Banyan Strategic Partners: Our Story

Banyan Strategics traces its origins to the founding aspirations, inspiration and labors of three friends who first envisioned Lake Norman Charter School.

Banyan Strategics traces its origins to the founding aspirations, inspiration and labors of three friends who first envisioned Lake Norman Charter School in September of 1996. Their diverse backgrounds came together through their common love of and gratitude for public education that was provided to them by the inspiring teachers of their youth.

Their association within the Lake Norman, North Carolina community has enabled Banyan Strategics to build upon their original concepts as well as the countless heartfelt contributions of their fellow founding Lake Norman Charter School board members, teachers, parents and students.

Ron Bishop, whose background as a then recently retired executive for a prominent New England insurance company and as a retired US Army Colonel, offered his love of education by acting upon his experiences as a student in a “little red schoolhouse” and later as a school teacher in rural Maine. Mr. Bishop took on two missions in his early retirement to Lake Norman, his “day work” in building the local Habitat for Humanity chapter and his “school work” in making Lake Norman Charter School become reality.

His fond memories of teachers who loved him and encouraged him to reach his full potential, especially in spite of humble conditions, compelled him to serve teachers in his later years. Mr. Bishop’s vision of talent development made the founding of Lake Norman Charter School a sweet, satisfying environment for highly engaged teachers.

Peter Anderson provided his background in management consulting for a New England-based international consulting firm and as a major beneficiary of public education throughout his youth. His love of children’s potential mirrored what his father and mother taught him while growing up in Rochester, Minnesota where his father served as a Medical Doctor at the Mayo Clinic. Mr. Anderson’s disciplined approach to education enabled him to gain an MBA from Harvard Business School. His leadership approach in healthcare allowed him to be one of the primary executives who transformed a historically indigent care local hospital into Carolinas Healthcare System, a national top 10 hospital system. Mr. Anderson’s faith in people, especially teachers, made the founding of Lake Norman Charter School more than a vision. His leadership style conveyed faith into reality.

Rick Walker shared his background as a capital markets banker for a predecessor to Wells Fargo and, like Ron and Peter, as a grateful beneficiary of highly engaged and loving teachers throughout his youth. Mr. Walker owes his love of education primarily to a mother and a wife who are heartfelt, transformative teachers who deeply love children into becoming their best. Their devotion to education at its most crucial level inspired him to invest more of his time in making more heartfelt education possible. Mr. Walker’s subsequent experiences as founding Chairman of Lake Norman Charter School caused him to more fully appreciate his ancestors who founded various schools and a university. He came to understand education to be more “heart” driven than “mind” driven. More importantly, he came to recognize the specific gifts of his teachers and their Great Hearts for providing and nurturing the “spark” of great learning in all their students. He now leads Banyan Strategic Partners in a mentor role to the Banyan Strategics family.