Four Additional Leaders Contribute Education Sector Expertise and Technology Business Acumen
WAKEFIELD, Mass., – Certica Solutions (Certica), provider of the Certica Connect™ edtech platform-as-a-service (PaaS), today announced that the company has expanded its Board of Directors, and appointed two new leaders to its executive team.
Michael Locke, managing partner at Giles Richard LLC (a Chicago-based firm that provides investment capital and management services to technology companies), has joined Certica’s Board of Directors as an independent director. Locke is also an executive advisor with New Harbor Capital, a growth-equity investor in Certica. Previously, Locke spent more than twenty years in key roles in education-related businesses as CEO of Rasmussen Inc., a higher education technology services company with $250 million in revenue and 1,400 employees, with two subsidiaries: Rasmussen College and Deltak edu.
Warren Weiss, currently general partner at Foundation Capital, based in Menlo Park, Calif., has also joined Certica’s Board of Directors as an independent director. Weiss has been a chief executive officer of both public and private companies in the enterprise software market, including Strategic Mapping, Inc., SQribe, Prism Solutions and Asera. For the past fifteen years, Weiss has been an early-stage investor in several Silicon Valley start-up companies in the security, infrastructure and software-as-a-service (SaaS) sectors. Weiss’ history with Certica’s management team began in 1997 when Weiss’ data warehousing software company, Prism Solutions, acquired the respective data management companies of Certica’s founder, Jeffrey Averick, and Certica’s chief executive officer, Mark Rankovic.
Katie Palencsar has been appointed to Certica’s executive team in her role as chief solutions strategist. Palencsar was chief executive officer of Unbound Concepts, which was acquired by Certica Solutions in June 2017. Unbound Concepts is the innovator of the Artifact® application which provides educators, librarians, readers and curriculum buyers with a better way to search, browse and discover books. At Unbound Concepts, Palencsar developed partnerships with a range of book distributors and publishers, including Follett and Follett’s Baker & Taylor division, and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Palencsar will focus on bringing content discovery solutions to Certica’s growing network of edtech partners and publishers, and will expand Certica’s solutions group to encompass the breadth of the company’s platform services.
Greg Smith has joined Certica’s executive team as executive vice president, Sales. Smith brings to Certica more than thirty years of sales, marketing and operational leadership experience with companies in the cybersecurity, SaaS and enterprise software sectors. Smith was recently vice president of Sales and Marketing at software security provider Security Innovation, where he increased sales by more than 20% annually. Smith spent fourteen years at Kronos, a leading provider of workforce management solutions, in various sales, marketing and executive leadership positions, including starting up Kronos’ highly-profitable public sector and education solutions division which attained 55% market share.
Said Mark Rankovic, Certica’s president and chief executive officer, “we are gratified to have this group of professionals joining us in key leadership roles. Our company’s strong executive team and Board of Directors has been instrumental and influential in our ability to invest in our company’s edtech platform-as-a-service, Certica Connect, and acquire strategic technologies and businesses which expand the reach and capabilities of our platform. The experience and insight that Michael, Warren, Katie and Greg bring to our company will enable us to deepen our collaboration and innovation, and to continue bringing high-value technology solutions to the education market.”
About Certica Solutions
Certica is the innovator of the Certica Connect™ platform-as-a-service which provides application interoperability and centralized integration, access and enrichment of education data, metadata and content. The company partners with a diverse network of K-12 application and system vendors, as well as learning content and assessment providers. Certica also delivers solutions directly to more than 600 school districts and numerous charter school organizations, state education agencies and educational service agencies. Certica is based in Wakefield, Mass.; with offices in Harvard, Mass.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Austin, Texas.