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About College Guidance Network


Our Mission

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 Team

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



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)

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Director, Career Programming

Diana Carson

  • Worked within Boston Public Schools to initiate and execute on strategic partnerships aimed at meeting students’ basic needs for food, clothing and medical care.

  • Developed content with outside partners as a senior producer for FamilyEducation Network.

  • Former teacher at the high school and college levels, as well as developmental editor in textbook publishing for the college market.


Executive Producer

James Donald

  • 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


Founder & CEO

Jon Carson

  • 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)

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Vice President of Programming

Karen Nathan

  • 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 


Vice President of Production

Mike Leber

  • 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

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Sandy Husk


  • Former CEO, AVID

  • Superintendent, Salem-Keizer School District

  • Superintendent, Clarksville Montgomery County School System

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Production Intern

Brianna Ostwinkle

  • Mount Mercy University, Class of 2022

  • Pursuing BAs in Graphic Design and Media Communication

  • Mount Mercy Student Ambassador

  • Interned at Cedar Rapids Kernels baseball team

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Application Curriculum

Heather Ayers

  • 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

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Associate Producer

Jermon Clark

  • 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


Head of Product

Julie Murphy

  • 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


Senior Product Manager

Melina Prentakis

  • 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

  • Planning committee member for New England Association of College Admission Counseling's Annual Meeting & Conference

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

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


Senior Editorial Advisor

Rob Lippincott

  • 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


Advisory Board

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.

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Executive Director, Emeritus

Anne L. Bryant

  • 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


Professor, Boston University School of Education

Hardin Coleman

  • 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


Founder/CEO, Road Trip Nation

Mike Marriner

  • Executive Producer, PBS series Road Trip Nation


Senior Advisor at New Markets Venture Partners

Marten Roorda

  • CEO of ACT

  • CEO of Cito

  • Publishing Director, Reed Business Information

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


Former Admissions Officer

Mike Sexton

  • Former VP Enrollment, Santa Clara University

  • Former Dean of Admissions, Lewis & Clark

  • Former Director of Admissions, Rhodes College


Chancellor, Louisiana State University Eunice

Nancee Sorenson

  • 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

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SVP of the Enterprise Technology Program Management Office, Audacy

Diana Cano

  • 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


Former Chief Officer, Center of Equity in Learning, ACT

Jim Larimore

  • 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

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College Counselor, LA Unified School District

Candice Mackey

  • Undergrad Admissions Reader, UCLA

  • College Instructor, UCLA College Counseling Certification Program

  • Editorial Advisory group, FIske Guide to College

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Senior Vice President of Product and Business Development, Common App

Jonell Sanchez

  • 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   


Founder, Naviance

Stephen Smith

  • Founder and CEO of Intellispark

  • Founder of Naviance

  • VP Digital Product Development, Peterson’s

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