Avenues: The World School Announces New Senior Team Members



July 27, New York, NY — “Avenues: The World School” announced today three new executive staff members who will join the new global system of independent pre-K through 12th grade schools. Steve Hanon has joined as global chief financial officer, Lauren Bedell will serve as chief administrative and operating officer of the school’s first campus in New York, and Viviana Dinucci is joining as global financial controller. The first campus of Avenues is scheduled to open in New York in fall 2012.

“Just as Avenues has sought to recruit leading educators to drive innovation in the classroom, it is important that we have highly experienced financial and operational team members,” said Avenues’ CEO Chris Whittle. “Steve, Lauren and Viviana fit this profile and we’re proud to have them join our team.”

In the role of global chief financial officer, Mr. Hanon will lead the design and implementation of Avenues’ global financial, accounting and treasury functions, as well as select operational, IT and human resources activities. He will also support development and implementation strategy at the school’s future campuses. Prior to joining Avenues, Mr. Hanon served as CFO/COO for several education companies within the Sterling Partners’ educational investment portfolio. Mr. Hanon brings to Avenues a strong portfolio of strategic, operational and financial skills honed during his tenure with industry leaders in the global consumer, fashion, media and education businesses. His early career included roles in finance and strategic planning with Goldman Sachs, Price Waterhouse and PepsiCo International. Mr. Hanon also served as CFO of Ralph Lauren’s global retail business, where he led the finance function for a $1 billion + retail business with flagship stores in North America, Europe, Japan, Australia and South America, and as chief financial and operating officer of Scripps Networks’ Shop at Home interactive retail division.

As chief administrative and operating officer of the school’s first campus in New York, Ms. Bedell will be responsible for all site-level administrative and business functions, including human resources and information technology, as well as managing relationships with key business partners in food service, security, facilities and other operational support functions. She will also help build the operational model for future Avenues site openings. Ms. Bedell brings to Avenues in-depth experience as an educator and administrator at both the college and K-12 independent school levels. Prior to joining, she was the chief administrative and operating officer at the Lycée Français de New York, the city’s leading French immersion school. Before that, she spent nine years at Greenwich Academy in Greenwich, CT as chief financial officer and assistant head, finance, operations and technology. Earlier in her career, Ms. Bedell held various administrative and operational roles at the San Domenico School in San Ansemlo, CA; at Princeton Theological Seminary, Princeton, NJ; and at Washington College, Chesterton, MD. Ms. Bedell has also served as an instructor, teaching undergraduate courses in accounting and computing at Chesapeake College in Wye Mills, MD.

In the role of Avenues’ global financial controller, Viviana Dinucci will oversee the implementation of key processes and controls in the accounting, accounts payable, payroll, treasury, human resources and financial reporting areas. Prior to Avenues, Ms. Dinucci was vice president of accounting at Thumbplay, Inc., a digital music company. She joins the school with a strong foundation in implementing accounting systems and financial controls, as well as managing the day-to-day accounting and financial reporting functions in several complex organizations. Ms. Dinucci began her career as an auditor at Deloitte & Touche, LLP, followed by roles as a senior accountant at Clorox Company, an accounting manager at Plumtree Software, and controller of a family business in San Francisco.

Avenues’ first campus will be located in a 10-story, 215,000-square foot landmark building on the High Line in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. It will be the first of a worldwide system of 20 or more highly-integrated independent schools to open over the next decade in major cities around the globe, such as Shanghai, London, Mumbai and São Paulo. The school will open 12 of its planned 15 grades in the 2012-2013 school year, including all grades between nursery and 9th grade. The 10th, 11th and 12th grades will be added over the following three years. Avenues’ first graduating class will be in spring 2016.

Avenues recently announced that in just the five months since it launched, it has seen an unprecedented demand for its innovative nursery through 12th grade school. More than 1,200 applications for its early admission program were completed by the June 15 deadline, 3,500 parents have attended 51 different parent information events, and parents have registered 3,250 students on the school’s website — the first part of the application process. Further, the admissions staff has completed over 2,000 interviews with parents and children, while the school’s website has had in excess of 135,000 visits.

Mr. Hanon, Ms. Bedell and Ms. Dinucci join an executive team that includes Avenues’ co founders, CEO Chris Whittle and Chairman Benno Schmidt, as well as Avenues’ president, Alan Greenberg. Additionally, Avenues’ 10-person academic leadership team is headed by Tyler Tingley and Robert “Skip” Mattoon, who are serving as co-heads of school. For the past 12 years, Tingley headed Phillips Exeter Academy, while Mattoon led the Hotchkiss School for 11 years. Other academic team leaders include Gardner Dunnan, Avenues’ academic dean, who headed the Dalton School for 23 years; Nancy Schulman, head of the Early Learning Center, who has served as director of the 92nd Street Y Nursery School for the past 20 years; Elizabeth Hixson, head of the Lower School, who has served as middle school director at Dalton since 2003; Tom Bonnell, head of the Middle School, who comes to Avenues after a five-year tenure as head of the Savannah Country Day School in Georgia; and Sarah Bayne, director of educational design, who spent the last decade as head of the Hillbrook School in Los Gatos, CA.


DKC Public Relations
Bruce Bobbins / Juliet Horn
(212) 981-5190 / (212) 981-5221

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