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New Alumni Advisory Board

Alumni Advisory Board 

Northwood is pleased to announce the mission and membership of its newly created Alumni Advisory Board, which convened for the first time on Martin Luther King weekend when it met with a group of the school's administrators in the morning and current students in the afternoon before creating its mission statement in a discussion led by Northwood’s design specialist, Stacy Prime. 

The mission statement encapsulates the significant role this group will have as Northwood moves into its future: Northwood’s Alumni Advisory Board will nurture and sustain alumni relations, support problem-solving efforts, and provide counsel on the strategic plan. The Advisory Board will increase alumni engagement and satisfaction amongst the alumni, students, faculty, and the greater community.   

Dr. Erik Berg ‘92 will be the liaison from the School’s governing board, and Steve Reed, the liaison from the Alumni Office. The group will meet twice a year, at least once concurrently with the School’s Board of Trustees. The ten founding members of this board will meet again this June to elect officers, form committees, and begin its work. 

The members of Northwood’s Advisory Board come from a variety of professions. Terence Durkin (NWS ’12, Wesleyan ’16 and Suffolk Law ‘19) and Bryan Taylor (NWS ’04, Union College ’08, Albany Law School ’16, and Clarkson University ’16)) are both lawyers. Kirsten Kortz (William Smith ’00, Tufts ’03 and UNH ’10) is Director of Academic Policy, Curriculum, and Assessment at Northern Essex Community College. Lou Usherwood graduated from Northwood in 1984, attended the US Military Academy, and owns Usherwood Office Technology, which has had a long relationship with Northwood. After graduating from Northwood in 2010, Siobhan Koch-Fitzgerald graduated from Hobart - William Smith in 2014. Darren Johnston (NWS ’95 and Hamilton ’99) is Client Global Chief Operating Officer at State Street in Boston). Also working in Boston is Rob Merrill (NWS ’90, Brown ’97). Rob is Managing Director in Research Sales for Evercore in the firm’s office there. 

Luke Daniels (NWS ’14, UVM ’18), the most recent graduate of the group, is an economic consultant at Analysis Group and a cryptocurrency research analyst at Messari. Monique Rafferty (NWS ’06 and Manhattanville ’10) is Vice President of Business Development and Marketing at Newmark in NYC. Matt Hendison (NWS ’85 and University of Connecticut ’89) is a consultant at My Gym Children’s Fitness Center Parent Company, owns a My Gym franchise in Kingston, Mass, and is President and Head Teaching Professional at Apres Ski Racquet and Paddle in Boston, Mass and Sedona, Arizona.  

Northwood is lucky to have such a group of alums committed to its growth and prosperity. On a questionnaire, I asked the members of this board why they had chosen to join. Most stressed the notion of giving back in gratitude for their experience here. Kirsten Kortz articulated one version of that theme in her response: At 17, I was definitely not aware of how much I was benefitting from my time at Northwood. Now that I spend every day working with students who are starting college for the first time or returning to education after many years away, I have come to appreciate that there is a lot more to college prep than specific pieces of information. It is also about learning about how to learn, how to set your goals and make a plan to get there, and how to manage all the very important pieces of being a human being alongside academic pursuits. I learned so much of that during my time at Northwood, and hope that – by being part of the Advisory Board – I can make sure that future students continue to learn all those things, even if they don’t know it at 17.