Catapult Learning Leadership
Chief Executive Officer
Jeffrey Cohen joined Catapult Learning, Inc., in September 2015 as Chief Executive Officer. Jeff previously served as the President of Catapult Learning from 2001 to 2006, when the company was a division of Educate, Inc. In 2008, he oversaw the sale of the business to JMI Equity and The Carlyle Group, still two of the company’s current investors. For the past seven years, Cohen served as the President and CEO of Sylvan Learning. Prior to his time at Sylvan and Catapult Learning, Mr. Cohen held senior management roles with Thomson Learning and served in the Clinton administration, first as Chief of Staff for the Office of Congressional and Intergovernmental Affairs at the U.S. Department of Labor and then as a detailed attorney in the White House Counsel’s Office. Mr. Cohen holds a B.A. in economics from Tufts University, an M.B.A. from the Boston University Graduate School of Management, and a J.D. from University of Maryland School of Law.
Stuart J. Udell
Stuart Udell is Executive Chairman of Catapult Learning, Inc. He previously held the position of Chief Executive Officer, from 2010-2015. Stuart has spent the last thirteen 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 served on the board of directors of Renaissance Learning until the sale of the company in spring 2014. 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.
Vice Chairman and Interim President, Non-Public Group
Stephen Freeman is Vice Chairman and Interim President of the Non-Public Group 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.
President, Catapult Academy & SESI Group
Mike Kaufman joined Catapult Learning, Inc. in July 2015 as President of the Schools Group, including Catapult Academy and SESI. Previously, he was President & CEO of Specialized Education Services, Inc. (SESI), the largest privatized schooling company in the country serving special and alternative education students, which merged with Catapult Learning in 2015. Prior to joining the SESI team in 1998, he held several strategic positions in the fields of education, social work, and clinical psychology. He is an experienced public speaker, a frequent expert panelist at conferences, and a regular volunteer for myriad community events and national charities. He has hosted his own radio talk show, teaches graduate-level courses at Rutgers University, and completed the prestigious Key Executives Program of Harvard Graduate School. In all that he does, he strives to live by the motto: “We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”
Senior Vice President & General Manager, Public Group
Todd McIntire is Senior Vice President and General Manager of Catapult Learning’s business focused on public school services including professional development, school improvement, intervention, and summer school. Todd joined Catapult Learning in December 2013 as part of an acquisition of assets from EdisonLearning. During his 14 years at EdisonLearning, Todd served as a principal, achievement director, regional general manager, and division leader. His work included leadership of major client relationships across the eastern half of the U.S. and in the United Kingdom. Todd began his career in education as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Belize and continued with assignments in West Africa and New York City. Later, he held district administrative positions in suburban New York before moving to the private sector in 2000 with LearnNow, an educational management company that was acquired by EdisonLearning in 2001. Todd holds a B.A. in physics from Grinnell College and a M.A. in education from Columbia University, where he won a fellowship for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers.
Chief Financial Officer
Andrea Vargas joined Specialized Education Services, Inc. in July 2004 and now serves as Corporate Chief Financial Officer for Catapult Learning, Inc. During her career with SESI, Andrea served as the Company’s Controller, Chief Accounting Officer, and Vice President of Finance. In her role as Corporate CFO, Andrea oversees corporate finance, accounting operations, financial planning and analysis as well as merger and acquisition diligence and integration. Andrea is an operations-focused, mission-driven executive. Her range of expertise extends from managing lender and banking relationships to implementing cost-saving and revenue-generating initiatives. Previously, Andrea worked as an accounting manager with General Cigar, a $150 million manufacturer of premier cigar brands. Prior to General Cigar, she worked in various finance and accounting functions at several large corporations, including United Technologies, The Stanley Works, and ING, Inc. Andrea earned her B.A. in Finance from Bryant College and her MBA from the University of Hartford. Andrea holds a license as a Certified Public Accountant, in good standing, issued by the New Jersey State Board of Accountancy.
Kristen E. Campbell
Chief Strategy Officer
Kristen Campbell joined Catapult Learning in February 2011 and currently serves as Chief Strategy Officer. Kristen is charged with driving the continuous improvement of Catapult Learning programs with the goal of bringing to market innovative products and services for students and educators with a focus on exceptional user experience. In this role, Kristen oversees Catapult’s academics, marketing, product development, research & evaluation, and technology 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.
Chief Human Resources Officer
Sharon Thole Haverlak joined Catapult Learning in 2012 and serves as Chief Human Resources Officer. 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.
Senior Vice President, Development & School Partnerships
Pat Lacognata joined Catapult Learning in 2004 and now serves as Senior Vice President of Development and School 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.
Senior Vice President, Development & School Partnerships
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.
Liza 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.