Josef Blumenfeld is the Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications for global education leader Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. In this capacity, Joe is responsible for all of the Company’s internal and external communications, including its website and social media programs. Joe has extensive global communications experience, having managed communications programs and agencies in 39 countries. Joe’s 20 years of communications work includes roles at two global public relations firms and a number of senior in-house positions at Boston-area technology companies. Joe has managed the communicaions programs for major brands, such as Walmart and Phillips, as well as a number of start-ups. He conceived of and directed governmental market development via public affairs campaigns at The United Nations, The Hague, and US Chambers of Commerce. Joe graduated from Emerson College and went to graduate school at American University. Joe currently sits on the board of the Children’s Advocacy Center and the regional board of the US Fund for UNICEF.
Jennie Dougherty is currently a staff writer at EdSurge, where she helps its team see the technology world from a teacher’s point of view. She is also an instructional technology teacher at Mcnair Academy in Ravenswood City School District in East Palo Alto, where she is supporting the transformation of the school into a STEM academy and assisting staff with integrating tech tools into daily teaching. Prior to moving to California, she taught English at a public high school in Brockton, MA. She is also a founder of edUpgrade, which extends the national network of beta-testing teachers she built through her BetaClassroom blog. She has also served as a Teacher in Residence at ImagineK12.
Rob is a co-founder and Partner at NextView Ventures, a venture capital fund focused on internet enabled innovation. NextView pursues a dedicated seed investment strategy and partners with entrepreneurs to build transformative and lasting businesses. Rob is also a co-founder and board director of Boundless Learning, a venture funded company focused on empowering students and educators to leverage open source content. Prior to founding NextView, Rob was at Spark Capital, a leading venture capital firm focused on the intersection of media, technology, and entertainment. Before joining Spark Capital, Rob worked at Ebay as the Business Product Lead for “Finding”. In this role, he oversaw the launch over 20 products that significantly enhanced Ebay’s search, browse, and merchandising capabilities. Rob attended Duke University and holds an MBA from the Harvard Business School.
Tara is a successful Brand Marketing Director specializing in multimedia properties from education to entertainment. Tara excels at leading organizations, building brands, mining research for insights, and developing new platforms, which she has done for Bare Tree Media, Turbine (Warner Bros.), Stride Rite, Atari, Crayola, Infonautics, eGames, Mattel, Tyco Toys, and with startups. Tara has developed strategies and driven implementation of key brand initiatives, new product launches, package redesigns, and new social media campaigns. With a keen interest and command of the youth market, Tara has successfully taken concepts to commercialization while working with in-house and outside agencies. As a brand strategist, Tara has led the creation of marketing collateral for multi-tiered campaigns, including online, TV, print, OLA, POP, radio, event, social media, and PR. In addition to building brands, Tara enjoys leading teams and fostering a spirit of excellence. Tara holds an MBA in Marketing from Temple University and a BS in Business from Skidmore College.
Irene Greif, IBM Fellow, is Chief Scientist for Social Business at IBM where she is responsible for designing the long-term strategy for IBM as a model for social business. She is also the director of the IBM Center for Social Business, a global effort to focus CSCW (Computer-Supported Cooperative Work) and Computer-Human Interaction research on the growing opportunities in social business. Irene is a former faculty member of Computer Science at University of Washington and of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT. She headed a research group in the MIT Laboratory for Computer Science that developed shared calendar, co-authoring, and real-time collaboration systems. She is a fellow of both the Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Association of Computing Machinery (ACM). Irene joined Lotus Development Corporation in 1987, formed Lotus Research in 1992, and merged that group into the IBM Research Division in 2000. Irene received her S.B. in Mathematics, her S.M. and her PhD in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, all from MIT.
Yscaira Jimenez was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in the Bronx. The youngest of 5, she was educated in the New York public school system and has first hand knowledge of its merits and challenges. Yscaira won a scholarship to Columbia University, doubled majored in English and Latin American Literature and graduated in May of 2003. She spent three and a half years working for various education startups. As a result of her work, over 8,000 low income students in low performing schools in New York, Illinois, Florida, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, and Virginia had access to free world-class tutoring services. She was also the founder of La Pregunta Arts Cafe, a 5 year old cultural social club in Harlem. She is now pursuing an MBA at MIT Sloan School of Management with a focus on entrepreneurship in education technology and is working on an edtech startup called Learn411 with HBS student Sergio Marrero.
A technology company veteran with 20+ years of experience, Andrew is one of the founders of TenMarks and is responsible for driving the go-to-market strategy for the company. Andrew has served as an executive at many technology companies where he successfully managed business and corporate development for enterprise and consumer software companies. His past roles have included VP of Corp and Business Development for Corel Software, CEO at Outerlink, VP of Sales and Marketing at Open Orders (acquired by IBM), and VP of Business Development at CommercialWare (acquired by Micros). When he is not spreading the word about TenMarks, Andrew helps introduce people to the joy of skiing as a part-time ski instructor.
Jordan Meranus is the CEO and co-founder of Ellevation, a mission-driven software company exclusively focused on the needs of English Language Learners and the professionals that serve them. Most recently, Jordan was a Partner at NewSchools Venture Fund, a nonprofit organization that helps entrepreneurs develop innovative organizations that help address some of the most intractable challenges in public education. Prior to NewSchools, Jordan was a Managing Director at Imagitas, where he launched an e-government business to help federal agencies provide better services to citizens. Jordan is also a co-founder of Jumpstart, a national nonprofit organization that provides intensive early literacy services to low-income children in dozens of cities across the country. Prior to Jumpstart, Jordan was a teacher. Jordan received his Bachelor’s degree in history from Duke University and earned a Master’s degree in both Education and Public Administration from Harvard.
EDUCATION GROWTH ADVSIORS
Adam Newman is a Founding and Managing Partner of Education Growth Advisors, a strategy consulting and financial advisory firm focused exclusively on the education sector. Adam has more than 15 years of experience in consulting and market research, management, investment banking, and teaching across all segments of the education sector. Previously a director at Berkery Noyes, Adam originated the firm’s strategic advisory practice for education companies and investors and was a core member supporting the Education and Training practice’s transactional activities. Adam also served as Managing Vice President at Eduventures, Inc., the education industry’s premier strategic market research and consulting firm supporting pre-K-12, postsecondary, and corporate training businesses, investors, and colleges and universities. Prior to his work with Eduventures, Adam served as a senior manager at the Corporate Executive Board (Nasdaq: EXBD) in the company’s Corporate Strategy Board practice. Adam began his professional career as a K-12 educator and athletic coach at schools in Boston, MA and New Orleans, LA. He earned an A.B. in English from Duke University.
WESTWOOD HIGH SCHOOL
Greg Schwanbeck has taught Physics for the past nine years, using a variety of educational technologies and research-based teaching techniques to get his students excited about learning science and helping them discover and understand the role physics plays in their day-to-day lives. Greg provides a variety of professional development instruction on these technologies and more to teachers who wish to implement efficient and effective educational technology into their lessons. Greg earned his M. Ed. in the Technology, Innovation, and Education program at Harvard University, holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Physics and Mathematics from Union College, is an Apple Distinguished Educator, and is a member of the TED-ED Brain Trust.