Our administration is dedicated to serving our families earnestly, ethically, and efficiently.
Our administration team collectively has decades of experience in classroom teaching, high-caliber coaching, curriculum design, and organizational management. We're here to ensure our families receive the highest-caliber coaching our organization has to offer. Please reach out to [email protected] to get in touch.
Yilin Mao (Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder)
Yilin Mao is ModernBrain's co-founder and CEO.
Yilin received her B.A. in Business Economics with a minor in Graphic Design and MBA from Chapman University. She founded ModernBrain's flagship Tustin location with her late husband, John Lewellen, in 2016. Read about their story here.
ModernBrain is guided by Yilin's plan to create the #1 national full-service speech program. Whatever your skillset, whether you're a novice or a national champion, a rookie or a rock star, a natural speaker or a shy STEM student, in need of college counseling or competitive success, there is a place for you in the ModernBrain family.
Yilin is deeply dedicated to expanding the public speaking community and leading a team of all-star instructors to turn her vision into a reality. That's why thousands of families across eight different countries have trusted ModernBrain, joining us in first grade and taking classes through college.
Outside of work, Yilin enjoys spending time with her family, trying new food, and exercising.
Alissa Duong (Curriculum)
Alissa Duong is ModernBrain’s director of curriculum and instruction.
Coach Alissa comes to us as a five-time national champion and seven-time state champion with experience in advancing to twenty-seven national out rounds. She was ranked the fourth-place speaker in the nation at the Phi Rho Pi National Speech and Debate tournament and was selected to be a member of the exclusive All-American Team by the American Forensics Association. Coach Alissa is a national finalist in Programmed Oral Interpretation, After Dinner Speaking, Prose Interpretation, Duo Interpretation, Dramatic Interpretation, and Communication Analysis. The biggest crowd she has spoken in front of? Eight thousand people and thirteen service animals.
Coach Alissa serves as a professor of communication studies and teaches public speaking, interpersonal communication, intercultural communication, and argumentation. She also works with the college Vice Presidents to help write and review curriculum for the institution. In addition to this, she coaches speech and debate at the collegiate level. This past year, she helped the team win both the California State Championship and the National Championship. Her college team currently holds the title of most national championships won in history.
Coach Alissa was an ESL student and understands the importance of confident and clear communication. Her teaching goal is to help empower as many students as possible to be the best versions of themselves.
Iain Lampert (Development)
Dr. Iain Lampert serves as ModernBrain's director of organizational development.
He earned his B.A. in Political Science and his College Counseling Certificate from UCLA, his M.A. in Education and Human Development from the George Washington University, his Certification in Advanced Education Leadership from Harvard University and Human Resources from Madison Area Technical College, and his Doctorate in Organizational Leadership from Vanderbilt University. He's pursuing his executive MBA at Northwestern University (class of 2025).
Iain is a lifelong advocate for competitive communication; he founded eight teams, coached winners of over 7,000 individual awards (in addition to over 1,200 individual championships, including eight national NSDA champions), and received the National Distinguished Service Award for his contributions to the activity. Iain’s students are the first team in the history of Southern California to earn the National Speech and Debate Association’s Outstanding Distinction team award. In 2019, his team won sweepstakes at the Tournament of Champions. He’s coached NSDA national semifinalists, finalists, and champions in Public Forum Debate, Original Oratory, Declamation, Informative, Dramatic Interpretation, Humorous Interpretation, Programmed Oral Interpretation, Congress, International Extemp, National Extemp, Storytelling, Expository, Poetry, Commentary, and Impromptu Speaking. During his college years, he won the American Mock Trial Association’s national championship twice.
Iain became the inaugural season-long sweepstakes champion of the Professional Speech and Debate Association in 2021. In 2023, he received the W. Ward Reynoldson award for co-coaching UCLA to its fifth American Mock Trial Association national championship. As of January 2024, he's also the professional season-long sweepstakes leader for the International Public Debate Association--the only person outside of the American south to achieve this ranking in the history of the organization.
Lily Lao (Operations)
Lily Lao serves as ModernBrain's human resources specialist and operations administrator.
She graduated from UC Davis with a bachelor degree in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Aside from her STEM major in college, Lily has always been interested in many different fields, especially education. She decided to join ModernBrain to explore more in the speech and debate world.
During her spare time, she loves to cook and learn more about new cooking recipes. Lily also loves traveling, especially to national parks.
Rebel St. Lilith (Outreach)
Rebel St. Lilith is ModernBrain’s director of recruitment and communications.
She graduated with honors from Cal State Long Beach with a BS in communication studies and a Master’s in communication studies. She is an award-winning communication researcher, with the top paper in the Women’s Studies Division of the National Communication Conference in 2018. While Rebel was competing, she was a National Finalist in Duo, Persuasion, and Communication Analysis and claimed a title as an AFA award-winning speaker.