Directors and Officers

Development and Execution at the Institutional Financial Services

Sharon Dhall leads the development and execution of the Institutional Financial Services (IFS) modernization roadmap across the Operations and Technology organizations at TIAA to outline how the company will develop, automate and transform the infrastructure and key processes for IFS to scale and deliver best-in-class services for plan sponsors and participants. Partnering with TIAA business and technical leadership, Sharon is responsible for rationalizing the platforms and applications that support our overall service processes, and for the development and implementation of our workflow strategy to drive participant and plan sponsor self-service and deliver an improved customer and employee experience. She is also instrumental in the continued progress achieved by the Robotics Center of Excellence and in developing a community of practice to share learnings with her counterparts across the enterprise.

Sharon has more than 20 years of experience and a proven track record of success in technology, operations, business / process transformation, and finance leadership roles. She joined TIAA in 2017 from JPMorgan Chase, where she was Technology CFO/COO for the Corporate Investment Bank division, responsible for $3.6 billion in annual technology spend and the delivery of a $200 million, multi-year efficiency program. Sharon held other technology and process leadership roles of increasing responsibility at JPMorgan, including managing transformational initiatives across the $1 billion banking technology portfolio and driving process re-engineering efforts in the wholesale business. She also spent more than 12 years with General Electric in the GE capital and finance divisions in roles that ranged from project management to chief information officer, where she managed a $25 million IT budget and more than 400 resources.

Sharon has a Bachelors in Information Sciences & Technology from Syracuse University, an Executive MBA from the University of Connecticut, and a Masters in Organization Psychology from Teachers College at Columbia University. She is active in her community, Operation Walk Maryland, several Asian and Women’s Diversity Networks, and Syracuse and JPMorgan alumni groups. She has served as a member of the board of Emma Willard All Girls High School since 2015, and authored a book about information technology in higher education.

Chief Executive Officer and President at Makeover Solutions, Inc.

Steven A. Elkes serves as the Chief Executive Officer and President at Makeover Solutions, Inc. Steven served as Chief Revenue Officer and an Executive Vice President of Mergers & Acquisitions (M&A) at TheStreet, Inc. (also known as Inc.) from March 26, 2007 to March 2009. He served as Executive Vice President of Operations and Business Affairs at iVillage Inc., since July 2000 and also served as its Secretary since October 1999. He served as Chief Financial Officer of Ivillage Inc., since June 2004. From April 1999 to July 2000, he served as Senior Vice President of Business Affairs of iVillage Inc. From August 1996 to April 1999, he held various management positions at iVillage, including a Vice President of Business Affairs.

While managing all phases of The Street's capital raising efforts including private placements, IPO, and secondary offerings used for acquisition purposes, Steven oversaw the strategic implementation and integration of those acquisitions into iVillage. In addition, he managed the public sales process of iVillage to NBC Universal. He is a seasoned executive with more than 20 years of solid experience, he has a stellar record of improving results in varied businesses. He served as Chief Financial Officer of Azoogle (, where he oversaw the financial, legal and human resources functions in addition to their M&A activities. From August 1993 to August 1996, he served as Vice President Credit and Structured Finance at CNA Insurance Company. From August 1991 to August 1993, he served as Assistant Vice President of CNA Insurance Company. Steven received his M.B.A. from Baruch College and his B.A. from Grinnell College.

Founder & Chief Product Officer

As co-founder and member of the board of directors for Ripcord, Alex Fielding is responsible for the leadership, vision and execution of the company. Fielding started his career as an engineer at Cisco Systems and Apple, where he worked on multiple generations of MacOS, PowerBook, Network Server and was part of the first iMac team. Shortly after departing Apple, he worked at Exodus Communications with Ellen Hancock, Exodus’S CEO who was Apple’s former CTO.

He co-founded Wheels of Zeus with Apple’s co-founder Steve Wozniak in 2001, which was sold to Zontrak in 2006. Alex was Chief Technology Officer, Federal Government at Power Assure and then Vice President at Vigilent before starting Ripcord. Alex sits on the Board of Directors of The Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), is a Board Member of the Code Warriors Foundation and is a founding member of Singularity University.

Vice President & General Manager at Intel Corp

Jason S. Goecke is a vice president in the Client Computing Group and general manager of Intel Unite at Intel Corporation. He is responsible for overseeing all operational aspects of the Intel Unite business, including product strategy, product development, go-to-market strategy, as well as building and leveraging key industry partnerships.

Goecke joined Intel in 2019 from Cisco where he was responsible for leading strategic planning and management for product groups including Cisco Webex Teams and Webex Assistant. From 2011 to 2015, he served as president and CEO of Tropo, Inc., prior to its acquisition by Cisco. During his tenure, he directed the company's overall strategic direction, planning, and execution for the cloud telecom developer platform and drove rapid business development across 10 locations including the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, China, and Singapore. Earlier in his career, he held a variety of leadership positions in business development, global marketing, sales, and technology, driving significant business impact and fostering technical innovations at Voxeo Labs, Adhearsion, Presence Technology, Exigen, and Genesys, among others.

An experienced leader in high-tech advancements and data analytics, Goecke is a frequent guest speaker at global industry conferences for collaboration, telecommunications, cloud, and developer platforms.



Design Strategy Director at D-Ford
Jonah is a Design Strategy Director at D-Ford in Palo Alto, CA. D-Ford is the human-centered design organization within the Ford Motor Company and is chartered with helping bring the tools and methods of design into the 118-year-old legacy company. His work is primarily focused on understanding the intersection of the changing context of work and transportation.
Prior to Ford, Jonah spent nearly two decades at IDEO holding a number of roles from engineering to organizational design. He has worked to bring design thinking into many different contexts from the Intelligence Community to start-ups.
Outside of work, Jonah is a father of three children and two Samoyeds. You will often find him perfecting his sourdough or otherwise tinkering around in the kitchen.
Executive Director at College Promise Campaign

Dr. Martha Kanter leads the College Promise Campaign, a national initiative to increase college access, affordability, quality, and completion in American higher education, starting in America’s community colleges. She is also a Senior Fellow at New York University’s Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy, focused on policies and practices to raise America’s high school and college graduation rates. Formerly, she was President Obama’s U.S. Under Secretary of Education, overseeing all federal postsecondary policies and programs for the U.S. Department of Education. From 1993-2009, she was president and chancellor of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District.

Vice President and Strategic Initiatives at Campus Labs

Dr. Nicole Melander is Vice President, Strategic Initiatives at Campus Labs, an education technology company committed to empowering higher education through strategic use of data.  Nicole brings to this role experience in professional services, training, operations, innovation, and technology within multi-national software companies, small non-profits, and consulting partnerships.  Nicole consultants with universities and community colleges across the country to leverage their data and application ecosystems to develop insight, identify opportunities, and enable institutional improvement. 

In previous roles, Nicole served as Vice President, Consulting at Civitas Learning where she was also a faculty member of the Next Generation Leadership Academy (NGLA), a program dedicated to grounding rising educational leaders in the issues and innovations of the day.  Prior to joining Civitas Learning, Nicole served as Executive Vice President and Chief Customer Officer at Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.  In this position, she was dedicated to the transformation of the learning experience through strategic digital innovation and a superb customer experience.  She worked closely with every functional area of the company to consider the implications of technology on people, process, and product. 

Previous to HMH, she served as the Chief Technology Officer of Achieving the Dream (ATD), a national reform network dedicated to community college student success and completion, as well as education and technology leadership positions at Deloitte Consulting, Microsoft and Oracle Corporation. Her four years of full-time teaching experience – in the classroom, online, and in a blended environment –  keeps her focused on the learning transformation that her work enables.

In 2008, students and faculty at American University selected Nicole to receive the campus wide “Teaching with Technology” award for faculty who have demonstrated creativity in using technology in their teaching.  In 2010, West Chester University of Pennsylvania presented Nicole with the Distinguished Alumni Award for providing a great service to society, receiving outstanding acknowledgement in their profession, and positively affecting a large number of people.  In 2015, Nicole was further honored by being asked to deliver the commencement speech at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. 

Nicole received a Bachelor of Science degree in computer science from West Chester University, a Master of Science degree in technical management from Johns Hopkins University, and a Doctorate of Philosophy degree in information technology from George Mason University.  Nicole holds a patent in the area of Information Retrieval.

Chief Learning Officer at Civitas Learning
Dr. Mark David Milliron is Chief Learning Officer at Civitas Learning. Prior to Civitas, he was the founding chancellor of Western Governors University, Texas. He has also served as Deputy Director for Postsecondary Improvement with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, leading efforts to increase student success in the US postsecondary education sector. In previous roles, he founded the private consulting group, Catalyze Learning International (CLI); served as an Endowed Fellow, Senior Lecturer, and Director of the National Institute of Staff and Organizational Development in the College of Education at The University of Texas at Austin; served as Vice President for Education and Medical Practice with SAS, the world’s largest private software company; and was President and CEO of the League for Innovation in the Community College.
In 1999, The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Education named Mark a Distinguished Graduate for his service to the education field. In 2005, he received the annual PBS/ETS O’Banion Prize for transformational work in support of teaching and learning. In 2007, the American Association of Community Colleges (AACC) presented him with its National Leadership Award for his work in advancing education opportunity. And in 2011, the National University Technology Network (NUTN) named Mark the recipient of the Distinguished Service Award for his leadership in advancing innovative technology use in education. He is an award-winning leader, author, speaker, and consultant well known for exploring leadership development, future trends, learning strategies, and the human side of technology change. He has worked with universities, community colleges, K-12 schools, corporations, associations, and government agencies across the country and around the world.
Mark also serves on numerous corporate, nonprofit, and education boards and advisory groups, including WGU; the Global Online Academy, a not-for-profit educational partnership serving independent schools nationally and internationally; and the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), the parent organization of the Big Ideas Fest.
CEO & Founder

Lisa Petrides, Ph.D. is CEO and founder of the Institute for the Study of Knowledge Management in Education (ISKME), an education nonprofit dedicated to making learning and knowledge-sharing participatory, equitable, and open. A former professor in the Department of Organizational Leadership at Columbia University, Teachers College, she has advised and led development efforts that have enabled schools, colleges, universities, ministries of education, and the organizations that support them to expand their capacity to use data and information, and create inclusive knowledge-driven environments focused on teaching and learning. Petrides received her B.S. from University of California Berkeley, MBA from Sonoma State University, and Ph.D. in Education Policy from Stanford University.

CEO and Founder, Junyo
Steve is a technology entrepreneur with a passion for tackling complex social problems. As a corporate leader and philanthropist, he has impacted the lives of millions and helped generate significant global business success through technology, gaming and educational initiatives.  He is founder and CEO of Junyo, a learning-analytics company in Silicon Valley, with the mission to improve the learning experience of every child. Steve sits on the board of the Full Circle Fund, a non-profit incubator helping to accelerate change in education, environment, and economic opportunity. He also is also a board member of Indiegogo, a crowd-funding platform supporting entrepreneurs and causes.
He was co-founder, vice president and first employee of Zynga, and core member of Kontiki.  Early in his career, he helped build some of the world’s first mobile computers at GO and General Magic.
He graduated University of California at Berkeley with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.
Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Technology for Coast Community College District
Dr. Andreea Serban is an educator and administrator with more than two decades of experience in the leadership of colleges and universities in the United States and abroad and possesses a highly diverse and successful professional background. Dr. Andreea Serban currently serves as Vice Chancellor of Educational Services and Technology for Coast Community College District in Costa Mesa, CA. Dr. Serban is the district chief academic, student services and technology officer and has leadership responsibilities for instructional programs, student services, grant development, planning, institutional research, international programs, academic and administrative technology, and economic and partnership development across the three colleges in the district: Orange Coast College, Golden West College, and Coastline Community College. The three colleges offer over 300 credential and degree programs and serve 45,000 students.
Previously, Dr. Serban served for more than three years as Superintendent/President of Santa Barbara 
City College (SBCC) in Santa Barbara, CA, during which time she led the institution to be recognized as one of the top 10 community colleges in the country, as determined by the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. Dr. Serban also served at SBCC and South Orange County Community College District in Mission Viejo, CA, in senior positions ranging from Director of Institutional Assessment, Research and Planning to Associate Vice President for Information Technology, Research and Planning to Vice Chancellor of Technology and Learning Services. Dr. Serban also held administrative and faculty positions at University of Redlands in Redlands, CA, Rockefeller Institute of Government in Albany, NY, State University of New York System Administration in Albany, NY, Institute for Educational Sciences and University of Bucharest in Bucharest, Romania.
Dr. Serban received a Ph.D. and a Master of Science in Higher Education Administration from University at Albany, State University of New York and a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics from University of Bucharest. 
Dr. Serban has been involved in local, state and national organizations and recognized as an educational leader. In March 2011, Dr. Serban became the only current representative of a community college to be appointed by the U.S. Secretary of State Clinton to the prestigious U.S. National Commission for UNESCO. Dr. Serban is the Board President of the statewide non-profit consortium California Colleges for International Education.
Dr. Serban is a published author since 1992 and executive editor of the Journal for Applied Research in the Community College, a publication of the National Community College Council for Research and Planning. Dr. Serban authored monographs and articles and has been a frequent speaker at regional, state and national events on knowledge management, performance funding and reporting, assessment of 
student learning outcomes, enrollment management, planning, transfer strategies, remedial education and 
technology applications. 
Financial Advisor, PH.D.

Ramona is passionate about empowering others to live the life of their dreams. As a Financial Advisor, she provides comprehensive financial planning, investment solutions, and protection services to individuals and institutions. Ramona’s prior experiences led her to the financial services industry. She founded and operated an award-winning chocolate business for eight years. Before launching her business in 2011, Ramona had an entrepreneurial career for 18 years in the nonprofit sector, primarily in education philanthropy, where she was typically hired to create and implement new programs, departments, or organizations that addressed a problem, disparity, or need. Ramona has extensive experience in nonprofit management, philanthropy (traditional grant making and venture investing), and education, specifically in developing and executing initiatives from the ground up. At her core, Ramona is a learner and problem solver. She currently serves as a Senior Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) Consultant to the Center for Responsive Schools. Ramona started her career as a systems consultant and has held management and consultant positions in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics from Brown University and a doctorate in Higher Education from the University of Pennsylvania, where she received the Phi Delta Kappa Award for Outstanding Dissertation in the Graduate School of Education. Her training focused on higher education administration, quantitative research methods, and program evaluation.

Board Members Emeritus

Marshall (Mike) Smith Senior fellow at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching
Years served: 2010-2016 | More About: Linkedin
Greg Anderson Dean and Associate Professor, Morgridge College of Education
Years served: 2010-2013 | More About: Temple University
Mary Furlong President, Mary Furlong and Associates
Years served: 2008-2012 | More About: Linkedin
Lance Izumi Senior Fellow, Pacific Research Institute for Public Policy
Years served: 2006-2015 | More About: Linkedin
Xiaonan (Shawn) Cao Senior Education Specialist, Education Global Practice, World Bank
Years served: 2005-2010 | More About: World Bank Blogs
Linda Powell, Ph.D. Senior Fellow, Research Center for Leadership in Action,
Wagner School of Public Service, New York University
Years served: 2002-2006 (Founding Board Member) | More About: Richmond Times-Dispatch
Howard Block, Ph.D. Senior Analyst, Bank of America Securities
Years served: 2002-2006 (Founding Board Member) | More About: Linkedin
Debra Friedman, Ph.D. Associate Provost for Academic Planning, University of Washington
Years served: 2002-2004 (Founding Board Member) | More About: University of Washington
George Por Senior Research Fellow, Centre for Advancing Learning & Teaching (CALT)
Years served: 2002-2004 (Founding Board Member) | More About: Linkedin