What is the General Advisory Board?

The Stride Career Prep General Advisory Board helps connect education, business, and industry so we can meet the needs of students and serve the local community in our rapidly changing global economy. Board members provide market-based expertise and guidance in the development, implementation, and evaluation of our career pathways programs.
They also:

  • Offer advice on current industry trends, technological developments, and training needs
  • Provide collaborative opportunities for students, including summer camps, job shadowing, and internships
  • Advocate for quality education and training
  • Recommend guest speakers
  • Review the scope and sequence of course offerings to ensure they match industry standards and needs

Meet Our General Advisory Board Members

Business Pathway

Shannon Mistretta-Colo photo

Shannon is a graduate of Penn State University with a degree in accounting. They are a passionate hospitality industry leader with 30 years of progressive and broad range experience, including customer engagement centers, strategic planning, large fund governance, contractual compliance, hotel on-property accounting, auditing, and consolidated financial reporting.

Jennifer Tosto Brawley photo

Marketing Pathway

Kattya Mendieta photo

Consumer marketing manager with more than eight years of experience in trade and consumer marketing, experience managing food and beverage brands, developing communication and promotional strategies, yearly marketing and media plans, innovation funnels, and securing growing sales vs. category profitability.

Currently leading cross-functional teams for the baby food category in Nestlé Peru and Bolivia, Kattya is passionate about infant nutrition and launching the best alternatives for the nutritional needs of their markets.

Every product has a story, from development to launch to driving category growth; when used correctly, communication and promotional activities are the tools for writing a bestseller.

Healthcare Pathway

Sherri Wilson photo

Dr. Sherri Wilson is the director of partnership development at Stride, Inc., where she develops national partnerships that lead to employment opportunities for students and graduates. Dr. Wilson also provides guidance on healthcare content and curricula supporting Stride’s health science career pathways. Before coming to Stride, Dr. Wilson served as a public health nursing administrator with Fairfax County Health Department in Virginia. She was responsible for the operations of multiple public health clinics. She has served in a variety of roles in healthcare over the past two decades and is committed to advancing our future healthcare workforce.

Dr. Wilson is president-elect of the Virginia Nurses Association, Inc., and an education policy fellow with the Institute for Educational Leadership. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Hampton University, a Master of Public Administration from Seton Hall University, and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Johns Hopkins University. She is a 2016 recipient of The Washingtonian’s Excellence in Nursing Award for Community Nursing.

Jonah Pregulman photo

Jonah Pregulman is a registered nurse specializing in emergency, pre-hospital, and critical care. Jonah has worked in several top trauma and academic facilities. He holds board certifications in emergency, trauma, and flight nursing, as well as national registration as a paramedic. Jonah obtained his nursing degree at Case Western Reserve University and his master’s degree at Capella University. Currently, Jonah works as a travel nurse and disaster responder. He also enjoys presenting to high school students about careers in healthcare, especially paramedicine and nursing. He looks forward to new adventures and continuing to help students find their dream roles in healthcare.

IT Pathway

George Bailey photo

George Bailey, MS, CISSP, GCIH, GCFA, HCISPP, CHP oversees and implements information security solutions for small to medium-sized businesses. George is an information technology security professional with more than 25 years of experience in systems administration, network security, remote access, wireless security, and incident response.

George is a three-time graduate of Purdue University. Boiler UP!

In his current role, he leads a team of information security analysts that supplements clients’ internal IT security programs with the latest assessments (security risk analyses, gap assessments, vulnerability management) and validation tools (phishing testing, penetration testing, password audits), as well as staff education.

George regularly takes a place in the cyberTAP classroom alongside cyberTAP’s technical instructors to teach a variety of cybersecurity topics to aspiring information security professionals.

George has presented at many security-related conferences and has been published in academic journals. He holds an advisory role on the Indiana Executive Council on cybersecurity and is an active member of InfraGard.

When not improving the cyber posture of Indiana businesses, George enjoys watching his sons play soccer and pitching in with leadership responsibilities for a local Cub Scout den.

Satya Priya Sharma photo

Satya Priya Sharma has worked with Cisco as an engineering and services leader for 22 years. Her expertise is in security engineering, network management, and operational excellence, working and managing global teams and customers. She started as a development engineer at Cisco. She then moved on to launch a new service for customers (which grew from 10 million to 400 million in three years) to now leading the global escalations team for web security.

She is the chapter lead for Cisco New England WISE (Women in Science and Engineering), Pillar lead for leadership and innovation for WISE, and co-lead with the women in cyber security connect pillar.

She is very passionate about getting more kids into STEAM and keeping kids safe online. In that respect, she has been giving in-person and online seminars on cybersecurity for kids in various schools, conferences, and Girl Scouts, along with a webinar with the state representative of Connecticut. She has delivered various seminars to school kids about her experience in the STEM/security space and mentors them too.

She is also a Leukemia Charity Lea’s Foundation board member and is currently revamping their website.

Jim Gronowski photo

Jim has more than 25 years of experience in the technology industry, bridging the gap between people and technology. His background includes network engineering, cybersecurity, cloud computing, DevOps, microservices, and more. Jim currently manages a team responsible for building and maintaining multiple software-as-a-service applications that span the globe.

Jim was active in Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) in high school and college and served on the board of Nevada FBLA after graduation. He is also involved in the cybersecurity community and is a staff member of BSides Las Vegas, one of the top community-organized cybersecurity conferences in the country.

Engineering Pathway

Alex Marquardt photo

Alex Marquardt is a distribution engineer for Cleco Power, an electric power utility in southeast Louisiana. Alex designs and oversees projects pertaining to new construction and system improvements on Cleco’s electric distribution system and assists in power restoration after major storms. Projects he has worked on include 150+ home power delivery systems, new circuit design for improved system reliability, and working power restoration efforts through two of the strongest hurricanes in Louisiana’s history.

Born and raised in south Louisiana, Alex attended Louisiana Tech University and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering. He has more than nine years of engineering experience in manufacturing, sales, and utilities. Alex enjoys educating students about careers and STEM through organizations such as STEM NOLA and Nepris when he’s not working. His philosophy is that anyone can obtain a rewarding career in STEM if willing to put in the time and effort.

Lawrence Harvey photo

Following in the footsteps of his childhood heroes, Alan Shepard and Wally Schirra, Larry graduated from the United States Naval Academy and pursued a career as a carrier-based combat naval aviator.

Though selected as a naval astronaut candidate, circumstances beyond his control prevented him from reaching his goal (thanks, Epictetus!). After the Navy, Larry conceptualized a space life sciences program that would have been the first commercial tenant on the International Space Station.

The elements of this program, including the outstanding science team and the focus on space life sciences, led directly to the establishment of CAST. Since its founding, Larry has led programs in space oceanography, satellite tracking, aerospace workforce transition, uncrewed ystems applications, satellite M2M constellation architecture, STEM education, and facilitated all aspects of space-based medicine research and application.

College Entrance

Mandy Weaver photo

Mandy Weaver has been a regional admissions counselor for the territories of Virginia and Washington, D.C. at West Virginia University (WVU) for the past 15 years. Before being a regional counselor, she worked on campus as a senior admissions counselor responsible for recruitment in the state of West Virginia and assisted with managing undergraduate recruitment communication plans for the office of admissions. A proud, two-time alum, she received a Bachelor of Science in journalism and public relations and a Master of Arts in communication studies (corporate and organizational communication) from WVU.

As a first-generation student, Mandy understands the importance and value of higher education and is passionate about helping others realize their educational and career goals. She enjoys sharing with students and families how WVU can make those goals a reality but also finds it very rewarding to listen and counsel about higher education.

Work Based Learning

Amanda Freitag Thomas photo

Amanda Freitag Thomas is the daughter of a teacher and grew up seeing firsthand the importance and value of education. Over the last 20 years, Amanda has worked in the K12 career and college readiness space. As general manager of a career exploration educational organization, Amanda annually helped 30,000 students explore different career paths through enrichment programs and educational travel.

With her consulting company, Amanda works to connect and support education services organizations and educational travel companies with content development, academic programming, business development, strategic planning, and staff training and recruitment. Amanda also works with various nonprofits, including one dedicated to providing students with real-world experiences through internship programs in various career fields, including law, medicine, neuroscience, national, and cybersecurity.

Amanda received her bachelor’s degree with honors in political science from Furman University with a minor in sustainable development. She completed research at Columbia University’s Biosphere 2 Center, studied abroad in the United Kingdom, and is currently pursuing an Executive Master of Business Administration from the University of Virginia’s Darden School of Business.

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