Meet our Mentors
Donna Murdoch serves as Learning Innovation Lead at Philips, N.V. where she leads an internal team researching and testing new pedagogies and learning innovation for Philips University, ultimately providing learning and development strategies for the company’s 100,000 global employees and researchers. Prior to Philps, Dr. Murdoch was Global Digital Learning Consultant for UNICEF and has held digital learning positions at Apollo Education Group, Temple University, and a number of other organizations. She is also an Instructor in Penn GSE’s VOLT program for Virtual and Online Teaching. Donna received her doctorate at Columbia University Teachers College in Adult Education and Organizational Leadership, where she also received her master’s degree in Communication, Media, and Learning Technologies Design.
Dr. Eleni Miltsakaki is the founder and CEO of Choosito! search and learn. Choosito! is an educational search tool that turns the web into a leveled library of resources by analyzing the reading level and theme of websites in real time search. Dr. Miltsakaki has a PhD in Computational Linguistics from the University of Pennsylvania and a track record of over 100 publications and 1500 citations of her research in language technology. Before starting Choosito!, Dr. Miltsakaki taught educational technology for over 7 years at the Graduate School of Education where she currently has an adjunct appointment as professor of educational technology. Dr. Miltsakaki is passionate about inquiry-based learning and technology tools that expand the intellectual reach of students in school and for life.
Grace Cannon is Manager of Corporate and Foundation Relations at Settlement Music School, the largest community arts school in the country, where she supports partnership development and fundraising. Ms. Cannon most recently served as the School District of Philadelphia’s Executive Director of the Office New School Models where she raised $3 million from the Carnegie Corporation to design and open three new innovative high schools. Prior to this role, she served as Director of Proficiency Based Pathways at the District, where she managed a $3 million Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation grant aimed at supporting mastery-based and anywhere/anytime approaches to learning in public high schools. In this role, Ms. Cannon supported the District in implementing its first learning management system to facilitate blended learning courses for students and teacher learning initiatives. Ms. Cannon has been instrumental in securing funds and initiating the District’s first digital badging project. Previously, Ms. Cannon served as Director of Curriculum and Instruction at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School, a competency-based high school for out-of-school youth. She supervised the academic staff and special education services, and was responsible for design and implementation of staff professional development. Prior to her work at YouthBuild, Ms. Cannon directed an after-school balanced literacy program on behalf of Public/Private Ventures and raised funds to replicate this program in New York. Ms. Cannon also served as Director of Education at the Philadelphia Youth Network, where she managed academic programming across youth workforce development programs and supported systems building and fundraising efforts for out-of-school youth. Ms. Cannon’s areas of expertise include arts and community-based education, out-of-school and disconnected youth, competency-based learning, educational technology, and personalized learning. Ms. Cannon received her M.Ed. in art education from Temple University and a B.A. from Bryn Mawr College where she studied sociology and printmaking. Earlier in her career, Ms. Cannon worked as a goldsmith and teacher/consultant for the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She lives in Philadelphia with husband and son.
Carl Witonsky has over 45 years of health care operational and venture capital experience. Carl served as Chairman of the Board of Integrated Medical Management, CEO of Medicode, Chairman of the Board of Pace Health Management, CEO and Chairman of the Board of GMIS (now McKesson/HBOC), during its IPO. Carl started in the health care sector with Shared Medical Systems (now Siemens) where he was the Senior Vice President of Development and Operations. He served as Chairman of the Board of both Sentillion, prior to its sale to Microsoft, and iSirona. Carl currently serves on the board of directors of Healthland and Windsor Strategy Partners and the healthcare advisor to the Wharton School’s Small Business Development Center. Carl is a graduate of Albright College with a BS degree in Math and Physics as well as a graduate of IBM’s Systems Research Institute. Phone: 610-989- 8904
Douglas L. Cox is currently Chief Financial Officer of Primus Green Energy, Inc. and has served as audit committee chair or chief financial officer of public and private companies for over twenty years. He has also advised companies and students in matters of corporate finance and strategy. Doug serves as an officer or director of a number of non-profit organizations. He is a graduate of the Wharton School (BS and MBA).
Sales and Marketing
Jessica Magoch has been training and leading startup sales teams for fifteen years. In her last role, she recruited, trained and managed a team of 50 commission only sales reps from $0 to over $40M in five years. Now she runs JPM Sales Partners, a sales recruiting, training, and consulting firm where she helps companies build, train and manage their sales teams. Jess teaches sales strategy workshops for startup accelerators and group coaching programs through JPM’s Virtual Sales Academy. With a special interest in social enterprises, Jess is the Philadelphia Ambassador to the Pipeline Fellowship, a bootcamp that teaches women how to angel invest. Her sales philosophy is that sales is about being in service to help people to solve their problems. From there, the rest follows. Jessica holds a BFA from NYU and delivers free training regularly on her blog at jpmpartners.com.
Ed Curry coaches forty CEO’s for Visage International. In the education space he has assisted new ventures focused on reading intervention and recovery, digital learning solutions, CRM recruiting software and touch screen computers. Earlier he was chief operating officer of an international public company that developed and manufactured instruments and systems used in process control and dimensional measurement. He has been a board member of a dozen companies ranging from new ventures to public companies, in fields from manufacturing, steel making and trucking to bio tech and medical devices. He has an MBA from the Wharton School and a BS in economics from St. Joseph’s. He has also served as an U.S Army Infantry officer in international theaters.
Gary A. Pudles is a “serial entrepreneur” who focuses on helping organizations execute better and become more profitable. He achieves this goal by teaching and supporting entrepreneurship at many levels, and by owning multiple service-oriented technology companies. He is the Founder and CEO of AnswerNet, a North American-based call center provider that was built through acquisitions. He is also the co-founder of TextGen, SA Billing, Subout and has invested in many other organizations including ShareTheBus.com (a chartered bus-sharing system) and Ring.com. Ring.com, a video application that allows you to see the person at your front door, has also been funded by other like-minded entrepreneurs including Richard Branson. Pudles’ philosophy is that every project must be with the intent of helping companies run their businesses more efficiently and profitably. However, it must be according to their unique style — not by forcing them into a predetermined template, but by replicating proven processes and adding that custom twist unique to their needs.
Michael Cosack has spent most of his professional career advising the trustees on the investment and fiduciary responsibilities regarding their institutional funds. As an entrepreneur, Michael has built several organizations, including one of the largest independent investment consulting firms in the Greater Philadelphia region. His nonprofit activities range from co-founding a regional college scholarship fund to chairing the board of an innovative blended learning charter school. Michael is a principal of a closely-held investment company and a member of a network of angel investors that are dedicated to improving the environment, education, health and community while seeking financial, social and environmental returns on their investments. Michael holds an undergraduate degree in business from The College of New Jersey and has achieved multiple certifications in both the business and nonprofit industries.
Michelle Julet is an accomplished Education Program Development Executive with extensive expertise in creation, strategy, and business development roles. Led development and go to market strategies as VP/EIC at Cengage Learning, VP/Director of Global Business Development at National Geographic Learning, a start-up within Cengage Learning and currently SVP at Staywell Healthcare. Additionally she is the Founder of The Business of Doing Good an international social entrepreneur program for middle school kids.
Peter Menninger has been a technologist and executive at start-ups including Reality Online that serviced 65% of the out-sourced Internet brokerage industry and Traffic.com that provided real- time traffic information both domestically and around the world in support of leading location based service providers such as Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo. Expertise in service platforms includes Web/Voice/Mobile. Mr. Menninger was invited to join Amazon’s Consumer Advisory Board as part of his successful and early adoption of the cloud technologies. Mr. Menninger’s technology achievements include systems architectures that successfully withstood consumer facing heavy loads during the financial crash in October 97 and 9/11 mass exodus out of New York City when most system failed. Mr. Menninger holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Delaware.