Meet Our Consultants

Meet Our Consultants

Consultant biographical sketches of our evaluation team includes senior professionals who are skilled in working with agencies responsible for public education, facilitating groups in reaching consensus, organizing meetings, and developing well written reports.

Tidwell & Associates Inc

The Tidwell Team Includes:

Mr. Ritchie Tidwell

Mr. Ritchie Tidwell

Mr. Ritchie Tidwell brings an unusual set of skills and experience to a project. Mr. Tidwell had a distinguished 16-year career in the public sector:

  • Directing and evaluating criminal and juvenile justice grant programs in two states.
  • Serving as a committee director in the Florida House of Representatives.
  • Serving as a senior level policy advisor for a South Carolina governor who led educational reform efforts in S.C. in the 1980’s and later at the national level.
  • Conducting efficiency reviews for school districts

While working for the Florida legislature, Mr. Tidwell wrote legislation that created a statewide system of juvenile justice, intake, probation, aftercare, and detention facilities.

He was also a co-director of the S.C. Children’s coordinating cabinet, a group of state agency directors created by Governor Richard Riley to maximize the level of coordination on policy and budget issues pertaining to children and youth.

Mr. Tidwell spearheaded legislation which created a crime victims bill of rights and legislation to address prison overcrowding.

Mr. Tidwell, who has managed multiple program evaluations in the public and private sector, is easy to work with, and is committed to demonstrating what strategies have the desired impact of increased educational achievement and positive behavioral health changes.

Mr. Tidwell has been the architect of many program initiatives involving school districts, with particular emphasis on:

  • Substance abuse and mental health intervention and treatment programs, safe schools, healthy students, and violence prevention.
  • Community collaborations (such as Fighting Back).
  • After school and dropout prevention programs.
  • Intensive program reviews, such as the evaluation of the state intervention and assistance program for low performing schools.

As a result of managing grant programs in two states, and directing evaluations for 44 federal grant initiatives, Mr. Tidwell is well skilled in managing evaluation teams in producing high quality reports.

Mr. Tidwell has worked with multiple school districts in South Carolina and Florida. He has regularly communicated with federal representatives over the years.

Dr. Nina Brown

Nina Brown, Ph.D.

Dr.Nina Brown, president, Performance Evaluation And Improvement, LLC, holds a Ph.D. in program evaluation from Florida State University and has over 30 years of experience conducting evaluations and policy analysis in a wide range of education and human services programs. She has worked in the private sector as an evaluation consultant for 20 years.

She is also an experienced administrator in state government where she held managerial positions for over 10 years, during which she directed divisions responsible for program evaluation, strategic planning, and quality improvement.

Her consulting and management experience have included:

  • K-3 reading initiatives.
  • K-12 school improvement.
  • Early care and education.
  • Early intervention.
  • Child abuse and neglect prevention.
  • Child welfare.
  • Substance abuse.
  • Mental health.
  • Developmental disabilities.
  • Juvenile justice.
  • Economic self-sufficiency services.
  • Aging, health, and Medicaid.

Dr. Brown has directed or participated in numerous multiyear federally funded evaluations. Virtually all of these evaluations have involved formative and summative approaches to evaluation and have included analysis of qualitative and quantitative data.

Dr. Brown has a particular interest in working with staff in applying evaluation data to improve program operations and outcomes. Dr. Brown has extensive experience managing large evaluation projects as well as serving as a team member of numerous evaluation projects.

Prior experiences include serving as the lead evaluator with Tidwell & Associates, for the safe schools/healthy students initiatives in Madison County, Orange County, and Lafayette County, Florida. Dr. Brown also served as lead evaluator on an elementary and secondary counseling grant in Sampson County, North Carolina.

The multi-year projects examine the effects of school based programmatic interventions on outcome measures related to school safety, violence reduction, and supports for social/emotional development. Data collection addressed both process and outcome measurement. Measures included a wide range of quantitative data including student survey data, indicator data, academic performance data, service utilization data, and curriculum implementation data.

With MGT of America, Dr. Brown was the project director for five statewide evaluations of reading first and reading excellence programs in Arkansas, Nevada, and Maryland. These multiyear projects included:

  • Development of an evaluation design to address program implementation and outcomes.
  • Documentation of implementation of professional development and school-based reading initiative improvements.
  • Assessment of the impact of program activities on improved student outcomes in literacy.

These evaluations required collection and analysis of an extensive set of student performance data including norm referenced tests, criterion referenced tests, and progress monitoring, as well as a wide range of program implementation data, including program profiles, classroom observation data, professional development logs, and stakeholder surveys (including teachers, principals, and reading coaches).

Through Evaluation Systems Design, Inc., Dr. Brown is currently serving as team leader for selected district reviews of Florida’s professional development system, a peer monitoring system aimed at improving professional development in each of Florida’s school districts. This system uses qualitative data, including interviews and review of documents, to rate the quality of school district professional development systems.

Dr. Brown also has a particular interest in evaluating programs aimed at at-risk youth. For example, she served for two years as the project director for the evaluation of the federally funded 21st century community learning center projects program for the Arkansas Department of Education. Among other topics, the evaluation addressed program structure, research-based instruction, enrichment activities, and family literacy/parent education activities.

The project design included development of a web-based data collection and reporting system to meet federal and state requirements, training of program directors on reporting and use of the information system, and technical assistance to program directors as needed.

Dr. Pam Imm

Dr. Pam Imm

Dr. Pam Imm is a trained community psychologist and has extensive experience in the areas of program development, program evaluation, and applied research. Dr. Imm has worked as an evaluator with various local, state, and national agencies including:

  • The Center for Substance Abuse Prevention
  • The Center for Substance Abuse Treatment
  • The Office of National Drug Control Policy
  • The Community Anti-Drug Coalitions of America
  • Tidwell & Associates, Inc.
  • SC Department of Alcohol and Drug Abuse Services
  • Lexington/Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council (LRADAC)
  • Drug and Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services (DAODAS)
  • Screening Brief Intervention and Treatment (SBIRT) grant

Dr. Imm is also affiliated with the University Of South Carolina and the Lexington-Richland Alcohol and Drug Abuse Council in Columbia, SC.

Dr. Imm is the lead author on the manual, “Preventing Underage Drinking: Using the Getting to Outcomes Model and SAMHSA’s Strategic Prevention Framework to Achieve Results”.

This manual includes methods and tools for how to plan, implement, and evaluate environmental strategies. The manuals and related work in the Getting to Outcomes (GTO) system were awarded the status of outstanding publication by the American Evaluation Association in November 2008.

Dr. Imm has worked in a variety of content areas including education programs such as the effectiveness of prevention, early intervention, and counseling programs. Dr. Imm worked with staff serving in Governor Hodge’s administration to promote early childhood education through effective programs, policies, and practices.

Dr. Imm is proficient in quantitative and qualitative research methods and has taught undergraduate statistics and research design courses as well as graduate program evaluation courses. Dr. Imm currently supervises doctoral graduate students in their dissertation which requires expertise in research design methods, statistical analyses, and various statistical packages.

Knowledge of processes and statistical methods has helped her secure research grants from various agencies such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Department of Education, and various agencies that focus on prevention (e.g., SAMHSA, NIDA).

Dr. Imm works with researchers at the Rand Corporation to plan mixed method research designs and provides training for community members and professionals on various methods of data collection and analyses (e.g., focus groups).

Dr. Imm is an active member and frequent presenter at the American Evaluation Association (AEA). Dr. Imm served as a co-evaluator on an adolescent treatment enhancement grant and lead evaluator on an SBIRT grant with DAODAS.

Dr. Brooke Culclasure

Brook Culclasure, Ph.D.

Dr. Brooke Culclasure is research director at the Riley Institute's Center for Education Policy and Leadership (CEPL). The Riley Institute is a multi-faceted, non-partisan institute affiliated with the Department of Political Science at Furman University.

From 2005 to 2008, Dr. Culclasure coordinated The Riley Institute's Hewlett Funded Research Project on Public Education in South Carolina. This comprehensive study looked at how South Carolina should effectively redesign public schools to prepare a larger number of students to graduate, succeed in college or career training, and compete in the global marketplace.

In her current role as Research Director, Dr. Culclasure coordinates research projects associated with CEPL and serves on the grant writing and fundraising team. Dr. Culclasure oversees What Works SC, an initiative that ties effective strategies in education to a number of promising in state initiatives to serve as a resource for educators, students, the community, and policy makers. What Works SC includes a policy paper series, an evolving clearinghouse, and a series of case studies.

Dr. Culclasure also coordinates the Riley Institute's award winning emerging Public Leaders Program, a service-based leadership program for South Carolina's rising high school seniors, and teaches introduction to American government courses at Furman University.

Dr. Culclasure completed her undergraduate work at the University of Richmond in Leadership Studies and Journalism, and earned Master’s Degrees from the University of Virginia in American Politics and The University of South Carolina in Higher Education Administration. She went on to earn a Ph.D. From the University of Virginia in Education Policy.

Brooke served as an evaluator of a drug free communities grant in Pickens County, assisted with a Race To The Top evaluation in Florida, and was the lead evaluator on an elementary and secondary counseling grant for Orangeburg District 3.

Ms. Maria Mc Call

Maria McCall, MSW MS.

Maria McCall holds a Master’s Degree in Social Work with a focus on the Interaction Between Systemic Functioning and Individual Behavior. Her areas of evaluation specialization include:

  • Development of Logic Models
  • Implementation Timelines
  • Data Collection Instruments & Reporting Protocols
  • Statistical Reports for Documenting
  • Disseminating Evidence of Program Effects and Outcomes.
  • Healthy Transitions Project
  • HIV Capacity Building

Projects and Modalities assessed include:

  • Statewide infrastructure and service delivery programs to improve the behavioral health system of care for adolescents and transitional age youth.
  • Family centered substance use treatment for women and their families.
  • Public health programs to address students’ health barriers to learning.
  • Comprehensive programs to reduce youth violence and increase healthy behavior.
  • Alcohol and other drug prevention programming.
  • Juvenile justice programs for at risk youth and juvenile offenders.

For projects involving collection of federal Government Performance and Results Act (GPRA) data, Ms. McCall is the Tidwell Team Lead for Quality Assurance, Data Monitoring, And Report Development.

Most recently, Ms. McCall serves as:

  • the lead evaluator for the South Carolina Department of Mental Health’s healthy transitions project
  • the lead evaluator for Circle Park’s Pregnant and Postpartum Women’s Initiative
  • the sole evaluator on the Healthy Learners project in five SC locations
  • the lead evaluator for Team Management 2000’s HIV capacity building initiative in New Jersey
  • Co evaluator for Team Management 2000’s Treatment to End Homelessness project in New Jersey.

She must frequently develop a secure means of integrating a variety of elements from distinct sources, including training the contracting agency’s staff on how to enter data. Ms. McCall’s analytic strengths are descriptive statistics, including identification of disparities between subgroups of clients, and data interpretation. Ms. McCall is often involved in reporting project results for a variety of audiences. Most frequently, she contributes to the evaluation section of federal reports, develops data snapshots or slideshows for use in continuous quality improvement efforts, and develops newsletters or other concise documents highlighting project outcomes for community stakeholders.

All of the evaluation projects in which Ms. McCall participates involve data collection, analysis and administration. As a member of the Tidwell Team, Ms. McCall:

  • Analyzes each project’s objectives.
  • Identifies key quantitative data elements needed to measure progress.
  • Works with staff from the contracting agency to determine the specific methods of collection to be used, with emphasis placed on taking advantage of data already being collected for other purposes.
  • Statistical Reports for Documentation
Ms. Lisa Van Bergen

Lisa Van Bergen, M Ed, LPC, LAC

Ms. Van Bergen , LPC, CACII, is a mental health professional with 28 years’ experience in the state of South Carolina.  She has provided direct services, clinical supervision, administrative supervision, program development, program implementation, program evaluation, and training. Ms. Van Bergen has conducted training locally, throughout the state, and in national arenas.  She has worked in agencies, schools, government and nonprofit settings. Ms. Van Bergen has extensive experience working collaboratively among agencies, including close cooperation with the Departments of Education, Social Services, and Juvenile Justice. She was a part of the development of drug courts in her community.  In addition, she has strong ties to colleagues across the country working in the field of child welfare. Ms. Van Bergen was involved in a national study of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) survey among young women that resulted in a presentation of findings at the White House and to Congress, stressing the importance of trauma treatment.  She currently provides consulting to other organizations in the fields of mental health, addiction, and social services, focusing on grant-writing and evaluation. Recently, Ms. Van Bergen, has written and had funded two federal grants, a SAMHSA grant and an Early Head Start Expansion Grant.  She is currently the lead evaluator on a federal TIEH (Treatment for Individuals Experiencing Homelessness) grant.

Ms. Crystal Vogt Ortiz

Crystal Vogt Ortiz, President, LSSBB,

Ms. Crystal Ortiz, President, Legacy Consultations, LLC, holds a Master’s in Business Administration and is a ten-year professional program and project Lean Six Sigma (LSS)/Continuous Process Improvement (CPI) Black Belt Facilitator. She served six years in the United States Air Force specializing in manpower, personnel, dignitary support and event planning, strategic planning and reorganizations.

Legacy Consultations, LLC (LC) is a veteran and woman owned small business, pioneering employment for transitioning veterans, veterans, military spouses with multidisciplinary career background, professional training and the unifying standard of LSS/CPI certification coveted by federal and industry organizations. LC brings diverse skillsets and backgrounds to provide management and operations consulting to large corporations, small businesses, federal and state government agencies, non-profit and private organizations. The culmination of cross functional resources provided by LC’s mass network delivers “compound brainstorming,” taking innovation and outside of the box thinking, providing competitive edge program management and evolution.

By bringing visibility to, and simplifying, complex issues and facilitating meaningful conversations about what matters most, LC assists organizations in developing and defining high impact, results-oriented process improvement-oriented cultures. LC facilitates organizations with planning, strategy, organizational transformation and process architecture. LC also provides organizational maturity reviews, assisting with 360 feedback and team building to aide in change management, succession and or progression planning,

Personally, Ms. Ortiz’ professional facilitation has guided senior and mid-level managers through strategic alignment and deployment efforts, action plan/goal and key performance indicator (KPI)/metric development, validation reviews, and analysis.  Entrusted to conduct or supervise events in areas with extensive or little to no prior knowledge of the organization and mission provides her over 40 strategic, short term (kaizen blitz) process improvement events and long-term projects saving immeasurable man-hours and dollars dually creating a lean culture. Lastly, she has taught over 7000 military the CPI awareness, front line leader, green belt, and senior leader curriculum. All of her mentees have either garnered recognition, promotion, obtained greenbelt certification and her endorsement to the USAF CPI black belt professional course.


Career highlighted projects include:

  • Manpower point of contact and action officer during the 2008-2011 Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) of Pope AFB, North Carolina,
  • Planning and approval of the Chief of Staff, USAF mandated merger of two large multifunctional USAF Headquarters directorates, plans and requirements and the strategic plans and programs directorates containing a staff over 400 personnel,
  • Review and staffing of USAF project packages adhering to civil engineering standards to the Secretary of the Air Force and through Congressional notification for action,
  • Overhauling the USAF CPI education and training programs for staff and executive staff,
  • Development of corporate lean programs, uniting companies and university efforts for ongoing development of students continuum of learning and networking of lean projects

Ms. Ortiz’ services include experience in the following:
Strategic alignment, education and training, exceptional family member programs, finance, headquarter to installation (corporate to division/branch) KPI/metrics development and management, policy overhaul, logistics, civil engineering, maintenance operations, food operations, customer service, judge advocacy, intelligence, emergency management, deployment readiness, safety, diversity and inclusion and multiple military and civilian human resource improvement initiatives.

To learn more about how Tidwell & Associates, Inc. can meet your program evaluation and funding needs: