In 1988 RPA Inc. was formed to empower institutions and organizations working for the greater good to obtain the personnel and resources necessary to achieve their goals. RPA Inc. has assembled a cadre of highly skilled and experienced senior consultants and executive recruitment specialists to meet your consulting needs.
Prior to founding RPA Inc., Richard Allen enjoyed a successful career in higher educational administration as Vice President of both Gettysburg and Franklin and Marshall Colleges. He also held senior administrative positions at Lafayette College and Bucknell University. Richard has a well-established reputation as an executive recruitment, fundraising, and institutional analysis consultant to hundreds of presidents, officers, trustees, administrators, and faculty at public and private colleges, universities and seminaries, hospitals, museums, social service agencies, and other nonprofit organizations nationwide.
Organizational Management, and Non-traditional Programs
James Barnes, Ph. D., Senior Consultant for Executive Recruitment, Organizational Management, and Non-traditional Programs
Dr. Jim Barnes, former President and Chancellor of Indiana Wesleyan University, brings to RPA Inc. an entrepreneurial spirit and the transformational leadership skills that facilitated Indiana Wesleyan University's becoming one of the national leaders in adult education and online programs. During Jim's tenure, IWU's total enrollment grew from 1,700 to 13,000, with campus-based enrollment increasing from 1,000 to 3,330. Among Jim's achievements at IWU were the building of an entirely new $250 million campus that is debt free, conducting two successful, high-goal capital campaigns, launching new and innovative curriculum offerings, and growing the overall institutional budget from a $6 million to $130 million annually. In addition, Jim initiated IWU's seven online degree programs, enrolling over 2,300 students, launched the University's first doctoral program, and increased adult and professional studies enrollment from 750 to nearly 10,000.Jim is available to RPA Inc. clients to assist in presidential succession planning, the identification, cultivation and placement of top administrators, and to provide his expertise in an array of institutional management issues including the development and marketing of adult programs. In both recruitment and management consulting assignments Jim offers insightful assessment, a collegial and collaborative style, and a positive and growth-oriented attitude. His dedication to quality in all aspects of higher education and his mission-driven commitment to providing only the best possible service to his clients make Jim a dynamic force for positive change.
Dr. Frank Campbell joins RPA Inc. following a successful interim appointment as President of Gardner-Webb University. Frank was invited to assist Gardner-Webb shortly after retiring from a dynamic and growth-oriented, 17-year tenure as President of Averett University. Under Franks leadership, Averett increased its enrollment from 800 to 2,500 and experienced major campus expansion, obtaining approximately 180 acres of new land. During his presidency, the University received more than $50 million in gifts and the endowment grew from $250,000 to over $27 million. Among Frank's innovations at Averett is a nontraditional adult program that encompasses the entire Commonwealth of Virginia, enabling thousands of mature learners to realize their dreams of a college education.
Before joining Averett, Frank served for nearly 20 years as Pastor of the First Baptist Church in Statesville, North Carolina, and was elected twice to the presidency of the Baptist State Convention of North Carolina.
Frank is committed to aiding independent and values-based higher education to maintain and enhance its historical vibrancy and cultural relevance. He is available to assist in areas of presidential and cabinet officer search and evaluation, administrative organization consulting, and board development and orientation. RPA Inc. is proud to offer his unparalleled expertise and dedication to those who each day embrace the opportunities and face the challenges of leading values-based institutions of higher education.
Former Vice President of Lafayette College, Gary Evans brings an extraordinary level of service and achievement to his consulting assignments. As a consultant and vice president he has helped educational institutions raise more than $1 billion. His experience ranges from small liberal arts colleges to large technical institutes to large state universities. Gary is a frequent speaker at CASE conferences, the Williamsburg Development Institute, the Harvard Seminar for New Presidents, and the Harvard Institute for Educational Management.
Bob joins RPA Inc. with decades of experience in secondary and higher education, as well as for-profit and nonprofit management. A native Pennsylvanian, Bob received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Lafayette College. Prior to his career move to academia Bob worked for Scott Paper Company in several engineering and managerial roles. Bob has worked in academia/non-profits for over 25 years. His first position was as Executive Officer (CFO) of the Laboratory of Nuclear Studies at Cornell University where he managed all non-academic functions of the facility, including operation of a high-energy physics particle accelerator, supported by the NSF's largest contract. At Dartmouth College he served as Executive Officer for the Arts and Sciences, managing faculty personnel activities and facilities coordination for that cost center. During his last year at Dartmouth he was part of a five-person task force that developed a comprehensive, ten-year facilities plan for the College.
Bob spent a collective ten years in private secondary education as CFO of The Hotchkiss School and the Ross School & Institute, where he played a major role in over a dozen major capital projects that completely changed the appearance of both campuses. Long range planning and multi-year budgets were initiated at both schools during his tenure. He returned to the college environment in June 2001 when he became the Vice President and Treasurer at Lycoming College, retiring in 2007 to join RPA Inc. With broad-based management experience, Bob stands ready to bring top expertise to the service of RPA Inc.'s clients.
and Organizational Management
Paul W. Hartman brings 43 years of experience in higher education public relations and fund raising to his consulting assignments. His responsibilities at seven colleges and universities have included media relations, the annual fund, corporate and foundation relations, and planned giving. For two-thirds of those years, he was either the chief advancement officer reporting directly to the institution's chief executive officer or was himself a president actively engaged in fund raising. During those years he recruited a large number of very competent colleagues for the administrative teams he led.
Before joining RPA, Inc., Paul served 11 years as Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations at DePauw University and for two years as Secretary of the University. His tenure at DePauw included management of The Campaign for DePauw: Leadership for a New Century which generated more than $376 million in gifts and commitments.
Paul served as President of Kentucky Wesleyan College for five years, leading a consensus building process that involved 100 KWC leaders from across the Commonwealth in a year-long planning study. From this process came a new mission statement and a plan for its accomplishment in the 1990s. Two buildings were renovated, the endowment increased, and a new core curriculum was adopted.
Areas of institutional advancement in which Paul's experience and expertise are particularly strong include (1) planning multi-year fund raising strategy, (2) developing boards of trustees; (3) the organization and servicing of advisory boards and committees; and (4) staff training.
Dr. Heffernan is Senior Associate at the New York Campus Compact (NYCC), and its former Executive Director. His career spans 47 years in higher education as administrator, researcher, faculty member, and consultant. Academic leadership and organizational development, campus/community partnerships, and student affairs are among his areas of expertise. Prior to NYCC, Dr. Heffernan was Vice President for Student Affairs and Educational Services at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) in Syracuse, where he also served as Vice President for Institutional Advancement. Previous work experience includes serving as Executive Director of The Washington (D.C.) Center for Learning Alternatives; Visiting Professor at the Institute for Higher Education in New South Wales, Australia; Associate Professor in the Syracuse University Department of Higher and Adult Education; Assistant Director of Institutional Research at Dartmouth College; and Research Assistant at the University of Michigan Center for the Study of Higher Education. In addition, Dr. Heffernan was a member of the AAHE task force for The Search Committee Handbook – A Guide to Recruiting Administrators.
Dr. Heffernan earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Higher Education and a Master of Arts in Psychology from the University of Michigan; a Master of Arts in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Education from Columbia University Teachers College; and a Bachelor of Arts in History from Lafayette College.
Gary Lowe has been chief advancement officer and senior development officer at three very different colleges and universities for more than 30 years, having served 15 years at Gettysburg College in Pennsylvania, 11 years at Tufts University, and the past seven years as Dean then Vice President for Advancement at the Massachusetts Maritime Academy (MMA). During his tenure at MMA, he also served as Executive Director of the MMA Foundation, an independent, not-for-profit 501(c)(3) corporation with a board of trustees devoted to the advancement of the academy. At MMA, Gary convened “summits” of the chief advancement officers of all the state colleges in the Commonwealth and all maritime colleges in the United States to share best practices, pool resources, and inspire mutually beneficial collaboration. Each of the three schools Gary served saw an increase in giving during his tenure, including a seven-fold increase at MMA, a 16-fold increase at Gettysburg, and a four-fold increase at Tufts.
Having run five comprehensive campaigns from concept to successful conclusion, and having had substantial roles in other campaigns raising anywhere from $2 million to $1.2 billion, Gary is a skilled campaign planner, manager, and consultant. He offers clients of RPA Inc. special skills and experience in institutional visioning, board development, international fundraising, and gift planning. Gary was the architect of MMA’s inclusive Commission for the Future of the Academy. He was also one of three architects of Tufts Initiative for Leadership and International Perspective (TILIP) in Beijing, Boston, Hong Kong, and New York City. TILIP fosters leadership teams and networks across cultures and was funded entirely by public and private sector gifts and grants from several different countries.Gary earned a bachelor’s degree from Denison University and a master’s degree from Miami University, in addition to graduate work at the Universities of Maine, Guam, and Indiana. He acquired a U.S. Coast Guard 100 Ton Master License. Before entering the field of educational advancement, Gary served in the United States Air Force as a commissioned officer with posts in Maine and Southeast Asia. He also held educational posts in admissions, student life, and the office of the president. Gary has been active in the communities in which he has lived, having served as a club president within Rotary International and chaired finance and stewardship committees for several religious and service organizations.
and Organizational Management
Frederick Nahm is President of Cranbrook School and formerly Senior Vice President of the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation. Rick is a nationally recognized educational leader with highly successful experience as President of Knox College and Vice President for Development at the University of Pennsylvania during its $1.4 billion campaign. Rick is a frequent author and speaker on development, strategic planning, management, and institutional planning.
Kate Nolde, Associate Vice President, brings an exceptional range of experience to her clients. A graduate of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Science in Communication, Kate delivers an element of thoroughness and thoughtfulness to the search process. She is a passionate advocate for our clients and our candidates, and makes a genuine investment in the process to assure that clients are able to choose from a robust pool of qualified candidates. Over her 14-year career with RPA Inc., Kate has led successful searches for presidents, chief development officers, chief academic officers, chief financial officers, chief enrollment officers, chief student affairs officers, and deans, among other administrative positions. She has worked with small and large colleges and universities across the nation, and is particularly adept at matching client needs with candidate skills.
and Executive Recruitment
After serving Lycoming College for nearly 15 years as Dean of the College, John Piper has elected to bring his broad higher education and nonprofit experience to the service of RPA Inc. clients. John joined Lycoming College as an Assistant Professor in 1969, and taught in the Department of History until assuming the deanship in 1992. Since that time he has overseen the academic programming of the College, as well as supervising the directors of the Snowden Library, IT, the Registrar's Office, and the Athletic Department. An instructor in the Department of Religion at Mount Holyoke before joining Lycoming, John has maintained a dual career track for many years, serving as Interim Pastor or Pastor in a number of United Methodist churches in Pennsylvania, while continuing his work in higher education. John is a graduate of Lafayette College, and holds degrees from Yale Divinity School and Duke University. He has written and published on a number of topics in history and religion, as well as taught or lectured in a variety of academic settings. As a volunteer, John has worked on boards and committees serving community and church organizations, as well as offering support to a broad range of college based organizations, societies, and committees. John offers in-depth understanding of elite, private institutions of higher education, large and small, a deep and abiding commitment to the liberal arts model, and a values-based dedication to improving the institutions he serves.
Recruitment, Minority Affairs, and Organizational Management
Until joining RPA Inc., Alfred Richardson served as Special Assistant to the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Facilities Planning and Construction for Historically Underutilized Businesses programs and activities at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to that he served North Carolina Central University as Assistant to the Dean of the School of Business, Director of Alumni Affairs and Executive Director of the Alumni Association. Al is the former National Director for Business and Economic Development for his fraternity, Alpha Phi Alpha. His corporate managerial experience includes General Electric Co., Digital Equipment Corp., General Motors, Alcoa, Johnson & Johnson, Westinghouse, and Xerox. Al served as a partner, Vice President and General Manager of Data Systems East, Inc. He later organized Richardson & Associates, Inc., a business development and training consulting service.
Management and Executive Recruitment
Dr. Gary Ripple is a highly experienced enrollment manager and consultant having held admissions positions at Bucknell, Ohio Wesleyan, William & Mary, and Lafayette Colleges. He has provided enrollment management and admissions consulting to Delaware Valley College, Felician College, Florida Southern College, Hiram College, Kalamazoo College, Sweet Briar College, the University of North Carolina, and the University of Richmond, to name a few.
Dr. Rogers comes to RPA Inc. following a successful tenure as the 15th President of Bucknell University. Steffen joined Bucknell in June 2000. Before joining Bucknell, he served as acting president, provost, and vice president for academic affairs, and professor of biology at Clemson University. Prior to Clemson, Steffen was dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Rhode Island from 1991-1996, where he was also a professor of zoology. Earlier in his career, Steffen served as acting dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Tulsa University and previously was director of the university facility for the Oklahoma Center of Excellence in Molecular Medicine and director of the Mervin Bovaird Center for Studies in Molecular Biology and Biotechnology. He earned his Ph.D. in biology from Vanderbilt and subsequently accepted a postdoctoral position in pathobiology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Public Health.
RPA Inc. is proud to announce that Brenda Wilson-Hale, J.D., has joined the firm as a Senior Consultant focusing on executive recruitment and fundraising consulting. Brenda joins us most recently from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, New York, where she served as Vice President for Institute Advancement. Among many successes at RPI, she led the revitalization and restructuring of the advancement division, including the implementation of a constituent-based fundraising model and a national recruitment effort to build an experienced team of professionals; more than doubled the overall fundraising totals; and developed the strategic plan for an upcoming comprehensive campaign. Prior to her tenure at RPI, Brenda was Chief Executive Officer of the Washington State University (WSU) Foundation. In this role, she led the most successful fundraising years in WSU history, exceeding $100 million in each year of her tenure and rebuilding and reorganizing the Foundation. Previous work experience includes leadership roles at Michigan State University's Eli Broad School of Business, DePaul University, and the Morehouse School of Medicine. Before joining higher education, Brenda spent several successful years in arts fundraising, as well as public relations and marketing positions within numerous Fortune 100 corporations.
Dawn joined the staff at RPA Inc. in 2003 and has 20 years of business management experience. She is responsible for the oversight of all in-house operations, which include staff management, business management, and information management. Dawn is responsible for administration of employee benefits, oversight of communication with outside vendors, invoicing and billing as well as maintaining the firm's web site. Dawn is a graduate of Pennsylvania College of Technology.
Vicky has 20 years experience in a variety of health and human services as both a provider of care and an administrator. Vicky has provided training in boardsmanship, fundraising, board and administrator relations, time management, organizational communications, and a variety of other topics to nonprofit businesses. She has conducted organizational analyses for nonprofits with the goal of identifying and planning to overcome obstacles to progress and aided in the development and implementation of action plans to address those findings. Vicky has led executive searches for Pearl Buck International, the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, National Underground Railroad Freedom Center, Chemical Heritage Foundation, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, the University of the District of Columbia, Northern virginia Community College, the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point, as well as many other organizations. She has assisted in management and development studies for such institutions as Lock Haven University of Pennsylvania, Wilmington College, Delaware Valley College, Flagler College, and Elmira College. In addition to her work for RPA Inc., Vicky is a writer whose "Recruiter's Corner" column is seen monthly in "INSIGHT into Diversity," the nation's oldest and largest diversity focused publication.
Brandy Collins, Director for Executive Recruitment, joined the staff at RPA Inc. in 2005 as an Executive Recruitment Specialist. Since then she has become one of the organization's top search coordinators. Currently working hand-in-hand with several RPA Inc. Senior Consultants as the lead recruiter on specific searches, Brandy is responsible for all facets of the search process, from the position audit, through networking calls and interviews, to the announcement of the winning candidate. She has conducted searches that range from areas of development and alumni relations, academic affairs, enrollment management and admissions, adult and professional studies, business and finance, and a commissioner search for the second largest NCAA Divisions II conference in the country. Prior to joining RPA Inc., Brandy earned a Bachelor of Science in Sports Management with a minor in Business Administration from Slippery Rock University.
Brian joined the staff at RPA Inc. as a Senior Recruitment Specialist in 2011. He brings to this role three years of experience in education, serving as an Adjunct Instructor of History at the Pennsylvania College of Technology, Substitute Teacher for local school districts, and an Assistant Soccer Coach with the Muncy School District. Brian earned a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History from the University of Connecticut and a Master of Arts in Political Science from East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania and a Pennsylvania State Teaching Certificate from Saint Joseph's University.
Mary Wagner, Senior Recruitment Specialist, has been a member of the RPA Inc. staff since 1994 and has directed over 100 searches for clients. Mary brings a breadth of recruitment experience, highly developed interpersonal skills, and energy to RPA Inc. She exercises her exceptional abilities in evaluation and planning to assist clients in identifying recruitment and consulting needs and assembling effective, efficient, and practical service plans. An asset Mary contributes to the search process is her ability to match the values of an organization with complementary values in candidates. Utilizing an introspective and affirmative style, Mary assists individuals and groups in clarifying and confirming the priorities of the varied constituencies that will be impacted by the outcome of the search. This information becomes critical in the evaluation of candidates and the potential for achieving the desired fit for the position. Her skills in working with search committees are of particular benefit in recruitment for top administrative positions.
Lois comes to RPA Inc. with a background in data analysis, database maintenance and product management. Her primary responsibilities include the ongoing maintenance of over 90,000 database records, providing updated information on higher education and nonprofit leaders; growth of the database by researching and adding additional records as new leaders emerge; database design and evaluation; and consultation with RPA's Senior Recruitment Specialists for every search assuring outreach to appropriate potential candidates across the U.S. Key to the achievement of a successful search outcome, this selection forms the basis for each client’s unique and original candidate pool. Lois earned a Bachelor of Arts in Education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining RPA Inc., Lois served Brodart Company as a Senior Data Analyst for 23 years.
Isaac Karaffa came to RPA in the summer of 2010 as a recent graduate from the Pennsylvania State University. He brings with him a bachelor’s degree in English and a background in patron and customer service with organizations such as the Back Mountain Memorial Library and Pepsi Beverages Company. Isaac processes and acknowledges received candidate materials, assists in travel coordination and database maintenance, and assembles informational notebooks used by client institutions throughout the interview process.
Amanda Bohlin joined the staff at RPA Inc. in the fall of 2011 as an Administrative Office Assistant. She brings with her a diverse background, working for companies such as Quest and the Corporate Institute, the International Journal of Oralfacial Myology, and an internship with the Institute of International Education. Amanda is a recent graduate from Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania, with a Bachelor of Arts in English and Political Science. Her primary responsibilities at RPA Inc. are processing and acknowledging candidate materials and assisting the Information Specialist with promotional mailings and data entry.