Among those in Graduation Alliance’s ranks are individuals with PhD's and master’s degrees and those who dropped out of high school. Graduation Alliance’s employees have backgrounds in teaching, administration, curriculum development, social work, counseling, website design, computer science, economics, journalism, government service, public safety, non-profits, music, engineering, business development, investing, retail sales, fast food and the military.
Regardless of where they came from, every member of the Graduation Alliance team works for one common goal: Advancing lives through the power of education. Here are some of their stories:
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.
Gregg Rosann | President & Chief Technology Officer
Gregg Rosann is a co-founder of Graduation Alliance. He 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 Graduation Alliance as President and Chief Technology Officer, Gregg is responsible for the technology platforms that deliver education to our students.
Previous to Graduation Alliance, Gregg served as Vice President of Software Engineering at Tomax Corporation (acquired by DemandWare and Salesforce.com), 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. He was an entrepreneurship associate at the Lassonde New Venture Development Center at the University of Utah’s David Eccles School of Business, and maintains advisory board roles at the University's Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute, the Professional Master of Science and Technology program and the Technology and Venture Commercialization Office. Gregg also serves as Board President at the Salt Lake City Jewish Community Center.
Rebekah Richards | Chief Academic Officer & Co-Founder
Rebekah Richards is a co-founder of Graduation Alliance. 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 Graduation Alliance, 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.
Andy Cusimano | Chief Operating Officer
Andy has primary responsibility for Graduation Alliance’s program delivery and operations. Prior to joining Graduation Alliance 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 Graduation Alliance, 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.
Greg Harp | Senior Vice President
With over a decade of industry experience, Greg joins Graduation Alliance having held a series of executive positions within the education market including tenures at Compass Knowledge Group, LoudCloud Systems, and Academic Partnerships.
Most recently Greg was the CMO, for LoudCloud Systems an educational analytics firm for both K12 and Higher Education markets. LoudCloud was sold to Barnes and Noble Education in early 2016. Greg came to the Education industry after a successful career at Gallup where he was an Associate Partner. He has held a variety of positions in marketing, sales and operations including Vice President of Operations at Academic Partnerships.
Greg earned his Master in Business Administration from Regent University.
JC Tenney | VP of Software Engineering and Architecture
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.
Deborah O'Brien | Principal
Deborah O'Brien is the principal for Graduation Alliance. Starting as a kindergarten teacher in Washington. She received her bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education, from Central Washington University in June 1991. In August, 1995 she completed a Master’s in Educational Administration at Eastern Washington University. She is certificated by the state of Washington as a K-12 School Principal.
Deborah has taught in public schools in Washington state for eleven years. Her administration career has included principalships in middle school, grade school and most recently high school in Washington state. For the last three years, she has served as the school principal for Graduation Alliance and oversees the teachers and mentors who work with students who cannot or will not return to traditional school settings.
» BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Mark Grovic | Director
Mark Grovic is the founder and general partner of New Markets Venture Partners, and 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.
Tony Meyer | Director
In addition to his work at Graduation Alliance, 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 of Ocean Road Advisors, Inc. an investment advisory company which manages a diversified portfolio of investments in public and private equities, alternative investments, real estate, and venture capital.
Tony has extensive experience and relationships in the real estate, finance, venture capital, healthcare, education and media sectors. As a serial entrepreneur, he co-founded 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). More recently, in 2004, Tony founded Extend Health, Inc., now a subsidiary of publicly-traded benefits consultant, Towers Watson, which is a leading manager of defined contribution healthcare programs for American corporations, serving Medicare-eligible retirees and their corporate sponsors. Extend Health now operates OneExchange, the nation’s largest Medicare insurance exchange on behalf of corporate clients such as General Motors, Wal*Mart, DuPont and IBM.
Tony has lectured in real estate, finance and entrepreneurship at Stanford University, New York University, City University of New York and Southern Methodist University. He currently serves as the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees of the Macaulay Honors College of the City University of New York and as a Board Director of Dr. Mehmet Oz’ HealthCorps. Tony is also the past 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, and a past Chairman of the Board of Literacy Instruction for Texas (L.I.F.T.). He is a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization.
Tony graduated from Harvard College in 1982 as a John Harvard Scholar and received his MBA from Harvard Business School with honors in 1984.
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).