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Professional Staff

Very few, if any, companies can match College Connections’ experience and record of achievement in our areas of expertise.

Jim Warren, CCI's Founder

Jim Warren grew up at the beach in New Jersey where he was a competitive swimmer (four time national qualifier) and successfully coached a 120-member swim team to two unprecedented league championships. While in high school, he was primarily responsible for the organization of more than 10,000 people in efforts that raised more than $225,000 for charity.

He graduated magna cum laude from Duke University in 1979, with distinction in Economics. In 1982, Jim received a juris doctor degree, with honors, from the National Law Center, at George Washington University in Washington, D.C. In law school, he was selected the student director of the Community Legal Clinics and received first place for individual oral argument in the upper-class moot court competition.

Jim began his legal career as an associate in the seven office, 200 attorney international firm of Pettit & Martin, where he practiced in the area of government contract counseling and litigation. In 1988, after just six years as an associate, he was elected to a full equity partnership. In 1992, Jim decided to leave the full time practice of law to become president of College Connections, Inc.

Since 1983, Jim has been actively involved in higher education activities. His two-year term as president of the Duke Club of Washington in 1985 earned him one of the most prestigious awards for service to the university. In 1987, he began serving on Duke's national alumni board (the Duke Alumni Association or DAA), became a member of the DAA's Board of Directors, and served as chairman of the Club's Committee as well as the Travel and Continuing Education Committee. He also served as a member of the DAA's Executive Committee and then on its Long-Range Planning Team. Jim was the 1994-1995 President of the Duke Alumni Association and a member of the Duke University Board of Trustees from 1995 to 1996. Jim also served a three-year term on the Board of Visitors for the Duke School of Divinity.

He has been an active participant in fund-raising activities, including the creation of D.C. area scholarship endowments. Jim has spoken at a number of Duke's Leadership Conferences on topics ranging from community service programs to how to lead a large club as a volunteer president. He also has been a guest speaker at "Leadership Clemson,” speaking on the topic of planning successful club events, and many high school programs for students and parents. Jim was the keynote speaker at Catholic University of America’s 2003 Leadership Conference.

For a 12 month period beginning in 2005, Jim served as the part-time, Interim Director of Alumni at Bucknell University. After completing a successful comprehensive program and staffing audit of the alumni office for the President, Jim was asked by the President to fill the Interim position while the university conducted a search for a permanent Director. In his role as Interim Director, Jim was responsible for all aspects of the alumni office, including hiring and staff management, Reunion, Family Weekend, Alumni Board, Parents Board, student engagement programs, affinity programs, volunteer activities, Homecoming, awards, Presidential briefings, young alumni programming, clubs, and strategic planning.

For 13 months beginning in 2010, Jim served as the part-time, Interim Assistant Vice President for Institutional Advancement at Temple University and Executive Director of Temple's 270,000 member alumni association. Among other accomplishments, Jim effectively united 15 school and college alumni associations in a historic and record breaking Alumni Weekend.

Jim is active in his church and a strong supporter of community service activities. In 1989, he co-founded Duke's award winning adopt-a-school program in downtown D.C. He enjoys all kinds of exercise and spending time with his wife and daughters.

Laura Warren, Chief Financial Officer

Laura Warren is a co-founder of College Connections, Inc. She graduated from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and earned her MBA from George Washington University. With over 30 years of experience, Laura is responsible for the financial stewardship of CCI including bookkeeping, business filings, taxes and payroll. Laura enjoys spending time with her family and has been known to lend her special talents in floral arranging when client needs require.

Elizabeth Jackson, Director of Social Media Communications

Elizabeth Jackson joined College Connections, Inc. in 2008 as the Assistant Director of Special Events and Communication. In this role, she was responsible for a variety of alumni engagement opportunities for major universities’ alumni chapters including large-scale galas and private events at some of Washington, DC’s most famous landmarks. Elizabeth worked closely with clients to design events and activities that would offer unique opportunities for personal connection, foster peer-to-peer engagement, and encourage a lasting relationship to their alma mater. By listening to her clients’ goals and objectives, Elizabeth was also able to create striking print, electronic and social media publicity to communicate the vision for each occasion.

In 2016, Elizabeth turned her focus to designing social media objectives for clients in order to meet the changing needs of how consumers relate to media and social networks. She enjoys the challenge of thinking outside the box to create and distribute valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and retain a clearly-defined audience.

Elizabeth earned her Bachelor of Science in marketing from Clemson University. She met her husband, Steven, at Clemson, and both are lifelong, loyal Tigers! Elizabeth and Steven are the proud parents of two spirited little girls and are excited to welcome a third daughter in summer 2018.

Rachael Wiker, Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement

Rachael Wiker has worked at College Connections, Inc. in an intermittent role since 2006 and joined the staff permanently in 2017. As the Assistant Director of Alumni Engagement, she works to identify, cultivate and recruit alumni volunteers. Rachael also manages, plans and executes alumni network programming, events and publicity.

A graduate of Clemson University, Rachael earned her B.A. degree in Spanish and International Trade in 2000. Rachael is active locally with the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and leads a team that raises more than $20,000 annually for the Foundation. In her spare time, she loves traveling and spending time at the beach with her husband and four children.

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I wish to express my gratitude and highest commendations for your valuable contributions during my tenure as President over the past ten years. Through your diligence, enthusiasm and overall exemplary, mutually beneficial relationship has developed....congratulations to you and your very able staff on a job well done!

Virginia Public University

More Testimonials...

Results Driven

  • Increasing enrollment yield rate by 19% during a two year period

  • Increasing membership in an athletic scholarship foundation by 116% (155 new members minimum membership was $50)
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