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About Us

THE CHIEF CONDUCTOR WHO CREATED OPUS HAS A LONG HISTORY AS A FINANCIAL EXPERT SERVING CHARTER SCHOOLS.

Opus is the brain child of Candy Yu, a financial veteran in the charter school community.

About Us

HOW WE STARTED OPUS

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As the owner to Avolon Accounting & Charter CFO Services (AABS LLC), Candy Yu has been a leader in providing high-end accounting back-office support and CFO strategic planning services since 2001 for clients in both California and Georgia. Avolon Accounting & Charter CFO Services’ focus has been primarily non-profit and government agencies. Since 2009, AABS LLC has been heavily involved with GA public charter schools and has become the largest financial service provider within Georgia’s public charter school space in 2019.

 

To make business operations more efficient for AABS LLC and its clients, Candy incorporated virtual platforms in the mid 90’s and has continued utilizing technology advancements to improve efficiencies. Opus’ concept was born in 2016 as Candy’s attempt to create a more automated solution to improve internal financial operations, budgeting, reporting and modeling. While creating this original software, additional research suggested a much broader application to address the efficiency and quality issues for charter petitions/applications and pre-planning (year 0) processes for all Georgia charter schools. Hence the Opus  ecosystem was created.

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MEET OUR STAFF

 

Candy Yu   CEO, Founder, Co-Owner

Voted as one of the Chamber of Commerce’s 2014 Top Young Professionals in GA, Candy has a proven track record of implementing successful financial and accounting solutions in charter schools. As the owner of Avolon Accounting and Charter CFO services (AABS LLC), her esteemed accounting expertise spans coast to coast. Under Candy's leadership, Avolon became the largest financial service provider within Georgia’s public charter school space in 2019.

 

At the onset of the charter movement in Georgia, she was one of the first CFOs to graduate from the Carl Vinson Institute’s Charter Schools Financial Management Certificate program. Candy has taught various courses including Charter school budgeting, Charter Petition/Application budget, and Financial Accountability. Her unrivaled skills and in-depth understanding of academic institution’s financial and accounting structures make her a trusted and sought-after partner among charter schools.

Andrew Lewis   CMO & Co-Owner

Andrew Lewis joins Opus as a charter school policy and advocacy expert, working with various charter schools and charter support organizations in Georgia and across the nation. He worked for the Georgia Charter Schools Association for over 12 years as EVP over advocacy and policy, helping to pass some of the most significant charter schools laws in the nation.

 

With over 20 years of experience in the education field, Andrew brings to Opus a respected national charter school and education reform expert understanding the complexities of state charter school policies.

MEET OUR BOARD

Kelly Cadman

Kelly Cadman worked for The Coca-Cola Company in the Human Resources Department earlier in her career but has served in public education for over 20 years, committed to ensuring a high-quality education for all students.

 

Mrs. Cadman co-founded Brighten Academy Charter School, a Charter School of the Year recipient and a nationally accredited Expeditionary Learning School, serving as the school's founding board president. Kelly was recruited by The Georgia Charter Schools Association to serve as the organization's first Director of Education & Training and later as Vice President of School Services, developing training programs supporting the quality of charter school boards and leaders. Mrs. Cadman returned to Brighten Academy in 2016 as a classroom teacher.

Steve Herbein

Retired in 2014 after 41-year career working for the Packaging Division of Georgia-Pacific Corporation.  Positions held included Assistant Plant Controller, Cost Accountant, Division Data Systems Coordinator, Assistant Division Controller, and Senior Financial Analyst, supervising teams ranging in size from two to twenty-two.

 

In 2015, recruited by Avolon Accounting for the position of Director of Accounting, working closely with CEO to supervise accounting staff, coordinate closing activities, and analyze monthly client financial results.  Retired from position after 18 months in August 2016.

 

The position with Avolon Accounting allowed me to become familiar with the accounting structure, regulations, and reporting requirements of the Georgia Charter School industry.

Ian Cohen

A graduate of Emory University with a BA in Philosophy, Ian entered the workforce as a teacher as part of the Teach for America program. In 2014 Ian co-founded the education non-profit, Next Generation Men & Women, with two other educators with the aim of re-imagining the educational experience and providing exposure and support for Atlanta’s most underserved students. He continues to serve on Next Gen's Board of Directors today.

 

Ian has now transitioned into education technology as the founder of TARA Education Technologies, whose platform serves as a planning assistant for K-12 schools and teacher training programs. While founding TARA, Ian has also worked extensively as an adviser to entrepreneurs through the Center for Civic Innovation and in education policy at the local and state levels.

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Being a school founder and leader is like being a musical conductor. It’s a hybrid profession. Most fundamentally, one is an entrepreneur, an educator, a mentor, a visionary—and mostly, the person who brings everything and everyone into harmony.

 

Candy Yu, CEO & Creator of Opus

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