Helios Education Foundation Promotes Barbara Ryan to Executive Vice President and COO

Posted on: February 25, 2008

PHOENIX, AZ — Helios Education Foundation Chairman Vince Roig today announced that Barbara Ryan has been promoted to Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer. She had most recently served as the Foundation’s Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

Along with continuing to oversee the internal operations of the Foundation as well as provide strategic direction and foster external community and stakeholder relations, Ms. Ryan will manage the Foundation’s community investment process. Helios Education Foundation expects to invest between $25 million and $30 million annually into education-related programs and scholarships across Arizona and Florida.

"Barbara Ryan has long played a key role in the creation, development and direction of Helios Education Foundation and the implementation of its mission," said Foundation Chairman Vince Roig. "Ms. Ryan’s promotion to Executive Vice President builds on her extensive knowledge of the Foundation’s operations, and includes expanding her role in cultivating new partnerships across a broad spectrum of organizations within the education community."

Ms. Ryan will be more engaged in community outreach efforts and be responsible for the Foundation’s community investment team, including the transition years and early childhood education program and grant management staff. She will also drive the Foundation’s expansion and hiring process and interact more closely with the board of directors.

"This whole process has really come full circle for me," said Ms. Ryan. "I had the unique opportunity of being involved from the very beginning in the creation of the Foundation. Now, in my new role as Executive Vice President, I’m able to affect its ongoing evolution and see first hand the impact we’re having in the community. This is an incredible opportunity and I look forward to continuing to bring the board’s vision into fruition."

Prior to joining Helios Education Foundation, Ms. Ryan served six years with Southwest Student Services Corporation, first as vice president and then as senior vice president and general counsel. Her responsibilities included managing all legal and compliance matters for Southwest and its Arizona and Florida affiliates as well as the legal development of Helios Education Foundation following the sale of Southwest.

Ms. Ryan was also previously an attorney in private practice at Snell & Wilmer, LLP, where she represented a number of corporate and public clients. Ms. Ryan received her J.D. degree from Syracuse University College of Law and an M.P.A. degree from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University.

About Helios Education Foundation

Helios Education Foundation is the largest nonprofit organization serving Arizona and Florida focused solely on education, and is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals by creating opportunities for success in postsecondary education. The Foundation’s community investments are made across three impact areas: Early Childhood Education, the Transition Years (grades 5-12) and Postsecondary Scholarships. Since inception in 2004, the Foundation has invested over $43 million in education-related programs and initiatives across both states.

For more information, visit the Foundation online at

Category: Foundation Feature

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