Board of Directors



Chad Readler is a partner at the global law firm Jones Day, primarily focused on civil, criminal, and constitutional matters, with an emphasis on appellate litigation. Chad received his J.D. cum laude from the University of Michigan and his B.A in Political Science and Economics.

Before the U.S. Supreme Court, Chad has assisted successfully in representing clients in matters involving preemption, the First Amendment, the death penalty, and Congress’ power under the Fourteenth Amendment. Chad recently prevailed in the Ohio Supreme Court on behalf of the Cleveland Clinic, as well as in a separate matter where he defended the constitutionality of Ohio’s public charter school system.

Chad was named a 2009 recipient of the American Marshall Memorial Fellowship awarded by the German Marshall Fund of the United States (GMF). 

Greg Brown, Treasurer

Greg is Dean of Academics at The Graham School, a public charter high school located in Columbus. He also teaches English at the school, which has a special focus on experiential education. Prior to working at The Graham School, he served as executive assistant to the superintendent of Columbus Public Schools, overseeing daily operations of the office. He helped create the "Columbus Reads" program, bringing reading tutors from businesses into elementary school classrooms. This program served as a model for "Ohio Reads." He worked for 16 years at The Ohio State University, where he served as a senior staff member in the College of Education and as editor of the faculty and staff newspaper. Greg earned his bachelor’s degree in English and teaching licensure from Miami University and a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University. He has also completed extensive graduate coursework in education at Ohio State. A graduate of North High School in Columbus, Greg has traveled extensively. For four years, he lived in Australia, where he taught English at the high school level.

 Steve Burigana

Steve Burigana is currently CEO of Resource Network, Inc. Prior to that he was Chief Operating Office for the Ohio Department of Education, largely responsible for overseeing data services, fiscal services, human resources, information technology, communications and customer service; and, Steve at one time was responsible for the department’s Office of Community Schools. Steve served as an elected school board member of the Grandview Heights City School District, a member of the eTech Commission, and as a member of the Educational Management Information System Advisory Council. Steve also served as the COO of the Industrial Commission of Ohio. Steve attended Notre Dame University and holds business and technology degrees from Franklin University.


Kristi Phillips-Schwartz is Director of Education Initiatives at the Cincinnati Business Committee (CBC). In this role, she works with the Cincinnati region’s top CEOs on education issues—primarily focused on improving educational quality in the urban core. Ms. Phillips-Schwartz comes to the CBC from the Thomas B. Fordham Institute—an organization devoted entirely to the reform of elementary/secondary education—where she managed the design and production of numerous research projects and advocated for significant education policy changes in Ohio. In this role, she also worked with the business, philanthropic, and education community to persuade the Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) to open a cluster of schools in Columbus, Ohio. Prior to that, she conducted research and co-authored several reports for the Ohio General Assembly’s Legislative Office of Education Oversight. Kristi is a graduate of The Ohio State University where she earned a B.A. in Art Education and a M.A. in Educational Policy and Leadership. She resides in Cincinnati and enjoys spending time with her husband and their young son, Connor.

John "Jack" Sherwin Jr.

Jack is currently interim president and CEO of The Holden Arboretum in Kirtland, Ohio, as well as the president of Cleveland-based Mid-Continent Ventures, Inc. Prior to founding Mid-Continent in 1985, he held various positions with Diamond Shamrock Corporation, both domestically and overseas. Active in the community, Jack is a director of Brush Engineered Materials, Inc., Impulse Technology Ltd., and ShoreBank, Cleveland Corporation. Additionally, he serves on the boards of The Holden Arboretum, John Carroll University, The Cleveland Clinic Foundation and Westminster School. He is a life trustee of the Hawken School and a trustee emeritus of the Great Lakes Museum of Science, Environment and Technology. As recently past chairperson, he has had a long involvement with The Cleveland Foundation, including helping to establish the Lake Geauga Fund in 1987 and serving as president of TheSherwick Fund (a supporting organization of The Cleveland Foundation), which his father created in 1969. An avid outdoorsman, he holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from John Carroll University.

  Susan Stagner 

Susan Stagner currently serves as Vice President, State Relations for Connections Academy, a leading national provider of virtual public school curriculum, technology, and school management services. Prior to her current role, Susan has served in senior leadership roles inpublic charter schools including leading the Ohio Virtual Academy for five years as Head of School and serving as Vice President for virtual school provider K12 Inc. Susan’s business experience includes various positions in engineering, program management, consulting and Internet strategy, including stints with the Ford Motor Company and Libbey Inc. A graduate of the University of Detroit, where she received a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, Susan also earned a MBA from the University of Michigan-Dearborn. Susan also is a 2007 graduate of the Ohio Superintendent Leadership Institute. As a co-founder of the Ohio Alliance of Public Charter schools, Susan has served on the board since 2007.