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Our Leadership

Brian Britton NHA CEO

Brian Britton, Chief Executive Officer

Brian Britton has a passion for service, which he strives to live out while serving our more than 56,000 students around the country. Prior to his time as president and CEO of National Heritage Academies (NHA), Brian served as the president of OTG Management Inc., where he was responsible for the administration and operations of more than 200 restaurants and retail venues in 11 airports. Before his time at OTG, Brian served as executive vice president and chief operating officer of Levy Restaurants Inc. There he was responsible for a $1.4 billion division that included 140 sports and entertainment venues and 10 restaurants.

Before he moved to the Midwest, Brian spent more than a decade at The Walt Disney Company in multiple leadership roles. Brian led the Global Park Operations and Initiatives as vice president where he was responsible for park operating standards, planning, and initiatives. He implemented a new global operating philosophy, which focused on key behaviors and processes to drive improved service and business results. As Disney’s vice president of labor operations strategy and operations support, Brian was responsible for more than 45,000 employees and for shaping the overall labor strategy.

Brian is a proud graduate of the United States Naval Academy, and he loyally served our country for nine years. He is the recipient of the Navy Commendation Medal for his leadership and he consistently ranked as one of the highest performing Naval Officers during his service.

Brian is originally from Pittsburgh, Pa., but now resides in Grand Rapids, Mich., with his wife and three young children.

B.S., Systems Engineering, United States Naval Academy
MBA, Harvard Business School

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Todd McKee, Chief Academic Officer

Todd McKee is passionate about providing parents with high quality choices in education. As National Heritage Academies (NHA) 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.

Todd brings to his role at NHA eight years of experience as a classroom teacher and six as a principal. He was the founding principal of the Albany Charter Academy in N.Y. and 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 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

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Nick Sheltrown, PhD, Vice President of Analytics and Accountability

As vice president of analytics and accountability, Nick Sheltrown works to ensure that National Heritage Academies (NHA) improves operations. He dives into the numbers to determine how the correlation between student and teacher performance data impacts student learning and what factors can be addressed to create academic excellence. Nick wants our teachers at their best in the classroom so that our 56,000 students are meeting or exceeding expectations.

Nick taught in the classroom himself, first as a high school math teacher, and later as an adjunct faculty member at Michigan State University. There Nick instructed up and coming educators about how to effectively use technology. From 2011 to 2013, he also served as a gubernatorial appointee to the Michigan Council for Educator Effectiveness.

Before joining NHA’s Executive Team, Nick worked for Compass Learning as the director of learning analytics. Having previously led our information and analytics team as the senior director for several years, he is no stranger to NHA. Nick’s career has also included serving as the vice president of professional development at a technology start-up, as well as the director of measurement and research at Grand Valley State University.

Nick has a keen understanding of state accountability systems, as well as the unique ability to make complex information easy to understand. He uses that ability as a contributing writer for EdSurge, an online website dedicated to providing information on education technology.

B.A., Mathematics (with emphasis in Education), Cornerstone University
M.A., Curriculum and Teaching, Michigan State University
MBA, University of Michigan
Ph.D., Learning, Technology, and Culture, Michigan State University 

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Thea Reigler, Vice President of People Services

In heading up our human resources team, Thea oversees the design and implementation of solutions that promote people and ensures the continued excellence of staff at all National Heritage Academies (NHA) schools.

In her current role at NHA, Thea develops and implements human resource metrics reporting and analysis, which includes cost per hire, recruiter efficiency, and benefits per full time employee. During her tenure at NHA she has grown employees in our organization at more than 80 schools in nine states, serving more than 56,000 children, and improved turnover of teachers nationally.

Previously, as the 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, as well as the creation of succession plans to support career growth and business change. During her tenure there, she successfully completed more than forty mergers and acquisitions.

At NHA, Thea has established the organization’s core values and designed an execution strategy to embed into all talent management practices. She has developed a comprehensive five-year people strategy to support, selection, development, engagement, performance, and improvement.

In addition, she has introduced talent calibration to drive succession and performance clarity. This initiative has increased NHA performance by several percentage points collectively across the organization.

She has realigned the engagement strategy to tie to strategic key business drivers and implemented a new model to promote proactive action planning. Current results exceed national benchmarks. Currently, Thea is implementing a paid time off pilot for 10 schools and 20 control group schools in an effort to design total reward strategies which have greater perceived value for staff.

Always growing personally and professionally, Thea currently serves as a board member for the HRG (Human Resources’ Group) and is a member of several external committees to promote active support for underprivileged women and children. She has spoken at numerous human resources conferences and continues to find time to serve the community.

B.S., Business Administration, Aquinas College
Certification in SPHR, Society for Human Resources Management
Certificate in Strategic Decision-Making in Human Resources, Wharton School of Business

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Tari Reinink, Chief Marketing Officer

Tari Reinink heads National Heritage Academies (NHA) 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," she says.

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 her current position at 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
MBA, Marketing and Finance, Haworth College of Business

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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. He also 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 the New York Charter School Resource Center, where he also served as vice president. In this role, he worked with community leaders and organizations to develop successful charter school applications.

Nick has the privilege of serving as president of the Forest Hills Northern High School Athletic Booster Club. He is also chairman of the Kristen Paradiso-Ricci Scholarship Fund.

B.S., Political Science, Syracuse University
M.A., Public Administration, Nelson A. Rockefeller College of Public Affairs

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Steve Conley, CPA, Chief Financial Officer

As National Heritage Academies (NHA) chief financial officer, 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 has more than 25 years of multi-industry experience working with international public and domestic private companies in start-up, turnaround, stable, and high growth situations. Prior to NHA, Steve’s professional experience includes 10 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 the vice president of finance of a national vehicle logistics company.

Steve was twice appointed 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. Steve also held an adjunct faculty position at Madonna University in Livonia, Michigan, teaching undergraduate and graduate level finance courses.

Steve was actively involved as an assistant coach of his son’s elementary and middle school football teams for four years. Having seen those boys grow into successful men, he is still referred to as "coach.” That experience, Steve 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
MBA, Executive Management Program, Kellogg School of Management

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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 of challenging each child to achieve - as well as NHA’s development of a learning culture that supports that mission. He has remained a core part of our team for the past 20 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 of meeting students’ needs.

B.S., Computer Science and Secondary Teaching Certification, Hope College
M.S., Instructional Systems Technology, Indiana University
Executive MBA, Rochester Institute of Technology

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