Thinkwell was founded in 1997 in Austin, Texas with the mission to bring great teaching to students worldwide. Thinkwell's multimedia products in math, science, and social science integrate technology, art, and video with great teaching to produce a new path to success for students. Thinkwell's products and courses are being used by thousands of students at schools and universities across the globe.
The Thinkwell team
President, CEO and Director
Carl joined Thinkwell in 1999; he has enjoyed more than thirty years in publishing. He received a Ph.D in Western American History from Oklahoma State University. He entered publishing at Scott, Foresman and subsequently joined West College Publishing. He was president of the college divisions of McGraw-Hill and Harcourt Brace as well as overseeing the public offering of Vcampus Corporation. He was the chairperson of the American Association of Publishers. He is the author of eight books and more than twenty articles on the history of the American West. Carl brings the Chief Canine Officer "Scout" to work.
Chairman and CFO
Kent Fuka brings 30 years experience in the computer industry to Thinkwell. During the 1990s, he spent 5 years as a Vice President at a large software company in Austin, and then spent 5 years as a founding partner at a Texas venture capital firm. As a VC, Kent became the Chairman of Thinkwell in 1999. After retiring from the VC business in 2002, Kent went back to school to get a masters degree in Astronomy, and now has a room full of telescope gear and historic star charts at home. In 2004, Kent missed his life in high-tech, and joined Thinkwell full time, where he is now responsible for Thinkwell's finances.
Co-Founder and VP Development
Amy is responsible for creating the multimedia content for Thinkwell's products. Her interest in film, commercial, and media production began more than 15 years ago as a film student at the University of Texas at Austin. After five years spent working in Los Angeles with Screen Gems, she decided to return to her native Texas soil, where the ground seemed a little more stable.
Amy started Thinkwell in 1997 with Dan Heath, the mastermind behind many things, including Thinkwell's "Brainmobile." Amy has a Bachelor of Science degree from U.T., Austin, where she first came to appreciate the power of great professors as great communicators; an idea that helped make Thinkwell what it is today. She is an active volunteer with Austin Partners in Education and is the proud mom to dogs "Bingle" and "Moxie", two neurotic but well-intentioned mutts.
Chief Technology Officer
Palo is the architect of Thinkwell's educational platform, course management, and back-office systems. His background with educational software began over 8 years ago with The Princeton Review where he worked as a senior software developer, working on one of the first adaptive testing environments online. Palo is a board member of Tamizdat, a non-profit organization committed to fostering the free-exchange of information and ideas between artists, audiences, and industry. Palo attended engineering school in Bratislava, Slovakia, his home country.
Vice President of Sales and Marketing
Mark leads the effort to show all kinds of teachers how Thinkwell can help meet their objectives with students. He wore out his welcome at the University of Kansas as a pioneer of the seven-year plan still imitated by students today. With book-learning and an MBA behind him, Mark served as senior group manager of college marketing at Sprint before joining Thinkwell. Mark owns quite a few guitars, and in his spare time he actually builds both electric and acoustic guitars. He's also a car nut, forever on the lookout for a rusty British sports car to restore. Neither of these activities are encouraged by his wife and son.
Director of Professional Development
Sam hails from Austin, Texas where she produced theater, film, and fashion events for several years before joining the Thinkwell team. Sam has worn many hats at Thinkwell over the past 7 years and loves assisting instructors in discovering the best way to use all of the Thinkwell tools. In Sam's backyard, you'll find bowling balls, a horseshoe pit, and a lemonade stand.
Thinkwell's Board of Directors:
Kent Fuka, Chairman
read Kent's bio above
Carl Tyson, Director
read Carl's bio above
Amy Bryant, Secretary
read Amy's bio above
Jim Levy, Director
Jim Levy brings more than forty years of excellence in educational publishing to Thinkwell's board. He received his B.S. in Accounting and Finance and his B.Ed. from the University of Illinois--where he also played varsity football. He entered the publishing business as a sales representative. He was a co-founder of Goodyear Publishing. He has held several senior positions in the industry, including Executive Vice Chairman and COO of RiverDeep Interactive Learning, President and Chief Operating Officer of Harcourt, Inc., and President and Chief Executive Officer of the School Division of MacMillan/McGraw-Hill Publishing.
Jim is the founder and president of the Essex Group, a management consulting company that specializes in educational publishing.
Drew Duncan, Director
Drew Duncan is the founder of web community tools provider, BeSeen, Inc. He has been active in the angel investment community since 1998. Drew is currently the Head of Trading and Research at the quantitative investment advisory firm, RGM Advisors, LLC.
Martin Kahn, Director
Marty Kahn is CEO of ProQuest, LLC, a global leader in serving libraries of all types. Marty is also a venture partner at Rho Ventures, which is an investor in Thinkwell. In addition to Thinkwell, he serves on the Board of Directors of infoUSA, Current Analysis, and Press Ganey. Previously, he was the Chairman of the Board of OneSource Information Services, Ovid Technologies, Vista Information Solutions, and MentorTech. He was also President of BRS Information Services, and he worked at McGraw-Hill and CBS. Marty received an MBA from the Harvard Business School. He is also a member of the board of directors of TrickleUp, a charitable organization that provides grants to entrepreneurs in the world's poorest countries.
Marty is especially fond of Thinkwell's Chemistry Product, which his daughter relied on for her high school AP course. To everyone's pleasant surprise, she received a 5 (the highest score) on her examination. She could not have done it without Gordon Yee and Dean Harman.
Faith Creighton Vincent, Director
Faith Vincent is Vice President of LBJ Asset Management Partners headquartered in Austin, Texas and has worked with the Johnson family since 2000. Prior to joining LBJ Asset Management Partners, Ms. Vincent worked in structured finance of commercial lease assets and education loans at Texas Capital Markets, L.P in Austin, Texas. Ms. Vincent has a Masters in International Business from the University of South Carolina MIBS program and a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Vincent lives in Singapore with her husband and daughter.