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MISSION:  The Partnership for Innovation in Education (PIE) develops innovative education programs which accelerate academic achievement, workforce readiness and economic development.

VISION:  Begin solving tomorrow’s challenges today.

PIE programs use proprietary content interwoven with art, music, international economics, app development, production, design, robotics, medical arts, wellness, strategy, ethics, analytics, finance and marketing.

  • KydPreneur Lemon Smashlemo_smash_art
  • KydPreneurGlobal
  • App Incubator
  • STEM2STEAM (art)
  • STEMFit (health)

Benchmark assessments show significant, double-digit academic achievement, increased attendance, and heightened student engagement across subject areas. Launched in Ohio and Kentucky, PIE programs are expanding across the United States.

A 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, PIE:

  • Develops innovative technology-based initiatives to accelerate academic achievement, workforce readiness, and economic development.
  • Facilitates entrepreneurial discussions about educational service delivery at the local, state and federal levels.
  • Connects knowledge leaders, concerned citizens, educators, administrators, non-profit organizations, business communities and government leaders to discuss best-practices to achieve academic success.
  • “PIE provides our K-12 students with real-world STEM learning opportunities, learning tools to enter the future, and resources to promote hands on career exploration,” says PIE CEO Mary Welsh Schlueter. “We provide a dynamic curriculum with authentic experiences enabling schools to become incubators and engines of growth for our communities.”

Visit the Edu-preneurship Page to find out how you can begin solving tomorrow’s challenges today.

Mary Welsh Schlueter serves as Founder and Chief Executive Officer for Innovation in Education. Please see her background at “Founder’s Biography”.

Board Members

The Board, with the chief executive, serves as a think tank for PIE’s programs and initiatives. They represent significant professional experience in education, business, economic development, government, and nonprofit management.

Dorothy Air, M.D. Arlene Aranzamendez Karen Aronoff
Dorothy Battle Jackie Baumgartner Andrew Benson
April Besl Eve Bolton Karen Messer-Bourgoin (President)
Andrea Brady Amy Brearley Sheila Charles
Dorothy Corbett Beth Driehaus Margie Dupps
Timothy C. Ferguson Dave Hatter Julie Heath, PhD
Jeffrey K. Heinichen Terry Bayard Joyner, Ed.D. Sarah (Sally) Leyman
Patrick N. Longo Nolan Marx Sheila Obermeyer
Kathy Ovens Amy A. Pepiton Kevin Reevey (Vice President)
Chris Rider Jody Scharfenberger Chris Schoney
William Sprankles Cyntia Patten Stanard Mary Ann Taylor
Dr. Nelson C. Vincent Margaret “Peg” Wyant


Dorothy Air, M.D.

Dr. Air’s career experiences have spanned health care, education, business/economic development and community involvement. She currently serves as Associate Vice President for Entrepreneurial Affairs and Technology Commercialization at the University of Cincinnati, and is responsible for oversight of technology transfer operations for its $250 million research base; establishment of supportive commercialization infrastructure; management of a Pre-seed Investment Fund; facilitation of partnerships with regional economic development initiatives that promote entrepreneurial outcomes; and development of regional entrepreneurial education programs and resource networks. In addition, she is a loaned executive from the University to CincyTechUSA, an organization that provides entrepreneurial services and investment funds to early stage technology-based start-up companies. She has been awarded the 2007 Leading Women of Greater Cincinnati In Entrepreneurship and voted one of the 2006 Cincinnati’s Top 10 Women in Technology by Cincinnati Women’s Business.

Dr. Air services on a number of Boards, including the Hamilton County Business Center, Greater Cincinnati Venture Association and the Commercialization Advisory Board for the Global Cardiovascular Innovation Center of Cleveland Clinic. She is heavily engaged in the community and serves on the CVG Airport Board, Community Foundation of Northern Kentucky and the Covington Ladies Home.

Karen Aronoff

Karen is a technology leader with 20 + years experience sales/sales management experience with MCI, Sprint and Lockheed Martin. Due to her family constantly moving for work, she attended 12 public schools! She has a passion for education, and her focus has been the development of K-12, 1:1 learning and mobile initiatives. She brokered community contacts and private sector corporation partnerships to produce funding allowing these initiatives to move forward.

Karen is a founder of the Human Rights Campaign, where she is now on the Board of Governors in Washington, DC. Her leadership resulted in membership growth from 500 to more than 16,000 members. She and her team are actively engaged with large corporations and agencies as 5/3 Bank, Macy’s, P&G, Kroger, GE Aviation and Cincinnati Children’s Hospitals to implement workplace protections.

Dorothy Battle

Dorothy is an educational consultant and academic researcher at the University of Cincinnati. She serves on the boards of Life Point Solutions, Southwest Ohio High School and Middle Schools That Work, and Citizens for Civic Renewal. She has held leadership and teaching positions at the college and secondary (7-12) levels. She has received national and local awards for outstanding educational leadership, including the University Council of Educational Administration Outstanding Leadership, Cincinnati Public Schools Board of Education Outstanding Leadership Award, and the Miami University Joyce Barnes Farmer Distinguished Guest Professor. In addition, she is a Kettering Foundation ABD Fellow. Dorothy Battle has a PhD in Educational Leadership from Miami University.(

Jackie Baumgartner

Jackie, owner of Grants, Etc. is a development consultant specializing in grant-writing, fundraising, and annual report creation for non-profit organizations. Jackie became a development consultant after a career as an Event Specialist, Product Manager, and Development Director. Focused in the areas of human service and the arts, Jackie has written a variety of grants for private and public foundations as well as government programs resulting in over $850,000 in funds for the Center for Independent Living Options and the Art Beyond Boundaries gallery. She works closely with her clients to ensure maximum effectiveness and efficiency. Jackie has worked with Bluegrass for Babies, Inc., an all volunteer non-profit organization to raise $45,000 for Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center. She resides with her husband and two children in Mt. Lookout and is also very active in her church community.(

Andrew Benson

Andrew is currently Executive Director of Smarter Schools, a non-profit consulting organization focused on improving efficiency and effectiveness of education. The organization aids states, districts and schools to devise strategies to improve educational outcomes with existing resources.

Benson has spent a decade working on education reform for KnowledgeWorks Foundation. He was most recently Vice President of KnowledgeWorks and Executive Director of Ohio Education Matters.

He spearheaded the statewide Ohio Smart Schools effort to improve efficiency and effectiveness of K-12 education in the state, which ushered in state legislative and policy change over the past three years to advance shared services, blending and digital learning, benchmarking, and innovation. He has supported the state, three governors and four state superintendents, on numerous reform efforts, including the Ohio Race to the Top grant proposal (2010), the Governor’s Institute on Creativity and Innovation in Education (2009), the Governor’s Transition Committee for Higher Education (2006) and the State Board’s High School Task Force (2004-05).

He holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, a Master’s degree in Journalism from the Ohio State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Journalism from Ohio University.

April Besl

April is an attorney at Dinsmore & Shohl as a member of the Intellectual Property Department. She practices within the Licensing & Enforcement and Entertainment Law practice groups at the firm and focuses her practice on non-patent intellectual property issues including trademarks, copyrights, social media, Internet law, advertising and trade secrets. She has extensive experience assisting clients with emerging issues related to the impact of social media, the web, and technology on their business and marketing strategies. April is a member of the U.S. Subcommittee of the Non-Traditional Marks Committee with the International Trademark Association. April lives in Ohio with her husband John Huesman and their Airedale Terrier Zoey.

Eve Bolton

Eve is a current President of the Cincinnati Public School Board of Education. She served as a master teacher during her 35 years with the Wyoming City Schools, and was elected Wyoming Teacher’s Union President. During her teaching tenure, Eve’s students ranked #1 in the Advanced Placement U.S. Government and Politics category across the world. Politically active herself, Eve also served as the first woman elected to executive office in Hamilton County as County Recorder.

Karen Messer-Bourgoin (President)

Karen is currently an Assistant Vice President of PNC Bank, as Portfolio Manager, Strategic Partners Group, with  over twenty years experience in the financial services industry. Ms. Messer-Bourgoin’s comprehensive experience on both Wall Street and Main Street, has lead her to recognize the strong need for educational reform in the area of financial literacy.

She has served on the Board of Red Bird Mission School in Beverly, KY, the finance committee at Hyde Park Community United Methodist Church, and she regularly volunteers with PNC’s Grow Up Great initiatives. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from Hollins University and a Master of Science in Management from Mount Vernon Nazarene University.

Andrea BradyAndrea serves as President of Empowering Innovations, LLC and the Marketing Shop Consultants. She is former President of the Inventor’s Council of Cincinnati and still does limited consulting with independent inventors. She is a School Board Member for the Milford Exempted Village School District. As a volunteer within the district, she has developed two educationally-based writing programs for sixth graders. Andrea began her career at Procter and Gamble in brand management after receiving degrees from The Wharton School/School of Arts & Sciences at the University of Pennsylvania.

Amy Brearley

Amy is a freelance illustrator, designer and brand strategist. She began her career with Fleet Financial Group’s (now Bank of America) retail investment division educating and marketing investment vehicles to the average banking customer. Next, she helped craft brand strategies and design with clients such as Kraft Foods, P&G, ConAgra, T-Mobile (Deutsche Telekom), Johnson & Johnson, Reckitt Benkiser and P&G with branding firms such as Wallace Church and Landor Associates. Amy is a proponent of Arts and Design as an integral part of STEM education, STEM to STEAM, promoted by her alma mater, The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).

Sheila Charles

Sheila is a native of Cincinnati, Ohio. She attended Cincinnati Public Schools. Xavier University was where she received a Bachelor of Science in Communication Arts/Radio and Television. She holds a 3rd Class Radio Permit and has been an announcer on local Radio.  Ms. Charles also earned a Masters of Education (Montessori).  She was employed by Cincinnati City Schools for 25 years teaching k-3 Elementary grades. Ms. Charles was a 3rd Vice-President of Cincinnati Federation of Teachers. Her honors and special citations is Who’s Who Among America’s Educators and United Negro College Fund.

Dorothy Corbett

Dorothy serves as Vice President, Law for the Energy, Sterilmed and Sedasys business divisions of Johnson & Johnson. She was formerly Associate General Counsel for Duke Energy, Inc. Before that, Dorothy was in private practice in Cincinnati law firms for almost 10 years. She has volunteered as a truancy mediator in Cincinnati Public Schools and also volunteered through the Junior League of Cincinnati at the former Washington Park Elementary. She received her J.D. from Georgetown University and her A.B. from Harvard.(

Beth Driehaus

Beth has worked at The Seven Hills School ( for over a decade, where she enjoys a hybrid role teaching United States history in the upper school and serving as an admission officer in the lower school. Beth has created curriculum for the Cincinnati Museum Center, was named a Klingenstein Summer Institute fellow for the study of best practices in independent schools, and has been active with the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History. She serves on the Junior Advisory Board of the Metropolitan Club and on the board of Hyde Park Center for Older Adults. Beth received her B.A. from Ohio University and her M.A. from Columbia University’s Teachers College.

Margie Dupps

Margie has serves as a Public Sector Branch Manager for Sprint. Sprint is a provider of wireless and wireline communications services to business and government users. Margie has been instrumental in expanding Sprint’s support of mobile learning initiatives within the K-12 segment in Ohio and Kentucky. She received her BBS in Marketing from the University of Cincinnati and certification in Maximum Impact Program for Results Oriented leaders from the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland.

Timothy C. Ferguson

Tim is the Associate Provost for Information Technology and Chief Information Officer at Northern Kentucky University. As CIO since 2007, Tim is responsible for the technology infrastructure, application management and development, help desk, telecommunication, network, mobile and web areas.

In addition, Tim leads the Center for Applied Informatics (CAI),, CAI is a technology collaboration platform and is part of the College of Informatics. CAI was established to work on technology innovations that will assist international companies in being competitive in a global technology driven marketplace. This innovative research includes social, web and leadership in mobile app development for iPhone, iPad, android and many other platforms. The CAI has produced award winning apps with great partnerships allover the world.

Tim has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Mathematics from NKU where he graduated Magna Cum Laude.

Dave Hatter

Dave has over 20 years of programming and consulting experience, numerous industry certifications and a BS in information systems from NKU. He’s a learning junkie and is especially good at bridging the gap between business and technology, solving wicked problems and delivering creative, effective software solutions. Additionally, he has written or contributed to 12 books and written more than 100 articles for various publications like the Cincinnati Business Courier, the Boston Business Journal and the Kentucky Post.

Dave is a graduate of Leadership Cincinnati Class 35, Leadership Kentucky, Leadership Northern Kentucky and is a member of the Cincinnati Business Courier’s “Forty Under 40”, Class of 2003. He was named the NKU Outstanding Alumnus, College of Informatics in 2006 and NKU Young Alumnus in 1997.

Dave feels strongly about community service and stays active in the community through service on various boards and organizations including the Northern Kentucky Chamber of Commerce and the Greater Cincinnati Better Business Bureau, and he is an 8th term member of the Fort Wright Kentucky City Council. Dave can also be seen as a regular guest on WXIX (Fox19) where he provides technology advice as the station’s tech expert.

Julie Heath, PhD

Dr. Heath is the Alpaugh Professor of Economics and Director of the Economics Center. She leads the Economics Center as it trains teachers develops classroom materials, and revolutionizes economics learning for students from kindergarten through high school. Annually, the Economics Center trains 800-1000 educators. These individuals improve their working knowledge of the economy, entrepreneurship, and personal finance.

Dr. Heath is currently also the director of the Center for Economic Education at the University of Memphis. In that role, with the support of the state of Tennessee and First Tennessee, she founded the $mart Tennessee program, which provides financial education to children in elementary, middle, and high schools. Since the program began in 2006, $mart Tennessee has been adopted by over 400 schools and has reached over 75,000 children.

Dr. Heath received her PhD in Economics at the University of South Carolina in 1986, specializing in labor economics and quantitative methods. Dr. Heath received her BA from Bluffton College, Bluffton, Ohio, in 1978. She is a native of Ohio.

Jeffrey K. Heinichen

Mr. Heinichen received his Bachelor of Business Administration from Texas Christian University in 1974; his law degree from the Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University in 1978; and his Masters in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame in 2004.

Mr. Heinichen’s legal career began with the Keating Muething & Klekamp law firm, and American Financial Corporation. Heinichen began his entrepreneurial career with the acquisition of the General Polymers Corporation. Mr. Heinichen was the CEO and General Counsel of General Polymers Corporation, a local manufacturer of construction chemicals.

Presently, Mr. Heinichen is a Senior Partner with a team of Professional Consultants, in an organization called the CompleteMASTERY™ Institute. Heinichen is married and has seven children. He lives in Indian Hill with his wife Myse Homan Heinichen. (

Terry Bayard Joyner, Ed.D.

Dr. Joyner is the President and CEO of System Solutions LLC, an educational consulting company providing services to local school boards, community schools and social service agencies. She has served as Chief Academic Officer and Director of Curriculum of Cincinnati Public Schools. Dr. Joyner has 32 years of teaching and administration experience and notes, “Schools control the conditions that lead to student success.”

Sarah (Sally) Leyman

Sally served for the past eight years as a Trustee on The Seven Hills School Board, chairing the Development Committee, and serving on the Trusteeship, and Marketing Committees. Other roles at the school have included President of the Middle School Parent’s Association, Chair of Books for Lunch, Chair of the Umbrella Board, and Chair of Annual Giving. Other current Board positions include Cincinnati Zoo Foundation Board, Athletes for A Better World Board in Atlanta, Harbor Point Board in Harbor Springs, Michigan.

Patrick N. Longo
As Director of Hamilton County Business Center, Patrick Longo has aided in the creation, development, and growth of 190 entrepreneurial entities since 1997.  HCBC is a full service business incubation program serving innovative entrepreneurs located in Southwest Ohio.  Longo’s areas of expertise include strategic planning, plan implementation, finance, marketing, business development, and access to capital.
Patrick Longo is affiliated with the following:

  • State of Ohio Edison Technology Incubation Network
  • UC College of Engineering and Applied Science’s Advisory Committee
  • UC Technology Accelerator’s Advisory Committee
  • CincyTech Entrepreneurial Signature Program
  • Urban League of Greater Cincinnati’s Economic Empowerment Center Board of Advisors
  • Cincinnati Minority Business Collaborative
  • Greater Cincinnati Venture Association

Nolan Marx

Nolan serves as a Senior Client Partner with FranklinCovey. Over his career, he has built multi-million dollar corporations and has served as a consultant on leading franchise brands in the United States. An alumni of Miami University, he also has performed executive studies at Harvard Business School.

Sheila Obermeyer

Sheila is the CEO of Obermeyer Productions ( She is a Nine-Time Emmy Award Winner, leading media services innovation across the world. Sheila oversaw 200 ABC Television Network Affiliates across the United States as National Chairperson for ABC Television Network Marketing. She was an ABC Advisory Board Creative Services Executive Member where she implemented multiple strategic initiatives on the national platform to increase viewer sampling by over 30% in less than one month. She has served on the National Marketing Board of Wheel of Fortune, Jeopardy and CBS Television Network. She has the 
core experience as VP of Creative Services, leading full teams of editors, designers, producers and writers and videographers. Her work established breakthrough strategies utilizing new media including digital form, web, text and social media as launch mechanisms.

Kathy Ovens

Kathy is vice president of organizational effectiveness for Hobsons. She is directly responsible for all HR and corporate services functions in the United States, with strategic global responsibility for talent management and organizational effectiveness.

Hobsons helps educators, administrators, students, and families maximize success through every stage of the learning lifecycle. Prior to joining Hobsons, Kathy spent 20 years at Chiquita Brands International, ultimately serving as HR Business Partner for the North American business unit. During her time at Chiquita, Kathy had the opportunity to live in several cities in the United States, and also had assignments in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic and Antwerp, Belgium.

Kathy holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a certification in elementary education from Gettysburg College.

Amy A. Pepiton

Amy has over 15 years of experience working with students, parents, teachers and administrators as a School Psychologist. She began her career at Clermont County Educational Service Center in Ohio and most recently worked for Prince William County Public Schools in Virginia.  She has worked with schools to increase student achievement by assessing student barriers to learning, collaborating with and supporting teachers to implement effective instructional strategies, and collecting and analyzing data related to school improvement and student outcomes.  Amy has been an active volunteer in her children’s school, serving as a committee chair for fundraising activities and reading group facilitator.  Amy received her B.A. in Psychology from Marquette University and her M.Ed. in School Psychology from the University of Cincinnati.

Kevin Reevey (Vice President)

Kevin is a Managing Director of FSI Group, LLC, a Cincinnati-based operating a multi-strategy investment platform focused on opportunities in the financial services sector. Mr. Reevey was recognized by The Wall Street Journal’s “Best on Street Poll” as one of top five thrift equity analysts on the street based on the performance of his stock recommendations. He has been quoted in numerous national financial and business periodicals such as The American Banker, SNL Financial, Business Week and The Wall Street Journal as well as a host of local publications such as The Tribune and The Chicago Sun Times. Reevey serves on the board of the Clifton Cultural Arts Center (“CCAC”) ( and the Cincinnati State Technical and Community College Foundation Board. Mr. Reevey holds an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and a B.S. from New York University where he received numerous academic and leadership awards. (

Chris Rider

Chris is a Senior Technical Architect for the Center for Applied Informatics at Northern Kentucky University’s College of Informatics. In this role, Chris is focusing on mobile technology research. Chris is developing software solutions on platforms such as the Apple iPhone, Google Android, RIM Blackberry, and Microsoft Windows Mobile devices. The research will assist regional businesses with technology needs, while giving Informatics students opportunities to apply classroom taught skills to real world scenarios. Chris graduated from NKU with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and a minor in Mathematics. (

Jody Scharfenberger

Jody founded Campaign Data Apps in 2011, helping political candidates utilize social media to interact with voters and raise funding. Jody is a 15-year veteran of Direct Marketing strategic applications, working for startup and Fortune 500 companies such as InfoUSA, Acxiom and MarketsonDemand. Jody has worked with such clients as Citibank, American Express, JCrew, and LensCrafters using email data to create targeted, customer-centric marketing platforms.

Chris Schoeny

Chris serves as a Government and Education Senior Account Manager with Cincinnati Bell Telephone. An alumni of Miami University, he has spent his career with major telecommunications companies developing expertise in mobile communication and learning technologies. He has served on the Board of Directors for Cincinnati Area Senior Services and recognizes the transformative power of technology for education, government and social services. (

William Sprankles

William serves as the 6th-12th grade Head Principal of Princeton High School. William began his career as an English teacher, and coach at Withrow High School. In 2006, William came to Princeton as an Assistant Principal, and was later promoted to head Principal of Princeton High School. Princeton high school has earned 2 Excellent Ratings, and significantly increased test scores for Students with Disabilities and Students of Color – ultimately decreasing the Achievement Gap. In 2011, the Graduation rate for African American males at Princeton High School was 98%, one of the highest in the state of Ohio. In addition, the 2011 graduating class earned over three million dollars in scholarships.

Cynthia Patten Stanard

Cynthia cofounded Stanard Design Partners (, a design firm specializing in cross-platform, integrated design and marketing solutions, in 2001. Since then she has worked with leading corporations and institutions, including Kao USA Inc., Great American Financial Resources, Hyatt Regency, and the World Choir Games. Her work has been published nationally and has received numerous awards and recognition, including: a Webby Award, an AIGA BoNE Award, an OMA Gold Award for her work with the Cincinnati Art Museum, and selection as a featured designer in Print Magazine’s New Visual Artist Review. Cynthia was a guest speaker at the American Institute of Graphic Arts (AIGA) Las Vegas National Conference and has taught at University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art and Planning (DAAP). She graduated Summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science from the University of Cincinnati’s DAAP. She is a mother of two children in the public school system.

Mary Ann Taylor

Mary Ann is currently Vice President of Public Relations with Venue Magazine, Cincinnati. Venue is a lifestyle and event publication serving the Greater Cincinnati area. Prior to this she was the Publisher of several magazines in covering urban centers in Ohio. She was Publisher of the Year in 2002, 2004, and 2007. Mary Ann led the entrepreneural efforts for all these magazines, focusing on excellent content, advertising, and photography as well as building staffs in Cincinnati, Dayton, and Columbus.

She is a graduate of Parsons, and studied marketing and communication at The George Washington University as well as Xavier.

Mary Ann is currently a member of the Junior League of Cincinnati serving on the Sustainers’ Board and has been a member of the Literacy Network of Cincinnati Board, The Shadow Mountain Lodge Board, Aspen, Colorado, THe Town Club Board, as well as the Special Olympics Board Cincinnati.

Dr. Nelson C. Vincent

Dr. Vincent is Chief Information Officer & Associate Dean for Administrative Services, Research and Development, and Outreach at the University of Cincinnati’s College of Education, Criminal Justice, and Human Services. His areas of teaching and research are in the social foundations of education in the history, politics, and philosophy of education, educational policy, and multicultural education. He coordinates and supports grant-based research and development for the College of Education, outreach with community partners, and business and administrative services. (

Margaret “Peg” Wyant

As the first highest ranking woman a the Procter & Gamble Company, she developed P&G’s strategic planning and acquisition group, and helped lead the Company into new business areas, notably beauty and healthcare, and new approaches such as acquisition, divestitures, and global planning.

In 1999, she founded Isabella Capital (, one of the first and most successful venture firms targeted to invest in women-led companies.

Peg serves as CEO at Grandin Properties ( which she founded in 1989. Grandin is a real estate management and development company focused on urban, walkable neighborhoods.

Peg holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Smith College where she graduated magna cum laude. She is a YWCA Career Woman of Achievement recipient, and an honoree of Speaking of Women’s Health.