College Summit is powered by students who are agents for change in their schools and their communities. These exceptional young people are helped along their way by a dedicated team of professionals who lead College Summit’s national and regional offices.


Jo Smith

President & Chief Operating Officer

Jo has a long and broad background in technology, including support, development, business analysis and management roles at telecommunications providers, including MCI, Ionica PLC and UUNET.  Jo is an Honors Graduate of Anglia Ruskin University, Cambridge, UK. She has a Post Graduate Certificate in Technology Management from The Open University, UK.

Michelle Tafel

Chief Innovation Officer

Before she was CIO, Michelle served as Chief of Staff at College Summit for four years where she worked with the president, CEO, executive team, and board of directors. Michelle has held a variety of roles since joining the College Summit team in 2004 related to development, board relations, and special projects. Prior to College Summit, Michelle worked for a DC-based youth leadership organization as a mentor, tutor, teacher, and founder of their young women’s program. She is a graduate of American University (B.A.) and is pursuing her M.B.A. at Kellogg School of Management.

Allen Goldberg

Chief Marketing Officer

Until 2012, Allen was the Vice President of Communications for Neustar, Inc. a data and analytic solutions company. Prior to that position, he was Chief Marketing Officer of FKF Applied Research, a next generation business intelligence firm using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI). Allen is a graduate of the University of Maryland and lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Laurie Strongin, and two sons. Along with Laurie, he co-founded the Hope for Henry Foundation which improves the quality of life for children hospitalized with serious illnesses.

Donna Fleming

Vice President of Regional Operations

Donna came to College Summit as the Executive Director of the National Capital Region in 2006, where she was responsible for the management of its programs in Washington, DC, Maryland and Virginia. Once a high school drop-out and teenage mom, she is now a first generation college graduate who knows first-hand the critical need for college and career preparation for all high school students.

Donna holds a M.S.A in Organizational Development, with a concentration in Nonprofit Management, from Trinity University in Washington, DC. She has also completed graduate courses in Business Administration at Frostburg State University, and holds a B.A. in Business Administration from Trinity College.

Regional Leadership

Vivien Carter

Executive Director, Florida Region

Jon Charles

Executive Director, West Virginia Region

Veronica DeLandro

Executive Director, Connecticut Region

Mike Everett-Lane

Executive Director, New York Region

J.T. Ferguson

Executive Director, Indiana Region

Leslie Gill

Executive Director, Missouri Region

Nilmini Hecox

Executive Director, Colorado Region

Rustin Lewis

Executive Director, National Capitol Region

Michael Mulcahy

Executive Director, Northern and Southern California Regions

Associated Leadership

J.B. Schramm


J.B. founded College Summit in 1993 while directing a teen center in the basement of a low-income housing project in Washington, D.C. In September, 2013, J.B. announced plans to work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, New Profit, and other interested organizations to launch an initiative to further develop the field of college access and success—focused on policy progress, advocacy, and collective action among the leading innovators and organizations in the field.

J.B. is the recipient of Honorary Doctorates of Public Service from Regis University and the Université Catholique de Louvain (Belgium), and the first-ever recipient of the 2012 Yale-Jefferson Service Award. He serves as an Aspen Institute – New Schools Education Fellow, and a faculty member of the Kennedy School of Government’s Executive Session on Transforming Cities through Civic Entrepreneurship. He is a graduate of Denver Public Schools, Yale University and Harvard Divinity School; and lives in Washington, D.C. with his wife, Lauren, and three children.

Don Cheadle


Don Cheadle is a longtime support of College Summit and advocate for college access.

A 1982 graduate from East High School in Denver, Colorado, Don attended the California Institute of the Arts, graduating with a Bachelor¹s Degree in Fine Arts. The acclaimed actor and Oscar nominee has been a College Summit Writing Coach and has served on its Board of Directors.

Derek Canty


Derek, a graduate of Columbia University, has trained and empowered over 20,000 youth, teachers, social workers, mentors, probation officers and youth workers across the country. As a founder of College Summit, Derek co-developed in-school youth development tools and created the “Rap” component of the organization’s summer workshop. Through his Las Vegas based company Winning Edge, Inc., he provides facilitation, training, and coaching solutions to help individuals, high schools, colleges and nonprofit organizations achieve maximum personal and organizational effectiveness.

Keith Frome


Keith Frome, Ed. D., is the Headmaster of the King Center Charter School in Buffalo, NY.

In 1993, Keith W. Frome designed and implemented the writing process for the first College Summit workshop with J.B. Schramm. He has been involved with College Summit ever since as an advisor, curriculum designer, trainer, and writing coach coordinator. In 2007, he became College Summit’s first Chief Academic Officer and created the College Summit Education Department. Keith currently works on next generation product development for College Summit, including new web and mobile college access apps for low income students and their families.

Keith holds a doctorate in philosophy and education from Columbia University Teachers College and received his Masters in Theology and Education and permanent teaching certification in English from Harvard Divinity School.

Board of Directors

Barry Salzberg, Chair
Chief Executive Officer
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited

Emmanuel Fortune
Deloitte Consulting

Dean Furbush
Chief Executive Officer

Chuck Harris
Portfolio Manager & Director of Capital Aggregation
The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

Jaime Harrison
Principal & Strategist
Podesta Group

Roch Hillenbrand
Managing Director
Stony Brook Investments, LLC

Vanessa Kirsch
President & Founder
New Profit Inc.

Julie Mork
ECA Foundation

Steve Sacks
Senior Vice President, Customer Insight

Art Samberg
Hawkes Financial, LLC

Laura Samberg
Executive Director
The Samberg Family Foundation

J.B. Schramm
College Summit

Don Shalvey
Deputy Director
The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Owen Ryan
National AERS Advisory Leader
Deloitte & Touche LLP

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