Meet the Executive Team
- Post-secondary, Post “Access”
- Higher Ed Reform, from the Chapter “Rethinking Accreditation,” College 2.0, an Entrepreneurial Approach to Reforming Higher Ed, Kauffman Foundation, June 2012
- Public Policy Barriers to Post-Secondary Cost Control - Prepared for the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) conference, "Increasing Accountability in American Higher Education," November 17, 2009. It was published by Macmillan/Palgrave in a book with the equally scintillating title of Accountability in American Higher Education.
- Price Competition and Course-Level Choice in K-12 Education: Lessons from Higher Ed - Prepared for the American Enterprise Institute Conference, "More Than Just Schools: Rethinking the Demand for Educational Entrepreneurship," December 7, 2009. It was published by Harvard Education Press in The Future of Educational Entrepreneurship.
- College by Subscription - American Enterprises Institute, September, 2009.
David Parento serves as Chief Operating and Financial Officer at StraighterLine, where he is responsible for managing the company's day-to-day operations, including overall financial, administration, legal and corporate development activities. He has spent the last twelve years building early-stage and growth companies as a venture capitalist and attorney. Most recently, David was a venture capitalist at Chrysalis Ventures, a leading technology and healthcare-focused venture capital fund doing early and growth-stage investments, where he focused on education and training sector investments. Earlier in his career, David was corporate finance and transactional lawyer with Davis Polk & Wardwell in California, London and New York, where he worked extensively in the firm's venture capital, private equity, capital markets and M&A practices. David has a BA from Yale University, a JD from Vermont Law School and a MSc, Management from the Stanford Graduate School of Business where he was a Sloan Fellow.
Sharon Spooler serves as Chief Marketing Officer at StraighterLine, where she is responsible for consumer marketing, business intelligence, and strategic alliances. Sharon brings significant experience in strategy, marketing, business intelligence, and analytics from leading financial services and software companies including Capital One, Wells Fargo, and Fair Isaac. Prior to joining StraighterLine, Sharon was responsible for Product Marketing and Channel Development for ID Analytics, a fraud and risk analytics company where she launched new products and developed marketing channels and partnerships. Sharon has a passion for bringing analytics discipline and strategy to small companies, and spent three years running a boutique consulting business focused on start-ups and small businesses. Prior to that, Sharon developed a business intelligence capability for PeopleFirst, an on-line company that was purchased by CapitalOne, which enabled the company to grow quickly and efficiently. Sharon graduated from Princeton University with a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) in Civil Engineering and Operations Research with a focus on Engineering Management Systems. She is also a graduate of the Coaches Training Institute’s Co-Active Coaching and Leadership Development programs and has worked with companies and individuals across industries as an executive coach and meeting facilitator.
Josef Katz serves as the Senior Vice President of Marketing for StraighterLine. He is responsible for putting in place marketing plans, strategies, partners and systems to bring the StraighterLine programs to market. Josef is a veteran marketer within the educational industry and has a proven track record of success. Prior to StraighterLine Josef was the Vice President of Marketing for Trump University where he drove the University's growth and international expansion. Before joining Trump University, he served as the Executive Director of Integrated Marketing for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. While in this role he was an integral part of their direct mail, email, Internet, and relationship marketing initiatives. Josef's other experiences include providing direct marketing and data strategy for leading brands such as Intel, NASDAQ, Nestle, Volvo, Philips Electronics, New Balance, and Rogaine while working for Draft Worldwide and Fuel NA (part of the Euro RSCG agency network). Mr. Katz was elected to serve on the Direct Marketing Association's (DMA) Ethics Operating Committee. He is a member of the DMA's CRM Segment Advisory Committee and has presented at the DMA's annual conferences. Josef has judged the DMEF Collegiate Echo awards and is a member of Direct Marketing Idea Exchange. You can read Josef's marketing blog to learn more or follow him on Twitter and start a conversation.
Matthew Kraft presently serves as the Vice President of Technology for StraighterLine, Inc. Prior to joining StraighterLine, Matt served as the Vice President and Chief Information Officer for Crawford Media Services, Inc in Atlanta GA from 2010-2012. In two years, Matt lead the technology team to built a Tier 3-targeted Data Center, Multi-PetaByte Private Storage Cloud (STAAS), Media Asset Management Solution (SAAS), and manage the company's build-out at its new Headquarters. Matt also headed the company's DataCenter Solutions Sales Team. Through that role, Matt successfully closed sales ranging from the Georgia Hospital Association (GHA) to Liberty University.
Prior to Crawford, Matt served as a Sr. Manager of Technology for the Advertising.com Group at Aol. Matt's Team at Aol directly managed the Affiliate and Lead Generation Platform, responsible for delivering over $500M in revenues from 2006-2010. From 1999-2006, Matt served in various capacities within the Web.com Group (formerly Interland, Inc.) More recently, Matt managed the Internal System Group. Through this work, Matt successfully transitioned the Backoffice Systems from the company's split with Peer1 Networks, Inc.
Prior to 1999, Matt served in various capacities for J/K Foods, Inc. the leading food retailer in Western North Dakota. Most recently, Matt managed the successful Joint Venture between J/K Foods and Coborn's, Inc in the Bakken Formation, Western North Dakota.
Matt graduated Magna Cum Laude from Georgia State University in 2005 with a degree in Bachelor of Business Administration, Management.
Joseph Thibault is Director of Academics at StraighterLine. He leads academic support and policy for StraighterLine’s catalog of credit bearing courses, coordinates qualitative feedback and is responsible for the ongoing maintenance, development, and review of new courses. Before joining StraighterLine, Joseph worked for three years managing the course catalog of low-cost provider of graduate-level professional development courses for K-12 teachers throughout the US. In his spare time he works to advance open education and content and manages a growing eLearning technology news site focused on the worlds most popular open source learning management system, Moodle (Moodlenews.com). Joseph received his Bachelors and M. Ed. from the University of Vermont..