Meet our leadership team.

Our leadership team is made up of passionate, experienced individuals committed to building a thriving public charter school educational model for the future. Each member of the Wonderful Foundations Board of Directors has been selected to continue to develop and deliver our Founders’ vision: enabling every child to unlock their true potential through meeting them where they truly are.

Troy Snyder

Chair, Director

Troy Snyder has an extensive corporate background. Most recently, Troy served as Vice President and Executive Producer at Akamai, where he was responsible for the company’s media ecosystem.

Using Akamai web-based solutions, Troy was a driving force behind developing international brands and destinations. Previously, Troy served as Chief Executive Officer and President of Nine Systems Corporation.

Prior to this post, Troy co-founded ClickHear Productions, a streaming and hosting company that was acquired by CMGi in 2000. In addition, Troy helped create and launch Stream OS as Division Manager for NaviSite’s Streaming Media Group.

Darlene Chambers

President, Director

A national leader in education reform, Darlene brings over 40 years of education experience working nationally and internationally with schools, boards, authorizers, universities, and corporations. Prior to joining the Institute, Darlene served as the CEO of the Ohio Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Darlene also served as the Executive Director of the Ohio Council of Community Schools, one of the first and largest authorizers in Ohio. In 2013 she was elected as the President of the Ohio Association of Charter School Authorizers, and also participated in the National Association of Charter School Authorizer’s (NACSA) leader’s program second cohort and served as a Leadership Coach for five consecutive cohorts.

She is a highly sought-after speaker and consults with authorizers around the country. Darlene was also a member of the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools (NAPCS) State Leader’s Council and was a founding board member of the Cleveland Transformation Alliance, an advocacy group for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District and its partner charter schools.

Darlene did doctoral work in higher education and organizational development at Oregon State and Bowling Green State Universities. She received her master’s from San Francisco State University and bachelor’s at Ball State University.

Art Pavlenko

Treasurer, Director

Art founded and is the owner of Enko Properties, which provides full-service property management to homeowners and tenants in Portland, Oregon and the surrounding areas.

Art has a Business Administration, Finance degree from Portland State University, and has worked as a financial accountant, real estate analyst, and asset manager. In these roles, he has experience assessing real estate needs and financial performance of properties for schools.

John Cairns

Secretary, Director

Minnesota attorney John Cairns is a nationally recognized expert in charter schools and public education law. For more than 40 years, John has been at the forefront of significant public policy developments in education, serving as a dynamic force for innovation in schools and community life.

From 1979 to 1984 Cairns served as executive director of the Minnesota Business Partnership (MBP), an association of CEOs from major Minnesota corporations. The MBP produced a seminal report calling for profound structural changes in education, paving the way to make Minnesota a model for open enrollment and charter schools.

Since 1988 Cairns has been one of the charter school movement’s strongest and most effective advocates, working with educators, legislators, and community members to recommend improvements to public education and charter school initiatives. 

Cairns has seen the charter school movement grow from just one school in Minnesota in 1992 to nearly 6,000 today in more than 40 states. Through the nonprofit Public School Incentives, Cairns and his colleagues developed innovative ideas for K-12 public education and played a key role in demonstrating the viability of Community Learning Centers as a model for public charter schools.

Today Cairns is a practicing attorney in his own Minneapolis firm, where he specializes in assisting educational tax-exempt organizations. Since the first charter school opened in St. Paul, Minnesota in 1992, he has been counsel to charter schools involved in facility financing and leases in excess of $300MM.

Eric Knox


Eric is passionate about community engagement and the nurturing of minority groups. Eric has channeled his passion for transforming lives into church planting, church pastoring, and basketball coaching. Eric completed his undergrad studies at Oregon State University and earned an M.Div in Pastoral Care from Western Seminary.

After college he put down roots in Portland, Oregon, where he planted The Well church, the most racially and culturally diverse church in the city. He joined Imago as an associate pastor in 2013, serving as Imago’s community, diversity and equity coordinator.

He also directs the Waterhouse Network, a global church planting network based in Portland. He is the founder of the “Holla Foundation” to provide culturally responsive mentorship to economically challenged youth of color, and the “Holla If You Hear Me Tour,” a national tour that focuses on black male identity and mentorship.