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Board of Directors

Tyson Smith, Chairman

President of Reading Horizons, Tyson has guided the North Salt Lake-based company into becoming a national and international education publishing enterprise. Since its inception over 28 years ago, Reading Horizons has had a firm focus on its goal to publish and market industry-leading education products, centered on the Reading Horizons reading strategies. Tyson received his undergraduate degree in Business Management from the University of Utah and his MBA from Brigham Young University. He first joined Reading Horizons in 1998 as Executive Vice President with an emphasis in marketing and sales. He assumed the role as President of Reading Horizons in October 2001 and since that time has overseen steady sales growth and a myriad of improvements to the Reading Horizons line of products. Tyson has worked with thousands of educators across the world to help make dramatic improvements in literacy rates for their students. He has also presented at education and technology conventions throughout North America and Internationally.

Tracy Tolbert

Tracy Tolbert has spent most of his career with two companies, Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) and Xerox. Before joining Xerox, Tracy ran the Global Sales and Marketing Organization at ACS, helping to grow it to over $7B in revenue.

When ACS was sold to Xerox in 2010, he became the Global EVP of Sales for Xerox Services. He is passionate about helping companies grow both top and bottom line. Tracy had the great opportunity to use that passion as a partner at CEO Coaching International. At CEOCI, Tracy coached over a dozen companies ranging in size from $5M in revenue up to nearly $1B. Tracy loves the chance to advise and help executives to reach their potential.

Tracy and his wife of over 40 years split their time between Heber City, Utah, and Jackson, Wyoming. They have four grown, married children and 12 grandchildren. He loves the outdoors and tries to always be active outside, be it fly fishing, hunting, biking, hiking, skiing, snowmobiling, or riding one of the many mules he owns.

Donell Pons, M.Ed.

Donell Pons is a dyslexia consultant and reading tutor. She completed a dual M.Ed. and MAT in teaching and learning from Westminster College. Donell also has a special education certification and has taught secondary Language Arts. Like many families, she learned her husband had dyslexia only after having children who struggled with reading. This personal experience coupled with years in the classroom watching students struggle with reading motivated her to focus on supporting students, parents, and teachers with the tools they need to overcome reading challenges. Donell attended the Susan Barton Dyslexia Screening training where she learned the latest methods of dyslexia screening. She is trained in multiple Orton-Gillingham based reading methods including the U of U Early and Higher Steps, the Barton Reading and Spelling System, Reading Horizons Discovery and Elevate, and is completing the Wilson Reading and Spelling Level I training. She is also on the board of Decoding Dyslexia Utah. Donell has had articles featured in publications such as Language magazineThe Learning Counsel and a series of articles for ASCD SmartBrief.

Blaine K. Stratton

Blaine K. Stratton graduated with honors from Arizona State University with a Bachelors of Science in Business Finance in June of 1971. His career encompasses every facet of business development and management, including startup companies all the way through established business enterprises. He is actively involved in searching for companies whose growth has stagnated due to lack of control, management, sales and forecasting which provides a unique opportunity to formulate a business plan to grow the business and make it a viable entity. He is fluent in Spanish and has given more than 7 years of humanitarian service in Peru.

Nicole B. Carpenter

Nicole B. Carpenter graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations from Weber State University in 2002. Nicole is a speaker, podcast host and author of the book “52 Weeks to Fortify Your Family: five-minute messages” (Cedar Fort, 2015). As owner of Nicole Carpenter Media, LLC, she has been running the communications show for her own brand, MOMentity, and past clients since 2008. Currently Nicole is the communications and operations manager for the Women’s Leadership Institute, a nonprofit helping to elevate women in business. Nicole also has experience in human resources, employee management, training, sales, marketing, and customer services. But her biggest accomplishment continues to be raising her four great kids and keeping her secret stash of chocolate-covered toffee hidden from them.

Wayne W. Christiansen

Wayne’s journey with HEC/Reading Horizons began in 1984, and since then, he has played a pivotal role in its growth. He has served on the Board of Directors and as Interim Chairman multiple times and is currently the Secretary/Treasurer. With an electronics degree and a Bachelor of Science in Business & Economics from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, Wayne’s qualifications have been a valuable asset to the organization. As an audio engineer, he was responsible for recording and editing the original sound and control tracks for the Discover Intensive Phonics program. Wayne’s dedication and expertise have been instrumental in helping Reading Horizons evolve from a “mom and pop” to a global leader in literacy.