MEET THE TEAM
UNCOVER YOUR FUTURE.
Here at The NEXT Academy, our dedicated faculty and staff hope to create knowledge with enduring impact while influencing and educating current and future leaders.
LEADERS LIKE YOU.
We do this through a passionate commitment to helping the best and brightest minds turn their ideas and talents into meaningful work within their construction firms.
Your education will be grounded in the values that have made NEXT a leader in construction business education.
"In the long run, there can be no doubt that the leadership capacity and capabilities of an organization will be among the most critical factors impacting the sustainability and profitability of the enterprise. I am thrilled to be a part of The NEXT Academy which is exclusively committed to helping prepare the next generation of leaders for your organizations." 🔘 Dr. Michael Callanan
MEET YOUR FACULTY
All NEXT Academy Faculty hold Doctoral Degrees, Masters Degrees or both, and undergo an extensive training program in The NEXT Academy's mission. Experienced experts in their fields, they are hand-picked for their passion to captivate and challenge participants in our blended learning environments
DR. MICHAEL CALLANAN
Dr. Michael Callanan is not only the Director of the NEXT Academy but also the Chief Focus Leader currently delivering Live Webinar content, Video Module content, and leading our Quarterly Face-to-Face Summits. Mike has been instrumental in the design, implementation, & execution of the NEXT program from inception and there’s no way we’d be where we are today without him. He has his doctoral degree in education (Ed.D.) from the Executive Leadership Doctoral Program in Human and Organizational Learning at George Washington University. Michael has extensive knowledge of the Union Construction Industry having been intimately involved since 1985 in a wide variety of leadership positions.
DR. LUANN BARNDT
Dr. Luann Barndt is a Lead Instructor for the NEXT Academy. Last year she facilitated Face-to- Face sessions in Portland. This year she will be focusing on the Exploration and Application classes throughout the year. Luann has several decades of proven success leading, educating, training, and coaching leaders. Throughout her career she effectively persuaded and facilitated cooperation and coordination among a wide variety of personalities at all levels of government and industry. She has earned her doctoral degree in education (Ed.D.) from the Executive Leadership Doctoral Program in Human and Organizational Learning at George Washington University. Happy to have Luann on board again this year after leading successful cohorts in St. Louis in 2019 and Portland in 2020.
Marty is a Lead Instructor for the NEXT Academy. In 2020 he guided Face-to-Face sessions in Pittsburgh. Marty was formerly the Director of Curriculum Development at the Electrical Training ALLIANCE (formerly National Joint Apprenticeship & Training Committee). In that capacity, he had responsibility for all of the curricula used across four different programs at approximately 300 local training centers. Currently Marty oversees the Electrical Training ALLIANCE’s Training Partner Program. This program, which is responsible for in excess of $15 Million in partnership activity. You will get to see his incredible work first hand as you utilize the Dynamic Learning Portfolio’s throughout your NEXT experience. He holds a Masters Degree in Leadership from Georgetown University. Students in the Exploration and Application Classes will love Marty’s passion and expertise. He has done a fantastic job for us in both Pittsburgh & Detroit over the past two years as Lead Instructor.
DIGITAL BRAND STRATEGIST
Julia Gretz is the Digital Brand Strategist of the NEXT Academy. In this role, Julia oversees the academy’s global creative product. She joined NEXT in July 2020 as a recent graduate of Penn State University, where she graduated with a B.A. in Advertising/Public Relations and a minor in Digital Media Trends/Analytics. Over the past 4 years, she has worked in Social Media, Content Marketing, Promotions and Publicity for a wide variety of organizations in an intern capacity.
“We have a great story to tell and having creative, media and production all in house allows us to be agile in this ever-changing business landscape,” said Chad Jones. “With a required mix of humility, creativity and youthful exuberance, I am confident in Julia’s future impact. We’re thrilled to have her join the team, work closely with Cody and continue to help union contractors throughout the country become more sustainable and profitable through The NEXT Academy.”
“At The NEXT Academy, we have a very different approach to our brand and creative output,” said Cody Phillips. “Through our strategic partnership with The Sasha Group (VaynerX) we have learned to believe in contextual creative at scale in order to leverage storytelling. With Julia’s mix of real world experience and cutting edge education at Penn State, she’s the perfect fit for our team. I am excited to work with and learn from Julia as we grow as an organization.”
As a Content Marketing Intern for Studio71 in Los Angeles, Gretz was responsible for creating business-driven, social content messaging for various events. This past semester she worked for Penn State’s communications agency as a Social Media Strategist working to elevate and analyze client paid digital. At NEXT, Gretz will work on integrating digital assets, raising brand awareness, collaborating on marketing campaigns, leading digital activation projects, and measuring the efficiency and effectiveness of digital channels.