar. 

Rich Stombres

Senior Vice President of Government Relations

As Senior Vice President of Government Relations, Rich manages state advocacy efforts designed to expand Waterford Upstart programming across the country. Prior to joining Waterford, Stombres served as Vice President at the Penn Hill Group, as Director of Government Relations at the Van Scoyoc Group, and as the Deputy Director of Education and Human Services Policy for the U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce. Stombres has a master’s degree from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of the State of New York, Regents College.

Tom Ness

Chief Financial Officer

With over 20 years’ experience, Tom has worked as a consultant advising businesses on best practices in accounting and management and helped a variety of startups mature from early-stage companies to established businesses. Of the three technology companies Tom has worked with, one had a successful IPO raising $42.3 million and was eventually acquired for $9.3 billion, and the other two were acquired for a total value of $497 million. Tom holds two bachelor’s degrees.

Meet the Board

Board Chair

Allison Gushée Molkenthin

Managing Director, Bentley Associates

Allison Gushée Molkenthin has advised a variety of tech-based companies on raising private equity, cross-border investments, and M&A. Allison has over 30 years of experience in investment banking and graduated from Brown University with AB’s in both Mechanical Engineering and in Comparative Literature, as well as an MBA from INSEAD in France. She was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship for graduate research in photovoltaic solar energy in Morocco.

Vice Chair

Stephanie J. Monroe, JD

President and Founder, Wrenwood Group, LLC

Stephanie J. Monroe is President of the Wrenwood Group, a boutique Washington, D.C. health and education consulting firm. She has contributed to many family and child development efforts, including the Child Care and Development Block Grant, the Head Start Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, the Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families, and No Child Left Behind.

Board Members​

Ann Christensen

President, Christensen Institute

Ann Christensen is president of the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, where she directs overall development and oversees its growing research programs. She has also worked at Huntsman Gay Global Capital, Elan Pharmaceuticals, and Deloitte Consulting. Ann holds a master’s in business administration from the Harvard Business School.

Benjamin Heuston, PhD

Executive Director,

As a leader in educational technology over the last two decades, Edward “Benjamin” Heuston continues the legacy started by his father Dusty. Benjamin is an active speaker in educational settings and is also a member of several boards and associations, including the SIIA Education Board, the Society for Scientific Study of Reading, and the International Gold Key Honour Society, as well as a mentor for Utah Entrepreneurship Challenge. Benjamin earned a PhD in psychology from Brigham Young University.

Ernest Blackwell

Founder and CEO, Equity and Beyond

Ernest Blackwell is the founder and chief executive officer of Equity and Beyond, which strives to build a community of leaders who can lead collective equitable efforts in their organizations. He also serves as a Global Inclusion, Diversity & Equity PM for Amazon Web Services (AWS). Ernest has a bachelor’s degree in political science and economics and earned a master’s degree in elementary education from Wilmington University and MBA from the University of Texas.

James Holbrook

Professor, College of Law, University of Utah

James R. Holbrook is a Clinical Professor of Law at the University of Utah where he teaches negotiation, mediation, and arbitration. Before joining the faculty in 2002, he practiced law for 28 years in the complex civil and federal white-collar criminal litigation. James earned a master’s from Indiana University and a JD from the University of Utah.

Todd Cranney

Partner, Riverwood Strategies

Todd Cranney’s experience with successful political campaigns allows him to deliver intelligent, thoughtful strategic guidance. Before co-founding his Idaho firm Riverwood Strategies, Todd served as National Deputy Political Director of the Romney for President 2012 campaign. Todd has also served in a number of leadership positions, including as a political appointee at the Department of Agriculture under President George W. Bush. Through his experience, Todd has developed an extensive network of political contributors and leaders in all 50 states.

Wayne Ysaguirre

Executive Director of the Care Institute

Wayne Ysaguirre is a new member of the Waterford board of directors and the Executive Director of The Care Institute. Previously, he was the President and CEO of Nurtury, and prior to that, Wayne was a preschool teacher and director of numerous programs. He has dedicated more than 30 years to the care and education of young children and their families.

Become a Board Member is seeking passionate individuals to become members of our Board of Trustees! In this role, your leadership would help us better serve our families, students, and partners as we work to meet our organizational goals around universal literacy, educational equity, and family empowerment.

Board of Trustees Expansion: is building out our Board of Trustees to help fuel our progress in this next chapter. We aim to add several strong board members who bring exceptional experience, networks, leadership, and passion in early childhood and/or K–12 education. We’re also looking for board members who add racial, ethnic, and geographic diversity.