Team & Advisors

The LRN Team

Richard Margolin

Richard Margolin

Founder & CEO

With a history of involvement in cutting-edge projects, Richard has been a tech innovator for a long time. Educated at the University of Texas at Arlington and Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, Richard has been recognized for his many successes and the impact he’s had in the tech community over the years. He has helped develop purification methods for carbon nanotubes, served as the Engineering Director at a world-renowned humanoid robotics company, and worked in genetics on the Human Genome Project at the UT Southwestern Bioinformatics Lab. In 2011 Richard established RoboKind, which creates small, facially expressive robots for use in education. The company’s mission is to provide cost-effective and inclusive education for all, with a focus on teaching social and emotional skills to children on the autism spectrum, as well as STEM education.

In addition to these accomplishments, he is a Forbes Technology Council member, a 2017 Tech Titan, a Finalist for the EY Entrepreneur of The Year 2018 Award in the Southwest region, and was recently selected as a finalist for Red Herring’s Top 100 North America award for the year’s most promising private technology ventures.

Fred Margolin

Fred Margolin

Founder & Chairman

Fred Margolin has a B.S. from The Wharton School in Finance and an MBA from Harvard Business School. He is co-founder of both LRN and RoboKind. As RoboKind’s CEO he is responsible for strategy, finance, overseeing content creation and sales/marketing.

Fred has founded successful companies in insurance, finance, real estate, media, hospitality and technology. He purchased US Restaurant Properties as a private partnership and through an IPO converted it into the second largest triple-net REIT (real estate investment trust) on the NYSE with assets of $1.1 Billion. The assets were purchased by GE capital in 2005. He was the largest franchisee of CiCi’s Pizza with 88 restaurants which were subsequently sold to another restaurant group. He founded Indoor Direct, a television network for fast food restaurants which merged with the Walmart Network.

He founded Intercon General Agency, a national insurance marketing and processing operation which specialized in developing specialized insurance programs for banks and auto dealers. It had revenues of $100 million, operated in 28 states and was sold to Security of Hartford Insurance Company. He was also a major lender in the medical receivables industry generating over $100 m in loans. Fred cares deeply about fairly compensating teachers for their content and about making quality learning materials more accessible to students everywhere.

Mark Hopkins

Mark Hopkins

CPO

Mark is an IBM Futurist and blockchain evangelist.

In 2017 and 2018, he’s served as an advisor or C-Level executive to a variety of blockchain projects, including Boundre Group, Veritoken, Robokind, Bitqyck, as well as several blockchain projects in “stealth mode.”

In 2015 Mark founded Roger Wilco Agency, a digital content marketing firm. In mid-2016, he accepted a partnership at the newly created Dallas office for Barista Ventures, a venture capital firm which remains a nexus for activity in the Dallas startups scene.

Aside from past forays into New Media like founding SiliconANGLE Media or serving as Associate Editor at Mashable.com and his own sites, he has worked as a developer and project manager for many large corporations such as Apple Computers, IBM, Nokia, Cox Communications and CompUSA Corporate.

Ben Hudson

Ben Hudson

CFO

Ben is a CPA in the financial consulting sector, providing services across the spectrum of finance and accounting to industries from restaurants to healthcare to container freight logistics. This path has given Ben cause During his career, Ben has performed all roles within the accounting function and has served clients from revenues of <$10M and >$60B. A representative listing of clients include the following:

  • A $500M restaurant company unexpectedly had their corporate controller resign, at which point the CFO called Ben’s firm and requested him by name, having heard Ben’s name from a mutual connection at a previous client. During his time at the company, Ben helped implement the CFO’s offshoring project and managed an RFP for a new outside auditor.
  • Along with two colleagues, served as interim Controller for a $250M container freight shipping company. Over a nine-month span, the team built a monthly close process, correcting millions of dollars of incorrect accounting which had taken place under previous leadership. Ben also served as the liaison between the client and the external auditing firm, ensuring that deliverables were created and deadlines were met.
  • When a $2B government contractor was considering an IPO, Ben worked on that team, writing accounting policies and technical accounting memos on subjects such as inventory and joint venture analysis.
  • When an Atlanta-based private equity group with $1.5B AUM decided to establish an HVAC platform, Ben performed the purchase accounting, providing opening balance sheet workbooks and technical memos as support.
  • Along with one other colleague, Ben integrated the finance and accounting functions of two acquisitions made by an anesthesia staffing company. The transition period included developing processes for more than $2M in monthly hospital billings, creating monthly close processes, and converting both acquired companies from Quickbooks to Great Plains.

Rebeca Easton

Marketing Manager

M Dean 'Mick' Jones

Creative Director

Jeremy Newton

Lead Solidity Developer

Cody Marx Bailey

Lead Application Developer

Andrew Lowe

Project Manager

LRN Advisors

Terry Crane, Ed. D.

Terry Crane, Ed. D.

LRN Advisor

With more than 35 years of experience as an educator, business executive, and technology expert, Dr. Crane has been widely recognized as one of the nation’s most innovative leaders in educational technology.

In the 90’s, Dr. Crane led Apple Computer’s highly successful, multibillion-dollar North American Education Division. In 1996 as a corporate officer and Apple’s Senior Vice President of Worldwide Strategic Marketing, she developed long-term strategies for the consumer, education, publishing, and scientific-technical markets.

Dr. Crane was co-chairman of the national CEO Forum for Education and Technology. As the 2003 Chairman of the Partnership for 21st Century Skills, Dr. Crane led corporations and educators to set a vision for 21st century learning.

An active participate in the education industry, Dr. Crane has been on the advisory boards for Blackboard K-12, EdNet, the Software and Information Industry Association Board, and the Education Industry Investment Forum Board.

Dr. Crane has a doctoral degree in educational leadership and a master’s in early childhood education from the University of North Texas. She began her career in the classroom, serving the Richardson (TX) Independent School District as an elementary school teacher and, later, intermediate principal. Intrigued by the possibilities personal computers held for her gifted and talented students, Dr. Crane designed and implemented the district’s first technology plan in 1983.

Kristin Bergfield

Kristin Bergfield

LRN Advisor

Kristin Bergfield is an experienced secondary English teacher and educational content creator who recognizes the challenges facing this evolving digital marketplace. Her knowledge as a classroom teacher as well as an author, a buyer, and a seller in this industry gives her the expertise to provide insight as an educational consultant.

Kristin’s experience includes instructional and administrative responsibilities at the middle school, high school, and university level, and she maintains a thorough understanding of current educational best-practices research and pedagogy through continuing education.

Kristin realizes the changes that must be made to improve issues facing this industry, from the quality of and access to educational resources and services, to licensing and copyright obstacles as well as the equality of compensation available to educators and content creators. Kristin’s interest in creating and providing educators and students with the engaging, high-content, data-driven material that they deserve drives her enthusiasm behind LRN’s success.

Adam Smith

Adam Smith

LRN Advisor

Adam founded TeacherTube.com in 2007, an online streaming service for teachers and students to share academic content for K-12. Adam and his team helped to grow TeacherTube from its start to over 2.7 Million active users. TeacherTube sold to Salem Media in September of 2017.