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About the Founders

About Gary:

Gary CohenGary Cohen is the Co-Founder of Board of School Superintendents (BOSS). The organization mission is to elevate learners by elevating Superintendent Leadership. As President and Co-founder, Gary grew ACI Telecentrics, Inc., from two people to 2,200 employees and reached $32 million in sales at the company's peak.ACI Telecentrics, Inc. was recognized as one of Venture Magazine's Top 10 Best Performing Businesses and Business Journal's 25 Fastest Growing Small Public Companies. Currently, Gary is Partner and Co-founder of CO2 Partners, LCC, operating as an executive coach and consultant. Gary's clients run small entrepreneurial companies and multi-billion-dollar enterprises, and everything in between.

He received his B.S. from the University of Minnesota, where he triple-majored in International Business, Intercultural Communications, and International Political Science. Prior to attending Harvard Business School (Owner President Manager Program), he attended Covey Leadership Center and Disney Creative Leadership workshops and was selected as a Aspen Institute Crown Fellow. Gary has served on nine for-profit and non-profit boards in Minneapolis, where he is based, and elsewhere.

Gary is the Author of Just Ask Leadership – Why Great Managers Always Ask The Right Questions (McGraw Hill 2009). He has written for or been cited by Business Week, USA Today, The Wall Street Journal,, Business + Strategy, Investor’s Business Daily, Leader-To-Leader, Chief Learning Officer, The Washington Post, and Market Watch on the topic of leadership and employee engagement.

About Mark:

Mark WolakMark Wolak is CO-Founder of Board of School Superintendents (BOSS). Mark  is an experienced leader in public education, having served most recently as superintendent of Mahtomedi Public School District in Minnesota for eight years. In this assignment, he led the development of the Mahtomedi Engineering Leadership Program, a curriculum in engineering imbedded in all courses offered kindergarten to twelfth grade.

During his tenure, the Mahtomedi Education Foundation grew ten-fold with more than $250,000 raised annually for improving teacher practice and student learning. The community supported two referendums, one to raise funds for operating costs and new technology and a second to fund the construction of a new elementary school and improvements to all school facilities. He led the development of continuous improvement practices in all schools and initiated balanced scorecard processes district-wide.

In 2007, Mark Wolak was recognized by Minnesota School Administrators Association and received the Richard Green Scholar award for his study of evidence-based leadership practice for school superintendents. He continues to study and write on this topic and shares his findings annually with superintendents in Minnesota and across the country.

Wolak is recognized for his ability to lead successful change in public education and has extensive experience in a wide variety of leadership positions including teacher of special education, school principal, director of special education, assistant superintendent, and superintendent.

Wolak serves as national consultant to the Department of Education in Washington DC and to federally funded regional offices around the US. He is committed to the study of implementation practice by school leaders and the ways that research and evidence- based practice leads to improvement in school systems around the country.

In 2010, he co-founded Board of School Superintendents (BOSS) with Gary Cohen to serve the unique leadership needs of school superintendents nationwide.

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