Reed Sheard graduated from the University of Sioux Falls, earned a masters of divinity degree at Fuller Theological Seminary, and a doctorate in higher education leadership from Seattle University. Reed Sheard joined Westmont College Vice President and CIO in October 2008 after having served at Spring Arbor University in Michigan as the Vice President and CIO for five years.
In January 2010, Reed took over responsibility as the Vice President for College Advancement and has been a principal member of the leadership team responsible for the three largest fundraising campaigns at Westmont that have secured resources for new buildings, programs, scholarships and institutes. He continues to serve as the CIO.
Reed has authored numerous articles in the area of innovation and technology, digital transformation, and AI in non-profit fundraising. Reed serves on numerous boards, most recently providing leadership of the Higher Education practice group of the CIO Executive Council, CIO Innovation Council at Salesforce, along with chairing the AI in Advancement Advisory Council (AAAC). In 2015 Reed was named one of the top 100 CIO’s in North America by ITG/Computerworld.
About Merri Jo
Merri Jo Bales is vice president and strategic director of University Communications at MSU. In this role, Bales directs a strategic, coordinated and proactive approach to communications and public relations, overseeing the work of two teams, Marketing, Public Relations and Digital Strategy, and Media and Public Information.
Bales recently completed a 27-year career with Consumers Energy where she ultimately was responsible for establishing, expanding and aligning the strategy function and for executive communication. Prior to joining Consumers Energy, Merri Jo was executive director of the Michigan Sesquicentennial, the commemoration of Michigan’s 150th anniversary of statehood.
During her career, Bales has gained extensive experience in public relations, internal communication, media relations and crisis communication, as well as strategic planning and major program development.
A 1977 graduate of MSU’s College of Communication Arts and Sciences, Bales is among the college’s Distinguished Alumni and has served on the executive board for the MSU International Alumni Association and the ComArtSci alumni board.