Meet the Veritas Prep Team
Chad TroutwineChad Troutwine has been preparing students for entrance exams since he was nineteen, the same year he graduated from college. Since childhood, Chad has demonstrated a preternatural talent for standardized tests. He recorded a perfect score on the Stanford Achievement Test and scored above the 99th percentile on the PSAT, ACT, SAT, LSAT, GRE, Multistate Bar Examination, and the GMAT.
Relying in part on his exam success, Chad catapulted from an underserved public high school into elite graduate programs. He graduated with honors from the University of Missouri School of Law, completed an MBA at the Yale School of Management, and earned an MPA from the Harvard Kennedy School while working full-time.
At Yale, Chad met Markus Moberg and launched Veritas Prep, fusing his test-taking acumen, commitment to education, dynamic teaching style, and entrepreneurial skill into a single venture. Veritas Prep has proven to be wildly successful: helping tens of thousands of students achieve their highest possible test scores and gain entry into the world’s most selective universities.
While Veritas Prep remains his chief passion, Chad is also the co-founder of Spectrum Station, one of the Midwest’s largest early childhood education centers, and he has produced ten feature films starring more than a dozen Academy Award-winning actors and directors. He is also the co-founder of Freakonomics Media, a digital partnership with author Stephen Dubner and economist Steven Levitt.
The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Bloomberg Business Week, Entrepreneur, and Inc. magazine have featured Chad’s tenure with Veritas Prep. He currently serves on the Yale SOM Alumni Board of Directors and on the Harvard Kennedy School Admissions Committee.
Markus MobergBorn in the countryside of Sweden, Markus Moberg grew up in a tri-lingual household in Norway. His father, a nuclear physicist, and his mother, a chemist at the University of Oslo, undoubtedly helped nurture his interest in education from an early age.
After completing high school in Norway, he studied Computer Science and Economics at Cornell. At Cornell, Markus picked up the American bug for entrepreneurship and decided that he would someday start his own company.
Missing the entire dot-com boom, he accepted a position as a Field Engineer with Schlumberger where he worked for extended periods in South America, West Africa, the Faeroe Islands in the North Sea, and the Mediterranean. He has also traveled extensively on his own, hiking to the Everest Base Camp in the Himalayas, shark diving in New Zealand, heli skiing in Alaska, and surfing in Indonesia.
With a 99th percentile on the GMAT, Markus gave his battered passport a rest to attend the Yale School of Management. Between his first and second year of the MBA program he worked as an Associate in the Investment Banking Division of Morgan Stanley.
While he enjoyed his brief stint on Wall Street, Markus decided upon graduation to finally fulfill his long time passion for entrepreneurship and teaching. He teamed up with Chad Troutwine to found Veritas Prep, a company that has since grown to become one of the largest privately-owned test preparation and admissions consulting providers in the world.
Marisa Bernstein - Director of MarketingA native of Southern California, Marisa Peck sees no reason to leave its friendly climate and beautiful scenery. She attended the University of California-San Diego, majoring in Sociology. There she developed an affinity for marketing while interning at a local sports marketing agency. Returning to Los Angeles after graduation, she came to work for Veritas Prep as a marketing coordinator, overseeing the company’s affiliate partnerships, promotional events, and public relations activities.
Ashley Craft - Customer Experience AssociateA lifelong Southern California resident, Ashley has been spreading client happiness around the Los Angeles area for as long as she can remember. Before joining Veritas Prep, she managed the Ralph Lauren shop at Bloomingdale’s, turning even the most finicky shoppers into huge advocates for both brands. Clients love Ashley for the calm, confident way in which she takes care of all their needs. When she isn’t turning Veritas Prep clients into happy zealots, Ashley loves hiking, reading, and going to the beach. Just be careful - although she’s a certified massage therapist, she also trains in Krav Maga, a form of martial arts that makes her as dangerous as she is helpful. Just be nice to Ashley’s dog Arya, and everything should be just fine.
Jenna Cortis - Operations AssociateHailing from the greater metro-Detroit area, Jenna double majored in French and Communications at The University of Michigan- Ann Arbor. (Go Blue!!) After her graduation in 2011, she moved to Chicago to work as a full-time emotional support mentor at Urban Prep Charter Academy for Young Men, and she’s proud to say that all 27 of her mentees went on to enroll in college. She was accepted into Teach for America for the 2012 corps, and received a surprising placement in Las Vegas as a Middle School English Teacher! At Veritas Prep Jenna helps keep all parts of our admissions consulting team running smoothly. While not working, you can find her walking her adorable Pekingese, Malone, or on stage doing stand-up. She is funny as Fuqua.
Shay Davis - Manager of College Prep OperationsOriginally from Central California, Shay has a passion for traveling that has led her all over North America, Europe, and Costa Rica. She even spent time living in France, serving as an au pair for a family in Bordeaux. When Shay isn’t making Veritas Prep instructors happy with her calm demeanor and attention to detail, she teaches future ESL educators and works on her Bikram Yoga habit. She earned her B.A. in English from Cal State Fresno and her M.Ed. from Pepperdine University. Finally, you should know that Shay has friends in high places... George Washington is a distant relative of hers!
Edward Espinoza - Customer Experience AssociateA proud Northern California native, Edward (or “Eddie”) moved to Southern California to attend Pepperdine University in Malibu. Majoring in Political Science and being exposed to the service-oriented atmosphere of Pepperdine, he developed a passion for education and served low-income pre-schoolers in the San Fernando Valley and the West Side through the AmeriCorps program, Jumpstart. Eddie also interned in Washington, D.C. for a summer and had the chance to see the President, Vice President, and other movers and shakers in the political world. Eddie loved life in Malibu so much that he decided to stick around by joining Veritas. He has played lacrosse for eight years and loves watching sports. While Eddie is passionate and enjoys having political and theological conversations, he is a pretty laidback guy. Just don’t say anything bad about his San Francisco Giants when you’re around him.
Brian Galvin - Vice President of AcademicsOne of the world’s few owners of both a 99th percentile GMAT Score and an NBA championship ring, Brian would gladly help Charles Barkley (but not Karl Malone) achieve either. Since receiving a Masters in Education from the University of Michigan he has studied the GMAT fulltime since 2006 as the Director of Academic Programs for Veritas Prep. Combining his professional achievements with his personal hobbies as an Ironman and standup comedian, Brian might very well be the foremost expert on the GMAT in the world. Judge for yourself by following his always-educational and oft-entertaining GMAT Tip of the Week on our blog!
Joanna Graham - Director of AcademicsOriginally a Missouri native, Joanna relocated to Washington, DC to attend Georgetown University and never looked back. She’s now (virtually) taking her talents to Malibu, bringing nearly 15 years of experience in the standardized testing and test preparation space to her work on instructor recruitment and training and curriculum development. When not living and breathing standardized tests, she’s heavily involved in military and veterans affairs. She serves on the Board of Director for Team Red White and Blue, a veterans service organization that integrates veterans in their communities through physical and social activities. She also works with the Pat Tillman Foundation and Dog Tag Bakery, and serves on the Board of Directors of the Hoya Hoop Club at her alma mater. She loves baseball, running (she recently completed her first 100 miler!), red wine & consuming as many donuts as humanly possible!
Curtis Jah - Software EngineerBorn in Buffalo, New York and raised in Los Angeles, Curtis is passionate about building sustainable and scalable applications. He loves to learn new technologies, making things efficient, and using knowledge to help others. Recently, he has developed a strong interest in utilizing big data to improve humanity. While away from work, Curtis loves to stay active by playing sports and hiking. He enjoys watching the NFL, NBA, MLB, and tennis. He also has appreciation for competitive e-sports as he is a true gamer at heart. He’s a crafty one so it may behoove you to keep him away from your poker table.
Blin Kazazi - Director of TechnologyBlin was born in Kosovo, lived in Belgium and moved to the Bay Area at the age of 16 as a high school exchange student. As a young nomad, Blin lived in 4 different countries and went to 4 different high schools before finally settling in Thousand Oaks, CA, to attend California Lutheran University. He says he has designed his first “website” at the age of 9. Blin is an avid soccer fan, bicyclist, paragliding pilot and researcher who brings diversity to the Veritas Prep team. The love of what he does is what made him stand out in the pool of applicants for his job position.
Anthony Koon - Academic AdvisorBorn and raised in Los Angeles, Anthony decided to try the east coast for a few years, graduating from Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York. After realizing he couldn’t handle another cold winter, the native Angeleno returned to his roots. When he’s not watching the Yankees, Lakers, Kings (or joining the Los Angeles Rams bandwagon), you can find Anthony doing his best impression of Happy Gilmore out on the golf course. Off the course, Anthony is a connoisseur of steaks, and has been known to never turn down a good porterhouse.
Travis Morgan - Director of Admissions ConsultingAfter receiving his MBA with Distinction from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, Travis relocated to Southern California and joined the Veritas Prep team as one of the few to serve as both a GMAT Instructor and an MBA Admissions Consultant. While receiving top reviews from every client as a Veritas Prep Head Consultant, Travis also managed to win the 2011 Worldwide GMAT Instructor of the Year award and was invited to join our team full time. A professional journalist and award-winning writer and public speaker, Travis originally started advising clients years ago as a volunteer employment specialist for LDS Employment Services in his hometown of Seattle. Having served on the Kellogg Diversity & Inclusion Council and interviewed countless candidates for its Admissions Committee, he brings an insider’s perspective, a contagious passion and years of experience to the Veritas Prep team.
Michele Patrick - ControllerTrue to form, Veritas Prep Controller Michele Patrick used her hometown of St. Louis as a Gateway to the West, taking advantage of the opportunity at Saint Louis University’s MBA program to transfer to Loyola Marymount to complete her education (with Summa Cum Laude honors) and relocate to sunny Southern California. Michele soaked up all the sun that her path to Los Angeles would offer, studying in Madrid, cheerleading for the St. Louis Rams of the NFL, appearing in a few Hollywood movies, and working for multiple media and fitness companies with “Hollywood” and “LA” in their brand names.
Now firmly entrenched as a Los Angeles resident, Michele maintains an active and varied lifestyle, managing accounting and HR responsibilities for Veritas Prep, teaching spinning and pilates classes, and managing a handful of entrepreneurial ventures.