Among Catalyzer’s original founding partners, Lester W. Knotts previously served as a Managing Director from 2010 – 2018, and a Board of Directors member from 2015 -until 2018. Dr. Knotts supports curriculum development, program execution, and coaching efforts.Lieutenant Colonel (Retired) Lester Knotts was graduated from the United States Military Academy as an Infantry officer with the class of 1982. Throughout his subsequent 27-year Army career, he served in a wide range of operational and strategic assignments throughout the United States and in the Pacific. While in uniform, and among his other military decorations, he earned both the Ranger Tab and Army Airborne Wings, as well as the Defense Meritorious Service Medal and Expert Infantryman Badge.
Dr. Knotts’ formal education includes his Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University, three Masters-level degrees, including a degree in International Policy from the US Naval War College and a Master of Military Arts and Sciences from the School of Advanced Military Studies at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, his Bachelor of Science from West Point, and an Associate’s-level degree in Business from Central Texas College.
He thrice served on the faculty at West Point in the Department of English, where his talents as a tenured professor were additionally employed in a wide variety of advisory roles for the Academy’s leadership. Other academic postings included his assignment as a Fellow at the US Naval War College and Adjunct Professor at Park University in Parkville, Missouri. Combined, Dr. Knotts’ classroom/instructional experience includes 12+ years at the graduate and undergraduate levels, and 30+ years in informal settings, teaching and mentoring. All of these experiences were predominantly for adult learners.
Dr. Knotts is a member of the Phi Kappa Phi National Honor Society, received a scholarship award for personal essays and journaling from the University of London, received Humanities Scholarship Awards from Penn State in 2001 and 2002, and was a nominee for the K. Patricia Cross Future Leader Award in 2001.
After leaving uniform, Dr. Knotts served for five years with Young Life and Military Community Youth Ministries in Colorado Springs, Colorado, initially as a U.S. Director, and ultimately as the organization’s Chief of Staff. He and his wife of 31 years, Monika, still reside at the base of the Rockies. Together, they raised two sons. Dr. Knotts is an avid fitness enthusiast, prolific essay writer, and voracious reader.