Our Team

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RUBY K. PAYNE, Ph.D. – FOUNDER AND PRESIDENT

Dr. Ruby Payne is the founder of aha! Process and an author, speaker, publisher, and career educator. Recognized internationally for A Framework for Understanding Poverty, her foundational book and workshop, she has helped students and adults of all economic backgrounds achieve academic, professional, and personal success. As an expert on the mindsets of economic classes and overcoming the hurdles of poverty, she has trained hundreds of thousands of professionals, from educators and school administrators to community, church, and business leaders. Dr. Payne received a bachelor’s degree from Goshen College in Goshen, Indiana; a master’s degree in English literature from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan; and a doctorate in educational leadership and policy from Loyola University in Chicago, Illinois.

 

T. (TEE) HARDIE BOWMAN – VP, SALES & OPERATIONS

Tee works directly with clients to promote the Company’s work in communities and schools. His work involves direct interaction with clients to customize the services and products of the Company to their needs. He also works on the development of new markets with foundations, public entities, and private corporations to help them accomplish their goals of working with under-resourced individuals, poverty reduction, student retention, higher education, employee retention, and other applications of the original work of Ruby Payne. Tee received his bachelor’s degree from The University of Texas At Austin.

 

PEG Peg-Conrad-CircleCONRAD – VP, PUBLICATIONS

A seasoned and versatile professional with 30 years of experience in management, Peg has been with aha! Process since 2000. She works closely with our authors and team of editors, designers, and writers to produce publications that support our client training and consulting.

Additionally, she is responsible for inventory management, the creation of physical and digital products, and responding to reprint or copyright requests.

 

ALECIA CHAPMAN MANAGER OF EDUCATIONAL SERVICES

Alecia oversees the K-12 programs for aha! Process, including public workshops, trainer certification, and privately scheduled trainings. She oversees our consultant development and assists clients in scheduling events with Dr. Payne. She enjoys working with clients to plan successful events and providing support to our consultants in the field. Alecia has worked at aha! since 2002. She received her bachelor’s degree in behavioral sciences from East Texas Baptist University and her master’s in school psychology from University of Houston – Clear Lake.

 

LYNN JACKSON BRIDGES ENGAGEMENT MANAGER

After spending over 25 years in higher education recruitment and administration, Lynn joined the aha! Process staff in August of 2012. Her days are filled answering client questions, conducting event planning, marketing and supporting client engagement. Her goal is to enhance the lives of individuals and communities through our work. When not working, you may find Lynn at a St. Louis Cardinals baseball game, trying out a new restaurant, or offering tours to family and friends in her adopted hometown of St. Louis, MO, “Gateway To the West”.

 

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RUTH WEIRICH ENGAGEMENT SPECIALIST

Ruth was first introduced to A Framework for Understanding Poverty 17 years ago. The book provides an alternate way of looking at class issues and has been a powerful tool for her both professionally and personally since that time. Ruth has been a management professional in the book industry for 30 years. With a love for maximizing organizations strategic goals, Ruth will work beside your team to find the right solutions and trainings for your organization. Ruth is an active listener, a critical thinker, and has quick judgment and decision making skills. She received her M.B.A. from Colorado State and her B.A. in business administration from Goshen College.

 

Linda-Baker-Circle-3LINDA BAKER ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVE

Linda has been a member of the aha! team since 2001. She is responsible for account management of school-related workshops, preparing contracts and maintaining communication with consultants/clients during this process. During her tenure with the Company, she has held a variety of roles, including setting up workshops, assisting with material sales and booking workshops. Linda previously worked for Goose Creek Independent School District for over 20 years. She has an associate’s degree from Lee College and attended the University of Houston – Clear Lake. Linda is married with three children and five grandchildren.

 

Sherry-Baccigalopi-CircleSHERRY BACCIGALOPI – ACCOUNT REPRESENTATIVE

Sherry has been with aha! Process for over one year. She assists clients in identifying products, services, and workshops that will meet their specific needs. Additionally, Sherry prepares and executes contracts for Bridges workshops and maintains communication with consultants and clients from the initial request until the event has been completed.

Previously, Sherry worked for a major mutual fund for 14 years as a portfolio administrator. She has an associate’s degree from San Jacinto College and holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston – Clear Lake.

 

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DAVID CONRAD – MARKETING & TRAINING

David currently manages aha’s email marketing campaigns and newsletter systems. He also delivers cradle – to – grave hosting and moderation for all of aha’s online trainings and recertifications, as well as traveling with consultants to help host local events. David occasionally assists with ad-hoc reporting support for the office and is fully committed to increasing poverty awareness and helping communities transition to sustainability. David began at aha! during his junior year of college and joined full-time after graduating from Virginia Tech in 2009 with a bachelor’s in business.

 

Sherry-Polvadore-CircleSHERRY POLVADORE – DISTRIBUTION MANAGER

Sherry leads our Shipping and Purchasing departments with the goal of making sure each customer receives their materials on time and in excellent condition. She is responsible for maintaining inventory levels, scheduling products for many of our upcoming events, and reviewing copyright requests from our online store.

For 25 years, she has held positions in procurement, customer service, accounting and management. She holds a certificate in business management.

 

 

JIMMY GONZALES – DISTRIBUTION ASSOCIATE

Jimmy ensures that your products arrive on time and in good condition! He is responsible for managing the warehouse and packing/shipping all orders on the day they are processed.

Making sure that our customers are satisfied with the condition and arrival with their order is his number one priority.

 

 

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BEN RIDGWAY ACCOUNTING MANAGER

Ben manages the accounting department and has been with aha! Process for over 3 years. He supervises numerous facets of the accounting department, from full cycle accounts payable to financial reporting. Ben also handles workshop invoicing, manages flows, ad-hoc reporting, budget forecasting and analysis, as well as inventory reconciliations.

In 2011, Ben graduated with a bachelor’s degree in accounting and finance from the University of Houston – Clear Lake. He is currently working towards obtaining his CPA license.

 

Gail-Gibson-CircleGAIL GIBSON ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, ACCOUNTING

Gail has worked with the aha! Process team for 12 years. In addition to working in the Accounts Receivable department, she processes all public registrations, material sales and returns, including online store purchases. Additionally, Gail handles customer service requests, resolving many issues that may arise in our daily business. Vendor forms, material bids and complimentary materials are also processed from her desk. With a college certificate in accounting, she previously worked in various accounting positions before coming to aha! Process.

 

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SUSIE SPURGEON ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT, OPERATIONS

Susie handles many of the day-to-day operations of aha!, making sure that our telecommunications systems properly function. Because of her versatile position within the company, Susie is trained to help in a variety of departments. She has worked at aha! Process for over 9 years in a variety of roles.

Susie received a secretarial certificate from a technical school.

 

 

PAULAPaula-Nicolella-Circle NICOLELLA PUBLISHING & DESIGN

Paula creates the layout designs for company projects, including new publications (just finished her 35th book), presentations, training manuals, electronic files, conference booklets, online PD and other marketing materials (and updates to new editions!), all designed to support the training and publications of the company. She also manages digital publications, tracks ISBN numbers, and other essential publication activities. Paula joined the publication team at aha! Process in 2002 after 15 years of working in advertising, marketing, communications, and executive support.