Meet our Team

ETH Photo - B&WlinkedinEllen T. Heffernan
President

Ellen Heffernan graduated from Smith College with a B.A. in economics and government. She joined Spelman Johnson in 1996, after a ten-year career in higher education that included positions at Smith College and the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She is also a national speaker and writer on topics related to recruiting and professional development in higher education and serves as faculty for several national higher education association professional development programs. Ellen also currently serves on the executive board of the National Association of Executive Recruiters.

MAH B&W 1linkedin Mark A. Hall
Vice President

Mark Hall earned his BA from Wake Forest University, his MEd from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, and his MBA from the University of Central Florida. Most recently, Mark served as president of Campus Entertainment, LLC, a subsidiary company of the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA). During a career that spans over 20 years in higher education, Mark has served as assistant executive director at NACA, vice president for finance and administration at Columbia College, and director of the university centers at both Wake Forest University and the University of Central Florida. He served two terms as vice-chair of the NACA board of directors and was president of the Southern Region of the National Association of College Auxiliary Services.

VBS B&W 1linkedinValerie B. Szymkowicz
Senior Associate

Valerie Szymkowicz received her BA in natural science/environmental studies from New England College and her MEd in student personnel from the Graduate School of Education at the University of Vermont. For over 20 years, she worked in higher education at both public and private research, baccalaureate, and liberal arts institutions, principally in the areas of academic advising, experiential education, and career services. With a strong belief in cultivating leadership potential among talented rising stars, Valerie has been a guest presenter at the NASPA Region I Mid-Managers Institute facilitating discussion on professional development priorities and she regularly presents on topics related to building capacity and leadership potential for other professional organizations including the National Association of Colleges and Employers and the Eastern Association of Colleges and Employers.

KED B&W 1linkedinKendra E. Dane
Search Associate

Kendra Dane earned her BA from Mundelein College (now part of Loyola University) and her MS from National Louis University. During a career in higher education that spans over 30 years, Kendra has most recently served as assistant dean and director of admissions at William Mitchell College of Law in St. Paul, Minnesota. Prior to moving to St. Paul, she served as executive director of admissions and marketing at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC), as well as the executive director of enrollment services at SAIC. Kendra began her career in higher education at National Louis University in Evanston, Illinois, where she served as an associate vice president for financial aid for many years. Kendra has been active in the Illinois Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (ILASFAA), held leadership positions in Midwest Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators (MASFAA), and served in a volunteer capacity as a financial aid trainer with the U.S. Department of Education.

HJL B&W 1linkedin Heather J. Larabee
Search Associate

Heather Larabee earned her BS in marketing from the University of West Florida, her MEd from the University of Florida and her doctor of education in educational leadership from the University of Southern California. Heather has most recently served as assistant dean of students and director of campus activities in the division of student affairs at the University of Southern California. Prior to this, she served as the assistant director for cultural arts and activities. Heather came to the University of Southern California from Francis Marion University where she served as the director of student life in the division of student affairs. She also held the position of program coordinator in the division of student affairs at the University of Tennessee. Heather has published several articles and has been a presenter at the National Association for Campus Activities, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, and the Association of College Unions International national conferences.

JMN Officie (black and white)linkedin James M. Norfleet
Search Associate

Jim Norfleet earned his BBA in business and marketing from Pace University and joined Spelman Johnson after three decades in higher education, most recently as vice president for student affairs at the College of New Jersey. Prior to his work for the College of New Jersey, Jim served in several capacities at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, including associate vice president for student services and executive director of educational equity services. Earlier in his career, he worked in academic affairs at Nyack College where he directed the Higher Education Opportunity Program and served as associate dean of the college and director of the Office of Academic Development. Jim has been active in an array of professional organizations and has served as an independent consultant to mission-driven institutions and leaders across the career spectrum.

_AUG7118.B&W.lo-res_jpglinkedinJennifer N. Hiatt
Search Associate

Jennifer Hiatt earned her BA in English and her MEd in Higher Education at Arizona State University. With a career in higher education that spans nearly 20 years Jennifer has served most recently at the University of Arizona as the Executive Director, Residence Life and University Housing. Prior to her work at Arizona she served in housing and student affairs at California State University, Chico, Arizona State University, and New Mexico State University. Jennifer has served as Secretary as well as President of the Association of Inter-Mountain Housing Officers and was a faculty member of the National Housing Training Institute. She currently sits on the board of the Girl Scouts of Southern Arizona.

linkedinDell Robinson
Search Associate – Athletic Practice

Dell Robinson earned his BS in Physical Education from Ohio University and his MS in Sports Administration from Iowa State University. Prior to joining Spelman Johnson, Dell most recently served as Commissioner of the Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference. During a span of 25 years Dell has served as the Associate Commissioner of Legislation and Governance at the Mid-American Conference, Assistant Commissioner for Compliance at the Western Athletic Conference, and Director of Compliance and Enforcement at the Southwestern Athletic Conference. Dell served as the Vice Chair of the Division II Collegiate Commissioner Association. Dell has also served as the Chair of the NCAA Division II Football Committee. Dell is a member of the Ohio University College of Business Executive Advisory Board, as well as a member of the John McLendon Minority Scholarship Foundation Board. He served two terms as Chair of the Ohio University National Alumni Association and was honored with the Ohio University Distinguished Service Award.

J. Scott DerricklinkedinJ. Scott Derrick
Search Associate

Mr. Derrick earned his B.A. in Mathematics from Furman University (Greenville, SC) and his M.Ed. in Student Personnel Services from the University of South Carolina. In a higher education career spanning 30 years, Mr. Derrick has worked at both public and private institutions, most recently as Executive Director of the Student Union & Cone University Center at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Previously, he served as the Director of the Trone Student Center at Furman University, the Director of Student Life at the College of Charleston, and Assistant Director of Student Activities at the University of Richmond. For many years, Mr. Derrick was an active member of the Association of College Unions International (ACUI), as well as the National Association for Campus Activities (NACA), serving in a number of leadership roles, presenting educational content, and leading interactive workshops.  He recently served as President of ACUI, following a two-year term on the Board of Trustees, and conducted a number of Student Union consultations for the association.

Quincy MartinlinkedinQuincy Martin
Search Associate

Quincy Martin earned his B.M. and his M.Ed. in Counseling and Development from Lamar University, and his Doctor of Education in Adult and Higher Education from Northern Illinois University. Spanning nearly 20 years, Dr. Martin has served in various capacities in higher education administration at both the community college and university levels leading multiple units, programs, and functions in student affairs. Prior to joining Spelman Johnson, he served as the Associate Vice President of Student Affairs at Triton College. Dr. Martin has been an active contributor, national award winner, presenter, and leader with the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators (NASPA) serving on the Board of Directors, reviewer for the Journal of Student Affairs Research and Practice, faculty member for the Mid-Level Administrators Conference, and recipient of the Outstanding Community College Professional Award.