Educational Services of America (ESA), the nation’s leading provider of behavior therapy, Pre-K-12 alternative and special education schools and programs for students who are at risk of dropping out and for students with special needs, announces the promotion of three executives.
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 22, 2015 — Educational Services of America (ESA), the nation’s leading provider of behavior therapy, Pre-K-12 alternative and special education schools and programs for students who are at risk of dropping out and for students with special needs, announces the promotion of three executives.
Donald Whitfield, who previously served as executive vice president and chief accounting officer, has been promoted to executive vice president and chief financial officer. Whitfield, a Certified Public Accountant, has more than 35 years of experience in public accounting and private industry. He has spent his career serving both publicly traded and privately held companies with extensive experience in the education industry. Whitfield joined ESA in 2003. He earned a bachelor’s degree in engineering from Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tenn., and an accounting degree from Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green, Ky. Whitfield is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants and the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants.
Kevin Mitchell, who joined ESA more than a decade ago, has been promoted from vice president of finance and development to senior vice president of finance. A Certified Public Accountant and Chartered Financial Analyst, Mitchell will assume greater responsibility for acquisitions, managing and maintaining banking relationships, and investor relations. He earned both a master’s and a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Mississippi in Oxford. He is a member of the Tennessee Society of Certified Public Accountants and the Chartered Financial Analyst Society of Nashville.
Melissa Harrell-Frey has been promoted from vice president and corporate controller to senior vice president and corporate controller. Since joining ESA in 2006, Harrell-Frey has worked closely with Whitfield and will assume many of his previous responsibilities. She brings 20 years of experience in financial management and financial operations to her new position. She earned her accounting degree from Lipscomb University in Nashville, Tenn., and, since 2010, has served on the 10-member Prophix Software Customer Advisory Board to provide input about product development. Harrell-Frey will join Whitfield and Mitchell as a member of the ESA Executive Management Team.
“The proven leadership of Don, Kevin and Melissa has been invaluable to our organization for many years and their vast experience in financial operations will continue to play a vital role in our continued growth,” said Mark Claypool, president and CEO of ESA. “I have the highest regard for Don, Kevin and Melissa and appreciate their dedication and commitment to our company, which provides personalized, evidence-based educational services to approximately 14,000 children across the country each year.”
About Educational Services of America
ESA is the nation’s leading provider of behavior therapy and alternative and special education programs for children and young adults. ESA offers children and young people the opportunity to create successful, independent futures by providing behavioral and educational supports to help them reach their full potential.
ESA works with more than 13,500 clients and students each day across its three divisions. They are: Early Autism Project, which provides behavior therapy to children who have an autism spectrum or related disorder; Ombudsman Educational Services, which partners with more than 120 school districts to provide alternative education programs to students who have dropped out of school or are at risk of dropping out; and Spectrum Center Schools and Programs, which partners with more than 115 school districts to operate schools and programs.