about US

The MentORWoRKS team

MentorWorks Founders

Karthik Krishnan

Karthik Krishnan

CEO + Co-founder

 

Karthik Krishnan has expertise in higher education, finance, data analytics, and ISA pricing models. He is a thought leader in the higher education financing space and has published peer reviewed articles as well as appeared in various media articles on this topic. He has developed MentorWorks ISA pricing models that are student friendly and transparent. His connections in the higher education space have allowed us to get early customers and validation of our model as well.

Karthik has been an angel investor in early stage companies through Launchpad Venture Group. He has been involved in doing company deep dive and diligence reports for startups at Launchpad. He has a PhD in Finance from Boston College and a Bachelors in Electrical Engineering from Delhi University.

Karthik is also a tenured associate professor and industry faculty in the finance group at the D’Amore-McKim School of Business at Northeastern University (NU). At NU, he advises the dean of the business school on their fintech initiatives and outreach. In addition, Karthik has developed a course on applied machine learning in finance at NU.

Mark Bernfeld

Mark Bernfeld

Co-founder

 

Mark is the Chairman of Tamarack Technologies and an angel investor with Launchpad Venture Group and Clean Energy Venture Group. An experienced entrepreneur, he has significant experience in sales, marketing, and business development. Mark has been involved in academia for a number of years and has mentored many students.

Senior Leadership

Micha Sabovik

Micha Sabovik

COO + Head of Marketing

 

Micha Sabovik has nearly 25 years of experience in higher education focusing on: operations, careers, financial aid, admissions/enrollment, sales and marketing. Micha has led a variety of cross-functional teams at Boston University/College of Communication and Brandeis International Business School.

Furthermore, Micha, along with a faculty colleague won the inaugural Digital Learning Initiative grant (BU) and built an online course targeted toward assisting incoming non‐English speaking graduate students. Additionally, she oversaw a nation-wide staff of 25 on the Institutional Relations/Sales and Scholarship teams at CIEE Study Abroad.

Micha also teaches a graduate-level Social Media/Advertising course at Boston University and has collected a dozen awards for marketing efforts/student recruiting efforts.

Ki akrami, CFA

Ki akrami, CFA

Chief Investment Officer

 

Ki Akrami has over 20 years of experience in investment management, structured finance, and capital raise. Ki was previously Managing Director at Rothschild & Co, and was Portfolio Manager of several investment funds over multiple market cycles. At Rothschild, he developed the idea for and led the creation of an innovative principal protected investment fund from start to finish, including negotiation with business partners, creation of the legal structure, hiring service providers, leading the coordination of efforts among internal and external teams as well as the regulator in the lead-up to launch, securing seed funding and later leading capital raising efforts.

Ki has conducted due diligence on over 1,000 investments during his career, and personally led strategic deals, product launches, and seed deal negotiations. He has hands-on experience with institutional investors, and secured a $150M mandate from a Fortune 500 pension plan. Additionally, Ki negotiated a $25M seed deal with an institutional asset manager.

Clayton Samuels

Clayton Samuels

Chief Financial Officer

 

With 15 years of experience in private equity direct investment and M&A focused corporate development, Clayton Samuels has led the deal process to originate, evaluate and structure leveraged buyouts, growth equity and recapitalization transactions of middle market companies within financial services, life sciences, software technology and business services sectors.

Clayton has deep operating experience garnered from ConvergEx, a GTCR portfolio company where in addition to contributing to the acquisition of three competitors totaling $122M, he managed post-merger integrations and led a cross-functional team to develop a custom revenue management system achieving 45% improvement in labor efficiency. Clayton took part in the $1B divestiture and subsequent sale of Eze Software to TPG Capital, and served as the project manager to establish a new internal finance and accounting infrastructure while mitigating business continuity risks.

He has also independently sourced an $18M bolt-on acquisition, negotiated deal terms, and engaged 400+ companies to generate 15 active deals at Century Equity Partners.

Mike Trachtman

Mike Trachtman

Chief Technology Officer

 

Mike Trachtman has 25 years of experience architecting digital experiences and developing software products using a wide range of platforms and technologies. At MentorWorks, Mike leads development of its ISA origination platform and cloud-powered infrastructure.

Previously, at Insightfil, Mike developed cloud software and mobile apps that power pharmacy operations and offer additional value to patients and their families. He also managed robotics and software engineering teams responsible for supporting innovative mosaic design and robotic manufacturing processes at Artaic.

Mike has advised project teams and clients in the application of human-centered design and Agile development methodologies, creating digital experiences that meaningfully engage users at Story+Structure, a design consultancy. Additionally, Mike designed and engineered Introspect, an electronic discovery product used by paralegals and attorneys to review billions of sensitive documents at ZANTAZ, later acquired by HP Autonomy.

Katie Gallagher

Katie Gallagher

Vice President of Corporate Engagement + Career Development

 

Katie has over 10+ years of experience in higher education focusing on: corporate partnerships, employer relationship engagement and retention, career services strategies, student academic advising, overall student success, admissions, sales and marketing. Katie rebooted Brandeis Business School’s approach to employer and alumni outreach which led to an increase of 200+ new employer relationships in nine months.

She also launched a strategic plan for LinkedIn engagement, and significantly increased alumni engagement in the first six months of implementation. In her final two years at Brandeis Katie’s “Relationships Matter” approach to corporate engagement increased student access to internships and job opportunities across all programs while strengthening important relationships with key organizations such as State Street, Goldman Sachs and Fidelity Investments.

Brad Edmond

Brad Edmond

Senior Director, Marketing Operations

 

Brad Edmond has 25 years of experience building successful marketing strategies, lead generation programs, and sales enablement systems at high-growth software, SaaS and technology companies. At MentorWorks, Brad leads Marketing Operations, overseeing digital marketing initiatives, systems and data integration, and continuous performance improvement.

Armed with a BA in English from Bates and a gold medal in brewing, Brad left craft beer in 1996 for the Internet. He began his web career designing the first website for Boston’s Transit Authority, the T, and went on to start the web services practice for Ogilvy PR Worldwide in Cambridge – creating sites & ad campaigns for pharma companies like Pfizer, Novartis, and Merck.

Brad then became a Marketing Director at AOL, launching what is now HuffPost’s Black Voices, after which he pursued his MBA at Babson. From 2007-2011, Brad was Co-founder & Managing Partner of a search engine marketing agency for tech startups and has since served as a Senior Marketing Director at SolidWorks, Cognex, and Intuit as well as a fractional VP of Marketing at HeyWire, acquired by Salesforce in 2016, and Gryphon Networks, acquired by Sverica in 2019.

The Team

Elisabeth Symczak

Elisabeth Symczak

Director of School Partnerships

Elisabeth has over seven years of higher education experience working with undergraduate and graduate students and faculty in the areas of student advising and counseling, enrollment, and program development and management. Having worked at Boston University, Lesley University and USC, Elisabeth is passionate about education access, student services and developing proactive relationships. She is on the Associate Board of a local education non-profit, Breakthrough Greater Boston, and also volunteers as a College Access Coach supporting students through the college application process.

MARGARET "MEG" LUCAS

MARGARET "MEG" LUCAS

Director of Account Management

Meg has over nine years of experience in higher education management and international education, specializing in the areas of marketing, sales, account management, content creation, project management, and recruiting. Having worked at CIEE: Council on International Educational Exchange and Boston University, as well as recently having taught English abroad in Thailand, Meg identifies as a lifelong learner and is passionate about educational access, equity, and development, as well as cross-cultural and experiential learning practices. She is excited to bring her unique skill set to MentorWorks to ensure that our education and corporate partners are successfully onboarded and have all of the needed tools and resources to effectively engage with us and our students. 

Lois Dankwa

Lois Dankwa

Compliance and Underwriting Analyst

Lois Dankwa is our Compliance and Underwriting Analyst. Prior to joining MentorWorks, Lois spent over 10+ years in the Mutual Fund Transfer Agency, monitoring the accuracy of financial and non-financial transactions of shareholder accounts.

Lois obtained her Master of Science degree in Information Systems from Northeastern University and a Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering from Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology. She also holds a Certificate in Data Science and Analytics from Stack Education. 

Roy Kresge

Roy Kresge

Lead Software Developer


Roy has over 5 years of experience in software development. Experience in full stack development. He has significant experience in integrating platforms at startups with banking partners and credit bureaus.

Neal Colman

Neal Colman

Chief Mentor

Neal was Senior Vice President and Chief Underwriting Officer of Major Accounts at Liberty Mutual when he retired in 2015. During his 38 year career at Liberty, Neal held various underwriting management positions in the large account casualty insurance marketplace. He holds a BA degree in Economics from the University of Massachusetts and an MBA degree from Babson College.

Katy Grebing

Katy Grebing

Talent Accelerator Platform Manager


Talent Accelerator Platform Manager
Katy has over eight years of operations and management experience ranging from startup retail brands to the Walt Disney Company. Her passion for energizing, connecting, and inspiring others is at the crux of every success she’s found; she’s thrilled to bring this passion to the education industry with Mentorworks. She holds a Master’s Degree in Museum Studies from Arizona State University.

Joel Soo

Joel Soo

Business Development + Underwriting Manager

Joel graduated from Northeastern University with bachelors in Finance and Psychology. He has a passion for higher education reform – specifically for how students are financed. He also has experience in the financial services industry as well as working in non-profit micro-financiers such as WorldVision Cambodia.

Ford Draper

Ford Draper

Corporate Engagement + Career Development Associate

  
Ford is our Corporate Engagement & Career Development Associate. Before his time at MentorWorks, Ford worked in admissions for a large study abroad non-profit organization for nearly 2 years. While there, he on-boarded hundreds of students each semester for the Japan, South Korea, and Taiwan programs. It was there where he developed his passion for student relations, developing relationships and the consulting process.

 

Julie Weiss

Julie Weiss

Content + Engagement Associate

Julie Weiss is our Content and Engagement Associate. Before coming to MentorWorks, Julie worked as the marketing and communications administrator for the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Boston University, where she developed her marketing, social media and graphic design skills. Julie is excited to use her skills to further develop the MentorWorks community and make a difference in higher education financing. 

Diane Beauvais

Diane Beauvais

Student Success Coach

Diane supports our mentoring platform. 

Hayley Long

Hayley Long

Operations Associate

Hayley supports our operational efforts.