Academic Business Advisors

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Our Team

At ABA, we bring together the most senior consultants in the industry with a wide range of experience, connections, and expertise to help our clients expand to create and implement growth strategies.


Alan’s focus is helping clients expand their selling efforts on a national level. With more than 25 years experience in educational sales and publishing, Alan understands the sales process from the ground up, and is adept at maximizing the effectiveness of sales channels.

Alan was National Sales Director of the Siboney Learning Group, responsible for the development and activities of a hybrid sales force, including resellers, tele-sales, and company representatives. Before that, he was VP of Sales at Educational Activities, Inc., a leading publisher of supplemental instructional materials for the pre-kindergarten to adult education market.

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Amanda is President of the Saylor Foundation. Before joining Saylor she had a successful career as an educational, organizational, and business development consultant based in the DC metro area. Her client list includes: AOL, Arent Fox, AstraZeneca, Dupont and a myriad of small business ventures. Her education clients include Blackboard, NCAIS, St. Albans, and the Department of Education. She has directed marketing initiatives for nationally recognized programs in the pharmaceutical, legal and technology industries. She combines her business acumen with her passion for social value creation and deep belief in education’s power to change the world.

Prior to her consulting career, Amanda co-founded and directed the nonprofit organization, The TLT Group. TLT Group was a pioneer in the teaching, learning, and technology movement. During that time, Amanda consulted with over 100 institutions annually and she designed and coordinated over 75 workshops and 10 major national conferences with leaders in academia and educational technology companies.

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Cathy is a marketing consultant with over twenty years of experience in the educational market. Accomplished in forming relationships with partners, customers and policy makers within the school community, Cathy works with clients to create marketing campaigns and implement plans to achieve the client’s business goals.

In recent years, Cathy has focused on the K-12 market with an emphasis on professional development for educators as they implement the Common Core State Standards.
Her background includes executive positions at Scholastic Education, Macmillan McGraw Hill and HarperCollins Children’s Books. Previously she taught in the elementary grades as well as an adjunct in Children’s Literature and Educational Publishing.

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Glen McCandless

Glen McCandless is the Founder of Focus Marketing, a business that provides specific, targeted business expansion and sales-boosting services to senior managers in the education market.

Glen has a unique background as a successful field sales rep who called on high-level decision makers in education. He also has extensive experience as a sales, channel, and marketing manager for companies that develop, market, and sell products and services to schools.

He was a founder of A.D.A.M. Inc., one of the first multimedia educational software companies, and he is the Creator and Leader of Glen’s passion for the power of innovation to positively impact students and schools has driven his work in education and marketing for over 25 years.

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Isabella Hinds

Isabella Hinds has a strong and varied background in education business development. She worked for many years as a Senior Director on the Blackboard course management system. She also founded and ran Hinds & Associates, a consultancy focused on market development, market research, and business development in e-learning. Isabella continues to shape businesses and through them, students’ lives. She has served as the Director of Digital Strategy and Products for Follett, which reaches over half the students in the US, and has sat on the SIIA post-secondary Board of Directors.

Isabella brings high-level market experience and strong industry connections to the clients of ABA. Her expertise is wide-ranging, but includes market and business development, online publishing, e-Learning, and content strategy.

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Neal Goff

Neal Goff is Founder and President of consulting firm Egremont Associates, which assists educational publishers, technology firms and non-profit organizations with strategic planning, marketing, digital product development, licensing and development of strategic partnerships.

As a consultant, Neal draws on more than a quarter century of experience as a publishing executive. He has been a leader in educational publishing, serving as President of Scholastic Library (formerly Grolier Reference) Publishing, and then President of Weekly Reader Publishing. Neal was also President of the Board of the Association of Educational Publishers. In 2012 and 2103, he was a co-author of the annual State of the K-12 Market report, published by MDR.

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Ruth is a public relations and marketing consultant whose sterling communication efforts have driven response and awareness for clients’ products and services. She has generated hundreds of highly visible placements in educational publications, electronic communications, and websites, plus helped clients win many respected education awards (including the prestigious CODiE’s).

Based in Brainerd, Minnesota where she currently serves as the Chairwoman of the Board of Directors for Brainerd Schools, a district located in central Minnesota with over 6500 students. As a freelance consultant she has worked with Atomic Learning, The Hope Foundation, ezWrite and others providing public relations services. She has an extensive marketing background that has included management positions at Lifetouch Inc., CVN Companies, the State of Minnesota, and Fingerhut.

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Sandra Flank

Dr. Sandra Flank is a Professor Emeritus at Pace University. Dr. Flank received her B.A. in Chemistry, and an M. Ed. and Ph.D. in Science Education. As a Professor in the School of Education at Pace, she taught classes primarily in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) areas. Her research and publications focused on cognition and assessment in the teaching of STEM subjects.

For the past ten years, Sandra has designed, implemented and taught in a masters’ degree program in educational technology. Since taking Emeritus status, she has continued to consult in teaching and evaluating of science, technology and mathematics.

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Sue Hanson is the founder of PR with Panache, a Minneapolis based public relations and branding business focused on clients in the education field. Sue had her beginnings in the education arena as a classroom teacher and now has over 20 years of industry experience connecting clients to national trends and creating compelling media stories which lead to resounding success. Her clients include Odesseyware, Mac to School, Prey, Goalbook and others. Sue’s determination to exceed expectations has led her company to a leadership position.

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