Speakers will appear here as they are confirmed.

Keynote Speakers

Nana Banerjee

Venture Partner and Senior Advisor, Advisor

Nana serves as a venture partner and senior advisor to major PE firms. Until October Nana served as the President and CEO of McGraw-Hill and a member of its Board of Directors. Nana shepherded a rapid transformation of the global and iconic education business, and was instrumental in initiating, structuring and facilitating its merger with Cengage Learning – as announced in May, 2019. Previously, Nana was group president of Verisk Analytics, overseeing Verisk Financial Services (including Argus, LCI, G2, Lafferty and Fintellix), Geomni, Verisk Maplecroft, Verisk Retail and Verisk Health (prior to its divestiture) businesses. He also had oversight responsibility for Verisk’s joint data and development environment and Verisk’s centralized advanced research and analytics group. Nana has extensive experience leading, innovating and scaling analytics and technology businesses globally. He came to Verisk as part of its acquisition of Argus, where he was co-president and chief operating officer. In prior roles, he served as head of Citibank’s credit card business in the United Kingdom and as vice president of marketing at GE Capital. Nana has a Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the State University of New York, a master of science degree in mathematics from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, and a bachelor of science degree with honors in mathematics from St. Stephens College, Delhi. He serves as a member of the Board of Trustees at the Northern Westchester Hospital and lives in Bedford, New York, with his wife and two daughters.

Larry Berger

CEO, Amplify

Larry co-founded Amplify in 2000. He has led the invention of mobile software to help early reading teachers and next-generation curriculum for elementary and middle schools. Larry was a Rhodes scholar and a White House fellow working on educational technology at NASA, and a Pahara-Aspen Education Fellow. He serves on the boards of Touch Press, the Academy of American Poets, Lapham’s Quarterly, and the Institute for Sustained Attention.

Richard Carranza

Chancellor, New York City Department of Education

Richard A. Carranza is Chancellor of the New York City Department of Education, the largest school system in the nation. He is responsible for educating 1.1 million students in over 1,800 schools. During Carranza’s nearly 30 years in education, he has served in virtually every role. Prior to New York City, he was the superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, the largest school district in Texas, the seventh largest in the United States. Before that, he served the San Francisco Unified School District, first as deputy superintendent and then as superintendent. He began his career as a high school, bilingual social studies and music teacher, and then as a principal, both in Tucson, Arizona.

Dona Fraser

Vice President , Children's Advertising Review Unit (CARU)

Dona Fraser is a leading privacy expert with a passion for building creative solutions to business problems. As the Vice President of the BBB National Programs’ Children’s Advertising Review Unit (CARU), Dona provides a deep understanding of the marketplace challenges facing children’s advertisers, and the complexities of children’s privacy issues. She also brings extensive experience in the self-regulation space with a track record of helping companies do the right thing. The CARU team ensures companies are compliant under the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) and monitors and works with companies to improve privacy protections to stay in compliance and address the collection of children’s data online. CARU was one of the first FTC approved Safe Harbor programs. Dona has overhauled and expanded CARU services to align with market needs, growing members and increasing safe harbor participants by 40 percent in two years. Before joining BBB National Programs, Dona served as Vice President, Privacy Certified for the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), a self-regulatory program developed by the video game industry, for ten years. In this role, Dona was responsible for providing hands-on assistance to participating companies on development of data collection and privacy practices to meet ESRB standards. She also crafted privacy best practices in several areas including mobile apps, downloadable games, short-form privacy policies, behavioral advertising and social networking. Prior to ESRB, Dona served as a Director of Business and Legal Affairs for music labels at BMG/Sony Music in New York.

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.

Jason Horne

Managing Director, GSV Advisors

Jason Horne is a Managing Director with GSV Advisors. Based in GSV's New York offices, Jason has spent the majority of his career as a technology investment banker focused specifically on the education and human capital management technology sectors. Jason is also actively involved with GSV's broader education and talent technology franchise, including the ASU GSV Summit and GSV AcceleraTE. Just prior to re-joining GSV Advisors, Jason led Corporate Development for London-based TES Global, a TPG Capital-backed business. As part of the leadership team at TES Global, Jason helped to transform the organization into a leading digital education business through the execution of nine strategic transactions across the USA, Europe, and Australia. Jason has a B.S. in Finance from Indiana University's Kelley School of Business.

David Kirkland

Executive Director, NYU Steinhardt Metro Center

Dr. David E. Kirkland is the Executive Director of The NYU Metropolitan Center for Research on Equity and The Transformation of Schools. He has also been described as an activist and educator, cultural critic and author. A leading national scholar and advocate for educational justice, Dr. Kirkland's transdisciplinary scholarship has explored a variety of equity related topics: school climate and discipline; school integration and choice; culture and education; vulnerable learners; and intersections among race, gender, and education. Dr. Kirkland taught middle and high school for several years in Michigan. He’s also organized youth empowerment and youth mentoring programs for over a decade in major U.S. cities such as Detroit, Chicago and New York. He currently leads efforts to enhance education options for vulnerable youth throughout New York City, and beyond.

Jessica Reid Sliwerski

CEO, Open Up Resources

Jessica became CEO of Open Up Resources in May 2018, after leading our work as our Chief Academic Engagement Officer. Jessica was the co-founder and Chief Academic Officer at the adaptive literacy software company LightSail Education. She served as the SVP for Academic Research and Development at Noodle Markets, a pioneer in the K–12 procurement space. She began her career as a Teach For America teacher in NY before becoming an Assistant Principal at Success Academy Charter Schools. Jessica’s work in K–12 education was profiled in The Wall Street Journal and Steven Brill’s book Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UCLA and a Master’s in Education from Pace University. Jessica enjoys writing—Penguin has published her children’s book Cancer Hates Kisses—yoga, traveling with her husband, and reading to her daughter.

Robin Warner

Managing Parnter, Oaklins DeSilva&Phillips

Robin Warner possesses 17 years US and international investment banking experience, and 20 years of high-level operational experience in education and publishing Deals. She has closed 50+ transactions focused on EdTech, Education Services, Education Literacy Solutions, Professional Learning Services, Book Publishing, B2B Marketing Monitoring, and Healthcare.


Jill Abbott

Sr. Vice President and Managing Director, ETIN

Jill Abbott is the Sr. Vice President and Managing Director of ETIN, the Education Division of SIIA. She oversees the vision, strategy, and implementation of the work supporting members in the EdTech space. Previously she was the CEO of Abbott Advisor Group, focusing on strategic planning and visioning and policy development for the role of educational technology in education innovation and transformation. Jill is well known to state and federal associations and government agencies involved in effectively utilizing technology to impact the teaching and learning process. She has provided policy direction and input for educational technology, assessment, professional development, technology planning, emerging technologies, data analysis, digital content, and infrastructure tools nationally.

Nilofer Ali

Resources Manager, Westchester K-12 Publishing Services

Nilofer Ali is the Resources Manager for Westchester K-12 Publishing Services, responsible for the recruiting, onboarding and management of the freelance talent contracted for client projects. She joined the company in 2018 with a focus on building freelance hiring policies and practices which actively emphasize the core values of diversity, inclusion and equity. Additionally, Nilofer has implemented an internship program in coordination with colleges in the Dayton, Ohio area to increase awareness for students, particularly those from populations historically underrepresented in educational publishing, about the career opportunities available in the field. Her background is in PreK-12 education, and she has taught in private and public PreK-8 classrooms with diverse populations in urban, suburban, and virtual settings.

Stephen Alkins

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Officer, TERC

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.

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 http://www.linkedin.com/in/myroncizdyn, and information on the initiative at www.eLearningJourneys.com.

Alvin Crawford

SVP of Sales & Customer Success, Revolution Foods

Alvin brings more than 20 years of experience in strategy, sales and thought leadership to help drive Revolution Foods’ next chapter of accelerated growth. Prior to joining the company, Alvin served as General Manager for Public Consulting Group’s Education Practice, Chief Executive Officer of Knowledge Delivery Systems Inc., and Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for SchoolNet, Inc. He currently serves on the Board of Trustees for Metropolitan Montessori School in NYC and is on the Board of Advisors for ClassCraft and Kudzoo app, two education technology companies. Alvin is a proud husband and dad of three daughters in NYC.

Dr. Maurice Elias

Professor, Rutgers University

Brent Engelman

Education Data and Information Systems (EDIS) Director, CCSSO

Brent Engelman serves as the Education Data and Information Systems (EDIS) Director at the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO). At CCSSO, Brent is responsible for leadership of the Education Information Management Advisory Collaborative (EIMAC), the Chief Information Officer (CIO) Network, and the newly formed Data Network. Previously, Brent served as the Director of Information Technology at the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE). During his 17-year tenure in Illinois, Brent led an education data system transformation that included the development of Ed360, a mobile friendly web application designed to empower educators with access to near real-time data. Brent also served six years as School Board President for his local district.

Rita Ferrandino

Founding Principal and Government Relations Practice, Arc Capital Development

Rita Ferrandino is Founding Partner at Arc Capital Development, an early stage investment and advisory firm for education and special needs markets. Rita has built a reputation as one of the most effective strategist and coalition-builders in the education community. She is a nationally recognized STEM education expert and authority on education policy and politics. She offers more than 30 years of experience building companies and delivering strong revenue in education markets. She has served as the CEO of two Arc portfolio companies and has led company sales, acquisition, alliance and marketing efforts for traditional print, technology, and online products for some of the industry’s largest publishers.

Neal Goff

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.

Michael Golden

Executive Director, Catalyst, Penn Graduate School of Education

Michael Hynes

Superintendent, Port Washington Union Free School District

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.

Michael Kohlhagen

CEO, Center for Educational Innovation

Victor Lee

Senior Director, Corporate Strategy, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Steve Nordmark

Director of Business Development, CAST

My passion is finding ways to intelligently and intentionally leverage technology to increase the effectiveness of teachers and maximize the personalization for learners. I have dedicated my career to advancing the conceptual development and implementation of high-value technology solutions for K-12. With more than 25 years of experience in research and development of custom software solutions, I have spent over 20 of those years focused on enhancing the opportunities of teachers and learners. My goal is to create dialog, collaboration and ideas around innovative uses of technology for next generation learning solutions.

Doug Roberts

CEO, Educational Solutions Consulting

Doug Roberts, Founder and CEO of Educational Solutions Consulting, is a 15-year veteran of the educational software industry and a seasoned Ed Tech entrepreneur. Doug has worn many hats for startup companies, from business development, to VP Sales, to product marketing, and account management. Most recently, Doug was VP Sales for Engrade Inc., which was sold to McGraw Hill in 2014 after building a robust base of early adopter district customers under Doug's watch. He founded ESC in 2009, and clients have included his alma mater Wireless Generation (now Amplify), Childrens Progress, Waterford, New Schools Venture Fund, Teachboost, ThinkCERCA, Branching Minds, LightSail, and Engrade.

David Rust

General Manager, ETIN Board Member, 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.

Jessica Reid Sliwerski

CEO, Open Up Resources

Jessica became CEO of Open Up Resources in May 2018, after leading our work as our Chief Academic Engagement Officer. Jessica was the co-founder and Chief Academic Officer at the adaptive literacy software company LightSail Education. She served as the SVP for Academic Research and Development at Noodle Markets, a pioneer in the K–12 procurement space. She began her career as a Teach For America teacher in NY before becoming an Assistant Principal at Success Academy Charter Schools. Jessica’s work in K–12 education was profiled in The Wall Street Journal and Steven Brill’s book Class Warfare: Inside the Fight to Fix America’s Schools. She has a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from UCLA and a Master’s in Education from Pace University. Jessica enjoys writing—Penguin has published her children’s book Cancer Hates Kisses—yoga, traveling with her husband, and reading to her daughter.

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.

Joyce Whitby

President, Innovation4Education

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

Ilya Zeldin

Founder & CEO, 2gnoMe

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.