JAMIE PIOTTI

ENTREPRENEUR

  • Owner and Chief Executive Officer of Evans Newton Incorporated (an educational curriculum / technology / school turnaround business)
  • Founder and President of The Foundation for Educational Opportunity (a nonprofit organization)
  • Author of Soulful... How to Build a Successful Company, Help Others and Live a Life with Purpose
  • Founder and Owner of Sage Center Consulting (Spiritual Acceptance, Guidance and Education)
  • Building Owner and Landlord of Jamie’s Building, LLC – Palo Cristi II (33,000 square feet)
  • Proud parent of two boys – Cole and Cameron Piotti
Jamie Piotti has dedicated her life to transforming education in America and bettering the lives of children, particularly those in underserved schools. Her soulful pursuit began in 1986, long before the news headlines revealed that education in America was in trouble. She had joined Evans Newton Incorporated, a small education consulting and software company, where she began selling the company’s products and services to low socioeconomic, high-minority Title 1 school districts in an effort to spark improvements in student achievement. When she walked into her first school, what she witnessed changed her forever. It locked in her commitment to give children who barely had clothes to wear or enough food to eat a chance to break free of their lot in life through quality education.

When you believe, miracles can happen, and Jamie not only believed in Evans Newton’s TargetTeach® products, but she also believed that she could make a difference. And she did. Through her dedication and drive, she doubled company sales in one year, and she received numerous awards and promotions, all while improving school and student performance. Ultimately, Jamie purchased the company in 1997. From that point on, she was free to fully transform Evans Newton into a purpose-based soulful company that puts people first—both the children it serves and the employees who make the miracles happen. Under her leadership, the company has grown into the nation’s leading provider of curriculum, consulting and coaching and is successfully bringing schools throughout the United States up to national standards. The company’s track record is unsurpassed, but the thousands of success stories from administrators, teachers, parents and even students are what is closest to Jamie’s heart.

Jamie Piotti is the sole owner and CEO of Evans Newton, located in Scottsdale, Arizona. Evans Newton is one of the largest female-owned companies in Arizona (ranked 16th according to The Phoenix Business Journal 2011 and 25th in 2012), with its corporate office located in the Scottsdale Airpark for over 31 years. In addition, Evans Newton proudly holds the title as being one of the nation’s leading school-improvement K-12 education companies.

Jamie believes where there is spirit there is success. To further support children and education, in 2000 Jamie established The Foundation for Educational Opportunity, a nonprofit organization that provides scholarship money to students attending schools that use Evans Newton’s TargetTeach products. Because of this program, children who otherwise would find college out of reach are able to attend institutions of higher learning and are achieving success. The foundation also supports the Arizona community by awarding college scholarships to underprivileged high school students, to mothers at UMOM New Day Center to further their education, and to ASU teachers who are working toward their master’s degree and promise to work in Arizona’s high-poverty districts. The foundation has given close to $85,000 in scholarships since its inception.

Jamie found her purpose in life at Evans Newton, and she knows there is still much work to be done. Right by her side, she has a loyal and passionate leadership team and dedicated employees who share her spirit and her mission. Together they are empowering schools, creating education success stories, and giving millions of deserving children a shot at their dreams.

When Jamie Piotti decided to become part of the family business, she had no idea what she was in for. She expected that her new job would be a lot of work, but little did she know that she was in for a life-changing experience, one that would not only be the pathway to her life’s purpose, but would also be a teacher of the most challenging kind. This one career decision would put her through tests few can fully imagine and would make her one of the most successful women business leaders in the country.

Jamie’s path from a trusting daughter of a seemingly successful father to astute businesswoman has along the way infused a soul into a business that was once “all about the money.” She took a business from the depths of defeat to the pinnacle of achievement. How did she do it? Through real-life experiences that provided several important underlying lessons:
  • When you work with passion and with soul for the good of others, the universe pays you back.
  • Finding true happiness happens when you find your true purpose in life.
  • Greed is a destructive force that can ruin your life.
  • Your most challenging people and situations are your greatest teachers.
Through Jamie’s story, you realize that having a soul doesn’t mean being soft, but it does mean having integrity, particularly when it’s tested. You get inspiration, proven strategies and the power to say, “Yes! I can do this!”

Jamie’s book, Soulful... How to Build a Successful Company, Help Others and Live a Life with Purpose, is currently being published. Through her new business, Sage Center Consulting, Jamie hopes to inspire business leaders and open people up spiritually.

When focusing on doing the right thing and doing for good, Jamie has learned that good things will happen to you. Therefore, she has also expanded her skills and now owns a 33,000-square-foot commercial building through her company, Jamie’s Building, LLC, which is fully occupied by tenants. She doesn’t aspire to be the next real estate mogul, but to simply establish her roots in Scottsdale.

Jamie’s biggest accomplishment is being a single mom to two wonderful boys, Cole, 16, and Cameron, 13.

DEBORAH T. MILLER

EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT

Deborah Miller has over 30 years experience in all facets of business management and strategy, including finance, operations, customer service, human resources and manufacturing. Since joining ENI in 2001 Deborah has held positions as Controller and Director of Finance & Administration and is currently Executive Vice President.

Deborah is responsible for providing leadership and management ensuring the customer achieves results and value expected for the investment in ENI solutions. She serves as a member of the senior management team in establishing company goals and strategies to ensure short term and long term goals are met or exceeded.

Prior to joining ENI, Deborah was Site General Manager and Controller for Fiskars, Aquapore Moisture Systems, a manufacturer of landscape products, with annual sales over $25 million, where she was accountable for achieving the business and financial goals, increasing customer satisfaction and performance, and successfully transitioning the business unit for consolidation with another business unit. Deborah also served as Chief Financial Officer of Learning-Edge, Inc, a custom developer of technology-delivered training, and Vice President Finance & Administration for DataMyte Corporation, a technology developer and marketer of quality data collection technology and software products, with annual revenue over $20 million. During Deborah’s tenure at DataMyte Corporation, she participated in the acquisition of a small software development company, positioned and initiated the process for an IPO issue, and subsequently participated in the acquisition process and integration of DataMyte.

Deborah has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Metropolitan State University in Minnesota, the Masters of Executive Excellence at the University of Minnesota, and the Management for High Technology Companies at Stanford Executive Institute. She is a Certified Public Accountant and a Certified Management Accountant. Deborah is a member of the Arizona Society of Certified Public Accountants, Institute of Management Accountants, and Vistage Group. Deborah has served as a Quality Examiner for the Arizona Quality Award, Treasurer for the National Association of Business Owners, and Treasurer for a Parent Teacher Organization, and a former member of the American Business Women’s Association.

BERNICE STAFFORD

VICE PRESIDENT IMPLEMENTATION AND EDUCATION PARTNERSHIPS

Bernice Stafford’s career spans four decades in the public and private sectors, with experience in the United States and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that ranges from teaching to administration at the early childhood, elementary, and college levels.

Bernice is a frequent presenter at education conferences, on topics ranging from how to close the minority achievement gap to the use of state-of-the-art learning technology in the teaching and learning environment.

Bernice is the Chairman of the Government Relations Committee for the Association of Educational Publishers. She also serves on the boards of Agency for Instructional Technology (AIT), Partnership for Dynamic Learning (P4DL), WestEd Regional Educational Laboratory Board, and the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration (CILC). She is a member of the California Comprehensive Center (CC) Advisory Board and California Public Schools Accountability Act (PSAA) Advisory Committee, serving on the Alternative Accountability Subcommittee (ASAM), where she has been reappointed to a third two-year term by the State Superintendent of Public Instruction. She is a past chair of the Knowledge Alliance, formerly National Education Knowledge Industry Association (NEKIA), distinguishing herself by being the first person from the private sector to serve in that capacity. She is also a past board member of what was then the Software Publishers Association (SPA), now Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA); she was also the co-chair of that organization’s Textbook Adoption Committee.

Bernice co-authored “A Science-Based Development and Implementation Model for Online and CDROM Curriculum Programs,” which was included in the Second Edition of the International Handbook of Literacy and Technology, published by Lawrence Ehrlbaum Associates. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology and a Master of Arts degree in Early Childhood Development from the University of California at Berkeley.

MARGUERITE HILLMAN

ADVISOR CURRICULUM AND ASSESSMENT

Marguerite Hillman is a pioneer in educational program design and development for pre-K through adult learners. Her expertise is in the design, development, and implementation of digital products in mathematics and language arts and communication technology programs. She is an adjunct professor at National University in the Strategic Communications graduate program.

Prior to joining Evans Newton Incorporated, Margy was Senior Vice President of Development for Chungdahm America, where she led the design and development of Waking Minds Writing, and LanguageVine, online programs in content area writing and language learning, in Korean, English, and French.

Her work while president of KMS&T, Inc. has resulted in important assessment, professional development, and instructional design applications for clients ranging from PLATO Learning, Pearson Education, Carveniche, Knowledge Adventure, and Harcourt Achieve to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and PBS.

Previously, Margy also served as Vice President of Development at Co-nect and was a founder and Vice President of Curriculum Development at Lightspan Partnership. She also served in design and development leadership capacities at Jostens Learning, Computer Associates, Andersen Consulting (now Accenture), and a variety of other technology companies.

Her publications include “Evaluation of Digital Learning for Young Children,” published in The Digital World of Young Children by The Haworth Press (2009); “The Web and Early Literacy,” published in Computers in the Schools by The Haworth Press (2005); and “ELL Professional Development— Making a Difference for Diverse Students,” published in Harcourt Happenings (Fall 2006).

Margy received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Literature and her Master of Arts degree in American Studies from San Diego State University, as well as a Lifetime Community College Teaching Credential in Language Arts and Literature and History.

ELIZABETH A. MENCHACA

ADVISOR

Elizabeth’s twenty-two years of experience in planning has given her a full understanding of the challenges faced by schools, such as changes in administration, the influx of English-language learners, and meeting and exceeding Adequate Yearly Progress requirements. Her expertise is in designing and managing transformational projects for large school districts, such as Tulsa, Oklahoma; Columbus, Ohio; Little Rock, Arkansas; and Kansas City, Kansas. She guides districts and schools with an evaluation of their academic priorities and designs alignment, assessment, and professional development plans to help alleviate the identified achievement issues.

Elizabeth acts as an advisor to the company, to help develop direction and maintain the highest educational value for Evans Newton’s products and processes.

Along with being a former classroom teacher with a background in educating special-needs students, Elizabeth was a former state director for a private, accredited alternative-education program. Her classroom teaching experience was in educational systems based on diagnostic prescriptive learning, with an emphasis in open education and mastery-based learning. Elizabeth’s experience also includes the design and development of instructional software programs for schools. She has created instructional materials, acted as a publisher for children’s educational books, and designed instructional databases.

Elizabeth’s educational background includes a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and Master of Arts coursework in Educational Public Relations, both from the University of Arizona.