Our Team

Our Mission

At its core, CCP is an organization with deep roots and decades
of experience in developing programs and services that address equity and ignite sustainable outcomes for all students from
pre-kindergarten through the completion of a postsecondary credential of market value. It’s our mission to provide the strategies, leadership and services needed to further develop the talents of all young people and ensure their postsecondary opportunities lead to success in the workforce.

Our Mission

At its core, CCP is an organization with deep roots and decades of combined experience in developing programs and services that address equity and ignite sustainable outcomes for all students from pre-kindergarten through the completion of a postsecondary credential of market value. It’s our mission to provide the strategies, leadership and services needed to further develop the talents of all young people and ensure their postsecondary opportunities lead to success in the workforce.

CCP Board Of Directors

With decades of combined experience in the education and nonprofit sectors, the CCP leadership team is uniquely focused on developing the gifts and talents of all young people.

Gene Chasin

Gene Chasin

Founder & President Emeritus, CCP Board Secretary

With over 40 years of education experience, Gene Chasin is the visionary catalyst of Community Catalyst Partners (CCP). Prior to founding CCP, Gene worked in all arenas of education, serving young people and supporting organizations in literally all regions of the country. He spent 12 years overseeing the evolution and implementation of the Say Yes to Education community-wide strategies in cities like Syracuse and Buffalo, New York, and Cleveland, Ohio. Before joining Say Yes, he was the director of the Institute for Urban School Improvement at the University of Connecticut and served as CEO of Accelerated Schools, one of the largest, longest-lived, most-researched school reform models in the country. Gene also served as a Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Principal, and public school teacher. 

Christopher Cross

Christopher Cross

CCP Board Co-Chair

Christopher is chairman of the board for Community Catalyst Partners. He also serves as chairman emeritus of FourPoint Education Partners, where for more than 16 years he has contributed his considerable strategic planning, policy analysis, and policy development skills to help local, state, and federal leaders better serve students and communities. Chris also serves as a distinguished senior fellow with the Education Commission of the States. Previously, he was a senior fellow with the Center for Education Policy. From 1994 to 2002, Chris was president and chief executive officer of the Council for Basic Education (CBE). Before joining CBE, he served as director of the education initiative of The Business Roundtable and as assistant secretary for educational research and improvement in the United States Department of Education (ED). He served as president of the Maryland State Board of Education from 1994 to 1997 and was a member from 1993 to 1997. He also was a member of the National Education Commission on Time and Learning.

Dr. Kristen Christman

Dr. Kristen Christman

Board Member

Dr. Kristen T. Christman is an accomplished educator and dedicated advocate for student success with over 18 years of experience in program creation, development, and community outreach. She holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy with a focus on Educational Leadership and Cultural Foundations from The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG). Kristen combines a strong academic foundation with practical experience to drive positive change in the educational landscape. Her diverse educational background equips her to navigate complex issues and provide insightful solutions as a member of the CCP Board of Directors.

Koray Gurz

Koray Gurz

CCP Board Treasurer

Koray serves as Senior Vice President and CFO at Mystic Aquarium.  He has worked as the Controller for a national nonprofit organization and has served as a senior auditor in the private sector. Koray is specialized in the non-profit industry, is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) and a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) and the Connecticut Society of Certified Public Accountants (CSCPA). He received his Masters in Business Administration (MBA) from the University of Hartford.

Matthew McCreight

Matthew McCreight

Board Member

Matthew McCreight is a partner with Schaffer Consulting. He has been with the firm since the late 1980’s, consulting with a wide variety of organizations across all sectors including insurance and manufacturing companies, governmental agencies, non-profits, and more.  For over 25 years, he has been involved with innovative organizations like CCP that help communities transform educational opportunity and success for all students, first working with New American Schools and then with Say Yes to Education. 

Chyane Sims

Chyane Sims

Board Member

Chyane Sims, a sophomore at Haverford College, has a dedication to education and the law. Hailing from Aliquippa, PA, Chyane expertly balances her studies with her job as a legal assistant at Pellegrino Law PLLC, and she takes on leadership as the social chair of her college’s mock trial team. Her commitment extends to uplifting society through her work as a tutor with the Petey Greene Program, where she focuses on educating incarcerated individuals. Chyane’s enduring passion for education reform and inclusivity shines through her mentorship of children and her past involvement with the Best Buddies club. Chyane Sims is contemplating a double major in sociology and education with a Pre-Law concentration. This academic pursuit reflects her commitment to understanding societal structures and educational systems. With aspirations to attend law school with a focus on civil litigation, Chyane’s aim is to create a positive impact on the world. Her journey is defined by a sincere desire to improve our educational systems and nurture the budding minds that shape our future.

CCP Staff

 

Dr. Kenya Johns

Dr. Kenya Johns

Vice President of Programs & Engagement

Dr. Kenya Johns, LPC, NCC, CAADC, CCTP, ACS, DEI brings a diverse, yet people focused background to Community Catalyst Partners. Kenya is the current Mayor of the City of Beaver Falls, PA where she is committed to economic growth, communication engagement and sustainable growth. In addition to her current role of Mayor, Dr. Johns currently holds several titles, including but not limited to licensed professional counselor, diversity equity and inclusion consultant, national professional presenter, published author, researcher and an educator.