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Ian Symmonds

Ian Symmonds & Associates

Ian started ISA with a notebook computer, cell phone, and a dream of using his skills to transform the education landscape. After serving a decade and a half at the cabinet level for several private schools, colleges, and universities, turning around enrollment and strategy in the process, he launched Ian Symmonds & Associates Inc. in 2003. 20 years, 1200 clients, and four million air miles traveled later, Ian has seen more schools, colleges, universities and non-profits than any other consultant in America. Ian is an author, speaker, ed-activist, and strategist. His global professional practice as a senior officer, executive director, and dean spanned Pacific University, Culver-Stockton College, Saint Mary's Hall, and Trinity University. He is a global citizen and has traveled the world for boarding schools and colleges and engineered dramatic turnarounds for multiple private institutions during his career. He has lived in several major American cultural centers, including Boston, San Antonio, Portland, Chicago and San Diego, as well as traveled extensively for schools, colleges, and clients to England, Mexico, Puerto Rico, Canada, Saudi Arabia, Emirates, Dubai, Korea, Taiwan, Japan, Netherlands, France, Italy, and Greece. Occasionally dubbed an "ed-activist", Ian holds a high opinion of the role of education in building communities and solving social issues. He launched the #JustCause campaign in 2011 to strategically connect ISA with organizations that are addressing structural poverty through education. He speaks and writes on the issue and devotes a portion of time consulting with organizations through the Just Cause campaign. Very early in his consulting, writing, and speaking career, Ian earned the role of one of America’s best thought leaders in educational circles, defined by a culturally relevant approach and progressive delivery of thinking. He is fascinated by culture and the future role of nonprofits and educational organizations as they attempt to shape our world for the common good. Not prone to educational fads, clients consistently remark that Ian’s counsel is both durable and innovative, a balance that reflects timeless experience and cultural relevance. Ian has published in numerous professional journals and has presented at just about every national and regional educational conference. He is in high demand as a conference speaker at regional, national and global venues. Ian holds a BS and MS degree from Illinois State University in Normal, Illinois. Ian loves the journey. When he is not leading organizations, you will find Ian on a tennis court, a hiking trail, boating in the San Diego Bay or on his motorcycle, navigating the less-explored highways of the desert. He is fascinated by travel and culture and never misses an opportunity to unplug and connect with environments unlike his own. Ian lives and offices in Southern California with his wife and lifelong partner, Lisa. He has two daughters, both who graduated from Loyola Marymount University and work in music management, marketing and digital media: Makayla, who lives in Nashville and Julianna, who lives in the Bay area.


Ann Snyder

Council for Advancement and Support of Education

Ann Snyder is the Senior Director of Engagement Communities and former Director of Independent Schools at CASE (Council for Advancement and Support of Education) since March of 2020. Prior to joining CASE, she was Director of External Affairs at Stuart Hall School in Virginia. With more than a decade of experience in student and family marketing, school leadership, enrollment, fundraising, and external affairs, Ann is a seasoned school leader and industry expert. A frequent speaker and group facilitator on an international stage, Ann has a proven track record of coaching schools to meet ambitious goals. In her time at Stuart Hall, she brought a corporate sensibility and entrepreneurial mindset to increase revenue by nearly 20% in her first three years, further the school’s mission, streamline the school’s external offices, manage and direct international enrollment and fundraising strategy, and develop strategy for the school’s first significant marketing efforts. With CASE, Ann serves as the industry insider, expert, and thought-leader for schools globally. Professional facilitation and speaking engagements include serving as a key speaker and collaborator for the Canadian Association of Independent Schools, the National Association of Independent Schools (US), the Association of American Schools in South America, and regional associations throughout the United States.

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Marsha Maxwell

Atlanta International School

With over twenty-five years of strategic, tactical and operational technology experience, Dr. Marsha Maxwell creates innovative environments and applications that harness the power of emerging technologies and neuroscience to enhance the educator's reach to better engage students and foster a culture of innovation in organizations. Her areas of interest include Augmented Analytics, Immersive Experiences, Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, STEAM programs, and Smart Spaces. Marsha has also been very active in bringing STEM/STEAM initiatives to life especially for underserved and underrepresented groups throughout their educational journey from kindergarten to university and beyond. Marsha has been a featured speaker for various organizations’ educational summits and workshops including Microsoft, Apple, and Google for her skills in education technology, innovation leadership, strategic analysis and decision-making, and equity & inclusion in technology.


Jodi Bray

Atlanta International School

Jodi is the Director of IT Operations at Atlanta International School with over 20 years of experience helping schools manage their IT infrastructure, security posture, and school information systems. She specializes in project management and security, working with schools to create a plan for incident response and disaster recovery. Over my many years of working in IT, she developed a passion for security after realizing how far behind many educational institutions are with their response to security threats. Her ultimate goal is to create an easy-to-follow project that will help independent schools make purposeful improvements to their security.

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