About Us

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.


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 NetworkTM. 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.



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)

School Relations

Nicole Johnson

  • Over 10 years of experience in the College Admissions space

  • Certified in Academic Advising and Labor Market Analytics

  • Area of expertise include Early College, Student Loan Debt, and Community Colleges

  • Master Degree in Education Policy & Management from Harvard Graduate School of Education


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

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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


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


Mike Leber

Executive Producer

  • 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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Karen Nathan

Product and 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

Programming 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


Jon Carson

Founder & CEO

Multi-exit entrepreneur in education space with thirty years of experience starting and scaling consumer-facing education companies:

  • 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 (BiddingForGood)

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

  • Recognition:

    • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of Year finalist (2x)

    • Initial inductee into Babson Alumni Entrepreneur Hall of Fame

    • Yale Insights: Reflections from 101 of Yale's Most Successful Entrepreneurs