Our Board of Advisors
Our company is proud to enjoy the advice and support of a number of higher education, professional certification and education technology thought-leaders.
Ray Kelly is Chief Executive Officer of The American Academy, the leading provider of dropout recovery services to at-risk students at public high schools throughout the U.S. Ray is an accomplished visionary and leading advocate of technology-enabled education in raising economic and social standards globally. Prior to joining The American Academy, Ray served as president and CEO of Certiport, the world’s leading provider of technology education and credentialing programs. Under Ray’s leadership, Certiport revenue and profit more than doubled, garnering the company recognition as one of America’s fastest growing education technology companies. In 2012 Ray spearheaded the successful sale of Certiport to Pearson, and after completing the transition of the two companies joined The American Academy. Earlier in his career, Ray served as senior vice president for client services at Prometric, CEO of ExecuTrain Corporation, and managing executive of Hewlett Packard’s Retail Industry Organization. Ray earned a M.B.A. with distinction from the Keller Graduate School of Management, and a Computer Science degree from the University of Coventry in England.
Dr. Randi Reich Cosentino is Provost of Strayer University, a leading postsecondary institution founded in 1893 that serves more than 50,000 working adults taking classes at more than 100 campus locations and online. Dr. Cosentino is a leader in online education, with extensive experience building and managing high-quality academic and online education programs. During her twelve year tenure at Strayer, Dr. Cosentino has held a variety of management positions, including senior vice president of academic administration, regional director and director of Strayer University Online. Previously, Dr. Cosentino was co-founder of Mascot Network, an application service provider serving the higher education market. Dr. Cosentino earned an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a doctorate in higher education from the University of Pennsylvania.
Mark Grovic is general partner and co-founder of New Markets Venture Partners. New Markets is a leading early and growth stage venture capital firm that invests in and actively assists innovative education, information technology and business services companies. Mark serves or has served on the Board of Directors for The American Academy, Innovative Biosensors, Lightningcast (sold to NYSE: TWX), Moodlerooms (sold to Blackboard) and Workspace.com. Mark also serves as a board observer for American Honors College and Questar Assessment. Prior to New Markets, Mark was previously a portfolio manager for SEAF, a principal at Templeton, and a portfolio manager at the Calvert Group. Mark is also VC in Residence and Professor of Venture Capital and Ethics at the R.H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland (UMD), where he has 14 years experience as an instructor, administrator, and serves as an advisor to numerous technology transfer, incubator, and entrepreneurship bodies. Mark graduated with Honors in Political Economies from the University of California, Berkeley, and received a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University.
Frank Bonsal is a venture partner at New Markets Venture Partners with twenty-five years experience advancing efficacy, innovation and productivity in and around education and the knowledge economy. Since joining New Markets in 2007, Frank’s focus has always been on early stage investments in education technology and service companies. Also a Partner with Bonsal Capital, Frank has invested in over twenty private education companies throughout the U.S. Frank is currently the Board Director at Calvert Education, Questar Assessment and Think Through Learning, and a Board Observer at BetterLesson, Kickboard, PresenceLearning and Starfish Retention Solutions, and previously with Moodlerooms. For 15 years leading up to the private capital pathway, Frank served as teacher, advisor, coach, and administrator to students in middle and high schools. Frank serves on several nonprofit boards, including The Center for Education Reform, and is regularly invited to speak about education innovation, investment and productivity. Frank has a M.Ed. and M.B.A. from Vanderbilt University and a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire.
Bob Block is CEO of Professional Examination Service, the most experienced organization in professional credentialing, providing comprehensive services to well-known national programs across a broad range of professions. Bob is a highly accomplished assessment and education industry executive, responsible for ProExam’s overall direction, strategy and management. Bob spent seven years at Educational Testing Service (ETS), with positions including Senior Director of Business, Innovation and Growth, and Executive Director, K-12 Learning Development. At ETS, Bob’s responsibilities included all business development activities for the higher education market domestically and internationally, and he led the business unit that developed and delivered formative assessment products and services to state departments of education and K-12 school districts. Bob also has served as President and CEO of Boxer Learning, Inc., ad holds a bachelors in science from Babson College.
Lou Pugliese is a thought-leader and innovator with more than twenty-five years of experience leading top companies in the field of education technology, including serving as founding CEO of Blackboard and CEO of Moodlerooms. He currently serves on the Board of Calvert Education and previously served as Executive Chairman of eThority. Prior to Moodlerooms, Lou held a series of leadership roles at major corporations like ETS, Telecommunications Inc., Scholastic, and Turner Broadcasting. He is also a noted international speaker on technology innovation in education and has addressed a wide range of issues in education and education policy. Lou holds a bachelors degree from Penn State University.
Bart Epstein is SVP Corporate Development & Chief Strategy Officer for Tutor.com, the leading provider of live, on-demand online homework help for students and teachers. Bart has worn many hats since joining Tutor.com in 2004, with current responsibility for corporate development, strategy and partnerships. Bart was key in helping Tutor.com reach a wide audience of students during his tenure as general manager of the company’s military and federal business. Prior to joining Tutor.com, Bart was a successful corporate lawyer and continues to serve as general counsel. Bart gives back as the president and chairman of Gifts for the Homeless and as a volunteer pilot for Angel Flight and NASA. Bart holds a JD from the University of Virginia and graduated from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
Stephen Meyer is a highly motivated and experienced leader with more than twenty years of experience in strategy, planning, new product development, operations, and technology management, including almost ten years at the College Board, where he most recently served as Vice President of the Office of Strategy Management. At the College Board, Stephen led efforts to digitize core businesses with focus on product innovation, education impact, and margin growth. He also focused on digital assessments and unlocking the power of student data. He also led efforts to establish new assessment operating and technology capabilities for scoring and score reporting (including a platform that supported the human scoring of 600,000+ essays in 2 weeks, 7x a year) and oversaw a $100 million operating budget. Prior to College Board, Stephen co-founded and sold a management consulting company and has worked as an executive in digital publishing and telecommunications. Stephen has a Masters in Information Networking from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from Brown University.
Jim Rosenthal is founder of UWS Capital, an M&A and strategic advisory group working with companies and investors in media, entertainment and education. Prior to founding UWS Capital, Jim was Chief Executive Officer at Kaplan Ventures, where he led for the company’s portfolio of professional learning businesses, venture capital investing and corporate divestiture efforts. Prior to Kaplan, Jim served as the President of New Line Television at Time Warner Inc. for more than a decade, and VP Business Development for more than five years. At New Line, Jim was responsible for TV sales and distribution, TV development and production, licensing and merchandising as well as managing AOL Time Warner’s online store and online auction site and overseeing web sites that promote its films and properties. Mr. Rosenthal managed the e-commerce efforts, including the online stores for New Line, Warner Bros, MGM and Cartoon Network and New Line’s online auctions. Prior to New Line, Jim served as an executive at Booz, Allen & Hamilton in its New York, Singapore and Sydney offices, and he holds an A.B. in Economics from Harvard College.
Chris Valas is the Chief Executive Officer of Superient Consulting, and he has spent twenty-eight years working at the boundary where technology meets business needs. At Superient and earlier In his career, Chris has worked on and improved dozens of business processes, across ten industries, with a special focus on education technology. Chris believes that, “while the tech itself can be complicated, the application of technology to business needs can be much simpler”. Chris has previously served as VP Engineering for Brivo Systems, SVP Technology for EKO Systems, and VP Engineering for Digital Harbor. Chris holds a bachelors in Software Engineering from Michigan State University and a Masters in Computer Engineering from Northeastern University.
Jaja Jackson is a graduate of Harvard Business School, Jaja co-Founded Mascot Network, an online information management system for colleges and universities, with Jason Palmer and Randi Reich. Jaja studied humanities at Harvard College as an undergraduate student in the ‘90s. Always interested in practical application of education, psychology, and the interface between psychology and divinity, Jaja spends much of his personal time mentoring and coaching individuals to achieve their education and career goals. Jaja holds an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School and a bachelors from Harvard University.