About AIUS

Board of Trustees

Dr. Bill Pepicello, Chair

Bill Pepicello, Board Chair, has been a leader in higher education for 40 years. He holds advanced degrees from Brown University. His experience includes having served as a professor at University of Delaware and Temple University, and as the Southern California Regional Dean for National University. He also served as the Chief Academic Officer for American Intercontinental University. Beginning in 1995 Bill held several positions at University of Phoenix and helped guide the University through the transition from a degree completion institution to a comprehensive university serving students from the associate through doctoral levels. He founded both the College of General and Professional Studies and the School of Advanced Studies at the University. In 2006 Bill became the sixth President of the University of Phoenix, and as such was responsible for the leadership of the largest private university in the United States. He retired in 2014 and has been active in consulting and writing about higher education and leadership. Bill has served on the Arizona Commission for Private Postsecondary Education, under the Office of the Governor for the State of Arizona; was the Chair of the Banner Health Foundation Board; and is the past Chair of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council Board of Directors. Additionally, he served on the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity (NACIQI), under the U.S. Department of Education.

Mark E. Novad, Vice Chair

Mark Novad has 30 years of experience focused on the areas of business operations and human resources. He has held global executive leadership positions at Intel Corporation, II-VI Incorporated and with Education Management. Mark has served on boards of director and as a board advisor. He earned a BS in Journalism and Telecommunications from Arizona State University. Mark's expertise lies in all aspects of business operations, specifically the identification and resolution of employee and organizational issues. He has a proven track record of developing effective strategy and managing tactics for successful implementation. Mark has extensive experience in the areas of compensation, benefits, Human Resources Information Systems, employee communications, organizational restructuring, change management and operational improvement in both publicly-traded, privately-held and not-for-profit environments. The majority of Mark’s career has focused on process improvements to position businesses for success, his overriding philosophy is to develop a passion and respect for companies’ most valuable assets - their people. Mark has been intimately involved in the design and implementation of strategic and tactical programs focused on qualitative improvements benefitting both the company and the employee.

Stanley Mengel, Secretary

Stanley Mengel retired after serving 11 years as President and CEO of the Missouri Council on Economic Education and as a member of the Economics Department at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. Previously, Mengel was Manager of Public Affairs at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. In Ohio, Mengel was Vice President for Training with Northwestern Mutual Life. Mengel was the Ervin Pietz Professor of Economic Education at Lesley College in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Director of the National Center of Economic Education for Children. At the University of Akron, Mengel held the Firestone Chair and was Director of the Center for Economic Education and while at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, Mengel was Assistant Professor of Economics and later President of the Ohio Council on Economic Education. Mengel was a Woodrow Wilson Fellow and a Stanford-Wilson Fellow at Stanford University in the Economics Department earning a M.A. and Ab.D. in Economics. Mengel's undergraduate work was at the University of Missouri-Columbia where he graduated with General Honors and Departmental Honors in both Economics and in Political Science.

Alton Adams

Alton Adams is currently the Managing Director of Boardwalk Consulting, a national executive search firm focusing on non-profits. Adams is an experienced executive who has served a host of mission-based organizations over his career. Presently, he is a member of the executive committees of the Atlanta Chapter of Boy Scouts of America and the Atlanta Humane Society. Past service includes six years on Georgetown University’s Board of Regents as well as board service with TechBridge and the High Museum in Atlanta. Adams is also a thought leader on issues of diversity and inclusion, having been tapped to design and lead D&I efforts at both Accenture and KPMG. A native of St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, Adams received his BA degree in Economics from Georgetown University and his MBA in Marketing and Finance from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. At various times in his career, he has lived in Massachusetts, California and Maryland, but he, his wife, Dena Williams Adams, and Bernie, their 120-pound St. Bernard, are proud to call Atlanta home.

Walter Pryor

Walter Pryor is the Chief administrative Officer and General Counsel for Southern Bancorp. He has served as the Interim General Counsel, Chief Compliance Officer and Vice President of Legal Affairs for Chicago State University and Senior Vice President of Government Relations and General Counsel at Ceannate Corp. Walter is a seasoned legal expert with a background in government relations. His previous positions include Vice President of Government Affairs for Career Education Corp, Principal and General Counsel for the Podesta Group, Legislative Director for Senator Mark Pryor of Arkansas, and Deputy Director and Managing Attorney of the National Association of Attorneys General. His career has also included stints with the U.S. Department of Justice as well as in private practice. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees of his alma mater, Hendrix College, the Board of Directors of Legal Prep Charter Academies in Chicago, and the Board of Directors of the Washington Children's Foundation. He has served as a member of the Board of Trustees of the Latin School of Chicago and the Board of Trustees of National Collegiate Preparatory Public Charter High School in Washington, D.C. Walter earned his B.S. in Political Science as a cum laude graduate of Hendrix College and received his J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center.

Stephanie Thurston

Stephanie Thurston is a seasoned leader in the for-profit higher education sphere. With nearly 25 years of experience at the executive level, Ms. Thurston has overseen growth in a variety of areas with a special emphasis on strategy and operations. She is currently the Vice President of Product Strategy for Higher Education at Pearson Education. There, her focus is on the North American Higher Education Courseware market. In this role, she uses her extensive background to refine and make available products that meet the needs of students, faculty, and administrators. Prior to coming to Pearson, Ms. Thurston held roles with Education Management Corporation including Vice Chancellor – Strategy and Operations, Vice President – Finance and Associate Vice President – Reporting and Strategic Development. Ms. Thurston is active in her community, working as a mentor with 1871 – Chicago’s Technology & Entrepreneurship Center. Stephanie is a mom of two teenagers and spends her free time at their many sporting events.