American Student Assistance’s Board of Directors is an integral part of our management team, actively engaged in the oversight and strategic guidance of the organization. Board members possess specialized knowledge and expertise in an array of areas such as higher education finance and lending, financial literacy education, financial counseling, student life, credit, information technology, law, accounting, and management.
Donald Reaves recently retired as Chancellor of Winston-Salem State University (WSSU), a constituent institution within the University of North Carolina (UNC) System. Elected to the position by the Board of Governors of the 17-campus system he assumed his duties as Chancellor in August 2007, and brought to the position 35 years of higher education experience that included both teaching and administration.
Prior to his election as Chancellor at WSSU, he served for five years as Vice President for Administration and Chief Financial Officer at the University of Chicago. Reaves joined the University of Chicago after 14 years at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island where he held a number of senior positions including Assistant Vice President for Budget and Planning, Vice President for Finance, and Executive Vice President for Finance and Administration and Chief Financial Officer, a position that he held for nine years.
Prior to joining Brown University Donald worked for the Massachusetts Department of Public Welfare where he held several positions including Senior Budget and Personnel Analyst and Deputy Assistant Commissioner for Budget and Cost Control.
Dr. Reaves has spent many years in the classroom beginning in 1977 as a teaching fellow while in graduate school. In 1980 he joined the faculty of Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts where as an assistant professor he taught an array of courses in political science and public administration. In 1985 he left the fulltime faculty but continued until 1993 as an adjunct professor teaching public finance courses in Northeastern University’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.
A native of Cleveland, Ohio, Reaves holds a bachelors degree in political science from Cleveland State University (1976), a master’s degree (1978) and a doctoral degree (1981), both in political science and public administration from Kent State University.
Dr. Reaves is active in higher-education organizations having served a chair of the Roxbury Community College Board of Trustees in Boston, Massachusetts and vice chair of the Tougaloo College Board of Trustees in Jackson, Mississippi. He has previously served as a director of the Eastern Association of Colleges and University Business Officers (ECUBO), and the National Association of College and University Business Officers (NACUBO).
Dr. Reaves is actively engaged in a number of civic activities in the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County community. These activities include serving on the following boards and committees: the Novant Hospital Health Triad Region Board of Trustees; the Forsyth Futures Board of Directors; the Millennium Fund Oversight Executive Committee; the United Way of Forsyth County Board of Directors; the Piedmont Triad Leadership Council; the Piedmont Triad Research Park Board of Directors; the Winston-Salem Alliance Board; the Josh and Marie Reynolds Hospital Guest House Board of Advocates; and the Advisory Board of the North Carolina Humanities Council.
Donald Reaves also serves on the boards of two for-profit corporations, as an independent trustee of the William Blair Mutual Funds in Chicago, Illinois, and as a director of the Amica Mutual Insurance Company in Lincoln, Rhode Island.
Donald is married to Dr. Deborah Ross Reaves, a retired clinical psychologist. They have two adult children: Marc, a graduate of Cleveland State University who is in the real estate development business in Columbus, Ohio; and Katherine (Katie), a graduate of Yale University and the University of Chicago Law School who practices law in New York City.
Jean Eddy is currently serving as interim CEO of American Student Assistance. She most recently held the position of Chief Operating Officer at Rhode Island School of Design. Initially recruited to RISD as a result of her 25 years of demonstrated success in the higher education environment, Eddy became RISD’s first Senior Vice President for Students and Enrollment in 2010 before being tapped as COO in 2013. Jean’s career encompasses roles in academic affairs, finance and administration, and student affairs at Johnson and Wales University, Brandeis University and Northeastern University. An accomplished enrollment manager known for her ability to create and execute successful recruitment and retention strategies, she also enjoys a reputation for building significant organizations at leading institutions.
A native Rhode Islander, Jean held various positions at Johnson and Wales University where her love of systems originated as she designed and implemented more effective ways to award and disburse financial aid. She was subsequently recruited by Northeastern University to run their financial aid office and to modernize and automate their financial aid delivery systems. During her twelve year tenure at Northeastern, Jean served as Dean of Student Financial Services, Dean of Enrollment, and Vice Provost for Enrollment Management. Her most notable accomplishments were a data driven approach to increasing the quality, diversity, and selectivity measures for admission, establishing Northeastern’s national reach as a leader in practicum based education, the strategic use of financial aid, and the creation of effective financial models to impact net tuition revenue. She was particularly well known for her successful partnerships with academic, financial, and operational leadership as they implemented campus master plans, aligned student interests with academic programs, and reinvigorated University wide computer systems. Ms. Eddy is credited as being one of the senior leaders who changed the profile of the University from a regional commuter school to a top 100 national university.
In 2000 Jean became the first Senior Vice President of Students and Enrollment at Brandeis University, where she had oversight of all departments outside of the classroom. Here Jean continued her prior success in increasing applications and student quality measures as she maximized net tuition revenue, but additionally was able to create support systems for student life that improved already outstanding retention rates. Jean served as a senior leader and partner with the CFO and Provost to implement a campus master plan, design and implement significant capital projects, and craft and execute a strategic plan.
Nationally Jean is a recognized speaker and expert on creating and optimizing solutions that impact net tuition revenue focusing on recruitment and retention issues. She has held memberships on the College Board, NASFAA, EASFAA, and NACAC and has served on advisory boards for TERI and MEFA. She has served as president for both the Rhode Island Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators and the Massachusetts Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators. Currently Jean serves as a director on the Board of American Student Assistance. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Administration and a Master’s in Computer Science.
Randy Behm is a Principal and a Founder of Education Solution Partners, LLC (ESP). Formed in 2009, ESP manages nearly $1 billion in education loan programs for other companies on an outsourced basis. ESP applies the expertise of its Principals to enhance the programs of its clients.
Previously Randy was Senior Vice President and Director of Consumer Lending for Liberty Bank, N.A. When Randy joined Liberty Bank in 2007 he was responsible for managing all aspects of Liberty Bank’s private education loan programs. In 2009 the remaining areas of Consumer Lending were added to his responsibilities.
Prior to joining Liberty Bank Randy was Executive Vice President of Private Loans for Student Loan Xpress. He was responsible for developing, implementing and managing all aspects of Student Loan Xpress’ private education loan business. Randy joined Student Loan Xpress in May, 2004.
Previously Randy was Executive Vice President of Key Education Resources at KeyBank USA. In this position, Randy was responsible for managing all activities surrounding KeyCorp’s nationwide education financing product line, including marketing, customer service, loan sales and securitizations, and new product development. Randy joined Key as a financial analyst in 1982.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in economics and mathematics from Lawrence University in Wisconsin, and a master’s degree from the University of Michigan’s Graduate School of Business. Randy is a member of the Board of Directors of American Student Assistance (the Massachusetts student loan guarantee agency). He is also President of the Board of Trustees of the Cleveland Lutheran High School Association and Vice-Chairman of the Lakewood Lutheran School Board.
John is a Philanthropic Advisor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he raises capital gifts to support faculty, students, and key research initiatives, and advises highly successful families on their philanthropy. He previously served Princeton University and the American Cancer Society in similar roles. Before that, John worked for National City Corporation in Cleveland, Ohio, where he held leadership positions as Director of Education Finance and as Vice President of Investments.
John graduated from Princeton University with studies in Politics and Economics, and earned his MBA in Finance from Case Western Reserve University.
In addition to serving on the American Student Assistance board, John is a trustee of Boston By Foot, an architectural history organization in Boston, and the LGS Foundation, an international organization that serves patients and families affected by a rare epilepsy disorder.
Carol Fulp is President and CEO of The Partnership, Inc., New England’s premier organization dedicated to leadership development and talent management solutions for professionals of color. During its 25 year history, The Partnership has consulted with 250 corporations, in addition nearly 3,000 professionals of color have participated in its innovative programming.
Prior to her appointment to the Partnership, Fulp was the Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Brand Initiatives at John Hancock Financial. There she led the company’s $12 million philanthropic giving program and created the largest corporate summer jobs program of its kind in the country. Under her leadership the company received the Points of Light Foundation’s Corporate Excellence Award. Fulp previously was the Director of Community Programming and Human Resources for WCVB-TV and she also served as the Corporate Employee Relations Manager for the Gillette Company.
Given her leadership in public service, President Obama appointed Fulp as a Representative of the United States of America to the Sixty-fifth Session of the United Nations General Assembly. Governor Patrick appointed her as a trustee to the Massachusetts Convention Center Authority, Governor de Jongh appointed her as a trustee of the University of the Virgin Island and Mayor Menino appointed her as a trustee for the Boston Public Library.
Fulp also serves on the board of directors of American Student Assistance Corporation. Her civic boards include the Women’s Leadership Board of the Harvard Kennedy School and she is a trustee of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library Foundation, where she co-chaired the Profile in Courage Awards Dinner. In addition, she is a founding co-chair of the Massachusetts Conference for Women, the largest women’s conference in the country, attracting 7,000 attendees each year.
Fulp is a member of the Obama For America National Finance Committee, and a co-chair of its African–American Leadership Council. She was a founding member of the 2008 Obama for America New England Committee. She also served as a finance chair for Governor Patrick’s re-election campaign. And she was also appointed by Mayor Menino as co-chair of the Host Committee for the Democratic National Convention held in Boston.
She is the recipient of many honors including the Greater Boston Chamber of Commerce Pinnacle Award, Museum of Afro-American History’s Living Legend Award, the Anti-Defamation League’s Women of Valor Award, the Massachusetts Democratic Party’s Eleanor Roosevelt Award, Manulife Corporation’s Global Citizens Award and the United Nations of Greater Boston Global Leaders Award. In 2011, Boston Magazine listed her as one of the “50 Most Powerful Women in Boston”.
Fulp is a graduate of the University of the State of New York and is married to C. Bernard Fulp, Chairman of Go-Biz Solutions and Founder of Middlesex Bank Trust Company. They reside in Boston.
Lawrence H. Gennari is the co-founder of Gennari Aronson, LLP, a corporate law firm located along Rte 128, in the heart of the Massachusetts innovation community. Larry has been a corporate finance and transactional lawyer for more than two decades, with an established reputation for developing financing strategies for emerging growth companies. A former partner at Choate, Hall & Stewart in Boston, Larry’s practice focuses on corporate and securities law for emerging growth companies and the investors that finance them. His work includes countless private offerings, venture capital financings, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, and public offerings as well as SEC compliance for public companies and their directors and officers.
Larry also teaches at Boston College Law School, where, as an Adjunct Professor, he has taught courses on Mergers & Acquisitions, Corporate Finance and Advising Entrepreneurs for more than 15 years. He is a frequent commentator and contributor on corporate finance topics.
Larry earned a J.D. in 1989 from the College of William and Mary, where he served as editor-in-chief of the William & Mary Law Review, as well as a B.S. (Accounting), summa cum laude, in 1986 from North Adams State College, where he was the Massachusetts Society of CPA’s outstanding student.
Larry serves on the Vincent Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees at Massachusetts General Hospital and he is on the Advisory Board of the University of Massachusetts (Boston) College of Management and the Advisory Council for the Program in Education, Afterschool and Resiliency at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education.
Dr. Andy S. Gomez recently retired as Special Assistant for International Affairs at the University of Miami in Florida. In this role, Dr. Gomez served as the university’s liaison between the international business community and the diplomatic communities. He served as Assistant Provost for Planning, Institutional Research and Assessment from 2005-2012. In this capacity Dr. Gomez was responsible for the continuous academic improvement of all university wide programs. He also served on the Southern association of Colleges and Universities (SACS) Board of Trustees from 2008-2012. At the University of Miami, Dr. Gomez also served as Dean of the School of International Studies, 2001 – 2004. Upon retirement, Dr. Gomez was bestowed the highest honor given by the University of Miami, The Presidential Medal.
Dr. Gomez is considered an academic scholar in Cuban studies. He currently serves as a Senior Fellow at the University of Miami’s Institute for Cuban and Cuban-American Studies. His research agenda focuses on the ideological and psychological reconstruction of human values and attitudes in a post-Castro Cuba. Dr. Gomez also teaches several courses at the University of Miami, including “Cuba after Castro” and “The Cuban Revolution.” Dr. Gomez lectures extensively on Cuba’s transition at many national and international conferences, government seminars, and serves as a consultant on Cuba issues to ABC News. He served as a Nonresident Senior Fellow in the Foreign Policy program (Cuba) at the Brookings Institution from 2008-2010.
Before joining the University of Miami, Dr. Gomez served as the Undersecretary of Education and Chief of Staff at the Executive Office of Education, in Boston, MA (1991 – 1994). Prior to his time in Massachusetts, Dr. Gomez served in several capacities at the University of Houston, including Assistant Vice President for Academic Affairs, Special Assistant to the President, Executive Director of University Relations, Special Assistant to the Chancellor, and Assistant Professor of Public Administration (1984 – 1991).
Dr. Gomez received his Doctor of Education in Administration, Planning, and Social Policy from Harvard University (1993), a Master’s in Education also from Harvard University (1991), a Master’s in Public Administration from Florida International University (1978), and his B.A. in International Studies at the University of Miami (1976). In addition, he has certificates in management and leadership from Harvard’s School of Education and the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business.
Dr. Gomez also served as a delegate to the last Organization of American States (OAS) conference in San Pedro Sula, Honduras. He serves on the Board of Directors of American Student Assistance; the City of Coral Gables Budget and Audit Advisory Committee; the University of Miami’s representative to the Board of Directors of the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce and the Board of Directors of the Coral Gables Foundation. Additionally, Dr. Gomez was recently selected as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in South Florida.
Thomas M. Graf, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA), has been in state government for 21 years. He is a 1979 graduate of Merrimack College with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration/Finance.
Mr. Graf has served as the Executive Director of the Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA) since December 1999. MEFA is a not-for-profit, self-financing state authority dedicated to increasing college access and affordability for students and families in Massachusetts through affordable college savings plans, community education programs and affordable college financing options.
MEFA offers the U.Plan, the Commonwealth’s prepaid tuition program that enables families to lock in tomorrow’s tuition at today’s rates at 80 Massachusetts public and private colleges and universities; the U.Fund, the Commonwealth’s College Investing Plan (offered in partnership with Fidelity Investments) that allows families to invest for qualified higher education expenses through a selected portfolio of professionally managed mutual funds; MEFA Counselor college admissions and financing services for high school families and school counselors; and the MEFA Loan, one of the nation’s most affordable education loan programs that assists families of undergraduate and graduate students from all states attending Massachusetts colleges and universities as well as Massachusetts residents attending college anywhere in the country. Since its founding in 1982, MEFA has issued approximately $3.5 billion in bonds and assisted hundreds of thousands of families in financing a college education.
Mr. Graf began his public service career in 1979 as a legislative aid. Within his first year of service, Mr. Graf became a research analyst for the Leader’s Office when Rep. Robinson became Minority Leader in the Massachusetts House of Representatives. In this position, he increased his familiarity with the legislative and budgetary process through the drafting of legislation for the Minority Leader. In addition, he analyzed specific pieces of legislation prior to debate before the House.
In 1986, Mr. Graf was promoted to Research Director for the Office of the Minority Leader. In this capacity, he managed a staff of research analysts, worked with many Committee Members and key administration officials regarding pending legislation, including annual general appropriations bills to establish funding for the upcoming fiscal year. Budgetary analysis regarding both House and Senate budget recommendations were also under Mr. Graf’s purview.
From 1990–1993, Mr. Graf has served as Co-Director of the Governor’s Legislative Office. During his three year tenure, many landmark pieces of legislation were passed including a bipartisan Fiscal Responsibility Bill which put the state’s fiscal status on a positive course; a Workers’ Compensation Reform Bill which saw worker’s compensation insurance rates reduced for the first time in several years of rising rate increases; several comprehensive tax cuts; and many criminal justice bills.
Mr. Graf served as Deputy Budget Director for the Fiscal Affairs Division for one year, at which time he was appointed Budget Director of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. During his six year tenure, the Commonwealth produced seven balanced budgets; saw its Wall Street credit rating improve; continued to invest in the Commonwealth’s Stabilization Fund ($1.2 billion); and for the first time, deposited over $230 million into the Commonwealth’s Tax Reduction Fund giving tax relief to citizens of the Commonwealth.
For nearly 10 years, Mr. Graf has led MEFA in expanding education financing services to the students and families in Massachusetts. The legislative, budgetary, and management skills that he acquired over the years have helped Mr. Graf to become a consensus-building manager who is respected among his peers.
Dione is President and CEO of The Jewelers Board of Trade (JBT), a U.S. Based, national credit and collections bureau for the diamond and jewelry industry, operating as a member-sponsored trade association since 1884. Prior to joining JBT in 2002, Dione served as Managing Director of the Consumer Lending Group (including Education Lending) for FleetBoston Financial Corporation, and before that as Senior Vice President and Division Manager of Fleet Precious Metals.
Dione graduated from Smith College with a Bachelor of Arts in Government and holds an M.B.A. from Providence College.
She also serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the Gemological Institute of American (GIA), as a Trustee, and Past Board Chair, of the Lincoln School (Providence, RI), on the Boards of the Women’s Jewelry Association and The Boston Jewelers Club, and the Distribution Committee of the Champlin Foundation.
Peter Segall is CEO of HealthCareSource HR, a provider of talent management software solutions to the healthcare industry. Formerly the President of North America Higher Education Blackboard, Inc., Peter exhibited management responsibility and oversight for all aspects of Blackboard’s U.S. Higher Education academic business and operations, including sales, marketing, services, product development, customer support and business development. Peter brings over twenty years of experience providing educational consulting and management services to thousands of global higher education institutions.
Peter also served as the Executive Vice President and a Board Member at WebCT, in charge of global sales and business development for this leading e-learning provider. Before joining WebCT, Peter served as the Executive Director of Harvard University’s Project ADAPT, the first university-wide project to implement common financial management information systems to all of Harvard’s Education Consulting Group for Coopers & Lybrand L.L.P. While at Coopers & Lybrand, Peter led the development of enterprise-wide operations improvement projects and information technology strategies at many leading research universities including Harvard, Yale, Penn, UCLA, Boston University, and many others. He received his B.A. in Physics from Brown University, and his Masters of Math and Science Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.