About Creative Education Foundation


“The challenges we are facing are without precedent…and we are going to need every ounce of ingenuity, imagination, and creativity to confront these problems.” ~ Sir Ken Robinson 

Alex Osborn founded the Creative Education Foundation (CEF) in 1954. Alex was one of the original advertising “Mad Men” and the “O” in BBDO. He founded CEF based on the idea that creativity can be learned and developed.

With Sidney J. Parnes, Ph.D., Alex developed the Creative Problem Solving (CPS) process and founded the Creative Problem Solving Institute (CPSI). CPSI is the oldest, longest-running global creativity conference that attracts hundreds of attendees from around the globe and across industries.

CEF also runs the Parnes Global Fellowship program, which trains rising leaders in CPS to make positive change in their communities, and awards the Ruth B. Noller Research Grant for cutting edge creativity research. CEF publishes the longest-running academic creativity journal, the Journal of Creative Behavior, and also provides CPS Professional Development Training to teachers, students, and professionals. CEF is a registered, 501-c-3 nonprofit organization.

Our Mission

The mission of the Creative Education Foundation is to spark personal and professional transformation by empowering people with the skill set, tool set, and mindset of deliberate creativity.

Our Vision

Our vision is to unlock the creative genius in everyone. The Creative Education Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit membership organization of leaders in the field of creativity theory and practice. Every day, principles fostered by CEF programs are helping someone, somewhere in the world, develop new products, make business operations run more profitably, restructure organizations and agencies to become more effective and less encumbered, reinvigorate economies, make improvements in our schools, revitalize communities, and replace ineffective methods and systems with new, more workable ones.

We convene businesses, governments, NGOs, and individuals to improve global health and wellness, increase opportunity for women and girls, reduce childhood obesity, create economic opportunity and growth, and help communities address the effects of climate change.

The Core Values of CEF

  • Creativity is innate; it can be deliberate, studied, taught, and learned.
  • Constructive creativity requires personal integrity, as well as integrity in process, product, and environment.
  • Courageous and respectful communication yields meaning and understanding.
  • We express viewpoints with clarity and self-awareness, ask questions to better understand others’ viewpoints, and listen generously.
  • We trust and use the Creative Problem Solving process in our leadership and program development.
  • Play fosters creativity and connects us to our goals and each other.
  • We achieve quality outcomes by bringing together people of different backgrounds, cultures, perspectives, and thinking processes.
  • Variety and differences require us to remain open-minded, to use debate, and to manage conflict as tools for stronger outcomes.
  • Generosity, awareness of self and others, and ongoing learning are essential characteristics of partners, volunteers, and staff.
  • Service requires high-level personal, interpersonal and organizational goals, exceptional delivery, and achievable commitments.
  • Individual growth and organizational growth go hand-in-hand.
  • Seeking both organizational growth and organizational stability requires fiscal responsibility, efficiency, effective resource management, and teamwork.

CEF Staff

Beth Miller

Beth Miller

Executive Director

Beth is a 20+ year nonprofit leader who is passionate about history, education, leadership, and creativity.  As the Executive Director of the Creative Education Foundation (CEF), she has grown and professionalized all contributed and earned revenue streams including the development Creative Problem Solving (CPS) Professional Development training for public school educators and administrators.  Beth and the CEF team are successfully navigating the Covid-19 pandemic and have developed new virtual programs, which have expanded the CEF audience.  Currently, Beth is exploring collaborative partnerships with The Illumination Project, the Center for Policing Equity, and various national Invention Conventions. 

Beth taught writing at Trinity College for 10 years, and who served as Writing Fellow at Quinnipiac University where she taught and assisted with writing program curriculum design. Beth earned her B.A. in Women’s Studies (2000) and her M.A. in American Studies (2003) at Trinity College, graduating with distinction for both degrees; she was also inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.  For her scholarship and community service, Beth received the Ann Petry Book Prize in American Studies, the D.G. Brinton Thompson Prize in United States History, the Samuel S. Fishzohn Award for Civil Rights and Community Service, the Elma H. Martin Book Prize for Student Leadership, and the Tyler Award for Interdisciplinary Studies. 

Beth currently serves as a Trustee of the Ahearn Family Foundation, and recently completed her tenure as a member of the Trinity College National Alumni Association Executive Committee. In 2005, Beth was hired to write “A Life-Giving Spirit:” 75 Years at the Bushnell, which was a history of The Bushnell Memorial Theater in Hartford, Connecticut. In 2017, Beth received an honorary PhD in Arts and Humane Letters from Southern New Hampshire University for her academic and professional achievements.  Her award-winning Senior Seminar Thesis, “Challenging Race and Gender Boundaries in Antebellum America,” about Prudence Crandall was adapted as the play, “An Education in Prudence,” produced by the Open Theater Project in Boston, MA in February 2018.    And, in 2019, Beth was recognized by her alma mater as one of the “50 for the next 50 Years,” which celebrated Trinity’s 50th anniversary of co-education by honoring 50 professors, alumni, and students as Trinity’s current and future women leaders.

Jamie Robinson

Jamie Robinson

Office Manager

Jamie Robinson is the bookkeeper and office manager at Creative Education Foundation. Throughout her career, she has worked in various roles as a director of human resources, and vice president of a family-run business, as well as acquiring an assortment of bookkeeping positions. She is married to her high-school sweetheart and has two children.

Jane Fischer

Jane Fischer

Creativity Trainer

Jane has over 25 years of experience in developing and delivering educational sessions, personal and professional development workshops, and training curriculum. Much of this experience covers her two decades in health education leadership, with 15 of these years in college health promotion and peer education training.

For the past decade, she has worked as a Creative Change Facilitator. Her passion is to help individuals, teams, and organizations arrive at creative solutions to the challenging and ambiguous problems they face, and to do so through improvisational mindsets. Jane’s perspective is greatly shaped by 20 years as a professional improv comedy performer.  She is currently a member of ComedySportz Buffalo and Twisted Sister Act.

Jane holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology with a minor in Social Work from Ithaca College, a Master of Arts in Health Arts and Sciences from Goddard College, and a Graduate Certificate of Advanced Study in Creativity and Change Leadership from the International Center for Studies in Creativity at SUNY Buffalo State. She is certified as a Foursight® facilitator, a facilitator of Lego® Serious Play® Methods & Materials, and a Laugha-Yoga leader. In addition to working with nonprofit organizations, colleges, community organizations, and businesses, she has been honored to deliver keynote presentations and lead interactive workshops at numerous conferences and events.

Roseanne Avella

Roseanne Avella

Flcc Coordinator

Roseanne is a true creative and entrepreneur.  For over 2 decades she has worked to combine her love of creative and business.  She has an eye for detail and a rich understanding of technology.  Bootstrapping multiple businesses after graduating from Ringling College of Art and Design, she has provided creative services to virtually every industry – completing or overseeing nearly every type of graphic design or online/web-based project.

Working for Creative Education Foundation, Roseanne brings her skills to provide creative and expertise to market the Florida Creativity Conference. 

Najja Bouldin

Najja Bouldin

Creativity Trainer

Najja A. Bouldin is an award-winning consulting luminary who has carved a path both down-to-earth and out of this world. As the Founder & Principal of Phoenix Innovation Group, LLC in Buffalo, New York, Najja brings an unmistakable spirit of creativity, innovation, and transformation to all his endeavors. His journey is as relatable as it is extraordinary, reflecting the very essence of the Phoenix Innovation Group.

Najja’s career is illustrious, with accolades that include prestigious collaborations with NASA, NSF, NCI, Pew Trusts, and the Creative Education Foundation. These remarkable connections have allowed him to explore the frontiers of human potential and creativity, transcending conventional boundaries and continually pushing the boundaries of what’s possible.

Hailing from the heart of Buffalo, Najja reaches for the stars, grounded in his profound commitment to fostering creativity and change. He empowers individuals, businesses, and communities to reach their highest potential, driving them towards a brighter future through Innovation Training, Leadership & Entrepreneurial Development, and Community Engagement.

Najja’s journey is both extraordinary and relatable. As a disabled United States Air Force veteran, he proudly served in Operation Enduring Freedom and Operation Iraqi Freedom, an experience that has shaped his dedication to helping individuals and organizations discover their untapped potential and redefine their limits.

But Najja’s impact isn’t just academic; it’s personal, tangible, and down-to-earth. He serves as an Adjunct Lecturer at Buffalo State, where he shares his wisdom with students, instilling in them a sense of possibility and the power of their creative minds.

Najja A. Bouldin is a visionary creative catalyst who invites others to join him on this extraordinary journey. His remarkable collection of stylish sweaters, a keen eye for science, and a relentless enthusiasm for ideas make him an inviting figure in the world of creativity and innovation.

He continues to greet us from the heart of Buffalo, New York, where he forges connections, fosters innovation, and inspires change. As a super proud parent, he understands the importance of igniting creativity and the power of human potential, not just for himself, but for the generations to come. As he looks to the stars, he reminds us that the power of creativity is, quite literally, limitless.

CEF Board of Trustees

Tricia Garwood

Tricia Garwood


Tricia became passionate about the creative process her senior year of high school and has been researching creativity and teaching corporate, educational, and individual clients how to develop and apply creative and innovative techniques ever since. Through her Philadelphia-based consulting business, The Idea Shop, Tricia helps her clients establish a creative culture through individual and corporate coaching, seminars, classes, and facilitating ideation sessions.

She joined the Disney Company in 2001 and is currently leadership development manager at the Disney University, a role in which she works with executives to assess and then design the right learning solution to drive leadership success and optimize business. Tricia also provides consultation to various clients within the company to help them fully tap their creative expertise. Through her research and experience, Tricia has explored the often-stormy relationship between the psychological fundamentals of creativity and the practical components of innovation with their direct applications in business, the arts, and sciences. Tricia has a Masters in human resources from Villanova University in and a doctorate in interdisciplinary leadership from Creighton University where her dissertation focused on collaboration and leadership creative problem solving preferences. Tricia has authored and co-authored a number of publications over the years, most recently a chapter in Emerald Publishing’s “Grassroots Leadership and the Arts for Social Change” entitled Benevolent Subversion: Graffiti, Street Art, and the Emergence of the Anonymous Leader.

Kirk Young

Kirk Young

vice chair

Kirk Young serves as the Vice President of Student Affairs at Jamestown Community College, a position he has held since 2014. Prior to joining JCC, Kirk worked for ten years at Utah Valley University, a large regional university in Utah. Throughout his years working in higher education, he has worked in enrollment, fundraising, and marketing, as well as serving for several years as the director of the Center for the Advancement of Leadership at UVU. Prior to his career in higher education, Kirk worked in sales and management in private industry where much of his work focused on employee development and engagement.

Kirk holds a BA in psychology from Utah Valley University, an MS in sociology from Brigham Young University, and a Ph.D. in leadership studies from Gonzaga University. His master’s studies focused on the social impacts of large-scale mega events, particularly the 2002 Winter Olympics. His doctoral studies focused on the 360-degree assessment as a leadership development tool. His other areas of expertise include transformational leadership, appreciative inquiry, servant-leadership, leadership and creativity, and strengths-based leadership. Kirk is a certified strengths coach with the Gallup organization, and spends some of his time consulting with individuals and teams on strengths-based performance and leadership solutions.

Kirk is the founder of 221b Performance Solutions, a leadership and organizational development firm that works closely with organizations across the country to assess performance, design solutions, and implement strategies for addressing a variety of challenges. In this capacity, Kirk is responsible for helping individuals, teams, and organizations identify and achieve their potential.

Kirk currently lives in Lakewood, NY with his wife, Katie, and their three children.

Mary Wisenski

Mary Wisenski


Mary Wisenski is a CPA and a Director of Assurance & Advisory Services for Fiondella, Milone and LaSaracina LLP (FML). She has more than 17 years of public accounting experience across a variety of industries including manufacturing, bio-technology, software, and consumer goods. She began her career at PricewaterhouseCoopers and joined FML in 2004. Mary is responsible for supervising and managing financial statement audits both under accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America (US GAAP) and International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), as well as employee benefit plan audits, and consulting engagements related to Sarbanes-Oxley initiatives for publicly- traded companies. In addition, Mary provides a variety of consulting services to both public and private clients focusing on internal audit services and her diverse industry experience ranges from startup businesses to large multi-national corporations. Her internal control experience includes the identification of significant accounts, the detection of prevent and detect controls within significant processes, and the development and execution of testing strategies for internal control environments. In addition, Mary has significant experience identifying control weaknesses and assisting in the development of process improvement opportunities within an organization’s control environment. Mary’s experience includes performing such work on Connecticut Water Service, Inc., Arvinas, Inc. Twin River Worldwide Holdings, Inc., Stanley Black & Decker, Inc., Delcath Systems, Inc., The Eastern Company, and American Bank Note Holographics, Inc., to name a few.

Mary has extensive professional and volunteer experience working with nonprofits. She performed audits for Theater Works, Inc. in Hartford, CT, as well as The Justice Education Center, Inc.. She served on the Board and was the former Treasurer and Co-Chair of Connectikds, Inc., a tutoring and mentoring organization also in Hartford. Mary is interested in CEF’s mission and work as creativity and critical thinking and sees these as critical life skills for one’s career and in life in general. She sees being able to deal with a situation and problem solve using creative thinking is the key to independence and confidence. Though Mary resides in Connecticut, her roots are in Buffalo, NY and she is there several times a year visiting family. She is excited about CEF’s Buffalo connections.

Frank Prince

Frank Prince


Frank is the Founder and President of Unleash Your Mind Consulting, an independent consulting firm focused on creative leadership and innovation since 1990. Frank is an executive consultant to CEO’s and Senior Management teams. Organizations hire Frank to develop strategies that drive results through innovation. He facilitates the creation of long-range strategic plans. Frank also counsels executives on their presentation skills and co-creates presentations with them.

Frank attended his first CPSI in 1984 and it changed his life and career. He has served as a CPSI leader since 1989. He served as an adjunct instructor for the Center for Creative Leadership and as an adjunct professor for George Fox University teaching “Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship.” He also taught “The Creative Manager” course at Motorola University. Frank founded One Ball One Village, a nonprofit organization which brings remote villages throughout the world together through building community centers with clean water, sports fields and play supplies.

Frank applies the same creativity, strategic planning and goal achievement processes to his personal life through a passion for riding motorcycles and extreme adventure travel. A few major accomplishments include: winning the Baja 1000 on a motorcycle, racing a sled team in the Iditarod and completing an Antarctic expedition with Cornell University and National Geographic. He always has a new adventure in the works.

Frank lives in Tampa, Florida with his two children and wife Cherri who he met at CPSI in 1999. She also serves as a CPSI leader and is the Head of Growth and Innovation for Seed Strategy.

Judy Bernstein

Judy Bernstein

Board Member

Judy currently serves as Director, Design Thinking Strategy as part of an FCB Health team that uses Creative Problem Solving and Human Centered Design to spark breakthrough thinking and insight-led innovation.  She designs, facilitates, and manages group innovative thinking and insight sessions across a range of brand and organizational needs. Previously, Judy was principal of CBA Full Gallop, an insights and innovation firm that provided qualitative research and facilitation to major manufacturers of consumer packaged goods, Rx, OTC and medical devices. 

She also served the Joint Special Operations University’s Center Design and Innovation as Adjunct Professor of Creative Problem Solving where she had the honor of introducing elite military operatives to the body of knowledge she first encountered at CPSI in 2014. Additionally, she had the pleasure of working as an instructor for the LUMA Institute supporting client teams in developing their ability to apply LUMA’s approach to innovation and problem solving.

Judy holds a MS in Creativity and Change Leadership from the International Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State and a BA in Theater Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  

Dan Buckmaster

Dan Buckmaster

Board Member

Dan Buckmaster brings vision to both engineering and business, and holds a Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and an advanced certificate in Advanced Manufacturing from the University at Buffalo. As President and Founder of the Tresca Group and Director at EcoWorld Water Corp, Buckmaster demonstrates exceptional leadership in driving innovation and excellence in product development and design. Under his guidance, the Tresca Group has become a leading mechanical engineering design firm, providing end-to-end services and achieving significant growth milestones. Buckmaster’s contributions extend beyond his companies, as he plays a pivotal role in shaping strategies for EcoWorld Water Corp and has garnered recognition, including the Buffalo Business First “30 under 30” award in 2022, for his dedication to excellence and client support within the Fortune 500 sector.

Katie Garry

Katie Garry

Board Member

Katie Garry is a Creative Director at Grey Midwest. During her 15+ year creative advertising career — in agencies and as an entrepreneur — she’s worked with the likes of small-town startups to Fortune 500s in beauty, CPG, fintech, food and beverage, hospitality, among others. 

Katie brings concepts from CPS, Design Thinking and Improv into her work to develop robust visual and verbal storytelling that best communicates the heart of a brand while connecting with the heart and mind of the consumer.

Katie’s perspective to work is through play. She plays with ideas, experiences and challenges until ah-has are uncovered and brains are tuckered out. Katie is someone who grabs attention, but never steals the show. She makes everyone feel seen, amplifies the voices of her team, and serves as a fountain of resources and creativity, asking for nothing in return but to celebrate in the collective success. 

Katie holds an MA in Journalism from the University of Memphis and a dual-BA in Journalism and Organizational Communication from Ohio Northern University, where she served as editor-in-chief of the Northern Review and as President of the Delta Zeta sorority. ONU is also where she met her husband, Ryan. They have three young daughters—two who are theatre-minded elementary-schoolers and one toddler who runs the show.  

Nicole Haddad

Nicole Haddad

Board Member

Nicole Haddad believes wholeheartedly in the power of creativity to fuel innovative thinking. She believes that the key to a thriving culture is confident, courageous individuals and teams who speak up and take risks to reimagine what is possible.

She is the founder of ArtWorks, where she uses creativity to transform the most disengaged, disconnected and burned-out groups into passionate, energetic teams who can tackle their most pressing business challenges with confidence.

As a creative leadership coach and team development facilitator, Haddad helps organizations build thriving cultures through programs that focus on creativity & innovation, cultivating sustainable collaboration, transformative team development, and creative leadership, which help professionals approach problem-solving with a creative mindset so that bigger and better solutions emerge to produce breakthrough results.

Haddad brings over 15 years of experience in advertising, marketing, and creative problem-solving training to students in the form of highly engaging and impactful workshop-style sessions where students learn through purposeful play in a space that encourages tinkering, experimenting, asking thoughtful questions and sharing unique perspectives.

Haddad earned her MBA in marketing and management from SMU. She is a certified LEGO® Serious Play® facilitator and Foursight innovative problem-solving trainer.

Kimberly Hawkins

Kimberly Hawkins

Board Member

Kimberly Hawkins is a Change Management Consultant that specializes in the technology industry.  She has worked as a Human Resources Professional for over 20 years prior to transitioning to the change management discipline. Additionally, she has worked in education as an Adjunct Professor at Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA teaching Human Resources.

Her current interests include understanding how diversity, project management, and creative problem solving can work together to help solve some of the most challenging and complex problems of our times.  She was led to the Creative Problem Solving Institute through her natural curiosity about what she witnessed as disconnect between organization’s promoting creativity but not always supporting cultures that truly support the risk taking and tinkering needed to discover and synergize new ideas.

 She is a Western New York transplant (Albion, New York to be exact) to Atlanta, Georgia.  She is a currently a participant in the year-long Tulsa Remote program sponsored by the Georgie Kaiser Foundation where she lives and works in Tulsa for a year as a remote worker.  She believes the remote workforce is the emerging industry and she is excited to be having this experience and making Tulsa her other home.

She has a undergraduate degree in Sociology and Philosophy from Hamilton College and a Masters in Industrial Labor Relations from Cornell University.  Additional she holds a graduate certificate in project management from Grantham University. She is also on the Board for the East Point Georgia Cultural Enrichment Commission, a graduate of the Atlanta United Way Board Training Program, and a member of the Atlanta Change Management Professional organization.

Erika López

Erika López

Board Member

Erika is a seasoned sales professional incorporating videogames to the corporate market to improve their training on soft skills. A social person who builds rapport and connects with prospects a clients in a way that impact results when doing business in Latin America, where people buy from people.

Creative problem solver by nature, in the quest of transforming and building awareness on accessibility in all industries from a vision of the world at 4 feet. A quick thinker, embraces the unexpected and likes being challenged. Taking action, getting results and generating enthusiasm are her drivers in all the things she does.

Known by two talents: singing and finding good food.


Liz Monroe-Cook

Liz Monroe-Cook

Board Member

Liz Monroe-Cook has been a leader at CPSI since 1991. She is a consulting psychologist who began her work as a clinician, but transferred to organizational applications through a qualitative research position at D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles. She trained moderators at the RIVA Training Institute, and was a frequent presenter and board member at the Qualitative Research Consultants Association (QCRA).

Liz has led projects with varied clients including the US Government, corporations, non-profits, professional associations, and institutions of higher learning. She has extensive experience in strategic planning, group idea generation, leadership development, team development, analysis and planning work, and retreats. Her expertise includes an array of deliberate creativity approaches, polarity thinking, communication and relationship skills, emotional intelligence, and group facilitation.

Liz has led many workshops at CPSI, MindCamp Canada, MindCamp Chile, Florida Creativity Weekend, and the Creativity European Association (CREA). In 2008, Liz received the CEF Distinguished Leader Award, and in 2014 the CEF Leadership Service & Commitment Award. She was a Fire and Police Commissioner for six years in the Village of Oak Park, Illinois and served more than four years on the board of directors for the Geneva Foundation, a transitional living and development program for youth 16 to 19. She is currently a Mission Steward for Child’s World America.

At Michigan State University, Liz studied music, history and psychology for her BA in humanities. She earned an MA in counseling and Ph.D. in counseling psychology, also from MSU. She lives in Oak Park (Chicago area) with her husband, Dale, a fellow psychologist. They have two adult children, Brenna and Jonathan.

Melissa St. Clair

Melissa St. Clair

Board Member

Melissa St. Clair is the Head of Inclusion, Diversity & Equity (ID&E) and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) for Nuveen, a global investment manager. Melissa has end-to-end responsibility for the strategic planning, delivery, execution and measurement of Nuveen’s International ID&E programming and Corporate Social Responsibility efforts in 22 countries across Europe, Asia Pacific and Latin America. Prior to her role at Nuveen, Melissa served as Vice President at TIAA (Nuveen’s parent company), leading the firm’s Inclusion Programming and Innovation and Diversity Strategies team. Prior to her career in ID&E, Melissa managed TIAA’s Contingent Worker Program at TIAA and led the firm’s award-winning and best-in-class Supplier Diversity Program.

Melissa has more than 17 years of experience in communications, staffing and procurement, and diversity-related fields in the financial services industry.

Ms. St. Clair received a bachelor of business administration (B.B.A) in International Business with a French Minor from Texas Tech University.  Melissa serves on the Board of Trustees for the Creative Education Foundation, and the Board of The Sundara Fund, a non-profit whose mission is to empower women and eradicate health and hygiene disparities across the globe. She also co-founded Sundara’s Rise 100 which provides mentorship, seed funding and resources to female entrepreneurs that are building sustainable businesses in low to middle income countries.  Melissa is a founding member of the Women’s Council at Make-A-Wish Metro NY, as well as a wish granter to children with life threatening medical conditions. From 2017-2020, she also served on the steering committee at Lincoln Center Kids which develops musical and artistic performances for neurodiverse audiences, including children with autism and other disabilities.

Melissa is a recipient of the 2020 Women’s eNews21 Leaders for the 21st Century” award and a Pride Global “Trailblazing Women” honoree. She is married with two children and resides in London.

Alexander Zorychta

Alexander Zorychta

Board Member

Alex is obsessed with helping student entrepreneurs find their confidence to take the plunge and help them get to product-market fit. He currently works within Amazon Web Services Startups to help university entrepreneurs grow their businesses.

Alex has founded startups in biotech, media, mobile gaming, and social networking, one of which was funded by Y Combinator, and he served as Head of Product for Zealot Interactive. Alex spent most of his career designing and directing student entrepreneurship programming that 4x’d the rate of viable high-growth entrepreneurs at the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, using research-backed and relationship-based approaches. Alex has coached thousands of student entrepreneurs 1-on-1 and in workshop formats internationally, the most popular of which has been “Strangers to Best Friends in 45 Minutes” that was first tested at CPSI 2017.

In addition to program design and individual coaching, Alex teaches classes in creativity and entrepreneurship at the University of Virginia. Most recently, he was a full-time faculty member in the McIntire School of Commerce teaching multiple sections of ENTP 1010: Introduction to Entrepreneurship. Before that, he designed and taught STS 3580: Creativity for Invention to undergraduate engineering students based on the rich educational concepts promoted by the Creative Education Foundation, and taught STS 4580/STS 5500: De-Risking Entrepreneurship, a course for both undergraduate and graduate engineering students.

His published work includes “Exploration of Discriminant Validity in Divergent Thinking Tasks: A Meta-Analysis” which explored improvements to the classical ways of measuring creativity, “Harnessing Deliberate Creativity” which was a technical note for business school professors to offer to their MBA students, “Aspiring Entrepreneurs Should Not Major in Entrepreneurship” which made the case for students to supplement with entrepreneurship classes rather than concentrate, and “The Social Mechanism of Supporting Entrepreneurial Projects Beyond the Classroom” which explored using community of practice as the most effective way to endow entrepreneurial mindset.

Alex received his MBA as well as his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from the University of Virginia, and is on a hiatus from work toward the M.S. in Creativity and Change Leadership at Buffalo State University.  

CEF’s Lifetime Trustees

Dr. Sidney J. Parnes (1922 – 2013)

Dr. Sidney J. Parnes (1922 – 2013)

Sid Parnes is professor emeritus and founding director of the Center for Studies in Creativity at Buffalo State College (1967). Sid met the CEF Founder, Alex Osborn, at the very first CPSI and took the conference content and morphed it into a “How to” conference, piloting this idea in his Creative Retailing Conference in 1956 at the University of Pittsburgh. Impressed with his initiative, Alex recruited Sid to work with him and evolve the model shortly thereafter.

From 1967 to 1984 Sid served as President of the Creative Education Foundation. He was the premier researcher on the development of creative behavior, so much so that he decided to launch The Journal of Creative Behavior (in ’67); the longest running and foremost academic journal dedicated to creativity in the world. He is responsible for assembling the most comprehensive library on creativity with more than 2,400 volumes. Throughout his career, Sid has emphasized two key principles on deliberate creativity. First, creativity is the result of a balance between divergent and convergent thinking and second; everyone can be taught to apply creative behavior in their personal and professional lives.

Gordon A. MacLeod (1926 – 2010)

Retired Partner, Hodgson & Russ LLP

Marion Osborn (1922 – 2008)

Past Secretary, Creative Education Foundation, Inc.

Past Board Chairs / Presidents

Duane Wilson

Chief Operating Officer, Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Joseph’s County

2017 – 2020

Thom Gonyeau

Principal, Mountain View Group

2014 – 2016

Katherine O. Heusner, Ph.D.


2010 – 2014

David Magellan Horth

Senior Designer, Center for Creative Leadership

2004 – 2010

Hedria Lunken

Author, Speaker and Founder of Hedria Consulting

2004 – 2007

John Osborn


2001 – 2004

KT Connor

1997 – 2001

Lyman Randall (1933 – 2009)

1994 – 1997

Dorie A. Shallcross

Professor Emeritus, University of Massachusetts


Raymond A. Binis

1984 – 1988

Sidney J. Parnes

Co-founder of the International Center for Studies in Creativity

1967 – 1984

Lee Bristol

Former Head of Manufacturing and Advertising, Bristol-Meyers Company

1964 – 1967

Alex F. Osborn (1888 – 1966)

Founder, Creative Education Foundation

1955 – 1964

Trustees Emeriti

Robert F. Berner

Professor Emeritus, University at Buffalo

Louis Gersten (1922 – 2010)

Retired President, Utilo Corporation and Board Member, National Stroke Association

Beatrice Parnes

Doris J. Shallcross

Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts

Paul Torrance, Ph.D. (1915 – 2003)