Senior Strategy Lead EdTech , IBM
Boinodiris went from being a serial entrepreneur to being an INTRApreneur at IBM incubating IBM’s first serious games and AI design practice into a multi-million dollar business unit. She continues to support entrepreneurs as UNC Chapel Hill’s Adam’s Fellow and Entrepreneur in Residence. She evolves data science by utilizing motivational design and AI in order to help create experiences that are meaningful to people- engaging them in learning, changing mindsets and getting individuals to adopt new behaviors. She specializes both in business development and strategy to get these solutions properly funded, executed with the right business partners, and introduced to markets across industries.
President, University of Phoenix
President Peter J. Cohen was appointed the eighth president of University of Phoenix in April, 2017, bringing more than 20 years of leadership in the education and learning science sectors to his role at the University.
Cohen is focused on further accelerating the University-wide transformation in service of its vision to be recognized as the most trusted provider of career-relevant higher education for working adults. He brings to the University a deep understanding of the potential for technology to improve the quality of education an understanding he has developed through a career focused on innovation in service of students and improved learning outcomes.
Prior to joining University of Phoenix, Cohen served as Executive Vice President of McGraw-Hill Education, a leading global learning science company. He also held the position of Group President of U.S. Education at McGraw-Hill, overseeing the company's U.S. K-12 and higher education businesses. Over the course of his time at McGraw-Hill, he helped the organization reimagine learning in the digital world. Cohen was on the forefront of change in the education industry, driving the company's roll out of multiple new technological offerings.
Cohen's leadership in the space precedes McGraw-Hill as well, having served as chief executive officer of Pearson Education's School division, where he was instrumental in shifting the company's focus toward digital resources and expanding its school services. He also served as chief executive officer of the forward-thinking Sylvan Learning Center and Educate, Inc., driving the organization's expansion in the K-12 education space.
Cohen is a graduate of the University of Redlands, where he earned his Bachelor of Arts in Business, and serves on the board of Primrose Schools, a national network of early childhood education providers.
CEO, K12 Inc.
Stuart J. Udell joined K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN) as the company’s Chief Executive Officer in February 2016. Stuart brings significant experience to K12 in the education industry, amassed over a 24-year career. Most recently, Stuart served as Executive Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Catapult Learning, a school operator and provider of instructional services. Prior, Stuart served as Chief Executive Officer of Penn Foster, a global leader in high school and career-focused online learning. Stuart spent eleven years at Kaplan, most recently as President of Kaplan K12 Learning Services, where he built the k-12 school division. Stuart also served as a division President and on the board of directors at Renaissance Learning. Stuart has spent the last fourteen years on the board of the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (Clemson University), where he was recently recognized for his contributions as Chairman. He received the Education Warrior Award from the I Have a Dream Foundation and is a member of his high school Hall of Fame. Stuart holds an MBA from Columbia University and a BS from Bucknell University.
Kalthoom Al Balooshi
Executive Director of Education Development, Knowledge and Human Development Authority
Kalthoom Al Balooshi is a ‘why’ person. Her professional achievements to date have come from a curiosity to uncover and challenge current education practices, and in the process, bring about positive change.
To increase transparency in schools and promote quality education in Dubai’s schools sector, Ms Al Balooshi played a central role in setting up the Dubai Schools Inspection Bureau - the first accountable, transparent inspections programme of its kind in the region.
Dubai needs 80 new schools by 2020 to meet growing demands. Ms Al Balooshi’s current work focuses on benefitting investors by enhancing the process of opening new schools in Dubai.
With her enthusiasm, creativity and curiosity, Ms Al Balooshi looks forward to continuing to help Dubai become a hub for best and emerging education practice in the region and the world.
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.
Creator & Founder, Noah Text
Sarah K. Blodgett is the creator and founder of Noah Text™, a specialized text that simulates predictable writing systems by highlighting critical word patterns, enhancing reading fluency, speed, and confidence, while building reading skill. Noah Text™ is a patent pending methodology both internationally and in the United States. Sarah is a skilled researcher and writer that developed Noah Text™ after working with her own child who struggled with reading. Her journey started in 2003. In 2012, she started formally researching and honing her method, which led to her research article: The Literacy Crisis: What we can learn from languages throughout the world to solve this problem. Sarah shares her research and knowledge through workshops she facilitates for teachers, students, and parents. She is also the author of the very imaginative book series The Mystical Years of Franklin Noah Peterson and Zack Early Readers, which come in both Noah Text™ and plain text. Sarah is currently seeking to partner with a large publisher or edtech firm to make Noah Text™ available in ALL print media for ALL readers to benefit.
Todd Brekhus has been a leader in technology-enhanced literacy solutions for more than two decades. He spent eight years in the classroom as a teacher, department chair and technology director. Brekhus serves as president and creator of myON, a business unit of Capstone. Before joining myON, he held a variety of executive positions within the education industry, including vice president and CMO of PLATO Learning, president and COO of Learning Elements and education program director for MCI WorldCom, where he led the launch of the Marco Polo program. Brekhus was recently named 2013 Visionary of the Year by EdTech Digest. Brekhus has a long-time relationship with SIIA, including: Board Chair, Leader of Innovation Working Group and Personalized Learning Working Group.
Education Entrepreneur, Independent
Judy Bunnell is a proven education entrepreneur who co-founded Flex Academies (“Flex”) and rapidly expanded it from a local business, to a multi-state enterprise serving approximately 20,000 students in over 60 schools across six states. Flex is a consumer-facing K-12 company, focused on providing a rich array of after school enrichment programs to students through the management of a portfolio of third-party vendors. Judy recently sold her interest in the company to an investor group and is now seeking her next challenge as a consultant, board member or business partner.
Judy successfully envisioned and implemented the programmatic and financial systems required to quickly expand Flex as a B2C company originally in the Washington DC region (DC/MD/VA) and then opening in Northern New Jersey, Fairfield County Connecticut and Westchester County New York. Judy has strong skills at identifying and managing service delivery to high income consumers in both the private and public education markets, specifically in the afterschool environment.
Founder & 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 and he was elected to the by the local village to the library board.
Co-founder and CEO, foundry10
Lisa is a co-founder and the CEO of foundry10, a philanthropic educational research organization. She has a Masters degree in Education and is actively involved in the research and community endeavors at foundry10. An avid gamer she has a particular interest in the role commercial games and commercial VR content can play in learning. Through her work at foundry10 she helps provide virtual reality equipment to schools across the United States and Canada so that students from a variety of backgrounds can have access to this emerging technology. Her work in VR is centered on both applied and experimental studies in an effort to better understand what makes content more accessible, useful and understanding to a wide range of users.
Digital Learning Evangelist, Consultant
Laurence Cocco is a digital learning evangelist whose goal is to actively promote and facilitate the transformation of educational practices through the design and implementation of 21st-century teaching strategies and learning environments. Formerly the Director of Educational Technology for the New Jersey Department of Education, he served on the Board of Directors for the State Educational Technology Directors Association (SETDA) and was recognized in 2014 as the State Leader of the Year - http://www.wnet.org/education/news/meet-larry-cocco-setda-state-leader-of-the-year/. He has been a member of Thirteen/WNET’s Educational Services Advisory Committee since 2006, and also serves on the Advisory Board of edWeb.net. A proponent of Game-Based Learning, Laurence co-founded Games4Ed to assist educators who want to incorporate gaming strategies into teaching and learning. Additional experience includes Principal K-12 Technology Consultant at Office Depot, Media Integration Project Director at Jersey City Public Schools and Senior Audiovisual Designer for Cosentini Information Technologies. Laurence has a M.A. in Educational Communication & Technology from NYU.
Co-Founder & General Partner, Stone-Goff Partners
Hannah Stone Craven is a co-founder and partner of Stone-Goff Partners LLC, a private equity firm that focuses on investments in the consumer, business services, media, education, information, and retail/e-commerce industries.
Ms. Craven has over 25 years of experience investing in private equity transactions. Prior to founding Stone-Goff, Ms. Craven was a Managing Director and General Partner of Sandler Capital Management, a private equity firm specializing in investments in the media, communications, and information services industries. At Sandler she served as a key investment professional and partner in five sequential private equity partnerships and was also a general partner of Sandler’s long/short hedge fund,. Ms. Craven was responsible for private equity investments in broadcasting, cable television, publishing, marketing and advertising services, leisure, and information/database companies.
Ms. Craven currently serves as an independent director on the board of Carrols Restaurant Group (TAST). She is a member of Carrols’ audit committee and chair of the nominating/governance committee.
Ms. Craven is a graduate of Stanford University and the Harvard Business School.
Deborah Delisle, is the CEO of ASCD, a global leader in developing and delivering innovative programs, products, and services that support the success of each learner. Comprising 125,000 members from more than 138 countries, ASCD also includes 56 affiliate organizations.
Dr. Delisle has served in a number of roles including leadership at the local, state, and federal levels. She was nominated by President Obama to serve as the Assistant Secretary for Elementary and Secondary Programs, a position she held until July 2015. Prior to the U.S. Department of Education, she served as Ohio’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction. One of her greatest recognitions came when a school was dedicated in her name to recognize her lifetime of service to students.
VP, Interoperability Services, ClassLink
Patrick oversees ClassLink’s portfolio of integration partners, managing technical integrations for single sign-on and rostering to ensure that educators and students across the world can access the resources they need to be successful. Building on his early success in telecom, Patrick is a veteran of education technology and has been a long-standing advocate for interoperability and collaboration among providers, leading to his participation at InBloom, which revealed both the promise and the peril of making interoperability work. Having held executive roles at leading providers such as Compass Learning, Education Elements, and Edgenuity, Patrick has a uniquely panoramic view of both the strategic and practical imperatives for adopting open data standards and fostering true industry collaboration.
Founding CEO, Jefferson Accelerator
Bart Epstein is the founding CEO of the Jefferson Education Accelerator (JEA), a unique organization launched by the University of Virginia Curry School of Education and Strada Education Network to improve the American education system by increasing the likelihood that the more than ten billion dollars spent annually on education technology is driven by evidence of what works.
Recently, Janice and two of her former graduate students, Mike Sao Pedro & Cameron Betts, formed a start-up company called Apprendis (www.apprendis.com), which develops digital products for learning and assessment, and conducts educational data mining with these as well as the products of others.
President, Egremont Associates, LLC
Neal Goff is President of consulting firm Egremont Associates and a Senior Advisor at Oaklins, DeSilva+Phillips, a mid-market investment bank that specializes in media, technology and education. He founded Egremont Associates in 2010 after a successful 25-year career in publishing, which culminated in his serving for five years as President of the Weekly Reader Publishing Group. Egremont Associates assists clients in publishing and educational technology with strategic planning, marketing (with a particular focus on direct marketing), and partnership development. A past president of the Board of the Association of Educational Publishers, Neal also served previously as President of Scholastic Library Publishing and Prentice Hall Direct. He was a co-author of MDR's State of the K-12 Market report from 2012 to 2016 and is currently a member of the Board of Directors at ReadWorks, a non-profit committed to solving America's reading comprehension crisis.
Director, K-12 Publishing Services, Westchester Publishing Services
Kevin J. Gray, Director, Westchester K-12, oversees the day-to-day operations of Westchester’s school publishing services. Kevin has two decades of experience building and managing service provider teams, shepherding programs from start to finish for publishers large and small. An editor by training, Kevin thrives on content, specializing in Literacy and Humanities programs, but he also has a keen awareness of how all aspects of publishing work together to create products that meet the needs of students and teachers. His experience spans both print and digital development, and he has held leadership roles at Mazer, Element, MPS, Academic Benchmarks, and Cenveo.
Managing Partner , Rethink Education
Matt Greenfield is Managing Partner of Rethink Education, a venture capital firm focused on educational technology. He is on the boards of Allovue, BrightBytes, and Care Academy. His non-profit affiliations include the boards of Southern New Hampshire University and Mouse.org.
Matt received his B.A., M.A., and Ph.D. in English from Yale University, where he won five academic prizes and fellowships from the Mellon and Whiting Foundations and served on the editorial board of the Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities. He taught at Bowdoin College, where
he served on the committee overseeing admissions, and the City University of New York, where he served on a college curriculum committee, helped launch an interdisciplinary learning community program for first-year students, taught in the teacher preparation program, and taught graduate classes in literature to teachers from the New York City public schools.
President, Sense Education
Seth is responsible for strategy, product strategy, business development and financing at Sense. He has built and sold three companies, most recently - Visible World, a developer of a viewer-customized television advertising. It was sold to Comcast in the summer of 2015 where he worked for two years.
Under his vision and leadership, Visible World has emerged as a technology leader, by enabling new levels of automation and efficiency in the identification of audiences and customization, ad trafficking and delivery of video ads. Among his key achievements are Visible World’s Technology & Engineering Emmy, awarded in 2007 for Development and Implementation of Automatically Assembled Dynamic Customized TV Advertising and one in 2016 for Household Addressable Advertising.
Co-founder and CEO, MoxieReader
Mim combines her excitment for community growth to operate a lean startup team, with an eye for changing social dynamics to scale and grow MoxieReader. Mim has worked in social policy research and went on to develop the first EdTech vendor community in Australia. She also teaches children mindfulness and yoga in schools in Brooklyn, New York.
Jussi Kajala Ph.D.
Chairman & COO, 3D Bear
Jussi is one of the technology visionaries behind 3DBear - the hottest educational technology start-up from Finland. 3DBear is developing new learning solutions that utilise augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR) and 3D printing in classroom. Based on the experiences in one of the best educational systems in the world, AR and VR can help learning specific skills - such as spatial understanding and design thinking - better. Moreover, using AR and VR in education enable better student engagement and help teaching overarching skills. 3DBear has created a solution which does not require educators to be techno-wizards. The solution includes pedagogical lesson plans, aligned to the curriculum, easy-to-use pedagogical software for AR and VR and teacher's view to keep track of what students are learning.
VP, Content Strategy, Fedscoop
Wyatt Kash is an accomplished business media executive and award-winning editor and journalist currently responsible for content strategy and editorial product development for Washington, D.C.-based Scoop News Group.
Prior to joining SNG, he served as Editor of InformationWeek Government at UBM Tech, where he developed content and community relations for the government technology market. Before that, he co-led an AOL start-up team where he helped launch, manage and market an online news platform featuring advanced social media strategies aimed at government, defense and technology industry executives.
Mr. Kash previously worked at The Washington Post Co. and subsequently 1105 Media as Editor-in-Chief of Government Computer News and Defense Systems, where he directed editorial strategy and content operations for print, online, mobile products and industry events. He has also held senior management and editorial positions at Hanley Wood and Lebhar-Friedman.
He was honored in 2011 as the national recipient of the G.D. Crain Award, given to one individual annually for outstanding career contributions to editorial excellence in American business media. He is a graduate of Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.
President & COO, General Assembly
Prior to joining General Assembly, Scott was President of The Princeton Review where he led the turnaround of the well-established brand, carving it out of a public holding company, and ultimately selling to InterActiveCorp (IAC). Before joining The Princeton Review in 2009, Scott worked at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, where he served as both Executive Vice President of Strategy & Marketing and President of the company's technology division, Riverdeep. Prior to that, Scott was a strategy consultant at both The Callidon Group (now Oliver Wyman) and The Parthenon Group, where he focused on advising clients in the education and publishing industries. Scott was also a United States Coast Guard officer, where he served as ship navigator and an aide to the President of the United States.
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.
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.
Founder, 5 More Minutes, LTD
Santeri Koivisto (M.Ed.) is a 3rd / 4th round entrepreneur focusing on edtech. One of his past companies built MinecraftEdu which spread like a wildfire to 15,000+ schools before Microsoft acquired it. Currently Santeri is focusing on 5 More Minutes Ltd. which is helping dozens of indie game companies build a joint portfolio of games with entertainment origin for educators. During his free time he is also helping other young and old ed tech entrepreneurs succeed.
David Kozhuk is the Founder and CEO of uConnect based in South Boston, MA. After graduating from UMass Amherst in 2008, David began his career in finance working as an Analyst for Brook Venture Partners, an expansion stage venture capital fund. In 2010, he joined the Founding Team at Arctaris Capital, a private equity firm dedicated to providing royalty-based debt financing to lower-middle market companies operating in underserved credit markets. During his time at Arctaris, David participated directly in raising $80m+ in limited partnership interests and deploying growth capital into more than 15 companies.
Pursuing a passion for career development and higher education, David launched uConnect in 2013 to help schools improve the ‘Return on Education’ by aligning the pursuit of higher education to meaningful career pathways and professional outcomes. uConnect is a graduate of the LearnLaunchX accelerator and has received numerous awards for technology and innovation. Today, uConnect is a leader in the education technology ecosystem, working with top Universities across the country to embed career education into the campus culture and daily student experience.
David lives in Roxbury, MA, loves hip hop music, college sports and start-upping.
Senior Education Solutions Specialist, Microsoft
Rich joined Microsoft in March 2008 and is currently working with the US Education Team as a Senior Education Solutions Specialist. As an Education Solutions Specialist, Rich works with state and national education leaders to identify opportunities for Microsoft to support and advance their efforts to provide top quality instruction and education services for students. Microsoft is committed to empowering the students of today to create the world of tomorrow. Rich works to ensure a dialogue is maintained with education leaders so that goal can be realized.
Prior to coming to Microsoft, Rich was an Education Market Specialist for Verizon Business, however, most of his career has been spent in the public sector. In 2006, Rich retired from the New York City Department of Education after almost twenty years of service there in a variety of roles including Deputy Chief Information Officer.
Rich graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1982 and served as a surface warfare officer for five years before leaving the military and going to work for the NYC Schools.
Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Product Solutions, Fablevision
Shelby works with clients and partners to explore potential partnership opportunities and to map out the strategy and “ecosystem” for complex projects. He has a bachelor's degree in Biology from Cornell University, an MAT-Museum Education from George Washington University, and more than 35 years of experience designing and producing educational materials and experiences—including countless software products, websites, animated films, and books. Shelby began his publishing career at Houghton Mifflin, where he served first as a science textbook editor and then as a technology project manager. He has been at FableVision since 2005. Shelby is also a Director of Games4Ed, a nonprofit that furthers the use of games and other immersive learning strategies in schools.
CEO, Texthelp Ltd.
Mark runs Texthelp Ltd. He became the CEO in September 1998 when there were only 6 employees. Since the early days, Mark has transformed the company from a technology-led, opportunistic enterprise to a customer-led, market-focused thriving business with over 120 employees, and distribution of products worldwide. Mark has been chairperson of the British Assistive Technology Association (BATA) since January 2011 and is now heading up a sub-committee on accessible online assessment for BATA. .
Mark is the architect of Texthelp's growth to the dominant position in the literacy support market worldwide. He combines great engineering credentials with keen financial and entrepreneurial talent. Mark has wide experience working with the financial community. Texthelp has been recognized in the Deloitte and Touche Fast 50 Program (Ireland) over the past 11 years. The Fast 50 recognizes the 50 fastest growing technology companies in Ireland.
President/CEO, Educaton Market Association
Jim McGarry is President/CEO of the Education Market Association, an organization that connects people who want to succeed in the educational products marketplace.
Managing Partner, First Step Advisors
Jim serves as Managing Partner of First Step Advisors, now in its tenth year of operation. During his time at First Step, Jim has worked with global technology, publishing, and service organizations while also supporting the growth of numerous start-ups. Widely recognized as an education industry expert, Jim’s published works have touched on topics ranging from business model evolution to key market drivers. Since founding First Step Advisors, Jim has worked in the US, Europe, Africa, and the Middle East to identify opportunities for clients and help drive growth.
Analyst/Editor, Simba Information
Karen Meaney is an analyst and editor at Simba Information, an authority for market intelligence and forecasts in the publishing industry since 1989. Karen is the lead author of Simba’s biweekly Electronic Education Report newsletter and a major contributor to Simba reports on the education publishing and technology markets.
SBIR Program Manager, U.S. Department of Education
Dr. Edward Metz leads the SBIR program and the Education Technology Research Grants program at the U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences. These programs provide funding for the R&D and evaluation of innovative forms of education learning technologies. Metz specializes in working with researchers and industry leaders in the development of education technology, research to test implementation in schools and the promise of technologies to increase learning, and on business models for private sector commercialization.
Associate Editor, EdWeek Market Brief
Michele Molnar covers the K-12 marketplace for EdWeek Market Brief, a service of Education Week. Launched 1 year ago, EdWeek Market Brief delivers insights and actionable intel about what schools want and expect from their educational technology. Michele has covered the marketplace for 3 years. Previously, she was a communications consultant and freelance writer. She has also served as the Director of Communications for TEC, an international organization of CEOs that is now called Vistage.
Sales Director, LinkedIn
President, Stages Learning Materials
Matt is the CEO of InsertLearning and the STEM Coordinator at a Minnesota charter school. With 10 years of experience teaching experience at-risk, high-needs students and having a child with cerebral palsy, InsertLearning was created to help himself and other educators create the accessible and engaging lessons that his students and daughter need.
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.
Co-founder, Capit Learning
Eyal Rav-Noy, Co-Founder of Capit Learning, has taught thousands of students—both children and adults—to read both English and Hebrew, for over 20 years. He created his own reading programs which are implemented in schools across the country. He regularly trains teachers and reading specialists, and tutors special education and special needs students at CAPIT Learning Center in Los Angeles.
President, Consulting Services for Education
John Richards, Ph. D. is Founder and President of Consulting Services for Education, Inc. (CS4Ed. www.cs4ed.com) and Adjunct Faculty at the Harvard Graduate School of Education teaching Entrepreneurship in the Education Marketplace. At CS4Ed, John works with educational publishers and organizations on market research, strategic planning, and product development and evaluation.
Previously, John was President of the JASON Foundation and GM of Turner Learning, the educational arm of Turner Broadcasting. He recently completed the 2012 U.S. Educational Technology Market: PreK-12 report for SIIA, and with Chris Dede (Eds.) has just published Digital Teaching Platforms, Teachers College Press.
General Manager, K12 Community Engagement, Blackboard
Marc Rubner is an award-winning marketing and product management leader with more than 20 years of strategic go-to-market experience. As the General Manager of Blackboard’s K12 Community Engagement line of business, Marc oversees the product roadmap and go-to-market strategy for the industry leading web, mobile, social and notification platform used by half of the U.S. public school districts, reaching more than 25 million students.
Prior to his time with Blackboard, Mr. Rubner developed and executed product strategies for global organizations including American Express, Maximus and LiveText. He is also the founder of Strategus Consulting, and the creator of “The Strategic B2B Marketing Framework.”
Mr. Rubner holds several U.S. patents for product innovation. He earned a Master of Arts degree from the University of Pennsylvania and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Brooklyn College.
Senior Vice President for Global Public Policy, SIIA
Carl Schonander is the Software & Information Industry Association’s (SIIA) Senior Vice President for Global Public Policy. He advocates for SIIA’s international policy interests. Those interests include the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, the EU General Data Protection Regulation, the Digital Single Market, China, cross-border data flows, intellectual property, trade, privacy, and Internet governance. Schonander was part of a coalition of industry groups that worked successfully to develop consensus industry support for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield, as well as congressional support for legislation needed to obtain EU support for the Shield. Schonander was a member of the Atlantic Council’s Task Force on Advancing a Transatlantic Digital Agenda, which released the report: “Building a Transatlantic Digital Marketplace: Twenty Steps Toward 2020.” He participated in an international group charged with providing recommendations for enhancing the accountability of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Schonander is a former U.S. diplomat. He has a Master of Law degree in Intellectual Property Rights from George Washington University, Masters Degree in Public Affairs from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs, and a JD from the University of Stockholm.
Asst. Professor, Johns Hopkins School of Education
Henry M. Smith is an assistant professor of education in the areas of leadership and policy at the Johns Hopkins School of Education, where he is also both former Associate Dean for Development and former Executive Director for Partnerships in Educational Transformation. He is a former U.S. assistant secretary of education; former Councilman and Mayor of Dover, N.H.; former New Hampshire Director for Public Transit and developer of New Hampshire’s COAST transit system. Smith was also an instructor in community colleges and education policy at George Washington University; founding director of corporate relations at Tufts University; former assistant to the president at the National Labor College; and consults to educational organizations and companies, universities and community colleges.
Chief Strategy Office, CoSN
Irene Spero leads corporate sponsorship and corporate membership recruitment and fulfillment efforts; oversees work of leadership Initiatives; helps with securing support for the CTO clinics; serves as staff liaison to the CoSN Corporate Council, Policy and Auction Committees; manages CoSN’s Strategic Planning efforts and strategic positioning; oversees communications and supports advocacy and policy work; and works on federal and state policy and advocacy, including our annual Auction/Dinner. She serves as staff liaison to the Task Force on Diversity & Next Generation. Irene has a BA in political science from Bryn Mawr College and an MA in Public Law from Columbia University.
CEO, PDK International
Open University, Head of New Business
Simon joined The Open University in April 2014 as the Head of New Business for the University. He is responsible for the creation and development of new business propositions with corporate clients, government bodies and international institutions of a global basis, leveraging the University’s skills and assets to generate incremental revenues streams and businesses.
Before joining The Open University, Simon worked for Steelcase Education building out their EMEA sales network and introducing new solutions around technology and space design within the higher education space. Prior to this Simon worked for Sun Microsystems for 18 years in a variety of international roles in Europe and the US.
The Open University is a public distance learning and research University. With over 170,000 students studying at undergraduate and post grad levels it is one of the largest universities in the world. In addition to its scale it is recognised for its social remit, providing free education resources to the public and widescale teaching projects through the developing world.
Managing Director, Tyton Partners
Trace is a Managing Director at Tyton Partners, and has followed the Global Knowledge market for nearly 20 years.
He has spent much of his career as an equity research analyst covering the Knowledge Services sector, most recently as a Managing Director at Credit Suisse. Prior to working in the institutional investment industry, Trace was the Chief Financial Officer of the Information, Communications and Entertainment practice at KPMG Peat Marwick. Prior to that, he held a number of senior management positions within Time Inc. Asia in Hong Kong.
Trace is primarily focused on developing new relationships in support of the Firm’s banking and consulting practices and extending its sector thought leadership through various research, publishing, and presenting initiatives. He is based in San Francisco, CA.
During his career Trace has followed a wide range of companies serving the education market, including early childhood, K-12, higher education and employment training. He is widely-cited as an expert on the topics of for-profit education, education technology and education policy. He has been cited by Career College Central magazine as one of the 25 most influential people in the career college sector, testified before the Spellings Commission on the Future of Higher Education, and authored a white paper for the Kauffman Foundation on the topic of higher education regulation.
Trace received a BA degree from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
CEO, Future N Focus
Steve Ward is a classic example of a child “left behind” before the No Child Left Behind Act was
enacted. His grade school teachers categorized him as a slow learner, recommended that he be held
back a year and refused to take additional time to get Steve up to speed academically. In a way, the
California education system failed him, but ultimately he prevailed.
Today, Steve is a firefighter and the
founder and CEO of Future N Focus, a nonprofit organization dedicated to ensuring that no child or teen is left behind without career guidance and discovery of purpose for their futures.
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.
Teacher Librarian, Saint Mary's County Public Schools
April Wathen is a Teacher Librarian at a rural Title I school in Southern Maryland. She was named the School Library Journal Hero of Equitable Access, 2017 and Teacher of the Year, (SMCPS, Washington Post Finalist), 2016. April is the Chairperson for the Maryland Association of School Librarians (AASL) annual conference.
CEO, Mindprint Learning
Nancy Weinstein is the founder of Mindprint Learning. For the past five years Mindprint has worked with schools, tutors, and educational consultants to help thousands of students understand learning strengths and needs and improve learning outcomes. Nancy has a BSE in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
Founder and Managing Partner, Academic Business Advisors, LLC
Mitch Weisburgh is co-founder and managing partner of Academic Business Advisors. He writes the PILOTed blog at http://academicbiz.typepad.com and has spoken at a number of past conferences on how to start a business, education technology, open source, how to market and sell in education, investing in education and raising money. Weisburgh was Founder, President, and CEO of Personal Computer Learning Centers of America, Inc, and subsequently Chief Technical Officer of College Pilot.com, where he successfully designed, developed, launched, and managed an online learning management system and SAT preparation course.
CEO and Co-Founder, EvoText
A former classroom teacher, curriculum developer, K-12 product editor, and digital product developer, Johanna currently serves as CEO and Co-Founder of EvoText, an educational software development house and makers of Ogment, an award-winning curriculum creation and management system. Johanna received her Ed.M. from Boston University and BA from University of Michigan
Global VP, Peachjar
Joyce Whitby has been in educational technology for over 30 years including roles in professional development, marketing and sales. Most notably she has developed strategic instructional technology sales initiatives targeting large and urban environments for several organizations including: WICAT Systems, Jostens Learning, Scientific Learning, Apple Computer, Monarch Teaching Technologies, and the education group of West Corporation (SchoolMessenger solutions). Currently she is Global VP of Sales at Peachjar. Peachjar is the nation’s leading digital flyer system for more than 12,000 K-12 schools in the United States and Canada combined. The company’s cloud-based system enables partnerships between schools, communities and parents by making it easier to organize, distribute and receive information about extracurricular and enrichment activities for children
CEO and Co-Founder, Knovation
Randy Wilhelm is the Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of Knovation, an organization that has pioneered the curation, contextualization, alignment and maintenance of Open Educational Resources (OER) for K-12 learning since 1999. While Knovation may be best known by its applications netTrekker and icurio, their unique, tested approach to curating content is the hallmark of their success, and the very thing that has driven their applications' accolades. As an evangelist for honoring the curiosity in every child, Wilhelm has served on many education and youth related not-for-profit boards including the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA), the Association of Educational Publishers (AEP), the Partnership for 21st Century Skills (P21), The Consortium for School Networking (CoSN), the Executive Advisory Board for Xavier University, Williams College of Business (Entrepreneurship & Management), and Teen Challenge Cincinnati. He is often a featured speaker, and presented a TEDx talk in 2012.
Managing Director, University Ventures
Troy Williams is a Managing Director of University Ventures. Prior to University Ventures, Troy was a senior executive at Macmillan where he was CEO of Macmillan Enterprise Solutions and President of Macmillan New Ventures, managing an edtech portfolio of seven companies with a focus on data and analytics, university systems and student performance and outcomes. Troy founded and for nine years was CEO of Questia Media, an early ebook company ultimately sold to Cengage Learning. Troy started his career in the mergers and acquisitions practice at Cravath, Swaine & Moore.
At University Ventures, Troy leads the firm's investments in EverTrue, Examity, Motimatic and Oohlala Mobile and focuses his investments in software and systems for universities generally. Troy received his bachelor's degree in History, Phi Beta Kappa, from Rice University, and his law degree from the Harvard Law School where he was a member of Harvard Law Review.
Duncan Young is the CEO of Envision, the country’s leading provider of career exploration and leadership development programs for students. He feels fortunate to get a chance to work with an organization focused on helping students unlock their potential. Duncan’s career began as a naval meteorology officer (in Hawaii of all places), a business consultant, and an executive at Scholastic, Inc. where he led Scholastic Achievement Partners, a national team focused on teacher professional development and school improvement. He has a great wife and is the proud father of three daughters. He enjoys running, cooking, and playing music in his free time. Duncan has a BS from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.
Founder & CEO, 2gno.me
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.
Principal Solutions Architect, Amazon Web Services
Jill AbbottSVP & Managing Director+1 202 422 2286
Sara KloekDirector, Education Policy+1 202 789 4448