The two principals of C//ECI have decades of experience in public education and public policy issues pertinent to the “business” of education and the relationship between education and the private sector. They are known and respected by a wide array of decision-makers and policy leaders across many fields. Carolyn Warner served for three terms as Arizona’s elected Superintendent of Public Instruction – the first non-educator to hold that office – and has served on a variety of national boards and commissions concerning education and the economy; David Bolger served for 9 years (during Carolyn Warner’s administration) as legislative liaison and communications and major initiatives director in the Arizona Department of Education, and has extensive political as well as public and private sector experience. In the twenty-plus years since the firm’s founding, Warner and Bolger have consulted with numerous business, corporate, association, and foundation clients on public policy, education and education marketing-related issues.
UNDERSTANDING OF COMPLEX EDUCATIONAL SYSTEMS
At every level, education is an intensely complex network of systems. Although the K-12 systems in different states may look the same from a macro level, they are all uniquely state-specific in terms of funding and governance. A company wishing to negotiate this complex landscape must do so with an understanding that it will be confronted with a myriad of statutes, rules, regulations, funding formulas, and competing (and sometimes conflicting) interests and jurisdictions among:
Public K-12 school districts;
Parochial, and private academic, K-12 schools or systems;
K-12 charter schools (which could be a blend of any of the above two categories).
Because of the firm’s expertise, and contacts with key decision-makers, knowing how to negotiate this complex mix is another of C//ECI’s strengths. Moreover, the principals of the firm also have both governance and consulting experience in post-secondary education.
The firm’s experience gives it a unique perspective – from the macro to the micro level – on the political, economic, social, and educational environment that impacts a wide variety of business and public policy decisions. The principals are “big picture” as well as “on the ground” thinkers, understanding and appreciating the need for educational change and innovation, but not susceptible to the cure du jour mentality that affects so many educational initiatives. Rather, C//ECI’s focus is on practical solutions, cost-effective results and, whenever possible, data-driven decision-making that focuses on educational excellence and client success.
Because of their extensive experience and broad business, educational, and public policy exposure, the firm has substantial contacts and access at the local, state, and national levels that can be brought to bear for the benefit of its clients. C//ECI can connect the dots between its contact network and clients’ needs in order to bring the best available thinking to the table on any given issue. The firm has served in this capacity for a variety of major corporations, including MetLife, Visa, ING, AG Edwards, and Coca-Cola, among others.
Because C//ECI is a “boutique” consulting firm, it accepts only as many clients – a maximum of five – as the principals of the firm can personally service. The firm works with the client one-on-one to develop a plan of work and implementation strategy that will help the client achieve its marketing goals. C//ECI’s efforts on a client’s behalf include helping with strategic planning, establishing key contacts and introductions for clients in their target marketplace, training of marketing personnel, if necessary, on the “education landscape,” and strategically-selected representational opportunities on client’s behalf (e.g., a client-underwritten keynote or seminar presentation by C//ECI’s principals to a key marketing-target association).
C//ECI’s fee structure for a twelve-month consulting contract is $3,000 per corporate day for a minimum of two days per month (one corporate day = 8 hours consulting, plus expenses). This fee provides the client with the full resources and expertise of both principals of the firm – Carolyn Warner and David Bolger – and commensurate support services. C//ECI also offers consulting services on a project basis, with fee and expenses based upon the time and costs necessary to complete the project.