Glen McCandless, Education Marketing Expert
Glen draws on a decade of experience in education sales, marketing and channel development at Apple, his work with high tech marketing guru and best-selling author, Geoff Moore and learnings from the education industry's brightest and most successful leaders. For over 25 years he has helped our clients to be marketing driven, to expand their footprint, gain competitive advantage and to engage with educators in more memorable ways.
Glen led an educational software start-up to a successful IPO before launching his education consultancy, Focus Marketing, in 1995. Since then, he has been a trusted marketing advisor to hundreds of education company leadership teams, a strategist for investors and a consultant to managers of university incubators and international accelerators.
In 1998 Glen created SellingtoSchools.com the only comprehensive collection of free education sales and marketing advice and resources. Now owned and managed by Agile Education Marketing, the site features dozens of Glen's articles that reveal proven methods for creating, promoting and selling solutions to educators.
Brian P. Healy, Education Sales Expert
Brian Healy is an education industry sales leader who for over 25 years has forged partnerships and personal friendships with senior-level decision makers who control the flow of education products and services across the globe. He has built education companies; hired, trained and developed over 300 education industry sales and marketing leaders; designed and managed sales channel partnerships in over 50 countries and helped many organizations map out their go-to-market strategy.
Brian's research and experience in educational product innovation and sales growth strategies have been the catalyst for his success. He built Kindermusik International into the largest early learning music education company of its kind, transitioned an iconic consumer focused reading program at Hooked on Phonics into a $150M profit-making PreK-12 classroom endeavor, developed the International markets for Teacher Created Materials and led the rapid transformation of Apperson Education from a hardware-based education product into an all-digital platform that taps into the global need for PreK-20 assessment solutions.
Brian has been recognized by many organizations including Ernst & Young when he was a recipient of their Entrepreneur of the Year Award. In addition to managing high-growth education companies, he has served in leadership roles in a variety of EdTech professional organizations and has been a guest lecturer at Wake Forest and Elon University Business schools.
Doug Mesecar, Education Strategy Expert
For nearly 20 years, Doug Mesecar has built a track record of success at the executive level with deep knowledge about what drives the K-12 market from the economic buyer to everyday user. Doug's background in teaching, business, and policy gives him the ideal perspective to lead and advise organizations so they consistently increase revenue and deliver innovative products and services.
Doug's expertise includes strategy, P&L leadership, revenue growth, executive management, education technology and innovation, partnership development, government relations, policy development and advocacy. He served at the U.S. Department of Education as Deputy Chief of Staff for the Department and Assistant Deputy Secretary of the Office of Innovation and Improvement. Doug also served in the U.S. Congress on the House Education and Workforce Committee. He held executive positions for companies serving the K-12 school market, including IO Education, Sylvan Learning, and Scholastic Education. Doug is an Adjunct Scholar at the Lexington Institute and a mentor at GSV labs.
Lori Vollandt, PhD, Education Leadership Expert
Lori Vollandt is an innovative systems thinker in K-12 education. Her experience, first as a classroom teacher and then as a District Administrator in Los Angeles Unified School District gives Lori a 360-degree viewpoint on emerging educational opportunities. Lori has implemented programs in over 900 school buildings, each with their own unique footprint. She understands how each part of a school system impacts and interacts with another is critical when contemplating efficacy and opportunity. Seen as a national expert in program implementation, Lori has been invited to do multiple congressional briefings and has worked on local and national educational policy.
Dr. Greg Firn, Education Innovation Expert
Dr. Gregory Firn is the Chief Operating Officer at RoboKind, LLC. His 34 years of work in education combined with his passion for working with underrepresented groups and improving their educational opportunities positions him uniquely to lead, manage, and advise those who desire to create and sustain impact.
Prior to joining RoboKind, Dr. Gregory Firn served as Superintendent of Schools, Deputy Superintendent, Executive Director, and Teacher, in school systems in Texas, North Carolina, Connecticut, Washington State, Nevada, and overseas.
His career as an educational leader afforded Dr. Firn the opportunity to consult and advise with over 120 companies that provide education services, products, or programs.
He served as a state Commissioner and Research Chair for the Northwest Association of Schools, Colleges and Universities that provided tremendous opportunities to study, advise, evaluate and accredit international schools and school systems.
Grounded in the school effects research, Dr. Firn has been a pioneer in digital conversion where he twice led system wide digital transformation initiatives including the design and implementation of robust human capital development programs. He is also responsible for leading three different school systems to earn ISO 9000 certification.
An avid writer and speaker, Dr. Firn has written over 100 educational research abstracts published by Effective Schools Ltd. as well as presented to over 40 different conferences, workshops, and trainings on educational leadership, continuous improvement, school and school system transformation, process management to name just a few. He is a frequent guest on Education Talk Radio where he focuses on access, opportunity and equity of learning for all.
Dr. Firn earned his doctorate from Seattle Pacific University where his research focused on learner-centered education. Originally from Tacoma, Washington, Dr. Firn is the product of the public school system including an undergraduate degree from Washington State University.
Barry Swihart, Education Sales Expert
Barry Swihart has been a sales leader for nearly 20 years, all of which have been in the education space. He started his career with OdysseyWare, a SaaS-based digital content provider for students grades 3-12. As one of the first 10 employees of the organization, he established the standard by which other sales team members were measured, achieving Top Producer status annually for a decade. This "top producer" reputation earned him a regional management position where he managed his teams to become first in production each of the 4 years in this position. Then, with this continued sales success, he earned OdysseyWare's SVP of Sales position. In this role, he led a sales team of over 50 inside and outside sales reps, spread across 4 regions, and responsible for 3 revenue streams consisting of over 4,000 annual transactions. Over the course of his OdysseyWare tenure, the company was acquired twice with the second resulting in a sale of over $250m.
Since his exit from OdysseyWare, Barry has been plugged into the Phoenix start-up scene through Grand Canyon University's Innovation Center, a business incubator, and YoungbloodWorks, a sales training organization that specialize in sales training for founders in the early stages of their start up.
Experiencing a start-up's successful navigation through its many growing pains allows Barry to assist your growing educational sales/service organization using first-hand experience. In our ever-evolving industry, common growing pains include the need to establish achievable sales/marketing expectations, define organizational KPIs, create exemplar sales presentation, outline the buyer's journey, clarify the relationship between sales and service, and more. If you are experiencing any of these 'growing pains', "Education Market Experts" like Barry are here to help.