People

 

Our Team

 
Kate Baker, Executive Director   .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 
Direct: 603-785-0174
 
Kathy Lauer-Rago, Operations & Accounting  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) 
 
Esther Fleurant, Outreach Coordinator  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
 
Varrin Swearingen, Development Coordinator .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
 
Michelle Levell, Outreach & Social Media Coordinator  .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
 
 

NEO’s Board of Directors


Douglas Dewey
 
Doug Dewey joined Bernstein Global Wealth Management in 2003 as a Financial Advisor. He counsels small institutions and high net worth families in the U.S. and Canada. Prior to joining Bernstein, from 1997-2003, he worked with financier Theodore J. Forstmann to launch and manage the Children’s Scholarship Fund, with the dual purpose of helping low-income children attend private schools and encouraging market-oriented reforms—particularly, investment in for-profit alternatives. Before joining the Children’s Scholarship Fund, Doug had co-founded a prototype program in Washington, D.C., called the Washington Scholarship Fund. Previously, Doug was a White House appointee under President George H. W. Bush, serving as a policy analyst at the Justice and Education Departments. 
 
In addition to serving as a board member and chairman of the Network for Educational Opportunity, Doug serves on the boards of directors of Christendom College (Front Royal, Virginia) and Children First School Choice Trust (Toronto, Ontario). He is also chairman of the New York Men’s Leadership Forum in New York City. Doug studied history and political philosophy at the University of Waterloo, and lives in Westchester County, New York, with his wife and 10 children.
 

 
 
Jim Forsythe
 
Jim Forsythe is an aerospace engineer with NAVAIR, an affiliate professor of thermodynamics and physics at the University of New Hampshire, and he operates Forsythe Consulting, LLC.
 
Jim is a former New Hampshire senator (2010-2012), where he served as vice-chair of Senate Education. He was the top ranked senator by Americans for Prosperity, the Republican Liberty Caucus, and the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance. While in the senate, he sponsored a bill to protect from added regulation schools that accept students attending with the help of tax credits, grants or scholarships.
 
Jim has worked as Director of Research for Cobalt Solutions, LLC, a research scientist for the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, and an associate professor at the United States Air Force Academy. He has served as a Commander/Co-Pilot in the USAF and has flown combat support missions in Iraq, Bosnia and Somalia. He has also served as Operations Group Resource manager at the Plattsburgh Air Force Base, managing a multi-million dollar budget.
 
Jim came to his views about freedom in education through his parents, who sacrificed to send him and his brother to private schools and through the study of the Austrian and Chicago schools of economics, the principles of liberty, and John Taylor Gatto’s writings on the history of public schooling.
 
 

Cathy Duffy
 
Cathy Duffy is a well-known curriculum expert who has researched and written on the topic for more than 25 years, with a special focus on home education. Her most recent book is 100 Top Picks for Homeschooling Curriculum (published by the B&H Publishing Group). Cathy home educated her three sons through high school and has also taught numerous groups of children and adults. She is a popular speaker at home education conferences around the world and a leader in the home education movement. Cathy is currently creating an online, automated curriculum-selection process that will help home educators choose the most appropriate resources for each of their children.
 
In 1995, Cathy addressed problems with the direction of “educational reform” by authoring the book Government Nannies: The Cradle-to-Grave Agenda of Goals 2000 and Outcome-Based Education. Her concerns about government schooling also prompted Cathy to pilot a $15 million scholarship program in Los Angeles through the Children’s Scholarship Fund in 1998. This program enabled children from low-income families to attend private and home schools. 
 
 
Arthur M. Nutter
 
Art Nutter founded TAEUS International Corporation in 1992 as the world’s first engineering company dedicated exclusively to helping patent owners make money from their patent portfolios. He has defined the TAEUSWorks™ business method for evaluating patents for licensing purposes, and has filed for numerous business method patents on patent evaluation and decision-making software, as well as on methods for starting a patent licensing business.
 
Art has lectured extensively and been published on intellectual property management processes and techniques for corporations worldwide. He has lectured to numerous professional organizations, including many national and local Licensing Executives Societies (LES), the American Intellectual Property Law Association (AIPLA), World Research Group, and Pikes Peak Venture Group. 
 
Art holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Akron (Ohio), and a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Phoenix. He and his wife Katheleen have three sons and five daughters, ranging in age from preschool to college. 
 
 
Chris Rufer
 
Chris Rufer founded The Morning Star Company in 1970, driving one truck to haul tomatoes and peaches from farms to processing factories. The company today grows and transplants tomato seedlings and harvests tomatoes before trucking them to its three processing facilities throughout Central California. Chris continues to design the company’s factories and oversee their construction. The company produces a full range of tomato products for food manufacturers, high-volume chain restaurants, and the private label, food service, and retail markets. 
 
Based on Chris’ unique managerial philosophy, The Morning Star Company operates under an organizational system best described as Self-Management. Without any formal managers or supervisors, the company’s structure is completely flat—inspiring individual employees to take personal responsibility for the quality of their work. 
 
Chris earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); a Master of Science degree in Agricultural Sciences from California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo; and a Master of Business Administration degree with emphasis in Finance and Corporate Planning from UCLA. He and his wife Melodie have two college-age children, Karrie and Todd. 
 
 
Alan Schaeffer
 
As a philosopher, mechanic, and carpenter, Alan Schaeffer has a passion for understanding how things work—or why they don’t. When Alan harnessed that passion to address the root causes of his own personal experience with dyslexia, it led to his decision to home-educate his children.
 
Alan soon realized that leaving the system wasn’t enough—he also felt a responsibility to help others fully understand the causes and effects of failing schools, so that they, too, could make the best decisions for their own children. To this end, Alan began to follow closely the work of Marshall Fritz, founder of the Alliance for the Separation of School & State (as well as Pioneer Christian Academy and Advocates for Self-Government.)
 
After 16 years as owner of an independent bicycle shop, and a decade of passionate personal interest in the problems of education, Alan went to work for Marshall and two years later became president of the Alliance. Since then, he has focused on presenting parents with a positive vision of how they can strengthen their family life—and rebuild our culture—simply by reclaiming responsibility for the education and formation of their children.
 
Alan majored in philosophy at Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. He and his wife Joyce have five children, ages five to 22.