Inaugural Cohort of Fellows Selected for ACCE’s Fellowship for Education Attainment

Published Monday, June 16, 2014

Twenty fellows have been selected to form the inaugural cohort of ACCE’s Fellowship for Education Attainment. This fellowship is a promising new initiative for chamber executives and senior staff working to improve the birth-to-career education pipeline in their communities.

“We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response to this high-end leadership training initiative and the high caliber of applicants,” said Mick Fleming, president of ACCE. “This latest step in our strategy to engage businesses in education attainment supports chambers that are maximizing the link between education and economic development goals.”

Fellows will engage in an immersive education and workforce development experience involving best practices in education attainment, case studies of successes and failures, interaction with national experts and building a strong peer-to-peer network. Throughout the Fellowship, executives will be developing and executing plans for a specific regional action plans to meet their community’s educational attainment needs.

Selected Fellows have demonstrated a passion for improving the birth-to-career education pipeline and a desire to take their chambers’ educational efforts to the next level. Fellows also represent chambers that are currently engaged in policy, programs, systems reform, and messaging/communications relating to the areas of early childhood education, K-12, higher education, and workforce development.

This fellowship program serves to advance chambers’ previously defined education attainment goals with the understanding that they will ultimately help ACCE and their peers around the country build replicable programs and policies. 

2014-2015 Inaugural Cohort Roster:

Linda Ashworth, Vice President, Operations, Dayton Area Chamber of Commerce
Mita Bates, President, Ardmore Chamber of Commerce
Alisha Benson, Vice President of Education & Workforce/Executive Director Spokane STEM, Greater Spokane Incorporated
Andrew Davis, Legislative Director, Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce
Richard Dayoub, President & CEO, The Greater El Paso Chamber of Commerce
Betsy Dexter, Manager of Education & Workforce Policy, Kentucky Chamber of Commerce
Ian Fletcher, Vice President of Workforce Development, Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce
Mary Graham, Senior Vice President, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce
Lindsay Haymes, Manager of Business Assistance, Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce
Hank Hyatt, Vice President of Economic Development, Greenville Chamber
Amy Johnson, Strategic Consultant, Association of Washington Business Institute
Greg Laposa, Project Manager, St. Louis Regional Chamber
Jennifer McFarren, Director of Workforce Development Greater Pensacola Chamber
Laurie Moran, President, Danville Pittsylvania County Chamber of Commerce
Brian Paschal, Senior Vice President, Education & Workforce, Tulsa Regional Chamber
Jim Schoettle, Executive Director of Development, Michigan West Coast Chamber of Commerce
Heather Valudes, Advocacy Director, The Lancaster Chamber of Commerce & Industry
Bridget Wilson, Director of Workforce Development, Mobile Area Chamber of Commerce
Tina Wirth, Senior Director of Workforce Development, JAX Chamber
Gilbert Zavala, Vice President, Education and Talent Development, Austin Chamber of Commerce           


For more information about ACCE’s Education Attainment Division visit:


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