President and Chief Executive Officer
Kevin Morgan has served on the ProLiteracy board of directors since 2007. He was appointed interim President and CEO in November 2012, and became permanent President and CEO in February 2014.
He has led the restructure of the organization and the development of a new strategic plan to better serve the mission of developing and promoting adult literacy learning, content, programs, and advocacy.
Kevin has an extensive background in marketing and has worked on a wide variety of leading global and domestic brands including MasterCard, Agilent Technologies, Maxtor, Nissan, and Six Flags. Kevin holds a bachelor’s degree from Illinois State University and a master’s from the Keller Graduate School in Chicago.
Executive Vice President
Peter Waite is the executive vice president for ProLiteracy. In this position, he provides leadership for ProLiteracy’s national and international operations and policy work and oversees the development division.
He has a doctoral degree in educational leadership and serves on various boards and advisory groups in the education and human services fields. Some of these include the Friends of VISTA National Board; Advisory Committees for the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services; and the International Council on Adult Education (ICAE).
Peter is the former president and a founding member of the National Coalition for Literacy. He has also served on the board of the Coalition of Lifelong Learning Organizations. He consults with public and private agencies on literacy issues, including the literacy initiatives of Presidents Reagan, Bush, Clinton, and Obama. He has also served as vice president of international associates, a unit of the Coalition of Lifelong Learning Organizations, which represented the United States at various international conferences and meetings.
VP of Publishing
Sonja Chernos is the VP of Publishing for ProLiteracy’s publishing division, New Readers Press. She is responsible for the strategic direction and management of the organization’s current portfolio as well as future curriculum development and distribution of both print and digital solutions for adult basic education, English language learning, high school equivalency and workforce development.
Sonja has extensive experience in curriculum development and portfolio management. Prior to joining ProLiteracy, she spent 13 years with McGraw-Hill Education in different capacities, most recently as the VP of Academic Design for Intervention, Adult Education, and Product Development Operations. Sonja holds a bachelor’s degree in environmental and occupational health science and a master’s in public health from California State University, Northridge.
Director of Sales and Business Operations
Susan Willey is the Sales and Business Director for ProLiteracy/New Readers Press. She has been with ProLiteracy since 1995. During her years in the New Readers Press publishing division, Sue quickly showed her leadership and business abilities and moved from the executive office to business operations, to marketing, and now directs sales and business operations. Sue presents New Readers Press products at conferences, sales meetings, and through webinars several times a year.
Sue has an associate’s degree in business administration and has completed coursework in finance and business at LeMoyne College. Prior to joining ProLiteracy, Sue worked in the human resource department of Health Care Data Systems.
Director of Marketing and Communications
Michele Bellso is the Director of Marketing and Communications at ProLiteracy. She is responsible for developing and implementing integrated strategic communications plans to advance the organizations brand identity; broaden awareness of its programs and priorities; and increase the visibility of its programs across key stakeholder audiences.
Michele has an extensive background in advertising and marketing. She has provided multi-media solutions for a variety of national and international clients as the president of a full-service advertising agency for 22 years. She graduated from Syracuse University with a dual major in advertising from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications, and marketing from the Whitman School of Management.
Director of Programs
Michele Diecuch is the Director of Programs for ProLiteracy. She is responsible for the overall strategic direction and management of ProLiteracy’s domestic and international initiatives, including professional development, membership, credentialing, advocacy and awareness efforts, and other grant and special projects that support the mission of ProLiteracy. Michele has been with ProLiteracy in different capacities for almost 23 years.
Director of Development
Lara Pimentel is the Director of Development for ProLiteracy. She is responsible for guiding the philanthropic goals and social impact of the organization. Lara’s passion was ignited for addressing systemic social issues during her service as a Peace Corps Volunteer in the Dominican Republic (2006-2008).
Lara’s previous career experience includes positions at two Upstate New York community foundations and most recently was the inaugural Executive Director of the Literacy Coalition of Herkimer & Oneida Counties. Lara Pimentel holds a bachelor’s degree from Old Dominion University and a master’s of public administration from Syracuse University.
Jeffrey Justice is the Controller for ProLiteracy. He is responsible for the financial operations and related internal controls to protect the assets of the organization. Jeffrey brings over 11 years of nonprofit and public accounting experience. Before joining ProLiteracy, he spent six years as Controller at the Rescue Mission Alliance of Syracuse, New York. Jeffrey is a graduate of Le Moyne College where he also received his master’s of business administration.