Speakers


Keynote Speakers

Peter Bencivenga

President, CareMonkey

After teaching high school for 10+ years in NYC public schools and working on technical integration initiatives for the NYCDOE, Peter Bencivenga co-founded the education software company DataCation in 2009. Educators looking to manage disparate data across many systems adopted the DataCation product suite, and the company grew quickly from usage in five NYC schools to over 700 NYC schools and hundreds of districts in six years. In September of 2015, (supported by an investment from LLR partners) DataCation merged with Longleaf Solutions to form IO Education. Bencivenga served as CAO, helping the company to become one of the leading educational data companies in the country. In July 2018, (supported by an investment from Insight Venture Partners) the company successfully exited to Illuminate Education. Bencivenga recently led an investment round for CareMonkey, which focuses on helping schools manage their digital form workflows to create operational efficiency. As president, Bencivenga continues to garner support to help students, teachers and school communities around the world.

Todd Brekhus

Chief Product Officer, Renaissance Learning

Todd is an education technology innovator with more than 25 years of experience. Most recently, he helped create myON, a personalized literacy platform that is part of Renaissance’s literacy portfolio. Previously, Todd served as Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer for PLATO Learning, President and COO of Learning Elements, and Education Program Director for MCI WorldCom. Todd also spent eight years as a technology leader in schools. In 2014, he was awarded the prestigious Lamp Lighter Visionary Award by the Association of American Publishers and was named the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient by SIIA Company CODiE Awards.

Traci Burgess

CEO, BrightBytes

John Campbell

CEO, Cambium Learning Group

John Campbell serves as Chief Executive Officer of Cambium Learning Group. Mr. Campbell served as President of Cambium Learning Technologies from December 2009 until March 2013, and COO of Voyager from January 2007 through December 2009. He joined ProQuest in January of 2004, which sold off its library business and changed its name to Voyager in January of 2007. Before joining Cambium Learning Group, Mr. Campbell served as Chief Operating Officer and business unit head of a research-based reading company (Breakthrough to Literacy) within McGraw-Hill. Prior to joining Breakthrough/McGraw-Hill, he served as Director of Technology for Tribune Education. Additionally, Mr. Campbell has experience as General Manager of a software start-up (Insight Industries Inc.) and as Director of Applications and Technical Support for a hardware manufacturer (Commodore International). John has also served on the Education Board for the Software Information Industry Association (SIIA).

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 Chief Executive Officer of Knowledge Delivery Systems Inc. (KDS), an innovation leader in blended professional learning, from September 2009 until July 2016. In 2000, was at the New York-based company, SchoolNet, Inc. where he served as Senior Vice President. He spent nearly a decade at SchoolNet. Mr. Crawford worked in partnership with some of the largest school districts in the United States, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, District of Columbia, Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Albuquerque, Corpus Christi, San Antonio's Northside, Fulton County (Georgia), Wichita and Newark Public Schools. Prior to SchoolNet, Mr. Crawford served with several leading Internet agencies in New York and Boston (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 has strong education, entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, internet strategy and management skills to lead PCG Education’s growth. He serves as a Director of Knowledge Delivery Systems Inc. Mr. Crawford has an MBA in Organizational Studies and Marketing and a Certificate in Leadership for Change from Boston College’s Wallace E. Carroll Graduate School of Management, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

Christina Culver

President, EdNexus Advisors

Christina Erland Culver is the president and founder of EdNexus Advisors LLC, a Washington, DC based government affairs and business strategy firm that provides advice and services to education industry, non-profit, investor, and philanthropic clients. For the last twelve years Ms. Erland Culver has advised EdTech companies and lobbied Congress on pre-K12 and higher education issues. She gained her expertise working in senior positions at the U.S. Department of Education, including Acting Assistant Secretary and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Intergovernmental and Interagency Affairs. She served under Education Secretary Lamar Alexander in the early 1990s, and at the White House for President George H.W. Bush. Prior to government, Ms. Erland Culver was vice president of public affairs for Children First America, a national non-profit in support of school choice for low income children. Ms. Erland Culver has a master’s degree in national security and strategic studies from the U.S. Naval War College, and a BA in political science from the University of Kansas.

Susan Enfield

Superintendent, Highline Public Schools

A former high school English, journalism and ELL teacher, Susan served as Chief Academic Officer and then as Interim Superintendent for Seattle Public Schools before coming to Highline in 2012. She previously held leadership positions in Evergreen Public Schools (Vancouver, WA), Portland Public Schools and the Pennsylvania Department of Education. Susan is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley, and earned master’s degrees from Stanford University and Harvard University. She also holds a doctoral degree in Administration, Planning and Social Policy from Harvard’s Urban Superintendents Program.

Chandy Ghosh

COO & GM, Inteliquent Emergency & 911 Services, Inteliquent

Chandy Ghosh is a well-respected leader in telecommunications. She is the Chief Operating Officer, Inteliquent 911 Emergency Services with the goal of modernizing emergency communications, in an industry governed by FCC & Dept of Homeland Security. Prior to this, Chandy was Executive Vice President at West Safety Services , VP of Digital Strategy at CenturyLink, Executive Partner at ThoughtWorks, Global Head, GWS Product Delivery at Johnson Controls, CIO at CQG & Principal Consultant at KPMG-BearingPoint. Ms. Ghosh’s education includes Harvard Executive Development, Master of Process, Michael Hammer, Cambridge MA; Strategic Leadership, Center for Creative Leadership, Colorado Springs. She has CJIS certification, MBA & MS degrees. Chandy has represented on several Boards including Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame & Colorado Technology Association’s Women-in-Technology. Chandy is frequently invited to speak at global events & is passionate being a mentor supporting diversity.

Henry Hipps

Deputy Director, Education, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

Henry Hipps is Deputy Director on the Education team at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. Henry and his team focus on improving the availability, awareness and implementation of high leverage solutions that support teachers and increase student achievement. At the Foundation, he has worked at the intersection of innovation and system redesign to foster the improvement of curriculum, education technology and other tools and school models. Previously, Henry was Senior Director at the Partnership for Los Angeles Schools, Mayor Villaraigosa’s school turnaround organization. Henry was also founder and CEO of Trajectory Learning which delivered web-based K-12 courseware with culturally-relevant content designed to increase student engagement. Prior to his work in education, Henry was an executive at IBM Business Consulting where he led global teams on business and technology consulting engagements. Throughout his career, Henry has sought opportunities to use entrepreneurship and innovation as tools to create social impact.

Kyla Johnson-Trammell

Superintendent, Oakland Unified School District

Born and raised in East Oakland and a third generation Oaklander, Dr. Kyla Johnson-Trammell is a fierce advocate for Oakland public schools. She holds a communications degree from the University of Pennsylvania and earned her EdD from U.C. Berkeley in Educational Leadership. Dr. Johnson-Trammell’s commitment to Oakland and urban education is evidenced by almost twenty years of service to Oakland Unified School District (OUSD) in several capacities including: elementary school teacher; middle school assistant principal; elementary school principal; Director of Talent Development; Associate Superintendent for Leadership, Curriculum, Instruction; Elementary Network Superintendent; and Interim Deputy Superintendent. She is committed to working with the community to transform OUSD from a school district showing areas of improvement and pockets of success to one that is known for consistent excellence and equity, transparent and honest communication, and quality schools in every neighborhood. Dr. Johnson-Trammell assumed the position of OUSD Superintendent on July 1, 2017.

Geo Kane

General Manager, Emerson Collective

George Kane is General Manager of Education Ventures at Emerson Collective in Palo Alto, CA. George sources and leads investments in companies that hold the potential to improve education through the thoughtful use of technology. He has built a team and set of services to help portfolio companies scale, grow revenue, and measure impact and efficacy. George joined Emerson from Apple, where he led the team working with developers and publishers to build a global ecosystem of education apps and content. Previously, George held leadership roles in product, marketing, and strategy in education and technology companies including Blackboard, Pearson, HMH, and ZDNet. George received his BA from Brown University.

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.

Kent McGuire

Program Director, Education, William + Flora Hewlett Foundation

Bart Meltzer

Inventor, SpoonRead

Bart has over 25 years of experience as a designer and developer of innovative Internet-based applications. Bart has founded or had senior leadership roles in a number of pioneering technology companies including Fantasy Sports Now and Rent One Online where he was the Founder and Chief Architect of the Rent One Online Vacation Rental Manager product suite. He has also served as Chief Technology Officer of Veo Systems and later the Chief Architect for Commerce One after their Veo Systems acquisition. Commerce One’s 1999 public equity offering was the most successful IPO of that year. Bart has developed numerous patents, including a suite collectively known as the Web Services Patents currently held by the Open Invention Network. Web Services are the world-wide standard for distributed computing across the internet. Bart holds a degree in Communications with emphasis on Human Information Processing from the University of California, San Diego and has been a frequent speaker at corporate and conference events and discussion panels. Bart was named as one of the all-time Top 100 Alumni to graduate from UCSD for his contributions in computer science and communications. A dedicated philanthropist and school fundraising organizer for more than 15 years, Bart is energized by SpoonRead’s ability to merge his commitment to schools and education with his entrepreneurial desire to find innovative applications of technology.

Farzana Nayani

Founder & CEO, Manazil Management, LLC

Farzana Nayani is a recognized Diversity & Inclusion and Strategic Communications specialist focused on supporting organizations through training, consulting, keynote speaking, and coaching on cultivating inclusive workplace and reaching broader audiences. She has worked with Fortune 500 corporations, public agencies, higher education institutions, startups, and non-profit organizations as a consultant on diversity and inclusion, intercultural communication, supplier diversity, and employee engagement. Farzana’s advisory work with Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), small business advocacy, and entrepreneurship has taken her to engagements across North America, from the White House to Silicon Valley. Her subject matter expertise on global community relations is recognized in her work with institutions like the Smithsonian and the East-West Center. A featured author, speaker, and executive coach, Farzana drives organizations to communicate more effectively and “reimagine inclusion”. She is based in Los Angeles, CA.

Evo Popoff

Senior Vice President, Whiteboard Advisors

Evo is a nationally-recognized education technology expert who leverages his unique blend of education policy and private sector experience to help education organizations grow and make an impact. Before joining Whiteboard Advisors, Evo served as the Chief Innovation and Intervention Officer for the New Jersey Department of Education, where he launched major edtech and innovation initiatives and was recognized by SETDA as the Ed Tech Policy Maker of the Year for his efforts. Evo started his work in education at Edison Learning where he served as the Senior vice President for Product Strategy and then ran the company’s education technology and school improvement solutions.

Deborah Quazzo

Managing Partner, GSV AcceleraTE

Deborah is the Managing Partner of GSV AcceleraTE Fund, a venture capital fund investing in the $75B education and talent technology sector. She is the Co-founder and Managing Partner of the ASU GSV Summit, an event that attracts over 4,500 attendees annually. Previously Deborah co-founded ThinkEquity Partners, a boutique technology focused investment bank, which was acquired in 2007. Prior to ThinkEquity Partners, she was a Managing Director in Investment Banking and head of the Global Growth Group at Merrill Lynch & Co. She currently serves on the boards of Ascend Learning (a portfolio company of Blackstone and CCCP), Degreed, The Educational Testing Service (ETS), Fairygodboss, Lightneer and Remind. Deborah graduated cum laude with a BA in history from Princeton University, and an MBA from Harvard University.

David Schuler

Superintendent, Illinois High School District 214

Dr. David R. Schuler is the 2018 Illinois and National Superintendent of the Year. Known for his ability to inspire and build leaders, he spearheaded Redefining Ready!, the national movement to redefine what it means for students to be college, career and life ready while serving as the 2015-2016 President of AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Dr. Schuler leads High School District 214, Illinois’ largest high school district, where he led the development of an innovative instructional philosophy around personalized learning experiences focused on career pathways, early college credit, and industry credentials that enables students to discover their futures while still in high school. The 44 pathways align with the 16 national career clusters and students gain real-world experience through youth apprenticeships and workplace learning experiences. Dr. Schuler earned his bachelor’s degree from Carroll University and his master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Maia Sharpley

Partner, Learn Capital

Maia Sharpley is a Partner at Learn Capital with over 15 years of experience as an education executive in private and public sector organizations. Maia has a proven track record of conceptualizing, developing, and scaling education services in the US, Europe and Asia-Pacific. She has also been active in the edtech startup arena, overseeing early stage company advisory programs and launching several businesses. Maia was formerly EVP of innovation and strategic initiatives for Charter Schools USA and responsible for developing innovative edtech solutions and new capabilities within the organization. In prior roles, as VP for strategy and innovation with Kaplan, Inc., she led a broad range of programs and businesses, including managing the company’s edtech portfolio and administering the relationship with the TechStars-Kaplan edtech startup accelerator in NYC. She also served as executive director of operations for the New York City Department of Education, the largest public school system in the U.S. Prior to her career in education, Maia worked as a management consultant. She is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, CT and earned her MBA from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Maia is fluent in several languages and a U.S. patent holder.

Kelly Shaw

SVP, Digital Subscriptions, ScholasticEducation

Thomas Squeo

Chief Technology Officer (CTO), West Corporation

Results-oriented, agile, technology executive focused on the business of software. Capable and forward-looking, Thomas leads within mission-driven, agile organizations that differentiate themselves through excellence in product innovation and customer-centered solution delivery. A dynamic thought leader, practitioner and innovator, with deep experience in enterprise and public sector solution implementation. He is a recognized expert in enterprise, education and communications technologies (layers 4-7). Proven record in product development, program, and project execution focused on the application of mobile, social, big data and cloud technologies. Having led in organizations ranging from start-up to Fortune 500; product, service and consultative; public and private sectors; for-profit and non-profit in roles from operational to revenue-generating with focus on lowering barriers to entry through simple, human-centered solutions.

Vivian Wu

Managing Partner, Ventures, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

Vivian Wu is Managing Partner, Ventures at the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, where she leads their impact investments. Vivian serves on the board of Andela and BYJU'S. She also led CZI's investments in such companies as AltSchool, Bridge International Academies, Brightwheel, Ellevation Education, Handshake, MasteryConnect, Newsela, Raise.me, Trilogy Education, and Varsity Tutors. She also led CZI's acquisition of Meta, an AI-enabled technology platform for accelerating scientific discovery. Vivian has nearly two decades of experience in venture capital and private equity. She was previously an investor at a private family office, in software growth equity and buyouts at TA Associates, in venture capital at Accel Partners, and in pan-Asia private equity at Morgan Stanley Capital Partners Asia. Vivian holds an MBA from Harvard University, and graduated summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA and a BS in Economics from Wharton.

Additional Speakers

Jill Abbott

Sr. Vice President and Managing Director, ETIN

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.

Thad Austin

Instructional Coach, San Francisco Unified School District

Thad Austin is a K-12 educator at Herbert Hoover Middle School in the San Francisco Unified School District where he has taught in elementary and middle school classrooms since 1987. His background is in cinema and film production, with a degree in filmmaking from San Francisco State University and an MA in mathematics education. Currently, Thad serves as Hoover Middle School’s technology learning coach in partnership with the Verizon Innovative Learning Schools (VILS) and Digital Promise to support a district grant for 1:1 iPads for all students enrolled at the school. In this role he instructs students and teachers in the use of digital media creation tools such as iMovie and Final Cut Pro, leads digital content creation through basic coding and graphic design, and pod casting. He is also an active board member of the San Francisco chapter of CUE at cuesf.org.

John Bailey

Fellow, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative

John’s serves as a Chan Zuckerberg Initiative Fellow advancing strategy related to economic mobility, criminal justice reform, and education. He is a visiting Fellow at the American Enterprise Institute researching Opportunity Zones and issues relating to the future of work. He is also an advisor to the Walton Family Foundation. John served as a domestic policy advisor in the White House coordinating the policy process on issues including ESEA, the Higher Education Act, job training, and the Trade Adjustment Assistance reauthorization. He served as the Deputy Policy Director to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce and was Director of Educational Technology at the U.S. Department of Education. He co-founded the strategic advisory firm Whiteboard Advisors, served as a senior program officer at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, and most recently was the VP of Policy for Governor Jeb Bush’s Foundation for Excellence in Education. John is a Pahara-Aspen Institute Fellow, a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network, and an alumnus of the American Council on Germany Young Leaders Program. He also serves on advisory boards for the Aspen Institute’s Future of Work, the Bush Institute, Center for Democracy and Technology, Data Quality Campaign, and National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

Jared Bernstein

Co-Founder and President, Analytic Measures, Inc.

Jared Bernstein has taught linguistics at Stanford University since the 1980s. He has served as PI on projects funded by DARPA, NSF, NIH, and IES. He’s also developed the language processing components in commercial text-to-speech synthesis systems, speech recognition systems, and in several products that use spoken language recognition in educational assessment. For 10 years Jared was Principal Scientist in the Speech Research Group at SRI International. After that he was VP for Development at a software company later acquired by Microsoft; then he co-founded Ordinate Corporation which was acquired by Pearson, and he’s recently co-founded Analytic Measures Inc. that has applied machine learning in reading education to produce Moby.Read.

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.

Sam Bonfante

Vice President, Global Markets, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Over the past three years Sam has led a broad expansion of education publisher Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s international presence. Working with overseas schools, Ministries of Education, governments and some of the world’s leading EdTech partners, Sam has crafted an International strategy of combining rapid growth with high margins, while reducing risk exposure. As HMH’s Global Market’s leader, Sam is working to transform the company’s use of its world-class curriculum content into technology solutions which enhance learning at all levels of international education. Prior to joining HMH Sam founded and sold a global publishing consultancy which specialized in developing advanced analytics and market-share management for digital and education publishers. Sam holds a degree from Lehigh University. He and his wife Laura reside in Boston, and have three children.

Jason Borgen

Board Member, CUE

Jason has worked in the K-12 environment for close to 2o years--First as a teacher focused on creating an environment beyond brick and mortar learning. Jason spent many years following by supporting school administrators across California with effective ways to leverage technology to lead 21st century schools as part of the statewide Technology Information Center for Administrative Leadership (TICAL) project as well training teachers in transformative practices in their classroom. Jason spent 3-years in leading curriculum and technology programs at Portola Valley School District, small school district in the Silicon Valley. Currently, Jason is leading Technology, Innovation, and Communication at the Santa Cruz County Office of Education as the Chief Technology Officer and is Vice President/Treasurer for CUE, INC. Board of Directors – a non-profit focused on inspiring innovation in education.

Erica Branch-Ridley

VP Product Development, HITN Learning

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.

Frank Catalano

Principal, Intrinsic Strategy

Frank Catalano is an independent tech industry analyst, consultant, and widely published author. He currently is Director of EdSurge Intelligence, a new market intelligence service from EdSurge for investors and companies in the edtech industry. He also advises edtech companies on strategy. He has been a long-time contributor to the tech news site GeekWire, covering and commenting on tech trends in education, pop culture, and the arts, and analyzing the convergence of media and digital technology.. He also has been a tech and edtech company executive, serving in senior roles for Pearson, West Corporation (SchoolMessenger), ProExam and others. And he's been a frequent SIIA CODiE Awards emcee.

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.

Mike Cohen

CEO, Cignition

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 Chief Executive Officer of Knowledge Delivery Systems Inc. (KDS), an innovation leader in blended professional learning, from September 2009 until July 2016. In 2000, was at the New York-based company, SchoolNet, Inc. where he served as Senior Vice President. He spent nearly a decade at SchoolNet. Mr. Crawford worked in partnership with some of the largest school districts in the United States, including Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, District of Columbia, Cleveland, Columbus, Denver, Albuquerque, Corpus Christi, San Antonio's Northside, Fulton County (Georgia), Wichita and Newark Public Schools. Prior to SchoolNet, Mr. Crawford served with several leading Internet agencies in New York and Boston (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 has strong education, entrepreneurship, sales, marketing, internet strategy and management skills to lead PCG Education’s growth. He serves as a Director of Knowledge Delivery Systems Inc. Mr. Crawford has an MBA in Organizational Studies and Marketing and a Certificate in Leadership for Change from Boston College’s Wallace E. Carroll Graduate School of Management, and earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts.

Patrick Devanney

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.

Jason Dunton

Founder, Dunton Consulting

Owen Edwards

Principal Accessibility Consultant, Level Access

Owen Edwards is a Principal Accessibility Consultant, Enterprise Project Lead and web video accessibility Subject Matter Expert at Level Access. He leads testing, consulting and training engagements with clients ranging from enterprise-level financial companies to small colleges, and provides expert consultation on video player, platform and content accessibility. He is a core contributor to the video.js open-source web video player framework, driving their accessibility initiatives and helping to make it one of the most accessible, broadly-used HTML video players online. Owen sits on the FCC’s Disability Advisory Committee, and is also a contributor to the W3C HTML standard and the W3C WAI accessibility guidelines and techniques. Previously, he was the research engineering lead at the Video Description Research and Development Center (VDRDC) at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute in San Francisco, where he helped develop the YouDescribe platform that supports research into types of description for video, third-party description and social sharing. Owen sees technology as a way to build connection, break down barriers, and increase access to education, employment, entertainment, and broad social inclusion. Owen holds a Masters degree from the University of Southampton on the UK.

Kate Finnefrock

CEO, ProjectEd

Kate Finnefrock is the CEO of ProjectEd, a consulting group dedicated to helping inspired and effective education products end up in the hands of learners and educators who need them. Kate has spent almost 20 years helping education products get made and implemented, including product roles at companies such as BigChalk, the College Board, and Amplify. In that time she oversaw the conception, development, marketing and implementation of dozens of education products. In 2015 she started ProjectEd, with the mission of using what she’d learned to benefit the most innovative and talented product companies in the field. She makes this impact through her work with ProjectEd’s clients, as a mentor to edtech incubators, and as a thought leader, speaking and moderating at conferences around the country.Kate is an aspiring runner, a mother of two, a wife of one, and holds a BA from Penn.

Ron Fitzgerald

President, MathResources Inc

Ron Fitzgerald is the President of MathResources. He has almost 30 years of experience in the educational publishing industry. For the past 12 years he has been working to make MathResources “The New Face of Mathematics” education. To further this goal MathResources has built and continues to build products utilizing the latest research and developments in educational software development. He has also has extensive experience in the textbook publishing world. For 17 years he worked for a selection of the major textbook publishers holding positions in sales, sales management, product acquisition and development.

Edyta Florczyk

Board of Director, BeCREO

Being happy wife and mother of 2 daughters (20 and 17 years old) with 20+ years of corporation experience. I have been holding various sales and marketing positions within international environment working with people representing various cultures, various interests, various teams and various objectives. I have seen the passion and commitment of the people I worked with as a team member as well as a manager with respect and trust for each other. I am passionate about innovative thinking, listening and understanding various points of view in very diverse environment of EMEA. My experience is broad, I worked with: consumers, small and medium business, central and local governments, telecommunications, distributors and channel Partners. My experience on cross team work learnt me how important is to understand the motivations and needs. It brought me to the point on how to plan for the benefit for all stakeholders in diverse markets.

Brian Gadus

Assistive Technology Specialist, Palo Alto Unified School District

Brian Gadus has worked with the Palo Alto Unified School District Assistive Technology team since 2009. Brian earned his Bachelor degree from Portland State University, and his Master of Arts in Special Education from Notre Dame de Namur University. Brian is inspired by working with assistive technology to create access for all students. Brian teaches a graduate level course for prospective teachers at Notre Dame de Namur University, titled "Technology in Special Education." Brian has had multiple speaking engagements with Stanford University's Graduate School of Education, Technology for Equity in Learning Opportunities (TELOS) and Stanford Teacher Education Program (STEP). He has also been a panelist with Silicon Valley Computer Using Educators (SVCUE). While Brian is a huge proponent of technology, he enjoys unplugging. He enjoys tinkering with his bicycles and working in the yard.

Terri Givens

CEO, Center for Higher Education Leadership

Terri E. Givens is a Public Speaker, Political Scientist and a consultant to educational technology companies and educational institutions. In February of 2019 she founded The Center for Higher Education Leadership, a portal for professional development for higher education administrators. She was the Provost of Menlo College from July 2015 to June 2018. From the Fall of 2003 until the Spring of 2015 she was a Professor in the Government Department at the University of Texas at Austin where she also served as Vice Provost for International Activities and Undergraduate Curriculum from 2006 to 2009, Director of the Robert S. Strauss Center’s European Union Center of Excellence, and Co-Director of the Longhorn Scholars Program. She founded and directed the Center for European Studies and the France-UT Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies from 2004-2006. She was a faculty member in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington from 1999 to 2003. She received her Ph.D. from the University of California, Los Angeles, and her B.A. from Stanford University.

Branden Hill

Director of Strategy and Business Development, International Division, McGraw Hill

Branden Hill is the Director of Strategy and Business Development for McGraw Hill Education’s International division. He oversees strategy & business development for sales into 125 countries, including K-12, Professional/Medical and Higher Ed product outside the USA. Branden engages regularly with foreign Ministries of Education, to support education priorities at the national level, and ed tech networks around the world. Branden is based in New York.

Jennifer House

President, RedRock Reports

Dr. Jennifer House founded RedRock Reports to provide actionable funding insights to companies selling to K-12 education. Jenny provides clients with a strategic vision from both business and education perspectives. Her work is informed by years of experience in district administration as well as industry management. At RedRock Reports she focuses on the impact of funding knowledge on sales, advising clients about funding trends and execution strategies via webinars and in-person presentations. Prior experience includes holding management positions at HP and Apple Computer as well as executive positions at Classroom Connect and Tenth Planet.

Michael Jay

President, Educational Systemics

Michael taught Science in California, where he worked on developing the state's first set of Technology in the Curriculum materials. He helped start Apple's Classroom of Tomorrow project and went on to found Mediaseek Technologies,continuing the development of tools for children and educators as Director of Education Business Development at N2H2 and VP and GM of Brainium Technologies in the following years, where he worked on sustainable 1:1 computing in schools. Michael served on the Executive Board of the School's Interoperability Framework and played a pivotal role in driving the development and adoption of the LRMI, both pivotal to data and content interoperability in pK-12 education. Michael served on the SIIA Ed Board for 12 years, three of which he served as co-chair. He started and continues to cochair the ETiN Tech & Dev working group. Michael is also the host of Education Table Talk, a month internet radio show that addresses topics important to those who serve pK-12 education.

Victor Lee

Senior Director, Corporate Strategy, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Eileen M. Lento Ph.D.

Managing Partner, Eurkea!Enable

Dr. Lento, a global, award-winning visionary senior executive who connects purpose with profit, turning concepts into reality by developing and executing forward-thinking strategies that increase visibility and enhance perception as an industry leader, where cost and competitive pressure are the norm. Internationally recognized thought leader and persuasive influencer at the board and senior executive levels, through root cause problem solving, high-performing team development and finely honed communication skills that drive profits in both public and private sectors.

Mary Jo Madda

Manager, Google

Mary Jo Madda (@MJMadda) is Creative Strategy Manager for several diversity + education initiatives at Google, including Code Next and Tech Exchange. Previously, she was a Director and Senior Editor at EdSurge. At the start of her career, she taught middle school math/science with Teach for America's Houston corps (specifically KIPP Houston) and later with the Archdiocese of Los Angeles at St. Cyril of Jerusalem School, where she also served as an administrator, curriculum coordinator, and decathlon coach. Following her years teaching, she was a member of the ScratchED team at the MIT Media Lab, was an instructional coach with MATCH Charter Schools, and served as one of four founding Education Entrepreneurship Fellows at the Harvard University Innovation Lab while piloting an educational media start-up. She was also a fellow in the Harvard Graduate School Leadership Institute. Mary Jo has an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education and a B.A. from Northwestern University. She was featured on the Forbes "30 Under 30" list for 2016 for her work at EdSurge, and has spoken at venues including Stanford, the University of Virginia, and TEDxChicago (video here).

Shelby Marshall

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.

Bart Meltzer

Inventor, SpoonRead

Bart has over 25 years of experience as a designer and developer of innovative Internet-based applications. Bart has founded or had senior leadership roles in a number of pioneering technology companies including Fantasy Sports Now and Rent One Online where he was the Founder and Chief Architect of the Rent One Online Vacation Rental Manager product suite. He has also served as Chief Technology Officer of Veo Systems and later the Chief Architect for Commerce One after their Veo Systems acquisition. Commerce One’s 1999 public equity offering was the most successful IPO of that year. Bart has developed numerous patents, including a suite collectively known as the Web Services Patents currently held by the Open Invention Network. Web Services are the world-wide standard for distributed computing across the internet. Bart holds a degree in Communications with emphasis on Human Information Processing from the University of California, San Diego and has been a frequent speaker at corporate and conference events and discussion panels. Bart was named as one of the all-time Top 100 Alumni to graduate from UCSD for his contributions in computer science and communications. A dedicated philanthropist and school fundraising organizer for more than 15 years, Bart is energized by SpoonRead’s ability to merge his commitment to schools and education with his entrepreneurial desire to find innovative applications of technology.

Erin Mote

Executive Director, InnovateEDU

Erin Mote is the Executive Director of InnovateEDU and co-founder of Brooklyn Laboratory Charter School (LAB). She leads InnovateEDU and its major projects including the development of Cortex, work on data interoperability, an urban education Fellowship to diversify the teacher pipeline, and supports for LAB's growth. She has spent much of her career focused on public service and expanding access to technology in both the US and abroad. Her work spans private sector collaborations and groundbreaking initiatives with Intel, Cisco, Google, and Mozilla, as well as work with leading US government technology partnerships. Erin served as the founding Chief of Party for the USAID Global Broadband and Innovations Alliance and has worked on numerous projects with the US Department of State and the White House. She lives in Brooklyn with her husband and two children and bleeds maize and blue as a graduate of the University of Michigan.

Matthew Mugo Fields

GM, Supplemental and Intervention Solutions , Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Matthew has devoted his career to transforming education and ensuring that academic success is attainable for students of all backgrounds. He joined HMH in 2017 and leads the development and strategy of the company’s supplemental and intervention solutions. Prior to HMH, Matthew worked at McGraw-Hill Education, overseeing strategy, operations, marketing, and product development for a suite of adaptive learning programs. Matthew also founded education startups – Redbird Advanced Learning, a personalized learning company that developed next generation math and language arts adaptive digital curricula and online teacher professional learning programs; and Rocket Group, the United States’ largest provider of in-school tutoring, which served students in 140 school systems across 20 states. He holds dual master’s degrees in business and education from Harvard University and is an honors graduate of Morehouse College.

Greg Nadeau

Manager, Education, Public Consulting Group

Greg Nadeau is a writer, speaker, community leader, innovator, and Manager at Public Consulting Group (PCG). He has over twenty years of experience leading large-scale education data system projects at the local, state, and national levels, including eight years as Chief Information Officer of the Massachusetts Department of Education. Mr. Nadeau is co-chair of the IMS Global Comprehensive Learner Record (CLR) task force, helped lead the IMS Global Competency and Academic Standards Exchange (CASE) task force, led the team that created the Common Education Data Standards (CEDS) data model for USED, and served on the Board of Directors of the School Interoperability Framework Association (SIFA). Mr. Nadeau has directed successful statewide education data projects in Massachusetts, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Illinois, Utah, New York, and Georgia and participated in projects with dozens of other states. Mr. Nadeau lives, works and is raising his children with his wife Kerri Lorigan in Somerville, MA.

Alison Pendergast

Founder, Trigility Advisors LLC

Alison Pendergast is Founder and CEO of Trigility, Inc., a business strategy, innovation, and advisory services company helping academic institutions and organizations design, implement, and scale successful eLearning solutions. Prior to Trigility, Alison served as Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer for Carnegie Mellon University backed Acrobatiq - a leading adaptive learning and analytics platform for higher education and corporate training. In that function, she led the go-to-market strategy and brand growth from the company’s inception in 2013 to its successful acquisition in 2018 by VitalSource™- an Ingram Content Company. Prior to this role, she was Chief Marketing Officer for Ascend Learning where she led the brand and product transformation of Jones and Bartlett from print publisher to leading provider of instructional, assessment, and learning management solutions for the secondary, post-secondary, and professional markets. Alison also held executive leadership roles at Pearson Education, leading digital learning product innovation, marketing and strategy. Alison holds a master’s in business administration, summa cum laude from Norwich University, and is a Distinguished Military Graduate from University of Connecticut Army ROTC, and veteran US Army Medical Service Corps Officer.

Thor Prichard

President & CEO, Clarity Innovations, Inc.

Thor Prichard leads Clarity Innovations and its team of education practitioners, designers, producers, and developers to help clients design and build solutions that improve the process and practice of teaching in a global society. When he’s not researching emerging trends and technologies that the education industry will discover and embrace 3-5 years from now, Thor is consulting with clients the likes of Intel Education, Adobe Systems, Northwest Evaluation Association, Math Learning Center, littleBits, Voyager Sopris Learning, and the PMI Educational Foundation on their education product strategy. Working at the intersection of education and technology for over two decades—including serving as an executive director of a five-state nonprofit consortium, an instructional and user experience designer, and technology researcher/developer—he has proven to be an enthusiastic evangelist of digital pedagogy. Thor holds a BA in cognitive psychology from Reed College in Oregon and enjoys long-distance offshore sailing.

Peter Ramsdell

Vice President of Sales, Texthelp, Inc

Peter is the Vice President of Sales for Texthelp's Publishing Solutions Group with more than 25 years experience in the K-20 education market. Peter joined Texthelp in 2005 initially working with K-20 customers on the East Coast. In 2008 Peter transition to focusing on Texthelp's relationships with publishers and helping them embed reading, writing and math support tools within their content to better serve their student learners. Prior to working with Texthelp, Peter's experiences in education included national and regional sales positions with Classroom Connect, The Learning Company, and a startup company whose product was adopted by educators and eventually licensed to The Learning Company.

Brandt Redd

Chief Strategist, EdMatrix

Brandt Redd is Chief Strategist for EdMatrix. He is a recognized authority in Education Technology Strategy with expertise in personalized learning, competency-based learning, computer-adaptive assessment, and standards. Recently, Redd served as CIO at the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium and, prior to that, as Senior Technology Officer for Education at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. His experience includes serving as CTO, chief scientist, senior software engineer, DBA, and co-founding two successful software companies. Redd is co-inventor of three patents.

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.

Steven Sato

Director of Technology, Rolling Hills Country Day

Steven is currently the Technology Director for Rolling Hills Country Day School in Los Angeles. He is also the founder of LifesaVR, a coming non-profit, focused on immersive simulation safety training and virtual experiences. He is a Google Certified Innovator, the Co-Organizer of the LA Immersive Edtech Meetup Group and is the Co-Host of The Virtual Reality Podcast. He has helped coordinate a number of immersive conferences and events such as the AR/VR Playground at the CUE conference and ImmersED. Steven has been an educator for 19 years and provides strategy around immersive technologies for COEs, Districts and Schools, that focuses on access and equity in education through advanced technologies.

Mustafa Sualp

Founder and CEO, AEFIS

Brad Turner

VP and GM, Global Education and Literacy, Benetech

Brad runs Global Literacy for Benetech, a nonprofit whose mission is to empower communities in need by creating scalable technology solutions. The best-known program is Bookshare, a library of over 425,000 accessible ebooks available for people who cannot read printed books due to blindness, low vision, dyslexia, and other print disabilities. Other global literacy programs include Born Accessible, driving systemic change by working with publishers to create materials that are accessible from the outset; and DIAGRAM, working to improve the way digital content, especially STEM, is produced and accessed. Prior to Benetech, Brad served as the VP of Marketing and Business Development at Inkiru, a big data predictive analytics platform which was later acquired by Wal-Mart. Brad was the Founder and CEO of Through the Lens, Inc., where his team created the first SaaS-based medical data management solution for dermatologists and plastic surgeons. Brad's career includes executive marketing and business development roles at education technology startups including Udacity, search engine companies such as Inktomi, and at networking companies.

Chelsea Waite

Research Fellow, Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation

Chelsea Waite is a research fellow at the Clayton Christensen Institute for Disruptive Innovation, where she focuses on blended and personalized learning in K-12 education and analyzes how innovation theory can inform the design of new instructional models. This research includes tracking the evolution of blended learning and the opportunities it affords for many kinds of instructional innovation. As part of this role, Chelsea is leading an effort to build a national dataset on innovative schools. Before joining the Institute, Chelsea built global partnerships and designed learning programs at Digital Promise, a nonprofit working to spur innovation in education. She also spent two years as an English teacher in Brazil on a Fulbright fellowship. Chelsea holds a BA in History from Brown University and was part of the first cohort of a masters program in Social Innovation at the Judge Business School at Cambridge University.

Tony Wan

Managing Editor, EdSurge

Tony Wan was named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” in Education. He previously helped to build a game best described as “Zelda with math,” which kids liked (but not teachers or investors). He holds an M.A. in East Asian Studies from Stanford University, and a B.A. in History from the University of California at San Diego.

Mitchell Weisburgh

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.

Amy Weiss

VP of Marketing, MobyMax

Amy Weiss is the Vice President of Marketing for MobyMax, an award-winning edtech company specializing in finding and fixing learning gaps with the power of differentiated learning in all K-8 subjects. MobyMax is used in more than 82% of all K-8 schools in the United States with over 28 million students registered by teachers. MobyMax was also the most awarded edtech company in 2018, earning 49 education industry awards. Previously, Amy was the Chief Marketing Officer at Outbid, an online auction service that combined the theater and transparency of live auctions with social and gaming features. Amy has held key marketing executive positions in a variety of industries: Director of Marketing at Woot! (www.woot.com), a leading specialty distributor and pioneer of the "one deal a day" business model on the internet; Director of Marketing for CPG, Inc., a leading promotions management and fulfillment provider; Director of Marketing for IC INTRACOM; and Strategic Marketing Manager at Catalina Marketing. Amy holds an MBA from the University of South Florida.

Steven Wolfe Pereira

Chairman, CEO, and Founder, Encantos Media

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, See.me, and The Future of Storytelling Summit.

Wenchi Yu

Head of Global Public Policy, VIPKid

Wenchi Yu is Head of Global Public Policy at VIPKid, one of the world’s leading education technology companies. She leads VIPKid’s public policy and social impact initiative, including the establishment of VIPTeach.org, a non-profit organization seed funded and incubated by VIPKid to promote equitable access to quality education through technology. Prior to joining VIPKid, Wenchi was the Head of Corporate Engagement for Goldman Sachs in Asia. She also served in the US Department of State in the Obama Administration, and worked in the US Congress and various non-profit organizations. Her writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Council on Foreign Relations, Caixin, and the Forbes.

Lynzi Ziegenhagen

Founder and CEO, Schoolzilla

Lynzi Ziegenhagen is founder and chief executive officer of Schoolzilla, a Public Benefit Corporation whose mission is to empower people across the country to use data to improve education for students, especially students from underserved communities. Based in Oakland, California, Schoolzilla PBC grew out of the technology Lynzi and the founding team developed over five years at Aspire Public Schools, a nonprofit charter management organization. Prior to serving as vice president of technology at Aspire, Lynzi taught in a community center in South Africa, community colleges in California, and programming sections at Stanford. Lynzi also started her own business creating software for nonprofit organizations and worked at the Children’s Partnership, Booz Allen and Microsoft. She is a Fellow of the Pahara-Aspen Education Fellowship and Harvard’s Strategic Data Project. Lynzi graduated from Stanford with a degree in Symbolic Systems and holds a Masters Degree in Computer Science with an emphasis on computer security from the Naval Postgraduate School.