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Our Leadership Team

The members of our leadership team know and live education. For more than two decades, they have been helping colleges and universities evolve with each new change in the higher education landscape. Today, they continue that work at Collegis Education, where they have invested in technology and a team of more than 180 employees — with dedicated teams for Enrollment Growth Management and Learning Technology Solutions — that custom-design solutions to help you grow your institution.

  • Jamie Cowie

    James Cowie

    President and Chief Executive Officer 

    Jamie Cowie joined Collegis Education as Executive Chairman in early 2015 and assumed the role of President and Chief Executive Officer in January 2017. Prior to assuming his duties at Collegis, Cowie served for nearly three decades as a Partner and Managing Director of Frontenac, a Chicago-based private equity firm focused on making investments in family and founder-owned investments in the lower middle market. In his role at Frontenac, Cowie served as lead director of numerous companies, primarily technology-enabled solutions businesses ranging from start-up to several billion dollars in revenue. Prior to Frontenac, he was a member of the Emerging Growth Companies Group of Merrill Lynch Capital Markets. Cowie is a graduate of Colby College and received a Master’s degree in business administration from The Stanford University Graduate School of Business. Cowie is involved in a variety of community and educational organizations and currently serves as a Trustee Emeritus of Colby College and a Life Trustee of the Illinois Institute of Technology where he is Chair of the College of Science.

  • Patrick Branham

    Patrick Branham

    Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer

    Patrick Branham, Executive Vice President and Chief Administrative Officer at Collegis Education, is an experienced executive with a proven track record of driving strategic, operational and financial initiatives with high growth organizations. His experience spans finance, accounting, human resources and legal operations. Before joining Collegis, Branham served as CFO of Aftermath Services LLC and Rasmussen, Inc. which owns and operates Rasmussen College, a regionally accredited private college. Prior to becoming a CFO, he was a Senior Manager in the Transaction Advisory Services group of Ernst & Young where he helped lead more than 100 deals including several in the education industry. At Collegis, Branham oversees finance, human resources and administration. Branham received a Bachelor’s degree in Accounting from Illinois State University and a MBA in Finance and Accounting from The University of Chicago – Booth School of Business. He is also a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).

  • Kimberly Fahey, Chief Information Officer

    Kimberly Fahey

    Chief Information Officer

    Kimberly Fahey, Chief Information Officer, oversees technology and information systems at Collegis Education. With two decades of industry experience, Fahey previously served as Vice President of IT at RR Donnelley & Sons, a global provider of integrated communications. In this role, she oversaw more than 170 employees and consultants as well as operations from project management and customer relationship management to master data management, eCommerce and integration solutions. Fahey has also held roles at Nexus Consulting Group and James Martin & Co. She earned a Bachelor's degree in industrial distribution management from the University of Illinois and is a Dale Carnegie Leadership Course graduate.

  • Bob King, Managing Director, Enrollment Growth Management

    Bob King

    Managing Director

    Bob King is the Managing Director of Enrollment Growth Management at Collegis Education, and has built his career in establishing entrepreneurial marketing teams and integrating industry best practices into developing organizations. Prior to his career in higher education, King spent eight years with technology start-ups and running sales teams in B-to-B and ecommerce industries. In 2003, King joined Rasmussen Inc. to oversee both the Rasmussen College and Deltak marketing teams, and helped each organization make the transition to become leaders in the delivery of online education. King received his Bachelor of Arts from DePauw University, and his Master of Business Administration from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
  • Susan Hammerstrom, Vice President for Partner Strategy

    Susan Hammerstrom

    Senior Vice President

    Susan Hammerstrom, Senior Vice President, brings 25 years of experience in enrollment growth management and student services leadership to the Collegis Education team. Drawing on an extensive background in college admissions and marketing, Hammerstrom helps our partner institutions identify opportunities for growth and student engagement while creating a memorable experience across the student lifecycle. Previously, she led admissions initiatives at Rasmussen College, creating its Department for Student Experience and Training as the school grew into a regional leader in both online and campus-based higher education.

  • Bill Van De Laarschot, Vice President of Marketing

    Bill Van De Laarschot

    Vice President of Marketing

    Bill Van De Laarschot, Vice President of Marketing, is an experienced executive and has spent more than 25 years using direct-marketing principles to implement both digital and traditional marketing campaigns. Before joining Collegis, Van De Laarschot led loyalty marketing at Carlson Rezidor Hotels where he worked to create a holistic approach to hotel loyalty that focused on the entire customer experience and its impact on brand loyalty. In addition, Van De Laarschot spent seven years as Vice President of Strategic Marketing at Digital River where he led strategy and operations for its internal Digital Agency. Prior experience includes significant agency experience in direct, digital and branding. He has a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism/Advertising from the University of Minnesota

  • Drew Melendres, Vice President of Sales

    Drew Melendres

    Vice President of Strategic Partnerships

    Drew Melendres, Vice President of Strategic Partnerships, has built a successful career helping campuses strategically manage and grow their enrollment. Prior to Collegis Education, Melendres served as the Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management at Metropolitan State University (St. Paul), an institution focused on serving non-traditional students. He also worked as an Associate Consultant for a higher education consulting firm, and helped Texas Tech University grow its recruitment and marketing capabilities. Melendres earned a BA from The University of Texas at Austin as well as an MBA with a concentration in entrepreneurship from the Rawls College of Business at Texas Tech University.

  • David Lungren, Vice President of Digital Content Solutions

    David Lungren

    Vice President of Digital Content Solutions

    David Lungren leads the design and development of online learning at Collegis Education. In more than 12 years with the organization, he has led teams that have built thousands of online courses for more than 20 college partners. Most recently, Lungren has focused his efforts on designing new models of learning delivery and assessment strategies that support competency-based education programs. Prior to joining Collegis, Lungren spent eight years running online development teams in the publishing and corporate training industries.

  • Todd Pombert, Vice President of Infrastructure and Operations

    Todd Pombert

    Vice President of Infrastructure and Operations

    Todd Pombert is the Vice President of Infrastructure and Operations at Collegis Education. In a 20-year career spanning IT services, Pombert has served in technical and leadership roles from system engineering and networking to managing support and field operations. Previously, he served as Director of IT for DeVry University. Pombert received an MBA in finance and marketing from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

  • Christy Behrman, Vice President of Client Relations

    Christy Behrman

    Vice President of Client Relations

    Christy Behrman, Vice President of Client Relations, has been bringing technology solutions to clients for more than 20 years. She has worked with clients in a variety of industries and has focused the last six years on bringing process improvements through technical solutions to higher education in all areas of the student lifecycle. Prior to joining Collegis, Behrman was the Vice President of Client Services at Market Forward, a part of the Publicis Groupe. She earned her Bachelor’s degree from Florida State University College of Business.

Let’s explore how to grow your institution.

Every school has unique opportunities to grow. If you’re interested in learning more about how we can make an immediate impact on your institution, contact us today. We tailor our solutions to your needs and we only deliver what’s right for you—but first we need to learn more about you.

Let’s have a conversation.