Catapult Learning Leadership


Stuart UdellStuart J. Udell
Chief Executive Officer

Stuart Udell has served as Chief Executive Officer of Catapult Learning since 2010.  Stuart has spent the last twelve years as a board member of The National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (part of Clemson University), which he formerly chaired. Prior to joining Catapult Learning, Stuart was Chief Executive Officer of online school operator Penn Foster, which he sold to The Princeton Review in what was named by Thomson Reuters as 2009 Private Equity Deal of the Year. He additionally spent eleven years at Kaplan, most recently as President of Kaplan K12 Learning Services.  From 1997-2001, Stuart helped drive Renaissance Learning’s rapid post-IPO growth as President of its subsidiary School Renaissance Institute. He recently served on the board of directors of Renaissance Learning until the sale of the company this past Spring.  Stuart served several terms on the board of the Software and Information Industry Association, as well as its education division board. For his significant leadership contributions in education, Stuart was honored by the I Have a Dream Foundation in 2011 and was inducted into his own school district’s Hall of Fame in 2012. Stuart has an MBA from Columbia University and a BS from Bucknell University.


Stephen FreemanStephen Freeman
Executive Chairman, Board of Directors

Stephen Freeman is Executive Chairman of the Board of Directors for Catapult Learning. He previously held the position of President and Chief Economic Officer until 2011, when he named Stuart Udell as his successor. In 1976, Stephen co-founded a private and religious schools educational services business that was acquired by Sylvan Learning Systems in 1995 and later became Catapult Learning. His professional experience—spanning three decades—has focused on the development and management of educationally related services programs for nonpublic and public schools. Stephen is a school psychologist as well as a licensed clinical psychologist, and has practiced as both. Stephen holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology and master’s degree in School Psychology from Temple University.


Al_DeSeta-photoAl De Seta

Al De Seta joined Catapult Learning as President in January 2014 and brings more than twenty years of operating and investing experience in education, technology, and information companies. Before joining Catapult Learning, Al served as Dean and Executive Director of the University of Phoenix’s continuing education division. Prior to that role, Al served as President and Chief Operating Officer of Penn Foster. He also held leadership positions at several other companies, including: President of the K-12 market at ProQuest; Group President of WRC Media; and Chief Executive Officer of Primedia Reference, where he managed well-known online and print brands including Weekly Reader and World Almanac. Al began his career as an electrical engineer at AT&T Bell Labs. He holds a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) and an MBA from New York University. Al is currently a General Partner in the Mid-Atlantic Angel Fund and serves on the advisory board for the College of Engineering at NJIT.


Nick Bates1Nick Bates
Chief Financial Officer

Nick Bates joined Catapult Learning in September 2010 and serves as Chief Financial Officer. In his role, Nick oversees corporate finance, general accounting, budgeting and forecasting, and procurement. Since joining Catapult Learning in 2010, Nick has been instrumental in overseeing the financial diligence and integration of Catapult Learning’s four acquisitions over the past three years. He also has been pivotal in driving operational improvements in the business and managing the company’s banking and investor relations. Previously, Nick served as Director of Financial Planning and Analysis at MedQuist, a NASDAQ-listed medical transcription company. Nick holds a bachelor’s degree in Finance from Rutgers University.


Kristen Campbell1Kristen E. Campbell
Senior Vice President, Strategy & Product Management

Kristen Campbell joined Catapult Learning in February 2011 and currently serves as Senior Vice President for Strategy & Product Management. Kristen is charged with driving the continuous improvement of Catapult Learning programs with the goal of bringing to market innovative products for students and educators with a focus on exceptional user experience. In this role, Kristen oversees Catapult’s IT, marketing, product development, and research & evaluation teams. Prior to joining Catapult Learning, Kristen spent six years with Kaplan, Inc.’s K-12/Pre-College business unit, leading strategy and product marketing efforts. She began her career in equity research at Salomon Smith Barney and SoundView Technology Group, where she focused on software and Internet infrastructure companies. Kristen holds a bachelor’s degree in Public Policy from The College of William & Mary and an MBA from Harvard Business School.


Pat Lacognata3Pat Lacognata
Senior Vice President, Educational Partnerships

Pat Lacognata joined Catapult Learning in 2004 and now serves as Senior Vice President of Educational Partnerships overseeing the company’s non-public school sales efforts. Previously, Pat co-owned and served as President of Worldwide Educational Services. She started her career as a classroom teacher at both the elementary and high school level. Pat received her bachelor’s degree in Business from St. Francis College and her master’s degree in Literacy from Fordham University. Pat has worked tirelessly for the last decade to advocate for our partners and the schools and students we all serve. As a result of her passion and unbending commitment to our important work, her direct efforts have helped us to establish countless new programs that have benefited tens of thousands of educationally and economically disadvantaged students.


Matt Given
Matt GivenChief Development Officer

Matt Given joined Catapult Learning in January 2014 as Chief Development Officer overseeing the company’s public school sales efforts.  During his sixteen-year career in education, Matt has held numerous leadership positions in educational services, including executive positions at Kaplan Test Preparation and Kaplan Virtual Education. Over the past ten years, his work has focused on business and corporate development, as well as marketing and government relations. Prior to joining Catapult Learning, Matt was Chief Development Officer for EdisonLearning, where he directed the company’s sales, marketing, government affairs, and corporate partnership efforts. In this role, he also spoke frequently on educational policy, including Congressional testimony regarding the re-authorization of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act at a full committee hearing of the House Education and Workforce Committee and lectures on educational policy at Tufts University. He has also co-authored two scientific publications, focusing on pain management in the field of behavioral therapy. Matt holds a bachelor’s degree from University of Georgia.


Eurmon HerveyEurmon Hervey Jr., Ed.D.
Vice President, District and Community Partnerships

Eurmon Hervey joined Catapult Learning in August 2013 and serves as Vice President of District and Community Partnerships for Catapult Academy. An accomplished educational executive with a comprehensive blend of nonprofit, government, and academic management experience, Dr. Hervey has served in senior leadership positions in colleges and universities throughout the mid-Atlantic and Southern regions. In Washington DC, Dr. Hervey served as Assistant State Superintendent and Deputy Chief State School Officer, where he worked directly with District of Columbia Public Schools. Dr. Hervey holds a doctorate in education from Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, and a master’s degree in education from Harvard University. He also received two degrees in pure mathematics: a master’s degree from Clark Atlanta University, and a bachelor’s degree from Edward Waters College. Most recently Dr. Hervey served as the Chairman of the National Dropout Prevention Center/Network.


Sharon Haverlak1Sharon Haverlak
Senior Vice President, Human Resources

Sharon Thole Haverlak joined Catapult Learning in 2012 and serves as Senior Vice President of Human Resources. Previously, she served as Senior Vice President of Human Resources for both The Princeton Review and Penn Foster. Her prior experience includes human resources leadership positions with RCN Corporation, Pathmark Stores, and HJ Heinz. Sharon received her bachelor’s degree in English from The Catholic University of America and her master’s degree in Human Resources Administration from the University of Scranton. She is also a graduate of Leadership Wilkes-Barre, a community leadership development organization that provides future leaders with the information, skills, and training needed to become active participants in their community.


Liza WolfLiza Wolf, Esq.
General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer

Liza Wolf, Esq., joined Catapult Learning in August 2013 and serves as General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer. Liza brings to Catapult Learning’s senior management team more than twenty years of experience in both corporations and large law firms. Prior to joining Catapult Learning, she served as Chief Legal Officer and Executive Vice President for Blue Sky Power, LLC, a clean energy development company based in Haddonfield, New Jersey. In this role, she worked with the CEO and the Chief Development Officer to develop the strategic, legal, and corporate direction for the company and managed its legal and finance issues. Previously, Liza was a Partner in the Business Law Group at Cozen O’Connor, where she counseled and represented underwriters, energy and utility companies, healthcare institutions, higher education facilities, and state and local governments, and an Associate in the corporate department at Wolf, Block, Schorr & Solis-Cohen of Philadelphia. She was profiled in South Jersey Biz Magazine’s “2013 Women to Watch” issue and featured as one of New Jersey’s “2012 Best 50 Women in Business” by NJBIZ. Admitted to practice law in New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, Liza received her Juris Doctor degree from Emory University School of Law and her bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Union College.