Before founding GreatSchools, Bill spent five years managing engineering development and marketing for two computer networking firms, including Whistle Communications, which was later sold to IBM. A graduate of the Coro Foundation Public Affairs Fellowship program, he also spent three years teaching, two in China and one in the United States. Bill has served as a member of the California P-16 Council, a director of the San Francisco Education Fund, and as treasurer for two San Francisco school financing measures. He has served on the boards of the Yale-China Association and currently serves on the board of the Mandarin Institute. Bill received his B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Yale University. He is a Fellow of the fourth class of the Entrepreneurial Leaders for Public Education Fellowship and a member of the Aspen Global Leadership Network. As the former president of the Scientific Society at Phillips Exeter Academy, Bill loves hearing about his two daughters' elementary school science experiments.
Prior to joining GreatSchools, Matthew cut his online teeth as a founding member of Wired Digital, where he launched one of the first ad-supported websites, HotWired. Later he co-founded Organic, an interactive communications and advertising agency, where he helped develop first generation websites for brands like Levi's, Nike and Saturn. Organic IPO'd in early 2000, reaching a market cap of $6B. Matthew then brought his digital expertise to improve operations and management systems at several non-profits, including Tides and, most recently, Aspire Public Schools, a charter management organization of top performing public schools serving underserved communities throughout California. Matthew earned his MBA from the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania. Matthew's freshman debut in Battle of the Bands at Nicolet High School was a formative step in his ongoing obsession with playing live music.
As a design leader, Gretchen brings GreatSchools years of experience creating experiences that delight people. Now she has turned her attention to GreatSchools' offering for parents, teachers, and schools. Gretchen has designed and developed a wide array of interactive products during her career in areas from education, to healthcare, technology, and consumer lifestyle products. Previously, Gretchen worked for some of San Francisco's top design consultancies including frog design, Cooper, and Punchcut. She is active in the design community, speaking and giving workshops on product design and development that truly makes a difference in the lives of people. Gretchen graduated from Harvard University with honors in History and Literature and attended Alameda High School where she distinguished herself as a nerd who wrote poetry, did theater and cheerleading.
Lilly was one of the first recruits of Teach for America, where she taught second grade in Oakland, California. Lilly earned her BA in political science and economics from Wellesley College and her MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School. She led the financial metrics and evaluation efforts at the Stupski Foundation, a private philanthropic institution dedicated to improving urban public schools nationwide, and later became the finance director of an online subsidiary of Sony Pictures Entertainment. She has also held finance positions at PriceWaterhouse, Oracle, and AT&T. Lilly attended Mills High School in Millbrae, California, where she earned the coveted "top car washer" title for the National Honor Society fundraiser.
As the Executive Editor for GreatSchools, Carol brings a wealth of editorial expertise to the organization. Prior to GreatSchools, Carol was an award-winning weekly columnist from the San Francisco Chronicle for ten years and headed the education section as an editor at Salon.com. In 2009, she received a mini-fellowship on Global Health Reporting from the Kaiser Foundation for her coverage of neglected diseases published in the San Francisco Chronicle and Seed Magazine. Her journalism on culture, education and family life has been widely published and anthologized for the past 15 years, appearing in The New York Times Magazine, This American Life radio show, Salon.com, The Los Angeles Times, and the SF Weekly as well as being featured on NPR's Talk of the Nation, PRI's The World and KQED's Forum and To the Best of Our Knowledge. Her bestselling book "Creating a Life Worth Living" was published in 1997 by Harper Collins. It was at the York School in Monterey, California where she tried to balance the mind-money-body conundrum by reading Chaucer, starting a catering company and continually trying to learn to surf.
As the Director of Data Strategy for GreatSchools, Sam drives innovations to our school information in order to help families make informed decisions about where to enroll their children in school. Sam began her career in education a decade ago and today is a recognized expert on the fair and effective use of data to assess K-12 school quality. Previously, Sam was the director of accountability for the California Charter Schools Association, where she created a framework for assessing the state’s charter schools and was the lead author of the Association’s “Portrait of a Movement”. Sam has also served as an education coordinator, teacher and strategic consultant in inner city school settings in Los Angeles and New York City. She earned her M.P.P. from the University of California, Los Angeles and B.A. from Pomona College. Sam grew up in Harvard, Massachusetts, where she was a starting shooting guard on The Bromfield School's women's basketball team that made it to state championships twice during her high school career.
Candice oversees the GreatSchools Local program. After serving in the Air Force and earning a B.S. in Computer Information Systems from Strayer University, Candice had a successful sales career building and overseeing a 500+ member sales force. Candice eventually transitioned to the non-profit sector to apply her talents to support worthy organizations. Prior to joining GreatSchools, Candice was the Director of Operations and Outreach at the Thomas B. Fordham Institute, overseeing their information technology, fundraising and human capitol efforts. Candice also served as Director of Development for Cornerstone Schools of Washington, D.C., Inc., a private school that provides an academically rigorous education to 200 low-income, at-risk students. A Florida native, she now resides with her family in Washington, D.C. With two school-aged children, she is actively involved in the PTA and volunteers in support of local education reform efforts. She also serves as a Trustee for BASIS DC. Candice is an alumna of John W. North High School, where she was voted "Most Spirited."
Karissa has over 16 years of experience in the web analytics, online marketing, SEO/SEM, and web production fields. Her keen analytical sense combined with her marketing intelligence help make GreatSchools one of the leading technology nonprofits in the education sector today. Prior to joining GreatSchools, Karissa was a Senior Marketing Analyst for MarketTools, and held various positions in product management at Bridgeline Software (formerly iapps), Raffa P.C., and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. While Karissa has worked in both the private and nonprofit sectors, she has always gravitated towards improving technology systems for nonprofits. She has a B.A. in Communications Studies from Hollins University and lives with her family in Berkeley, California. As a high school basketball star at Taft High School, she was known for drawing fouls from the opposing team and never missing a free throw.
Vidya has an extensive background in business leadership and program strategy and leads GreatSchools' market research and social impact assessments. Joining GreatSchools in 2006, she has also been responsible for new product development and fund development activities. Prior to GreatSchools, she drove new investment opportunities in Internet media at Claremont Creek Ventures and also founded a teen media web site. Vidya has led software development at both consumer and enterprise Internet start-ups. She holds a degree in electrical engineering from Stanford University, a Masters in Public Policy from UCLA and her MBA from UCLA Anderson School of Management. Vidya is a classical Indian dancer engaged in the performing arts. She attended Pinole Valley High School where she was on the debate team and held the distinction of National Forensics League Point Leader.
Swami is responsible for licensing agreements and partner revenues at GreatSchools. Prior to GreatSchools, Swami worked on business development at RatePoint, where he managed content syndication partnerships and channels. Before that, he was VP of Business Development at Comcast and Plaxo (now part of Comcast Interactive Media), where he established and managed distribution, product, and revenue alliances for Plaxo. Swami also founded the company NightFire Software, which focused on enabling fast and efficient delivery of voice, data and next-generation services to customers. He earned his BA in Electrical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in New Delhi, India, and an MS in Electrical Engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. His favorite activity in high school in New Delhi was learning to sing Indian classical music.
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