Our reinforcement comes from our Board of Advisors, carefully selected to include experts with non-traditional backgrounds who are amazing human beings, who posses deep knowledge within their specialty, and have a passion to positively impact young humans.
Steve has over 20 years in the interactive entertainment industry including leadership roles at Bungie Studios (Halo, Halo 2), ngmoco/Dena, SK Planet and Electronic Arts. A veteran in the mobile space, he has been Art/Creative Director and Product Owner for multiple mobile gaming titles. A passion for Children's Educational Software lead Steve to found his own studio developing edutainment software for kids aged 6-12.
Dr. Blankson is a pediatrician Board Certified in Adolescent Medicine. He is a United States Air Force veteran with over 13 years of military service. In 2015, he moved with his wife and three daughters to Dallas to join the Girls to Women Health and Wellness clinic. Alongside Girls to Women, Dr. Blankson's Young Men’s Health and Wellness clinic has grown to be one of the premier sites for adolescent male healthcare in the country.
Dr. Blankson has published in peer-reviewed journals on adolescent healthcare utilization, obesity, sports-related overuse injuries and energy-drink consumption, and has been featured by the New York Times, Huffington Post, CNN, Time magazine, Forbes, and more. He has served as a featured expert on Oprah’s Happiness O-Course and completed coursework to become a culinary medicine specialist. Published in 2015, The Saucier's Bones is his recipe-filled, middle grade novel about an adolescent chef coming of age. Most recently, he launched a company called Gamer Wellness that educates and supports gamers and their loved ones.
Jan Zanetis is an education veteran with a 20 year career as an educator and university administrator, spanning K-12 and higher education. Jan’s expertise is the application of video technologies in education. She has written extensively on this topic for education journals and has co-authored two books.
Jan is an active member of several professional organizations including the International Society for Technology in Education or ISTE, the United States Distance Learning Association, and the Consortium for School Networking; Jan is currently the Managing Director of the Center for Interactive Learning and Collaboration.
Dr. Maniar is a licensed psychologist who specializes in sport psychology and leadership development. As a sport psychologist, he has over 20 years of experience working with professional, collegiate, and youth athletes in virtually every sport; including team sport psychologist for the Cleveland Browns, The Ohio State University, Washington State University, and the University of Akron. He also served as the league-wide sport psychologist for the Alliance of American Football. As an executive coach, he has worked with C-suite executives across the globe to hone and develop their leadership skills.
Dr. Maniar is the Founder & President of the Center for Peak Performance and has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals on mental training, psychology of injury, stigma of seeking help, and smoking cessation.
Mukesh is Founder and CEO of Pracrea Corporation; a Silicon Valley based Software Company that developed a lead generation tool for business for sale and commercial real estate. Mukesh is also an investor, advisor, and or a board member of start-up technology companies where his experience provides the companies guidance for product, customer, and corporate development.
These companies include B2B solutions, enhanced cloud memory architecture, data analytics, financial technology and crowdfunding. Mukesh served as Vice President of Worldwide Sales and Field Operations at LTX Corporation, a NASDAQ listed company; and Mukesh worked four years as Vice President of Marketing and Sales at LogicVision, also a NASDAQ listed company, where he was a part of the management team that led the company through an IPO process. Mukesh also has a strong background in hospitality through his family businesses.
Scott is a long tenured college athletic administrator and coach. With over 25 years of experience working in collegiate athletics at both the NCAA Division I and Division II levels he has seen first hand the development of college athletics over three decades. He has worked as a coach at both Miami (Ohio) University and Xavier University. He then transitioned to athletic administration and has worked at the University of Colorado, University of Tennessee, and Notre Dame College. During his time in administration he has served in the areas of compliance, eligibility, fundraising, and operations. In addition he has served on the NCAA Management Council as well as numerous conference level committees.
Dr. Kathleen L. Rodgers is a veteran educator. Her experiences span K-12 through postsecondary education. Dr. Rodgers’ professional career includes work with the Department of Juvenile Justice, Homelessness, Foster Care, Equity, Title IX, Discipline and Restorative Practices. Some of her notable accomplishments comprise leading the Circuit 2 Collective in attaining statewide awards for equity and inclusion and leading efforts to create inclusive school communities for her school district. Her most recent accomplishment was facilitating her team to create a mentoring initiative, Parent Navigators Program. This initiative focuses on parents mentoring parents so that they can make informed decisions to assist themselves and their children in making better choices both inside and outside the school that would reduce the potential of students getting deeper involved in the system. Dr. Rodgers has also led her two times Blue Ribbon School in significantly reducing disciplinary referrals and subsequently receiving the statewide John Gardener Award (Little Red School House Award) for the state of Florida. Her innovative program IPOD Night won the Department of Education Parental Involvement Award for Region I and is published in the Florida Department of Education annual publication, Sparkplugs.
Educating children and developing leaders are Dr. Rodgers’ passion. She calls her students “gems” and daily strives to do the heart work she has been charged to do. Dr. Rodgers has recently retired as Assistant Superintendent in the Leon County School system after 39 years of service to her students and school district. She continues to lead with a servant’s heart engaging in efforts that fosters programs and activities that benefit students and put them on the road to success.
Senior BD & GTM executive with 15+ years of experience setting the vision and strategy for high growth organizations and building scalable cross functional teams, including sales, client success, business development, partnerships, and marketing. Founding member of the Lyft Business team which created multiple high growth divisions across healthcare and corporate travel. This group surpassed a $1B+ annual run rate within 5 years and became an instrumental part of Lyft's IPO narrative in 2020.
Susan Escallier is a retired US Army officer, serving primarily as a judge advocate during 32 years of active duty. She enjoyed leadership of legal professionals, and regularly spoke on behalf of the US Army to professional organizations, allies and interest groups. Her career involved extensive experience in criminal law, serving as a prosecutor as well as a military trial judge.
She served as the senior attorney for the 101st Airborne Division and Fort Campbell. She led a team of legal professionals in the mission in Liberia, Africa to eradicate the Ebola virus. She also served as the senior attorney for Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq in 2016.
As a senior lawyer in the US Army, she advised commanders and leaders about ethics, investigations, criminal cases and national security issues. She assisted commanders and senior staff with mandatory ethics training and declarations. She provided professional oversight to the legal professionals in her units. During her career she also served as a legislative liaison in the Office of the Chief Legislative Liaison.
She retired as a brigadier general and served in the Pentagon as the Assistant Judge Advocate General overseeing the US Army JAG Corps policy branches. Her last role was the Commanding General of the US Army Legal Services Agency at Fort Belvoir. She supervised the civil litigation on behalf of the US Army and served as the Chief Judge, US Army Court of Criminal Appeals.
She currently serves as a Leadership Fellow for the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) and is on the advisory committee for the Women Veteran Memorial and Inspiration Garden for Tuolumne County.
She is a proud graduate of UC Berkeley and a life member of the California Alumni Association. She is a native of California and grew up in a farming community in the Central Valley.
Dr. Smith-Ryan is a Professor of Exercise Physiology and Nutrition at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She is an active researcher in the field of body composition, metabolism, sport nutrition, and exercise performance, with a special interest in female health. She is a leader in the field and has been recognized as the Outstanding Sports Scientist of the Year (2022) and Nutrition Researcher of the Year (2013) by the National Strength and Conditioning Association. As a first-generation college student, former collegiate athlete, mom, and woman in science, she has a passion for improving the health and quality of others through evidence-based research.
Clark worked in the world of college admissions for over 15 years at three very large public flagship universities. He most recently served as the Executive Director of Admissions at the University of Colorado Boulder. He was also the Executive Director for Undergraduate Admissions at Penn State and the Senior Associate Director for Undergraduate Admissions at the University of Michigan. Many years ago, he received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics at St. Olaf College in Northfield, MN, and a Master’s in National Security and Strategic Studies at the U.S. Naval War College in Newport, RI. Before venturing into the complex world of admissions, Clark served in the Navy for 20 years in a variety of leadership and management positions, including chief operating officer for a Navy Reconnaissance Squadron and program manager for the Joint Staff Satellite Communications Division.
Clark recently started a new position as the Associate Vice President for University Partnerships with Verto Education, a company that prepares global leaders and transforms access to higher education through a coming-of-age first-year start to college abroad.
Dr. Latisha Addison has worked in the financial aid industry for nearly 20 years. She has worked at different institutions, including for-profit, 2-year, and 4-year higher education institutions. Currently, Dr. Addison serves as the Executive Director of Student Financial Success at a 4-year university in Houston.
Dr. Addison is a mentor to many students and staff members and a certified life coach, providing her expertise in career development and advancement in the higher education industry. She takes pride in assisting students from all walks of life to learn how to fund their education, many of which she has helped discover how to leave school debt free. In her spare time, she enjoys time with her family and friends and finding new ways to help in her community.
Rebecca is an expert in building and leading teams through unparalleled growth. As the Chief Revenue Officer at Ruby, a U.S.-based live virtual receptionist and chat specialist company, Rebecca leads Ruby’s Revenue Team, where she is responsible for the entire customer journey from lead acquisition, through nurture, the sales and onboarding process, through ongoing support and retention efforts. Her team spans partnership, marketing, sales, customer success and revenue operations functions that collectively deliver on the new revenue and retention/expansion targets of the business.
A highly versatile B2B and B2C marketer, she has led large-scale growth efforts for a number of SaaS companies, including Cheetah Digital, PowerReviews, Vibes, and Panduit Corporation. Rebecca has more than 20+ years of experience in B2B SaaS-based technology companies with 10 of those years in marketing technology.
Rebecca has led teams across sales, marketing, customer success and product management roles at innovative and market-leading Chicago-based tech companies. She specializes in creating alignment across revenue-responsible teams and breaking down traditional silos to develop a customer-centered funnel that accelerates revenue growth across the organization inclusive of new revenue and churn mitigation.
She has been named one of the Top 100 Powerful Women in Sales in 2022 and an Ignite Visibility’s Courageous Marketing Leaders in 2020, amongst other awards.Rebecca is a cancer survivor who is actively involved in fundraising for the American Cancer Society and resides in the Chicago area with her husband and two children.
Meg Vrabel is an executive Operations, Sales & Strategy Leader. With over 15 years of success leading teams in the healthcare, security, logistics and services industries, Meg is skilled in identifying strategies for innovation, revenue growth, and operational efficiencies.
An academy-educated and military-trained professional, Meg is currently leveraging her skill set to partner with Corporate Innovators and Tech Start Ups alike to solve business opportunities with Tech Innovation. Previous to this role, Meg led a midsize for-profit start up through rapid growth with the mission to maximize Military Spouse and Veteran employment. From 2017 to 2021, Meg led Roadside Operations for AAA. While leading over 30 senior leaders and 1,200 field employees, Meg boosted customer satisfaction levels to become the highest in Club history, saved the organization tens of millions of dollars through innovation, and consistently implemented strategies to automate and achieve operational excellence.
Prior to AAA, Meg worked as Regional Vice President for Allied Universal Security Services. While there, Meg notably managed the merger of two former competitors each valued over $50MM. Through her ability to mobilize teams around a common vision, Meg facilitated a smooth transition to support her 2,500+ employees.
Meg served in the United States Army, both within the Adjutant General’s Corps and in Air Defense Artillery branch. As a Captain, she led a team of 8 Non-Commissioned Officers while forward deployed in Combat Operations in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. The team managed all administrative actions and events for a 603-Soldier Battalion.As a servant leader, Meg is passionate about empowering teams, building trusting relationships with clients and partners, and supporting her employees’ growth and fulfillment.
Meg’s professional background is complemented by an MBA from Saint Joseph’s University and a Bachelor of Science in Pre Law from the United States Military Academy at West Point. Meg is a third-generation Veteran and while at West Point, she was the team captain of the academy’s first-ever Women’s Basketball Team to qualify for the NCAA tournament.
Meg resides in Austin, TX with her husband, a C-level executive in the Food/Agriculture industry, and their two daughters, Milena and Zoe.
Elfried is the Chief Community Officer at IOCONIC and CEO of Butterfly 3ffect.
Previously, as Global Head of Social Content at Gymshark, Elfried Samba is best known for spearheading the massive growth in Gymshark's social triumph.
He helped grow one of the most engaged communities on the planet (1.5 million to 20 million in under 7 years).
Elfried has amassed one of the most engaged communities on Linked In, attracting 100k followers and generating 2 Million impressions + per week.