Bob Burgin (CEO) brings nearly 30 years of leadership experience and success in venture-backed companies, which includes building and taking public, the largest geriatric rehabilitation facility chain in the United States. As a serial entrepreneur, Bob has a wealth of experience managing corporate fundraising, sell-and-buy-side acquisitions, successful company turnarounds and public offerings in a variety of industries, including healthcare, internet, manufacturing, financial services, and consulting/analytics.
JK Hullett (CFO) brings 25 years of financial and operational experience. He worked in corporate and business development at American Airlines, and he was CFO of @Last Software and CEO of Net Identity, before being acquired by Google and Tucows, respectively. During his career Mr. Hullett has been involved in more than half a billion dollars of mergers and acquisitions activity. JK is also a Principal and CFO of Lacuna Gap Capital, a Boulder-based investment group that supported Knowledge Factor though initial product development and market implementation. Through his role with Lacuna Gap Capital, Hullett provides valuable strategic insight and direction for the company. As Knowledge Factor’s CFO, Mr. Hullett oversees all financial activity, from contract development, renewals, and negotiations, to patent filings and legal compliance matters.
Charles J. Smith (Chief Research Officer and Co-Founder) has started five companies and one foundation. He is known for inventing the royalty-free model at Digital Stock Inc., later sold to Bill Gates, and the confidence-based learning model built into amplifire. Charles organized the amplifire Science Advisory Board and leads the efforts to move insights gleaned from cognitive science into the amplifire algorithm. He is a board member of Nature and Culture International, which has conserved 15 million acres in tropical South America, a co-founder and a board member of the E.O. Wilson Biodiversity Foundation, and previously served on the Director’s Cabinet at Scripps Institution of Oceanography.
Matthew Jensen Hays, Ph.D. (Senior Director of Research and Analytics) has 18 years of experience analyzing and enhancing how people learn and remember. His Ph.D. in Cognitive Psychology (with a minor in Human-Computer Interaction) is from UCLA, where he worked with Drs. Elizabeth and Robert Bjork. He has conducted basic research on memory and learning, and has applied those and other findings to the design of training systems, intelligent tutors, multi-million-dollar simulators, and other educational experiences for civilian and military applications. His published articles have been cited hundreds of times and have been nominated for or won Best Paper awards at several conferences. In his role as Senior Director of Research and Analytics at amplifire, Matt ensures that amplifire is constantly improving in its ability to accelerate learning, impede forgetting, and diagnose users’ confidently held misinformation.
Kristin Lamendola (VP of Sales) has dedicated her career to finding ways to improve the customer experience. In preparation for overseeing the amplifire Performance sales organization, she made career stops at a software company, a golf industry leader, a global IT company, several corporate training firms, and the U.S Department of Education. Kristin studied Sociology at Princeton University, where she was awarded a bachelor’s degree with honors, and earned All-Ivy League honors as a pitcher on the softball team. She also holds a master’s degree in educational leadership from George Washington University. Kristin serves on the board of the Performing Arts Academy, a Denver-area non-profit providing youth performing arts educational experiences.
Mike Paskavitz (Vice President) has spent 30 years in healthcare as an executive and entrepreneur disrupting the industry at scale. He joined the Alliance from QuantiaMD, where he built the largest online physician learning network and 8th most visited website by physicians in the US, with 225,000 physicians learning and collaborating on mobile devices. Previously, he was a strategy consultant to the National Health Service in England to develop the NHS’ Corporate Governance initiative and the National Patient Safety Agency. His 2004 book, entitled “Measuring and Communicating Success in Healthcare”, received the British Medical Association’s annual book award. He founded the Health Care Safety Institute two years prior to the Institute of Medicine’s 1998 “To Err Is Human” report introducing safety to healthcare in the US.
Nick Hjort (VP of Product and Engineering) brings over 20 years of technical leadership experience in successfully driving teams to deliver market driven products quickly and efficiently. Nick has a wide array of experience ranging from large companies like MediaNews Group, where he was the Vice President of Technical Operations, providing senior leadership on the platform powering more than 75 daily newspaper websites, to small companies like Indigio, where he served as the Director of Engineering and helped grow the organization from 12 to 90 employees. Nick has also been very active in the startup community in Colorado where he launched his own mobile app company prior to joining Knowledge Factor.
Greg Simmons (SVP, Advanced Education) brings 20 years’ experience in higher education and educational technology, and is responsible for the growth and strategic direction of amplifire Advanced Education. Prior to joining amplifire, Simmons held senior sales roles at various education technology and information providers including serving as Chief Sales Officer for Turning Technologies, where he established a sales force and the profitability strategies for the company’s student response systems (SRS) across five market verticals. Simmons also served as the Vice President and National Sales Manager for Cengage Learning, formerly Thomson Learning, from 2004-2013. While at Cengage, Simmons was responsible for growth strategies of the Higher Education, Career, Enterprise and Library Science sales forces within the Academic and Professional Group.
Melanie Howard (Vice President of Marketing & Communications) brings 25 years of marketing, communications, public relations, public affairs, and social media experience. She owned and operated agencies in Los Angeles and Denver and has led corporate communications teams. Melanie’s represented global e-learning, education, government, financial, SaaS, and healthcare organizations as well as Fortune 500 corporations. She is passionate about brain science, performance, and the future of healthcare. She holds a bachelor’s degree from UCLA and is completing an MBA with emphasis in global marketing. An active connector and relationship developer in Colorado, Melanie served on the Board of Directors of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, and as volunteer and developer for the Children’s Diabetes Foundation, the American Diabetes Association, and Children’s Hospital Colorado. She also serves on the advisory board of smart-girl.org.
Andi Blackwell (Director of PMO and Product Owner for Integrations) has over 30 years of experience in IT consulting and software development, primarily in the areas of custom software development, systems integrations and content/document management systems for mid-tier businesses in Colorado. This experience covers a wide range of industries including higher education, real estate, manufacturing, government, health care and technology. Andi was an early adopter of agile practices and methodologies for software development, and remains passionate about the value that agile approaches can provide to areas outside of product development. In her role as Director of PMO, she promotes organizational agility to ensure that amplifire can respond quickly to customers’ changing needs and the rapid evolution of the education markets.