We are excited to bring on a team of accomplished individuals to lead the transformation of our acquired Everest and WyoTech campuses from for-profit career colleges to dynamic nonprofit learning institutions focused on long-term student success — and to manage the day-to-day operations of these schools moving forward.
PETER TAYLOR – President and CEO
Peter Taylor is the president and chief executive officer of Zenith Education Group and the president of ECMC Foundation. As president of ECMC Foundation, Mr. Taylor led more than $26 million of investments in initiatives that affect educational outcomes, especially among underserved populations, in the focus areas of teacher and leader development, college success, and career readiness. He also led the ongoing partnership between ECMC Foundation and Zenith that has thus far resulted in more than $6 million of ECMC Foundation grants to support Zenith initiatives since mid-2015.
Before joining ECMC Foundation, Mr. Taylor served as the executive vice president and chief financial officer for the University of California (UC) system. During his time at the UC system, Mr. Taylor oversaw all aspects of financial management at the ten campuses, five academic medical centers and the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory. Previously, Mr. Taylor held senior positions in investment banking, including Barclays Capital where he served as managing director of public finance. His experience encompasses governmental work as well, which includes more than six years on the legislative staff of the California State Assembly Majority Leader.
Active in the community, Mr. Taylor sits on the board of the Kaiser Family Foundation, where he chairs the Investment Committee, and on the board of the California State University system last year, where he chairs the Finance Committee. He previously chaired the James Irvine Foundation board of directors for three years and the UCLA Foundation for two years, and was the alumni representative on the UC Board of Regents in the late 1990s. He also served on the board of the California Student Aid Commission in the early 2000s.
DR. MARY OSTRYE – Provost and Chief Academic Officer
Dr. Mary Ostrye joined Zenith Education Group’s nonprofit career college system as its first provost and chief academic officer in August 2015. Her duties also include leadership of Student Finance Support and campus operations. She brings 35 years of experience in higher education academic leadership and has previously served as provost and senior vice president at Ivy Tech Community College, the largest single-accredited statewide community college system—with approximately 200,000 students enrolled at 30 campuses across Indiana—and among the fastest growing community colleges in the nation. In this role, Dr. Ostrye restructured the Ivy Tech math curriculum to better match skills taught with workforce needs, doubled the success of math and writing remediation and created a one-year technical certificate program achieving 70 percent completion rates in the first three years of implementation.
Dr. Ostrye first joined Ivy Tech in 1992 as dean of health sciences at the Evansville campus, where she was responsible for developing the college’s first paramedic science program, as well as successfully leading the program through its first accreditation. Other positions held at the college include vice chancellor of academic affairs, vice provost and manager of continuing education. Dr. Ostrye began her education career in 1980 at the West Virginia Institute of Technology as an instructor of dental hygiene and was promoted to program chair. She holds a master’s degree in vocational technical education from Marshall University and a doctorate in higher education administration and leadership from Indiana State University.
TODD ALLARD – Senior Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer
Todd Allard is the senior vice president and chief marketing officer for Zenith Education Group. Mr. Allard brings a wealth of experience in leading customer-centric strategy and communication for some of the best-known brands in the world. At Zenith, he leads the development and management of brand and marketing strategy for Everest College, Everest Online and WyoTech, as well as omnichannel customer engagement and alumni loyalty.
Previously, Mr. Allard led retail marketing at Advance Auto Parts, the largest retailer of after-market auto parts in North America. He also led the marketing communications group at Best Buy where his team was responsible for creating award-winning brand communications for Best Buy and Geek Squad.
JIM GILBERTSON – Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Jim Gilbertson is the senior vice president of finance for ECMC Group and the chief financial officer for Zenith Education Group. Mr. Gilbertson is a seasoned finance professional having led and developed strong finance functions for media, broadcasting, retail and publishing industries. He is responsible for the finance teams for both Zenith Education Group and ECMC Group, and oversees all accounting and finance functions, including accounting and financial reporting, internal audits, and financial planning and analysis. A key member of the executive team, Mr. Gilbertson will direct and implement the financial vision for the organization.
DAVE GOFF – Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer
Dave Goff, an information technology (IT) executive with more than 30 years of public company IT governance, compliance, and reporting experience, joined ECMC Group as senior vice president and chief information officer (CIO) in June 2015.
Mr. Goff is responsible for the company’s IT strategy, security, and execution to drive transformative business enhancements and improve operational efficiencies and results throughout ECMC Group. His career has included CIO positions with Skilled Healthcare, Emulex Corporation and AppliedMicro, and senior IT roles with Texas Instruments and Silicon Systems. Mr. Goff has deep experience in managing, improving and integrating enterprise-wide IT across multiple locations, including operational streamlining, achievement of cost efficiencies, governance, security, regulatory compliance and reporting, and developing and leading highly engaged IT teams. His experience in testing and deploying new product innovations will also be valuable as the company launches new services and programs for its schools and students.
Mr. Goff is an active technology and business leader. He serves on numerous committees at the University of California, Irvine, including chairman of the Dean’s Leadership Council for the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Science. Mr. Goff actively participates in industry advisory councils and committees to help shape future IT product roadmaps and innovation.
SARAH STREHL – Chief Administrative Officer of ECMC Shared Services Company; Chief Human Resources Officer of ECMC Group
Sarah Strehl joined ECMC Group in May 2015 as senior vice president and chief human resources officer (CHRO). In this capacity, Ms. Strehl is responsible for the human resources function and people-related processes, policies, and decisions for ECMC Group and its subsidiaries. In August 2016, Ms. Strehl was appointed by the ECMC Group Board of Directors to chief administrative officer (CAO) for ECMC Shared Services Company, in addition to her CHRO role. Her primary responsibilities as CAO are to provide overall leadership for the Shared Services departments to: ensure business needs are fully understood; develop and implement a resource allocation process; and ensure business clients receive the support services they require.
Prior to joining ECMC Group, Ms. Strehl was vice president of human resources in the for-profit higher education industry for several years. From 1998 to 2012, she served in various human resources roles at Cargill, Inc., including enterprise human resources leader, organization effectiveness practice leader, human resources process leader and human resources generalist.
Ms. Strehl has more than 18 years’ experience in human resources, with more than 14 years in a leadership position. She leads with energy—creating an environment that enables individuals to fully utilize their talents to execute against the company’s mission and drive value for the organization.
KAREN TURNER – Senior Vice President and Chief Business Development Officer
Karen Turner is the senior vice president and chief business development officer for Zenith Education Group. Ms. Turner leads the effort to develop and manage strategic partnerships with national and regional employers for externship and placement opportunities for all Zenith students and graduates at the Everest and WyoTech campuses. In addition, she will be working with the academic and campus teams to ensure that the students are equipped with all the skills necessary for success in starting their careers.
Ms. Turner served in multiple leadership positions for Randstad North America, a global human resources firm. Most recently as senior vice president of career transition services, she was responsible for the startup and development of a job placement model that helped individuals in career transition find employment. In her role as vice president, she pioneered and implemented new products and initiatives for Randstad’s Contingent Workforce Solutions business line. Prior to that role, she served as president of Randstad Healthcare.
With more than 20 years of employment staffing expertise, Ms. Turner brings a unique ability to develop business partnerships at the highest level of an organization as well as an in-depth understanding of the needs of today’s employers.
KEITH BURKHALTER – Senior Vice President of Admission and Student Services
Keith Burkhalter is the senior vice president of admission and student services for Zenith Education Group. With extensive experience in sales, customer care and business operations, he has a 23-year track record of building successful startups and reengineering existing business operations. Mr. Burkhalter has proven success that spans across multiple industries – airlines, medical devices, e-commerce, financial services, post-secondary education and nonprofit. His experience includes large-scale, multi-site, omni-channel contact center operations, leadership of workforces 2,000+ strong, and profit and loss responsibility in excess of $500 million.