Our Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors

Alexa von Tobel, CFP® | CEO & Founder
is the founder and CEO of LearnVest.com, and the New York Times- Bestselling Author of Financially Fearless. Alexa launched LearnVest in 2009 with the goal of making financial planning affordable, accessible and even delightful. Since then she has raised over $72 million in financing from Accel Partners, American Express Ventures, and others.

Alexa serves as an inaugural member of the Presidential Ambassadors for Global Entrepreneurship (PAGE), and she was selected as a 2011 Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum, named to the Ernst & Young Entrepreneurial Winning Women Class of 2011, honored as a 2012 Fortune Most Powerful Women Entrepreneur, and named a Scholar at the 2012 Aspen Ideas Festival. She has been included on a variety of lists such as: Vanity Fair’s 2011 Next Establishment; Fortune’s “40 Under 40: Ones to Watch”; Business Insider’s Silicon Alley 100; Inc. Magazine’s 30 Under 30; Businessweek’s “Best Young Tech Entrepreneurs”; and Marie Claire’s “Women on Top.”

Since launching LearnVest, Alexa has been widely quoted as a personal finance expert and entrepreneur in top tier business and consumer outlets. She is a columnist for Cosmopolitan and Inc. Magazine and hosts a weekly radio show on SiriusXM, “Financially Fearless with Alexa von Tobel.” She has also been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, Fast Company, Inc., Elle, Forbes, InStyle, Mashable, TechCrunch, VentureBeat and many more. In addition, Alexa has appeared on several local and national television shows including The Today Show, Good Morning America, CBS This Morning, Katie, CNN’s Your Money, and The Rachael Ray Show.

Alexa has spoken at nationally renowned events and conferences including TEDxWallStreet, SXSW, Inc.’s GrowCo Conference, NY Ideas Festival, Fast Company’s Innovation Uncensored, and Maria Shriver’s Women’s Conference.

Originally from Florida, Alexa received an A.B. in Psychology at Harvard College. Upon graduation, she worked as a trader at Morgan Stanley on their Proprietary Trading Desk before leaving to serve as Head of Business Development at Drop.io, a venture backed startup in NYC. She enrolled in Harvard Business School in the fall of 2008, but took a formal leave of absence shortly after to launch LearnVest.

 

John Gardner | Chief Financial Officer
John has spent his career in a variety of roles that focused on portfolio management, personal finance advice, and technology.

He received a B.S. from Lehigh University with a double major in Finance and Marketing, with a minor in Philosophy. Furthermore, John is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He began his career at SEI Investments on the Global Equity team, doing manager research and portfolio construction for SEI’s Manager of Managers program. While at SEI he developed a new communication strategy that leveraged the Internet to more efficiently communicate the firm’s investment philosophy, product construction, and performance to the firm’s various distribution channels. John also was responsible for building insurance and credit platforms to support SEI’s Wealth Management Solution. Next, he was a Director of Product Strategy at Finaplex, Inc. a venture-backed Enterprise Wealth Management software provider that helped large financial institutions consolidate data and provide a single advisory desktop for wealth management advisors.

Most recently John was a Founding Partner and Chief Operating Officer for Cabezon Capital Management, a Global Macro hedge fund based in San Francisco that concentrated in emerging market investments. The fund, launched in 2006, grew to over $400 million in assets by the beginning of 2008.

 

Theresia Gouw
Theresia has been with Accel Partners since 1999. She focuses primarily on internet and software investments with specific interest in Vertical Search/Media, online media, advertising and security. Theresia has worked in the computer and communications industries since the late-1980’s as an entrepreneur, consultant and venture investor.

Prior to joining Accel Partners, she was founding Vice President of Business Development & Sales at Release Software, a venture-backed company which developed products to enable digital rights management and payment technologies for the software industry. Before that, Theresia worked as a management consultant at Bain & Company and a product manager at Silicon Graphics.

Theresia serves as a Trustee on Brown University’s Corporation Board, on the board of DonorsChoose.org and as a member of Stanford’s DAPER Investment Fund. Theresia holds an Sc.B. in Engineering from Brown University, magna cum laude and an M.B.A. from Stanford University.

 

Ann F. Kaplan
Ann Kaplan is the Chair of the Board of LearnVest.

Ms. Kaplan’s professional activities focus on financial organization and empowerment for women. She is the Chair of Circle Financial Group, an investment and wealth management membership organization. She also teaches a course on wealth management at the Columbia University School of Business. She is a founder of the Center for Women’s Financial Independence at Smith College and conducts financial fitness classes for women in New York City.

Ms. Kaplan was previously a general partner of Goldman, Sachs & Co. and a managing director after the firm became a public company. She was a member of the Fixed Income Division for 23 years and served as the head of the municipal bond department. During her last three years at the firm, she was a member of the Asset Management Division focusing on wealth management.for women.

Ms. Kaplan serves as a board member of the Goldman Sachs Bank USA. She is a trustee of Columbia University, the American Red Cross, Smith College, the Museum of Arts & Design, the Economic Club of New York and the New York Chapter of the Women’s Forum. She is a member of the Board of Overseers of the Columbia University School of Business and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Ms. Kaplan holds a B.A. in government from Smith College and an M.B.A. from Columbia University.

 


51a55ddf2ad3a_skg_largeSameer Gandhi

Sameer joined Accel in 2008 and focuses on early stage and growth investments in consumer, software and services companies. He is responsible for investments such as Bonobos, BookMyShow, Collective, CrowdStrike, Dropbox, Dropcam (acquired by Google’s Nest Labs), Flipkart, Hailo, Opower (NYSE: OPWR), Plex Systems, Quidsi (parent of diapers.com and soap.com; acquired by Amazon.com), ScaleArc, Sonatype, Sookasa, Spotify, StumbleUpon, Venmo (acquired by Braintree/eBay), and Yapstone.

Prior to joining Accel, Sameer was a Partner with Sequoia Capital, where he led investments such as Barracuda Networks (NYSE: CUDA), Dropbox, eHarmony, Gracenote (acquired by Sony), Sourcefire (NASDAQ: FIRE), and Trulia (NYSE: TRLA).

Sameer previously worked at Broadview International, an investment banking firm specializing in technology mergers and acquisitions, and at Oracle Corp. Sameer is a board member and former President of the Western Association of Venture Capitalists, and has been named multiple times to the Forbes Midas List for Top Tech Investors. Sameer has a BSEE and MSEE from MIT and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

 

Formal Advisors

Greg Waldorf
Greg spent more than 11 years working with eHarmony where he became the company’s founding investor in 2000. Through the early years of the company’s growth, he was a very active advisor and board member working closely with the company’s founders, culminating in his appointment as CEO in 2006. During the last five years, Waldorf drove a global expansion of the company into new markets both domestically and in 15 countries worldwide.

 

Greg Coleman
Greg Coleman joined The Huffington Post in October 2009 as the company’s president and chief revenue officer. Coleman, who has more than 25 years of sales and media experience, is responsible for rapidly building upon the platform The Huffington Post has created and works with the team to grow revenue and deepen the brand’s engagement with marketers.

 

Ed Mathias
Ed is a Managing Director of The Carlyle Group and a member of the firm’s Board of Directors. He was instrumental in the founding of Carlyle and assisted in raising the firm’s initial capital. Prior to joining Carlyle in 1994, Mr. Mathias was a long-time member of the Management Committee and Board of Directors of T. Rowe Price Associates, Inc., a major investment management organization. Mr. Mathias is currently a director of Brown Advisory, the Baltimore-based investment firm and a Trustee Emeritus at the University of Pennsylvania.

Susan Lyne
Susan serves as the Vice Chairman of Gilt and as the CEO of the AOL Brand Group. She joined AOL as the CEO in 2013 and Gilt as the company’s CEO in 2008. Prior to that she served as President and CEO of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia where she led the company’s recovery and return to profitability. She has served in various positions at The Walt Disney Company, including President, ABC Entertainment, and Executive Vice President. During her 15 years in the magazine industry before joining Disney, she was Managing Editor of New Times and The Village Voice and, in 1987, created and launched Premiere Magazine, where she served as Editor-in-Chief and Publication Director. Susan is on the board of AOL, Gilt Groupe and Starz.

Ann Sardini
Ann has over 20 years of experience in senior financial management positions in branded media and consumer products companies. Ann served as the Chief Financial Officer at Weight Watchers for ten years until 2012. Prior to joining Weight Watchers, she served as Chief Financial Officer of VitaminShoppe.com, Inc. In addition, she has held finance positions at QVC, Chris Craft Industries and the National Broadcasting Company.

 

R. Todd Ruppert
R. Todd Ruppert is the Founder and CEO of RTR International Inc., a firm with diversified interests globally in the arts, film, distribution, merchandizing, and private equity. In 2012 he retired from the T. Rowe Price group, a global investment management firm. During his 27 year career at the firm, among other responsibilities, he led the firm’s institutional business in the US and incepted and led the firm’s global institutional and intermediary expansion. He was Board member, President and CEO of T. Rowe Price Global Investment Services for over a decade, Board member and President, Investment Services of T. Rowe Price International, and member of the operating steering committee of the T. Rowe Price group.

Hrishi Dixit
Hrishi is the former CTO and Technical Founder of LearnVest. He has lived in the computational and enterprise software space for over 18 years. He has deployed large-scale applications in several domain verticals spanning finance, education, geo-aware systems and e-commerce, with specific focus on financial technology and large-scale data-driven systems, and has managed distributed engineering teams across the globe. He holds a Masters degree in Mechanical Engineering (with a Minor in Computer Science) from Cornell University.


image00 (1)John R. Chrin

John Chrin spent 21 years advising Wall Street and Main Street banks on more than $225 billion of mergers and acquisitions. Most recently, Mr. Chrin was co-head of J.P. Morgan’s financial-institutions group. While with J.P. Morgan, Chrin helped orchestrate the daring rescue of Bear Stearns, which proved pivotal in the financial crisis. He has also advised Wells Fargo on its acquisition of Wachovia and he was instrumental in PNC Financial acquiring National City. Mr. Chrin graduated from Lehigh in 1985 and 1986 with degrees in Economics and Engineering. He has strong ties to the University and the surrounding community. Mr. Chrin graduated from Columbia University in 1988 with a MBA in Finance and Marketing.

Lee Barba
Lee is the former Chairman and CEO of thinkorswim Group Inc., a market leader in providing integrated investor education and online brokerage services to the self-directed investor, which was acquired by TD Ameritrade for $606 million in 2009. Mr. Barba was appointed Chief Executive Officer and Director of the Company in December 2001 and Chairman in June 2002. He earned his M.B.A. from Columbia University and his B.A. from the University of North Carolina.