A-List Management Team
Scott G. Farber (Founder and President)
Scott earned a degree in International Relations from Harvard University in 2001. After graduation he accepted a position as the CFO for an environmental program in Ecuador coordinated through the British Embassy. Upon his return, he served for three years as a Director for a Long Island based SAT-preparation company before founding A-List in September 2005. Since A-List's inception, Scott has overseen all aspects of the company's growth while continuing to work directly with students and schools – tutoring, training teachers, developing innovative education products such as Vocab Videos and speaking at conferences and educational organizations across the country. Scott also co-founded CollegeEssayOrganizer.com, an online tool designed to help students streamline the college essay process, and serves in a variety of educational consulting capacities for nationally recognized non-profit programs.
Robert K. Hay (Co-Founder and Managing Director)
Robert has been working in the SAT preparation industry since the age of 18. During his first year at Columbia University in the spring of 1997, he was hired by a Long Island based company that runs premium courses for the SAT. After teaching for all four years of college, he graduated in 2000 with a B.A. in Philosophy, training that has honed his reasoning skills and enabled him to more fully understand the logic of the test.
After graduating, he began to work full-time at a leading test preparation company and has since performed virtually every role to be played in the company at one time or another. He has recruited, hired and trained new teachers. He has also personally taught hundreds of students.
His primary concern for the past few years has been developing materials at all levels, from training documents and manuals for staff to drills, lectures, and practice tests for students. Most notably, he had a pivotal role in updating the curriculum for the new version SAT, by doing research, writing problems and lectures, and examining pedagogical strategies for the new test.
It is this expertise that he now brings to A-List. He is the principal author and editor of all A-List's tutoring materials, most notably the Book of Knowledge. His extensive research has ensured that the materials are accurate reflections of the nature, style, and content of the test. His personal experience in the classroom has ensured that the materials are fun, easy to understand, and geared toward the material kids need the most. He is continually revising existing materials and developing new ones in order to perfect the A-List experience.
Edward G. Smallwood (Executive Vice President)
Mr. Smallwood was born in London and moved to the U.S. to attend Harvard University from which he graduated cum laude in Romance Languages. He subsequently served as Project Director for an innovative environmental development project in Ecuador funded by the British Government, working to rebuild communities devastated by El Nino. After moving to New York City, he worked as an Account Executive at a global advertising agency managing integrated campaigns for several Fortune 500 accounts. Mr. Smallwood has extensive marketing and strategic planning experience and holds an MS in Integrated Marketing from NYU.
Mr. Smallwood serves as Executive Vice President at A-List and is responsible for strategic planning, business development, and marketing. He is currently enrolled in a Global MBA program at Columbia Business School and London Business School.
Allen Springer (Vice President of Test Prep & Admissions)
Allen Springer grew up in St. Louis, Missouri and graduated from Emory University.
He spent a year traveling after college, and upon his return, Allen was accepted to the MA/PhD program in American Literature at New York University; however, with the change in atmosphere of academics at the time, he left after two plus years of study. While in graduate school, he taught SAT, GRE, and LSAT courses for the nation's two largest test-preparation companies.
After graduate school, he was briefly an editor for the leading qualitative marketing research company.
Allen then found his niche, blending his business acumen and fondness of education, working for a successful Long Island test-preparation company, where he spent eight years teaching literally thousands of students and directing the company.
While looking for a new experience, Allen was presented with an interesting opportunity to work for the University of California, San Diego (UCSD). As the Acting Director of a non-profit initiative and research center at UCSD, he was tasked to improve the education and training opportunities of information and storage management professionals. The program was a nexus for industry, end users, and academia.
Allen now finds himself happily back in New York, working for A-List as one of its Directors.
John Walker (Director of Finance and Business Development)
John Walker is currently Director of Finance and Business Development at A-List Education, a venture that provides a suite of unique college education products and services. Mr. Walker leads all finance activities and, through his business development expertise, enables the growth of new products that target the nationwide education market.
Mr. Walker was previously Consulting Director of Finance at Echoing Green, where in addition to managing the organization's financial systems he also led all impact investing activities, developing the Recoverable Grant investment concept and leading the partnership with a venture investment fund focused on financing capital for expansion. Prior to Echoing Green, Mr. Walker was a principal with Chart Venture Partners and Chart Group in New York City actively contributing to venture and LBO deals worth over $200million in aggregate.
Mr. Walker lectures on impact investing at Columbia Business School and at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. He also advises a number of ventures, focusing on early-stage business and investment strategy.
Before moving to New York City from Edinburgh, Scotland, Mr. Walker was Marketing and Technical Director at Pentland Systems, a venture-backed technology enterprise developing signal acquisition systems. He was also a member of the Defense Science Advisory Council at the UK Ministry of Defence; and previously a senior engineer with BAE Systems.
Sherwyn A. Fullington (Director of Test Prep & Admissions)
Raised in New York City, Sherwyn has spent his whole life in the pursuit of excellent education. He was accepted into the prestigious Collegiate School in the 7th grade and graduated in 1997 after spending six invigorating years there. He went on to attend Harvard College, from which he graduated in 2001 with a degree in Psychology.
After finishing college Sherwyn paired his interest in working with kids with his interest in non-profits by working for a city run technology training program in the Roxbury section of Boston. The program, Technology Goes Home, focused on training low income families in computing basics, and the use of computers to advance educational and professional careers. At the end of the program, each family was given a free computer. Sherwyn left Technology Goes Home in 2002 to attend the Graduate School of Education at Harvard. He finished in 2003 after receiving his Master's in Administration, Planning and Social Policy.
After graduating, Sherwyn strove to find a means to continue his interest in working with kids while also learning about how educational systems function. He decided to return to his alma mater, Collegiate School, to work in the admissions office. To keep more in touch with his love for teaching, Sherwyn also joined a successful SAT preparation company and taught for two years. These two jobs have given Sherwyn a keen insight into the minds and needs of young teens and high school students. He enthusiastically hopes to take this knowledge and experience with him to A-List to refine one of a kind services for young teenagers.
John J. Oh (Director of Staff Development)
John resides in Queens, where he has lived for almost his entire life. What is now his full-time job began as just a part-time job while he was studying to be a screenwriter at Columbia University. But, as John facetiously likes to say, "Since no one bought anything that I wrote, I had no choice but to continue teaching." Recruited by his friend and colleague Scott Farber, John is actually one of the five founders of A-List.
When Scott presented John with the opportunity to build a better mouse trap, he was more than ready. Before he joined A-List, John was already familiar with the test-preparation industry, having worked as both a director and teacher for several test-preparation companies. During that time, John estimates that he taught over 3000 students from Nassau County, Suffolk County, Westchester, New Jersey, and all five boroughs of New York City. He has researched the SAT and ACT, spoken about the SAT and ACT, written materials on the SAT and ACT, and has actually taken quite a few of them too over the years.
As A-List has grown in size and success so have John's responsibilities and contributions to the company. He is now responsible for the hiring and training of A-List's ever-growing and exemplary staff. As Director of Staff Development, John has hired and trained many of our exemplary tutors.
Dianna Block (Client Services Manager)
Dianna was born and raised in Long Beach, NY. She graduated from SUNY Geneseo with a BA in Economics and returned to Long Island to care for her father and pursue a career. After college, Dianna worked for a small defense contractor for five years, managing subcontracts and purchasing as well as ensuring the viability of day to day operations. She's come to A-List in an effort to become part of the spectrum of education, to learn about students and testing and bring her experience in operations management to the offices of A-List.
Anna Marie Smith (Client Services Coordinator)
Originally from Shelbyville, TN, Anna Marie Smith studied theatre and ancient architecture at Davidson College. She served as the Associate Director of an arts non-profit in Houston, Texas, before moving into the college admissions world. Her experience in the Office of Admission at Rice University and New York University includes reviewing undergraduate applications, recruiting students, and conducting admission interviews for prospective students.
In addition to working as a client coordinator and college advisor at A-List, Anna Marie is currently completing her MFA in Design Criticism from the School of Visual Arts. Her design studies emphasize architecture and urban planning, and her thesis is on tiny houses in rural America and microapartments in New York City. Anna Marie has a very strong sense of smell and often carries a video camera on her person.
Maritza Rodriguez (Director of Professional Development, Materials, & Support)
Maritza was raised in New York and attended The Spence School from 4th to 12th grade. She started her college career at Boston University for one year, but decided to take time off to travel through Latin America.
Returning 3 years later, she completed her studies at Rollins College, where she graduated with a BA in International Affairs. During this time she volunteered with Amnesty International (AI) as a founding member of the Refugee Steering Committee that evaluated immigration detention centers and researched and developed AI recommendations for the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Focusing on children in detention, she interviewed asylum seekers and aided them in gathering information and resources as well as conducting regional and national workshops on refugee issues. After college she worked as a Constituent Advocate for U.S. Senator Bill Nelson's office in Florida where she handled issues such as immigration, Social Security, health, government contracts, children's issues, and energy on behalf of Florida residents.
Moving back to New York in 2008, Maritza shifted her focus to education as a Program Manager for the Network for Teaching Entrepreneurship (NFTE)'s sites in Brooklyn, parts of Queens, and Riker's Island. Maritza also managed several summer programs, and piloted a NFTE program for adjudicated youth.
Prior to joining A-List, Maritza was a Partnership Coordinator at PENCIL. There she was involved in creating, facilitating, and managing customized results-driven partnerships between individuals from the private sector and 50+ public schools at any given time. She is excited to bring her knowledge of working with a variety of different sectors to expand the scope of A-list services within school systems.
Caroline Romano (Marketing Manager | Vocab Videos Coordinator)
Caroline was born and raised on Long Island (though she regularly tries to convince Scott to bring A-List to the West Coast, so she can make her way to sunny California). She graduated summa cum laude from Fordham University with a BA in American Studies, and is a member of Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society.
Having been tutored for her SAT by A-List's own Scott Farber, Caroline knows, firsthand, A-List's commitment to education and test prep and admissions services. She is currently working as part of the marketing team to bring A-List's innovative educational resources, like Vocab Videos and College Essay Organizer, to as many students and educators as possible. She also regularly maintains the A-List and Vocab Videos websites and aims to improve A-List's online and social media presence. With her love of learning, Caroline is excited to be a part of an organization that is committed to helping students from every imaginable background realize their dreams of higher education.
Michelle Richards (Nonprofit Programs Manager)
Michelle grew up in southern Connecticut. She attended Manhattanville College, and graduated from Hunter College with a BA in Psychology and is a member of Psi Chi, the National Honors Society in Psychology
Upon graduation Michelle started working at Graham Windham in their Therapeutic Foster Boarding Homes unit as a Sociotherapist where she worked with youth and their families providing casework counseling as well as behavior modification. After three years in Therapeutic, Michelle transferred to Preparing Youth for Adulthood to become a Youth Development Coordinator where she helped prepare adolescents for transitioning out of foster care. In PYA, she developed curriculum and coordinated monthly workshops on a broad range of life skills, including workshops specifically on college admissions and transitions. She also partnered with community based organizations and NYC Children's Services to bring innovative programs to the youth, such as creative writing, financial literacy, and transitions framework. More recently, Michelle became the Post Secondary Education Specialist within PYA, and completed a 60 hour College Access Counseling training with Goddard's Institute for Professional Development. In this role, she's had the opportunity to participate in several panel discussions regarding supporting foster care youth in college, and was a guest presenter for a training at Goddard on Financial Aid for Foster Care Youth.
Michelle is excited to join A List and bring her knowledge and love of working with underserved youth to the team.
Porsha Canales (Data Coordinator)
Porsha was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY, and now lives in Staten Island. She is currently attending the Borough of Manhattan Community College and will obtain her A.A.S degree in Business Management. With the desire to switch gears and the passion to help youth, she plans to transfer to a four year school to study Psychology and Social Work. Porsha learned about A-List while attending Year Up, a non-profit organization that A-List works closely with, conducting their business math course as well as providing college advising. She spent about 2 years working at an investment bank supporting multiple project managers which allowed her to strengthen her organizational skills. Porsha knows firsthand how much of an impact tutors make in their students lives and is excited to witness as well as experience the hard work and dedication A-List put into their clients.
Libby Perkins (General Counsel)
Libby grew up in Ormond Beach, Florida and attended the University of California, Berkeley where she earned her B.A. in Theater and Performance Studies and played on the Division I NCAA Women's Golf Team.
After graduating Berkeley she worked as a sales and marketing account executive covering the western United States for a global automotive data and intelligence provider. Subsequently, Libby moved to New York City, where she earned her Juris Doctorate from Brooklyn Law School. During school Libby worked at the Kings County District Attorney's office, Brooklyn Legal Aid Society and for an appellate court judge. Upon graduating from law school, she worked for a commercial litigation firm in New York City.
At A-List Libby combines her legal and sales background serving as Director of Sales and In-House Counsel. Her responsibilities include legal counseling, business development and strategic planning.
Ashton Coghlan (Program Coordinator)
Ashton was born and raised in East Harlem. After attending the Collegiate School, he furthered his studies at Middlebury College, studying History and English.