Chairman of the Board | CEO
Board Member| President
Long earned his masters and doctorate at the George Washington University in educational counseling, and his undergraduate degree is in psychology, also from the George Washington University. In addition, he has worked on the staff of Congressman James W. Symington (D-MO), and held consultancies with several state education agencies, the US Department of Education, the World Health Organization and USA TODAY among others.
He lives in Virginia with his wife of 33 years and they have two adult sons.
He is an educator as well as a working designer, having taught Fine Art—Painting and Drawing—at Cornell University in the late 1970’s and Graphic Design at San Jose State University and three Community Colleges in the San Francisco Bay area since 1991.
Mr. Berendt has owned and operated The Eric Berendt Studio, his illustration and design business, since August 1, 1985. During that time, from the start until August of 1990, he ran the business from his office in Arlington, Virginia. Since August, 1990, The Eric Berendt Studio has been located in Pleasanton, California; first at 4121 Moller Drive, then at 1811 Santa Rita Road, and currently at 2579 Raven Road.
Over the last twenty-eight, his clients included, but were not limited to: Adobe Systems, Billington Distributors, Cisco Systems, Harcourt, Hewlett Packard, IBM, Literate Nation, Old Dominion Brewing Company, Tuppers’ Beers, Viña Cousiño Macul and other wineries in Chile, many smaller companies.
He also created a number of covers and interior spread and spot illustrations for IBM’s AS400 Magazine, MacUser, the Hartford Courant, Inc. Magazine, many smaller magazines, the online woman’s magazine VIV, and various companies. In 2006 he became a “preferred supplier” to Adobe’s Acrobat Marketing Division, creating over 200 info graphic illustrations and 450 icons for executive presentations describing the uses and workings of Adobe software in the enterprise arena. This lasted until 2009 when Adobe purchased MacroMedia, dissolved the Acrobat Marketing Division, and let go of all the members of that team. He has illustrated two books for early readers published by Harcourt, P. W. Cracker Sees the World and The Early Bird’s Alarm Clock.
Many of his clients stayed with him long term. Old Dominion Brewing Company came to him before they were incorporated and he continued to design labels and packaging for them until the company was sold in 2002. Billington Distributors began with him before they started the business and stayed until 1999 when its founder retired. For seventeen years, starting in 1992, he designed and created digital photo-collages of the employees of Moulthrop Sales, Inc. in various humorous situations for the company’s annual Thanksgiving Card.
Much of this work is currently on display on his web site, www.berendtstudio.com.
Carolyn D. Cowen
Most recently, she was Executive Director of Carroll School’s Center for Innovative Education, where she oversaw various outreach and professional-development programs, convened the Dyslexia Leadership Summit, and spearheaded the Dyslexia Geno-Phenotyping Initiative. Prior to that, she was Executive Director of The Learning Disabilities Network—a nonprofit she co-founded and operated for 20 years that provided services to individuals with LD, their families, and professionals working on their behalf.
In her 35-year career in education and nonprofits, Carolyn has worn many hats, including: teacher, reading therapist, speaker, author, editor, consultant, professional-development planner, executive director, think-tank convener, fundraiser, funder, and research coordinator. Carolyn earned her master’s degree in reading education and learning disabilities from Harvard University (during the Jeanne Chall era). She received the Alice H. Garside Award from the New England Branch of the International Dyslexia Association (IDA) and chaired IDA’s nominating committee. She also serves as a founding member on the Literate Nation Board of Directors. These days, she is especially interested in new-media/print literacy intersections, social media as a tool for driving change, and creative ways nonprofits can ”power the mission with the message.”
Douglas K. Darling, Esq.
J.D. (Law) Boalt Hall School of Law, U.C. Berkeley, attended 1984 – 1987
B.S. (Accounting) U.C. Berkeley, High Honors, Phi Beta Kappa, attended 1978-1981
Certification State Bar of California Admitted to Practice Law, 1987
U.S. Tax Court Admitted to Practice Before the Court, 1988
CPA, California 1984 (Inactive status)
Dr. Gillis has also served on many state committees including the RTI task force and the LD Guidelines task force – both charged with setting state policy that incorporates scientifically-based reading research in assessing and delivering optimum classroom instruction. This state policy work led to her involvement with recent ground-breaking legislation that CT passed to ensure that preservice and certified teachers have the requisite knowledge to teach children to read. As a result of this legislation, she is working on two research projects that are investigating best literacy practices and implementation in 20 schools in nine CT districts.
She is a director and past-president of the CT Branch of the International Dyslexia Association and is a member of IDA’s Professional Development Committee. She is also the past president and co-founder of Smart Kids with Learning Disabilities, an advocacy organization for parents. The tag line for Literacy How is empower teaching excellence because the more teachers know about language and literacy acquisition and development, the more successful their students will be in developing reading proficiency.
Diane’s passion for education compelled her to take her advocacy and management expertise to the U.S. Department of Education in Washington, D.C., where she managed parent training centers funded by OSEIP grants for a national network centers (PTI). During her three years at the U.S. Department of Education Diane also helped develop initiatives to promote awareness of research-based educational practices so people could identify and establish critical priorities for parent training resources nationwide.
In 2005 Diane moved and then served as projects manager for the Research and Evaluation Division at Higher Ed Holdings in Dallas, Texas, and directed the development and implementation of data collection, analysis, and reporting platforms to ensure program effectiveness. In addition she was responsible for the management and coordination of complex higher education accreditation proposals as well as leading program implementation and student services functions.
From 2008 to 2009 Diane was the Chief Operating Officer at, a company that develops research based Educational Program, an internet-based, supplemental and intervention, reading program. The program is intended to be used to help prevent emerging readers from lagging behind and to supplement the Core reading program for Kindergarten through third grade.
Diane also was a Research Projects Manager at Southern Methodist University. She managed a randomized study funded by the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education. The study focus was on the response to intervention, using technology within classrooms with hundreds of at-risk students in Dallas Independent School District.
Diane is now Chief Operating Office of Synergistic Education Solutions, an educational consulting company: HYPERLINK “http://www.ReidLyon.com”www.ReidLyon.com.
She also continues to provide workshops to states, parents, teachers and administrator, sharing how she effectively implements research into practice, not only in the classroom but in the home. She shares her personal story of her own experiences with dyslexia, which provides a different level of urgency and attention. She weaves in how she learned of her son’s dyslexia twenty years ago and what she learned along the way as a COO in an educational profit company, and as a Reading Research Project Manager of a Federal Grant. She also adds practical strategies for navigating a school day for teacher, parent and for the student with dyslexia. She shares her daily routine when raising her son with dyslexia and ADHAD and how he then was able to successfully support himself through 4 years at Indiana University and as he completed Law School and passing the Illinois bar exam in 2010.
On the surface, Scott Douglas Redmond’s accomplishments look like a tornado of diverse projects—from high tech inventions and patents with science fiction overtones to social and cultural engagements that empower individuals and touch the heart. Rarely does one person exhibit the creative diversity evidenced in Mr. Redmond. He is not just an ordinary guy; he is blessed with a brain that is usually in overdrive, capturing and rearranging bits of data to invent, reinvent, design new applications, and create innovative products.
Redmond has numeric dyslexia (dyscalculia) and is considered 2e Gifted. (Others in the “2e club” include Richard Branson; Charles Schwab; John Chambers, the founder of Cisco and Robin Williams) He experienced learning challenges while growing up alternately labeled gifted then handicapped and identified as either a smart kid or a dumb kid. The International Dyslexia Association (Fact Sheet #5 — 02/98) states: “To call this a learning disability tends to infer that the person cannot learn. However, with the proper instruction, dyslexics do learn. The key is in using the term ‘learning difference’ rather than ‘disability.’
Once Scott discovered how to learn in spite of his learning difference, his creative talent exploded. Still, his thoughts sometimes emerge in rapid succession like lightning bolts flashing across the sky. His seemingly unrelated projects nevertheless share a common theme—they are innovative and they do “make a difference.” They address social needs with product solutions that are at least a paradigm shift more advanced than the current solution. For example, Scott led a startup technology company to create a software “app” that enables communication without cellular infrastructure, he established a website to support an anti-bullying campaign, and he motivated parents and educators to use social media to improve literacy.
Redmond is the Founder and President of Peep Wireless Technology which is responsible for producing a software application (App) for the iPhone that enables peer-to-peer mesh networking—a communication without cellular infrastructure. The App enables the user to send Morse code, voice and image signals to communicate with other users who have installed the same App.
The online IPods news network, Ipodnn.com, reported in June 2011 that Peep Wireless technology was embedded in a new pro-democracy App, Democri-C, for iOS devices. The New York Times (June 12, 2011 article by James Glanz and John Markoff) carried an expansive story titled, U. S. Underwrites Internet Detour Around Censors, on how the US government was supporting “mesh network technology, which can transform devices like cellphones or personal computers to create an invisible wireless web without a centralized hub.”
The software app is known to have played a role in the democracy uprisings in the Middle East and it could provide critical communication following natural disasters and emergencies that destroy infrastructure. The Peep Wireless team that designed the Democri-C app under Scott Redmond’s direction deserves credit for making a difference by providing alternative ways to promote free speech and reach individuals following natural disasters.
Website to Fight Bullying in Schools
Aiding his support for Anderson Cooper’s 360° Series (on CNN network October 2011) to fight school bullying, Scott Redmond developed a number of websites to provide places where bullied students can talk, report bullying aggression, get support, and find helpful resources. His site, http://www.exposethebully.net/ enables students to share their experiences, expose bullies, and seek help. Bullies maintain their control through intimidation and isolation. If the bullied student can speak up and expose the bully, the bully will lose the crippling control. Anderson Cooper’s series on antibullying drew attention to the emotional damage that bullying causes—damage that resulted in several teen suicides.
Although Redmond’s philanthropic websites are not extraordinary, they join an expanding list of sites that offer hope and an outstretched hand to students who desperately need it. Making a difference, however small, still has merits.
Social Media to Improve Literacy
In another social outreach, Scott Redmond participated on a forum of educators and parents at the annual meeting of The International Dyslexia Association (IDA). In a PR Newswire November 22, 2011, IDA reported “…political leaders and world-renowned experts in the fields of education, advocacy, and business held a groundbreaking forum to address the literacy crisis in the United States.” As part of that forum, Scott led a motivating discussion on the use of social media in grassroots campaigns.
Scott explained how social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, and Foursquare can magnify one or a few voices and how software tools, like TweetDeck, a desktop application, can allow users to organize, send, and receive messages in high volumes. Additionally, social media provides platforms for individuals scattered across large geographies to reach like-minded individuals to share knowledge, experiences, and resources.
Scott’s presentation was part of a series of speakers helping IDA improve literacy by promoting passage of a Literacy Education for All Results for the Nation (LEARN) Act and for working to pass state literacy laws to provide support, instruction, intervention and professional development for teachers to increase their ability to teach students with learning disabilities. Scott challenged the attendees to take “tangible steps to use social media to create parent/child partnerships to bring the legislation reform message to every state in America.”
Scott Redmond is a dyslexic who used his “learning difference” (aka disability) to overcome technological impediments to cellular communication that occur during disasters and political blackouts; reduce school bullying by creating a website that offers emotional support and confidence building resources; and mobilize a grassroots effort to use social media to improve national and state literacy laws so every student will be able to learn. Blessed with a unique view of the world Scott strives to make a difference by using the talents that made him different.
Henry Sinclair Sherrill
Doctor Smartt holds a doctorate in school psychology from Tennessee State University and a master’s degree in special education and reading from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University. Formerly in her work at Vanderbilt, Dr. Smartt engaged in research focusing on improving teacher preparation for reading teachers. Dr Smartt currently provides educational consulting services and teacher training to states and local school districts focusing on school reform, reading intervention for low-performing schools, using data to inform practice, developing response to intervention initiatives and implementing scientifically based literacy programs.
Dr. Smartt owned and directed a reading clinic for 20 years in which she provided comprehensive psychoeducational assessments and tutoring services. She has been a clasroom teacher, a reading coach, a reading specialist, a principal, a university faculty member, and a researcher. Her publications include authorship and coauthorship of journal articles, edited volumes, and books on research-based reading intervention and policy initiatives, including Next STEPS in Literacy Instruction: Connecting Assessment to Effective Interventions (Paul Brookes Publishing Co, 2010) with Deborah R. Glaser, Ed.D. Recently she and Marty Hougen, Ph.D. collaborated on the edited volume, Fundamentals of Literacy Instruction and Assessment, PK-6 (Paul Brookes Publishing Co, 2012). Dr. Smartt travels the country extensively presenting workshops for classroom teachers and administrators.
In her work as both a member and Co-Chair of the Colorado Special Education Advisory committee, she was able to work with the Colorado Department of Education in various capacities including, developing the Colorado Reading Summit and with the decision making process of the Response to Intervention implementation in Colorado. As a board member and president of six years, Elenn built parent, family, and educator programs that have received local and national acclaim for the Rocky Mountain Branch of The International Dyslexia Association.
Further, she was the local chair of the 2005 national IDA conference and continues to lead Reading in the Rockies, Colorado’s leading literacy conference addressing the needs of students with dyslexia and literacy challenges. She is a founding board member and Vice President of Advocacy for Literate Nation, a national organization dedicated to literacy for all students. She also serves as Co-Chair of the Government Affairs Committee for the International Dyslexia Association.
Tiffany Coletti Titolo
Maryanne Wolf is the John DiBiaggio Professor of Citizenship and Public Service, director of the Center for Reading and Language Research, and a professor in the Eliot-Pearson Department of Child Development at Tufts University.
She received her doctorate from Harvard University, where she began her work on the neurological underpinnings of reading, language and dyslexia. Most recently, she has conducted studies in reading intervention, early prediction, fluency and naming speed, cross-linguistic studies of reading and the relationship between entrepreneurial talents and dyslexia.
The author of numerous scientific publications, Professor Wolf’s most recent book, Proust and the Squid: The Story and Science of the Reading Brain (HarperCollins, 2007), was written for the general public and translated into 13 languages. Described as one of the best books of the year by Publishers Weekly, it received the Marek Award from the New York International Dyslexia Association for the best book of the year on reading.
Among Professor Wolf’s honors are the Distinguished Professor of the Year Award from the Massachusetts Psychological Association, the Teaching Excellence Award from the American Psychological Association and the Distinguished Researcher Award from Tufts University. For her work on dyslexia, she has received a Fulbright Research Fellowship, the Norman Geschwind Lecture Award from the International Dyslexia Association and the Alice Ansara Award. With colleagues Robin Morris and Maureen Lovett, Professor Wolf received the Shannon Award for Innovative Research from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) and several multiyear NICHD grants to investigate new approaches to reading intervention, including the RAVE-O reading-intervention program, created by Professor Wolf and members of the reading center at Tufts.