Harry "Chip" Hurlburt, President and Chief Executive Officer
As president and CEO, Chip Hurlburt is charged with overseeing the capital growth and continued academic excellence of National Heritage Academies (NHA). This includes nearly 4,000 employees and more than 51,000 students at our charter schools.
Chip has a proven, two-decade track record of building new service businesses and helping reinvent mature ones in the consumer education and K12 learning industries. Prior to NHA, Chip spent 16 years in a number of key leadership and operating roles for Kaplan, Inc., the global educational services company and largest subsidiary of The Washington Post Company. These roles included president of graduate programs, a consumer-focused test preparation business, and chief operating officer and later president of Kaplan K12 Learning Services, providing supplemental and direct instructional services to K12 schools.
Much of Chip’s focus has been on identifying market opportunities and assembling industry-leading teams to drive innovation and growth. "I’ve always believed in developing talented teams and motivating people to achieve their best. NHA gives me a tremendous opportunity to do both."
Equally important to Chip is the focus on the student. "I believe our goal at NHA is to help our students fully achieve their academic potential. It’s exciting to see how NHA develops talented educators and equips them with unprecedented levels of support and data from student assessments. This enables NHA teachers to respond individually to each student’s needs."
Earlier in his career, Chip was director of marketing & communications for The Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), the test-maker responsible for screening foreign nurses entering the country seeking to practice. At CGFNS, Chip headed up marketing and government relations and led efforts to build out a new business unit screening foreign-educated physical and occupational therapists.
In his free time, Chip enjoys coaching his daughter’s softball team and spending time hiking and skiing with his wife Terry and daughters Julia and Laura.
B.S., business administration, 1990, Drexel University
M.B.A., 1991, Drexel University
Todd McKee, Chief Academic Officer
Todd McKee is passionate about providing parents with high quality choices in education. As NHA’s Chief Academic Officer, he makes sure that we deliver on that promise; creating and maintaining high standards of excellence among all of our schools across the country.
With eight years as a classroom teacher and six as a principal, Todd brings essential experience in both teaching and administration. He was the founding principal of the Albany Charter Academy in New York. He served as the principal of the International Community School in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; an International Baccalaureate school serving hundreds of students from more than 60 countries. Additionally, he’s an alumnus of the Teach for America program, which recruits outstanding professionals to teach in low-income schools with the goal of eliminating inequity in education.
Todd’s work with NHA is squarely focused on creating a system that eliminates achievement gaps and ensures that all children have an opportunity to receive an excellent education.
B.S., biology and chemistry, George Fox University
M.A., educational administration policy and analysis, Stanford University
Tari Reinink, Chief Marketing Officer
Tari Reinink heads our marketing efforts, strategically guiding the NHA brand across a growing number of touch points. As such, she manages how our story is expressed and shared, both internally and with parents and community leaders. Serving as our lead brand architect, Tari is responsible for the enrollment of the students in all of our schools.
As our chief parent advocate, Tari works tirelessly to meet parent needs and ensure an excellent customer experience. "There is nothing more fulfilling than impacting the life of a child. NHA provides me that opportunity."
With a background of more than 20 years of marketing leadership, Tari brings a wealth of integrated brand-building experience to her position. Prior to NHA, she served as vice president of global marketing for Alticor, where she gained deep knowledge of brand positioning, strategy, and creative execution - all while spearheading new methods for measuring results.
Tari is an expert in multi-cultural marketing, having successfully marketed billion dollar brands to consumers all over the world, including all of North America, Europe, China, and Japan. She applies her multi-cultural experience to NHA’s diverse consumer groups, methodically developing and delivering targeted messaging and a customized experience to all external stakeholders.
She is a member of the National Charter Schools Professional Networking group, the eMarketing Association Network, the American Marketing Association, the Direct Marketing Association, WOMMA (Word of Mouth Marketing Association), and the Academy of Marketing Science.
B.A., industrial marketing, Western Michigan University (WMU)
M.B.A., marketing and finance, WMU - Haworth College of Business
Thea Reigler, SPHR - Vice President of People Services
In heading up our human resources team, Thea oversees the design and implementation of solutions that promote people and ensure the continued excellence of our schools.
Previously, as vice president of human resources for a leading health system, Thea played a leadership role in successfully growing her organization from a staff of 4,000 to more than 20,000 people; this included executive leadership in hiring and development and the creation of succession plans to support career growth and business change.
One of Thea’s greatest accomplishments was a human resources transformation that required the alignment of four distinct organizations into one shared services model. She was also instrumental in the implementation of a "whole person" recruitment strategy that has since become the standard for the organization.
A strong proponent of good data, Thea developed and implemented HR metrics reporting and analysis, including: cost per hire, recruiter efficiency, and benefits per FTE.
Always growing professionally and personally, Thea currently serves as a board member for the Women’s Resource Center, and is the current chair for their donor relations committee. She has also participated on several other committees, including the Equality Day Planning Committee and the Grand Rapids Chamber of Commerce, Education to Work Task Force, in which she served as co-leader. Most recently, she served as co-chair for the Michigan Women’s Foundation annual fundraising initiative.
B.S., business administration, Aquinas College
Certificate for Strategic Decision-Making in Human Resources, Wharton School of Business
Steve Conley, CPA, MBA - Chief Financial Officer
As the CFO, Steve plays a critical role in supporting growth, improving operations, and creating sustainable value while ensuring regulatory compliance and managing risk. As a key member of NHA’s executive team, Steve oversees finance, accounting, financial planning and analysis, and critical elements of the new school development function, including land acquisition and construction.
Steve brings over 25 years of multi-industry experience working with international public and domestic private companies in various start-up, turnaround, stable, and high growth situations. Prior to NHA, Steve’s professional experience includes ten plus years in "Big 4" public accounting, ownership of a professional staffing firm, executive finance and operations positions with local and national home builders, and most recently, as VP Finance of a national vehicle logistics company.
Steve was appointed twice to the Michigan State Board of Accountancy by Governor John Engler. He served as the vice chair of the Legislative Action Committee for the Michigan Association of Certified Public Accountants and was a candidate for the Michigan House of Representatives. At one time, Steve also held an adjunct faculty position at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan, teaching undergraduate and graduate level finance courses.
Aside of his career pursuits, Steve was actively involved as an assistant coach of his son’s elementary and middle school football teams for four years. Now seeing those boys grow into successful men and still being referred to as "coach", that experience, he notes, made a lasting impression and reinforced his belief in the importance of participating and contributing to the well-being of future generations.
B.A., accounting, Michigan State University
M.B.A., executive management program, Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management
Nick Paradiso, Vice President of Government Relations and Partner Services
Nick Paradiso serves as the vice president of government relations and partner services for National Heritage Academies (NHA). In this role, Nick works with the partner services and government relations teams to lead and execute the company’s business development strategy as well as manages partner charter school board relations, the charter renewal process, and external affairs.
Nick has been with NHA since November 2000, and he has previously served in roles of regional director of business development, director of partner services, and senior director of government relations. Prior to joining NHA, Nick helped create and was the vice president of the New York Charter School Resource Center. In this role, he worked with community leaders and organizations to develop successful charter school applications.
Nick received a bachelor’s degree in political science from Syracuse University and a master’s degree in public administration from the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs at the State University of New York at Albany.
Nick has the privilege of serving on a number of boards, including the Thornapple Valley Baseball League Board of Directors and the Boys and Girls Clubs of Buffalo, Inc., and he is chairman of the Kristen Paradiso-Ricci Scholarship Fund.
He and his wife Cindy live with their daughter Samantha, son Maxwell, and family dog Gunther in Grand Rapids, MI.
B.S., political science from Syracuse University
M.A., public administration from the Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs at the State University of New York at Albany
Aric Dershem, Vice President of Administration
Like many of our best people, Aric got his start in the classroom—in his case, helping high school and college students explore the potential of technology. Today he continues to help people develop their potential—providing human resources and training support to NHA’s educators, administrators, and support staff and by leveraging technology as a business and learning accelerator for NHA.
Aric was drawn to NHA by its mission: Challenging each child to achieve… and encouraged by the intentional culture that supports that mission. He has remained a core part of our team for the past 16 years because, as he puts it, he “loves working with committed and caring people who want to be their best and do their best every day to make a difference in the lives of families and children.”
As Vice President of Administration, Aric’s focus is providing high-quality, customer-focused technology and services to support school operations, ensuring that teachers and school leaders can focus on their primary goal, meeting students’ needs.
Aric joined NHA in 1997 and brings a unique skill set and educational background to his role as Vice President of Administration with degrees in Computer Science, Instructional Design & Technology and Business Administration.
B.S. Computer Science + Secondary teaching certification, Hope College (Holland, MI)
Instructional Systems Technology, Indiana University (Bloomington, IN)
Executive M.B.A., Rochester Institute of Technology (Rochester, NY