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Leadership

Blake Garrett

Founder and CEO

Blake is the Founder and CEO of Aceable, a mobile-first education platform that transforms stale institutional knowledge into practical understanding. Since founding Aceable six years ago, the team has educated over 600,000 customers and has raised $9 million dollars from Silveron, Floodgate, and a slew of other angels. Blake started his career as a systems integration consultant for Ernst & Young. While at EY, Blake developed his passion for education by founding the EY Austin college MAP program that helps high school juniors and seniors get through graduation and into college. After six years at EY, Blake decided to follow his passion for education and his entrepreneurial instincts to start Aceable. Blake has a BS in Management, concentration in Accounting, from Boston College.

Marissa Tarleton

President

Marissa leads day-to-day operations at Aceable, including Product, Engineering, Marketing, Sales, and Business Development. She joined Aceable from RetailMeNot where she served as CEO. She has demonstrated leadership in building digital marketplaces that benefit both consumers and brands. Marissa has over 20 years of e-commerce and marketing leadership experience for companies including RetailMeNot, RxSaver by RetailMeNot, Dell, and Ogilvy & Mather. She was named a top 50 CMO on the inaugural Forbes CMO Next list in 2018, is a member of YPO Austin, and is a 2020 Henry Crown Fellow of the Aspen Institute. She earned her BA from Colgate University and an MBA from the University of Texas at Austin.

Erin Defossé

Chief Product Officer

Erin oversees Product Management, User Experience, and Program Management at Aceable. He is responsible for building, maintaining, and executing the product, content, and customer support strategy and roadmaps that ensure Aceable achieves its mission, vision, and corporate goals. Immediately before joining Aceable, he was SVP of Product Management at Bazaarvoice. He is also the Founder of The Magellan International School in Austin and was the Co-Founder and CTO of Isochron Data. He started his career as a spacecraft mission design engineer for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Erin holds an MBA and a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and an MS in Aeronautics & Astronautics from Stanford University.

Justin Kvasnicka

Chief Finance Officer

Justin leads all things Finance. Prior to joining Aceable, Justin spent over five years at RetailMeNot where he served as Vice President, Corporate & Business Development, as well as the CFO of the company’s Gift Card segment. He also worked at Capital Southwest Corporation, a private equity and venture capital firm, and at J.P. Morgan, where he was an Investment Banking Analyst. Justin earned his BBA from Texas A&M University and an MBA from Cornell University’s SC Johnson College of Business, where he was a Park Leadership Fellow.

Derrick Mar

VP of Engineering

Derrick is responsible for all things technology. He previously served as the CIO at Travelport, where he broadened the products' footprint to include cloud and mobile applications. He has over 35 years of technology leadership experience in high-growth environments and has led multiple companies to successful exits. Derrick received his MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley and holds a BS in Computer Science from the University of Washington at Seattle.

Emily Lawrence

VP of Learning Experience

Emily, as VP of Learning Experience, oversees course strategy, development, and production. Previously, as SVP of Content and Production at Craftsy, Emily grew an online education business from its inception to 12M members, partnering with 800+ instructors and creating 1300+ classes across 16 verticals. The company was acquired by NBC Universal in 2017 and rebranded Bluprint in 2018. Emily received a BA in Religious Studies from Haverford College and an MFA in Dance Documentation and Criticism from The Ohio State University.

Nancy Spencer

VP of Finance

Nancy is responsible for all things Finance and Accounting. She previously spent nearly three years in the Google Finance organization and over 10 years at Ernst & Young, where she was a Senior Manager in Assurance Services. An experienced accounting and finance leader, Nancy has a demonstrated history of working in multiple industries with a focus in tech and real estate. She received both her BBA and MPA from the University of Texas at Austin’s Red McCombs School of Business and is a Certified Public Accountant.

Kristen Haga

VP of Customer Experience

Kristen ensures that Aceable is a delight for our students! She leads Customer Support and Fulfillment teams responsible for delivering memorable and valuable customer experiences to our students. With a BA in Sociology from the University of Michigan and over 15 years’ experience leading customer teams in high growth, early-stage companies, Kristen thrives helping organizations anticipate and decode complex growth stages during critical seasons of change.

Ben Carolan

VP of Business Development

Ben oversees B2B business and affiliate marketing. Ben joined Aceable after six years with TabbedOut, a hospitality market leader in connecting consumers with their favorite venues through a mobile payment application. In addition, he has more than 10 years of business development and online management experience. Fun fact: Ben is also a CFO (certified forklift operator) and holds a BS from the University of Texas at Austin.

Marjorie Edwards

VP of People & Culture

Marjorie is responsible for overall talent strategy, driving performance through highly engaged teams and fostering the Aceable culture. Over the past 12 years, Marjorie has led people and culture-related initiatives through IPO and other high impact transitions. Prior to Aceable, she led Business Partner teams and Global Learning & Development teams at Stitch Fix and RetailMeNot. Marjorie holds a SPHR (Senior Professional of Human Resources) and CPLP (Certified Professional of Learning & Performance), has a BS in Communications with Business certification from the University of Texas, and has a MA in Management from Harvard University.

Jacob Rios

VP of Product

Jacob is responsible for all things product. Prior to Aceable, Jacob was Director of Product Management at Civitas Learning, an education technology company focused on helping students graduate. He started his career at MIT’s Lincoln Laboratory working in their Ballistic Missile Defense department and subsequently managed product innovation in audio at Jawbone. He holds a BS in Electrical Engineering from Rice University and an MBA from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, where he was a Mayfield Fellow.