ABOUT THE FOUNDING PARTNERS
In the summer of 2002, Steve Sokolow and Paul Houston invited Bea
Mah Holland and several others to meet with them at Harvard University
to discuss their hopes and dreams. As each person described their
hopes and dreams for themselves, for public education, for leaders,
and for the world, it became apparent that they shared a common
purpose and a common vision. The seed of that common purpose and
common vision blossomed into the Center for Empowered Leadership.
||Dr. Paul D. Houston
Dr. Paul D. Houston
Dr. Paul D. Houston, who has served as executive director of the
American Association of School Administrators since 1994, has established
himself as one of the leading spokespersons for American education
through his extensive speaking engagements, published articles,
and his regular appearances on national radio and television. He
is currently co-authoring a series of books on the spiritual principles
of leadership and is a founding partner of the Center for Empowered
Dr. Houston served schools in North Carolina, New Jersey, and
Alabama prior to serving as superintendent of schools in Princeton,
New Jersey; Tucson, Arizona; and Riverside, California.
Dr. Houston has also served in an adjunct capacity for the University
of North Carolina, Harvard University, Brigham Young University
and Princeton University. He has served as a consultant and speaker
throughout the U.S. and internationally, and he has published more
than 150 articles in professional journals.
Dr. Houston completed his undergraduate degree at Ohio State University,
received his Master’s degree at the University of North Carolina,
and earned a Doctorate of Education from Harvard University.
In 1991, Dr. Houston was honored for his leadership in urban education
when he received the Richard R. Green Leadership Award. In 1997,
he was awarded an honorary Doctorate of Education from Duquesne
University. The Hope Foundation honored Dr. Houston with the Courageous
Leadership Award of 2000. The Horace Mann League presented Dr. Houston
with the league's 2001 Outstanding Educator Award. He was cited
as an articulate spokesperson for strong and effective public education.
Dr. Houston co-authored the book Exploding the Myths, published
in 1993, and in 1997 published Articles of Faith & Hope
for Public Education. In 2004, he published Perspectives
on American Education.
Dr. Houston is committed to advocacy for public education and
the children it serves.
||Dr. Stephen L. Sokolow
Dr. Stephen L. Sokolow
Dr. Stephen L. Sokolow, a former superintendent of schools, is
currently co-authoring a series of books on the spiritual principles
of leadership. He is also a founding partner and executive director
of the Center for Empowered Leadership.
Dr. Sokolow served schools in Pennsylvania and Delaware prior to
serving as superintendent of schools in the Upper Freehold Regional
School District in Monmouth County, New Jersey, and the Bridgewater-Raritan
Regional School District in Somerset County, New Jersey.
Dr. Sokolow completed his undergraduate degree and Master’s
degree at Temple University where he also earned a Doctorate of
Education. He was awarded several fellowships and later served in
Temple’s Department of Educational Leadership as an adjunct
professor. He is a past president of Temple University’s Educational
Administration Doctoral Alumni Association.
He is also past president of the Superintendents’ Roundtable
in Monmouth County, New Jersey. From 1986 through 2001 he participated
in Harvard University’s summer invitational seminar for superintendents.
Dr. Sokolow represented the superintendents of Somerset County,
New Jersey, as a member of the New Jersey Association of School
Administrators Executive Committee, and served as a member of the
New Jersey Governor’s Task Force on Education.
In 1986, Dr. Sokolow was selected by the Executive Educator,
a publication of the National School Boards Association, as one
of the top 100 small-district school executives in North America.
He was honored for his leadership as a superintendent by the New
Jersey Legislature in 1987 and was profiled by The School Administrator
for his “out of the box thinking” in January of 1999.
His feature article on “Enlightened Leadership” was
published in September 2002 in The School Administrator,
a national publication of the American Association of School Administrators,
as was his November 2005 article on “Nourishing our Spirit
Dr. Sokolow is a child-centered educator committed to empowering
enlightened leadership in both the public and private sectors but
especially in the field of education.
Dr. Sokolow was recently interviewed on Rowan University's radio show, "The American Dream," a weekly program hosted by Stanley El. To hear the interview, you may access it on Rowan Radio's website or you may download the podcast. The interview is 26 minutes.
Access the interview via the Rowan University Web Site MP3 (NOTE: The MP3 may take a little time to load).
Access the interview via the Rowan University Podcast (NOTE: If you have a podcast player, this link should automatically play. If you wish to obtain a podcast player, you may download iTunes for free. )
||Dr. Bea Mah Holland
Dr. Bea Mah Holland
Dr. Bea Mah Holland’s 30-plus years of professional life
have been devoted to fostering growth in people and their organizations.
She is a consultant and coach who works with education, business,
and healthcare leaders in concert with their organizations to increase
their effectiveness. As a former company president who is married
to a school superintendent, she knows first-hand the challenges
confronting leaders in the corporate as well as educational arenas.
Her philosophy is positive, action-oriented, and focuses on nurturing
people’s strengths. Bea gets enormous satisfaction from seeing
people recognize their not-yet-expressed capabilities, then manifest
these strengths. Given Bea’s strong diagnostic training and
experience, she focuses on an in-depth understanding of the organizational
Through a combination of inner and outer work—an integration
of reflection and action—Dr. Holland helps clients and their
organizations realize their full potential. Recent clients that
she has served have included Fortune 500 companies, Fitchburg Public
Schools, Lexington Public Schools, St. Anne’s Hospital, New
Jersey Association of School Administrators, Delaware School Boards
Association, and University of Memphis College of Education.
Previously Bea served as President of Pegasus Communications, a
conference management and publishing company based on the management
sciences of MIT’s Systems Thinking and Organizational Learning.
For five years, Bea oversaw finances, built infrastructure, tripled
revenue, and set the direction for the company as it experienced
rapid growth. As the Director of Leadership and Senior Lecturer
for MIT Sloan School of Management, she directed programs to further
MBA student leadership capabilities. Dr. Holland also served as
an Organizational Consultant and Leadership Program Manager for
Digital Equipment Corporation, now Hewlett Packard, where for seven
years she coached and developed leaders and their organizations.
Bea was an editor for the Harvard Educational Review and
an editor of and contributor to Appreciative Leaders: In the
Eye of the Beholder (Taos Institute, 2001). She has authored
or coauthored several articles, including “Appreciative Inquiry:
A Strategy for Change in Systemic Leadership that Builds on Organizational
Strengths, not Deficits” (The School Administrator,
February 2005), “Appreciative Inquiry and Public Dialogue:
An Approach to Community Change” (Public Organization
Review, 2002), and “Bringing Out the Best in People:
An Interview with Warren Bennis” (Systems Thinker,
Dr. Holland has been a presenter at several conferences over the
past year, most recently as a distinguished speaker at the 2005
Annual Conference of the American Association of School Administrators,
as well as the Department of Education (MA), and Breaking Barriers,
a grassroots Latino organization. Dr. Holland spent a year traveling
overland from England to India and visiting several countries in
Bea holds a Master's degree from McGill University and a doctorate
from the Harvard University Graduate School of Education with a
concentration in organizational effectiveness and adult learning.
She is the mother of two daughters.
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