Board of Directors


Tyson Smith, Chairman

President of Reading Horizons, Tyson has guided the North Salt Lake-based company into becoming a national and international education publishing enterprise. Since its inception over 28 years ago, Reading Horizons has had a firm focus on its goal to publish and market industry-leading education products, centered on the Reading Horizons reading strategies. Tyson received his undergraduate degree in Business Management from the University of Utah and his MBA from Brigham Young University. He first joined Reading Horizons in 1998 as Executive Vice President with an emphasis in marketing and sales. He assumed the role as President of Reading Horizons in October 2001 and since that time has overseen steady sales growth and a myriad of improvements to the Reading Horizons line of products. Tyson has worked with thousands of educators across the world to help make dramatic improvements in literacy rates for their students. He has also presented at education and technology conventions throughout North America and Internationally.

Neil J Anderson, Ph.D.

Neil J Anderson is a Professor in the Department of English Language Teaching and Learning at Brigham Young University—Hawaii. His research interests include motivation in language teaching and learning, second language reading, language learner strategies, learner self-assessment, and ELT leadership development. Professor Anderson is the author or co-editor of three teacher education texts in the area of second language reading: Exploring Second Language Reading: Issues and Strategies (1999, Heinle/Thomson), Practical English Language Teaching: Reading (2008, McGraw Hill) and L2 reading research and instruction: Crossing the boundaries (2009, The University of Michigan Press). He is the co-editor with Christine Coombe, Lauren Stephensen, and Mary Lou McCloskey of Leadership in English language teaching and learning (2008, The University of Michigan Press). In addition he is the author of an EFL reading series ACTIVE Skills for Reading, 3rd edition (2013, National Geographic Learning/Cengage). Professor Anderson served as President of Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages, Inc. from 2001-2002. He was also a member of the Board of Trustees of The International Research Foundation (TIRF) from 2002-2008, serving as the President of the Board from 2004-2006. He has been a Fulbright Teaching and Research Scholar in Costa Rica (2002-2003) and in Guatemala (2009-2010). Professor Anderson is the 2014 recipient of the prestigious James Alatis Service Award to TESOL. Professor Anderson’s hobbies include running, photography, and, of course, reading.

Donell Pons, M.Ed.

Donell Pons is a dyslexia consultant and reading tutor. She completed a dual M.Ed. and MAT in teaching and learning from Westminster College. Donell also has a special education certification and has taught secondary Language Arts. Like many families, she learned her husband had dyslexia only after having children who struggled with reading. This personal experience coupled with years in the classroom watching students struggle with reading motivated her to focus on supporting students, parents, and teachers with the tools they need to overcome reading challenges. Donell attended the Susan Barton Dyslexia Screening training where she learned the latest methods of dyslexia screening. She is trained in multiple Orton-Gillingham based reading methods including the U of U Early and Higher Steps, the Barton Reading and Spelling System, Reading Horizons Discovery and Elevate, and is completing the Wilson Reading and Spelling Level I training. She is also on the board of Decoding Dyslexia Utah. Donell has had articles featured in publications such as Language magazine, The Learning Counsel and a series of articles for ASCD SmartBrief.

Blaine K. Stratton

Blaine K. Stratton graduated with honors from Arizona State University with a Bachelors of Science in Business Finance in June of 1971. His career encompasses every facet of business development and management, including startup companies all the way through established business enterprises. He is actively involved in searching for companies whose growth has stagnated due to lack of control, management, sales and forecasting which provides a unique opportunity to formulate a business plan to grow the business and make it a viable entity. He is fluent in Spanish and has given more than 7 years of humanitarian service in Peru.

Nicole B. Carpenter

Nicole B. Carpenter graduated with a bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations from Weber State University in 2002. Nicole is a speaker, podcast host and author of the book "52 Weeks to Fortify Your Family: five-minute messages" (Cedar Fort, 2015). As owner of Nicole Carpenter Media, LLC, she has been running the communications show for her own brand, MOMentity, and past clients since 2008. Currently Nicole is the communications and operations manager for the Women's Leadership Institute, a nonprofit helping to elevate women in business. Nicole also has experience in human resources, employee management, training, sales, marketing, and customer services. But her biggest accomplishment continues to be raising her four great kids and keeping her secret stash of chocolate-covered toffee hidden from them.