Nice to meet you.

Our Focus

Like any mission-driven organization, we’re guided by a set of principles and beliefs. We keep ours close in mind when we create new technologies and craft our client experiences.

Crafting a personalized & proven approach to learning

  • Matching every student to an appropriate certified teacher
  • Fostering trust with a focus on relationships
  • Creating customized, research-based learning plans

Focusing on empowerment & confidence

  • Nurturing the Whole Child: academic and emotional
  • Helping students, parents, and teachers to embrace challenge
  • Celebrating shared values about education

Creating the tools for an ever-improving experience

  • Designing reports for parents that increase transparency
  • Developing resources for teachers that make their jobs easier
  • Building validated networks for doctors & schools to support families

Our Team

Founders

Braintrust’s founders bring a combination of educational bonafides, demonstrated business acumen, and the laser-focused parental insights that come from raising 5 kids between them. Mara and Jen empathize with parents and teachers alike, and have the expertise to cleverly solve the most pressing problems facing educators and the families they support. 

Mara Koffmann

Co-Founder and CEO

Mara is a problem solver. She’s spent her entire professional career helping students and families understand and overcome their most difficult learning obstacles. No matter how seemingly intractable the problem, Mara relishes rolling up her sleeves and finding effective – and fun! – solutions that will help students achieve their full potential.

Jen Mendelsohn

Co-Founder and CBO

Jen loves nothing more than quarterbacking a business opportunity and spent 15+ years selling enterprise tech before Braintrust. Her professional development comes from cultivating relationships and bringing opportunities to fruition. Jen’s competitive spirit borders on the unhealthy, fortunately there is a charm to her relentlessness.

Finance Team

Albert Nahmad

Chief Financial Officer

Albert is a finance junkie. He spent a decade in CA with the Technology M&A group at Credit Suisse, helping many of the world’s largest tech companies execute tons of merger transactions. He also has many years of CFO experience, including at Nesa Solutions, an IoT software enterprise. He loves simplifying complexity for the benefit of everyone!

Sales Team

Our dynamic sales team members are seasoned professionals who are dedicated to shaping the future of education. We’re passionate about delivering innovative, high impact tutoring solutions that empower learning and growth. With a deep understanding of educational needs and a commitment to excellence, our team is here to make the best quality tutoring accessible to everyone, driving positive change in the world of learning.

Brad Weir

VP, Educational Partnerships

Brad has over 15 years of experience in the education sector, during which time he has developed a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities that schools and districts face in the digital age. He is passionate about igniting children’s curiosity to reach their potential and about empowering educators with solutions to bring learning to life. 

Amy Ambatielos

Director of Educational Partnerships

Amy is an educator at heart. Before booking HGTV shows or producing CNN packages, she was a classroom teacher. Teaching through the pandemic, Amy became acutely aware of the overall gaps in students’ learning. She joined Braintrust to help close those gaps in schools and districts where the loss is most prevalent and the need for support is greatest.

Zack Riber

School Partner Associate

Zack brings a rich background in education and a strong foundation in business development to Braintrust. He is uniquely qualified to connect schools and districts with the valuable solutions Braintrust provides. When he’s not building meaningful relationships with colleagues and education professionals, you can find him on the golf course, perfecting his swing and enjoying the great outdoors.

Operations Team

Our operations team members are deeply experienced, customer-focused business operators. But, more important than our expertise is our empathy — our team members are parents, educators, and dedicated individuals who wake up each day thinking about how to improve the tutoring experience and build a better way.

Ivy Rasmusen

Director of Operations

Ivy is a veteran educator, entrepreneur, and businesswoman. After starting out her career as a teacher, she ran a successful business for 13 years until returning back to education after discovering first-hand how learning loss and reading deficiencies were affecting her son. She has deep experience in educational technology and has a knack for processes, organization and customer success.  

Erica Granda

Customer Success Manager

Erica is a data-driven, results-oriented, client-focused professional with experience creating targeted and purposeful growth paths for all types of learners to achieve defined outcomes. She has spent her entire professional career seeking out the best educational practices for students in need. She loves tackling complex problems in order to create streamlined solutions that make everyone’s life easier!

Jessica Lippman

Customer Success Manager

Jessica has navigated diverse roles within the education field, ranging from classroom teacher to senior leadership positions, hiring and training quality instructors for a multibillion-dollar company. She excels in maintaining seamless operations, optimizing educational experiences and nurturing top educators, and strongly believes in Braintrust’s mission to create exceptional learning environments.

Becky Doles

Customer Success Manager

Kasandra White

Tutor Recruitment and Success Team Leader

Kasandra is an experienced operator. She’s taught in the classroom, held senior operator roles in various businesses, acted as a lead teacher for a multibillion-dollar educational firm, and helped maintain smooth operations everywhere she’s gone. Kasandra leverages her teacher recruitment efforts honed at VIPKID to help Braintrust identify the best educators.

Ashley Kulcsar

Tutor Support Team Lead

Ashley takes pride in helping others succeed. She has experience as a classroom teacher, and in the corporate world at an eBook company supporting schools to build their digital libraries and promote student reading. Ashley has a master’s degree in literacy, a background in the Science of Reading, and deeply appreciates how Braintrust’s values in helping students align with her own.

Gabrielle Fraenkel​​

School Outreach

Gabby considers herself an educational concierge who loves connecting people to powerful resources/ platforms. She brings a wealth of key strategy and operations experience with school districts across the country, including as Special Assistant to Superintendent of Boston Public Schools and Chief of Staff at the NYC DOE in the School Planning and Development Division.

Development Team

Our exceptional development team is at the forefront of innovation. Our developers bring together cutting-edge technology and a deep understanding of the learning landscape to create a platform that’s tailored to the unique needs of our students, schools, and parents. Their commitment to excellence and a passion for making education accessible drive every line of code they write. 

Trent Raber

Director of Engineering

Leader. Coder. Lover of cheese. When not searching for the next tasty morsel of provolone, muenster, or brie, Trent spends his time striving for excellence and innovation while solving real-world problems with technology. With over 18 years of experience, Trent joined Braintrust to build an engineering team focused on enhancing the learning experience through technology.

Alex Heflin

Senior Developer

Alex is a deeply experienced senior software developer with a demonstrated history of working in technology-focused consulting and project leadership roles. Skilled in front end techologies, back end techologies, project management and web design, Alex brings 10+ years of experience and a passion for making a difference in the lives of the students we serve. 

Rodrigo Pascoalino

Senior Developer

Rod is a senior software developer with decades of experience and a deep dedication for making a difference in the lives of students. When not focused on work, Rod is a family man – a proud husband and father to a son, cat, and 4 dogs –  who enjoys the picturesque backdrop of the beach.

Advisors

Our advisors are seasoned experts who provide us critical insights and advice to help us improve our programs, explore new opportunities and accelerate our growth by stimulating robust, high-quality conversation.

Jay Russell

Advisor

Dr. Russell is Executive Director of The Windward Institute, whose mission is to increase childhood literacy, and a Yale faculty member at the Yale Child Study Center. Previously, Jay served for 13 years as head of The Windward School and for 11 years as superintendent of schools in Hastings-on-Hudson, New York. In 2019, he was named Distinguished Leader in Education by Education Update.

Dr. Brock Eide

Advisor

Dr. Eide is a leading expert in the fields of dyslexia and brain-based learning. He and his wife authored the internationally best-selling book The Dyslexic Advantage (2011) as well as The Mislabeled Child (2006); and founded the 501(c)3 non-profit Dyslexic Advantage, one of the world’s largest online dyslexia communities.

Peter Bencivenga

Advisor

Peter is an industry titan with deep edTech experience. Peter is CEO of PrepScholar, which provides personalized and effective online test preparation programs. Prior to PrepScholar, he taught high school for over a decade in New York City public schools and worked on technical integration initiatives for the NYCDOE before co-founding DataCation. He’s also held roles as Chief Academic Officer of IO Education and President of Operoo. 

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