America Succeeds Team

These five core values define the principles that make America Succeeds special and guide our day-to-day decisions as we work together to accomplish our mission of elevating the business voice for improving education across the country.

We mean business.

Work hard. Play hard. Change the world.

Be bold.

Act like an owner.

Be a great problem solver.

C. Tim Taylor: Co-founder and President

Tim Taylor is the co-founder and President of America Succeeds, bringing a unique background of executive, nonprofit, and public policy experience to the organization. Prior to launching America Succeeds, he served as the founding President of Colorado Succeeds.

Tim began his career on Capitol Hill as a Senior Legislative Assistant to Congressman Saxby Chambliss (GA). After relocating to Colorado in 1998, he served as an independent political consultant, Director of Public Relations and Government Affairs for the Colorado Health Care Association, and founder of Open Fairways—a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of at-risk and underprivileged children through the game of golf and its core values of honor, etiquette, and respect.

Tim serves on the board of directors for the Policy Innovators in Education (PIE) Network and Aspen Academy (K-8). He is a fellow of the 14th class of the Aspen- Pahara Education Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. Tim was named one of Getting Smart’s “60 People Shaping the Future of K-12 Education”, has appeared on NPR’s Talk of the Nation, and served as a critical reader for the upcoming Good to Great and K-12 Education monograph by business author Jim Collins.

Tim is a graduate of Randolph-Macon College in Virginia and earned a Masters degree in International Affairs from The George Washington University. He lives in Denver, Colorado, with his wife Clare, son Macon, daughter Ellie and a Boykin Spaniel.

Lauren Cole: Project Director

Lauren Cole is the Project Director of America Succeeds, responsible for coordinating daily operations, project planning, and supporting the home office and affiliates.

A graduate of Cornell University, Lauren majored in Development Sociology, minored in both education and business, and graduated with honors. Prior to attending Cornell, she served as a corps member with City Year Boston, where she worked to improve school attendance and literacy and developed a passion for improving outcomes and opportunities for all students.

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Jason Gaulden: Vice President of Partnerships

Jason Gaulden is the Vice President of Partnerships at America Succeeds, responsible for generating and managing relationships with business, philanthropic, and advocacy collaborators. He also provides communications, fundraising, and operational support to the home office and affiliates.

Prior to America Succeeds, Jason founded Gaulden Group LLC, a consulting firm specializing in strategy, communications, and fundraising services. He draws upon fifteen years of professional experience in various roles: executive leadership, philanthropy, marketing, fund development, and nonprofit management and governance.

Before his consulting practice, Jason served as Program Officer at Daniels Fund, which followed his role as Senior Fellow at El Pomar Foundation, two of the largest philanthropies in the Rocky Mountain region.

Jason is a graduate of the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in sociology. He later served two terms as Chair of the University’s Alumni Board.

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Eric Lerum: Chief Operating Officer

Eric Lerum is the Chief Operating Officer at America Succeeds, responsible for ensuring the organization meets its goals and maximizes its impact as it grows the network of business-led advocacy partners.

Eric brings deep experience in strategic planning, partnership development, and policy analysis, having advised policymakers and state and organizational leaders for over 15 years. Prior to joining America Succeeds, he led the policy efforts at StudentsFirst as the VP of National Policy, building a team of policy and legislative analysts with expertise across a broad agenda, including teacher quality, school choice, and governance reform. Before StudentsFirst, Eric served as Chief of Staff to the Deputy Mayor for Education for the District of Columbia, where he played a lead role in local school reform efforts, including the mayoral takeover of the school system and D.C.’s successful Race to the Top application. He has also held positions as the Legislative Counsel to the D.C. Council’s education committee and as a Policy Analyst for the D.C. Board of Education.

Eric is a graduate of The Ohio State University and the Washington College of Law at American University, where he developed his passion for public education and youth justice while teaching constitutional literacy to high school students in Washington, D.C.

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Emilee Ramseur: Communications and Development Coordinator

Emilee Ramseur is the Communications and Development Coordinator at America Succeeds, responsible for research and support for the development and implementation of communications, branding, and program initiatives.

Emilee started at America Succeeds as a Policy and Research Fellow, working on a variety of policy issues and developing her interest in strengthening the education system. Prior to that, she held internship positions in the Missouri legislature and an environmental policy nonprofit.

Emilee is a graduate of the University of Missouri, where she majored in Political Science and minored in business administration. She is currently working toward her Master’s degree in Public Administration at the University of Colorado-Denver.

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Stephanie Short: Director of National Communications & Programs

Stephanie Short is the Director of National Communications and Programs at America Succeeds, responsible for supporting the organization’s communications, branding, and programming initiatives.

Stephanie began her career working in a variety of Colorado technology startups and as a small business marketing consultant. She has since gained extensive experience in strategic communications working for nonprofits and membership organizations. Most recently, she served as Director of Marketing for Catch It In Time, a non-profit raising awareness for the early detection of cancer in partnership with research groups across the country. Prior to that, Stephanie was Staff Liaison for Economic Development and Public Policy at South Metro Denver Chamber, where she played a critical role in advancing the organization’s policy priorities, advocating on behalf of the business community, and coordinating events and conferences.

Stephanie is a graduate of Metropolitan State University of Denver, where she earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Marketing. Stephanie previously served on the SMDC Women in Business Executive Board, where she helped to elevate professional women through leadership development, mentorship programs, and networking events throughout Colorado. She continues to be active in a variety of professional women’s groups today.

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Cynthia Vu: Communications Intern

Cynthia Vu is a Communications Intern at America Succeeds, responsible for assisting with the production and implementation of communications, branding, and programming initiatives.

Prior to joining America Succeeds, Cynthia spent four years working as a teacher’s assistant, interacting directly with students from grades K-6 and creating lesson plans that teach content through games. She also helps to develop and facilitate workshops for all ages that integrate art with science. Her experiences as an educator have influenced her interest in education policy and advocacy.

Cynthia is an undergraduate student at Princeton University, where she is pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree in English and a Minor in Creative Writing.

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