The NICS Home Office is located in Southaven, Mississippi, just outside of Memphis, Tennessee. Southaven offers all of the southern charm and hospitality that you would expect in a small southern town but also has all of the conveniences of a large city.
The Memphis International Airport and FedEx's main distribution center are only twenty minutes away and are two conveniences that have proven to be a necessity for an international organization like NICS. Our central location makes travel into and out of the Home Office convenient and economic. After stating the obvious, the main reason NICS is located in Southaven has to do with the President and Founder Joe Hale. When asked, "Why Southaven, Mississippi?" Joe often jokes and says, "After living most of my life in some country on the other side of the world, we are where we are because, Momma said so." The truth is out.
The NICS Home Office was recently named among the top 50 “Best Non-Profits To Work For.”
Office of the President
Joe Hale, Founder and President
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The Office of the President oversees the overall development of the agency, including inquiries about establishment of new schools, major fund-raising projects and administrative hiring, development and accountability. Joe founded the first school in Uijongbu, Korea in 1983. Joe and Ann Hale have been based at the Home Office since 1997.
Dennis Lugar, Senior Vice President/Chief Financial Officer
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Dennis Lugar oversees the financial operations of the Home Office and assists the President in the administrative functions of the agency. Dennis and Susan Lugar served with the Hales in Korea from 1981 to 1992. The Lugars rejoined NICS at the Home Office in 1999.
Pete Simano, Vice President for Leadership Development
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The Vice President of Leadership Development oversees the school directors in the NICS/Oasis schools. The VPLD interviews, helps select, supervises and assesses those in school leadership. The VPLD also actively pursues emergent leaders within the network and develops modules for school leadership training. Pete Simano has served at BAIS (Bandung Alliance International School) since 2003 and was the BAIS director from 2008-2013. He began his teaching career in the US Peace Corps in Guatemala in March, 1986.
Lydia Zuidema, Director of Academic Development
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Lydia directs academic development for NICS/Oasis schools, collaborating with administrators and instructional staff to further curriculum development and implementation, and serves as an accreditation consultant and evaluator. Prior to joining the NICS/Oasis Home Office team in July 2014, she served at St. Joseph Christian School in St. Joseph, MO, as Superintendent, Elementary Principal, and Director of Development/Assistant Administrator. In all, Lydia completed thirty-five years in K-12 schools in Kentucky, Ohio, California, and Missouri.
Howard Rich, Vice President of Operations
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As VP of Operations, Howard oversees the Recruiting, HR, and IT departments. Howard and his family lived in Korea for 15 years, and has served in volunteer roles at both the Uijongbu and Pyeongtaek schools. He and his wife Terri began their service with the NICS Home Office in December 2015.
Jennifer Champlin, Executive Assistant
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Jennifer provides administrative office support to the Executive department of the NICS Home Office. Jennifer joined the Home Office team in January 2012.
Human Resources Department
Jesse Newman, Director
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The Human Resources Department includes the Nurture/Placement and Member Care divisions of the NICS/OASIS Home Office. Jesse served in Christian school ministry in the USA and Korea from 1986 until 2007 when he and Lisa joined the Home Office staff.
Allan English, Human Resources Specialist: Logistics and Insurance
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Al coordinates all aspects of the NICS health insurance program, manages logistics for shipping and receiving, Pre-Field Orientation and the Annual Leadership Conference, and assists the department by serving NICS staff worldwide. Al and Wanda English joined the Home Office in January 2002.
Rhonda Stark, Nurture/Placement Coordinator
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Rhonda screens applicants, gathers information, and matches prospective teachers to positions posted by our administrators. She also assists new staff members with visa information and processing. Rhonda has served with NICS since 1993 and joined the Home Office team in June 2002.
Ann Hale, Nurture/Placement Specialist
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Ann is responsible for the initial screening of all applicants’ Profiles that are received. She handles the data input into our database, and distributes the approved Profiles to the other coordinators. Ann and Joe Hale founded the first school in Uijongbu, Korea in 1983. Ann also served in Thailand, Indonesia, and Singapore before joining the Home Office in 1997.
Susan Lugar, Nurture/Placement Specialist
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Susan screens applicants, gathers information, and matches prospective teacher candidates to positions posted by our administrators. She is also responsible for working with student teacher applicants and coordinating the details of the NICS/Oasis Student Teaching Program. Susan and Dennis Lugar served with the Hales in Korea from 1981 to 1992. The Lugar family rejoined NICS at the Home Office in 1999, and Susan joined the Human Resources Department in June 2007.
Tim Mudder, Nurture/Placement Specialist
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Tim screens applicants, gathers information, and matches prospective teachers to positions posted by our administrators. Tim and his family have been supporters of NICS for many years. Tim and Amanda joined the Home Office in November 2007.
Lori Newsom, Nurture/Placement Specialist
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Lori screens applicants, gathers information, and matches prospective candidates to available positions at the schools and the Home Office. Lori first served with NICS as a kindergarten teacher at Bandung Alliance International School in Bandung, Indonesia from 2008-2012. She joined the Home Office team in October 2015.
Member Care Division
Missy Parks, Member Care Coordinator
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The Member Care Division provides support for current staff while helping new staff in their transition to overseas service and departing staff with their transition back to their homeland. This office coordinates the work of each school’s Local Member Care Representative, sponsors Pre-Field Orientation for all new staff, assists staff with fund-raising efforts, and prepares the NICS Prayer Bulletin. Before joining the Home Office team in October 2009 as a Placement Specialist, Missy served as a public school teacher in the United States, as an overseas teacher with the Department of Defense Dependents Schools (DoDDS) in three countries, and with Oasis International Schools.
Lonnie Buller, Director
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The Finance Department keeps accounting records for the Home Office operations and other agency funds, as well as accounts belonging to the individual schools. Lonnie is also responsible for the financial accountability of the schools to the Home Office. Lonnie and Nancy Buller have served with NICS since 1997 and in the Home Office since July 2000.
Kim Ponder, Staff Support Specialist
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Kim is responsible for processing donations, sending receipts and disbursing financial donations to staff. This office handles all donor relations and financial matters associated with staff members. She also sends periodic reports to both staff and donors. Kim joined the Home Office team in March of 2013.
Donna LaCroix, Staff Support Specialist
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Donna is responsible for processing donations, sending receipts and disbursing financial donations to staff. This office handles all donor relations and financial matters associated with staff members. She also sends periodic reports to both staff and donors. Donna joined the Home Office team in February 0f 2013.
Finance Department - Oasis International Schools Division
Don LaCroix, Central Asia Business Manager/Oasis Grant Manager
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Don previously served as the NICS Finance Director from 1994-1998 and rejoined the Home Office team with his wife Donna in September 2005. Don is currently supporting the organization through consulting on a variety of financial and legal issues along with doing some work specifically for the NICS Comptroller and CFO.
Troy Lundy, Director
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The comptroller serves as an important link between the Home Office and our member schools around the world. This office receives and reviews financial reports from the schools as required by organizational policy. The comptroller works closely with the school directors & business managers, makes regularly scheduled visits to all member schools and reviews financial policies and procedures while onsite. Troy and Jennifer served with NICS/Oasis in Ankara, Turkey from 2003 to 2012 before joining the Home Office in July 2012.
Recruitment and Marketing Department
Kathy McKinney, Recruitment and Marketing Director
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The Recruitment and Marketing department exists to promote the various opportunities associated with NICS/OASIS to educators and business professionals who have a desire to serve overseas. The Recruitment/Marketing Department's primary responsibility is to market the network through various platforms, so that anyone who thinks of teaching overseas immediately thinks of NICS/OASIS. Our goal is to create a context for each network school that initiates interest and answers any questions one may have regarding teaching overseas in with NICS/OASIS. Prior to joining the Home Office team in April 2015, Kathy served with NICS/Oasis for 12 years as a teacher in Bandung, Indonesia and Buenos Aires, Argentina, as a principal in Lima, Peru, and as the school director in Batam, Indonesia.
Megan Boys, West Coast Regional Recruiter
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Megan assists in the recruiting efforts on the West Coast by networking with students on college/university campuses and attending education fairs and mission conferences. Megan encourages all interested candidates to visit the NICS website to complete an online application. She also attracts new interest to NICS/Oasis by posting job openings with College & University Career Services as well as Internet Career Sites. Megan taught with NICS in Lima, Peru from 2007-2015 before joining the Home Office Team.
Jamie Popp, East Coast Regional Recruiter
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Jamie assists in the recruiting efforts on the East Coast by networking with students on college/university campuses and attending education fairs and mission conferences. Jamie encourages all interested candidates to visit the NICS website to complete an online application. She also attracts new interest to NICS/Oasis by posting job openings with College & University Career Services as well as Internet Career Sites. Jamie taught with NICS in Nagoya, Japan from 2011-2013 before joining the Home Office Team.
Information Technology Department
Jed Hale, Director
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The mission of NICS IT is to ensure the Home Office is technologically sound in order to serve our schools enabling all to efficiently carry out the mission of NICS. Jed has lived in Korea, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia. Jed and Whitney have served with NICS since 2007 in the Home Office.