Synergis Education Appoints Three Top Executives

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Clay Gillespie, Lowell Vande Kamp, and John J. Donohue, Ph.D., Join Synergis Leadership Team

Each of our new executives brings a wealth of experience in and outside higher education, and each shares our mission to construct vibrant, sustainable and reputable adult learning environments for our partners.

Synergis Education is pleased to announce the addition of three key team members to its executive ranks.

Clay Gillespie joins Synergis as Chief Marketing Officer; Lowell Vande Kamp has been appointed Chief Technology Officer, and John J. Donohue, Ph.D., joins Synergis as Chief Learning Officer.

“Synergis Education is privileged to welcome three distinguished leaders to our already strong management team,” Said Norm Allgood, CEO of Synergis Education. “Each of our new executives brings a wealth of experience in and outside higher education, and each shares our mission to construct vibrant, sustainable and reputable adult learning environments for our partners, and deliver superior learning outcomes for their students.”

Following is additional information on Synergis Education’s three newest executives:

Clay Gillespie, Chief Marketing Officer, Synergis Education:

Clay brings more than 20 years of progressive marketing experience to Synergis Education. Throughout his career, Clay has launched, shaped and guided multiple high profile brands across numerous industries, including higher education, finance, automotive, pharmaceutical, sports/entertainment, and e-commerce.

Prior to joining Synergis Education, Clay most recently served as Chief Marketing Officer for both ECPI University in Virginia and for Orbis Education in Indiana. Previous to that, Clay lead all marketing and media initiatives as Senior VP of Marketing at Career Education Corporation (CECO) – a $2.1 billion for-profit education company with a 17-brand portfolio, three online schools and more than 90 ground campuses.

“Throughout his career, Clay has delivered strong performance by effectively adapting his marketing approach to rapid changes in consumer behavior, technology, and new media,” said Allgood. “We are privileged to have him on our team.”

Lowell Vande Kamp, Chief Technology Officer, Synergis Education:

Lowell is a 20-year technology veteran whose information technology leadership and management experience spans multiple industries including education, financial services, and organizational development. His technical capabilities include software, hardware, networking and telecommunications.

For the past 12 years, Lowell has focused on higher education systems, moving from a Software Director with Apollo Group in 2000, to serving as Vice President of Software for Education Management Corporation.

“As a lifelong learner, Lowell is passionate about improving both the way that we teach and the way that we learn” said Allgood. “The alignment of his personal mission with those of our partners makes Lowell a significant asset to us all.”

John J. Donohue, Chief Learning Officer, Synergis Education:

Dr. Donohue is a higher educational professional with an outstanding record in teaching, administration and leadership, having worked in both public and private two- and four-year institutions. He has designed, implemented and taught programs leading to associate’s, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees, and has served as tenured professor, dean, vice president, provost and acting president. Dr. Donohue is an expert on curricular design and program development and brings over twenty-five years of experience in these areas to Synergis Education.

Prior to joining Synergis, Dr. Donohue worked at several colleges and universities that were committed to curricular innovation and the design of programs targeted to serve the needs of non-traditional learners. During his tenure as chief academic officer at three different colleges, he provided academic leadership that led to dynamic program, curricular, and institutional development. Dr. Donohue also has served as a consultant for chief executive officers in higher education, providing analyses of program costs and benefits and creating analytic tools that assist institutions to support organizational mission while simultaneously improving operational return on investment.

Dr. Donohue most recently spent almost six years as Chief Academic Officer at Albertus Magnus College in New Haven Connecticut. Prior to joining Albertus Magnus College, he was Vice President for Academic Affairs at D’Youville College. He began his career in higher education in 1987 in Adelphi University’s University College, a division of the institution that focused on special programs for adult learners. He also served as Dean of the School of Liberal Arts at SUNY Morrisville, and became Chief Academic Officer of Medaille College – and ultimately was selected to serve as that institution’s acting president.

“Dr. Donohue brings significant experience in strategic planning, new program development, online program development, and institutional accreditation,” said Allgood.” Our organization, our partners and their students will benefit significantly from his expertise.”


Synergis is a premium, full-service provider of educational services designed for college and university leaders who are not satisfied with the status quo. We assist our partner institutions in gaining regional prominence, enrollment growth, and overall sustainability through continual improvement and best practices. Synergis is unique among education services providers in that it is positioned to work with the entire adult higher education market, remaining agnostic as to the delivery method (online, face-to-face, blended, etc.).

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Lysa Hlavinka Clemens
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