Eric grew up on a farm in beautiful South Central Pennsylvania near Lancaster and Gettysburg. There, he learned the value of hard work and the initial sparks of entrepreneurial spirit sprung to life. Whether it was cutting, splitting and selling firewood, or working with his mother to make wreaths and decorations which were sold to local stores, Eric was always excited by the idea that one could find or make a product or service and could then take it to market for sale.
Both of Eric’s parents were successful entrepreneurs who exposed Eric and his brother, Scott, to as many different cultures and activities as possible and encouraged them to take risks to build a business. Eric and Scott founded an import export company out of their parents garage with a credit card as the initial means of finance. Over 25 years, Eric and Scott built the company into one of the largest providers of commercial and retail tableware in the US with more than 250 employees and operations in Canada, Mexico, Europe, Indonesia, the Philippines, and China. As COO and co-President, Eric was responsible for operations, logistics, product development, supply chain, and commercial sales. He spent many years traveling, building relationships with factories and partners all over the world.
Eric and his wife, Katie Cergnul, are currently owners and operators of a new small business based in Pittsburgh that designs, develops, and markets boutique and fashion tableware to the event industry. They have four children who all attend CTM. The family splits time between Charleston and their farm on the Broad River in western North Carolina. In Charleston, the family enjoys all things Charleston, including fishing, both inshore and off shore. At Hemlock Hill Farm, in addition to enjoying the many wonders and splendor of nature, they grow lavender and flowers and sell them at local farmers' markets.
Mike has lived in Charleston for 10 years with his wife, Yana, and his three daughters, Hannah, Eleanor, and Madeline. His children are life-long CTM students, currently enrolled in the toddler and elementary programs.
Mike earned his doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester in Western New York and completed a post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Michigan. He helped manage a world-class microelectronics laboratory designing technology in collaboration with companies like Apple, Intel, and IBM. After leaving academia, Mike’s career traversed a variety of roles ranging from independent consultant to CTO of a successful startup. These experiences have allowed him to develop a broad set of skills outside of the purely technical, including team management, project planning, marketing, and the numerous other hats required when running a small business.
Bio Coming Soon!
John has recently retired after 14 years as a professor of accounting at Saint Mary’s College, Notre Dame, IN. Prior to his entry into academia, he was employed for 24 years as the Chief Administrative Officer of a large, single specialty healthcare provider. During that time, he served in several positions as an officer and board member of the RBMA, the largest single specialty medical management association in the United States, and ultimately served as its president. His professional career began in public accounting with what was at the time, one of the “Big Eight” accounting firms, Touche Ross. John attained his undergraduate degree in Accounting from the University of Notre Dame and my Doctor of Jurisprudence from the University of Memphis School of Law. In addition to serving on the Charles Town Montessori Board, John is an officer and board member of Saint Claire Darden Health System. He is married with three children and seven grandchildren. He and his wife have owned a condominium on James Island for approximately 14 years.
Natalie joins the board as both a parent and educator. She has a unique background in Project Based Learning, and has been fortunate enough to spend time in many types of school environments in multiple states. She has worked with countless students of diverse backgrounds and finds great happiness in finding ways to help children learn best.
Natalie holds her Master’s in Elementary Education and is highly-qualified in mathematics. She is a former PBL Facilitator certified through the prestigious Buck Institute for Education. Natalie began her work in the classroom as a reading support specialist and has spent time teaching special education, elementary, and middle school. She eventually transitioned into curriculum design and instruction with a non-profit Charter Management Organization. As part of the School Support and Charter Management teams, Natalie wrote curriculum for the DE Department of Education and worked on multiple fundraising projects, while also providing specialized training and workshops to schools and their staff.
After relocating to Charleston, Natalie pivoted to focus her skillset on building the family business and being a full-on mom to her daughter, Rhett.
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