In June of 2020, the MBA Research Board of Trustees chose Holly Atha as the next President/CEO of MBA Research and Curriculum Center. Holly assumed her new role on July 1, 2020.
Holly joined the MBA Research staff in 2015 and has provided leadership for standards research and business engagement. In her most recent role as Director of Business Engagement, she has facilitated numerous business focus groups around the country, recruited business speakers for Conclave, and is currently leading a team to re-engineer the standards development process.
Prior to joining MBA Research, Holly held a number of leadership positions including roles as Executive Director for a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and Chief Operating Officer and Start-up Strategist for an entrepreneurial effort in Columbus. She has management experience in customer support, account management, and sales. She possesses strong skills in problem-solving and building relationships, as well as experience in developing curriculum/training/testing materials and teaching adult learners. Atha holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cincinnati and a master’s from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
“My passion and enthusiasm for our team at MBA Research and the work we do together is unbridled,” says Atha. “I am grateful for the opportunity to lead, serve, and collaborate with our many partners as we continue to strengthen CTE and transform business and marketing education together.”
Rick Mangini served as interim CEO while the Board conducted their hiring process. As previously planned, he returned to his position as Executive Vice President.
Chris Burke joined the team in 1989 as a graphic designer. Like Lee Ventling, Chris has his hands in most everything that goes to print. He’s also works with design on the new online MBA Learning Center. Chris is a graduate of Columbus College of Art and Design. When he isn’t working, Chris is interested in listening to and playing music (drums) or spending time doing concerts, movies, camping, and hiking.
Mary joined the team in 1979 when we had typewriters and one new “magic machine,” our first typewriter with memory. She worked as a part-time typist and proofreader while working on her college degree. As Production Manager, Mary is responsible for all of the processes of getting a product to print, including final sign-off on all print masters. More recently, she has assumed a major role in our online publishing via the MBA Learning Center.
Mary may be the only graduate of The Ohio State University who can’t name at least ten years of OSU starting quarterbacks. (On the other hand, she’s one of the few in the world who can spot a production problem from across the room – with or without her glasses.) When she’s not locked in her office, she enjoys being in nature, listening to music, reading, spending time with family and friends, and teaching movement classes.
Tammy Cyrus is the Director of Professional Development for MBA Research. She has been a part of the MBA Professional Development Team since 2014 and has presented at numerous state and national conferences. She was a previous Business Administration teacher in North Carolina. She has received her Master of Arts in Business Education, National Board of Professional Teaching Standards certification and holds a certification in School Administration, as well as industry recognized certifications in Adobe and Microsoft Office. Her professional experiences have included teaching at the post-secondary level, working on curriculum development at the state level, serving in leadership roles at the district and school levels, and serving as an adviser for FBLA. She is currently responsible for the PD Team, Teacher Advisory Network, Conclave, Leadership forum and the ongoing development of professional development for teachers, districts, and state departments from around the country.
Marsha joined us in 2002 when she assumed the challenge of providing the absolute best customer service in the world. Odds are, when you call or email, Marsha’s the one who will find the answer to your questions or solution to your challenges. She handles most order processing and you’ll also find her working our booth at trade show exhibits. She’s a major behind-the-scenes leader at the annual MBA Conclave (and has been seen at the infamous Conclave Casino). Recently, Marsha has accepted responsibility for the operations side of our online testing programs.
After many years in NYC, working in arts administration while also pursuing a dance career, Stephanie King returned to her hometown of Columbus and joined our team in 2015.
In her current role as Director of Business Engagement, Stephanie works with our standards development team to continue to strengthen our primary research efforts and our presence in business communities across the country. Prior to this, Stephanie was the project manager for High School of Business.
Phil is, in his words, the Technology Ombudsman and Computer Whisperer for our organization. As such, he provides the human connection between all the boxes with blinking lights in our office and our staff teams. On good days, he keeps all those blinking lights blinking harmoniously. To do so, he’s been known to curse silently at the heavens when things go wrong in his attempts to maintain, upgrade, and cajole the organization’s various computers and peripherals. Phil is instrumental in the design and operation of all things technical, including our various websites, the online MBA Learning Center, and the many different databases that support our programs and services.
We asked Phil to share a bit about his professional background. In his words: I started working with computers when I was 14 years old. No big deal you say, but when I was 14 dinosaurs roamed the earth and gas was 25 cents a gallon. I tried to get a formal education in personal computers but such a thing didn’t exist and rather then getting the electrical engineering degree that all my other peers went after I dropped out and started learning everything I could about PCs on my own. Throughout the years I’ve done a little bit of everything where computers are concerned.
And, finally, when he’s not focused on our machines, Phil spends his free time spoiling his three-year-old grandson, Bennett. Bennett, he claims, happens to be the cutest, most lovable 3 year old you’ve ever seen. (This is a real accomplishment given that we have other staff with other kids!) When he’s not spending time with Bennett, he’s likely online shopping for toys for 3 year olds.
Rick serves as Executive Vice President at MBA Research and is responsible operations and program of work in conjunction with senior staff. Rick led the development and implementation of a national system of accreditation for exemplary business administration programs which included the areas of management, marketing, finance, and entrepreneurship. He has also developed a system of digital micro-credentials, and works with business engagement initiatives. From October 2019 to July 2020, Rick served as Interim CEO for MBA Research, performing all of the responsibilities of the President/CEO position. Prior to joining MBA Research, his career spanned 36 plus years in career and technical education. He spent the last 25 years of his career with the Ohio Department of Education where he served as a consultant for Marketing Education before moving into the position of Assistant Director for Business, Marketing and Information Technology. He finished his career as Associate CTE State Director. While at the Ohio Department of Education, Rick was State Advisor for Ohio DECA and Business Professionals of America. He served on the Board of Directors for MBA Research, DECA and BPA. He is an Honorary Life Member of DECA and was inducted into the National Hall of Fame for BPA. He also received a Lifetime Achievement Award from Ohio Association of Career Technical Education. Rick retired from the Ohio Department of Education in June, 2011. Rick earned both his Bachelor’s degree in Marketing Education and Master’s degree in Vocational Education from the Ohio State University.
As Vice President of Product Development for MBA Research, April J. Miller provides guidance and support to educators involved in the development, implementation, and evaluation of standards-based curriculum. She oversees the creation of a broad range of instructional materials and products, including LAP modules, curriculum guides, technical skill assessments, programs of study, and the online Learning Center. April represents MBA Research at state- and local-level workshops and seminars and has had multiple articles published in Techniques magazine.
April, who joined MBA Research in 2006, served as senior curriculum research associate prior to assuming her current role as a vice president with the organization. A graduate of Wittenberg University (OH), April is a former high school teacher and corporate trainer in the finance industry. She lives in Galloway, Ohio, with her husband Michael, daughters Maria and Alexandra, and dogs Cutie Pie and Mr. Beefy. In her spare time, April enjoys reading, crafts, and spending time with her family.
Zulfa joined MBA Research in 2017 as a production associate and expanded her role to include marketing. Having learned so much about High School of Business™ through her marketing role, and inspired by the accomplishments of both HSB students and teachers, she took on the role of HSB program administrator in 2020. Through this role, she looks forward to helping us grow the program and provide support for HSB teachers and administrators at school across the country.
Zulfa is originally from Athens, OH where she also attended college. She earned her bachelor’s in strategic communications from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism at Ohio University. Outside of work, Zulfa enjoys all things music related, running around and exploring Columbus, thrift shopping, and cooking up a good meal.
Co-Director of Marketing & Communications; Writer, Research Associate
Kate Terentyev joined the MBA Research staff in 2019 and helps develop curriculum and assessments as a Writer/Research Associate. Kate is originally from Columbus, OH and obtained her B.A. in English Education from Wittenberg University (OH) and her M.A. in Rhetoric & Composition from the University of Dayton (OH) before coming back to Columbus. In addition to teaching during her time at Witt and UD, she also spent time working for a digital marketing agency as a marketing strategist. Outside of work, Kate enjoys exploring local breweries, reading voraciously, playing euchre with friends, and spending time with her dog, Maizy.
Interim Program Director, High School of Business™
Laurie, who retired from the Colorado Community College System in 2016 joined our staff as a project manager working with the development of the MBA Business Coalition for Education. Currently she is the project manager working with the development and support for the High School of Business programs.
Laurie comes with broad experience in business and marketing education. A former high school business administration teacher, she also served as program leader for the Colorado secondary and postsecondary programs. In this capacity, she’s been instrumental in the development of Colorado MBA High School of Business™ sites.
Laurie’s leadership skills are evident in the many different responsibilities she assumed and honors she’s received. She’s served as a MBA Board Trustee, Chair of the national FBLA Board, President of the National Association of Supervisors of Business Education, and in various state leadership roles. She’s has been honored by Colorado DECA with its lifetime member recognition, National FBLA Adviser Wall of Fame, and NBEA with its Distinguished Service Award.
Lelia Ventling is one of two graphic design specialists responsible for LAPs and a wide range of collateral materials. Lee has a BFA degree from the Columbus College of Art and Design. She has two sons, one grown and the other in college. In her spare time, she illustrates in various mediums, bikes, and gardens. She and her family enjoy giving back to the community through feeding homeless at the Y-family Shelter (Columbus, OH) throughout the year.