About the Board of Trustees
The Academy at Penguin Hall is a 501(c)3 not for profit corporation. It is a public charity registered with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The corporation owns the property and all assets of The Academy.
The corporation is governed by a Board of Trustees which bears the ultimate responsibility for the well-being of The Academy and ensuring that the institution continues in perpetuity to deliver its mission which is To educate, enlighten and empower young women to live and to lead exemplary lives.
Board members are the fiduciaries who steer the organization towards a sustainable future by adopting sound, ethical, and legal governance and financial management policies, as well as by making sure that The Academy has adequate resources to advance its mission.
Board members also play very significant roles providing guidance by contributing to the organization’s culture, strategic focus, effectiveness, and financial sustainability, as well as serving as ambassadors and advocates. Board members are important resources for the organization in multiple ways.
The Board is comprised of proven leaders from diverse backgrounds. They are nominated and elected by the full board. New members are experts in their fields selected based upon the immediate and long-term needs of the school. Board members are unpaid and volunteer their work, wisdom and wealth to The Academy. The Board meets monthly and committees of the board meet more frequently as needed. Committees of the Board may include members who are not Trustees but who volunteer their time and expertise to the work of the committees.
The Board appoints, oversees and supports the President/Head of School. She is responsible for the daily and strategic operation of the school. The President/Head of School is a non-voting member of the board. Her input in board meeting deliberation is instrumental and invaluable for informed decision making.
The Board may be contacted at BoardofTrustees@penguinhall.org
Meet Our Board of Trustees
Chairman of the Board
George Balich holds a Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Notre Dame, an MBA from Northeastern University and a Doctor of Education from the University of Massachusetts. He is a practicing, registered Architect in MA and NH. As an architect, George’s work included hospitals, college and public libraries, college facilities, a regional bank and planned unit development projects. He has served on numerous architectural boards over the years including the Boston Society of Architects (Director and Commissioner of Technology), Massachusetts Society of Professional Engineers (Director and Vice President), the Commonwealth’s Joint Committee of Architects, Engineers and Land Surveyors on Professional Practice (State Chairman) and The Society of Value Engineers – Paul Revere Chapter (Director and President).
While practicing architecture, George taught architectural courses part-time at the Boston Architectural Center and Wentworth Institute of Technology in Boston. He became a full-time educator at Wentworth and continued for a thirty year career as a Professor of Architecture, department head of Architecture, and first dean of the College of Design and Construction at Wentworth where he developed professional degree programs in architecture, interior design, industrial design, construction management and environmental engineering. His educational career culminated as the Provost and VP of Academic Affairs at Wentworth. He was responsible for all academic programs and services including continuing education, library services, academic computing services, academic resources, academic advising, Institutional and program accreditations, and special programs. His responsibilities included the education of approximately 3,500 students and the graduation of approximately 600 students per year and the management of 140 full time faculty, 140 part-time faculty, and over 60 staff members with an annual operating budget of approximately 18.5 million dollars and an additional 1.5 million dollars in annual capital equipment. While in this position he worked with numerous regional and professional degree programs and was a founder of the College of The Fenway – a consortium of colleges in the Fenway area. He also organized a “Women in Technology program to encourage high school girls to enter science, engineering and technology. As an educator, he has been recognized and received a number of awards from the professional societies that he worked with as well as receiving the Notre Dame Alumni Exemplar Award for Service in Education.
Dr Balich has also served as a director at the Don Bosco Preparatory High School formerly in Boston and was a trustee and president (board chair) of the Glen Urquhart School in Beverly,
He and his wife, Paulette, co-founded and managed the Aubergine Group LLC that purchased multi-family housing for renovation and resale as condos or apartments on the Northshore.
He is very proud to be the husband for 54 years to his college sweetheart Paulette. They have two sons, a daughter-in-law, and three granddaughters.
Paulette Balich is retired after over fifty years in various business endeavors. She began her career as a substitute teacher in the Boston Public School System. When New England Telephone Co. offered her a job teaching “repair clerks,” she took the opportunity. In the thirty years she spent in telecommunications, Paulette was involved with NE Operations in the area of installation, maintenance, construction and engineering of telephone services. Her career included tours in Public Communications, which involved coin telephones throughout NE, a stint in Human Resources during the divestiture with AT&T as well as the role of VP of Accounting and Treasurer for NE Telephone. As the Baby Bells merged, Paulette became involved with Process Re-engineering as the VP for Support Services. She ended her career as the Region President of New England Operations for Verizon, managing an expense budget of $550M and a capital budget of $450M with a customer base of approximately 7 million access lines across 7 Customer Service Centers, 5 state regulatory bodies and 10 IBEW union locals responsible for approximately 5,000 employees.
Paulette then joined Aubergine Group LLC as a founding Partner. Aubergine Group was a family company that bought multi-family housing, renovated and converted them to condos for resale in the New England area. All properties were sold and LLC dissolved in June 2020.
During her career, Paulette received many awards and recognition in the areas of diversity and Women in Business Leadership. She was involved in several Boards, the most notable, the Girl Scout’s Patriot Trail Board which included a summer camp for young girls, called Camp CEO. She was a Board Trustee and subsequent Board Chair of her Alma Mater, Marygrove College, an all-women’s college in Detroit MI. She also attended an all-girls, Catholic high school in Detroit, MI.
Paulette’s most cherished and notable role is as wife to George, mother to Jason and Garrett, mother-in-law to Nicole and grandmother to Aurora, Gwenevieve and Ariella. She resides with her family in Beverly MA.
As Co-Founder of The Academy at Penguin Hall (APH), Albert Martins brings his operational knowledge and leadership qualities to enrich the development and advancement of APH.
Albert, a graduate of St. John’s Prep, recognized the benefits of single-gender education and the need for an all-girls school on the North Shore. When the opportunity arose to purchase Penguin Hall, Albert and Molly Martins, president of APH, recognized the property’s potential as a premier school on the North Shore. Alongside Molly’s leadership background in higher education, Al’s expertise in real estate development, commercial construction and architectural design helped to make this dream a reality.
As a member of the Board of Trustees Albert has negotiated financing and as well as the identification and securing of major donations. His role in stabilizing financing and building a pipeline for significant funding is crucial to the school’s continued success.
In addition to his leadership role at APH, Albert continues to own and operate Martins Construction Company, which he founded in 1981 as a premier commercial builder in the greater Boston area. Albert prides himself and his company on the principles of quality, integrity and service.
Albert studied Civil Engineering at Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Architecture at the Boston Architectural Center.
Erica Miller values first and foremost her roles as a wife and mother, her life experiences have shaped her interactions and relationships in a meaningful way. Raised by her grandfather, a second generation Italian American immigrant, her childhood home was strong in values of love, family, relationships, and the world.
From a young age she was taught that being a humanitarian is one of the greatest rewards in life, and this foundation inspired her to follow a calling of search and rescue in the United States Coast Guard. After basic training she earned qualifications as a search and rescue crew member, joint task force operations, a boarding officer, and later a Dept. of Defense inspection officer for natural gas tankers before they reached the Port of Boston. She was also involved in the rescue efforts of Hurricane Katrina and Tsunami relief. A Haitian immigrant touched her heart once onboard a Coast Guard vessel and gave her a wooden carving she still displays.
After her tours in the Coast Guard, she earned a position as a staff member to the interim president of Harvard University, Derek Bok. It was one of the most exciting times in her life watching the accomplishments of women in education, it was this that fueled her to continue her education at the University of Southern Maine as a humanities major. Upon moving to New Hampshire she worked in administration and office management for her husband’s Orthodontic practice.
Her husband encouraged her in her next pursuit of Real Estate. Erica currently works in residential real estate for Keller Williams Brokerage. Erica resides in Stratham, NH with her husband, four daughters, a son and three dogs.
Dana Willis is currently the President and CEO of The Matrix Organization and its’ various companies including The Corporate Source Group and Matrix Real Estate holdings. As the founder in 1987, he has continued to direct these organizations as leaders in the areas strategic consulting, retained executive search and assessment, and resort development.
Prior to establishing the Corporate Source Group, Dana held several senior level positions with a Fortune 500 corporation where he was responsible for the acquisition, assimilation, and operational performance of various businesses. He also served as President of a ﬁnancial services company. A large part of his earlier career was spent in the consulting practices of Ernst & Ernst and Coopers & Lybrand providing turnaround expertise to companies and Banks as well as performing ﬁnancial feasibility guidance for clients of bonding authorities.
Dana holds a Bachelor of Science Degree from Cornell University- The Norton School of Business and received his M.B.A from the Cornell Graduate School of Business. He has been a past member of the Massachusetts Association of Public Accountants. He has and continues to serve on numerous Boards for both proﬁt and not for proﬁt entities including a ﬁnancial services company, several educational institutions, and a leading pharmacy company.
President/Head of School
Ex-officio & Non-voting Member
As founder of The Academy at Penguin Hall, Molly Martins brings over 29 years’ experience in leadership and higher education. Her pioneering spirit and depth of experience are the foundation for the intentional development and expert management of APH.
Providing young women with an equitable and exemplary education is Molly’s passion. As the mother of five daughters, she often envisioned a school that would truly allow girls to be seen, heard, and challenged in a supportive and enriching environment. When the opportunity to acquire Penguin Hall came along, Molly was able to bring her vision to life — an independent school that provides an exemplary education in grades 9-12 and supports young women in developing the confidence to blaze their own paths in college and in life.
Molly’s career in higher education combined with her experience in finance has provided her with the management skills and visionary prowess that are essential to successfully leading APH.
Her decades of experience has spanned industries and included leadership roles with Coca-Cola
Bottling Company of New England, Emmanuel College in Boston, Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, and others.
Molly earned a B.A. in Accounting and Finance from Boston College. She earned a Master’s in Business Administration from Bentley University.
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