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Members/Officers and Bios

2017-2018 Board of Trustees

Dan Goldsmith, Chair

Dan is the General Manager of Europe at Veeva Systems. Before working at Veeva, Dan was a senior executive with IBM’s management consulting division focused on Life Sciences. He grew up around the corner from Montgomery in Chester Springs. Dan is an alumnus of the Friends Central School in Wynnewood, PA where he concurrently attended the University of Pennsylvania Young Scholars program. He graduated from the University of Rochester with a Bachelors of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering. Dan and his wife, Penny, have lived in Downingtown since 2004 and have 3 daughters. Abigail (’18), Isabelle (’21), and Katherine (’23) all currently attend the Montgomery School.

Alex Manganiello, Vice Chair

Alex is Vice President and Assistant General Counsel at Pfizer Inc., where he leads the Pfizer legal group responsible for mergers, acquisitions and late-stage licensing. Prior to joining Pfizer, Alex was an attorney at Ropes & Gray LLP in Boston, where he represented clients in corporate matters in the life sciences, technology, energy and financial industries. Alex received his undergraduate degree in biology from Harvard and graduated from Suffolk University Law School, where he served as a writer and editor for the law review. After law school, Alex served as law clerk and legal counsel to the Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Alex and his wife Celeste, who is active in the MSCA, moved to Collegeville in 2004 from the Boston area and joined the Montgomery family in 2010 as the parents of Harris ’13, Sophia ’14 and Owen ’18. Alex was formerly pro bono legal counsel and corporate secretary of Homeless Empowerment Project, the publisher of Boston’s homeless newspaper. Alex serves as an alumni interviewer for the Harvard College admissions office and he is also the Den Leader for Owen’s Cub Scout pack. In the summer, Alex and his family happily volunteer in the Montgomery School garden.

Paul Gilbert, Treasurer

Paul is the President and Cofounder of DataCeutics, a specialty Functional Service Provider supporting clinical trials with technical expertise in biostatistics, statistical programming and clinical programming. He graduated from the State University of New York at Albany with a Bachelors of Science degree in Chemistry. Paul and his wife, Susan Braithwaite-Gilbert, have lived in Downingtown since 1999 and have 3 children. Spencer (’17), Elsa (’21), and Perry (’24) all currently attend the Montgomery School.

Doug Gessl, Secretary

Doug is Chief Financial Officer for Ralexar Therapeutics, Inc. and Velicept Therapeutics, Inc., two development stage pharmaceutical companies. In addition, Doug is a founding Partner, CFO and COO of Nexeption, LLC, a company that provides development and management services to its portfolio of pharmaceutical companies. Between 2004 and 2013, Doug held the CFO position at Ception Therapeutics and then Ceptaris Therapeutics. Prior to that, he spent nearly 20 years working at a number of commercial and investment banking institutions in the Midwest. A native of Wisconsin, he earned his bachelor’s degree in Finance, Investments and Banking from the University of Wisconsin – Madison before earning his MBA from the University of Chicago. Doug joined the Montgomery Board of Trustees in 2015 and served on the Finance Committee in the 2015-16 school year. Doug currently serves on the Executive Committee and as Co-Chair of the Strategic Planning Committee. He and his wife, Jean, live in Chester Springs with their son Fritz (Montgomery School ’15), daughter Ava (Montgomery School ’17) and golden doodle Lucy.

Sally B. Keidel, Head of School

This is Sally's third year at Montgomery as Head of School. She joined the Montgomery School community after four years as Assistant Head of School for Enrollment Management and External Relations at The Agnes Irwin School in Villanova, PA. Her children Charlie '20 and Maggie '23 attend Montgomery. Sally and her family reside in Phoenixville.

Jonathan Brassington

Jonathan A. Brassington is the CEO, co-founder, partner, and member of the Board of Directors at LiquidHub, a digital integrator that partners with businesses to improve customer engagement and drive growth. Bringing more than fifteen years of technology and innovation experience to his role, Jonathan has led LiquidHub to be consistently recognized as one of the fastest-growing companies in the greater Philadelphia and mid-Atlantic region, including recognition from Inc. 5000 and Philly 100. Prior to the establishment of LiquidHub, Jonathan was a partner at Broadreach Consulting, an Internet professional services firm. He is an avid technology strategist and speaker as well as an early stage investor in a variety of technology driven businesses. Jonathan is a leader in digital customer engagement and has previously worked with The Wall Street Journal, The Philadelphia Inquirer, Philadelphia Business Journal, SmartCEO, and SmartBusiness—as an expert resource.

Jonathan has a bachelor’s degree in computer science and mathematics from Misericordia University and a master’s degree in telecommunications and operations from the University of Pennsylvania. He is a Wharton Fellow and serves on the Board of Trustees of Misericordia University, Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center Director's Leadership Council (ACCDLC) and the Montgomery School. Jonathan is also a Board Member of The Greater Philadelphia Alliance for Capital and Technologies (PACT) and he is on the Advisory Board of Temple University’s Fox School of Business. He also serves as a Board Member of Listen Logic, as a member of the Young Presidents Organization, and as a Trustee for the Paoli Hospital Foundation Board. Jonathan currently lives with his wife Linda and their two sons in Phoenixville, Pennsylvania.

Lori Ciprich

Lori is one of the co-founders of RockSolid Partners, LLC and Chester County Stone, where she is the CFO and Compliance Officer. Prior to co-founding RockSolid Partners, Lori held multiple management positions in sales, marketing, training and human resources at Sunoco, Inc. during her tenure there. Lori received her undergraduate degree in Art History and English from Lafayette College and received her Master in Business Administration from Rosemont College in 2006. Lori is an alumnus of the Agnes Irwin School in Villanova, PA where she still volunteers. Lori was a former board member at Maternity Care Coalition and a Sunday school teacher at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church. Lori and her husband Matthew, moved to Chester Springs in 2009 and joined the Montgomery family in 2011 as the parents of Atleigh ’20, Delanie ’21 and Dylan ’24. Lori has been an advocate and volunteer for the school, whose involvement includes co-chairing both the Annual Fund and the Benefit in 2014-2015.

Harry Carpenter


Patricia Dahm

Maureen Fendrick

Maureen has been active in the Montgomery School Community and has chaired the Annual Benefit, the Book Fair and has served on the Advancement Committee. She is currently the chairperson for the Yellow Springs Art Show, and has chaired the show for the past seven years. She had previously been active with the Mill at Anselma. Her background includes an extensive career with Mars Electronics International (a division of Mars, Inc.) as Marketing Communications Manager. Prior to that she was in sales and was also a court reporter. Maureen is a graduate of Temple University. She currently resides in Chester Springs with her husband, Jim, and youngest daughter, Lisa, a graduate of the Agnes Irwin School, attends Gettysburg College. Her oldest daughter, Ashley, is a also graduate of Gettysburg.

Peggy Fenner

Peggy is a native of eastern Pennsylvania, born just 2 miles from the original site of the Montgomery School in Wynnewood, PA. She spent 20+ years in the San Francisco Bay Area leading technical operations and infrastructure teams for organizations such as NASA, Yahoo! Finance, Microsoft as well as several startups. When it was time for their children Julia ('19) and Joshua('23) to start school, Peggy and her husband Bill, returned to Chester County.

Today, you'll find Peggy busy with one of the many projects at the family's 10 acre working farm, affectionately named Millbridge Farm. She manages operations and renovations for the farm, the happy home for several miniature donkeys and alpacas. Peggy earned her Bachelor degree from Pennsylvania State University and completed post-degree work at Stanford University. Her interest in technical innovations like the Hyperloop and Mars research keep her actively engaged in technology discussions. Her life passions include running, traveling, and family adventures. In fact, you'll regularly find Peggy participating in a Walt Disney marathon, often as companion for friends or family running their first marathon.

Grant Geiger '02

Grant is the head of Cloud Computing, Project and Product Management with Siemens Healthcare. Currently, he also serves within Siemens as the chair of the Diversity Council. The council provides education, coaching, and support programs for the companies employee resource groups and leads overall diversity programming. Grant is a local, born and raised in the Philadelphia area. He is an alumnus of the Montgomery School, graduating in ’02 and served as the captain of the Greeks in his final year. He graduated from Devon Preparatory School and then Drexel University receiving a BSBA with dual concentrations in International Business in Marketing, with a German minor. He currently resides in New York City.

Lance Heft

Renee Henze

Renee is Global Marketing Director for DuPont Biomaterials, a leader in the development of high-performance, renewably-sourced materials that are used across a wide variety of industries. In the role, Renee leads a team responsible for marketing strategy and execution, channel development, pricing, new product launch and promotions. Renee has held a number of business, marketing and sales management roles throughout her career with DuPont and Astra Zeneca She has worked with a diverse group of customers such as Boeing, Siemens, Ford, Microsoft, Ikea, Disney, Lowe’s, Costco, Kroger and the Monterey Bay Aquarium. She holds a BS degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from the University of Rochester and an MBA in Business and Marketing Management from Syracuse University. Renee has chaired the DuPont United Way Auction for 2 years and is a member of the board of directors for Verlasso, a business that sustainably raises salmon in the Patagonian region of Chile. She is a graduate of the Philadelphia Leadership Inc. program and has participated in several panel discussions at Drexel University on corporate responsibility, marketing management, and attaining marketing roles. Renee has served on the Montgomery School Enrollment committee for 2 years. She, her husband Darrell and son Griffin (’17) live in Collegeville, PA.

Kristine Ilaria

Kristine Ilaria is a seasoned executive with experience leading strategy, finance, and acquisitions. She currently works at Stryker, a leading medical technology company, as Director of Strategy & Business Development across its Orthopaedics businesses. She is passionate about causes that improve children’s lives, especially education and healthcare. She holds a B.A. in Psychology & Political Science from Drew University and an MBA in Finance from Seton Hall University.

Kristine and her husband, Dan, reside in the local area with their son, Aaron (Montgomery Class of 2024), and daughter, Emerson (pre-school).

Jeffrey Lipson

Jeffrey Lipson, the Executive Director of Layer 8 Security, is an experienced entrepreneur, a Reserve Marine Colonel with over 25 years of military service and an avid technologist. After merging his managed IT services firm, SaberSource, with Lantium, Jeff went on to serve an active duty tour with the Marines at the National Security Agency. A career intelligence and communications officer, Jeff is a recognized subject matter expert in the fields of information assurance and cybersecurity, and has a Master’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University. Jeff currently serves on the Board of Directors for Immaculata University’s Cybersecurity Program. Jeff is equally active in philanthropy by serving as an involved member of the Philadelphia Committee for the Marine Corps Scholarship Foundation, and actively supports the National Wounded Warrior Cyber Academy.

Steven Lisk

Steve Lisk became the tenth Head of School at Lancaster Country Day School in July 2008. Across twenty-seven years in independent schools, he has served also as a division head, department chair, dorm head, classroom teacher, advisor and athletic coach.In his first eight years at LCDS, Mr. Lisk has led the school through strategic enrollment growth, programmatic development, and enhanced professional development. From 2003 – 2008, Mr. Lisk led the Upper School (grades 9-12) at Saint Stephen’s Episcopal School in Bradenton, FL. Earlier, Mr. Lisk served as the History Department Chair at the Kent School in Kent, CT. Mr. Lisk began his school career at Episcopal High School in Alexandria, VA. Starting as a history teacher, coach of football and basketball, and dorm parent, he spent a total of twelve years at this all-boarding school of over 400 students in grades 9-12.

Mr. Lisk attended the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill, where, as a Morehead Scholar, he majored in Political Science. Later, he also studied at North Carolina State University where he earned an M.A. in History. Mr. Lisk currently serves as the Board Chair for the Association of Delaware Valley Independent Schools (ADVIS) and on the Pennsylvania Association of Independent Schools (PAIS) Commission for Accreditation. With his wife, Kirke, he has two sons, ages 17 and 15.

Staci Williams Seeley

Staci joined the Montgomery School community in 2013 when she and her family moved from New York City and enrolled her son Crawford in fourth grade. At Montgomery, Staci has served on the Board’s Advancement Committee, and has co-chaired and served as a Class Captain of the Annual Fund.

Currently, Staci is the U.S. College Mentor and Scholarship Coordinator for the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy Foundation based in South Africa. Prior to moving to Pennsylvania, she held fundraising positions at charter schools in the South Bronx, New York and administrative and teaching positions at Prep for Prep in New York, Groton School and Concord Academy in Massachusetts and Bowdoin College in Maine. As a volunteer, Staci has been a trustee at Belmont Day School, The Children’s Center of Groton, and Bowdoin College. As a Bowdoin volunteer, she served on her 25th Reunion Committee and as President of the Alumni Council. Since 2014, she has been an Advisory Board member of the Cannonball Foundation, a youth leadership development program for baseball and softball student-athletes. Staci earned her Masters of Arts in Teaching from Brown University and her undergraduate degree from Bowdoin College.

Staci and her husband Chris, the Assistant Head of School at Church Farm School, live on the CFS campus in Exton with their children Crawford, Montgomery School Class of 2018, and Camille, a senior at St. Andrew’s School in Delaware.

Joshua Stewart '92

Joshua Stewart is an Account Manager at Excellis Health Solutions, a Life Sciences partner company specializing in compliance and ERP consulting. Prior to his current position, Joshua was an Integrated Delivery Systems Account Lead with Merck and Co., focusing on delivering Population Health Centered solutions to major Health Systems in the Philadelphia area. Joshua is a 12-year veteran of the US Navy where he served as a Nuclear-Submarine Officer on two forward-deployed fast-attack submarines. His shore tours included teaching Leadership and Ethics at the US Naval Academy, and standing up a capstone practicum for submarine-bound midshipmen. He holds a BS from the Naval Academy, MS in Human Resource Development and Leadership from the Naval Postgraduate School, and an MBA from Penn State. Joshua acts as a Character Ambassador for the Travis Manion Foundation. Joshua is a 1992 graduate of The Montgomery School. He, his wife Kelly, and children, Lincoln(7) and Jasmine(5), reside in East Norriton, PA.

Christopher R. Tompkins

Christopher Tompkins was appointed Headmaster of The Tatnall School, a PK3-12 independent day school of 600 students, in 2017. Prior to Tatnall, he served as Head of Episcopal Collegiate School and The Perkiomen School. Tompkins also served as Assistant Head of School for Enrollment at Mercersburg Academy.

In his 28-year career in independent schools, Tompkins has served as a middle and upper school teacher, director of admissions and financial aid, and college counselor. Tompkins authored The Croton Dams and Aqueduct, the forward to Behind the Walls, and an article on diversity in Second Home. He has also written numerous articles on independent schools, including a feature article on merit aid and net tuition revenue in the Spring 2016 edition of the NAIS Independent School Magazine. Tompkins served on the NAIS SSS Task Force from 2005-2011, was on the board of ADVIS from 2010 - 2015, and president from 2013 - 2015. In 2013, Tompkins received the Everett E. Gourley Award from the Enrollment Management Association. He is a regular speaker on the independent school circuit and was a founding trustee of the Association of Independent School Admission Professionals.

Tompkins holds a BA from Colby College, his MSSc from the Maxwell School of Syracuse University, and certificates from Cornell, Harvard, Richmond, and the Klingenstein Center of Columbia University.

Christine Whaley

Christine graduated from Cornell University with Bachelor Degrees in Biology and Psychology and worked as a Development Officer before returning to Cornell to get her MBA, concentrating in Marketing. After graduating with her Masters, she moved to the Philadelphia area to work for Merck & Co., Inc., where she was a Director of Marketing. Christine now spends her time supporting organizations that she is passionate about: Montgomery School, Cornell University, and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church. Christine has held a number of leadership/board positions in a number of volunteer organizations. She just concluded co-chairing her college reunion campaign and is currently an elected member of the Cornell University Council. Christine also co-chairs the Greater Philadelphia/South Jersey Cornell Alumni Admissions Ambassadors Network made up of more than 300 volunteers and speaks with high school seniors applying to Cornell. Christine is a past vestry member of St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church in Glenmoore and served as the Rector’s Warden for two years. She is also actively involved in the Outreach missions at the church. At Montgomery, Christine serves on the Enrollment Committee and can be found volunteering for numerous events. Most recently, she co-chaired the 2015 Annual Benefit. Christine and her husband, Harry, reside in Chester Springs with their son, Harry (Montgomery School ’21).