Welcome to the team, Marques!
Tell us a little about yourself and your background in education.
Born and raised in South Carolina, my mother worked as a teacher in the local public school and sparked my interest in education. Sometime after obtaining my MBA, I was selected for the Broad Residency and began working as the Director of Special Projects, Finance at Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS). During my time there, I implemented several finance systems, including a new time-tracking and payroll system, assisted with the ERP upgrade, and was instrumental in implementing Allovue’s software, Balance.
I’m really proud that while at IPS, I helped move the district from traditional staffing allocations to a system of Student-based Budgeting (SBB). I ended my time at IPS as the Director of School Finance and Budget, and also completed my Masters in Educational Leadership.
What was most challenging about your role at IPS?
Since I was new to the work, it was challenging for me to build credibility with the various departments and enact successful change management to assist the district’s shift of moving to SBB. I needed to connect with almost every level in the organization, including Principals, the Academics team, the HR team, and the Finance team, to ensure we hit our target deadlines for implementation.
Wow- that sounds like quite the undertaking. After a successful transition to SBB, why leave IPS to work with Allovue?
My time at IPS really expanded my skill set, and while I enjoyed the work I was doing, I wanted to further my career within education finance and wondered if I had what it took to sit in the CFO seat. So I left IPS and did a short stint with a non-profit where I served as the Managing Director of Finance and Administration. You know the saying, “be careful what you wish for because you just might get it?” Well, truer words have never been spoken. Working as a finance leader was challenging and exciting, but it made me realize that my true passion and talents were better served at the macro versus the micro level.
Joining Allovue would allow me to affect change in dozens of school districts, introducing them to tools and resources that could improve the resource and funding equity within their school systems.
You have a very unique perspective at Allovue in that you've also sat in the customer's seat. How would you describe Balance's evolution since you used it at IPS?
Balance is a much sleeker and user-friendly product with a much broader suite of services now. Balance Manage's addition of bookmarks and native sharing makes recreating filters and groupings much easier.
IPS implemented the Balance Budget module towards the end of my time there, but I can definitely see how that product, too, has grown in such a short time. Now that I’m with Allovue and have access to the other modules, Evaluate and Allocate, I can clearly see how Balance has become a sustainable and holistic tool for budget development, management, and evaluation across schools, departments, and funding sources.
So what is a day in the life of an Account Executive like for you?
Education funding is highly nuanced depending on which state, city, or district you live in, so I spend most of my time researching K-12 news to contextualize better the needs of the districts I speak with. I also spend a lot of time communicating with district leaders nationwide about the challenges they have and showing them how a platform like Balance can support them.
You’re a remote member of the Allovue team, residing in Tennessee. How has it been adjusting to remote work, and what’s your favorite thing about living in Tennessee?
Working remotely has been an adjustment. I’m still trying to find the right balance between home life and work life, but it has been enjoyable thus far. Tennessee is a great place because, despite a shift in sentiment, there is a robust charter sector here, and it is pushing our districts to be better and more innovative. Tennessee has a genuine belief in the potential of our students, and as a father of two, I love that.
Any hidden talents or things you’d like us to know about you?
I have two vices. They are salt and chocolate, but not together. I like salty/savory foods, and I only do sweets or desserts if they are chocolate-based.
We are so happy to have Marques and his wealth of expertise on our team. Send him an email and say hello at firstname.lastname@example.org.