Ellen L. Brothers


An inspiring mentor, youth development advocate and champion for women leadership in business, Ellen has served as President of American Girl, EVP of Mattel, and board member of both Hillshire Farms and Bare Escentuals. Brothers is also a member of the Committee of 200 and International Women’s Forum. Her efforts focused on bettering the lives of people have included board member roles with Children Affected by Aids Foundation, Children in Distressed Situations, the United Way and Building Brave.

Sanford N. McDonnell Professor of Character Education and Co-Founder of the Center for Character and Citizenship

Sanford N. McDonnell Professor of Character Education and Co-Founder of the Center for Character and Citizenship

Marvin W. Berkowitz, Ph.D.


Sanford N. McDonnell Professor of Character Education, University of Missouri System Thomas Jefferson Fellow,  and Co-Founder of the Center for Character and Citizenship at the University of Missouri, Saint Louis.  Served as Professor of Character Development at the US Air Force Academy, Professor of Psychology and Director of the Center for Ethics Studies at Marquette University, Research Associate at the Center for Moral Development and Education at Harvard University and as Principal Grant Investigator for the National Institute on Drug Abuse, US Department of Education, and the John Templeton Foundation among others.  Board memberships have included the Character Education Partnership and the Association for Moral Education.


Sharon Orlopp


A lifelong advocate for inclusion, education and opportunity, Sharon considers it a privilege to serve as a Board member for The Harwood Institute and for the University of Denver’s College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences. She has held previous Board positions with Women’s Foodservice Forum, Enactus, Highlands Oncology Group, and the Center for Entrepreneurship at Fayetteville State University in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Sharon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Denver, where she graduated magna cum laude. Sharon recently retired as Walmart's Senior Vice President and Global Chief Diversity Officer, responsible for driving diversity and inclusion across 2.1 million associates. However, not resting in those efforts Sharon now leads Orlopp Enterprise as President. 

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Clifton Taulbert


Entrepreneur, Pulitzer Prize nominee and consultant to Education and Industry-speaks globally on the “Power of Community.” His award-winning book, “Once Upon A Time When We Were Colored” became a major motion picture and a requested gift for Nelson Mandela. Awards include National Jewish Humanitarian of the Year and the NAACP 27th Annual Image Award. Guest speaker to members of the United States Supreme Court, Harvard University’s Principals Center, and Boston University’s Center for Ethics and Character. Served in the 89th Presidential Wing of the USAF. Taulbert is the President and CEO of the Freemount Corporation and Roots Java Coffee.


Michelle Borleske, M.A.C.


2015 WACAC "High School Counseling Professional of the Year,” Assistant Director of Admissions & Assistant Dean of Students, Multicultural Student Services, Edgewood High School.  M.A.C School Counseling, M.A., Administrative Services.



Jonathan Fritz, J.D., M.S.


Chief Revenue Officer and Director of New Ventures at Symphony Corporation; extensive background in both bioinformatics and intellectual property law; member of the Venture Capital and Intellectual Property law groups;  board member of the Wisconsin Technology Council, The Bright Star Wisconsin Foundation and the Madison Symphony Orchestra. Recently selected as a TEDMED Innovation Research Scholar.  



Jennifer Besselo, Ed.D.


Principal, South Middle School, Lawrence, Kansas; President, KANSAS Association of Middle School Administrators (KAMSA); board member,  serves on Kansas Association of Middle Level Educators. 




Mike Park


Mike is a seasoned business executive and now an Affiliate Scholar to the Center for Character and Citizenship. Having acquired numerous skills, “Mutt” is the term you’ll find Mike using to describe himself as an executive. But beyond the mixed breed of expertise, like a mutt he’s known for chomping down on the stick and never letting go until every possible situation is exhausted in pursuit of what’s right for people - which is always right for business. Mike’s education includes The University of Alabama, The U.S. Army Intelligence Center and School, The University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School Executive Development Program and The Leadership Academy in Character Education.