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.
Kori Bourne - Customer Experience ManagerCurrently, she serves as a client experience coordinator for Veritas Prep helping anxious GMAT students relax and making clients happy one email at a time. Kori graduated from California State University, Channel Islands majoring in Sociology. Upon graduation, she took time to travel abroad and see the sights of England, France and Italy and has had the travel bug ever since. Although she grew up in the mountains near Lake Tahoe, Kori has a deep appreciation for the ocean and spends as much time as possible surfing and paddle boarding. Her next adventure in the works is great white shark diving off Guadalupe Island, Mexico.
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 was managed the Ralph Lauren shop at Bloomingdale’s, turning even the most finicky shoppers into huge advocate 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.
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!
Marc Feder - Course AdvisorWhether he’s rooting on an alma mater in football (Texas Longhorns) or playing wiffle ball on the beach, Marc thrives on competition, and relishes in the opportunity to do that at Veritas Prep. As a course advisor, Marc enjoys helping students achieve higher scores and gain admission to their target schools. Originally from Houston, Texas he does maintain quite a bit of Texas pride even while living in Southern California, where he reminds his friends that the local food of choice is, indeed, TEX-Mex. Initially an advertising copywriter after graduating from Texas, he soon recognized that the Don Draper lifestyle of drinking scotch all day wasn’t all it was cracked up to be, so he switched to a more active-lifestyle company at Veritas Prep and now focuses his attention on the great outdoors. The avid scuba diver, snowboarder, and basketball/soccer/kickball player also enjoys wandering through his new hometown of Venice Beach, where people-watching can even be considered a sport.
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!
Colleen Hill - Senior Manager of Graduate School OperationsAs Logistics Manager, Colleen manages the bookings for Veritas Prep classrooms across the world, at least temporarily satisfying her wanderlust and giving her opportunities to learn about new places. She also helps to manage the Veritas Prep team of instructors, which along with her side project as a yoga instructor keeps her closely tied with her passion for teaching and helping others. A native of Southern California and graduate of UCLA, Colleen has a love of coastal living – but not one limited just to the California coast. Mediterranean, Indian, South American, she loves it all, having lived and worked in Egypt, Tanzania, Jordan (the Dead Sea has a coast...), and Peru. With her love of higher education (she interned at the Cairo Museum as part of her Middle Eastern and North African studies degree) and helping others (she led a Habitat for Humanity build in Peru, and spent eight weeks tutoring and conducting other outreach in Tanzania), she is a natural for her role as Logistics Manager for Veritas Prep in her ocean-facing office.
Blin Kazazi - Technology ManagerBlin 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.
Vincent King - Course AdvisorA true California native, Vincent enjoys doing lots of fun things, like playing beach Volleyball and Ping Pong, or going to social gatherings with friends. In fact, his ping pong skills may have been taken into account when deciding to hire him. He also loves to read. He can spend hours in bookstores, reading about theology, business, history and philosophy (he’s more of a browser than a buyer). In addition to education, Vincent is also passionate about many social justice issues, such as ending homelessness in America.
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.
Jenn Nakao - Assistant Director of Admissions Consulting - MBAJenn is a military brat so she grew up in several cities across the U.S. and attended at least 6 different elementary schools, 3 different middle schools and 2 different high schools. The only consistent piece of her adventures in public school education is playing percussion for the school band, marching band, jazz band and musical production of Fiddler On The Roof. After attending U.C. Berkeley, Jenn started working in the test prep industry doing everything from teaching SAT courses to establishing business partnerships with high profile clients. She’s excited to be at Veritas Prep where she can continue to help people achieve their educational goals. Jenn has her Master’s in Communication Management from the University of Southern California, is an avid runner and is currently looking for a partner for this year’s Zombie Run.
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.
Scott Shrum - Vice President of MarketingBorn and raised in New Jersey, Scott earned in BS at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and pursued a career in technology marketing. Later, while at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management, Scott met Omari Bouknight from Harvard Business School, and the two of them wrote Your MBA Game Plan. This book is now in its third edition, and continues to be one of the most popular books on getting into business school. While researching Your MBA Game Plan they came in contact with Chad and Markus, and the four stayed in close touch. Years later, after a career as a brand manager in the consumer goods industry, Scott joined the Veritas Prep team to oversee the company’s marketing efforts, and now also leads its customer experience and technology teams. Outside of work, Scott can be found rooting for the New York Yankees and working on his improv comedy skills
Jon Small - Vice President of SalesTest prep was far from Jon’s mind when he began his career in classical music. After completing college at McGill University in his native Canada, he pursued music degrees at Berklee College of Music and NYU, where he earned his master’s. Jon had discovered an affinity for standardized tests when applying to graduate school and started teaching part-time for Kaplan Test Prep while working in the performing arts industry in New York City. This dalliance evolved into a full-time profession as he eventually left classical music to take on a series of management roles with Kaplan. After 6 years at Kaplan, Jon joined the Veritas Prep team originally as the Vice President of college prep before taking on a broader role. Jon’s love of learning continues to this day as he recently completed his part-time MBA at UCLA Anderson while working for Veritas Prep. When he’s not at work, school, or spending time with his wife and daughters, Jon is also a fitness enthusiast who has earned multiple formal distinctions, including “Baller,” from his local gym.
Jenny Tang - Senior Customer Experience AssociateBorn in New York but raised in New Jersey, Jenny graduated from Rutgers with a major in Psychology and decided to head west to Southern California. Jenny secured a position in communications and marketing with UCLA but decided her talents would be best used working directly with students. Currently, she works at Veritas Prep as a Student Experience Coordinator helping GMAT students achieve their target score. When she’s not assisting GMAT students, she spends her free time helping others by volunteering at local hospitals and food banks and cleaning up local beaches.
Farrah Walker - Course AdvisorYes, Farrah really was named after a famous blonde model that solved crime on television, so naturally, she aspired to become a teacher. Since trying seven different majors and ultimately graduating from BYU with an English degree, she continues to write and has been published in a collection of essays (so don’t be surprised if her emails are long). Needless to say, Farrah is over the moon about working for an education company and seeing her students excel on their exams. She continues to mentor children through volunteering with reading programs and hospital art programs, and started her own organization to produce and promote benefit events for non-profits. And even though she knows there’re out there, every time she sees dolphins off the Malibu coast, it’s like she’s seeing a unicorn.
Peter Williams - Senior Course AdvisorA political science/pre-law major from Washington State University, Peter’s political and business philosophies can both be summarized in the phrase “yes we can”, a mantra that he enjoys spreading to apprehensive graduate school applicants worried about their futures. Peter looks forward to talking with you about your goals and helping you formulate a plan to get there. Just don’t tell him that you’re a fan of the Pittsburgh Steelers or Oklahoma City Thunder; this Seattle native has suffered enough.
Zia - Director of Happy-Go-LuckinessIn addition to bird chasing, Zia’s job responsibilities include greeting each employee each time they enter a room; raising team morale with a lovable face and impeccably upbeat demeanor; and tail-wagging at good ideas during brainstorming meetings.
Zia’s temperament has been shaped by her experiences: she was rescued from the streets at 3 months old, then survived a scare with parvo (essentially the Black Plague for dogs), all the while surviving because of her positive attitude. After all she’s been through, she undoubtedly deserves to live in blissful happiness in her home near the Pacific Ocean, hiking in the mountains and taking long walks on the beach. Should you meet Zia, drop her a delicious Goldfish cracker or two - the most direct way to her heart, after which she’ll certainly hold a special place in yours.