Wayne Knox is the Chief Operating Officer at One Million Degrees in Chicago, IL. He oversees the core operational functions of the organization – Finance, Budget & Financial Planning, Human Resources, Risk Management, Procurement, Facilities/Workplace Management, Organizational Data, and Information Technology. Wayne is an adjunct faculty member, teaching the concepts and theories of leadership, management, strategy, and international business, at Huston-Tillotson University in Austin, TX.

Throughout his career, he has served as a senior administrator for both private and public universities, overseeing/executing high-impact and high-exposure projects for an array of organizations, across diverse student bodies. Prior to joining One Million Degrees, Wayne was the Senior Vice President for Finance & Chief Operating Officer at Huston-Tillotson University, Planning and Community Relations Manager for the Department of Safety & Security at the University of Chicago, a District-Wide IT Project Manager for City Colleges of Chicago, and Special Assistant to the Vice President & Chief Financial Officer at Central State University, and a Distinguished INROADS Scholar employed by US Bank.

Wayne is a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity Inc. and the 100 Black Men of America. Wayne is a Life Member of the Central State University – National Alumni Association, Member of the 1887 Legacy Society, Vice-Chair of the Central State University – College of Business – Business Advisory Council, and the current 1st Vice President of the Central State University – National Alumni Association, and a Peer Reviewer for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools – Commission on Colleges.

Wayne holds a magnum cum laude Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Finance from Central State University, a Master of Public Administration degree in International Public Management from DePaul University. Additionally, Wayne is a graduate of the Harvard Graduate School of Education – Institute for Educational Management, Executive Leadership Academy, hosted by the American Academic Leadership Institute, the College Business Management Institute, the Treasury Institute of Higher Education, and holds two certifications from the U.S. Institute of Peace – Conflict Analysis, and Negotiation & Conflict Management.

Wayne is guided by his personal core values of service, excellence, truth, and equity. Wayne is a native of The Queen City – Cincinnati, OH.

David Scherer

David Scherer

One Million Degrees Co-founder 

David is principal of Origin, co-chairs the Investment Committee, and oversees investment analysis, acquisition and asset management. He has more than 20 years of experience in real estate investing, finance, and asset management. In 2006, he co-founded One Million Degrees, which has raised $20 million to help low-income community college students graduate and successfully enter the workforce. David has served as the organization’s Board Chair for the past 12 years, as the organization has grown from 30 to 1,000 students served per year. He also serves as the President of the Harvard Club of Chicago and is on the Advisory Board of Invest for Kids.  

Rose Lizarraga

Rose Lizarraga

OMD CO-Founder & President & CEO, Lysa LLC

An award-winning documentary filmmaker and freelance writer, Rose’s career also includes 10 years spent developing new product and brand strategies as well as marketing and advertising campaigns at Leo Burnett, Foote, Cone & Belding, M&M/Mars and other small businesses.  More recently, she worked as a writer/editor for Modern Luxury Inc., publishers of magazines such as CS and Angeleno.  Rose graduated from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor with dual degrees in English and Political Science.  She is a founding member of the Daniel M. Kerrane, Jr. Foundation, former Board Vice President of the Fairy Godmother Foundation, and currently serves on the Chicago committee for Human Rights Watch.

Michael B Golden

Michael B. Golden

One Million Degrees Co-Founder 

A former national award-winning broadcast journalist, Michael Golden has also served as a political campaign manager and communications strategist for U.S. Presidential, Senate and Congressional races. Michael is a fellow at the British-American Project and the Open Society Institute. In 1999, Michael’s investigative and public affairs reporting for NBC earned him honors from the Society of Professional Journalists, the AP, and the Edward R. Murrow Awards. In 2011, Michael co-founded Newsbound, Inc., a media and software company based in San Francisco, CA. He is also a co-founder of the Complete the Degree back-to-college initiative in Chicago, Illinois. Michael serves on the board of the ADL and on the governing board of the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law, as well as the Illinois Commission to Eliminate Poverty. He received his B.A. from Indiana University, and his M.S. in Public Services Management from DePaul University.