Christopher Cross - Board Chair
Naeemah Nelson - Vice Chair
Koray Gurz, CPA - Treasurer
Gene Chasin, President - Secretary
Donnie Turlington, Vice President 










Gene Chasin

Founder & CEO


With over 40 years of education experience, Gene Chasin is the visionary catalyst of Community Catalyst Partners (CCP). Prior to founding CCP, Gene worked in all arenas of education, serving young people and supporting organizations in literally all regions of the country. He spent 12 years overseeing the evolution and implementation of the Say Yes to Education community-wide strategies in cities like Syracuse and Buffalo, New York, and Cleveland, Ohio. Before joining Say Yes, he was the director of the Institute for Urban School Improvement at the University of Connecticut and served as CEO of Accelerated Schools, one of the largest, longest-lived, most-researched school reform models in the country. Gene also served as a Superintendent, Assistant Superintendent, Principal, and public school teacher. 


Donnie Turlington

Vice President

Donnie has worked to bring community impact strategies and programs to scale over the last decade in both the municipal government and nonprofit sectors. A public relations practitioner by training, Donnie has served in leadership capacities for large municipal governments, local and national nonprofit organizations and higher education institutions. He also brings experience having helped to launch and lead a Say Yes to Education chapter in Guilford County, North Carolina from 2015 through 2018.






Lisa Tyrrell

Director, International Studies Schools Network

As the Director of International Studies Schools Network at Community Catalyst Partners, Lisa leads our international network of over 30 public and independent schools focused on promoting global competence and college-readiness.  Lisa has been an educator for over twenty-five years and has served at the classroom, building, district, state and national levels.


Lisa began her career as a science teacher in Rochester, NY where she taught in both urban and suburban schools and progressed from lead teacher to Assistant Principal, to District Science Administrator.  Lisa also served the Massachusetts Department of Education, where she oversaw the Commonwealth’s science reform efforts and led their Title IIB Math and Science Partnership initiative.  Prior to joining the ISSN, Lisa was the Regional Director of Education Services at the MIND Research Institute, leading the successful implementation of their neuroscience-based digital math programs in major cities across the United States.