PresenceLearning Expands Leadership Team

Presence Learning

New President of Therapy Essentials Platform and Chief People Officer tapped to support company’s substantial growth

PresenceLearning, the leading provider of live online special education related services and behavioral and mental health services for K-12 schools nationwide, has made two key additions to the leadership team. The company has hired Louisa Balach as President, Therapy Essentials Platform, and has promoted Shanelle Reese to become the company’s first Chief People Officer.

The creation of the Chief People Officer role signifies the importance of people at the center of the company’s culture and strategy. With the rapid growth of the business in FY21 came significant growth in employee teams to support and ensure great service to schools and students. In this role Reese will lead all employee-focused aspects of the organization, including employee experience, talent acquisition, diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging, learning and development, and internal communications. In her previous role as Vice President of People, Reese led PresenceLearning’s organization-wide commitment to diverse hiring practices, driving significant strides in representation across all teams, with 74% of PL employees female and 36% non-white. Additionally the company has added employee programming including company-wide unconscious bias training, COVID-related programming and broader resources to support employees.

The creation of the role of President, Therapy Essentials Platform marks an exciting step in the development of the company’s software as a service therapy platform offering. The offering has experienced rapid growth as school districts turn to Therapy Essentials to expand the capacity of their special education teams to serve their students remotely, and to provide clinicians with flexible ways to innovate and grow their practices. With the recent launch of Therapy Essentials for Individual and Group Practices, even more clinicians will be able to access the PresenceLearning platform. Under Balach’s leadership, the company will continue to innovate its therapy platform with a mission to provide the ultimate suite of online tools to support the work of speech-language pathologists, occupational therapists, mental health professionals and other clinicians.

“Louisa and Shanelle will help continue PresenceLearning’s significant growth and put us at the forefront of innovation for employees, clinicians, schools and students. With these additions to our leadership team, we are adding both incredible talent and new perspectives that represent the diversity of our employee base. We believe that diversity of voices and perspectives is critical throughout our organization, and we hold ourselves accountable to demonstrate this commitment in our leadership team,” said PresenceLearning CEO Kate Eberle Walker.

Louisa Balach, President of Therapy Essentials

Balach has more than 20 years of experience driving profitability, growth, and new market expansion across industries, through the elevation of customer experiences, expanding lines of business, and innovating go-to-market strategies. Prior to joining PresenceLearning, Balach held various leadership roles in general management, strategy and marketing across a variety of organizations. She designed and led the continued growth of Sonder into west coast and southwest markets, set a new strategic direction for Groupon’s travel marketplace, launched global brands to diversify Hyatt Hotels’ brand portfolio and built direct-to-consumer wellness platforms for the Blue Cross Blue Shield Association.

Shanelle Reese, Chief People Officer

Reese joined PresenceLearning in 2017 bringing more than a decade of experience in HR leadership. She has led the company-wide commitment to providing flexible work solutions and supporting diverse hiring practices, making significant strides in representation across all teams. She has also helped to cultivate a culture of belonging at the company, ensuring that all voices and perspectives can make an impact. Prior to PresenceLearning, she led HR Operations at Amerit Fleet Solutions before transitioning to an HR Project Manager role at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital of Oakland. Reese is passionate about advocating for children with special needs having advocated for her son who currently has an active IEP.

Balach and Reese are part of PresenceLearning’s highly accomplished leadership team which includes CEO Kate Eberle Walker, CFO Anthony Pane, General Counsel Brian Stephen, COO Jennifer Berry, CTO Russ Greenspan, CRO Brian Culbreth, VP of Product Cole Dudley, and VP of Marketing and Communications Laura Sullivan.

To learn more about PresenceLearning and its leadership team, visit


The American Consortium for Equity in Education, publisher of the "Equity & Access" journal, celebrates and connects the educators, associations, community partners and industry leaders who are working to solve problems and create a more equitable environment for historically underserved pre K-12 students throughout the United States.

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