Thom Jackson is President and Chief Executive Officer of EdisonLearning, a leading international educational services provider with nearly a generation of experience creating effective and sustainable solutions to raise student achievement. He is among the small segment of unique business leaders who are able to build relationships, trust, and rapport – that in turn result in solid partnerships and alliances. This quality was best exemplified when in 2014, he brokered the acquisition and directed the restructuring of the company.
Thom initially joined EdisonLearning as General Counsel, and later assumed the role of Chief Operating and Legal Officer. Throughout, he has served in critical leadership roles developing, articulating and executing the company’s growth and implementation strategies. Thom’s leadership has deepened the company’s focus on Growth; “Operational Excellence:” ensuring that the domestic field operations are implemented with fidelity to the company’s proprietary Five Strand Design®; successfully re-tooling the company’s enrollment function; building and implementing an effective and efficient account management model; developing a coherent communications and social media strategy; and managing the operational features of the company’s strategic alliance with Magic Johnson Enterprises.
Before joining EdisonLearning, Thom held various key leadership positions at international and Fortune 100 companies. As the Chief Legal Officer at the GAB Robins Group of Companies, a private equity portfolio company with operations in over 50 countries, Thom led international acquisition teams and negotiated complex financial instruments in excess of $400 million. At both Prudential and MetLife, Thom held positions of increasing responsibility and managed enterprise-wide projects, helping to design and implement corporate compliance and “early warning” systems that mitigated high-profile legal and regulatory risks.
Thom has served three New Jersey Governors, including leading a budget task force of New Jersey business leaders established by Governor Richard Codey to streamline New Jersey’s $30 billion budget and serving on the budget transition team for Governor Jon Corzine. In 2007, Thom was appointed to serve as the inaugural Chairman of the Board of Directors for New Jersey’s largest charity care hospital, the UMDNJ’s University Hospital, with more than $500 million in revenues. Under Thom’s leadership, University Hospital posted its first profitable years in more than two decades.
Thom received his undergraduate degree in Political Science at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana with an emphasis on economics and international relations. Thom received his Juris Doctor from the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
Maureen Ryan is Chief Financial Officer of EdisonLearning, a leading international educational services provider with nearly a generation of experience creating effective and sustainable solutions to raise student achievement. In this role, she is responsible for the financial leadership of the company, and for upholding strong financial management and accountability.
Throughout her tenure with the company, which began in 1999, Maureen has held positions of increasing responsibility in both the operational and financial divisions of the organization. In her most recent role as Senior Vice President of Budget and Operations, she created and executed the annual operations budget, successfully implemented innovative solutions to complex operational needs, and monitored company progress against strategic initiatives and academic achievement targets.
Maureen also served as Senior Vice President for Financial Planning and Analysis, and on two occasions as Interim Chief Financial Officer.
Prior to joining EdisonLearning, Maureen served as a Municipal Financial Analyst in the Office of the New York State Deputy Controller. Earlier, she was an Economic Analyst with the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey.
Maureen earned her Bachelor of Arts degree (Magna Cum Laude) from California State University-Northridge, and her Master of Public Administration from Columbia University.
Laura Hayes is Chief Academic Officer of EdisonLearning, a leading international educational services provider with nearly a generation of experience creating effective and sustainable solutions to raise student achievement. In this role, she is responsible for the implementation of the company’s extensive portfolio of proven K-12 solutions, including: school improvement and management of charter and district schools, Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academies focused on dropout prevention and recovery, state-wide virtual high schools, and eCourses - a full online curriculum.
Having honed her skills during a thirty-year career as a highly successful teacher, principal, and administrator, Laura has a thorough understanding of the ingredients of outstanding schools. With EdisonLearning, she has served as Vice President of Education Services, and as Senior Director of Achievement to a large number of the company’s partners.
Prior to her role with EdisonLearning, Laura was Chief of Schools for Uplift Education, National Director of Foundations for New Leaders for New Schools, and Director of Education, Foundation for Community Empowerment. Throughout, she has been at the forefront of innovation in relation to student motivation, curriculum, effective learning and staff development.
Laura holds numerous educational certifications, including those as: Teacher, Mid-Management, Supervisor, and Superintendent. She earned her undergraduate degree from Bishop College in Dallas, and her Master of Science from the University of North Texas.
Chief Information Officer
Mike Williams is Chief Information Officer of EdisonLearning, a leading international educational services provider with nearly a generation of experience creating effective and sustainable solutions to raise student achievement. In this role, he provides vision and leadership for developing and implementing the organization’s global information technology infrastructure. Mike also is the primary technology architect for EdisonLearning’s Virtual Learning and Alternative Education products, and manages all partnership-facing technology resources.
During his ten years of service in the United States Air Force, Mike’s role as Senior Technical Training Instructor at the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine spurred his interest in an education career. Upon completing his tour of duty, Mike became a teacher and technology coordinator at the Southwest Elementary School in San Antonio, Texas; where in 1997, he was honored as “Teacher of the Year”.
Since joining the company in 1997, Mike has held progressive roles developing, implementing, and overseeing technology programs on the local, regional, and national levels. During this time, he has managed the technology start-up of more than 400 EdisonLearning partnership schools. In his most recent role as Head of School Technology, Mike was responsible for the delivery of all technology products and services throughout the company’s partnership network; and was the primary technology architect for Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academies focused on dropout prevention and recovery; and Provost Academies, state-wide virtual high schools.
Mike earned a Bachelor of Science degree from Wayland Baptist University, and a Master of Arts in Education from the University of Texas at San Antonio.
'Tim Nash serves as Managing Director of EdisonLearning UK, the organization’s international operations. His career in education started more than 25 years ago as a Physics and Technology teacher. In common with many of his peers, he was involved in the early development of information and communications technology in schools and developed a strong reputation as a pioneer in the teaching of robotics and computer control technology.
This eventually took Tim out of the classroom and into a new career working for a leading educational information technology manufacturer, where he provided educational, technical and eventually commercial expertise. Tim’s move to EdisonLearning in 2003 was driven by an increasing concern regarding the return on investment of technology in schools. Evidence from his work suggested that a significant contributor to this problem was the difficulty experienced by schools in innovating and changing practice, and this has remained a key focus of EdisonLearning’s activity to date.
In his time at EdisonLearning, Tim has led the company's team of educationalists, worked on Academy and BSF programs, and driven new areas of research and development, most notably into the operation of virtual and hybrid schools, but his main area of activity has been in the development of the company’s commercial activities in the UK and beyond.
Tim is a member of the CBI's Education and Children's Services Panel, and is a regular contributor to written and social media in the education sphere.
Chief of Staff
Natalie Williams is Chief of Staff for EdisonLearning, a leading international educational services provider with nearly a generation of experience creating effective and sustainable solutions to raise student achievement. In this role, she is responsible for developing and implementing the company’s growth strategy, and for securing and maintaining the organization’s strategic alliances. In particular, Natalie manages EdisonLearning’s alliance with Magic Johnson Enterprises, and oversees the activities of Friends of Magic as a part of the corporate and community engagement initiative for the national network of Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academies
Although an attorney by training, Natalie’s professional path has always been connected to education. She began her career as Assistant Attorney General in the Education Division of the Minnesota State Attorney General’s Office; served as a Vice President for the Fresh Start Women’s Foundation, which helps women transform their lives through personal development and education; and later on was hired as a mid-year turnaround principal at Teleos Preparatory Academy in Phoenix, Arizona. Within three months under her leadership, the school exceeded its enrollment target and met its Annual Yearly Progress goals.
Prior to assuming her current position with EdisonLearning, Natalie provided legal advice to the organization on charter school agreements, and was instrumental in establishing the partnership with the Clark County School District.
Ms. Williams holds a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.A. in Journalism from Arizona State University, and a Doctor of Jurisprudence from Vanderbilt University.
Senior Vice President, Alternative Education
Chris Wilberding is Senior Vice President, Alternative Education for EdisonLearning, a leading international educational services provider with nearly a generation of experience creating effective and sustainable solutions to raise student achievement. In this role, he is responsible for the implementation and operations of the company’s innovative alternative education portfolio – specifically, the Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academies focused on dropout prevention and recovery.
Chris’s passion for helping students learn and succeed started as an eighth-grade social studies teacher and men’s college basketball coach. Today, he is leading EdisonLearning’s effort to stem the growing tide of high school dropouts. Since joining the organization in 2011, Chris has successfully opened eighteen Magic Johnson Bridgescape Academies across 6 states, enrolling more than 2,500 students. Throughout, he has established a positive and engaging learning environment for the students, as well as an on-going performance management model for the academic and administrative teams at each academy.
Prior to joining EdisonLearning, Chris served as Director of Midwest Operations for Educational Services of America; Director of MBA Relations for Lake Forest Graduate School of Management; and later as Regional Director for Kaplan Test Prep and Admissions. Throughout his professional career, Chris has had some level of positive impact on the lives of well over 10,000 students.
Chris earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Dayton, and a Master’s of Business Administration from the Lake Forest Graduate School of Management.
Senior Vice President, Blended Learning Solutions
Doug Mesecar is Senior Vice President of Blended Learning Solutions for EdisonLearning, a leading international educational services provider with nearly a generation of experience creating effective and sustainable solutions to raise student achievement. In this role, he is responsible for the development and implementation of the service delivery model that leverages the organization’s rich history as a founder of the charter school sector, with its well received and innovative approach in virtual and alternative education.
Doug has served in senior operational and policy roles at leading education companies, the U.S. Department of Education, and in Congress. His cross-cutting expertise ranges from curriculum development and education technology, to teaching and public policy.
At the U.S. Department of Education, his roles included Deputy Chief of Staff of the Department, Assistant Deputy Secretary for the Office of Innovation and Improvement, and Acting Assistant Secretary for the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Policy Development. He also led the school services and education technology implementation for Sylvan Learning as Vice President for Contract Programs and SylvanSync; and served as Vice President of Math and Strategic Initiatives at Scholastic Education. Earlier in his career, Doug was Director of Government Relations for then-Edison Schools.
Doug attended Hope College and the University of Denver, where he completed graduate work in education and earned his teacher license. He taught 5th grade in the Jefferson County School system in Colorado.
Curtiss Stancil is Senior Vice President, Sales for EdisonLearning, a leading international educational services provider with nearly a generation of experience creating effective and sustainable solutions to raise student achievement. In this role, he is responsible for the management and implementation of organization’s sales and business development operations.
Curtiss brings more than 25 years of executive management leadership, business development, sales, operations and strategic marketing experience to the organization. Prior to joining EdisonLearning, he was an equity owner and President of CurtMont Global, an integrated services and strategic business development company. Curtiss previously served EdisonLearning as a Vice President for Business Development, and was instrumental in fostering the organization’s relationship with Earvin "Magic" Johnson.
Earlier in his career, Curtiss served as Vice President, Sales for Sodexo USA, and was responsible for sales, marketing, operations and business development for colleges, universities and large urban K-12 school districts. In addition, he held various executive level sales, strategy and marketing positions with Proctor & Gamble, L’Oreal, Gibson Greetings, First Transit, GEMS Education and Carson Products.
Curtiss has been recognized for his leadership in the African-American community with the "Emerging Leader Award" from Applause! magazine, and his research on marketing to African-American consumers have been featured in publications including Jet magazine. Curtiss holds a B.S. degree in Business Marketing from Albany State University.