Our Team

A Team Built With Strong Fiscal, Facility, and Human Resources Backgrounds

Eric Hall established Eric Hall & Associates in 2006 after an accomplished career in California school districts. Our team of associates have strong fiscal, facility, and human resources backgrounds in California school districts and county offices of education. We understand internal district dynamics and the challenges facing districts today. If you are seeking personalized service, insight, leadership, and a passion for excellence, look no further.


Eric J. Hall, President

Eric worked in public schools for 32 years, initially starting his career in Human Resources for the San Diego USD and worked for 27 years for the San Dieguito UHSD as Directors of Personnel and Administrative Services and Chief Business Official and Associate Superintendent, Business Services.

In 2006, Eric established Eric Hall & Associates to help other districts and provide personalized support services in school facility planning, funding, and construction and budget, fiscal and human resources areas. As the Associate Superintendent, Eric led the efforts at the San Dieguito UHSD in planning, design, and construction of over $500M in facilities necessary for the increase in enrollment. Identified as a leader in promoting joint use facilities, Eric worked closely with C.A.S.H. in the development of the State’s initial joint use program and facilitated the design and construction of several joint use facilities in his district. Eric served as Chair and Vice Chair of C.A.S.H. and was actively involved in the State School Facility program including SB 50 and Propositions 47, 55 and 1A.

Eric is one of the founders of the CASH School Facilities Leadership Academy. Eric has served on the SAB Implementation Committee and as Vice Chair for the Californians for Schools. With over 40 years of extensive background in school districts, Eric enjoys teaching, training, and mentoring Facility Executives and Chief Business Officials. Eric and his wife Laurie have been married for 37 years, reside in San Marcos, CA and Reno, NV and are the proud parents of three grown daughters and four grandchildren.

Barry Dragon, Vice President

Formerly the Assistant Superintendent of Business Services for the Escondido Union High School District, Barry also has expertise in managing the Information Technology functions. He has demonstrated a strong background in managing financial operations and developing financial structures for large construction projects and facility rehabilitation.

In addition to his role as both a CBO and Financial Officer, Barry has extensive experience in the areas of leadership training. He was an adjunct professor at San Diego State University to administrative credential candidates in Educational Leadership. As a facilitator for Franklin Covey’s many programs in leadership, including the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People and Principle Centered Leadership, he has conducted workshops for over 1,500 school district leaders. Barry earned his B.S. from Northern Illinois University with a comprehensive major in accountancy.

Bob Nicholson, Vice President

Bob worked as the Director of K-12 Education for JCJ Architecture in San Diego and as the Senior Director of Facility Planning Services for the San Diego County Office of Education.

Bob brings added value to school districts with his knowledge and expertise in the following areas:

  • Developer fee reports
  • Community meeting facilitation
  • State Agency site and plan approvals
  • Environmental agency applications and approvals
  • Long Range Facility Master Plan development and coordination
  • State funding maximization in a variety of facility program areas
  • Redevelopment agency agreement negotiations and funding allocations
  • Taxpayer organization endorsements for capital improvement bond elections
  • Classroom capacity studies and demographic analysis review and application

Rick Labib-Wood, Director & Human Capital Services Leader

Rick Labib-Wood (M.P.H., Health Care Administration), brings 40 years of public sector HR experience at federal, state, county, and school district levels. Rick served as Director of Classified Personnel in the San Dieguito UHSD from 1993-2014. Previously, he supervised the classification & compensation program for California’s Riverside County, and had worked for the State of Hawaii’s Department of Personnel Services in classification and compensation, administrative services, and legislative analysis from 1974-1986. He served 29 years on active and reserve duty in personnel administration for the U.S. Coast Guard.

Rick is also an adjunct faculty member at National University in San Diego where he lectures regularly in the University’s M.A. – H.R.M. degree program. Rick’s consulting includes projects at Sonoma COE, Ukiah USD, Walnut Valley USD, and Birmingham Community Charter High School.

Gary Jones, Senior Associate

Mr. Gary L. Jones has more than 31 years of experience in education and school business and operations. He previously served as Associate Superintendent of the Alameda County Office of Education (CA). He is an educational leader with a professional history of creating healthy and smart working environments where continuous improvement and innovation thrive. He is known for exceeding expectations in a wide variety of leadership roles as a result of establishing trusting relationships with influencers and stakeholder groups. He possesses a breadth of school administrative experience that empowers leadership teams to quickly move from challenges to solutions. He has a reputation as extremely detailed and unwavering focused on organizational goals.

Khary S. Knowles, Associate

Khary Knowles has over 26 years of experience in the education and A/E/C industries.  He previously served in varied positions from high school teacher to Executive Director of Facilities Planning & Development for San Marcos Unified School District (CA).  His primary value of aligning innovative projects, processes, and team stems from his distinct leadership background.  As a senior-level executive experienced in directing a regional office of a national firm, Khary has extensive experience in educational business practices while orchestrating successful multi-million-dollar programs and practices.


Dr. Jeffrey Felix, Associate

Jeff has been an educator for over 30 years, serving 19 years as a superintendent in San Diego County. Dr. Felix was named Superintendent of the Year twice by the Association of California School Administrators. The Classroom of the Future Foundation named him the 2016 Innovative Superintendent.

He began his educational career as a teacher for Escondido Union School District. Eight years later he became the superintendent/principal of San Pasqual USD in 1997. He was selected as the superintendent of the Bonsall USD in 2006 and then chosen two years later to lead Coronado Unified as superintendent. He retired from the superintendent position in July 2016. Dr. Felix continues to serve as an adjunct professor at Point Loma Nazarene University’s School of Education specializing in leadership.

Dr. Felix earned a Doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of California San Diego. His research on social networking represents the first study on the use of blogging as an instructional practice and was widely published. He has also served as an advisor for Bill Gates’ company bgC3.

Claire D. Cote, Executive Assistant

Claire brings with her many years of experience as an Administrative Associate and Office Manager in varied settings; including financial, publishing, education, medical, and design industries. Claire is skilled in time management and effective communications.  Claire can adapt to different priorities and enjoys assisting her colleagues in helping any project succeed.  She prides herself on her organizational skills and attention to detail.

Claire’s primary responsibilities include contract administration and office management. Claire analyses contracts for legal accuracy as well as compiling and maintaining various internal reports for the organization. Claire is responsible for ensuring that the company complies with all the necessary insurance requirements and has responsibility for assisting in the management of various projects. She holds a degree in Anthropology/Art History from the University of New Hampshire at Durham.

Fiscal Practice Group

Pheno Taylor, Associate

Pheno Taylor, consummate professional with over 25 years of experience in the area of school finance.  Hands-on professional with experience in leading teams to success in School District financial management and accounting.  Extensive experience in finance and budget management.  Committed to increasing revenue, maximizing performance, and providing the highest levels of service.  History of developing innovative ideas and strategies, dedicated to meeting goals, and exceeding expectations.  Proficient in various types of financial software, including but not limited to Microsoft Office Suite, PeopleSoft, and SACS.

Proficient in the preparation and analysis of financial statements and reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals.  In-depth knowledge of budget planning and management techniques and methodologies.  Expert in managing budget operations.  Highly skilled in budgeting and financial planning.  Excellent human relations, organizational, interpersonal, and administration skills.

Loretta Courie, Associate

Loretta Courie has 28 years of service in K-12 public education. She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Communication from California State University of Fullerton as well as a certificate in School Business Management.

She retired from Little Lake City School District after providing 18 years of service holding multiple positions in the education, curriculum, and business departments. Her expertise and knowledge encompass purchasing, warehousing, maintenance and operations, and risk management. Prior to retirement she was the Director of Purchasing & Contracts and Warehouse Distribution for the district.

Loretta continues to enjoy membership with the California Association of School Business Officials and has held several positions in the professional association from Southern Section representative to leadership roles at the state level.

Bio photoRobyn Adams, Associate

Robyn Adams has served in education finance and administration for more than 32 years. She has served in the role of Business Manager, Director, and Chief Business Official. She previously served as the Director of Fiscal Services in the La Mesa-Spring Valley School District where she managed over $140 million in various funds. She also served as the Chief Business Official for the Del Mar Union School District and Business Manager in the Jamul School District.

Robyn is known for her organizational skills, technical expertise, and experience in all areas of school district finance, budget, and accounting. She is skilled in developing business processes and rules which provide strong internal controls for efficient and effective financial management.

Developing strong relationships is the foundation of everything Robyn does both professionally and personally. She has been successful in building and managing district business and fiscal teams that work collaboratively toward a common goal.

Robyn’s areas of expertise include Budget analysis, development, and management, Interim reporting and multi-year analysis and projections, year-end close, risk management, state school building projects and reporting, and bond project oversight committee reporting.

Robyn is a long-time member of CASBO and served on the San-Diego Imperial County Board of Directors for several years where she earned her CBO certification.
In her spare time, she enjoys traveling with her husband and spending time with her family and grandchildren.

Kathryn Perkins, Associate

Katherine Perkins has served in education finance and administration for more than 31 years. She has served in the roles of Chief Business Official and Director for Charter Oak Unified School District, where she managed $50 million in General Funds and campaigned for a successful voter supported facilities bond $47 million, district improvements including Aquatic Center and Elementary Learning Media Centers. She also served as Fiscal Services Manager at Covina Valley Unified School District where she managed over $120 million COP and Multiple Bond funds.

Kathy is known for her organization skills, technical expertise, and experience in all areas of school district finance, budget, and accounting. She is skilled in developing business staff to embrace a team approach and involvement for the enhancement of the organization. She understands the importance of current involvement of board, communities, parents, staff, and students for the success of the district.

Rick Holash, Associate

Rick Holash has served in public school business administration for the past 18 years.  Rick has been in the role of Chief Business Officer, Assistant Superintendent, Business & Administrative Services, Director of Fiscal Service and has also served as the Chairman for Business Officials for CAROP/C.  Prior to joining school business administration Rick was a Certified Public Accountant in the State of California working for various small to medium size CPA firms including serving as a partner and a manager.

Between Rick’s school district experience and public accounting, he has developed skills in organization, budget analysis, development, and accounting.  Rick is skilled in developing and implementing policies and procedures for the success of school districts and businesses.

Rick has worked with school districts and city partners for various projects to help the community.  Rick has successfully worked on a school facility bond election and created a Citizens Oversight Committee.

Janie Rowland, Associate

Janie worked over 33 years with the Fontana Unified School District – the last 15 she was the Director of Purchasing, Warehouse, Printing, and Mail.  Her responsibilities included reviewing all contracts for legal accuracy.  She is very familiar with the bidding process for construction projects and enjoys project management.  She hopes to refine her skills in leadership training.  She worked for the Arkansas State Department of Education when Bill Clinton was the Governor.

Janie has been involved with the City of Fontana as a Parks & Community Services Commissioner for 11 years, has served on the Planning Commission and in 2012 she was voted the City of Fontana Community Hero.  She was event leader for the American Cancer Society Relay for Life for 18 years.  Janie holds a BA in Business Administration from the University of Phoenix.

Craig McAlpin, Associate

Craig McAlpin has more than 14 years of experience in education and operations.  He previously served as the Chief Business Officer of Banning Unified School District (CA), managing 8 district departments and a budget of $72 million.  During his leadership with Banning USD, he facilitated a Budget Stabilization Plan with shareholders to allow the district to improve their financial projections and become fiscally solvent.  Additionally, oversaw a multimillion-dollar districtwide Facility Upgrade Program that focused on the enhancement and needed changes to site structures, student furniture, and HVAC systems for both students of today and for students of tomorrow.

Facilities Practice Group

Melinda Pure, Senior Associate

Melinda A. Pure has 25 years of public school district experience in the areas of school facilities, budgeting, and contracts; serving as Facilities Director and Assistant Director in several large California school districts.  Melinda’s expertise includes project planning, RFP/RFQ development and selection processes, contract reviews, pre-construction activities, CEQA, DTSC processes & SFP eligibility documentation. Melinda oversees successful planning, development, design, and construction efforts for large capital programs.

Because of her public service experience and deep commitment to public education, Melinda understands situations and challenges from the district’s point of view, and recommends wise, prudent, and practical courses of action.

Tina Cullors, Associate

Tina Cullors has worked in K-12 Public Education for 35 years bringing to the team a broad background of knowledge in educational facilities planning, funding, and construction, Facility Needs Analysis, District Master Plans, Performance Monitoring, and Complete Project Management.

Tina is a dedicated professional with a comprehensive grasp of California state/district requirements; drives new build, and modernization of existing school facilities from concept to completion.  She is skilled in site acquisition, contractor supervision, safety/quality assurance, and various funding resources as well as public relations for community stakeholders. She also brings experience from the Telecom Industry as a Site Acquisition Specialist. Knowledgeable in CEQA, DTSC, CDE, OPSC, and DSA processes and prerequisites.

Bob Kiesling, Associate

As the Chief Facilities Officer of San Diego Unified School District, Bob oversaw the daily operations of Facilities Management for the second largest school district in California. Responsibilities included the implementation of Proposition MM, a $2.0 billion bond measure with State matching funds, which funded the modernization of 161 existing schools and construction of 12 new and three rebuilt schools. He was responsible for all facets of the district’s Bond Measure including Construction Management, Project Management, Contract Management, and Real Estate Management programs.

As Executive Director of Facilities for Grossmont Union HSD, Bob was responsible for the same scope of work for their $960M in bond measures and State matching funds to renovate existing and build new school facilities.

Prior to working at the school districts, Bob spent 26 years in the Navy Civil Engineer Corps managing design and construction management efforts for military facilities at various bases throughout the U.S. and worldwide including facilities in Viet Nam and Kuwait.

Bob has a BS in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan State University, and a Master of Civil Engineering from the University of Florida.

Caroline J. Brown, Associate

Caroline J. Brown has 40 years of public school district experience in the areas of school facilities, technology, planning, demographics, budgeting, contracts, and new construction and modernization.  She has served as Executive Director of Capital Programs for a southern California school district.  Caroline’s expertise includes project planning, stakeholder engagement, pre-construction and construction activities, site acquisition, DSA, California Coastal Commission, CEQA, DTSC, CDE, and City/County processes.

Caroline holds a master’s degree in Business with a minor in Technology Management.


   Human Resources Practice Group

Jan Brannen, Associate

Jan Brannen, (M.A., Management), brings 30 years of HR experience in California Schools: at South Bay Union SD, at Sweetwater UHSD, and at Grossmont UHSD where she retired as Director of Human Resources.

Jan consults in classification and compensation studies, most recently with Alpine USD and Walnut Valley USD. She has extensive experience with mentoring, coaching, employee performance evaluation systems, grievance resolution, due-process compliant discipline, and classified contract negotiations.

Ross Hessler, MSI, Associate

Ross Hessler, MSI has more than 30 years of experience in human resources in the education field. He has been serving as an Associate with Eric Hall & Associates (EH&A) consulting in school districts throughout California.  Prior to joining EH&A he was a Human Resources Director for many years and an analyst before that, at both large (Los Angeles USD) and small districts.

Ross has worked on a variety of classification and compensation consulting projects, in coordination with the agency’s human resources department.  He contributes as a team member to support districts in accomplishing their mission in a variety of ways, considering cost effectiveness, time consideration, and resources. Working collaboratively to ensure long-term relationships with stakeholders is a key interest in performing high-quality, thorough, detail-oriented work.

Elaine Alexandres, Associate

Elaine Alexandres has more than 35 years of experience in public school education.  Most of her experience has been in the field of Human Resources as she served as the Assistant Superintendent, Human Relations in Vista Unified School District and in Coachella Valley Unified School District.

In addition, Elaine was the Coordinator and Principal on Assignment in the Human Resources Department of the San Bernardino City Unified School District.  Elaine has also been a Principal, Assistant Principal, and an Elementary School Teacher.  In her leadership positions, Elaine has ensured the effective utilization and maximum development of the district’s workforce.

Her areas of expertise include:

  • Workforce planning, recruitment, selection, and placement of personnel
  • Organization and efficiency within the Human Resources Department
  • Customer Service Training
  • Providing Human Resources technical assistance and advice to district leadership