Confirmed Speakers

Keynote Speakers


Ashley Andersen Zantop

General Manager, Pinpoint Learning

Ashley Andersen Zantop is GM at Pinpoint Learning, a consulting firm specializing in thought leadership, brand strategy, market strategy and go-to-market problem solving for global education. Previously, Ashley served as Chief Content Officer for Capstone, a leading publisher of children’s books, digital solutions and services, literacy programs, and K–12 professional development resources for classrooms, school libraries and home. Before that, Ashley served as CEO, President and Publisher at Trudy Corporation, later Palm Publishing, responsible for the group's family of global children’s imprints and media businesses. Ashley has spent over 20 years in education. She began her career as an elementary school classroom teacher and collegiate coach. Ashley’s passion for continuous learning fuels her work creating and managing award-winning educational product lines, content, platforms, brands and user experiences in K-12, trade/B2B and consumer markets around the world. Ashley is the author of NOW WHAT? THE CREATIVE WRITER'S GUIDE TO SUCCESS AFTER THE MFA. She is the co-founder and former co-president of the Fairfield University MFA Alumni Association. Ashley holds a bachelor’s degree in Education and a bachelor’s degree in English Literature from the University of Michigan and teaching certifications K- 5 and 6 - 8. She also holds a Masters of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Fairfield University and certificates in Media Strategy from Harvard Business School and in Executive Function in the Classroom from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Ellen Bialo

CEO and Founder, Interactive Educational Systems Design, Inc. (IESD)

Ellen Bialo is one of the founders of Interactive Educational Systems Design and EDRoom, recognized in the education technology and publishing communities as a leader in research and analysis, instructional design, and related materials development. IESD conducts research on educational programs and products and provides a variety of consulting services related to their development, evaluation, implementation, and marketing. Clients include education publishers, technology hardware manufacturers, government agencies, non-profit institutions, and school districts. Services include both quantitative and qualitative analyses including focus groups, surveys, in-depth interviews, classroom observations, user testing, competitive landscape analysis, research literature reviews, and analysis of demographic and financial data.

Charlene Blohm

President, C. Blohm & Associates, Inc.

Charlene Blohm is the President & CEO of C. Blohm & Associates, Inc. (CB&A), an integrated marketing, public relations, social media and content agency focused on the education, special needs and workforce development industries. Charlene knows how to take businesses to the next level. Since founding CB&A in 1991, Charlene has partnered with organizations of every stripe to deliver bottom-line value. From early-stage Davids to multinational Goliaths, she has a knack for seeing what others often miss. Charlene has earned several accolades individually and on behalf of the agency, and she’s a frequent guest speaker on all-things marketing.

Todd Bloom Ph.D.

Senior VP, Whiteboard Advisors

Todd Bloom has extensive experience providing leadership and strategic development services to education entrepreneurs, institutions, state departments and research organizations. He holds a Ph.D. in education leadership and policy studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison and serves as Associate Research Professor at the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education. Todd came to W/A from the Jefferson Education Exchange, where he served as Chief Academic Officer, advising education technology entrepreneurs on how to best execute and leverage research. Prior to this position, Todd served as Chief Academic Officer at Hobsons.

Michael Campbell

President and Principal Advisor, Forward Thinking EDU

Michael Campbell is the founder and Principal Advisor at Forward Thinking EDU. Michael’s passion for improving education through technology and digital literacy has helped private and not-for- profit organizations market solutions that support the learning community. For over 20 years, Michael has held executive, marketing management and sales positions spanning K-12 and Higher Education technology and publishing, in addition to corporate and educational training. Prior to his current position at Forward Thinking EDU, Michael held leadership positions with start-ups and established companies. Michael’s enthusiasm for learning and education extends outside the office. He serves on the board of the local Parent Teacher Organization. As well Michael has been elected to the by the local village to library board and Illinois regional library systems board.

Kate Cassino

CEO, Hobsons

As Chief Executive Officer, Kate Cassino drives the success of Hobsons’ business and directs the day-to-day operations of the global education technology company whose college and career readiness, college matching, admissions, and student success platforms include Naviance, Intersect, and Starfish. Kate joined Hobsons in 2016 as Chief Operating Officer and was promoted to CEO in 2017. She has held leadership roles at Prentice Hall and McGraw-Hill, and before joining Hobsons served as CEO of Dodge Data & Analytics, where she led its growth and digital transformation focusing on sales execution, product delivery, and operational improvements. Earlier in her career, she worked with numerous information and media businesses on their digital strategies, including Platts, JD Power & Associates, Business Week, Aviation Week, and several ABC-affiliate broadcasting stations. Kate holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, with a minor in Education, from Columbia University, Barnard College, and completed an Executive Education Program at Columbia Business School.

Myron Cizdyn

Chief Executive Officer, The BLPS Group

Myron is responsible for the strategic direction of The BLPS Group. His latest initiative is the eLearning Journeys advocacy initiative in Eastern and continental Europe. Myron brings to the table 25 years of experience in educational, religious, and trade publishing, including stints in the Vatican, Rome, Ukraine and throughout the USA. You can find his profile at, and information on the initiative at

Andrew Coulson

Chief Data Science Officer, MIND Research Institute

Andrew Coulson, Chief Data Science Officer at MIND Research Institute, leads a team of data analysts to conduct evaluations of student and teacher usage and outcomes on MIND's ST Math instructional program. Prior to this position, he led MIND's Education Division for 12 years, helping to devise and execute strategies and programs to scale the organization's reach from 4,000 to over 1M students, now transforming student learning in 47 states. Before joining MIND, Coulson was the first education program officer for a major California private foundation. He also worked in high-tech manufacturing engineering for 6 years at Teledyne-Monitor Labs and 11 years at Northrup-Grumman/TRW Microelectronics, acquiring experience in operations, process engineering, product reliability and technology transfer. Coulson earned a B.S. and M.S. in physics from UCLA.

Alvin Crawford

General Manager, Public Consulting Group

Alvin Crawford is General Manager for Public Consulting Group's Education Practice. PCG's Education practice serves thousands of clients in the United States and a growing client base internationally. Mr. Crawford's focus is on creating solutions to improve outcomes for children through more systemic and effective approaches to teaching and learning, as well as promoting PCG's current service portfolio to a wider set of customers. Mr. Crawford has over 20 years of experience in education and media. Prior to arriving at PCG, Mr. Crawford served as the CEO of Knowledge Delivery Systems Inc. (KDS) for seven years before it's assets were acquired by PCG in 2016. His entree into education began in 2000, at the New York-based company, SchoolNet, Inc. where he served as Senior Vice President. He spent nearly a decade at SchoolNet. Mr. Crawford helped secure partnerships in some of the largest school districts in the United States. Prior to SchoolNet, Mr. Crawford served with several leading Internet agencies, Digitas, Ogilvy & Mather and Zentropy Partners in developing and implementing Internet strategies for large corporations, including Kodak, IBM, AIG, American Movie Classics and Express Scripts. He brings strong entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, internet strategy, management skills and deep industry expertise in professional development, equity and data driven decision making. Mr. Crawford has an MBA in Organizational Studies and Marketing and a Certificate in Leadership for Change from Boston College GSOM and earned BS degree from Tufts University.

Joel Davis

Manager, Follett Labs, Follett School Solutions

I have been designing solutions to problems as a software developer for over 30 years. For the last 13+ years I have been doing it at Follett in the field of education. I'm passionate about talking to customers about their problem and then finding solutions. I also love old VWs and Disney World.

Katie Gilligan

ETIN Board Member & Ed Tech Business Development Consultant, Consultant

With senior positions at Texthelp, Pearson, and Compass Learning (now Edgenuity), Kate has over 20 years of experience in Instructional Technology and Educational Publishing. Kate's background makes her well-suited to help ed tech companies of all sizes integrate their solutions across classrooms and the living rooms for learners of all ages and ability levels.

Matthew Gross

Founder & CEO, Newsela

Matt has a twenty-year career in the education sector, for-profit and nonprofit entrepreneurship, and product development and distribution. Matthew was Executive Director of the Regents Research Fund, a privately funded affiliate of the New York State Board of Regents and Education Department that helped lead the implementation of Race to the Top–driven education reforms. Reporting to Education Commissioner John King, Jr, Matthew oversaw the organization’s growth strategy, public–private partnerships, talent acquisition, and day-to-day operations. While at the Fund, Matthew led the development of, a web application providing teachers and administrators with resources for implementation of Common Core state standards and teacher and principal evaluations. Since its August 2011 launch, the site has been viewed over fourteen million times by educators in all fifty states. Matthew played a leadership role in the development of the Regents Research Fellows, a team of nationally recognized thought leaders who help lead the implementation of the Common Core, next-generation assessments, and other education reforms spurred by Race to the Top. Under Matthew’s purview, the Fund raised over $9 million in support from many of the nation’s most respected education funders including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Ford Foundation, the Hewlett Foundation, Carnegie Corporation, and the Robin Hood Foundation. Prior to joining the Fund, Matthew was Vice President of Planning & Resource Development at Pencil, a national leader in building private-sector partnerships with public schools that improve student achievement. He led a wide array of initiatives at Pencil, including the development of the Pencil Exchange, a social media and relationship-management application for business–school partnerships now used in over 400 schools nationwide. Earlier, Matthew spent several years managing entrepreneurial ventures, including as co- founder and President of out-of-home media company Submedia, which secured over $6 million in venture investment, $2 million in annual bookings, contracts with multiple government agencies, and licensing agreements in Europe and East Asia. Matthew co-holds two patents for Submedia’s technology. Matthew began his career as a Teach for America corps member, teaching music at C.S. 50 in the South Bronx. He serves on the School Leadership Team of P.S. 101 in Queens, which his three boys attend. He holds a B.A. from Columbia University.

David Grupper

Owner and Creative Director, Point Made Animation

For over 30 years, David Grupper has been in the field of art direction, communication, and marketing for education. He is currently the creative director and co-owner of Point Made Animation, a creative studio specializing in customized training, curriculum, and explainer video for the education industry.

Gillian Gutenberg

CTO, ProjectEd

Gillian Gutenberg is the CTO for ProjectEd, a consulting group dedicated to helping good education products end up in the hands of learners and educators who need them. She believes that technology, though no silver bullet, has the power to solve seemingly insurmountable challenges when used optimally. Gillian has been working in tech for more than two decades. Her work as an engineer and director for QA teams encompassed a variety of fields, from gaming to healthcare. In 2012 she joined Amplify as a Senior Consultant, managing its QA and support teams and implementing products for the Middle School ELA Curriculum Division. Gillian holds a Bachelor’s in Mathematics from the University of Waterloo, and is the co-founder of Hello World Camp, a coding camp for kids.

Jesse Gutierrez

VP, Government Affairs, McGraw-Hill Education

Jesse Gutierrez is the vice president of government affairs for McGraw-Hill Education. He is responsible for representing the company before Congress, state, and foreign governments, and advancing education policies that support the growth of digital learning. Jesse joined McGraw-Hill Education in 2007.

Chad Johnson

Managing Director, Cherry Tree & Associates, LLC

Chad Johnson is a Managing Director in the investment banking practice of Cherry Tree & Associates. Chad has a long and successful track record advising entrepreneurs in the sale of their education related businesses, and has helped numerous public and private companies acquire complementary businesses. His previous experience includes building a successful software firm, managing corporate M&A, and working in a venture capital firm. Chad is on the Board of the Education Technology Industry Network of SIIA, the Board of Directors of Early Learning Labs, and is a member of the Association for Corporate Growth (ACG).

Tim Klasson

Chief Operating Officer, MetaMetrics, Inc.

Tim Klasson joined MetaMetrics in 2002 and is responsible for all aspects of the company's sales and operations. Formerly, he was vice president of learning services at Tech Resource Group in Raleigh, N.C., a former president of a medical education firm; vice president of corporate development for InfoSource, a corporate e-learning firm; product marketing manager for both Ryder Logistics and Cordis and a consulting manager with Deloitte & Touche. He holds an undergraduate degree in professional management from Nova Southeastern University, and a master's in business administration from the University of Miami.

Sara Kloek

Director, Education Policy, Programs and Student Privacy, SIIA

Sara Kloek recently joined SIIA as Director of Education Policy, Programs, and Student Privacy. Previously, Sara was a Senior Privacy and Technology Fellow at the U.S. Department of Education working in the Office of the Chief Privacy Officer. Sara worked covered education policy for a senior member of the U.S House of Representatives and has also held positions on various statewide political campaigns in her home state of Minnesota.

Steve Literati

President, Literati Analytics

Steve Literati is a business development, product development and financial management executive who has innovatively grown businesses and driven turnarounds in the for-profit and non-profit sectors. He brings a deep knowledge of educational services and technology and the disruptive forces impacting the industry to design and execute profitable change initiatives. As a Chartered Financial Analyst and former CFO, Steve keeps a vigilant eye on the bottom line to implement strategies that will optimize profitability and performance. He achieves business and customer objectives by creating innovative product offerings that diversify revenue sources, retain existing customers and engage new customers; forging synergistic partnerships; developing untapped revenue streams; expanding distribution channels; and leveraging new and emerging technology. Steve has served as Chief Operating Officer at World Education Services; Senior Director, Business Development and Strategy at Educational Testing Service; and Senior Vice President, Business Development & Innovation at Pearson Education, where he advanced through multiple leadership roles. Steve thoroughly enjoys sharing knowledge and encouraging other professionals to expand their expertise and capabilities. A highly engaged and respected coach, mentor and team leader, he also develops and teaches business and financial courses at New York University, New York Institute of Finance and edX. Steve earned an MBA in Finance from The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Economics from Lafayette College, Easton, PA. He is a Board member of several Pearson equity investments.

Jack Lynch

President, CEO & Director, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Jack joined HMH in 2017 as President, Chief Executive Officer, and Director, bringing with him extensive background in the K–12 education and technology space. Prior to HMH, Jack was the CEO at Renaissance Learning, a leader in K–12 learning analytics, owned by Hellman & Friedman and Google Capital. With more than 25 years of management experience in the software and information industry, Jack is highly respected in the field of education technology. He has been active in the K–12 education industry since 1999 and was the founding CEO of, where he created an education network serving 40,000 schools. He was later president and CEO of the Pearson Technology Group. Prior to joining Renaissance Learning, Jack was a member of the executive board of Wolters Kluwer. Jack holds a Bachelor of Arts from Boston University and was honored with the 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year award for his leadership.

Mark McCusker

CEO, Texthelp Ltd.

Since 1988, Mark has been CEO of Texthelp Ltd., which has evolved to become a world leader in developing and licensing software support tools for reading, writing, and math for all students with an emphasis on assistive technology software for the learning disabled community. Texthelp licenses solutions to K12 schools, Higher Education, Publishers, Government, and Corporations. Mark McCusker has also served as the Chair of the British Assistive Technology Association (BATA), which is a membership organization campaigning for the rights and interests of those needing assistive technology and provides expert and impartial support and advice to government departments and agencies. During Mark's time as the Chairman and Director of BATA, he focused on determining strategy and tactics for the organization and ensuring that the focus of BATA continues to address the needs of the multiple stakeholder groups that comprise the BATA membership.

Christopher Mohr

General Counsel, Vice President of Intellectual Property , SIIA

Chris Mohr is Vice President for Intellectual Property and General Counsel for the Software and Information Industry Association (SIIA), the principal association representing software and digital content industries. Mohr spearheads public advocacy on intellectual property issues and works closely with technology industries. Previously, in private practice, Mohr provided strategic advice to technology, software, entertainment, and other clients on issues involving copyright, privacy, the First Amendment, licensing, public records access, and unfair competition. He has also appeared before legislative, judicial, and administrative bodies on matters of intellectual property and constitutional law and has been involved in several U.S. Supreme Court cases.

Jason Palmer

General Partner, New Markets Venture Partners

As a General Partner at New Markets Venture Partners, Jason brings twenty years of experience as an education technology entrepreneur, executive and investor, and focuses on fund strategy, supporting portfolio companies and leveraging deep connections with industry leaders. Prior to joining New Markets, Jason served as Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led postsecondary innovation efforts to improve the outcomes of low-income, minority and first-generation college students by investing in colleges, universities and entrepreneurs pursuing digital and adaptive learning, student coaching and advising, financial aid structures, comprehensive credit transfer and employer pathways. Prior to the Foundation, Jason founded and grew three investor-backed technology and services companies before holding a series of executive positions at Microsoft, SchoolNet, Kaplan and StraighterLine. At Kaplan, Jason led three education businesses as general manager or president, in addition to founding and leading the company's venture capital effort. Jason holds a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and also serves on the University of Virginia's Curry School of Education Board.

David Rust

General Manager , HITN

David Rust is a senior publishing leader with a successful record of creating, re-imagining and launching media and services for education. As head of business units at Reed Elsevier/Harcourt, Pearson, Scholastic and School Specialty, David engineered restructures of business units while refocusing them on new business ventures that have become game-changers in both consumer and school markets. In his work with Sandhill he has reoriented and restructured clients and launched initiatives in Common Core, STEM, digital, OER and global contexts, including service to all of the EngageNY nonprofits. His dedication to improving learner outcomes in diverse, low-income environments led him to chair the upgrade of AAP PreK-12’s Innovation Through Inclusion initiative, and become founding co-chair of SIIA ETIN’s Diversity committee.

Lisa Schmucki

Founder & CEO, edWeb

Lisa Schmucki is the founder and CEO of, a professional learning network that serves the global education community. is the forum where educators in all roles and at all levels come together with education organizations and stakeholders to address the most effective ways to improve teaching and learning, and all the issues that impact student achievement and school culture. is free for educators and has won top awards including six SIIA CODiE Awards including the 2018 Best Overall Education Solution. Previously, Lisa held senior management positions with companies including Time Inc., Macmillan, Peterson’s, Films Media Group, and Achieve3000. Lisa is a member of the board of the SIIA Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN). She is a graduate of Princeton University and works with the university on issues of undergraduate social life and community service. Lisa has a Masters Degree from the Stern School of Business at NYU.

Kimberly Smith

Executive Director, League of Innovative Schools, Digital Promise

Kimberly A. Smith is the Executive Director of the League of Innovative Schools at Digital Promise leading a national network of education leaders in an effort to design, validate and scale effective innovative learning opportunities to advance equity and excellence for every learner. Ms. Smith has held leadership roles at the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship, PBS and Discovery Education. Ms. Smith is a Pahara Institute fellow and co-founder of the National Charter Collaborative - an initiative to support single-site charter leaders of color. She received her M.B.A from Johns Hopkins University and B.S. in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Robin Warner

Managing Director, Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips

Robin is a Managing Director at Oaklins DeSilva+Phillips in New York City. She has 14 years of US and international investment banking experience, and 20 years of high-level operational experience in the Publishing/Education Industry. Robin has closed approximately 40 transactions, with current focus on education technology and publishing. In the past 18 months, she has closed deals with Discovery Communications, Amazon, Pearson, and McGraw-Hill, and has closed additional deals with companies such as Wiley, Macmillan, and Cengage Learning.

oliver wreford

Chief Revenue Officer, SchoolMint

Oliver is the Chief Revenue & Strategy Officer at Edtech Holdings (SchoolMint, Hero K12), where he is responsible for driving revenue growth (organic and via M&A) and operational scale. Prior to joining Edtech Holdings, Oliver was on the executive leadership team at PowerSchool, he created the PowerSchool ISV partner program and played a key role on deal teams that delivered the $350M sale of PowerSchool from Pearson to Vista Equity Partners and executed 7 add-on acquisitions in 18 months following that deal. Oliver started his career with Accenture and holds a BA with Honors in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Devin Young

Co-founder and President, ClassCraft

Based in New York City, Devin is the co-founder and President of Classcraft. Classcraft is an Engagement Management System (EMS) that's redefining the experience of going to school by transforming it into a game that students play all year round. With +5M users worldwide, it's designed to act as a powerful suite of tools that augment typical instruction with gaming principals to empowers students to work together in fun new ways and foster critical skills necessary to thrive in tomorrow's job market. Well-versed in education and experience design, Devin has spoken at conferences such as SXSW, ISTE, and Games for Change. He also advised Obama's White House on the future of assessment and the roles that gaming will play in defining it. Prior to Classcraft, he worked as a creative director with a wide array of global brands and startups including Microsoft, Chanel, Intel,, and The Future of Storytelling Summit.

Ilya Zeldin

Founder & CEO,

I am an experienced entrepreneur and founder of the 2gnō.me soft skills intelligence platform. With the 2gnō.me ("To know me") concept, my optimism about humanity and expertise in the business of technology converge to help promote awareness and learning. 2gnō.me received a Gold Award at the 2016 Re-Imagine Education for our unique approach and advanced technology aimed to strengthen teaching skills and personalize professional development for every teacher! The platform assesses soft skills, establishes a baseline of skill strengths and gaps, and connects to personalized learning from our partners to address skill gaps, at scale and with data to back it up. Before 2gnō.me, I managed the global Service Provider Program at Dell, driving recurring revenue for the software portfolio with innovative go-to-market strategies.