Kris Kurtenbach, founding partner, is devoted to developing collaborative solutions to education, workforce and community challenges. She works with leading individuals and philanthropic and education organizations at the federal, national, state, community and school-district levels to achieve their goals through superior research; planning and design; meeting facilitation and convenings; strategic consulting and positioning; and outreach and community engagement.
Kris founded Collaborative Communications Group on the belief that civic leaders and civic stakeholders can mobilize the ongoing political will of communities to demand and support high-performing public education systems and solutions. To this end, Kris designs and builds community-based organizations, and creates and supports strategies for engagement across various sectors of a community. Her work includes the creation of tools for conversation, facilitation of neighborhood and cross-sector conversations, and strategic advice, coaching and consultation. In addition, Kris has helped school districts create community-based visions for success and then developed plans to achieve those visions. Her work also includes initiative support to national school reform networks that seek to integrate community engagement and mobilization efforts into project plans.
Kris’s experience includes communications strategy and implementation, facilitation and writing, and strategic and organizational consulting to foundations, nonprofits, policymakers, education leaders and community leaders. She has worked extensively with federal and state policymakers as well as municipal and education leaders cities and towns across the country. She has consulted and written extensively on education and publication engagement for the Annenberg Institute for School Reform; Council of Chief State School Officers; National Art Education Association; National Association of Elementary School Principals; National Center on Education and the Economy; National League of Cities; Public Education Network and the U.S. Conference of Mayors.
Kris has a Master's degree in education policy and administration from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She holds a Bachelor's of Science degree in magazine journalism and a Bachelor's of Arts degree in literature from the University of Kansas.
Terri Ferinde Dunham is working to create a new learning system where schools and communities work together. She works with organizations focused on both in- and out-of-school learning to develop networks, strategize new initiatives and build capacity.
Terri is the executive director of the Expanded Learning and Afterschool Project, a 50-state initiative harnessing the power of networks and leaders to help schools and communities leverage the time beyond school to accelerate student achievement by sharing research on high quality expanded learning; identifying and spreading best practices in afterschool and summer learning; and sharing affordable, sustainable and effective expanded learning approaches. Launch in March 2012, the project has nearly 1000 supporters including a consortium of funders.
As a partner at Collaborative Communications Group, she has managed, facilitated and supported groups that expand learning opportunities and redefine professional development for clients including the Council of Chief State School Officers, the National Association of Elementary School Principals, the New Day for Learning initiative of the C.S. Mott Foundation and the Alliance for Excellent Education.
Prior to her role at Collaborative, Terri served for 10 years at the U.S. Department of Education where she produced a live, interactive television program featuring school and community leaders. For this work, she was recognized as a Fellow with the Council for Excellence in Government.
She holds a master's degree in public administration and a bachelor's degree in communications and government from the American University.
In her community, Terri serves the school improvement committee for Campbell Elementary, an Expeditionary Learning School, and is incoming chair of the board of the Greenbrier Learning Center, an afterschool and summer learning program serving students in Arlington, VA.
Patrick Riccards, partner, leads Collaborative’s public affairs practice and is working to develop new content and public engagement approaches to improve public education and the dialogue that surrounds it. He works with organizations to improve their public voice in the education sector, breaking through the white noise to engage policymakers, parents, educators, advocates and others.
Patrick was the founder and chief executive officer of Exemplar Strategic Communications, a public affairs and marketing firm specializing in the education sector, and has held senior leadership positions with two of the nation’s leading education communications and public relations firms. Over the past two decades, he was worked with a wide range of education organizations, including American Association for Colleges of Teacher Education, American Federation of Teachers, Broad Foundation, Common Core, International Baccalaureate, ISTE, KnowledgeWorks Foundation, Lumina Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, National Governors Association, Team PA Foundation and the U.S. Department of Education.
Previously, he was CEO of one of the nation’s leading state-based education advocacy organizations, leading advocacy efforts in support of most comprehensive school improvement effort in Connecticut’s history. He also was executive director of communications and public affairs for the American Institutes of Research (AIR).
Patrick served as executive director of the Pennsylvania STEM Initiative (2008-2010), executive director of the Coalition to Protect Community Not-for-Profit Hospitals (1998-2005), and de facto chief of staff for the National Reading Panel (1998-2000). He began his career on Capitol Hill, holding senior communications leadership positions for members of the U.S. House and U.S. Senate.
He has led seminars and workshops on integrated communications, public engagement and advocacy for a wide range of organizations, including the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD), Delaware Governor’s Cabinet, Heart of America Foundation, International Reading Association, Knowledge Alliance, National Association of State Title I Directors, National Governors Association, Policy Innovators in Education Network and the Virginia P-16 Council, and has been a guest lecturer at Sacred Heart University, Wesleyan University and Capital Community College (CT).
Bulldog Reporter named Patrick its 2011 Not-for-Profit Communications Professional of the Year. In 2009, PRWeek magazine named him to its 40 Under 40 list, the first time in the publication’s history that someone from the education sector was selected for the honor. He is also the author of the award-winning Eduflack blog.
Patrick holds a bachelor’s degree in rhetoric and communication studies and government from the University of Virginia. He also holds a doctorate in marketing, with an emphasis on integrated marketing.
In his community, Patrick has served as chairman of the Falls Church (VA) School Board. He has also served as chair of the early childhood advisory committee for the Arlington (VA) School Board, as board member of the Health Systems Agency of Northern Virginia and as board member of the SER Child Development Center in Dallas.