Board of Directors
Academic Advisory Board
I work with some of the smartest people in EdTech, and I’m fortunate to call a lot of them my friends. When I was a kid growing up in Milwaukee I wanted to be an explorer; then I became an expat, a salesman, a data-junkie, and a venture capitalist. Today, it’s all about creating an incredible technology product that will change the way the world learns languages. I love staggering challenges and working with brilliant people to find creative solutions. My favorite word in another language is polola. ¿Cachai?
Katie Nielson, PhD
Chief Education Officer
I am an applied linguist specializing in instructed second language acquisition. When I was five, I wanted to be a teacher; then I became a student, and I have spent the past thirty years in school. Today, it’s all about making language learning efficient, effective, and fun, using technology and the latest research on how adults learn languages. I love traveling and spending time with my friends and family. My favorite word in another language is cacahuete–peanut in Spanish–because it’s so fun to say.
I traveled the world chasing an Olympic Dream before starting my career. When I was growing up I wanted to be the GM of the NY Mets (still do), then I became an accountant that learned from great mentors. Today, it’s all about enjoying what I do so it never feels like work. I love simple ideas that solve problems and working with a team through challenges along the way. My favorite word in another language is kijárat.
VP of Enterprise Sales & Market Development
I am André. My bachelor’s degree in Business Administration helped me figure out that I wanted to impact the world through Education, which is one of my passions. I love reading, sports, music, arts and traveling. I speak English, Spanish and Portuguese fluently. I have a very good level of Italian and I am learning German. Language learning is key to break barriers between difference culture and societies. I am thrilled to participate in the most innovative project for teaching English that is already impacting the life of millions of people generating more opportunities that contribute to create a more Educated, sustainable and equal society. My favorite world in another language is “wunderbar.”
Product Manager, Content
I’m Julia. When I was young, I wanted to be a Disney singer, then I became an educator. Today, it’s all about learning languages in realistic ways. I love meeting people from all over the world and learning how to say at least one thing in every language. My favorite word in another language is burbuja (bubble in Spanish), for obvious reasons.
Director of Customer Success
I’m Laiz. When I was younger I wanted to be a doctor, then a journalist, but at the end I decided to become an architect. However, that didn’t last long because I started doing volunteer work with children and fell in love with the impact of education on people’s lives. Today, it’s all about opening the doors to the world, helping people from different cultures get connected and achieve their goals. I love cooking, traveling and my newest addiction is to read blogs from different parts of the world so I can discover interesting things that are being done. My favorite word in another language is “attraversiamo”, which means “let’s cross over” in English (Yes, it’s from the book Eat, Pray, Love, but it has a lot of meaning in my life).
VP of Channel Partner Strategy
I think this world would be so much better if everyone had access to high quality education. I’m a proud Mexican on a mission to better educate the world. When I was a dreamer, I dreamed of building the best public schooling system for Mexico, then I became a capitalistic MBA student and now I’m back in dreaming mode. Today, it’s all about learning, working, learning, improving, learning, helping others and learning again. I love to sit down in the center left, fifth row of a nice theater and listen to a piano concerto (Beethoven is my favorite). My favorite word in another language is “Si” which can not only be used as an affirmation “yes” but also, depending on the energy used, as a motivational word.
VP of Finance and Operations
I am a Brazilian that is passionate about people and wants to make a positive impact on the world. When I was a kid I wanted to be a teacher, then I became an engineer. Today, it’s all about working with awesome people to disrupt the way we learn a new language, that will empower people and improve relations. I love traveling and eating. My favorite word in another language is hakuna matata, it just sounds so fun and makes me remember my childhood.
Experience and Operations Coordinator
I am Mari and when I was a little girl I wanted to be an archeologist, then I became an English teacher, a administrative analyst and have worked in several international institutions. Today, it’s all about helping people achieve their goals no matter who they are and where they come from. I love books, comic books and movies. My favorite word in another language is lagom (Swedish) and it means something like, “not too much, and not too little, but just right.”
Director of Live Instruction
I’ve always been insanely curious about language. When I was in college, I wanted to be a writer or a poet, then I became a teacher! Today, it’s all about taking things to the next level. I love pizza and pizza. My favorite word in another language is “tartle,” which is a wonderful Scots word that is for the panic you feel when you are introducing someone whose name you can’t quite remember.
I am Mariana. When I was a kid, I wanted to be so many different things—from taxi driver to major movie director—then I became an open-minded marketing professional. Today, it’s all about learning new things and helping people become more fearless by learning English. I love food, traveling to new and old places and meeting new people from around the world. My favorite word in another language is conozco.
Customer Success Manager
I’m Adrian. When I was 15 I took my first trip out of my country (Mexico), and during that trip the need to travel and know the world was born in me. I also fully understand that if you can communicate in English, you have a great chance to visit any country and be able to communicate without problems. In my first job in a restaurant, I acquired my passion for serving people. I understood that whether you buy a hamburger or a car, you also want great customer service. Then I became a professional in account management and passionate about customer service. Today, it’s all about helping people and companies to achieve their goals. My favorite word in another language is “amazing.” I think that captures the essence of language in its meaning and its sound.
Live Instruction Operations Manager
I’m Kieran. When I was a child I wanted to be a soccer player, then I became a TV scheduler. Today, it’s all about problem solving and driving quality and efficiency through training. I love walking around a city and getting lost to discover its charms, off the beaten track. My favorite word in another language is trocadilho, which is Portuguese for word play or puns.
I’m Chris. When I was in middle school, I wanted to be a pop star. Then in high school, I wanted to be a political activist involved in a revolution. Eventually, I became an English teacher. Today, it’s all about really listening to people and figuring out how language training can be a force of empowerment and transformation. I love cooking meals with far too many ingredients and exploring the outdoors. My favorite word in another language is взгляд (vzglyad), because it was such a challenge to learn to let go of vowels.
Chief Technology Officer
I am always looking to initiate rationally radical innovation. When I was eight, I wanted to be an Arctic explorer, then I became a global adventure traveler (but not the Arctic yet). Today, it’s all about technology, robots, automation and building software to eat the world. I love skiing, cars and being anywhere outdoors. My favorite phrase in another language is “pura vida.”
VP of Customer & Learner Success
I am passionate about education. When I was twelve I wanted to be a journalist, then I became a business professional. Today, It’s all about working with the best people around and changing lives helping english become a reality. I love food and photography, especially the analog type. My favorite word in another language is “tenedor”, which means fork in Spanish. I really like its sound.
Account Executive, Channel Partners
I am the Global Account Strategist at Voxy. When I was young I wanted to open a French bakery in New York City, then I moved to the U.S. for school and started a career in education. Today, it’s all about helping people learn English in a more exciting way. I love traveling and meeting new people. My favorite word in another language is “pantouflard,” which means homebody in French and comes from “pantoufle” (slippers).
VP of Product
Hi! I’m the VP of Product here at Voxy. All growing up, I wanted to be an artist. I ended up as a User Experience designer and then a Product Manager. Today it’s still all about helping solve user needs through great products. In the rest of my time, I love playing Legos with my daughter and giving volunteer tours of New York City. My favorite word in another language is taco!
VP of Sales & Marketing
I am the VP of Sales & Marketing at Voxy. When I was starting my career I wanted to be part of a global company in Brazil. Then I became a global Marketing professional, interacting with teams, clients and partners across the globe, thanks to a lot of learnings, but the major one was learning English! Today it’s all about working for a company that helps professionals to grow and exceed their career goals, by empowering them to speak English. I love building relationships and experiencing new cultures. My favorite word in another language is passion (paixão / pasión), very strong, meaningful and translates easily once it’s similar in French/English, Portuguese and Spanish!
Director of Product Marketing and Customer Operations
I am the Director of Product Marketing and Customer Operations. When I was younger I wanted to train killer whales because I was obsessed with the Free Willy movies. After developing an interest in psychology, I pursued a Masters in School Counseling and then I moved abroad and became an English Language teacher. Today it’s all about enabling people to leverage technology to improve their language skills, and in turn, their lives. I am responsible for training people around the world to spread the Voxy mission and bring effective and fun English training to those who need it most. I love trying desserts from around the world and my favorite word in another language is “Figurati!” in Italian. Based on the context, “Figurati” can mean anything from “No problem!” to “Not in a million years!” to “Don’t go there!”.
Co-Director of Engineering
I am Ícaro. When I was growing up, I wanted to be a musician, Then I became a software engineer. Today, it’s all about using the state of the art of computer science and machine learning techniques to deliver the best learner experience at Voxy. I love to meet new people and learn about different cultures. My favorite word in another language is bitte, which means you’re welcome in German.
Office Manager & People Operations Coordinator
I am the Office Manager & People Operations Coordinator. When I was young, I wanted to be a writer, and then I became an English language teacher. Today, it’s all about learning from others. I love libraries and practicing Spanish. My favorite word in Spanish is ‘ronronear’.
Co-Director of Engineering
I’m Iswarya, a ‘Gryffindor’, fitness enthusiast, and a music lover. When I was five, I wanted to be an Indian Administrative Service (IAS) Officer to help make people’s lives better. Then I became a software engineer. Today, it’s all about striving to be a better version of myself each day and helping others get there as well. I am passionate about bringing individuals and teams together. I love cooking and I enjoy planning & organizing. My favorite word in another language is “Amma” which means “Mother” in Telugu.
My name is Mauricio. I am someone who is passionate about technology, and who believes that creativity and education are fundamental pieces in making a better world. When I was a kid, I wanted to be an airplane pilot. Then I traveled around the globe and became an account executive working for incredible tech companies. Today, it’s all about looking for people who want to make a real impact on their organizations, and who are agents of change who want to transform the world and break the barriers of language. I love music, the outdoors and traveling to new places. My favorite word in another language is in Spanish, and it is ‘gracias’. Being thankful is really easy and always makes people smile.
Nátalia Coelho — São Paulo Office
Customer Success Manager
I’m Natalia. When I was a child I wanted to be an obstetrician because I wanted to bring babies into the world, and as a teenager, I wanted to be an actress. Then I became a customer success representative. Today, it’s all about helping people to achieve their goals, which is very rewarding, especially when it comes to delivering knowledge and opening doors to the many different opportunities that a new language provides. I love to travel, read books, and listen to all kinds of music. My favorite word in another language is ‘awesome’ because it sounds great and has good energy.
Account Executive — São Paulo Office
Hi, I’m Chris. I’m an account executive in the São Paulo office. When I was a child, I wanted to be a rock star or a famous actor. Then I became an adult and found out that this was only a young kid’s dream, and that selling innovative products was my real passion. Today, it’s all about making the world a better place and changing the way people live their lives. I love sports, cooking, music and traveling around the world. My favorite sentence in another language is ‘mangia que te fa bene’ in Italian.
Customer Success Manager, APAC
I am the Customer Success Manager (APAC) at Voxy. Growing up, I wanted to be a newscaster/reporter, and I went around holding a large crayola crayon “interviewing” people. Over time, I realized that I have an innate drive and curiosity to listen to others tell their story. Today, it is all about becoming a better version of myself and helping others whenever possible. I love food and traveling because I have realized it is a fantastic way for people to share their culture and experiences. My favorite word in another language or dialect is ‘kopi’, which means ‘coffee’ in Hokkien. Generally, I find that the tone in which people say ‘kopi’ is always happy and positive!
I am a Sales Development Representative here at Voxy. When I was younger, I wanted to be an FBI agent. Then I became a sales rep, a digital nomad and an online English teacher. Today, it’s all about helping people around the world learn English using the most advanced technology and providing them with a personalized way of learning. I love learning new skills, exploring new places and learning about different cultures and religions. My favorite word in another language is ‘bravo’, which means ‘well done!” in Italian.
I’m Laura. When I was younger I wanted to be an artist. Then I became fascinated with user centered design. Today, it’s all about happiness. I love elephants and my dream is to befriend one. My favorite phrase in another language is a Polish proverb “Nie mój cyrk, nie moje małpy” which literally means “Not my circus, Not my monkey”.
I’m Daniel, a comic and IoT enthusiast. When I was young, I wanted to be a veterinarian. Then I became a software engineer. Today, it’s all about solving problems and making our environment better. I love learning new things and spending time with my son Davi. My favorite phrase in another language is ‘audere est facere’ which means ‘if you challenge yourself, you will achieve your goal’.
Senior Software Engineer
I’m Carl, a software engineer at Voxy. When I was young, I wanted to be a musician. Then I became an engineer. Now it’s all about sushi. I love languages, cooking, and museums. My favorite word in another language is “ouais”, which is the informal “yes” in French.
I’m Eric, a Software Engineer at Voxy. When I was five, I wanted to be either a baseball player or Peter Pan. Then, I became a software engineer. Today, it’s all about learning and improving in all aspects of life so that I can help others to do the same. I love meeting new people, learning new things, listening to music, practicing kung fu, and drinking tea. My favorite word in another language is 義氣 (“yi hei”), which in Cantonese means “the spirit of putting others before yourself without thought of reward.”
Manager of Content & Publishing Operations
I am the Manager of Content & Publishing Operations at Voxy. When I was little, I wanted to be a veterinarian because I love animals. In college, I studied early childhood development and education. Today, it’s all about creating engaging and authentic lessons that ignite a passion for learning English. I love long walks in nature with a good audiobook and finding great travel deals. My favorite word in another language is libélula, which means dragonfly in Spanish.
Assistant Manager of Pedagogy
I’m Becca. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a therapist, but more than anything I wanted to live abroad, so I became an English teacher in Argentina. At Voxy I focus on supporting our team of remote teachers and helping our learners use English authentically to reach their personal goals. I love road trips with my dog and taking photos of old cars. One of my favorite words is cotufa which means “popcorn” in Venezuela. It comes from saying “corn to fry,” a perfect example of how simple and creative language can be.
Sales Development Representative
I am a Sales Development Representative at Voxy. When I was younger, I wanted to be a chef and a fashion stylist. Then I became an international relations and sales development professional. Today, it’s all about helping people to achieve their goals and gain the power that learning a new language can bring. I love to read, watch TV series, and be with my family and friends. My favorite word in another language is ‘attraversiamo’, which means we have to take chances without fear.
Customer Experience Representative
I am a Customer Experience Representative at Voxy. Growing up, I wanted to be a diplomat. Then I became a flight attendant which allowed me to visit many countries and broaden my horizons. Today, it’s all about inspiring people to achieve their goals and to build enthusiasm for our learners. I’m a team-oriented professional with a proven track record of good customer care, and I’m passionate about foreign languages. My favorite word in another language is ‘kawaii (かわいい)’ which means loveable, cute or adorable. I just love the way it sounds.
I’m Divya, a software engineer at Voxy. When I was young, I wanted to be a detective hunting down thugs.
Then, I became a software engineer; today is all about hunting down bugs. I love to read, travel and learn about new things, people and cultures. I have an insatiable appetite for desserts from across the globe. My favorite word in another language is “Prego”- pronounced a bit like “Pray go”, which in Italian can be used in multiple contexts like “You’re Welcome!”, “What’s up?” and “Come on in.”
I am Renata, a software engineer at Voxy. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a witch like Hermione. Then I became a software engineer. Today, it’s all about improving myself so I can help others get the best version of themselves. I love books and games. My favorite word in another language is “cibo” which means “food” in Italian.
Lucila Alves dos Santos
I am the Accounting Coordinator in the São Paulo office. When I was younger, I wanted to be a Hollywood actress. Then I became an accountant. Today, it’s all about helping people and improving the company’s finance processes in order to have more efficiency and better analytics. I love trying different kinds of food, swimming and running. My favorite word in another language is ‘gracias’, it sounds like music to me!
Sales Development Representative
I am a travel lover/addict. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a flight attendant. Then I became a marketer for multinational companies which allowed me to travel a lot. Today, it’s all about making education more accessible in order to give people access to more opportunities. I love my pets, and I love traveling in order to experience new cultures. My favorite word in another language is ‘ata-ata’ which means ‘to laugh’ in Rapa Nui.
Hey there! I’m Matheus. While I was studying Business Administration in the university, I found out that marketing and communication are my true passions. Today, it’s all about creating valuable experiences that bring more happiness into people’s lives. I love music, creativity, innovation and cooking. My favorite word in another language is “parola”, which simply means “word” in Italian.
Hello there! I’m Thamara. When I was a kid I used to change my mind all the time about what I would like to be. Then I decided to study International Relations – which I do today – and turns out that I still want to be a lot of different things and have a lot of different experiences. Today, it’s all about learning new things and trying to make a difference wherever I am. I love traveling, animals and food. My favorite word in another language is ‘mademoiselle’ in French, because I like how it sounds.
I´m Martha. When I was a child, I always dreamed of getting to the top professionally, I saw myself doing great business for international companies. Today, I am a global marketing professional working with multidisciplinary teams, and I love my job. For me, the most important thing is learning new trends, working as a team and above all, being able to help people develop professionally and aspire to better standards of living. I love getting to know new cultures, meeting people from different countries, traveling to new places and especially enjoy cooking. My favorite word in another language is “resilience” because of the impact it has on people’s lives.
Timothy L. Murray
Timothy L. Murray is an accomplished executive with decades of experience leading successful public and private companies. Most recently, Mr. Murray was President and Chief Operating Officer of K-12 (NYSE: LRN). Previously he held CEO positions at Pulsepoint, Inc., Datran Media, Dialogic Inc., Cross Match Technologies, and Riversoft Plc. Mr. Murray began his career at AT&T, where he held a number positions, including President of Business Network Services, a $22B business unit. Mr. Murray is currently Chairman of the Board of Middlebury Interactive Languages, the Executive Chairman at Voxy, the CEO of Redline Speed Worx and a Director of Clarke Group. He is also an Operating Advisor to Red Oak Growth Partners. Mr. Murray received a BS and MS in Management and Industrial Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
Arrun Kapoor is the Managing Director for SJF Ventures’ New York City office. He has been involved as a Board Director or Observer to Voxy, Portfolium, Civitas Learning, Raise, Think Through Learning, FieldView Solutions, ServiceChannel, Truist, and Ayla Networks. He leads the NYC EdLinks program, is a member of the Investment Board of the Social Venture Fund for The Tamer Center for Social Enterprise at Columbia Business School, and is an Advisory Board Member of NYC ACRE: NYU-Poly Accelerator. Arrun was most recently with Bain & Company in London and Delhi, where he launched the firm’s internal green practice initiatives. He worked with Bain’s private equity consulting practice and gained experience in a range of industries. Prior to Bain, he was an early employee and Manager with Eurasia Group, a successful political risk consulting business in New York and London. He holds a Master’s in International Political Economics from the London School of Economics and completed a BA from New York University with an economics and business focus.
Judy Verses is currently SVP, Research at Wiley, Inc. Previously, she spent six years as President, Global Enterprise & Education at Rosetta Stone (NYSE: RST), an online language learning and literacy company. Prior to that, Judy was President and Chief Client Officer at Blackboard, a leading supplier of educational enterprise software. From 1983 to 2007, Judy held several senior leadership roles at telecommunications giant Verizon. Judy has served as a mentor with the Laura Bush Fellowship Initiative and from 2014-2015 was a Non-Executive Director on the board of Promethean World, a global provider of solutions for the interactive and engaged classroom. Judy earned her B.S. from the University of Connecticut.
Mr. Richard D. Segal, is the Managing Director and Managing Partner at Rethink Education. Rick is the Founder, President, Chairman and Chief Executive officer at Seavest Inc. Mr. Segal founded the firm in 1982. In his role with Seavest, he has served on a number of public and private Boards of Directors including education-related portfolio companies. He has over 25 years of experience in commercial real estate and venture capital markets. He is deeply committed to creating better communities through his philanthropic engagements, which are primarily focused on health, education, providing opportunities for low income children and the arts. Mr. Segal received a B.A., cum laude and with honors, in English from Wesleyan University.
For the past decade, Jeff has held a series of senior roles leveraging an analytical focus first to drive business unit level results in credit and lending. He ultimately ran marketing strategy for Capital One’s consumer and small business card divisions, managing a high 9-figure marketing budget and driving over $5 billion in revenue. Jeff has been responsible for the development of cutting edge online targeting and segmentation methodologies in online lead generation channels as well as new data-driven techniques for inbound site optimization.
Jonathon Reinhardt is an Associate Professor of English Applied Linguistics at the University of Arizona, and teaches in the MATESL and SLAT PhD programs. He has taught English as a second or foreign Language in Japan, Austria and the United States. His main research is on technology-enhanced language learning, especially on the use and design of digital games and social media for classroom-based and independent language teaching and learning.
Marta González-Lloret is an Associate Professor at the Spanish Division of the Department of Languages and Literatures of Europe and the Americas at the University of Hawaii, Manoa and cooperative faculty at the department of Second Language Studies. Her main areas of interest are technology and TBLT, technology and L2 pragmatics, Conversation Analysis for L2 technology-mediated interaction; teacher training; and materials development.
Megan Masters is the Director of Academic Technology and Innovation at the University of Maryland College Park. In this position, she provides leadership and management of enterprise-wide initiatives related to student, faculty, and staff experiences with technologies. She employs a quantitative, program evaluation-based approach to provide evidence-based insights, guidance, and recommendations concerning the use and efficacy of UMD academic technology-related systems and services. She has extensive experience teaching ESL and is an adjunct professor of program evaluation and assessment at the U.S. State Department. She earned her PhD in Second Language Acquisition from the University of Maryland College Park. Her personal research interests include: foreign language program evaluation and assessment, impact assessment, learning analytics, changes in foreign language proficiency skills over time, the validity of self-assessment instruments, Task-Based Language Teaching (TBLT), particularly in the distance learning format, the role of individual differences in Second Language Acquisition, and Task-Based Language Assessment (TBLA).
Manuel is currently GM of Game Studio at Zynga. Prior to this role Bronstein was Sr. director of Product for FarmVille. Before joining Zynga, Manuel was Director of Social Interactive Entertainment at Xbox LIVE, leading strategy, portfolio and business management for the Video & Music business, Applications, and New Interactive Entertainment Experiences for Xbox, including Netflix, LastFM, Facebook, Twitter and ESPN.
I am Aron. When I was a child, I wanted to be a Pitcher for the Boston Red Sox; then I became an investment banker. Today, it’s all about building the world’s largest and most effective language learning company, with an audience much larger than Fenway Park. I love traveling and meeting people from new cultures. My favorite word in another language is otorrinolaringólogo.
Mark is currently the President of the K12 Technology Division of Pearson following Pearson’s acquisition of Schoolnet where he was the President and Chief Operating Officer. Prior to Schoolnet, Mark was the Chief Operating Officer of The Princeton Review. During his 24 year career at The Princeton Review, Mark either held or oversaw key leadership positions in nearly every sector of the Company. He now lives in Bedford, NY, where he is a twice-elected member of the Board of Education for the Bedford Central School District.
Jeremy founded his first company, a marketplace for virtual currency, at 15 and his second, a social network around the college admissions process, at 21 while a student at Princeton University. Having raised funding contingent on him taking time off to run it, he left Princeton to pursue the venture and, two years later, negotiated its acquisition by Zinch. In 2008, Jeremy co-founded 2tor with John Katzman, founder of the Princeton Review, to explore the final frontier of online higher education. Jeremy serves on the board of the Young Entrepreneur Council, is an active angel investor and advisor to a select group of technology ventures on both coasts. Jeremy is an avid foodie, and may be the best possible person to ask for a restaurant recommendation.
Erick joined Facebook in May 2010 as the company’s Head of Mobile Products. Previously, he had worked at Google for nearly 4 years, where he helped launch and grow Android, Google’s open source mobile operating system as the group’s Lead Product Manager. He then joined the Android team, where he proceeded to launch Android 1.0, as well as subsequent platform releases. Most recently, he led the overall development and launch of Google’s Nexus One phone.
Gregg is a team-builder, and relentlessly passionate about connecting good people to meaningful work. He started his career at Sapient during the dot-com boom, designing some of the world’s first websites. Gregg went on to work at STA Group as a business architect, and later founded Bunkhouse Media, an email newsletter targeting young professionals. Gregg is a Voxy co-founder, and has spent the last six years building the company. His roles at Voxy have included Head of Product, VP of Operations and VP of People Operations.
Joshua joined Lumosity in 2007 where he is currently a member of the management team. He has helped pioneer research into human cognitive performance, develop web and mobile products, build the leading science-based learning brand, and reach hundreds of millions of users. In addition, Joshua co-founded and sold Revolver, LLC, a health and fitness company that produced a suite of 7 iPhone apps and was acquired by MapMyFitness, Inc. Joshua started his career co-founding an eCommerce wine company, RiotWine, LLC, which is now operated by Bottlenotes, Inc. Joshua graduated from the University of Pennsylvania.
Chip is the CEO and Co-founder of 2U, a company that partners with universities to build, administer, and market online degree programs. 2U supplies universities with the tools, expertise, capital, and global recruiting needed to compete in a space currently dominated by mediocre programs. Previously Chip was CEO of Hooked on Phonics where he expanded access to the program by bringing it from infomercial sales to distribution across major US retailers.
Dan Porter is the creator of Draw Something, the fastest growing mobile app in the history of mobile. After selling his social games company OMGPOP, he became the GM of Zynga New York. Previously he was the SVP of corporate development managing investments for Richard Branson and the Virgin Group. Dan started out working with bands at RCA Records, was a public school teacher and President of the Teach For America program and President of Ticket web, which he sold to IAC.
Gary Vaynerchuk has captured attention with his pioneering, multi-faceted approach to personal branding and business. After primarily utilizing traditional advertising techniques to build his family’s local retail wine business into a national industry leader, Gary rapidly leveraged social media tools such as Twitter and Facebook to promote Wine Library TV, his video blog about wine. Gary’s success has led to a seven-figure book deal, several national TV appearances, and a flurry of speaking engagements around the world. Gary’s dual identity as both business guru and wine guy has made him the “Social Media Sommelier.”
Richard P. Ramirez
Richard has directed the development, launch and management of businesses in online video and music, marketing, social, traffic information and logistics, consumer services and distance learning. A current Director of Zumbox, a leader in Digital Postal Mail services, he has also been an Advisor to Shelter Capital and Starvest Partners. His work extends from media giants (NBC/U, Greater Media, Univision and Viacom/CBS) to an extensive early stage venture experience (Veoh, Ruckus, Traffic.com, Unext, Cardean Learning Group, K12, Aha Media, Culture 11, ThinkPassenger, MyTime, Infomus, WeDidIt). Richard is a graduate of Boston College, Carroll Scholl Of Management, where he earned BS in Finance. He attended on a full athletic scholarship, earning varsity letters in football.
With over 25 years of executive recruitment and strategic talent management experience, Jon Mazzocchi has helped build exceptional leadership teams for multiple mid-market PE-owned companies, VC-backed startups, and Fortune 100 powerhouses. As Founder and Managing Partner of Human Capital Valuation Advisors and formerly SVP and Founding Partner for WinterWyman Executive Search, Jon spends the time necessary to understand each organization he’s working with, its structure and key stakeholders – both from a personality and work style standpoint. Jon’s clients include: Artsy, Bonobos, Capsule, Casper, Chewy, Flatiron Health, MineralTree, Paytronix, Veson Nautical, Great Elm Capital, Great Hill Partners, Pamlico Capital, TCV and various others.
Ron is the Founder and CEO of Pillar Capital Advisors. He has over 25 years of experience providing the highest level of advisory work to software and technology companies globally. Ron was a Managing Director at JPMorgan from 2000 through 2008 and was the Head of the Technology Investment Banking Group. He is a trusted advisor to CEOs, CFOs, Boards and Investors and has relationships with the world’s top Technology Executives, Private Equity, Venture Capital firms and several Family Offices. Ron is also a technology investor.
Contour Venture Partners
Contour Venture Partners is a New York City based early stage venture capital firm. Contour invests in companies that provide innovative technology-enhanced products and services into the financial services, digital media and Internet sectors. Contour partners with passionate entrepreneurs and management teams to build great businesses that seek to ultimately transform their industries.
Weld North, is an investment company concentrating on education, health and wellness, consumer services and marketing businesses. In partnership with KKR, a leading global alternative asset manager, Weld North seeks to make venture capital and control investments in businesses with high potential for long-term growth in cash flow. As a partner with strong and highly motivated management teams, the firm looks to accelerate growth through a focus on enhancing the customer experience, operational excellence, marketing expertise, and strategic and disciplined management.
Partnership Fund for New York City
The Partnership Fund for New York City is the investment arm of the Partnership for New York City, the city’s premier business organization. The Partnership Fund invests in businesses with principal operations in New York City. The Partnership Fund focuses on new job creation, revitalization of distressed areas, minority-owned enterprises, and innovative ideas or products that position New York at the cutting edge of growth sector industries.
Seavest Capital Partners
Seavest Capital Partners is a private investment firm that invests in early and growth stage companies primarily in the education, life sciences and consumer technology sectors. The firm’s portfolio has included early stage investments in companies such as Wireless Generation (acquired by News Corp. for $400M), Schoolnet (acquired by Pearson for $230M) and Tout.
ff Venture Capital
ff Venture Capital partners with startups that can be the low cost, disruptive player in their respective industry. The firm’s early-stage investments include Quigo Technologies, which was purchased by AOL in December 2007 for a reported $340million, Cornerstone OnDemand (CSOD on NASDAQ), which had a successful IPO in March 2011, Klout and 500px.
Rethink Education is an early-stage education technology venture capital fund investing in companies that have demonstrated success in implementing business models that leverage technology to re-imagine how traditional education is delivered. Rethink’s investments include EverFi, Engrade, Hapara and Pathbrite.
Pearson is the world’s leading learning company. Our education business combines 150 years of experience in publishing with the latest learning technology and online support. Pearson’s courses and resources are available in print, online and through multi-lingual packages, helping people learn whatever, wherever and however they choose. With more than two billion people around the world learning English, Pearson is at the forefront of the industry. More than 1.5 million teachers and 35 million students in 150 countries use our English language learning resources and tools each year.
SJF Ventures invests in high-growth companies creating a healthier, smarter and cleaner future. Our mission is to catalyze the development of highly successful businesses driving lasting, positive changes.
Inherent Group is an investment firm motivated by a belief in the power of business to address societal challenges. The firm invests in private and public companies whose products and services have positive impact and whose business processes display leading environmental, social and governance practices. Inherent partners over the long-term with exceptional management teams to improve their businesses’ financial and non-financial sustainability.