We are dedicated to making safe and healthy schools possible.
All children deserve to learn in places that are safe and healthy, while also nurturing their intellectual growth, social engagement and emotional well-being.
As a trusted partner to school districts around the country, Protect|ED takes this responsibility seriously and works to support schools that share its commitment to improving the air students, teachers and school leaders breathe every day. Protect|ED is a dedicated team of healthcare, education and manufacturing professionals, working to support and empower school communities. With a deep knowledge of air quality technology and the K-12 landscape, combined with expertise from respected health experts, Protect|ED serves as an extension of a district’s operations team, ensuring students are learning in a safe, healthy environment that supports their academic success.
Protect|ED is a national leader in air purification technology that is rooted in science and works to engage school districts daily to take a more deliberate approach in improving the quality of their air to decrease health risks.
C.J. MacConnell is the Co-Founder and President of Protect|ED. He also is the founder of Motiv Medical, a leading national distributor and service provider of orthopedic and medical devices as well as personal protection equipment for patients, healthcare professionals and schools. In order to create a more holistic approach to address the education-specific needs around indoor air quality, C.J. helped lead the formation of Protect|ED. Applying his knowledge and experience in supply chain management, C.J. oversees the sourcing of all products in order to ensure timely, accurate and competitively priced products and solutions can be delivered to customers.
Paige Aguilera is the Chief Operating Officer of Protect|ED. As a founding leadership team member, Paige oversees all internal and external warehouse processing in addition to managing accounts payable and receivable. As a graduate of Wright State University with a BA in Biology, Paige provides helpful guidance to school districts as they work to create healthy environments for students, faculty and staff. She is especially skilled with client relations and communications engaging with customers at conferences and beyond. Paige assists the sales team and is a passionate leader that supports a positive work culture. She is the first to offer a helping hand to clients and teammates alike.
Lindsey Wagner is the VP of Business Development at Protect|ED. In her role, she leads client-relationship management, tracks emerging air quality trends and develops new strategic partnerships. In addition to managing the sales team, she oversees all marketing and communication efforts. Lindsey’s exceptional client service is demonstrated through her commitment to helping school leaders navigate one of the most vexing societal concerns in history to ensure students are learning in a safe, healthy environment that supports their academic success.
Jeff Gibson serves as Chief Financial and Technology Officer of Protect|ED. Jeff has a deep entrepreneurial passion and is focused on enabling Protect|ED to realize our values and mission for our clients and their students. Jeff started his career with an investor relations role on Wall Street, and then built a closely-held data technology business in Cincinnati, along with a brother and a father. After selling that business in 2015 Jeff worked with the acquiring company for seven years as an enterprise sales executive. After departing in 2022, Jeff joined the founders of Protect|ED to ensure best-in-class technology and financial operations to support our customers nationally.
With over 20 years of experience in K-12 education sales, Joe Guerra has left an enduring impact on school districts throughout the United States. His passion for education was ignited during his time at the University of Texas at Austin where he met his wife, Jackie, and together they've fostered a family legacy deeply rooted in the K-12 education sector. Joe's dedication to the field is further exemplified by his two successful sons who have followed in his footsteps. As the Chief Revenue Officer, Joe brings a wealth of knowledge and experience, continuing to drive positive change and ensuring that students across the nation have access to the resources they need for a successful future.
Taina Northington is the Vice President of Communications for Protect|ED. She is the former Chief Communications and Marketing Officer for Killeen ISD, where she oversaw all internal, external and crisis communication for their 52 campuses. Prior to moving into the education world, Taina woke up Central Texans on KWTX News 10 This Morning for nine years making sure people had the news they needed to start their day and a laugh along the way.
Taina is a life-long learner, and serves on numerous local, state and national committees in an effort to help shape the future of public education and public relations.
Gus Johnson is currently serving as the Regional Vice President at Protect|ED in Ohio. With a strong background in sales and marketing, Gus brings valuable expertise to his role in enhancing educational spaces.
Prior to his current role, Gus held several significant positions in the medical and pharmaceutical industries. These roles have equipped him with a wealth of experience in leadership, sales, and training.
Residing in Mason, Ohio, Gus finds immense joy in spending time with his wife, Kara, and their three boys: Max, Grady, and Drew. The Johnson family shares a passion for sports, with all three boys actively participating in various athletic endeavors. Gus and Kara frequently travel to different cities to support their sons in their sporting events.
Throughout his career, Gus’ greatest lesson has been the importance of prioritizing customer needs and providing exceptional service. He believes in investing time and resources in his team, recognizing that their success is integral to the success of the organization as a whole.
Eric Bell is the Regional Vice President for California at Protect|ED. Eric is a native of San Diego and is a graduate of the University of Southern California (USC), where he was a student-athlete on the Track & Field team. He is a former middle school math & science teacher and has worked in K-12 education for more than 20 years. Eric prides himself on being a life-long learner. He values relationship building and partnering with education leaders to create solutions that benefit students, staff and entire communities.
Caroline Bate is the Regional Vice President for Central Texas at Protect|ED. She is an enthusiastic thought partner and former educator focused on holistic solutions to maximize learning environments for students, faculty, and staff. Training for the Olympics in swimming prioritized her focus on health and wellness in school, the weight room, and at home to gain a competitive advantage. Caroline’s professional mission is to serve leaders with the highest quality of customer support to ensure school districts can execute their core mission- educating ALL children.
J.R. Robinson is the Regional Vice President over North Texas for Protect|ED. Born and raised in San Angelo, Texas, J.R. spent most of his career in the DFW region working in software sales. A graduate of Angelo State University, J.R. and his wife of 27 years, have one daughter that is studying to be a pediatrician. In his spare time, J.R. enjoys the outdoors, playing the acoustic guitar, smoking meats, and playing competitive cornhole.
Don Avina is the Regional Vice President over South Texas for Protect|ED. He has over 25 years of sales experience in both public and private sectors. His focus is to identify products and solutions that solve problems and promote growth.
He has found consistent success by taking care of his customers and putting them first. Don’s goal is to deliver the best experience and to create long-term relationships.
Don is married with three children. He has he two daughters, a son, and two grandchildren that light up his world. In Don’s free time, he has spent time coaching youth football, baseball, and basketball for both his children and grandkids.
At Protect|ED, Don is dedicated to building a culture that fosters healthy learning environments, enabling students and teachers to maximize their potential in the classroom. His commitment to excellence and customer-centric approach make him a valuable asset to the Protect|ED team.
Rob is the Regional Vice President over Pennsylvania for Protect|ED. He has over 15 years of experience in the biotech and pharmaceutical industry and attended York College. He has a proven track record of success in providing drug and vaccine manufacturers with the technology they need to create life-saving therapies. As a father of four, Rob understands the importance of indoor air quality for children in schools and is combining his technical and commercial sales knowledge with the K-12 education sector to ensure our students have safe and healthy learning environments.
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