JOBS for AMERICA'S GRADUATES

JAG National Staff

President and Chief Executive Officer
Kenneth M. Smith, Co-Founder

Mr. Kenneth M. Smith serves as President and CEO of Jobs for America’s Graduates, Inc. (JAG), the nation’s largest, most consistently applied model of dropout prevention and school-to-career transition for at-risk young people of great promise.

In 1979, Mr. Smith worked with Governor Pete du Pont of Delaware on the design of the first statewide test of the JAG Model, and has served as President and CEO since its inception.  JAG currently serves 48,000 at-risk young people annually, in more than 1,000 high schools in 32 states.   Over one million youth have been throughout JAG’s 35 year history.

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Executive Vice President
Craig Larrabee 

Craig Larrabee has 25 years of leadership experience in the nonprofit, education and workforce development sectors. Throughout his career, Craig has championed innovative student-centered approaches through public/private partnerships to achieve results-driven outcomes. A sought after thought leader in large scale initiatives aimed at systems-level change, Craig has been an appointed member of the Maine Department of Labor State Workforce Board and served on the Governor’s transition team. He is currently an active member of the University of Maine at Augusta’s Board of Visitors and the Maine Alliance for College and Career Readiness.


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Senior Vice President
Janelle Duray

Janelle Duray serves as the Senior Vice President of Jobs for America’s Graduates, a national nonprofit managed by Strategic Partnerships since its inception 36 years ago. In her role, Janelle is a key resource to JAG’s 33 State Affiliate Executive Directors, helping them to foster relationships with funders and organizations in order to further JAG’s mission. She also works with JAG National funders to develop strategic relationships that expand beyond financial development in order to fully engage JAG funders at the programmatic, local level with JAG Affiliate staff and students. Finally, in her role at JAG, Janelle works with JAG’s President, Mr. Ken Smith, and JAG’s National Board of Directors Members to expand JAG’s footprint, working with Governors, Chief State School Officers, and Commissioners of Workforce Development and Labor to bring JAG to new states.

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Senior Vice President, Finance & Administration
Katherine Travis

Katherine serves as Senior Vice President of Strategic Partnerships LLC (SPLLC). Katherine manages the day-to-day operations of the company's Virginia office along with the financial practices of the organization.

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Vice President, National Center for Operations and Services
Bobby Crandall

Bobby Crandall serves as the Vice President of the National Center for Operations and Services of Jobs for America’s Graduates. He has 15 years of experience in association management and event planning. Since 2003 he has worked with Corporate Education Resources, Inc. (CERI), a management consulting group that has provided management services to a variety of organizations since 1984.


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Vice President, Career Association and National Student Leadership Academy
Jeff Koeninger

 

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Vice President, Technical Assistance & Accrediation Services 
John McConnell

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Vice President, Information Systems 
Jason Koeninger

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Vice President and Chief of Staff
Laura Sheppard

Laura joined the JAG National team in 2016 as the Chief of Staff where her focus is on conference and meeting management and strategic initiatives. Prior to going the JAG staff, Laura worked in alumni relations for eight years at the University of Chapel Hill providing a strong background in nonprofit management and event marketing.  Laura also serves as the Chief of Staff of Corporate Education Resources, Inc. (CERI), an association management firm, and HOSA-Future Health Professionals, a career and technical school organization for students pursuing careers in health.

 

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Senior Advisor
Jimmy G. Koeninger, Ph.D.

Jim has 45 years of experience in public education, higher education, corporate training and development, association management and strategic partnerships between government (federal, state and local) and corporations (for profit and non-profit).

Following completion of a Ph.D. program at The Ohio State University in 1972, Jim held business and education faculty positions in Colorado (University of Northern Colorado), Texas (Angelo State University, University of Houston, and University of North Texas), and his home state of Oklahoma (Central State University and Oklahoma State University).

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Senior Adviser
Karen Koeninger

Karen is the co-founder of Corporate Education Resources, Inc (CERI), a management consulting group that has provided management services to multiple organizations since 1984. CERI (formerly known as Leadership Development Institute) was founded in 1976 and conducted scores of summer camps, weekend retreats, workshops and conferences for high school and college students to develop their personal, leaderhsip, and teaming skills. 

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