MEET AJYAL CENTER STAFF

AJYAL STAFF & LEADERSHIP

Raymond Damm

BS, MBA,
Chief Executive Officer

Raymond Damm has been working with ACCEL since March of 2016, starting as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Development Officer, and transitioning to the role of Chief Executive Officer in June of 2018. Ray holds a B.S. from The University of Virginia – Wise and an MBA from New York University’s Stern School of Business. Having held executive positions in both the public and private sectors, Ray is driven to apply private sector best practices to sustainably address issues the public sector is driven to solve. This is especially true for underserved groups of individuals and those whose voice isn’t heard. He is motivated by ACCEL’s 300+ students and 100+ adults that overcome incredible obstacles each and every day. Outside of work, Ray is happiest spending time with family, making and repairing watches, playing golf and being in the mountains or on the beach

Gordon Comfort

Chief Operating Officer

Originally an English teacher in Utah and Arizona (Mesa Junior High School), Gordon and his family moved to Washington State where he served in administration for three high schools, ultimately becoming the principal of Richland High School.While principal, Gordon served on the board of directors for Goodwill Industries of Columbia where he then became the CEO. After his time at Goodwill, Gordon founded and operated a software development company with global sales and was also elected to the local school board. Most recently, Gordon has run his own consulting company and helped a family operated manufacturing company in Chandler.Gordon is fluent in English and Spanish, has a pending Ph.D. in business, a master’s degree from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University.Gordon, his wife Carrie, and their five children live in Gilbert, AZ.

Phillip Tanner

PH.D, NCSP,
Executive Center Director

Phillip Tanner, Ph.D., NCSP is a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and the Executive Center Director at the Ajyal Center for Comprehensive Education and Life Skills (ACCEL International). Dr. Tanner lead the team during the establishment of the Ajyal Center in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. The Center has been open since September of 2019. Dr. Tanner has over 20 years of experience in education. Dr. Tanner has work experience as an Assistant Clinical Professor at Northern Arizona University, a Special Education Director, a School Psychologist and a School Counselor. He is extremely proud of the partnership with Aramco and his involvement in this very important mission to bring high quality therapeutic, educational and vocational services to students with disabilities.

Ezaldeen Alsalman

Consultant

Ezaldeen has been employed at ACCEL International in the early stages of its foundation aboard as a human resources consultant and administrator. Having worked mostly in the areas of Human Resources, Business and Project Management for more than 12 years in various international corporations, he is very familiar with Performance Management, Recruitment and Project Management Skills. Ezaldeen is particularly experienced in the areas of strategic advice to operational and executive managers, developing company culture and mediating disputes. Ezaldeen served as chief spokesperson and representative for ACCEL International and built bridges with ministries, universities, and business leaders to enhance awareness of company initiatives. Ezaldeen earned his Master’s degree from Coventry University from the United Kingdom in Business Administration. He also has a wide knowledge of legal, marketing and sales strategies. Ezaldeen lives in Dhahran, KSA with his wife and their two children. When Ezaldeen is not working, he likes to read and learn new languages and cultures Ezaldeen has been employed at ACCEL International in the early stages of its foundation aboard as a human resources consultant and administrator. Having worked mostly in the areas of Human Resources, Business and Project Management for more than 12 years in various international corporations, he is very familiar with Performance Management, Recruitment and Project Management Skills. Ezaldeen is particularly experienced in the areas of strategic advice to operational and executive managers, developing company culture and mediating disputes. Ezaldeen served as chief spokesperson and representative for ACCEL International and built bridges with ministries, universities, and business leaders to enhance awareness of company initiatives. Ezaldeen earned his Master’s Degree from Coventry University from the United Kingdom in Business Administration. He also has a wide knowledge of legal, marketing and sales strategies. Ezaldeen lives in Dhahran, KSA with his wife and their two children. When Ezaldeen is not working, he likes to read and learn new languages and cultures.

Mohammed Mekedam

Finance Manager

Mohammed is an experienced Finance Manager with 13 years of experience in many fields such industrial, service, health, and contracting. He is experienced in developing and improving accounting and finance systems, finance analysis, strategic planning, financial budgeting, cost Controlling, Sensitivity analysis, auditing, treasury accounting, and financial reporting. Mohammed has a bachelor’s degree, CMA certificate, strategic planning certificate, in addition to other experience certificates and training courses.

Sana Mahdi

Marketing and Communications Manager

Sana Mahdi has been working with international schools in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia since 2009. She received her degree in Information Systems from Sana’a University in Yemen. Sana started supporting small schools to develop and become bigger in Riyadh. By defining the schools’ vision, mission and strategies. She organized and managed many special events and activities representing the schools. Sana is experienced in developing and improving of schools’ marketing plans and managing media and public relations. In her personal side, she is a great cook who enjoys creating her own fashion and unique world around her and doesn’t hesitate to live new challenges everyday. Sana has moved to The Eastern Province in Saudi Arabia because she is very excited to become a member of the ACCEL International Team!

Naif Alharbi

HR Coordinator

Naif has been working with Human Resources since 2016. He received his bachelor’s degree in management information systems from Yanbu University College in Royal Commission of Jubail and Yanbu. Naif is experienced in enforcing the labor law and to maintain the order in the organization. In addition, Naif certified in ERP Integrated Business Process with SAP. Naif began working with ACCEL in 2019 as a Human Resource Coordinator. Naif is interested in continuous developing of himself alongside the organization. Naif likes Reading, Meditation, and Racing.

Teri Baldwin M.S.

Program Manager

Teri Baldwin is a certified speech language pathologist. She grew up in New Jersey, USA, 20 minutes from Philadelphia and got her B.S in Education, Communicative Disorders, at West Chester University in Pennsylvania. She went to graduate school at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Az and earned her M.S. in Speech Language Disorders. She started with ACCEL in Arizona in 1994, and has worked as a teacher, speech pathologist and clinical director. She has worked at various private, charter and public schools as an Autism Consultant, feeding specialist and speech language pathologist. Over the past 25 years, she has specialized in sensory integration, vocational programs, feeding programs, adapting curriculum, specialized reading programs and Augmentative Alternative Communication. She has a second Master’s in Educational Leadership and has just enrolled in the Doctor of Education program at the University of St. Augustine in Florida. She has two children and two grandchildren and loves reading, gardening and animals. Mrs. Baldwin has moved to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to start ACCEL because she believes every child should have the opportunity to live successfully with dignity and independence.

Elham Al Ja’afar

School Principal-Female

Elham ALJaafar is an English literature graduate. My mission in life is to put a fingerprint on the lives of others in whatever work I do. I worked as an English teacher for 15 years. I worked as a member on the project of developing Arabic language & library for 5 years. I was effective member on the project of connecting technology into curriculum for 3 years. I worked as a central supervisor for foreign schools. I provided a lot of educational consultations and contributed to the development of many foreign schools in the eastern region. I moved to a new school to work as school principal with my expertise. I have taken more than 30 courses and more than 40 workshops in professional and personal development. I am a member of voluntary societies in social responsibility. I am passionate about development, training and volunteering. I was certified as a trainer in Human Development in 2009 and gave many courses, workshops and lectures. I am a certified Coach in self-development. I also worked on the radio preparing and presenting programs. I am a Saudi writer, I have written in several Saudi newspapers for many years and published two books so far. My motto in life is to work in silence and have my work speak about me. I am honored to be part of great project such as ACCEL International Center as a school principal which will have a great impact on the disabilities community all over the kingdom.

Asma Batool

Director of Inclusive Education and Transition Services

Batool completed her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology as her major area of specialization. Later she completed her Doctoral research in the Educational and Counselling Psychology-Human Development program from McGill University, Canada. Her research focuses on inclusive education emphasizing Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as a core instructional design model. Specifically, identifying how teachers in the private international schools of Saudi Arabia deal with the learner variability/learning differences and barriers to learning. She designed professional development workshops, teachers’ training programs, and e-learning courses to bridge gaps between teachers’ understandings and practices to promote inclusive education in general education classrooms. Her research interest includes parents’ transformation process while raising children with disabilities; and how UDL can facilitate and compliment non-traditional high-efficiency schools. She gained experience in working with the children with Autism spectrum, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and Learning disabilities. Her knowledge in UDL, instructional designs, and inclusive education; clinical and educational psychology; human development; psychological evaluation, and multidisciplinary team management experience is applied in multiple ways at ACCEL. She has been serving as a Clinical Director and Educational Psychologist at ACCEL. By holding a leadership position in inclusive education Batool thrives to promote inclusive learning opportunities for children with diverse learning needs within the private and public educational organizations in the Kingdom.

Erika Nicol

Female Special Education Lead

Erica Nicol has been working with children and adults with developmental disabilities since 2014. She received her degree in Special Education and Rehabilitation from the University of Arizona in Tucson. Erica began working at ACCEL in 2014 as a Special Education Teacher, then moved into the Mentor Teacher role supporting students and staff members at various ACCEL campuses across Arizona. Erica and her husband, who is also a special education teacher, moved to Saudi Arabia together to fill the position of Special Education Leads for the Female and Male Campuses. Erica has a strong interest in supporting teachers to create a classroom environment in which all students can reach their full potential. In addition, she supports teachers with adapting materials, curriculum, Individualized Education Plans which allow each student to accomplish their goals. Erica has been formally trained in TEACCH, which is an evidence-based academic program based out of North Carolina. The program supports students with highly visual and structured systems to help unique learners access the curriculum. In her personal life, Erica enjoys taking dance classes, hiking, and traveling to new places.

Jeffrey Nicol

Male Special Education Lead

Jeffrey Nicol is a special education teacher who is passionate about helping students achieve and grow to their full potential. Jeffrey received a Master of Education in Special Education from Arizona State University in 2012. He began his teaching career at ACCEL in Arizona in 2013. Since then he has taught in a variety of special education classrooms for 7 years in the private, charter, and public sector of the Arizona and California education system. Jeffrey has a wealth of experience and knowledge in working with students with different disabilities, developing individualized education programs, creating & adapting curriculum, and managing a team to support the classroom. In his personal life, Jeffrey enjoys fitness, hiking mountains, and traveling the world. He and his wife are very excited to be teaming up and joining the ACCEL International Team.

Meet Our BOD

ACCEL Board Of Directors

JOSEPH C. CATTANEO

OWNER, A & C PROPERTIES, INC.

CHARLES A. WANNER

RETIRED, GPW & ASSOCIATES

CHRISTOPHER L. DUNCAN

FARMER WOODS
GROUP

CAROLINE A. PRICHER

COMMUNITY MEMBER

JULIA KOLSRUD

ASSOCIATE, MAY, POTENZA,
BARAN & GILLESPIE, P.C.

SCOTT TAUBMAN

PRESIDENT, INNOVATIVE
FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
AMERIPRISE FINANCIAL SERVICES

KEITH AND STEPHANIE FARMER

ACCEL PARENTS