"Wow - my kids love learning Spanish! Thanks, Yak Academy."
We understand that effective foreign language learning requires quality interaction among children, parents and teachers. At Yak Academy, we also believe management and staff are an integral part of the learning process. Our management team is also a critical part of our success. Our team is comprised of visionaries and highly skilled individuals with passion and commitment.
As Co-President and Chief Financial Officer, I oversee Yak Academy’s growth including the company’s finance, marketing, new business development, and IT processes. In addition, as we have expanded nationally, I developed our Mobile Program and Preschool offerings.
Growing up in a family of seven and caring for neighborhood kids by the age of 12, I have a natural love of working with children and families. Solo traveling in several continents as a young adult strengthened my belief that all children should be exposed to diverse cultures. I also gained valuable industry experience in childhood development through my work launching a line of developmental learning toys and materials for children. The opportunity to marry these three passions into the founding of Yak Academy has been a true labor of love for me.
My career spans over 15 years of experience building entrepreneurial ventures. I have guided dozens of companies in early-stage growth activities such as structuring capital, designing financial systems and controls, and developing rollout and growth strategies for pre-IPO companies. I hold a B.S. in Finance from Auburn University where I graduated Summa Cum Laude and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurial Studies from the Anderson School at UCLA.
I co-founded Yak Academy with the dream that every child could one day receive the gift of world language. My inspiration to found EarlyBirds was my daughter Avery, whom I had hoped to expose to Spanish as a toddler. Much to my disappointment, I could not find a language option for her. Realizing how critical early language learning is, and knowing that many parents were clamoring for just such an offering, I launched our first center in Birmingham, MI. My wife and I are now the proud parents of two children who, through our classes, show me each week how special it is for a little one to have another language.
Prior to opening our first location I spent 11 years with Deloitte in their management consulting division, leaving as a Senior Manager in 2004. My areas of focus included strategy, mergers & acquisitions, operations improvement and new ventures across industries such as Insurance, Oil & Gas, and Healthcare. I hold a B.A. in Economics & International Studies from Northwestern University, and an M.B.A. in Entrepreneurial Studies from the Anderson School at UCLA.
As Director of Operations, I oversee Yak Academy's licensees and manage our curriculum development, training and marketing operations.
Since 2008 I have worked with Yak Academy in all aspects of its business operations, including Center Director of three centers, Spanish instructor, curriculum developer, trainor, and a personal favorite - developing the Yak Academy licensing program. Helping business owners launch and grow with our programs is truly a joy. I hold a B.A. in Hispanic and Italian Studies from Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, and speak Spanish, Italian and Hebrew.
To learn more about the rest of the team behind the scenes, click below: