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About BVC: Why We Created the Best Value School Award

Team BVC

Jerry Israel, PhD

As current and former leaders at small- to medium- sized higher education schools, we understand how difficult it is to stand out from the crowd. So, we posed this important question: How can we create an award system that offers the often overlooked colleges, universities and career schools prestige, a differentiator and qualified potential enrollees?

The Answer: The Best Value School Award.

The Best Value School Award is your no-cost opportunity to be recognized. The Award is unique—not like the metrics-based ranking systems, which spotlight the dominant universities.

 



Our Team of Higher Education Experts

The academicians and entrepreneurs behind the Best Value School Award program are experienced in leading higher education institutions and running businesses. This combination of skills, talents and experience has allowed us to develop a credible honors program that gives visibility to schools often overlooked by traditional ranking systems.


The Founders



Joseph Schmoke

Joseph Schmoke, Founder; Chair, Nominating Committee

Joe conceived the Company’s strategy and is the principal founder. Previously he was chairman and CEO of Andrew Jackson University (AJU), an accredited for-profit degree granting university that moved all its courses online. A longtime entrepreneur, Joe is a published author (Dow Jones-Irwin) and has been designated Distinguished Lecturer by the Graduate School of Business, Florida Atlantic University.

Jerry Israel

Jerry Israel, PhD; Co-Founder; Chair, Selection Committee

After retiring as president of the University of Indianapolis in 2005, his second post as president of a college, Jerry continues to provide strategy consulting services to a number of colleges and universities. He wrote The 75 Biggest Myths about College Admissions (Sourcebooks, 2008) debunking many of the misconceptions students and their families hold about selecting and entering college.

Phillip Viscomi

Phillip Viscomi, Co-founder

Phil, a longtime engineer and technology expert, specializes in assisting emerging and growth stage businesses. Early in his career he held leadership positions in Fortune 50 companies. He is a university guest lecturer and an entrepreneurial studies instructor and was entrepreneur-in-residence at Florida Atlantic University.

Board of Advisors



Stephen C. Goodall

Stephen C. Goodall, Advisory Board

Steve is the retired President and CEO and 32 year veteran of J.D. Power and Associates. Steve led the company’s rapid growth and subsequent sale to The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. and continued to lead the company for four years after its sale. Steve is currently a board member of Outsell, Inc., and serves as an advisor to uSamp and MarketPsych Data, LLC. 

Stuart L. Pardau

Stuart L. Pardau, Advisory Board Member & Legal Counsel

Prior to founding his own law firm, Stuart was Chief Legal Counsel at J.D. Power and Associates. Stuart is also a tenure-track Professor at Cal State-Northridge and a member of the Leadership Council at Rand Corporation.

Stephen H. Barnett

Stephen H. Barnett, PhD; Advisory Board

A former economist and banker, Steve was a founder and President/CEO of Pointe Federal Savings and Loan and held senior management roles with Southeast Bank and Royal Trust Corporation. Steve also was an economist with Salomon Brothers in New York and has served as a consultant to the School Board of Palm Beach County.

Mark De Fusco

Mark De Fusco, PhD; Advisory Board

Currently involved with special projects at the University of Southern California, Mark spent several years as the education industry specialist with Berkery Noyes, a Wall Street investment bank. He was CEO/President at Vatterott Education Holdings, a college with 20 campuses in nine states. He also was with Apollo Group and opened University of Phoenix’s first campus in the Northeast U.S.

Mark Draper

Mark Draper, PhD; Advisory Board

Mark is an academician, scholar, researcher, author and executive. He is former Vice Provost of Grantham University, and was Chairman of English and Humanities at the University of Charleston. Before the Internet existed, he organized the nation’s first online writing and testing center. Prior to beginning his academic career, he worked in marketing, public relations and advertising.

Denzil Edge

Denzil Edge, PhD; Selection Committee; Advisory Board

Denzil Edge is a researcher, educator and entrepreneur. He was a professor at the University of Louisville, and he has founded three technology companies. He was the CEO/ President of The Learning House, Inc. (www.learninghouse.com) where he developed more than 50 online campuses for colleges and universities. He serves as chair of the United States Distance Learning Association.

Ron Antevy

Ron Antevy, Advisory Board

Ron is CEO of e-Builder, the nation’s leading construction management software provider which is partly owned by McGraw-Hill. Ron is widely considered an expert in complicated software services design and implementation.

Brian S. Bright

Brian S. Bright, M.Ed; Advisory Board

Brian is CEO of Trajecsys Corp., which provides SaaS to colleges and universities with health care programs. He was VP Business Development and Strategy for Liaison International, Inc., and co-founded Educor Capital Partners, LLC.  He was VP for Business Development at Eduventures, Inc., the leading research and consulting firm for the Education and Training Industry.

Ariel Sokol

Ariel Sokol, Advisory Board

Ariel Sokol, a former Wall Street analyst specializing in the higher education sector, is currently Director of Business Development at Connections Academy, a tuition-free online public school for K-12. He was a senior analyst covering education stocks at UBS and Wedbush Morgan Securities. Before that, Ariel consulted for WestEnd New Media and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

George S. Goulson

George S. Goulson, Advisory Board

 Most recently an executive in the motion picture industry, George previously held senior executive positions with A&W Restaurants and Little Caesar’s Enterprises. Prior to his career in the specialty restaurant industry he was an executive in Mr. Schmoke’s early enterprises and an independent concert promoter.

Kevin Oliver

Kevin Oliver, Advisory Board

A former co-founder of the Company, Kevin was a manager at HealthCare InfoNet, a company Mr. Schmoke founded. Later he joined Advanced Commerce Technologies, a pioneer in e-commerce technology, where he was vice president of sales. Kevin currently is cofounder at Toraton Partners Inc., which created the first ATT-certified mobile commerce platform.

Everette Freeman

Everette Freeman, EdD; Advisory Board

Currently president of the Community College of Denver, he was previously president at Albany State University, and was senior vice president and provost of the University of Indianapolis, senior executive at Tennessee State and Jackson State universities.  He brings over three decades of higher education experience and insight to UR&R.

Susan Schulz

Susan Schulz, EdD; Nominating Committee; Advisory Board

Susan has been advising career schools and colleges for over twenty years as founder of Susan F. Schulz & Associates.  She is a certified educational standards evaluator for DETC and is a trained site visitor for the Commission on Occupational Education.  Part of her doctoral dissertation addressed the school selection process, a topic central to the student-facing services of UR&R.

Darrel Hanbury

Darrel Hanbury, Advisory Board

Currently president of the online divisions of Brookline College and University of the Potomac, Darrel has spent twenty-five years as an executive in admissions and marketing for postsecondary institutions.

Nominating Committee



Joseph Schmoke

Joseph Schmoke, Founder; Chair, Nominating Committee

Joe conceived the Company’s strategy and is the principal founder. Previously he was chairman and CEO of Andrew Jackson University (AJU), an accredited for-profit degree granting university that moved all its courses online. A longtime entrepreneur, Joe is a published author (Dow Jones-Irwin) and has been designated Distinguished Lecturer by the Graduate School of Business, Florida Atlantic University.

Kurt M. Sagovac, M.S., MBA

Kurt M. Sagovac, M.S., MBA, Nominating Committee

As UR&R’s Vice President, Kurt has a wide range of responsibilities in addition to Nominating Committee membership, where he serves as Assistant to the Chair. In addition to his 20-plus years of international management experience, Kurt was a senior executive in a multi-subsidiary interactive services holding company founded by Mr. Schmoke.

Paula Orezi, M.S.

Paula Orezi, M.S., Nominating Committee

Paula is UR&R’s Senior Relationship Manager-West and member of the Nominating Committee. As such, she is responsible for nominating then guiding institutions through the rigorous Best Value School selection process. Previously, she held positions in admissions and administration at two universities and has several years’ experience in the private sector.

Carolyn J. Carter, B.S.

Carolyn J. Carter, B.S., Nominating Committee

Carolyn is UR&R’s Senior Relationship Manager-East. As a member of the Nominating Committee she is responsible for nominating, then guiding institutions through the rigorous Best Value School selection process. She brings over 14 years’ experience in the higher education market place, including student recruitment, online technology and textbook publishing.

Eric D. Gooden, B.S.

Eric D. Gooden, B.S., Senior Student Advisor

Eric is UR&R's Senior Student Advisor. He is responsible for all communication with potential enrollees, guiding them through the college selection process as well as managing student advisors on the student advisory website as well as managing student advisors. Gooden holds a Bachelors of Science degree from Lynn University. 

Susan Schulz, EdD

Susan Schulz, EdD, Nominating Committee; Advisory Board

Susan has been advising career schools and colleges for over twenty years as founder of Susan F. Schulz & Associates.  She is a certified educational standards evaluator for DETC and is a trained site visitor for the Commission on Occupational Education.  Part of her doctoral dissertation addressed the school selection process, a topic central to the student-facing services of UR&R.

Selection Committee



Joseph Schmoke

Joseph Schmoke, Founder; Selection Committee

Joe conceived the Company’s strategy and is the principal founder. Previously he was chairman and CEO of Andrew Jackson University (AJU), an accredited for-profit degree granting university that moved all its courses online. A longtime entrepreneur, Joe is a published author (Dow Jones-Irwin) and has been designated Distinguished Lecturer by the Graduate School of Business, Florida Atlantic University.

Jerry Israel

Jerry Israel, PhD; Co-Founder; Chair, Selection Committee

After retiring as president of the University of Indianapolis in 2005, his second post as president of a college, Jerry continues to provide strategy consulting services to a number of colleges and universities. He wrote The 75 Biggest Myths about College Admissions (Sourcebooks, 2008) debunking many of the misconceptions students and their families hold about selecting and entering college.

Denzil Edge

Denzil Edge, PhD; Selection Committee; Advisory Board

Denzil Edge is a researcher, educator and entrepreneur. He was a professor at the University of Louisville, and he has founded three technology companies. He was the CEO/ President of The Learning House, Inc. (www.learninghouse.com) where he developed more than 50 online campuses for colleges and universities. He serves as chair of the United States Distance Learning Association.