We’re Humans of
K-12 Purchasing.

At Noodle Markets, we understand that the business of K-12 can be messy–for educators and vendors alike. Together, our team has over 150 years of K-12 experience. We are former educators, procurement experts, and district partners. We’ve led education companies, built startups, and designed systems to improve outcomes for districts and schools.

Our Team

  • Nicole Neal
    Chief Executive Officer
    Nicole Neal
    Chief Executive Officer

    Nicole is a visionary leader and pioneer at building transformative educational products. As the CEO of Noodle Markets, she leads the company in its mission to enhance efficiency and transparency within the education landscape by revolutionizing K-12 purchasing. Prior to joining the company, Nicole was the President of the Education Solutions Group at CORE Education Consulting and Solutions, Inc., where she oversaw a staff of 300 employees and managed a portfolio of formative assessment, intervention, and content solutions for districts and states serving the Pre-K, K-12, Employability, Special Education and Higher Education sectors. Nicole also served as the Senior Vice President of Major Accounts and State Services for Pearson Education Inc., one of the world’s largest education publishing and technology companies. Prior to Pearson, she served as Senior Vice President of Client Services for Schoolnet, Inc. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Binghamton University’s Watson School of Engineering and an MBA from the University of Maryland University College. When she is not working, Nicole finds great joy in mentoring young girls and spending quality time with her family and friends.

  • Ashwin Chhabria
    Quality Assurance
    Ashwin Chhabria
    Quality Assurance

    Ashwin is responsible for testing the Noodle Markets website and automating the QA process. Prior to joining Noodle Markets, he was an Automation Engineer at Amplify Education Inc. Ashwin has also worked at Isobar as a QA Engineer. He hold a Master’s Degree in Information Systems from Northeastern University, as well as a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from University of Mumbai. When Ashwin is not working, he can be found watching television, listening to music, and spending time with friends.

  • Ben Copans
    Product Management
    Ben Copans
    Product Management

    Ben manages the ideation and execution of the Noodle Markets product. Prior to joining Noodle Markets, Ben was a founding member and product manager at LightSail Education, where he worked to manage the product development life cycle and product vision. Ben worked in a similar capacity at Kickboard and was an Assistant Director of Product Management at Success Academies Charter Schools. Before beginning his journey in technology, Ben was a high school math teacher in Colorado, teaching classes ranging from pre-algebra to calculus. Ben graduated from Pomona College with a BA in Chinese Language and Literature and holds a Masters degree in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Colorado. When he’s not writing user stories or working on competitive analysis, Ben enjoys rock climbing and playing with his roommate’s Pomeranian.

  • Ben Homnick
    Head of Engineering
    Ben Homnick
    Head of Engineering

    Ben is responsible for the architecture and development of all Noodle Markets products. He has more than 15 years experience building and scaling software products for web and mobile. Before coming to Noodle Markets, Ben worked with University of Michigan, Microsoft, and a variety of venture-backed startups across the US and Asia. Ben studied computer science at the University of Michigan's Engineering Global Leadership Honors Program and is currently living in Taipei where he enjoys hiking, playing the piano, and hanging out with his cats.

  • Bobby Touran
    Chief Product Officer
    Bobby Touran
    Chief Product Officer

    Bobby is responsible for Noodle Markets product management and supporting the CEO with company strategy. Prior to joining Noodle Markets, Bobby was the founder and CEO of ApplyKit, where he built products, raised capital, and hired teams of talented entrepreneurs focused on solving the challenge of deciding where to attend college. Before ApplyKit, Bobby worked as an investor at Wasabi Ventures and spent his time conducting due diligence, raising capital, and building valuation models for early stage Internet companies. Bobby has a degree in Finance and Economics from McGill University. When not in the office, Bobby enjoys skiing and playing tennis.

  • Bobby Yankou
    Engineering
    Bobby Yankou
    Engineering

    Bobby is responsible for development of the Noodle Markets website. He previously worked as a web development consultant at several companies in Manhattan, covering several areas, including data modeling and handling, responsive design, search engine optimization, deployment, and testing. Bobby graduated from The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art with a Bachelor of Engineering in Mechanical Engineering and is currently working towards a Master of Science in Computer Science at the Georgia Institute of Technology. In his free time, he plays music with his brothers, brews beer with his dad, and researches various topics of interest, including computer engineering, neuroscience and health, game development, and environmental protection.

  • Brendon Hogger
    Engineering
    Brendon Hogger
    Engineering

    Brendon is a member of the backend development team, and he currently lives in Taiwan. He has been bouncing around between software startups for fifteen years or so. He has three dogs and a small boy. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking, riding motorbikes, doing Wing Chun, and giving late-night rants about code style. He received a BSc. in Computer Science.

  • Brent Lomas
    Marketing
    Brent Lomas
    Marketing

    Brent develops Noodle Markets' content strategy, including marketing collateral and social media channels. Prior to joining the team, Brent worked in Broadway advertising at SpotCo and contributed to BuzzBuzzHome's news wing, specializing in NYC housing development and policy. He serves on the advisory boards of En Garde Arts and Circle in the Square's Teens on Broadway program. A Teach for America alum, Brent taught at Aspire Public Schools and Harlem Village Academies. He received his BA in Communication from the University of Southern California and his MEd in Urban Schooling from the University of California, Los Angeles. He enjoys NYC's cabaret scene and dreams of one day owning a Welsh Corgi.

  • Darwin Abella
    Information Technology
    Darwin Abella
    Information Technology

    With over fifteen years of experience focused on building and cultivating best-in-class technology platforms, Darwin is responsible for infrastructure management, deployment, and security for Noodle Markets. He is passionate about architecting cloud computing environments that are secure, scalable, and cost effective. Darwin also serves as head of DevOps for Noodle.com, Noodle Partners, Allclasses.com, and Lore.com, where he serves as global head of infrastructure management and implementation, service operations, security, procurement, and CRM. Prior to these roles he was the Executive Director of Networking and Telecommunications at The Princeton Review where he led day-to-day support and management of data and voice networks, data centers, and call centers. He enjoys fine wine and food, traveling, music, and pickup basketball games.

  • Emily Schu
    User Experience & Design
    Emily Schu
    User Experience & Design

    Emily is responsible for leading user experience design and the creative direction. Prior to joining Noodle Markets, Emily was Co-founder and Product Director at Propagate, Inc., where she designed and built K-12 literacy tools to revolutionize vocabulary learning for the classroom. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Environmental Studies and English from Temple University and a Master of Education with an emphasis on technology and education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. Emily was previously appointed as an Education Design and Entrepreneur Fellow at both the Harvard Innovation Lab and the Education Design Studio at the University of Pennsylvania Graduate School of Education. Outside of the office, Emily enjoys mentoring and tutoring young adults.

  • Harris Pittinsky
    Engineering
    Harris Pittinsky
    Engineering

    Harris is a software engineer that can work on either the front or back end. He likes programming with Python and writing web apps with Django. Harris graduated from Binghamton University with a B.S. in Computer Science and in his spare time enjoys playing ice hockey, boating and fishing. A little-known fact about Harris is that he is a certified scuba diver.

  • James Janicelli
    Engineering
    James Janicelli
    Engineering

    James is a software engineer helping to build the systems that power Noodle Markets. His previous experience includes developing business intelligence tools for online marketers, as well as working with K-12 educational publishers in Minnesota. He spends much of his free time playing music, and though he grew up in Colorado, he went skiing less often than you would think. He holds a BA from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN.

  • Jason Isaacs
    Head of Sales & Operations
    Jason Isaacs
    Head of Sales & Operations

    Jason brings over twelve years of educational Sales & Operations experience to Noodle Markets. Jason is responsible for Client Development & Operations. He has a passion for helping students and has been involved with supporting districts and schools reach academic success. Prior to this role, Jason was the National Director of Sales & Operations at 3P Learning where he managed a sales and implementation team across the US Market & Latin America. Jason is a proud New Yorker and attended Baruch College in NYC where he studied Marketing Communications and Education. He enjoys traveling, concerts, exercising and spending time with his younger siblings.

  • Laura Davis Gross
    Head of Marketing & Communications
    Laura Davis Gross
    Head of Marketing & Communications

    Laura brings to Noodle Markets more than a decade of experience building some of the world's most beloved brands. Career highlights include coordinating the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, re-launching the Snoopy brand online, expanding Coach's digital presence to international markets, developing multiple business lines for Wanderlust, and supporting the rapid growth of Success Academy Charter Schools. Laura received her MBA in Media Management from Metropolitan College and BFA in Music and Theater from Shorter College. A consummate change agent at the office, Laura finds balance by living outside the city with her family and traveling with friends every chance she gets.

  • Mindy Sinyak
    Customer Success
    Mindy Sinyak
    Customer Success

    Mindy is responsible for the post-sales implementation and ongoing support of districts, vendors, independent, and charter schools. Specifically, she will ensure that clients successfully use the Noodle Markets platform from onboarding and training to customer support. Mindy will also establish, document, and facilitate efficient and effective business processes and tools to support platform initiation and adoption. She has 12+ years of experience in the K-12 education industry. Prior to joining Noodle Markets, Mindy was the Director of Implementation Services for the Schoolnet product at Pearson. She worked with the top 125 school districts and state agencies from discovery to implementation and training on Schoolnet's curriculum and assessment platform. Mindy started her career as a business process consultant with Price Waterhouse Coopers. She has a Bachelors of Science in Systems Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis and an MBA from George Washington University. Mindy enjoys taking ski trips with her husband and two little boys.

  • Moshiur Tarafdar
    Chief Technology Officer
    Moshiur Tarafdar
    Chief Technology Officer

    Moshiur is a versed technologist with 17 years of hands-on and management experience in developing technology solutions that transform the education industry. Before joining Noodle Markets Moshiur was Co-founder and CTO of Story2, an online education company that teaches students how to leverage the neuroscience of storytelling. In this role, he helped over 70,000 students unleash the power of their spoken voice to earn admission, financial aid, and scholarships for higher education opportunities. Story2 was selected for the Techstars accelerator program, invested in by Kaplan, and named one of the "10 EdTech Companies You Need to Know About" by Forbes.

    Prior to Story2, He also was the Director of Application Development at 2U where he led a team of 12 engineers developing cutting-edge web and mobile applications to facilitate higher-ed online education, Chief Technology Officer at Unigo, and Assistant Vice President at The Princeton Review.  At Princeton Review he played an integral part in building learning solutions for grades K-12 and college students. He also managed the development of standardized test products for the SAT, MCAT, and GMAT.

    Moshiur studied Computer Engineering at Polytechnic University concentrating in VLSI. During his off-time, he is a devoted father of two, an avid camper, and enjoys training in MMA.

  • Peter Crosta, PhD
    Data Science
    Peter Crosta, PhD
    Data Science
    Peter is responsible for managing and executing data science initiatives. Prior to joining Noodle Markets, he was VP of Research & Development at Noodle.com and Director of Research at 2U, Inc. Peter has published numerous articles on the economics of education in peer-reviewed journals and has presented at several academic and industry conferences. He holds a BA in economics from Cornell University and a PhD in economics and education from Columbia University. In his spare time, Peter enjoys sailing his sloop Adagio in the New York Bay.
  • Remi Taffin
    Development Operations
    Remi Taffin
    Development Operations

    Remi is responsible for supporting the engineering team to ensure site reliability and seamless code deployments. After several internships in France, Spain, and Australia, he realized there is nothing more frustrating than doing the same tasks again and again. His life goal is to make everybody's life easier by automating any repetitive tasks around him. Remi graduated with a master's degree in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering from École Centrale de Lille, in France. When he's not writing scripts, Remi likes traveling, running, and cooking to show that the French eat more than baguette and snails.

  • Ryan LeMere
    Front-End Architecture
    Ryan LeMere
    Front-End Architecture

    Ryan joins Noodle Markets with experience in both digital design and visual branding. He has previously worked with award-winning creative agencies to design web products and campaigns for a number of global brands. He has established the design of ed-tech products with The Gates Foundation, Torsh, and others. Most recently, Ryan led creative across multiple business divisions at Wanderlust. Ryan holds a BFA from the School of Visual Arts. When not with a screen, he's busy as a yogi and an artist.

  • Stephanie Huan
    Quality Assurance
    Stephanie Huan
    Quality Assurance

    Stephanie is responsible for ensuring the quality of the Noodle Markets application by creating comprehensive test plans and identifying bugs. She has three years of experience researching open educational resources and has implemented these items into courses for educators to use in their classrooms. She has obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in Information Technology and Informatics from Rutgers University at the New Brunswick campus. When Stephanie isn’t working she enjoys exploring new cuisine and photography.

  • Steve Pines
    Sales
    Steve Pines
    Sales

    Leveraging his deep experience and relationships in K-12, Steve develops strategic partnerships with organizations and promotes district and vendor engagement with the digital marketplace. He also advises on business strategy and product development. Prior to teaming with Noodle Markets, for the past 11 years, Steve was the Executive Director of the Education Industry Association (EIA), the nation’s premier association representing companies nationwide serving the preK-12 education market. During his tenure with EIA, Steve obtained a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to research and discover effective procurement strategies for schools and vendors, work that is directly related to the mission of Noodle Markets. Steve was also a Vice-President for Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc., for 10 years leading a business unit for at-risk youth and adults. Steve has a MBA from Southern Illinois University, a MA in education psychology from the University of Connecticut, and a BA from Hobart College. Steve lives in Vienna, VA and when not working, is often paddling or hiking.

Officers of the Board

  • Nicole Neal
    Chief Executive Officer
    Nicole Neal
    Chief Executive Officer

    Nicole is a visionary leader and pioneer at building transformative educational products. As the CEO of Noodle Markets, she leads the company in its mission to enhance efficiency and transparency within the education landscape by revolutionizing K-12 purchasing. Prior to joining the company, Nicole was the President of the Education Solutions Group at CORE Education Consulting and Solutions, Inc., where she oversaw a staff of 300 employees and managed a portfolio of formative assessment, intervention, and content solutions for districts and states serving the Pre-K, K-12, Employability, Special Education and Higher Education sectors. Nicole also served as the Senior Vice President of Major Accounts and State Services for Pearson Education Inc., one of the world’s largest education publishing and technology companies. Prior to Pearson, she served as Senior Vice President of Client Services for Schoolnet, Inc. Nicole holds a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering from Binghamton University’s Watson School of Engineering and an MBA from the University of Maryland University College. When she is not working, Nicole finds great joy in mentoring young girls and spending quality time with her family and friends.

  • John Katzman
    Chief Executive Officer & Founder, The Noodle Companies
    John Katzman
    Chief Executive Officer & Founder, The Noodle Companies

    John has founded and run three education companies: The Princeton Review, 2U, and The Noodle Companies, LLC, of which Noodle Markets is a subsidiary. In each, he has brought together incredible people and helped them create transformative services, compelling cultures, strong returns for investors, and great outcomes for students. Through his for-profit, not-for-profit, and policy work, John is focused sculpting an education landscape that is agile, efficient, compelling, and constantly improving. John sits on the Boards of the Woodrow Wilson Foundation, the National Association of Independent Schools, and the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools.

  • Rick Segal
    Founder & Managing Partner, Rethink Education
    Rick Segal
    Founder & Managing Partner, Rethink Education

    Rick is the Founder and Managing Partner of Rethink Education, a venture fund investing in early stage educational technology companies. He is also the Founder and Chairman of Seavest Investment Group. Rick currently serves on the boards of Civitas, Voxy, and Speakaboos, and has previously served on a number of public and private Boards of Directors. These include the education-related companies Wireless Generation (sold to News Corp), Schoolnet (sold to Pearson), and Smarterer (sold to Pluralsight).

    Rick is deeply committed to creating better communities through his philanthropic engagements, which are primarily focused on health, education, providing opportunities for low-income children and the arts. He is President of the A.L. Mailman Family Foundation, a charitable foundation focused on early childhood care and education. He serves on the Board of Trustees of New York Presbyterian Hospital and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

  • Will Ethridge
    Principal, Ethridge Advisors
    Will Ethridge
    Principal, Ethridge Advisors

    Will is a leader in the education sector as both a strategist and investor. Currently, he serves as Principal at Ethridge Advisors, which provides advisory services to education companies, educational institutions, policy makers, and private equity companies. Previously, Will was CEO of Pearson North American Education from 2008-2014 after serving as President of Pearson’s U.S. Higher Education, International, and Professional Publishing Groups. He is also a former member of Pearson’s Board of Directors, and has served as the Chairman of the Association of American Publishers. Will is a former board member of Interactive Data Corporation and CourseSmart, the latter of which he also served as Chairman.

  • Michael Best
    Chief Operating Officer, Industry Verticals, Bloomberg L.P.
    Michael Best
    Chief Operating Officer, Industry Verticals, Bloomberg L.P.

    Mike is a veteran of New York City government with a long history in education policy and procurement. Among other government positions, Mike was General Counsel of the New York City Department of Education and Counselor to Mayor Michael Bloomberg. He has also served as New York City's Chief Procurement Officer and a member of its Procurement Policy Board. He is currently the Chief Operating Officer of Industry Verticals at Bloomberg L.P. and a Trustee of the Brooklyn Public Library.

Interested in joining our team?