Led start-up and mature organizations to historic highest levels of success. Hired, trained, motivated, and led staff to outstanding performance levels, recognition, job satisfaction, and promotions. Gained company-wide and media recognitions for success. Extensive, high-level network in community and state. Strategic hiring, strategic location placement, strategic networking practitioner. SME for several business process best practices, executive coaching, faculty development, leadership and management development, staff coaching and development, change management, strategic planning, and P&L management.
DeVry University Glendale Center Dean, Glendale, AZ
August 2009 – Present
- Wrote business plan for new center in West Valley area of Phoenix, AZ. Gained approval at local, regional, and home office levels to start-up new center for undergraduate and graduate students. Hired in 2009 to begin staffing and start-up the new center. Oversaw construction of new center. Hired a high-performing team. Began classes in July 2010. Led center start-up to the best ever in DeVry modern history. Led team to first-year performance exceeding 200% of targets. Turned center profitable in six months vs. the plan of being profitable in 18 months. Center is in fourth year of operation and continues to build on revenue and profits. Center has the highest rate of student satisfaction in the DeVry Phoenix Metro and Region. Center scores are among the highest in the entire DeVry University system, as measured by Net Promoter Score system.
DeVry University Dean of Phoenix Keller Center and Metro Graduate Studies and Senior Faculty Member; Phoenix, AZ
January 2003 – August 2009
- Received stretch target for coursetakers for the 2008-2009 academic year. Increased and intensified registration efforts utilizing all staff members. Achieved 115% of annual target.
- Received stretch target for new students for the 2008-2009 academic year. Worked closely with ADA in an advisory role. Filled-in for an advisor who was out for a period of time. Recruited 10% of a session class in one week and also achieved 114% of annual goal.
- Covered admissions role when advisor for the center left on an extended maternity leave. Took over all of the recruiting efforts for the center. Recruited 100% of a session class and approximately 33% of the following session class by the time the advisor returned.
- Strong need to increase student satisfaction: coached new and continuing faculty on classroom delivery techniques, adult learning principles, and facilitation techniques. Raised faculty evaluation scores from students from an average of 3.4, on a 4.0 scale, to 3.7 per semester; student persistence also increased.
- Increased new student enrollment upon arrival: coached admissions advisor on sales techniques and worked on enrollments with the advisor. Exceeded targets for new student recruitment by 30% in a year, and increased bottom-line profit on the P&L statement.
- Improved long-term student dissatisfaction with an adjunct professor and course: personally delivered the course (Managing Organizational Change). Evaluation scores increased from 2.5 for the prior faculty member to the 3.8 to 4.0 range and students began to recruit other students, by word-of-mouth, for the course.
Owner and Lead Consultant, The Blake Group, Glendale, AZ
January 2002 – January 2003
- Increased corporate usage of State of Arizona training grant funds: counseled with corporate leaders on the application process. Placed millions of dollars of State training grant funds with corporations.
- Improved implementation of training when funds were granted: coached executives on implementation process and on how to apply for reimbursement from the State after training was completed. Grants were completed, the external clients received their funds and the training grant department of the State was able to report successful completion of the process.
Director of OD and Learning and Development for Schwab University, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., Phoenix, AZ
June 1996 – January 2002
- Increased the field locations usage of leadership and management development training from the corporate university: developed staff and adjunct faculty in field call center locations across the United States and in Birmingham, England; met with field executives and partnered with HR for needs assessments; developed the team’s capacity to deliver training for the bottom line needs of the field; and directed the delivery of training programs. Increased delivery of much-needed, much sought-after leadership and management development training to field locations from approximately 12 courses per year to 60 per quarter which led to a large culture change.
- Improved retention of call center employees who had been leaving because of dissatisfaction with front-line managers after about one year of service: personally researched possible interventions; developed a virtual council of executives from field locations and HQ; led and counseled this virtual team in the selection of an appropriate intervention; negotiated with the vendor on the cost of the intervention; organized and led demos of the intervention products; gained senior support for the intervention which made it mandatory for all new managers; certified approximately 100 trainers in the delivery of the intervention; and led the implementation and publicity of the intervention in the U.S. and England. Trained approximately 7,000 managers; attrition dropped from about 19% to 12% over an 18-month period; and saved the company an HR-computed, fully-loaded cost of approximately $115,000 per employee who did not leave upon completing the first year of service. Also led to a large culture change.
- Improved the bottom line results of executives by improving their ability to work with each other and to direct their teams: counseled with senior leaders to determine problems and needs; coached executive teams on the 360 review process; delivered 360s to executive teams; and coached and followed-up with executives on development plans. Due to improved leadership ability, executives were able to demonstrate ten percent to 15% improvement in the results generated by their teams on an annual basis and improved their team culture.
Vice President and Branch Manager, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc., Phoenix, AZ
July 1992 – June 1996
- Increased results of an older branch in pursuit of annual corporate targets: hired staff appropriate for sales and marketing efforts; trained staff in professional selling techniques; and coached staff on improvements. Changed branch culture and achieved 140% of annual target and gained Chairman’s Club recognition for the highest levels of branch performance.
Adjunct Faculty Member, National Louis University, Evanston, IL
July 1991 – July 1992
- Delivered leadership, organizational behavior, and economic courses in the Master’s degree program. Led a cohort of students through their first courses at NationalLouisUniversity.
Vice President, Hamilton Investments Inc. Itasca, IL
January 1989 – July 1992
- Increased Midwest Region insurance and annuity sales for brokers in the region: trained brokers in the basics of financial planning usage of insurance and annuity products; trained brokers in sales techniques for financial products; and personally led region in sales of these products. Increased annual sales of insurance and annuity products in the region by 200%.
President, J. Blake Investments, Inc., Wheaton, IL
October 1978 – January 1989
- Built a start-up business in the financial planning industry: completed training and received Certified Financial Planner designation; hosted radio show (Smart Money with Jeff Blake); delivered many seminars and training events for potential new clients; and built a professional practice that included corporate, and individual clients. Increased assets under management from $0 of customer assets on the books to multi-millions of dollars of assets; increased revenue of business from $0 to the six-figure income level; and successfully sold the practice to Hamilton Investments Inc.
- MBA, North Central College, Naperville, IL, 1991. Concentration in leadership and change management.
- BA, National-Louis University, Evanston, IL, 1988. Major: Applied Behavioral Science.
- Certification, Personnel Decisions Inc. (PDI), The Profilor (1997) and Selecting For Success (1999).
- Certification, Tom Peters Group, The Schwab Leadership Challenge (1998).
- Certification, Langevin Learning Services, The Training Manager (1999).
- Certificate, The Wharton School, Writing a Business Case (1999).
- Certification, DDI Master Trainer (2000).
- Certification, Keller Graduate School of Management, Adult Learning and Online Training (2003).
Honors and Awards:
- Diamond PRIDE Keller Dean of the Year, Keller Graduate School of Management of DeVry University (2004)
- Outstanding Alumni Award, National-LouisUniversity (2003)
- Excellence in Service Award, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (2000)
- Seamless Service Award, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc. (1998)
- Chairman’s Club Award, Charles Schwab & Co., Inc (1996)
- Outstanding MBA Graduate, NorthCentralCollege (1991)
- Lincoln Scholar Finalist, National-LouisUniversity (1988)
- Current Chairman, City of Glendale Board of Adjustment
- Current member Glendale Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
- Past – Elected Secretary/Treasurer of Independent Colleges and Universities of Arizona (ICUA)
- Past – Elected Precinct Committeeman, Angela Precinct, Legislative District 4 (Glendale) to serve 2008 – 2010; reelected to serve 2010 – 2012; elected Precinct Captain and Area Director 2010 – 2011
- Past – Elected State Committeeman (Arizona) to serve in 2009; reelected to serve 2011
- Past – Member of Arizona Job Training Council, appointed by the Governor of the State of Arizona, Phoenix, AZ
- Past – Elected Board member, Health and Human Services, Health System Agency, Cary, IL
Service and Interests:
- Organizational member of Glendale and Peoria Chambers of Commerce
- Charter member of Kiwanis International Glendale Club at Westgate (2010)
- Mayoral appointee, City of Glendale Board of Adjustment
- Over five years as leader of a church congregation of 550 members
- Boy Scout leader for many years
Interests: Family activities; Financial investing; Photography; Health club workouts; Mountain hiking and camping; Reading leadership and management development literature and economic and investment literature