Robert "Bob" Martin, President and CEO
Robert L. Martin was appointed president of the Imagine America Foundation in March 2006. The Foundation, which is the preeminent scholarship provider and research-funding organization for the career education sector, came under his direction in 1999 when it was then known as the Career Training Foundation. As the Foundation began to increase its operations and responsibilities, Bob was chosen to lead the organization as president.
Through Bob's leadership and guidance, the nonprofit has become its own influential organization in the career college realm. Once the in-house research body under the former Association of Private Sector Colleges and Universities, the Foundation has considerably expanded its member schools and charitable donors and has established its own identity as an independent organization. Today, the Foundation supports more than 400 career college members across the United States and Puerto Rico. The Foundation, through financial support from the 21st Century Workforce Fund, has initiated research studies focused on the impact of career colleges, their role in meeting the nation’s current skilled-worker shortage and other broad public policy issues facing the higher education sector. The Foundation has also provided more than $130 million in scholarship and award support for graduating high school seniors, adult learners and U.S. military veterans attending career colleges nationwide.
Before joining the Foundation, Bob was an independent consultant serving both public- and private-sector clients. He assisted with government relations and marketing and business development service initiatives for national trade associations, major textbook publishers, educational software developers, computer hardware manufacturers and internet service providers.
Prior to his consulting work, Bob attained senior positions at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and as the vice president and executive director of the Center for Workforce Preparation. His involvement led the Chamber to create the Center and develop a national outreach program that now serves more than 3,000 state and local chambers of commerce nationwide. He also worked extensively with senior officials at the U.S. Departments of Education, Labor, and Health and Human Services, as well as the White House and other leading business and trade associations. He directed all research and public policy activities in these areas.
In addition, Bob was selected to serve on the personal staff of Congressman Robert W. Daniel of Virginia. He also spent five years in state government: three working for the governor's office in the state of Indiana directing state manpower programs, and two as a senior staff associate at the National Governors Association in Washington.
Bob earned a bachelor's degree in political science and business administration from Central Michigan University and a master's of public administration from Indiana University.
Lauren Cunningham, Director of Operations
Lauren Cunningham serves as the director of operations for the Imagine America Foundation. She is responsible for guiding applicants through the Imagine America High School Scholarship Program, Military Award Program (MAP) and the Adult Skills Education Program (ASEP), all of which help more than 20,000 students each year with tuition assistance.
Sumathi Devanathan (Sue), Accountant
Sue passed the uniform CPA exam in 1992 and has several years' experience as a tax practitioner with H&R Block filing complicated tax returns and in industry as an accountant and financial analyst. Sue received her Master's in Accounting from the University of Madras in 1987 and completed her postgraduate work at Walsh College in Troy, Michigan, in 1991.
Jenni Valentino, Communications Strategy Consultant
Jenni Valentino's expertise in creative writing helps the Imagine America Foundation effectively communicate with our rapidly growing career college and high school guidance counselor audience. Jenni also writes for Career College Central magazine.