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. You can read Bill's ideas about schools, learning and parents on his blog.
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.
Leo Olebe is the Vice President of Marketing at GreatSchools. He is an award winning marketing executive with nearly two decades of experience working on the biggest brands in the world, having marketed more than 80 video games across multiple platforms for various companies, including Disney, Warner Bros., and Electronic Arts. His brand marketing experience includes many of the world’s leading entertainment brandsn such as Star Wars, Marvel, The Matrix, Toy Story, The Lion King, Winnie The Pooh, and Disney Princess. A frequent speaker and panelist about online games, marketing strategy, and emerging business models, Leo began his professional career as an operations/supply chain management consultant. He is a Consortium for Graduate Study in Management Fellow with an MBA in Marketing and Strategy from the University of Southern California. He also attended Occidental College where he was double major in public policy and politics and was student body president. Leo gets his passion for education from his family. His parents were both teachers in eastern Uganda when they met. His father used his education to bring his family to the United States while his mother is a life-long educator, having gotten her start in the Peace Corps. Leo is also married to a veteran teacher with whom he has three school-age children who are just beginning their educational journey.
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 Vice President 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."
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.
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