Chief Executive Officer & Co-Founder
Kelley’s Favorite Thing: Storytelling
Kelley is the co-creator of the Paige & Paxton Elementary STEM curriculum. While working for signature companies such as American Express and JPMorgan Chase, Kelley led nationally recognized STEM pipeline programs for girls and youth of color as one of the founding team members of the New York Chapter of Black Girls Code. She was also a lead member of the planning team for #YesWeCode youth hackathons, designed to expose middle and high school students to opportunities in computer science. She realized the need to start STEM awareness and proficiency earlier in the funnel. In 2014, she resigned her Assistant Vice President position at JPMorgan Chase to focus on Paige & Paxton. In addition to her role at JP Morgan Chase, Kelley has years of experience in financial services and digital marketing at Fortune 500 companies such as Walgreen Co., Discover Financial Services, and American Express.
Kelley has been named “Crain’s Chicago Business 20 in their 20s,” received the “Power 30 Under 30"™ award presented by Porsche in the business category and received the “Chicago Scholars 35 under 35 Young Leaders Making an Impact” award. Kelley has a Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Howard University in Washington, D.C.
Chief Operating Officer, Co Founder and Chief Mom
Rachel’s Favorite Thing: Epiphanies
Rachel Williams is a mother of two millennials, an entrepreneur, a marketing communications expert and a fitness fanatic. She was the “alpha” tester of the Paige & Paxton approach over 20 years ago when she wanted to ensure that her daughters were proficient in math and science. She devised an innovative way to make some of the complicated STEM concepts more interesting. While she didn’t have a STEM background, she was an award-winning marketing communications professional who had more than 20 years of experience in successfully communicating complex ideas to general audiences. She leveraged this skill set as a communicator, journalist, and educator by using two puzzle piece characters to make the complicated concepts more fun and engaging.
Twenty years later, something amazing had occurred. Both daughters were excelling in science and math-related fields and actively involved in STEM pipelining programs for youth. They convinced their mom to bring the puzzle piece characters back to life in the form of an early elementary STEM curriculum. Since then, the trio has been on a mission to engage a new generation in STEM. Rachel’s other passion is personal training. She is a certified personal trainer and adheres to a rigorous workout schedule. Believing that “it’s never too late to look great,” her work focuses on getting older adults excited about fitness. Rachel has a Bachelor of Journalism and a Bachelor of Arts in Spanish from the University of Missouri-Columbia.
Head of Curriculum & Instruction
Desmond’s Favorite Thing: Solving Puzzles
Desmond leads curriculum design, implementation and instructor training for Paige & Paxton. Desmond is a rock-star STEM-educator hybrid and is the founder of Martin’s Tutoring Service, which serves to supplement math and engineering education for students in the Metropolitan Detroit area. Desmond has a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Michigan at Ann Arbor. Desmond is passionate about strengthening and expanding the analytical and problem-solving skill sets of students. Desmond believes in the mission of transforming the paradigm of youth in such a way that fosters their identities as “scholastic professionals.”
Josh’s Favorite Thing: Serendipity
Josh McGill is the artist who brings Paige & Paxton and their Puzzleland cohorts to life. As head illustrator, he produces original artwork for illustrations for the storybooks and supplementary materials. Fascinated with drawing from an early age, he honed his skills through university art courses and several early freelance projects to become a gifted commercial illustrator and designer who specializes in children’s book illustrations, comics, cartoons, and app graphics. Josh graduated Magna Cum Laude from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Drawing. We invite you to view Josh’s online portfolio at www.mjosh.com.
David’s Favorite Thing: Community
David Mack is Principal and Managing Director of Pathfinder Group LLC, an independent private equity sponsor founded in March 2011. Dave has extensive experience in working with management and boards of directors, helping them achieve successful outcomes. His diverse background includes working as an operating executive, a financial executive and an investment banker, serving both as a turnaround professional and a financial advisor. Before founding Pathfinder, he was a managing director at Morris Anderson, a senior managing director with Mesirow Financial Consulting, and managing partner of White Oak Group. During his successful restructuring experience, his roles have included CEO, president, CFO, chief restructuring officer and special advisor and consultant to the board of directors. His clients include The Wisconsin Cheeseman, Senco Products, West Irving Die Castings, Metro Financial Services, Quest Industries, Salerno Cookie, Wisconsin Tool & Stamping, Arkay Industries, and MacCal Management Inc.
David Mack founded Mack Resources, a private investment firm, served as director of new business development and corporate controller at Allnet Communications Services Inc., a $400 million public telecommunications company, and served as manager of corporate finance at GTE Corporation. David holds a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and economics from Ohio Wesleyan University and a master’s degree in finance from New York University Graduate School of Business.