The American Academy Online High School - Team Members
Ron Klausner, Chief Executive Officer
With more than 10 years of industry tenure, Ron joins Graduation Alliance having held a series of executive positions within the education market and following three impressive decades of leadership experience inside the business solutions sector.
Between 2013-15 Ron served as Interim COO at Academic Partnerships following an active, 5-year history as a member of their board. Earlier he led Cambium Learning Group, a K-12 curriculum and services company, as Chief Executive Officer following the firm's acquisition of Voyager Expanded Learning (where he had been President since 2005). Prior to Voyager, Ron served as President of ProQuest Information and Learning Company.
Ron came to the education market following a successful 27-year career with Dun & Bradstreet (D&B), a global business information and technology solutions provider, where he served as Senior Vice President, U.S. Sales and led a segment with more than $900 million in annual revenues. Even earlier at D&B, Ron led Global Data, Operations, and Customer Service in approximately 200 countries and had been CFO and President of Asia Pacific/Latin America.
Ron earned his Master in Business Administration with a concentration in Accounting from New York University. He is the recipient of numerous industry awards, including the President's Award from the National Alliance of Black School Educators and the Southwest Entrepreneur of the Year from Ernst & Young. [TOP]
Gregg Rosann, President & Co-Founder gregg's blog
Gregg Rosann is a co-founder of The American Academy and serves on the Company's Board of Directors. Gregg has more than 25 years of experience in software and systems integration across a variety of industries, with expertise in developing customer-self service applications in the US public sector. At the American Academy as President and Chief Operating Officer, Gregg is responsible for the operations and technology that deliver education to students worldwide.
Previous to The American Academy, Gregg served as Vice President of Software Engineering at Tomax Corporation, where he led the development of the company's flagship product. Gregg also spent 15 years at American Management Systems (acquired by CGI), where he successfully delivered a series of large and innovative technology projects to state and local government agencies across the country. He specialized in systems that delivered significant cost savings and operational efficiencies, and managed customer-facing projects that delivered more than $50 Million in revenue to the company's State, Local and Federal Defense business units.
Gregg received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from the University of Connecticut, and his M.S. in Science Instrumentation from the University of Utah. Gregg was also an associate at the Lassonde New Venture Development Center at the University of Utah's David Eccles School of Business.[TOP]
Rebekah Richards, Co-Founder and Chief Academic Officer rebekah's blog
Rebekah Richards is a co-founder of The American Academy. Rebekah has worked in online high school education since 1999; she has been involved in the early stage planning and implementation of numerous public and private online high schools throughout the country, including Colorado Online Learning, Connecticut’s Adult Education online program, The Online Latin School, and Insight Schools, Inc. As the Chief Academic Officer for The American Academy, Rebekah oversees education program development, policy initiatives, and program compliance.
Rebekah is a frequent speaker on dropout recovery and prevention and the use of online learning to address the needs of at-risk students. She has been featured at national and international conferences on topics including dropout recovery best practices, online learning for students with learning disabilities, online instructor training, learning management systems, training complex cognitive skills, and instructional message design.
Rebekah is very active in dropout recovery public policy initiatives. She has collaborated with legislators in multiple states on policies giving school districts the ability to better serve returning dropouts. Rebekah recently served on the advisory council for the International and Transregional Division of Northwest Accreditation Commission, now a division of AdvancEd. As a member of the standards task force for both Northwest Accreditation and AdvancEd, she has helped craft rigorous accreditation standards for online programs throughout the US.
Rebekah received a B.A. in Classics from Brigham Young University, an M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology from Utah State University, and an M.A. in Classical Philology from the University of Colorado-Boulder. [TOP]
JC Tenney, Chief Technology Officer
JC has been an integral part of Graduation Alliance since joining the team full time in 2008. He currently manages the IT department in support of the millions of students and school administrators that use our systems. JC oversees development of the company Student Information System (SIS) that is used to ensure students are able to be successful in the program. JC also has direct management and oversight of the firm's Exploration & Planning Platforms, it's customized learning management system (Texas Project Share), and student data warehouse.
Prior to joining the team, JC was a freelance developer working on several small projects in the medical education and search engine optimization spaces. He is passionate about exploring new, cutting-edge technologies and applying those technologies to help change student lives. JC graduated with Honors from the University of Utah with a degree in Computer Science. [TOP]
Andy Cusimano, Chief Operating Officer
Andy has primary responsibility for TAA’s program delivery and operations. Prior to joining TAA in 2010, Andy spent two decades understanding, delivering and consistently improving customer experiences in a variety of sectors. As a marketer, project manager and systems creator, Andy's expertise has been an integral part of the success of companies that have appeared on Inc. Magazine's fastest growing company rankings and have been honored with PSMJ's Circle of Excellence award for best managed companies.
Prior to joining The American Academy, Andy was chief operations officer of Jack Johnson Company, a multidisciplinary professional services firm in Park City, Utah. Additionally, Andy was the founder and president of Mountain Eye Creative, a marketing and graphic design firm catering to the professional services industry. Andy received his M.B.A. from the University of Utah and a Bachelor of Civil and Environmental Engineering from Vanderbilt University. [TOP]
Mike Dodd, Director
Mike Dodd, Partner, joined Austin Ventures in 2008 and focuses on early and expansion-stage software and web-enabled business and consumer services. Most recently, Mike was SVP of Corporate Development with Omniture, Inc., a publicly traded analytics and online business optimization software company that was acquired by Adobe (NASDAQ: ADBE) for $1.8B. During his tenure, which began prior to Omniture’s IPO, Mike led the identification, acquisition, and integration efforts around Omniture’s acquisition of two domestic and two international companies which totaled approximately $500 million in consideration. Prior to Omniture, Mike was Senior Vice President and General Manager at Ancestry.com (NASDAQ: ACOM), a consumer online content subscription business. He was also a Partner with Europatweb, a venture capital firm where he worked with companies such as Liquidity Services Inc (NASDAQ: LQDT) and Ancestry.com, and a technology investment banker with Robertson Stephens in San Francisco.
Mike received an MBA from Harvard Business School and a B.S. in finance from Syracuse University. [TOP]
Mark Grovic, Director
Mark co-founded New Markets Venture Partners in 2003 and is a General Partner. Mark serves or has served on the Board of Directors for Innovative Biosensors, Lightningcast (sold to NYSE: TWX), Moodlerooms and Workspace.com. Mark also serves as a board observer for Aldagen, Andera, BioSET, Overture Technologies, Paratek Microwave, Questar Assessment, and Vision Chain.
Mark has been investing in high growth companies since 1992. Prior to New Markets, Mark was a Portfolio Manager for the Small Enterprise Assistance Funds (SEAF), a $200 million managed emerging market venture capital company, a Director of Estonia-based Baltic Small Equity Fund, a Co-Founder and Principal of the Templeton Emerging Europe Fund, as Principal of Templeton Direct Advisors, and a Portfolio Manager of Private Equities at the Calvert Group.
Mark is a VC in Residence and Professor of Venture Capital and Ethics at the R.H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland (UMD). He has 10 years experience in higher education as an instructor and advisor to entrepreneurship and technology commercialization, serves on numerous technology transfer, incubator, and entrepreneurship committees in the mid-Atlantic, and has twice earned awards for his instruction at UMD and at Howard University. Mark is also a Board Director of the Baltimore Chapter of the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE) and Emerson Preparatory High School in Washington, D.C.
Mark graduated with Honors from the University of California, Berkeley, where he majored in Political Economies and received a Juris Doctor from the Georgetown University, where his focus was in international, tax, and corporate law. Mark has also completed graduate work in accounting and finance at the George Washington University and Pace University. Mark is married with two children. [TOP]
Anthony E. Meyer, Co-Founder and Director
In addition to his work at The American Academy, Tony is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of privately-held Meyer and Co. LLC, a diversified merchant banking firm based in New York City with interests in “entrepreneuring” and venture capital, real estate and “family office” management. He also serves as President and Chief Operating Officer of Ocean Road Advisors, Inc. a family office management and investment company for several leading New York City-based families, which manages a portfolio in excess of $750 million invested on behalf of numerous client entities in a broad range of investment strategies, including public and private equities, hedge funds, real estate, and venture capital.
Tony has extensive experience and relationships in the real estate, finance, venture capital, healthcare, education and media sectors. He was a co-founder of the real estate, private equity and venture capital investment affiliates of two leading global investment and finance organizations, Lazard Frères & Co. (in 1994) and Trammell Crow Company (in 1984).
In 2004, Tony founded Extend Health, Inc., now a subsidiary of publicly-traded benefits consultant, Towers Watson, and the leading provider and manager of defined contribution health care programs for Corporate America. Based in the San Francisco Bay Area, with all core operational staff and facilities based in Salt Lake City, the Company now operates the nation's largest Medicare Insurance Exchange on behalf of clients such as General Motors, Wal*Mart and Ford Motor Company.
Tony has lectured in real estate, finance and entrepreneurship at Stanford University, New York University and Southern Methodist University and is a past Chairman of the Board of Literacy Instruction for Texas (L.I.F.T.). He is a member of the Young Presidents' Organization of the United Jewish Appeal and The Educational Alliance and currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York and on the Board of Governors of Dr. Mehmet Oz' HEALTHCORPS. Anthony is also the Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of World of Children, an international advocacy organization whose mission is to honor, illuminate and inspire action on behalf of children worldwide.
Tony graduated from Harvard College in 1982 as a John Harvard Scholar and received his MBA from Harvard Business School with honors in 1984. [TOP]
Scott Petty, Director
Scott co-founded Signal Peak Ventures (FKA vSpring Capital) in 2000 and has been a Managing Director since its formation. Prior to Signal Peak Ventures, Scott was COO and a Board Director of Zuka Juice, a retail organization selling nutritional products. Under Scott's leadership, Zuka Juice grew from its first store to 96 retail units and over 400 employees. Zuka Juice was acquired by Jamba Juice (NASDAQ:JMBA), a venture backed competitor. Before Zuka, as a consultant with Bain & Company for seven years, Scott worked with multiple IT and non-IT companies, re-engineering their strategies for optimum results.
Scott is a member of the Board of Directors for the Rocky Mountain Venture Capital Association. He also has served on the Board of Directors of the Lassonde New Venture Development Center at the University of Utah. In addition Scott is a past member of the National Directors Council at the Utah Museum of Fine Arts.
Scott received a BS in Economics from Brigham Young University and a MBA from the Harvard Business School. Some of the investments Scott has led at Signal Peak Ventures include comScore (NASDAQ:SCOR), Infusionsoft, Alianza, Control4 (NASDAQ:CTRL), eXperticity, Cerberian (acquired by Blue Coat Systems), MediConnect (acquired by Verisk Analytics, NASDAQ:VRSK), PublicEngines, Radiate Media, and FamilyLink (acquired by MyHeritage). [TOP]
About Our Investors
New Markets Venture Partners, Investor
New Markets Venture Partners is a leading early stage venture capital firm that invests in and actively assists innovative information technology, business services, and education companies. The New Markets Team has decades of experience investing in and building high growth companies, and benefits from the wisdom, tenacity, and vision of founders of a highly successful public company and one of the U.S.'s premier venture firms. Our team has proprietary relationships with centers of innovation, and particular domain expertise around technology and education. We pride ourselves as being entrepreneur friendly, and we work to add value before, during and after the investment process. Visit newmarketsvp.com for more information.[TOP]
Austin Ventures, Investor
Austin Ventures ("AV") has worked with talented entrepreneurs to build valuable companies for over 25 years. With $3.9 billion under management, AV is the most active venture capital and growth equity firm in Texas and one of the most established in the nation. With an investment focus on business services and supply chain, financial services, new media, Internet, and information services, AV invests at all stages of company development, from $100,000 in "planned experiments" in early-stage ideas to $100+ million investments in expansion rounds and recapitalizations. AV’s strategy is to partner with talented executives and entrepreneurs through its CEO-in-Residence and Entrepreneur-in-Residence programs. Visit austinventures.com for more information.[TOP]
Signal Peak Ventures, Investor
Signal Peak Ventures is a traditional early-stage venture capital firm with over $400 million of committed capital under management. Collectively, the Signal Peak Ventures team has founded, served as senior officers or board members of over 75 companies. Combined, the directors have a history of successful company leadership and private equity investments that span over 60 years. [TOP]