The APL nextED Team

Kathleen Gibson, J.D. Founder & CEO

Kathleen Gibson is the Founder and CEO of APL, Inc. As a lawyer, college dean, program developer, recruiter and adjunct professor, Kathleen created APL in 2014 to connect higher education institutions and the best experts/educators who are interested in teaching as adjunct professors. Her 16 years of higher education experience and her research regarding trends in faculty hiring and its connection to student success, guided she and her team as they established APL.

Most people who know Kathleen would describe her as a connector and a visionary leader. She has a contagious passion for helping to ensure that all college students have access to the best professors, those who can provide both valuable knowledge and marketable skills.

As educator and administrator, Kathleen understands the unique challenges that come with hiring adjunct faculty, and the lack of digital resources and tools available to those who do this important hiring. Her vision is to connect the most accomplished, most passionate, and most qualified experts/educators with the busy department chairs and program directors who need them teach in their programs.

Her dream is that by fostering these connections, students will have greater learning outcomes, higher education institutions will create rich relationships with leading practitioners in their program fields, and that the expert/educators will have deep affiliations with the faculty who are responsible for educating the next generation of professionals in their fields.

Marie Gibson Director of Marketing

Marie Gibson is a marketing professional with a passion for branding, content creation, and social media marketing. She has contributed to both in-house marketing teams as well as a digital marketing agency. Her experience ranges from developing and managing social media channels, email campaigns, and blog content. Marie's marketing experience coupled with her knowledge of the higher education industry make her a valuable asset to the APL team.

Chris Bake Chief Technical Officer

Chris is a extremely versatile systems architect. He has spent the past 20 years in the web development industry developing large scale applications to meet client needs. Chris is a very creative and skilled developer, and is outstanding at working with clients and understanding requirements.

Chris excels at developing state of the art applications from scratch. He has advanced level expertise with Mac and Linux server administration, and has designed and administered multiple large scale physical and cloud data centers. He succeeds in creating platforms that are both fully scalable and fully redundant, providing cost efficient alternatives in achieving service level agreements to clients.

Eric Kingery Technology leader and community-builder

Eric Kingery is a technology leader and community-builder. As founder of Refactor::Chicago and co-organizer of the Chicago CTO Forum, Mr. Kingery has provided an environment for technology professionals to learn, share and succeed. As CTO of Wellspring and Director of Technology at Sittercity, Mr. Kingery built and scaled successful products and teams in high growth environments. His technical expertise includes web scalability, systems architecture, software engineering, and is fluent in a variety of programming languages including C, PHP, Ruby, and Go. Eric holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign College of Engineering.

Joe Jablonski Founder of Acumence

Joe Jablonski is a technology based serial entrepreneur. As founder of Acumence, he created an online analytics monitoring package for high speed manufactoring and distributed it in eighteen countries and thirteen languages. Mr. Jablonski also founded a machine OEM company dedicated to food industry inspection. He has also engineered manufacturing facilities around the world, including Kraft's first facility in Beijing.

E. Rogers Novak, Jr. Co-founder and General Partner of Novak Biddle Venture Partners

Roger Novak is co-founder and General Partner of Novak Biddle Venture Partners, a premier, early-stage venture capital firm and serves on many private, civic and advisory boards. With over two decades of experience, Mr. Novak blends his Information Technology and Investment expertise to help the companies he works with succeed. Mr. Novak speaks frequently about venture capital, risk, innovation, has contributed to numerous local and national media programs and has advised Congress and other government agencies.

Tom Kalinske Executive chairman of Global Education Learning

Thomas "Tom" Kalinske is executive chairman of Global Education Learning, a company dedicated to children's education in China. Mr. Kalinske is the former CEO of Mattel, Matchbox, president and CEO of Sega of America, and CEO and COB of LeapFrog. Mr. Kalinske served on the board of directors of the Toy Manufacturers of America, Blackboard, and currently serves on the board of Cambium Learning Group, Genyous, WCEPS, is the Vice Chairman of LeapFrog Inc., and is Emeritus Advisor to both the UW Business School and University of Arizona Eller School of Management.

Jamienne S. Studley Civil rights and public engagement

Jamienne S. Studley, a champion for students, civil rights and public engagement, has served in the US Dept of Education as deputy and acting general counsel, deputy and acting under secretary, and chair of the national advisory panel on accreditation. Her higher education experience also includes President, Skidmore College; associate dean and lecturer in law, Yale Law School; adjunct faculty at Stanford and UC Berkeley Law Schools, and board member, Assn of American Colleges & Universities. Jamie graduated from Barnard College and Harvard Law School, and is currently an advisor to the Aspen Institute; national policy advisor to Beyond 12, a college success initiative; and a consultant to colleges, universities and foundations, focusing on college completion, student and institutional success broadly defined, and leadership.

Kelly Schwedland Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Elevate Ventures

Kelly Schwedland is an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Elevate Ventures. His responsibilities include mentoring portfolio company leadership, and sourcing and evaluating new investment opportunities in Northern Indiana. Mr. Schwedland is a senior executive, certified consultant and serial entrepreneur focused on assisting other entrepreneurs and early-stage companies to develop and execute business strategies, to obtain the resources required to meet their business objectives and a supporter of Lean Startup methodologies. His comprehensive background spans a multitude of industries that have included manufacturing, information technology, financial, business services and others.

Kent Barnett Founder and retired CEO of KnowledgeAdvisors

Kent Barnett is founder and retired CEO of KnowledgeAdvisors, developer of the award-winning software suite Metrics that Matter. Mr. Barnett is also the co-author of Human Capital Analytics and co-founder of Productivity Point International. An international presenter and charitable investor, Mr. Barnett has spent more than two decades blending finance with talent development and learning.

Sean Smyth Seasoned Marketing and Business Development leader

Sean Smyth is a seasoned Marketing and Business Development leader with an operational focus. He specializes in seeing and seizing opportunities for online and mobile commerce companies, both Fortune 100 to startup, starting with the customer and working backward. Sean is currently serving as the VP/GM of Groupon.

Carl Kutsmode Executive search & management consulting firm leader

Carl Kutsmode is a passionate, outsourced recruiting (RPO), executive search & management consulting firm leader with over 20 years experience as a corporate talent acquisition management consultant and recruiting industry entrepreneur / thought leader. He has extensive experience leading the growth of three start-up recruiting and management consulting firms. Carl's expertise lies in successfully implementing solutions to address corporate critical talent hiring spikes in professional services / consulting, healthcare, financial services, sales, and technology.