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.
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 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.
Beth is a 17-year veteran in nonprofit management and development. Beth also taught writing at Trinity College for 10 years, and was a writing fellow and lecturer at Quinnipiac University. She is passionate about continued education and educational access, and brings this passion to program development at CEF. Her NPO expertise includes board development and recruitment, fundraising, marketing and PR, strategic planning, systems development, and creative collaboration. Prior to her tenure at CEF, Beth served as a senior leader at the Boston Debate League, The Mark Twain House & Museum, and the Hartford Youth Scholars Foundation. She completed professional fellowships with Third Sector New England and the UMass Boston Center for Collaborative Leadership, Emerging Leaders Program. She received her B.A. in Women’s Studies and her M.A. in American Studies at Trinity College, Hartford, CT. Beth is a Trustee of the Ahearn Family Foundation and recently concluded her 6-year tenure as a member of the Trinity National Alumni Association Executive Committee. She is a member of the IVY Social Network.
In February 2018, her award winning history thesis on Prudence Crandall appeared on stage, as adapted by Stefan Lanfer and entitled “An Education in Prudence”. In 2017, Beth received an honorary Doctorate of Arts and Humane Letters from Southern New Hampshire University. Beth earned her BA in Women’s Studies and her MA in American Studies at Trinity College. As an undergraduate she won an array of awards for her Prudence Crandall research, student leadership, and civil rights and social justice work, including: the Ann Petry Book Prize in American Studies, the D.G. Brinton Thompson Prize in US History, and the Tyler Award for Interdisciplinary Studies, the Samuel S. Fishzohn Award for Civil Rights and Community Service, and the Elma H. Martin Book Prize for Student Leadership. Beth lives in Boston with her husband Jim Smith and their Labrador Gus.
Jamie is the Office Manager at the CEF office in Scituate, MA. Her career prior to CEF has been doing bookkeeping for local businesses. Jamie and her husband have two children and live in Marshfield, MA. She is also an avid runner and has completed several marathons, including the Boston Marathon in 2008 and 2015.
Manager of Education and Events
Beth holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Buffalo in History with a minor in Dance, a Social Studies Certification in Education from Buffalo State, and a Masters of Science in Creative Studies from Buffalo State, has completed a three-year Certified Humor Professional program from the Association for Applied and Therapeutic Humor and is in the middle of her Masters of Business Administration degree from D’Youville College. Beth has a passion for improv and enjoys studying it at Buffalo ComedySportz and Toronto’s Second City. From teaching at a middle school to adjuncting at a few of the local colleges, her long career in the education world has taught her the value of what dedicated faculty and staff bring to a student’s life. She combines this knowledge with excitement for deliberative problem solving to train people worldwide through the Creative Education Foundation.
Manager of Programs and Sales
Missy has been involved with the CEF since her first CPSI experience in 2004, where she fell hard for the concept of “In What Ways Might We.” She applies her strengths of Activator, Woo, Communication, Strategy, and Positivity to her approach to business, parenting, and life in general. Missy is President of New Directions Consulting, a market research and innovations supplier and works alongside large companies to develop the consumer products of the near future. This position with CEF is not Missy’s first foray into the world of not-for-profit organizations; she has previously worked for both Historic Hudson Valley and Girl Scouts of Westchester*Putnam.
CEF Board of Trustees
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.
Denise is currently the Executive Director of Andover Community Trust. Andover Community Trust is a local nonprofit that develops and stewards affordable homes in Andover. Based on the belief that economic diversity is an important contributor to livable and healthy communities, Andover Community Trust acquires land and offers low and moderate-income families the opportunity to build equity through home ownership. Andover Community Trust develops properties and in partnership with the Greater Lawrence Technical School offers real-world experience and job training to high school students in the carpentry, plumbing, electrical and HVAC trades. Prior to being named Executive Director, Denise served as a Director on the Board of Andover Community Trust.
Previously, Denise was the Director of Museum Finance and Registration at the Addison Gallery of American Art at Phillips Academy where she spent 24 years. In recent years Denise has acted as Chair and Treasurer of the Andover Cultural Council as well as serving a variety of other non-profit organizations, including the American Alliance of Museums and the New England Museum Association.
Denise received an M.B.A. with a concentration in non-profit management from Suffolk University’s Sawyer Business School, a B.A. (summa cum laude) in Art History from Columbia University, and an A.A.S. in Accounting and Business Administration from the Lincoln School of Commerce. Denise is a member of The Phi Beta Kappa Society and The Beta Gamma Sigma Society. Denise and her husband Mark live in Andover, MA, and have two grown children.
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.
Greg is serial entrepreneur, blazing trails for the future. By creating companies that produce innovative solutions for social and environmental issues, he has recently set new standards in several industries. Attributing his continued success to the creative mindset, Greg was also recognized in the 2018 class of 30 under 30 in his hometown of Buffalo, NY.
Beyond his companies, Greg possesses a unique skill set and approach life which both fuel his passion to help others achieve their goals and deliberately improve the world we live in. He had his first volunteer experience as a People to People Student Ambassador. Greg’s travel included trips to New Zealand and Australia in order to promote peace among cultures. After his first trip to CPSI in 2015, he was instantly hooked and he seeks to help bring deliberate creativity into the lives of others after seeing how the process can affect one’s personal and professional life in such a profound manner.
A Hartford, CT native who got an early start in New York City, providing choreography and artist development for record labels such as Sony/Epic and Tommy Boy Records. A Dance Educators of America certified dance teacher.
Nicole Established dfx Entertainment LLC in 2002, building an extensive network of talented performers and entertainment professionals. A natural entrepreneur and creative thinker who fosters strategic partnerships and delivers custom productions and stellar entertainment experiences to clients including Casinos, Corporations, Record Labels and Sports Venues.
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.
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 also a world traveler and lived in London, which gave her great access to much of western Europe including Barcelona, Rome, Sweden, Amsterdam, Brussels and Lisbon. She’s also spent a little time in the West Africa and Brazil. 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 an 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.
Teresa Lawrence, PhD, PMP, CSM
Teresa is recognized as the industry leader in integrating creativity and Creative Problem Solving (CPS) into project management. President and owner of International Deliverables, a NYS certified Woman Business Enterprise (WBE), Teresa provides training and consultation to organizations seeking to develop a projectized mindset, establish a project management and problem solving culture and to individuals seeking PMP certification training. Since September of 2017, over 75K individuals/teams have participated in Teresa’s workshops, presentations and webinars.
As part of PMIs SeminarsWorld series, Teresa provides training to project managers internationally on the highly sought-after skill of creative problem solving and specifically, how it relates to project management. Teresa is an active contributor on projectmanagement.com.
Teresa previously served on PMIs Registered Education Provider (REP) Advisory Board and is an Adjunct Assistant Professor with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University-Worldwide where she teaches graduate courses in Project Management and Decision Making.
Teresa was identified by Business First as a WNY Woman of Influence and the University at Buffalo Graduate School of Education as their 2016 Distinguished Alumni. Teresa is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP) and alumna of the International Center for Studies in Creativity (ICSC). In 2019, her company was a Home-based Business award recipient bestowed by the Small Business Administration.
Residing in Western New York with her husband Tom, Teresa is an avid outdoorswoman enjoying golfing, fishing, and hunting.
For the past twenty five plus years, Bob has been a leader and “C”-level executive for publicly traded and late-stage software-as- a-service and other high technology companies. Bob is a skilled operations, finance and administration professional with experience in all aspects of business management, including strategic planning, initial public offerings and other financings, mergers and acquisitions, business divestitures, international operations, human resources, financial and operating systems, and technology licensing.
Bob is on the Board of Directors of an early stage toy robotics company, KinderLab Robotics. KinderLab Robotics creates toys and educational tools that enable young children to learn critical technical, problem- solving, and cognitive skills in a developmentally appropriate and playful way. The Company’s products are targeted on teaching children ages 4 years old to 7 years old STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Math) concepts.
Bob is an Executive in Residence at Bentley University’s Career Services providing mentor/career coaching to Bentley alumni. Bob facilitates a weekly job search group meeting, the Fast Track Group, for Bentley Alumni seeking new job opportunities.
Bob is an active member of the MassChallenge community. He is a judge in the selection process for accelerator cohorts and an active mentor to members of the cohort. MassChallenge runs startup accelerators designed to catalyze a global renaissance by connecting high-impact startups with the resources they need to launch and succeed.
With programs in Boston, Israel and the UK, MassChallenge provides entrepreneurs with mentorship, office space, education, access to a vast network, and other resources during four months of acceleration. MassChallenge awards over $2 million in non-dilutive grants to the startups demonstrating the highest impact and highest potential. A nonprofit organization, MassChallenge is funded by corporate, public and foundation partners.
In the recent past, Bob has been involved with the Athena PowerLink Program as an Advisory Panel member. This federally funded program is intended to assist woman owned businesses with advice and guidance from volunteer professionals. Bob has also been involved with Root Causes/Social Innovation Forum for social impacting investing and non-profit operations as a mentor/coach.
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.
Alexandra graduated Cornell University and pursued an MBA in Consumer Behavior from ESADE Barcelona. She lived in NY, Spain and South Africa and traveled to over 40 countries before moving back to Puerto Rico to work in Consumer Research, Strategic Planning and Advertising for over 15 years.
Working largely with Marketing Departments, Alexandra uses her creative multicultural background to bring the unconventional thinking, leadership and creativity that are always at the core of successful brands. As a Researcher, her job is to analyze and dissect issues from every angle to unearth the barriers the strategy needs to solve. As a Communication/Advertising Strategist, her job is to conceptualize all the brand and consumer knowledge and synthetize it in a way that inspires Creativity, while aligning the consumer, the culture, and the brand seamlessly. This ability was first prized in 2013 when along with the LATAM Regional Strategist they brought Puerto Rico’s first Cannes Grand Prix for Creative Strategy and a Jay Chiat Strategic Excellence Award.
Alexandra is all about creativity with a purpose. This has given her a chance to exercise both her analytical and creative brains. She loves the mental process behind Creative Problem Solving and is also a Design Thinking Practitioner.
Alexandra currently lives in her beloved Puerto Rico where she founded Lateral Strategy, a research, branding and strategy studio that serves clients in Latin America and other Caribbean islands. Despite all the accolades, she is often referred to as Ignacio’s or Julieta’s mom a title she holds with great pride.
Duane is an innovative leader specializing in helping organizations build problem-solving capability by bringing creativity, clarity, and structure to complex and challenging problems. As Senior Program Director, Office of Continuous Improvement at the University of Notre Dame, he is charged with providing internal consulting services to campus units involved in Continuous Improvement (CI). Duane is a Leans/Six Sigma Black Belt who coaches and trains individuals and CI project teams, performs data analysis, and manages CI projects
Duane is an Adjunct Faculty Member of Beacon Health’s Pheil Innovation Center that aims to help for-profit and non-profit organizations develop Innovation as a core competency. Duane is known as a creative collaborator. He identifies problems, gathers allies, and works together toward shared goals.
Parker is a Financial Advisor with a large financial services firm. He offers comprehensive financial advice and a broad range of solutions to help his clients and their loved ones live with more confidence, now and in the future.
Parker is passionate about justice and civil rights. He has been awarded for his accomplishments at multiple financial services firms and is proud to call Boston his home. An Alumni of the University of Denver, his worldview comes from his interaction with people from all walks of life.
Originally from a small peninsula called Hull, his desire to explore led him to Denver. It was there he learned where he stood as a ‘Pioneer’ and how to support others in their pursuit of great accomplishments. He became Chairman of Philanthropy and Vice President of Kappa Sigma.
Adventurous but cautious, he enjoys sailing, the sport of polo, and staying close to his loyal friends. His history is a result of a focus on being coachable and continuous learning. He owes his foundational perspective and interest in helping small businesses grow to his experience in working for Chet Holmes and Tony Robbins.
He supports organizations including the Brooklyn Community Bail Fund, Peace Ridge Sanctuary, and One Brick Boston.
He currently lives in Charlestown, MA with his fiancée and two dogs Ellie and Murphy.
CEF’s Lifetime Trustees
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
Chief Operating Officer, Boys and Girls Clubs of St. Joseph’s County
2017 – 2020
Principal, Mountain View Group
2014 – 2016
Katherine O. Heusner, Ph.D.
2010 – 2014
David Magellan Horth
Senior Designer, Center for Creative Leadership
2004 – 2010
Author, Speaker and Founder of Hedria Consulting
2004 – 2007
2001 – 2004
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
Former Head of Manufacturing and Advertising, Bristol-Meyers Company
1964 – 1967
Alex F. Osborn (1888 – 1966)
Founder, Creative Education Foundation
1955 – 1964
Robert F. Berner
Professor Emeritus, University at Buffalo
Louis Gersten (1922 – 2010)
Retired President, Utilo Corporation and Board Member, National Stroke Association
Doris J. Shallcross
Professor Emeritus at the University of Massachusetts