Who We Are
Mary Worland Napier
Prior to establishing Napier Executive Search in 2014, Mary Napier built a reputation for being a strategic leader in guiding colleges and universities in identifying top talent. As a former enrollment manager holding director, dean, and vice president roles in enrollment management, Mary’s deep and extensive experience in higher education makes her uniquely qualified to assist institutions in their executive searches. Mary provides the vision for Napier Executive search and oversees a team of experienced higher education professionals who share her commitment to advancing the enrollment management profession.
Mary has spent more than 30 years working in the higher education space. In the years leading up to Napier Executive search, Mary played an integral role for four years with Lahti Search Consultants seeking talented enrollment leaders in higher education. Before transitioning to executive search, Mary served as the chief enrollment officer for Stetson University, as interim Vice President at Manhattanville College, and in progressive management roles in admissions at the University of Tulsa and Ripon College. Complementing her experience in enrollment management, Mary worked for the National Research Center for College and University Admissions (NRCCUA) as a consultant, aiding colleges and universities in their efforts to expand and diversify their applicant pools.
A first generation college student, Mary earned her bachelors degree from Lake Forest College and her masters of arts degree in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of Tulsa. She resides in DeLand, Florida, where she volunteers in the community with IDignity and the Colorline Roundtable. She treasures time spent with her close-knit immediate and extended family including two adult children who continue to inform and entertain through family group texts. Mary is an avid traveler, enjoys painting and interior design, and looks forward to morning walks with her husband, Keith, and their weimaraner.
386.740.9597 or 386.747.7765
Nancy M. Benedict
Nancy joined Napier Executive Search in 2014, soon after retiring from her role as Vice President for Enrollment Services at Beloit College where she spent 13 years. With a range of collective experiences in higher education spanning over 40 years, including leadership positions in enrollment management, financial aid, development, and career services, Nancy has a “true liberal arts education in Higher Ed.”
As a result of Nancy’s leadership at Beloit College and 27 years at Bryn Mawr College, where she served as Director of Admissions and Financial Aid, she is especially adept at understanding the challenges institutions with a distinct set of values and recruiting goals face. In addition to her leadership positions at Beloit and Bryn Mawr, Nancy has served on the Board of Directors for the Common Application, is a member of NACAC, and has been involved with the Council of International Schools.
Nancy and her husband live in eastern Pennsylvania where they enjoy time with their immediate family and five grandsons. They served as host parents to international students at Beloit College, and given their own extensive travels, maintain a strong interest in national and international affairs. A family of foodies, including a son who is a notable chef in Philadelphia, leads to flavorful and lively dinner conversations. Nancy is a graduate of Hillsdale College and grew up in Cleveland, OH.
As with a number of leaders in higher education, an undergraduate work study position in the financial aid office at Earlham College inspired Robin to pursue a career in higher education.
She embarked on her professional journey at Allegheny College where she spent 21 years in progressive leadership roles within admissions and financial aid, most notably serving as Director of Financial Aid. During her tenure, Robin played an instrumental role in creating greater inter-office efficiencies between admissions and financial aid, in addition to using financial aid as a strategic tool to meet Allegheny’s enrollment goals.
Robin’s expertise, particularly in the use of financial aid leveraging and enrollment modeling, has led to her extensive consulting engagements for a wide range of institutions. Prior to joining Napier Executive Search in 2014, she worked with close to 50 institutions, assisting them in the strategic use of financial aid to enroll the “right fit” students while optimizing their processes and customer service. In addition to her consulting experiences, Robin is member of NACAC and a past conference chair and treasurer for PASFAA.
Calling Iowa home, Robin is deeply engaged in the student experience at Morningside College where her husband, John, serves as President. They enjoy hosting students, faculty, Board of Trustees, and special guests for dinners and receptions, as well as traveling with the college in May Term. In their time at Morningside, Robin and John have created and host three book clubs within the campus community, involving faculty, Board spouses, and students. With a strong love for Wheaten terriers, Robin is active in raising Boomer, theirs and ostensibly Morningside College’s campus dog. She and her husband have three sons they enjoy visiting in California, Nebraska, and New York.
Laura brings a valued perspective to the Napier Executive Search team as an individual with 20 years experience in higher education and the K-12 environment. She is well versed in the concerns held by the prospective customer base for colleges and universities, as well as the challenges higher education institutions face in enrolling a diverse class. Laura’s background, combined with her work as a search consultant, has enabled her to help people from ages 3 to 65 find their next best fit.
Before joining Napier Executive Search in 2015, Laura held several leadership positions in the education sector, including college counseling, enrollment management, financial aid, and marketing. In her role as Director of Recruitment and Outreach at Northwestern University, she played a key role in transitioning the office to a regional recruitment model and collaborated closely with colleagues in enrollment communications and partner institutions to launch Coast to Coast, a college admission tour featuring Northwestern, Dartmouth University, Princeton University, Vanderbilt University, and the University of California at Berkeley. Laura is a member of NACAC and currently serves as a mentor in IACAC.
Laura grew up in Ohio and attended the University of Dayton where she earned her undergraduate and Masters degrees, the latter in College Student Personnel. She currently resides in the Chicago metro area and enjoys Friday night pizza dinners with her husband and children. Her family loves adventures both near and far, and make it a priority to incorporate learning with travel. Laura serves as president of the school board for her children’s school and when time permits, enjoys reading.