Ignite Nation’s Mantra

To empower belief in everyday people

Kris Menon

Co-Founder, Chief Executive Officer

Kris and her husband Ashoke came together 23 years ago with a vision bigger than themselves. While raising 5 children they created an opportunity for schools to strengthen their culture & empower students.

Through partnering with thousands of schools, this intuitive leader weaves together experiential learning and social emotional leadership into every part of Ignite. She is widely regarded for her transformational student-led mentoring system and elementary character- SEL system supporting over 1/2 million students. Kris has an intuitive ability to see the big picture and experience of partnering with districts in 19 states to help strengthen their everyday people to be the solution.

Kris loves to have adventures with her adult kids and grandkids. She is a foodie who loves to travel internationally and spend time in the Pacific NW boating and hiking.

Ashoke Menon

Co-Founder

Ashoke began his second career after being Sr. VP of Sales for Great American Opportunities. He had a passion to help schools transform their school culture and to help administrators strengthen their leadership skills.

This drive led him to co-found Ignite Consulting with his wife Kris in 1998. Ashoke spent the past 22 years partnering with districts across the country supporting staff through the Ignite Culture Advancement System. This creative process includes research practices from Smart & Good Schools. The character based solutions provide the foundational alignment for common language and step by step process of upgrading school culture.

He loved to play tennis, reading and hang out with his 5 kids, grandkids and wife Kris. Ashoke passed away in February 2020, but his vision and leadership lives on.

Courtney Tensley

Director of Creative Strategy

Courtney is the Director of Creative Strategy & Technology. She holds a degree in Computer Science with a specialization in Data Analytics.

Courtney “grew up” Ignite and has been through all parts of the Ignite system. She joined Ignite Nation as a High School Mentor in 2013. After graduating from HS, she worked for 5 years as an Ignite intern specializing in content creation and training.

In 2018, Courtney stepped away from Ignite to work for Fortune 500 companies such as Amazon and Boeing. During this time, she learned that many adults were struggling with the exact same issues as students. She recognized that change started with schools and returned to Ignite with a new sense of purpose.
Courtney’s keen sense of detail supports onboarding new schools, assisting with data collection, and consistent instructional practices. Her skill set has given her a keen eye to support the creation of our online system, so staff and parents are equal partners in supporting every student. She loves dogs, kayaking, and spends her free time reading.

Rhonda Blackburn

Learning Specialist

Dr. Rhonda has been a high school teacher and a university professor for over 25 years while also having experience in corporate learning development, higher ed teaching and learning, and non-profit coaching.
Rhonda brings her 20+ years of experience in distance learning and training to help strengthen partnering districts. She believes students have a natural gift to dig deeper and empathize with one another when given the opportunity.
She is current president of the US Distance Learning Association and past president of the TDLA. She also mentors a 4th grade student in her local school district.
Rhonda is blessed to have three amazing kids, with one in graduate school, one applying to law school and one in 4th grade. She enjoys cooking, gardening, and anything outdoors! She enjoys “talking shop” with her husband, also in district leadership.

Laurie Sliva

Director of Training

Laurie has aligned her life to empower others to love themselves for who they are and who they will become. She joined the founding team in June 2000, since then she has served many roles and supported schools nationally. Her program development builds confidence, empathy, leadership, and relationship skills for both students and staff. Laurie loves inspiring teenagers! She is known for not being afraid to talk about what’s ‘real’ and gives everyday people the courage to do the same.

As the Founder and Director of BRIDGES Camps, Laurie continues as a speaker through a Parent Education Series. She serves as the Board President of The Girls Rule Foundation and was selected for The Phoenix Business Journal’s 40 Under 40 Award.

Avid outdoor enthusiast, Laurie is a Flagstaff native now residing in a suburb of Phoenix, AZ. She is in the trenches as a mom of a teenage son and tween daughter who continue to remind her through their experiences the importance of our mission.

Darmeny Jones

Consultant & Speaker

Darmeny Jones has been part of the Ignite team since 2001. He has more than 20 years of experience working with student leaders and mentors. He received his Bachelors degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing and Information Systems from the University of Washington, Foster School of Business.
Over the years, Darmeny has trained and been a motivational speaker inspiring schools and youth audiences all around the world. Over the past few years,Darmeny has continued to support one of his passions, Washington Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA). Darmeny is a former State President of the organization and served as Board Chairman of the organization for 3 years. Darmeny is proud of the fact that he was the youngest Chairman of the Board of Directors in Washington FBLA history.
Darmeny has partnered with schools as a consultant for Ignite Nation helping to create a positive achievement culture in schools through student mentoring, empowerment and staff professional development.
More recently, Darmeny has worked with a staff of over 200 at ProjectFUN the K12 division of DigiPen Institute of Technology in Redmond, WA where he helps train STEM instructors on how to not just teach content but connect education to life lessons through video games, engineering and art. Darmeny continues to inspire students around the country as a Power Within speaker and staff consultant for Ignite inspiring staff to upgrade their culture and strengthen thier equity and vision of coming together.

Brandon Bollert

Video Producer

Brandon leads the team that makes the magic happen. He is the lead editor and producer for Ignite's training videos for staff and students delivered through our online training system, and SPARK lessons. Brandon has professional experience in video editing and directing which he also loves to do in his free time.

Brandon recently graduated from Western Washington University with a degree in Sociology and a minor in Film Studies. He looks forward to continuing to use his skills to improve the culture of your school.

Sven Olsen

Consultant & Speaker

A master storyteller, world traveler and global citizen, Sven is an experimentalist that finds purpose in adventure and connection through people of every culture. With a master's degree in International Affairs, he has traveled to over 80 countries and all 50 states. His professional experience in the US Military, K-12 education, and technology & healthcare industries, has led him to become an international leader, speaker, adjunct professor, and author.

Most famous for surviving 15 near death experiences, to include a diving accident that left him a blind quadriplegic before a miraculous healing, he is an inspirational and effervescent speaker that inspires other to live in courage and resilience.

Sven currently resides in Phoenix, AZ as a Professor at Grand Canyon University. He has been an Ignite consultant and trainer since 2004 and has inspired more than 200,000 students across the nation.

Tevin Lucas

Trainer & Speaker

As a former collegiate athlete and NFL hopeful his life has been anything but easy. He has turned his understanding of overcoming obstacles into a message of hope.

Tevin continues to write his story of overcoming adversity and work through the midst of his pain. He has spoken with over 250,000 people in the past 4 years and is currently writing a book and getting started on publishing his story.

His ability to connect with youth, and personal issues of dealing with diversity has made him the perfect partner for our Power Within event. Tevin is passionate about making an impact on the suicide epidemic and bringing awareness and help to the mental illness crisis. He started a nonprofit, ‘The Hope and Love’ in 2017. This movement has touched thousands of kids connecting them with resources, help and counselors.

Ignite Partners

Rejie Wright

Teacher

Rejie “grew up” Ignite and has been through all parts of the Ignite System. She joined Ignite Nation as Executive Mentor in 2013 and after graduation became an Ignite intern from 2014 to 2019 where she specialized in creating summer camp content and training students at Mentor and Exec Camp.

In the summer of 2020, she has transitioned into the role of an Ignite coach and taken on the role of lead trainer. She works with advisors to guide them through the steps of becoming an Ignite sustainable school.

Rejie brings awesome energy, perspective, and knowledge to the Ignite team. She loves interior design, Home DIY projects, and reading. She serves as a Special Education teacher in the Franklin Pierce School District and is currently working on her Master of Education degree.

Vickie Evans

GEAR UP Grant Director at Lufkin ISD

Residing in Lufkin, TX. Vicke Evans is the Gear Up Director that has partnered with Ignite for over 11 years. Vickie has published a cookbook and has 10 grandchildren. She always knew she wanted to be a teacher. She was an elementary school teacher for 23 years, a middle school principal for 13 years, was recognized as Principal of the Year, and has spent the last 9 years administering GEAR UP grants for Lufkin ISD.

Lufkin ISD has been a part of the IGNITE Nation since 2009. IGNITE has trained over 2,000 mentors for Lufkin High School and Lufkin Middle School. More than 85,000 students have been impacted by IGNITE mentoring.

Marcy Schafer

CPSD Consultant Teacher, Author Education Leadership HS CTE Course for Ignite Mentors

Residing in Lakewood, Wa. Marcy was the lead staff advisor for Ignite at Lakes High School in the Clover Park School District for 9 years. Marcy also served on the school culture team 2005-2008 implementing the Ignite Advancement System of creating shared beliefs for staff, and developing a schoolwide touchstone “The Lakes Way!”

Married to Marty Schaffer, who is School Board President for CPSD, education partner for Franklin Covey and a mentor to hundreds of young men in the CPSD over the last 10 years. The Schaffers have 3 beautiful daughters and 5 grandchildren. They spend her free time boating, and traveling with their goldendoodle. The Shaffer's are known for their hospitality and life-giving way of uplifting all that are blessed to be part of their family and extended family.

Ignite has worked with Lakes ever since. Every year for 20 years, Ignite has trained 120 HS mentors and executive mentors supporting 600 incoming freshmen. Lakes continues to serve as one of Ignite's model schools.

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