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The American Academy Online High School - Team Members
Chief Executive Officer
Co-Founder and Chief Academic Officer
Vice President of Customer Services
Senior Vice President of Sales
Board of Directors
Ray Kelly, Chief Executive Officer
Ray Kelly is the chief executive officer of The American Academy and is a member of the company’s board of directors. In this role he has overall management responsibility for all aspects of the company’s business.
Ray is an accomplished visionary leader, and a leading advocate for the value of technology-enabled education in raising economic and social standards globally. Prior to joining The American Academy, Ray served as president and CEO of Utah-based 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.
Prior to Certiport, Ray served as senior vice president for client services at Prometric, where he drove improved customer satisfaction and enhanced service levels while growing revenue, culminating in the sale of the company to Educational Testing Service (ETS). Ray has also served as CEO of ExecuTrain Corporation (a global training company), the SVP of sales and marketing for Mentergy Corporation (a publicly traded e-learning provider), the managing executive of Hewlett Packard's Retail Industry Organization, and vice president at NCR Corporation.
Ray earned a Master's Degree in Business Administration with distinction from the Keller Graduate School of Management, and a Computer Science degree from the University of Coventry in England. Ray also has authored and presented numerous papers on leadership, education and technology in more than 100 countries. An active community leader, Kelly founded and developed The Cancer Challenge, growing it into one of the world’s premier charity events for cancer prevention and treatment. Ray was born in London, England, to Irish parents, and in 1984 he jumped on the opportunity to work in the USA. Ray enjoys time with his family, golf, skiing, and soccer. [TOP]
Gregg Rosann, President, Co-Founder and CTO 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]
Andy Cusimano, Vice President of Customer Services
Andy has primary responsibility for TAA’s program delivery to its partner school districts. 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]
Greg Holgreen, Senior Vice President of Sales
For nearly 20 years, Greg Holgreen has worked to help school districts identify and acquire technological solutions for a wide range of academic needs. Prior to joining the NoDropouts team, he was a regional vice president for the MIND Research Institute, a California-based non-profit dedicated to the development and deployment of math instructional software and systems for elementary and secondary students. He has served as a regional vice president for Achieve 3000, which helps schools implement differentiated learning solutions to improve students’ reading and writing skills. He also served as a regional vice president for PLATO learning, which focuses on helping students at all levels by incorporating online learning into their education.
Greg, who earned a bachelor's degree in economics from Brigham Young University, also has served as a territory manager for Scholastic. [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]
Dr. Dinesh Patel, Director
Dr. Patel co-founded vSpring Capital (now Signal Peak Ventures) in 2000 and has been a founding managing director since its formation. Prior to Signal Peak Ventures, Dr. Patel was an active angel investor in over 20 biotech and technology companies. From 1985 – 1999 Dr. Patel served as Co-Founder, Chairman of The Board of Directors and President & CEO of TheraTech, Inc., a biotechnology company which he took public and eventually sold to Watson Pharmaceuticals. From 1999 to 2004 he was the Founder, Chairman, President & CEO of Ashni Naturaceuticals, Inc., a company that specializes in the research, development and marketing of clinically tested and patent-protected naturaceutical products. In 1999, Dr. Patel co-founded and was the Chairman of Salus Therapeutics, Inc., a biotechnology company focused on the research and development of nucleic acid-based therapeutics, including antisense and gene therapy drugs. He currently holds 15 US Patents and Foreign Counterparts.
Dr. Patel serves on several non-profit boards, and has won numerous awards including; 2006 Utah Technology Council Hall of Fame Inductee, 2006 Ellis Island Medal of Honor, US Small Business Administration’s Business Achiever Award, Scientific and Technology Award (State of Utah), Entrepreneur of the Year Award (Mountain West Venture Group) and Scientific and Technology Development Pioneer of Progress Award to name a few. He is also a charter member of The Indus Entrepreneurs (TiE).
Born and raised in Zambia, Africa, Dr. Patel received his bachelor’s degree in Pharmacy at Gujarat University located in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India his master’s degree from the Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and his Ph.D. in Physical Pharmacy from the University of Michigan. [TOP]
Over a four-decade career, Marguerite Kondracke has been an entrepreneur and a public servant — and in both capacities she has focused on the needs of children and families. As the chief executive for America’s Promise, which was founded in 1997 by Gen. Colin Powell to make children a national priority, Kondracke helped energize a national conversation on the dropout epidemic that has prompted action across the country.
Prior to joining the board and to her service with The America’s Promise Alliance, Kondracke served as special assistant to U.S. Sen. Lamar Alexander, staff director for the Senate Subcommittee on Children and Families, and as commissioner of Tennessee’s Department of Human Services. Previously, she was co-founder and CEO of Bright Horizons Family Solutions, the nation’s largest provider of employer-sponsored childcare.
A Duke University alumna, Kondracke also holds a master’s degree in psychology from Austin Peay State University. She is married to award-winning journalist and bestselling author Morton Kondracke. [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]