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About College Guidance Network

Our mission is to empower school counselors to better support their college and career-bound students--along with their families--to confidently navigate the college admissions process to make good, financially responsible decisions. Our goal is to provide all students and parents access to top experts and unbiased information to achieve the best possible outcomes and greatest long term success.

The college admissions process is complex and can often feel overwhelming. School counseling departments are stretched to their limits, yet are expected to address a myriad of vital needs, with the typical counselor supporting over four hundred students. Only a small slice of families can afford hours of individualized guidance from an expensive college consultant. Those who can’t are on their own. The playing field is anything but level for the majority of students and their parents.

That’s why we started College Guidance Network. We use virtual technology and high-quality audio-visual production to bring the best experts into the living room of every college-bound student. We give students and their families the tools they need to navigate the college selection and admissions process.


Our backgrounds are diverse. We are entrepreneurs, CEOs, and educators. But most importantly, we are parents. We have experienced the challenges of the college admissions process with our own children, and are concerned that this often highly stressful and confusing experience results in less than optimal outcomes.

Our team is supported by the experts--admissions leaders, financial aid professionals, counselors, authors, professors, and more--who join our live events to give timely and practical advice to our audience.

View Our Experts

Our Team

Heather Ayers

Application Curriculum

  • College advisor, Ayers Education

  • Director of Admissions, Wellesley College

  • Senior K-12 educational Mgr, The College Board

  • Assistant Dean Arts & Science, The College of William and Mary

Bob Block


  • Parent of one student entering college and another who is a rising junior. 

  • Former VP of Corporate Development for ACT

  • CEO of Professional Examination Service (acquired by ACT)

  • Built and managed partner ecosystem for Family Education Network (acquired by Pearson in 2000)

Jon Carson

Founder & CEO

  • Scaled first national college admissions advisory brand in U.S. to over 500 advisors while striking large strategic partnerships with Fidelity, US News, NPR, and (CollegeVine)

  • Built largest event management and fundraising platform for school/charity fundraisers with half a billion dollars raised (Bidding For Good)

  • Built largest K-12 education website with 25% of all U.S. school districts building their first website (Family Education Network)

James Donald

Executive Producer

  • Parent of two middle-schoolers

  • Seventeen years of documentary filmmaking

  • One Peabody Award, six Emmy nominations, two wins. 15+ other awards.

  • Spent five years at, where he learned the core principles of successful e-learning

Sandy Husk



  • Former CEO, AVID

  • Superintendent, Salem-Keizer School District

  • Superintendent, Clarksville Montgomery County School System

Mike Leber

Vice President of Production

  • Father with college up ahead

  • Senior Coordinating Producer ESPN

  • Led production for 10 Super Bowls and 6 Olympics

  • Coordinated content production across TV, radio, print, digital, and social

  • Nominated and winner of multiple Emmy awards

Rob Lippincott

Senior Editorial Advisor

  • Parent of two college graduates

  • SVP of Education for PBS

  • SVP Product Development for Discovery Education

  • SVP & GM of Programming for FamilyEducation Network (acquired by Pearson)

  • Member of College Guidance Network advisory board

Julie Murphy

Head of Product

  • Over a decade of experience serving educators and learners through innovative products, technology, and community service

  • Chief Product Officer and Learning Division Executive, ACT, Inc.​

  • General Manager, Knovation, Inc.

  • Elected School Board Member, Oak Hills Local School District

  • Entrepreneur and consultant to small- and medium-sized businesses

  • Seasoned Fortune 500 technology and financial leader

Karen Nathan

Vice President of Programming

  • Parent of one high school student and one college student

  • Over 20 years of experience in educational programming and instructional design; Account Manager and National Education Consultant for FamilyEducation Network (acquired by Pearson)

  • Practice area expertise in educational technology, social-emotional learning, health promotion

  • Community Fellow, Princeton University

Melina Prentakis

Senior Product Manager

  • 5 years of experience as a college admissions counselor at multiple institutions

  • Traveled to and worked with students in 29+ states on their college application process

  • Presenter at Southern Association of College Admissions Counseling's conference for new counselors

  • Master's Degree in Higher Education Administration from Vanderbilt University

August Stover

School Relations Manager

  • Several years of experience in urban secondary education at traditional and charter public schools, including classroom teaching and SEL curriculum development

  • Former low-income college student with a passion for equity in education

  • Master's Degree in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education

Jermon Clark

Production Intern

  • Emory University, Class of 2022

  • BAs in Human Health and Integrated Visual Arts

  • Selected to Emory's Leadership Oxford program

  • Lead Diversity Ambassador at Emory

  • Interned at City of Atlanta

We know we don’t have all the answers so we have built a world-class advisory board that can give us guidance, tell us the hard truths, and provide input as we develop our programming and technology platform.

In addition to our Team Members and our Advisor Board Members, we daily rely on feedback from our customers and users, and diligently review the environment around us to assure that our products and services remain relevant to Students, their Families and the School Counselors that support them in work of college and career planning and decision making. 

Our Advisory Board

Bob Bardwell

Executive Director, Mass School Counseling Association

  • Former member - Board of Directors of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC)

  • Board Director, Secondary Level VP and Assembly Delegate of the American School Counselor Association (ASCA). 

  • Past-President of the New England Association for College Admission Counseling (NEACAC)

Bob Bardwell

Diana Cano

SVP of the Enterprise Technology Program Management Office, Audacy

  • General Manager, IT at Educational Testing Service

  • Adjunct Professor, Mechanical Engineering at The College of New Jersey 

  • Parent of two students currently at public research universities

  • BS, Mechanical Engineering at Northwestern University; MS, Technology Management at University of Pennsylvania; PhD, Education at Rutgers University

Diana Cano

Hardin Coleman

Professor, Boston University School of Education

  • Dean, BU/Wheelock School of Education and Human Development

  • Professor of Counseling and Applied Human Development

  • Associate Dean, University of Wisconsin School of Education

  • Ph.D., Counseling Psychology, Stanford University

Hardin Coleman

Anne L. Bryant

Executive Director, Emeritus

  • Executive Director, National School Boards Association

  • Executive Director,

  • American Association of University Women

  • Trustee and Board Chair, Simmons College

  • Trustee, National Teachers Hall of Fame

  • Board Chairperson, National Student Clearinghouse

Anne L. Bryant

Jim Larimore

Former Chief Officer, Center of Equity in Learning, ACT

  • Dean of Students,

  • Amherst College

  • Deputy Director, Post-Secondary Success, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation

  • Dean of Students, Swarthmore College

  • B.S. Texas A&M University, MA Education, Stanford University

Jim Larimore

Candice Mackey

College Counselor, LA Unified School District

  • Undergrad Admissions Reader, UCLA

  • College Instructor, UCLA College Counseling Certification Program

  • Editorial Advisory group, FIske Guide to College

Candice Mackey

Mike Marriner

Founder/CEO, Road Trip Nation

  • Executive Producer, PBS series Road Trip Nation

Mike Marriner

Marten Roorda

Senior Advisor at New Markets Venture Partners

  • CEO of ACT

  • CEO of Cito

  • Publishing Director, Reed Business Information

  • Editor-in-Chief, Scripta Media B.V.

Marten Roorda

Jonell Sanchez

Senior Vice President of Product and Business Development, Common App

  • Jonell emigrated from Cuba as a child and was an ESL student who grew up in an underserved community in New Jersey. His personal learning journey fuels his professional commitment and lifelong passion for educational opportunity, access and impact at scale. 

  • Jonell is an internationally recognized leader in education and business, who was formerly a senior executive with ACT, the National Student Clearinghouse. Pearson Global, and the College Board

Jonell Sanchez

Mike Sexton

Former Admissions Officer

  • Former VP Enrollment, Santa Clara University

  • Former Dean of Admissions, Lewis & Clark

  • Former Director of Admissions, Rhodes College

Mike Sexton

Stephen Smith

Founder, Naviance

  • Founder and CEO of Intellispark

  • Founder of Naviance

  • VP Digital Product Development, Peterson’s

Stephen Smith

Nancee Sorenson

Chancellor, Louisiana State University Eunice

  • Former President Brandon Campus, Hillsborough Community College and 

  • Hillsborough Community College District

  • Former Acting President, East Campus, Pima Community College and 

  • Pima County Community College District

  • Colvert Scholar and Gleazer Scholar at University of Texas at Austin

  • Completed Community College Leadership Program

Nancee Sorenson
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