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Meet the Team
fortify associates, llc
Laura A. De Veau, Ed.D., Founder & Principal of Fortify Associates, LLC has a passion for and desire to help organizations build high functioning and engaged teams. She has a strong track record in strategic decision making, complex organizational leadership as well as team and project management. After 30 years of management and leadership experience in higher education, Laura (she/hers) took her strategic, process driven and administrative acumen and founded Fortify Associates, LLC.
Over her career, Laura became known as an individual who could move organizational processes in order to reach strategic and aspirational goals. Laura is a combination of life coach, strategic analyst and comedian. Whether the challenge lies in change management, workplace competencies, strategic planning or a combination, we will take the organization and team you have and Fortify them to rise to their highest potential.
Laura currently teaches at the graduate programs for education at both Boston University and Boston College, and has expanded her media footprint through her weekly newsletter on Substack "What's Up in the Academy?" and her weekly live audio podcast, "Office Hours with Dr. De Veau." She is committed to public policy, education innovation and expanding professional development beyond seminars and workshops.
Fortify Associates, LLC gives clients the feedback they need in a no-nonsense delivery that cuts through the fluff and gets to the core of the matter, so you can reach your highest capacity. Fortify boasts a team of Associates who are curated by Laura in an effort to provide clients with a breadth of professional expertise, but with an execution that meets her exacting standards.
Alex Cabal brings his 12+ years of experience to Fortify Associates with a specialty in social justice, inclusion, and allyship. Alex is a member of NASPA and has held several leadership roles over the last decade. He has been recognized regionally and nationally by NASPA for his commitment and dedication to Student Affairs and for the work that he has done through the Gender & Sexuality Knowledge Community. Alex has an expertise in facilitation of training programs as well as performing institutional scans and program reviews. He has worked with higher education institutions, non-profits, and for-profit organizations on their inclusion efforts. Alex believes that authentic dialogue, reflection on our identities, an understanding of our history, and direct and consistent action are key to creating a more inclusive environment.
Alex graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications with a concentration in Public Relations from the University of Hartford and completed his Master’s Degree in Student Personnel Administration in Higher Administration at Springfield College. He currently serves as the Director of the Center for Diversity and Social Justice Programs at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston, MA.
Dustin Gee (he/him) brings over 10 years of experience in post-secondary education and international non-profit program management to Fortify Associates. He is currently the Director of Employer Engagement, Talent Relations and Career Program at Berklee College of Music in Boston where he leads the career services department, coaches talent at all levels for success, and consults with hiring managers on strategies to attract, to recruit and to retain diverse talent. Prior to his role at Berklee, Dustin worked in various mid-level positions at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, New York University and the Institute of International Education. His diverse experience in and out of higher education allowed him to develop expertise in stakeholder cultivation, program assessment/design/implementation, talent acquisition and national fellowship advising. He is an active member of NASPA, the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) and the National Association of Fellowship Advisors (NAFA).
Dustin holds an M.A. in higher education and student affairs from New York University and a B.A. in communication and writing from Juniata College. He is a 2010 Fulbright U.S. Student Program Fellow to Montenegro.
Beth Grampetro, MPH, CHES, has been working in higher education for 16 years, with a focus on college health for most of her career. In her positions at various campuses, she has managed health services, health promotion, and counseling services. Beth is skilled at planning, implementing and evaluating health promotion programs and interventions, and has a strong background in supervising administrative and clinical staff, budget management, data analysis/reporting, and collaboration.
Beth is committed to helping organizations provide services that support students’ well-being while prioritizing best practice as well as efficiency and sustainability. She enjoys hearing from clients about the work they do and helping them to translate their goals into workable solutions.
Beth is currently serving as the Director of Wellness at Olin College of Engineering in Needham, MA. Beth received her MPH from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and her BS in Community Health from Hofstra University.
Jenn Kosses, Ed.D., currently serves as the Assistant Dean of Students at Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston,MA. Jenn will bring her expertise in student discipline process, Title IX, student handbooks, and residence life to Fortify Associates. Prior to her role as Assistant Dean, Jenn served in many roles within the functional are of Residence Life at a variety of institutions. Jenn has been a leader in NASPA serving in multiple capacities at the regional level including co-founding the New Professional Mentoring Institute.
Jenn earned her Bachelors at Merrimack College in Business Administration, her Masters of Higher Education at Boston College, and is currently pursuing her Doctorate of Education from Northeastern University. Jenn also serves as adjunct faculty at Merrimack College in the Masters Level Higher Education program.
David Vacchi, Ph.D. is US Army veteran of 20 years with deployments for Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom in the early 2000s who earned a PhD in Higher Education Administration from UMass-Amherst as a student veteran using the Post 9/11 GI Bill in which his dissertation research focused on explaining student veteran success. A nationally recognized author and scholar, David is an unapologetic advocate for viewing veterans through strengths perspectives. David critiques research and models that take a negative view of veterans, while leveraging his own scholarly background to demonstrate how veterans succeed despite numerous obstacles to their success. David has been a faculty member or administrator in higher education since 2005. David is bringing his expertise to Fortify Curriculum in the development of the Veteran's Bootcamp virtual course and in providing fractional veteran's services for campuses.
His book, entitled "Straight Talk for Veterans" and an evidence-based handbook intended to help veterans successfully transition to higher education. David earned a master’s degree in Administration from Central Michigan University and a bachelor’s degree in Organizational Leadership from Purdue University.