“Zaniac has a business philosophy that could be my personal mission statement: ‘Let’s give kids the confidence to be curious again.’ I want to empower young children to strengthen their self-esteem and self-confidence through a world of science and discovery.”
Campus Director and Co-Owner Lynne Porter, graduated in business from Yorkshire Coast College in the UK. She has extensive experience in education, banking, and corporate finance. She is fluent in English and Spanish. She has 2 sons, one a senior at college and the other a freshman at college.
After experiencing three vastly different educational systems in three different countries, Lynne constantly heard comments like, “She's not great at English.” “He's more a math guy.” “John's the clumsy one.” Even worse, she heard comments from the kids themselves: “Oh! I'm more art than science.” Lynne thinks kids are labeled far too easily. Kids often internalize that label and become that label. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. A huge personal motivator for Lynne to bring a Zaniac Learning Center to the children of Asheville is to break down those labels and show kids they have the ability to achieve whatever they want. With constant support and empowerment, it is Lynne’s hope that all the children who come through the Zaniac Asheville campus door will leave with the tools they need to explore their future with confidence.
Prior to making Asheville their home 9 years ago, Lynne and her family lived in Barcelona, Spain. It was there Lynne identified a need for good quality English instruction for children, as this was missing in the school curriculum. Lynne went back to school and studied ESL (English as a Second language) with the University of Cambridge’s CELTA program. Once qualified, Lynne taught at an English Academy where she quickly gained a reputation for being an excellent teacher, with an innate ability to tap into each student’s unique personality to find out what motivates them.
Lynne started her own English Academy and Translation Services in Barcelona. Classes were always at maximum capacity with waiting lists for the after-school classes.
Lynne started out in banking as a Team Leader in a Credit Control department responsible for maintaining sub-prime mortgage books of third party lenders. She worked directly with clients through litigation, and spearheaded an overhaul of reporting methods to senior managers.
Lynne is married with two boys. She enjoys an athletic lifestyle with her family in the great outdoors and mountain fresh air of Asheville.
“Zaniac provides me with the opportunity to combine two of my passions—providing children with educational opportunities and fostering community outreach through STEM awareness. I couldn’t be more excited to be a part of Zaniac Asheville and to tell everyone about this fun educational resource.”
Marketing Director and Co-Owner Dana Harris, studied accounting and financial management at the University of North Carolina, Asheville. Dana is a licensed real-estate broker, philanthropist, as well as an expert event planner and fundraiser. She is passionate about advocating for children and their education.
Dana is a real-estate investor and a member of The Women’s Society of The Mission Foundation, an organization that connects the caring community with opportunities to improve the lives of others through better health care.
Dana is a mom to three. Her daughter Avian attends Carolina Day School and her daughter Yasmine attends Valley Spring Middle School. Her son Kealey attends TC Roberson High School. Dana loves to travel and to be able to call the beautiful mountain-town of Asheville her lifelong hometown.
“As a superintendent of schools and as a principal, I’ve dedicated my career to educating and mentoring our youth. Zaniac offers an inspiring environment of school outside of school, where kids can develop a thirst for learning and discover how math and technology can be fun, shaping our future for generations.”
Educational Advisor and Co-Owner Dr. Stephen L. Page, has more than 35 years of experience in education as the former superintendent of Henderson County Public Schools and Associate Superintendent of Buncombe County schools. He is a former principal and school teacher. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences and a Master of Arts degree in American History from Western Carolina University, as well as a doctorate degree in education, specifically public school administration.
Stephen has earned numerous accolades, including Principal of the Year several times.
He served as a First Lieutenant and Combat Engineer Platoon Leader in the U.S. Army and earned a Bronze Star Medal.
He currently serves as the chairman on the administrative board of the Central United Methodist Church. Stephen has served as the Council President of the Boy Scouts of America Daniel Boone Council and on the Board of Directors for the United Way of Henderson County. Stephen is married with three children.
He loves to spend time with his family, especially his nine grandchildren. He also loves to golf and backpack.
“I recently read, ‘when kids look up to great scientists the way they do to great musicians and actors, civilization will jump to the next level.’ I am passionate about connecting parents with Zaniac so they can enrich and influence their children’s lives by awakening their spark for science-based learning.”
Reed Bilbray has served as President since April 2017, having been asked by the Board of Directors to take the helm after his successful launch and growth of the Zaniac Asheville campus. Reed brings 29 years of corporate business experience, 22 years at the executive level in technology, education and publishing and 6 years leading the Zaniac Asheville campus. Reed has a Bachelor of Science degree and a Master of Science degree in finance from Louisiana State University.
When Reed discovered Zaniac Learning, he immediately knew he wanted to open a Zaniac Learning Center for the greater Asheville community, where he has been a Co-Owner of the campus since December 2015. Reed and his wife Sandra were actively looking for a business to start and grow in Asheville, and Zaniac Learning met their desires to enrich children’s lives, offer valuable employment opportunities, and serve as a positive model for their young girls as they grow up. Reed is committed to the Zaniac being a fun, safe and inspiring learning environment for children.
Reed owns Accelerate Media Partners, LLC, an intellectual property business specializing in book product development, licensing, marketing, and distribution services to executives, authors and publishers. Previously, Reed was Executive Vice President and Publisher of SUCCESS Media (owner of the national newsstand magazine, SUCCESS), where he led the strategic marketing of the company’s intellectual property and product portfolio. Reed has led and directed the publishing, marketing and sale of more than 500 books, audios, videos and educational CD-ROMs. Along with Zaniac Founder Paul Zane Pilzer, Reed was co-founder and CEO of publicly traded Zane Publishing, an electronic K-12 educational publishing company..
Actively involved in the community, Reed is a member of South Asheville Rotary Club and serves as Vice President of Marketing for the Boy Scouts of America Daniel Boone Council and Committee Chair for Cub Scout Pack 72. He is a member and former Director and Vice President of the Carolinas Real Estate Investment Association.
Reed is married, has five children and lives in Asheville, NC. Alyssa, Ally and Haley are thriving young adults living in Texas. Sydney and Riley are busy being 9-year old twins. Reed loves the mountains, outdoor adventures and foodie culture of Asheville.
“Zaniac takes the natural curiosity of children and turns it into a world of discovery, play, and confidence-building. I love that Zaniac will shape the future of our youth. It’s exciting to know our own girls will grow-up with Zaniac and STEAM education as an integral part of their lives.”
Sandra Bilbray has served as Marketing Director since January 2017, having been asked by the Company to bring the successful marketing strategies and execution plans from her Zaniac Asheville and Zaniac Parkside campuses. Sandra is a Co-Owner of the Zaniac Asheville and Zaniac Parkside campuses.
Sandra is a nationally-published writer and a social media content expert. She worked as the columns editor for SUCCESS magazine, and some of her high-profile interviews include Good Morning America anchor, Robin Roberts, renowned personal development expert, the late Wayne Dyer, actor Gary Sinise and CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. Sandra is currently a contributing writer to the national magazine, Live Happy where she has interviewed happiness expert and best-selling author Gretchen Rubin and Parenthood actress and celebrity Monica Potter. Sandra Bilbray has a BA in English Writing Arts from SUNY Oswego
Sandra owns The Media Concierge, a company dedicated to creating professional content for thought leaders, authors, and business executives.
Sandra is married to CEO Reed Bilbray, and together they have twin daughters, Sydney and Riley, and two dog named Biscuit and Oreo. Sandra loves running, planning fun things to do with her family, and traveling.
“Success in technology depends on the belief in your own ability. Zaniac provides children with the opportunity to integrate STEM learning into their childhood so technology becomes a natural part of their growing up experience.”
Noah Hall has served as Chief Technology Officer since May 2018. He leadership has been instrumental enhancing the Company’s Learning Management System and Operating System used by Franchisees.
Noah has deep experience in web design, coding and working in Python and Dijango, our two primary platform systems. He has worked with a number of startups, with a focus on the consumer experience side.
Noah lives in Asheville, NC with his wife and two young boys.
“Zaniac is the answer to the questions kids are always asking, “How does this work?” Life is a frustrating black box for many children today. They know how to use things—like making a letter appear on a monitor when they press a keyboard—but they have no idea why or how things work. This leads to frustration when things break and limits a child’s ability to feel in control of their life. Zaniac opens the black box on how things work for K-8 students, helping children bring knowledge, order and control to their lives—which kids crave.”
In 1975, at the University of Pennsylvania, 20-year-old graduate student Paul Zane Pilzer built one of the first interactive teaching machines on a mainframe computer. Paul had a vision that technology would one day make great education affordable for everyone, the same way movies made the work of great singers and actors affordable for everyone.
Paul Zane Pilzer founded the Zaniac in 2010 when he and his wife had their own children and they realized what was missing from K-8 education: A way to assess what math concepts a child knows, so an individual child can be taught based on what they don’t know—and not blindly by grade level. Paul developed a solution—Zane Math, Zaniac’s signature program. Zaniac then expanded into a full offering of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math (STEAM) programs for kids in grades K-8.
Paul Zane Pilzer is an American economist, New York Times best-selling author, and social entrepreneur. He has written 11 books and is the founder of six companies, and has been profiled in more than 100 publications including on the front page of The Wall Street Journal.
Paul graduated Lehigh University in three years and received his MBA from Wharton Business School in 15 months at age 22. He became Citibank’s youngest officer at age 22 and its youngest vice president at age 25. He was appointed a professor at New York University at age 24 where he taught for 21 years and was five times voted “best teacher.”
He served as an appointed economic advisor in two White House administrations and has been featured on the cover of more than 100 publications, including the front page of The Wall Street Journal. He has a particular fascination with educating students on both sides of the bell curve.For more on Professor Pilzer, visit Wikipedia or paulzanepilzer.com.