BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Dan Dwyer, Secretary

Dan Dwyer is an antiquarian bookseller who owns and operates Johnnycake Books in Salisbury, CT.  He is a member of the Antiquarian Bookseller’s Association of America (ABAA), International League of Antiquarian Booksellers (ILAB) and has studied at the Rare Book School at the University of Virginia.

Long active in community and regional affairs in Litchfield County CT, Mr. Dwyer has served on the boards of the Housatonic Valley Association, Prime Time House, the Northwest Connecticut AIDS Project, Salisbury Family Services and The Tabor Foundation. He was an elected member of the Planning and Zoning Commission of the Town of Salisbury. Currently he serves on the board of directors of the Community Foundation of Northwest Connecticut. In the early 1990s he ran twice for the Connecticut State Senate.

Mr. Dwyer earned a BS degree from Georgetown University in Washington DC in 1974. He worked as a research assistant on the Senate Select Committee to Investigate Government Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities. In 1976, he joined the Democratic Presidential Campaign Committee, serving as advancement for Jimmy Carter. During the Carter administration, Mr. Dwyer worked for the White House Press Office and then as staff assistant on the President’s Commission for a National Agenda for the Eighties. Mr. Dwyer then worked for CBS Inc., first in its Washington corporate office and then in New York until 1985, when he moved to Connecticut.

Mr. Dwyer is a native of New Bedford, MA.

Dr. Sheryl L. Harmer

Dr. Sheryl Harmer specializes in social and emotional skill development, curriculum design, conflict mediation, school improvement, and systems change. She consults with schools, school boards, district and school administrators, teachers, education specialists and state legislators to develop personal competence, collaborative learning processes, effective programs, and system design. Currently, Dr. Harmer is a Partner at MacDonald Boyd & Associates (www.macboyd.com), a consulting firm specializing in organizational and leadership development, executive coaching, and Board capacity building. Harmer holds a doctorate in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies (Ed.D.) and Superintendent Certification from the University of Washington. 

Harmer’s thirty–year career in public schools included serving as principal of three award-winning elementary schools; K-12 teacher and learning specialist; instructor in community college and university teacher and principal preparation programs; and service on a wide range of state and local professional advisory councils. Following her public school career, Sheryl was the Director of Program Development for 6+ years at Committee for Children – a Seattle-based social enterprise - where she led the development of social and emotional learning programs that are acclaimed by research experts and used by educators in over 20 countries.  In 2008, she served as Chair of Education for the Seattle Seeds of Compassion 5 Day event, attended by over 120,000, featuring the Dalai Lama and other international luminaries. She has been an independent consultant from 2007-present. 

Dr. Harmer’s work has been recognized through numerous awards at the national and state levels including the 1998 NAESP National Distinguished Principal of the Year for Washington State; selection of Glenridge Elementary as a case study site for Harvard University Project SUMIT (Schools Using Multiple Intelligence Theory) in 1996; and selection of Spring Glen Elementary as a National Blue Ribbon School of Excellence in 1992. She is currently serving on the Boards of Directors for Apperson, Inc. and the not-for-profit, Whidbey Institute. 

Kathryn McFarlane

Kathryn is a producer who began her career with CNN in 1998. Since then she has worked on many programs, including NewsNight with Aaron Brown, Anderson Cooper 360, Paula Zahn Now, and most recently on Fareed Zakaria GPS. Throughout her career, she has traveled extensively covering breaking news and feature stories and has produced many specials and documentaries. Along with her team, she has received two Peabody Awards.In addition to her work in television news, she has also developed and produced documentary and online video projects and has served as a communications consultant to organizations, businesses, and independent media companies. Early in her career, Kathryn worked in film as an assistant to an actor and director at a New York based production company. Originally from Texas, she remains active in her family’s ranching and energy businesses.

J. Samuel Ray

Born near Asheville, NC and a graduate of Lawrence University - Sam joined Citibank in the 70’s as Asian Regional Economist, based in Hong Kong, following a Thomas J. Watson research fellowship on developmental economics in Asia. From a merchant bank he established in Singapore (with affiliates in England and Australia), he developed and led over three dozen M&A /Divestment/Joint-Venture projects - in Asia, Europe, the Caribbean and the Middle East.   Subsequently, he also led the strategy, planning and corporate development functions from London for the British National Group. In the 80s, Sam served as CFO and GM - Technology and Human Resources for that corporation's Asian and Pacific divisions, and subsequently consulted to foreign companies doing business in China.

In the 90’s, Sam became VP/Senior Strategy Consultant with Kepner-Tregoe in Princeton, and launched their Financial Services practice in New York. Later, he became Managing Director of Nagdeman & Company for a decade and then Managing Director of the New York / Northeastern practice of FTI Consulting based in Annapolis, MD.   Eventually, he formed The Strategy Partners Group, LLP, now Pareto Chart Benders, LLP , where  he continues to consult to CEOs and their C-level direct reports on strategy, business development and financial matters.  Sam has also served as Regional Chair (NY, NJ & PA) and Executive Coach with Mike Milken's "Vistage International" issue resolution and decision-making advisory groups and collaborates with Aptus Analytics to customize state-of-the-art business intelligence E-T-L applications from ZAP, Tableau, and Talend.  He has also served on the Boards of numerous academic, business, charitable, cultural, and artistic organizations in Asia, Europe and North America.

Emily Soell, President

Emily’s experience in advertising, direct marketing and creative communication spans over 40 years.  From the entry level position of junior copywriter at Rapp Collins, a subsidiary of Omnicom, she rose through the ranks to eventually be named Vice Chair/Chief Creative Officer of the agency.  In 1998 she left Rapp Collins for the same post at Draft, which is owned by Interpublic. 

Emily’s career has been punctuated with awards and honors from almost every industry organization.  Among these are:

  • Golden Apple Award from the Direct Marketing Club of New York
  • The Irving Wunderman Lifetime Achievement Award – an honor given for an outstanding body of creative work in direct marketing
  • The Woman of the Year Award from Women’s Direct Marketing International
  • Direct Marketer of the Year from Target Marketing Magazine.  
  • In 2000 she was elected to the Direct Marketing Association’s Hall of Fame – one of only 5 women to be so honored.  

She is a sought-after speaker on the subjects of Marketing, Direct Marketing, Creative and Branding.  She has taught direct marketing creative at FIT and at NYU where she also contributed to the design of the Direct Marketing Degree Program. Emily has served as President of the Direct Marketing Creative Guild and as well as two terms on the board of the Direct Marketing Association. A native New Yorker, Emily received her BA from Cornell University and an MA from New York University.  She lives in New York City and Sharon Connecticut.

Remington Tonar, Treasurer

Remington is a diverse consultant and scholar whose experiences range from brand strategy to the study of religious myths. He is the cofounder of Culture Concepts, a research and strategy firm that uses a social science approach to help SMBs build better relationships with their consumers and employees. Remington has presented on this approach at a number of professional and academic conferences and has written about it for marketing industry publications.

Currently, Remington also works as a brand strategist for Siegelvision, a new strategic brand consultancy started by Alan Siegel, the founder of renowned branding agency Siegel+Gale. Working with a small team of the branding industry’s most accomplished consultants, Remington helps global corporations and large non-profit organizations strengthen their brand identities. Prior to joining Siegelvision, Remington worked in the marketing department at Teliris, a multinational video technology provider, where he played a critical role in repositioning the company. He also served as the head of marketing for Caffe Baci, a Chicago-based restaurant group, and spearheaded digital communications for Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s Milwaukee County Executive campaign.

Remington has long had a passion for civics, and began volunteering on political campaigns and community organizations in high school. He had served on the planning committee for a statewide diversity issues conference and has worked on dozens of local and statewide campaigns and has worked as a digital communications consultant for numerous others, including Scott Walker’s 2010 gubernatorial campaign. Remington also served as chair of the Students for McCain organization in college and as the editor-in-chief of his university’s political newspaper.

Remington holds an M.S. in Corporate Communication at New York University, where he is researching how system sanctioning communication can overcome psychological resistance to change, and an M.A. in Theology from Loyola University Chicago, where his research focused on the role narratives play in influencing the voting and consumption behavior of religious believers. He earned his B.A. at Marquette University, where he studied Political Economics and Theology.