Keypath Celebrates Women in Leadership

10/05/17   |  
Chris Williams

In 2017, women represent 44 percent of the overall S&P 500 labor force, but just 25 percent of executive- and senior-level officials and managers in those companies. Keypath Education is proud to surpass that statistic with a 41% female global leadership team.

We sat down with a group of the women in executive leadership at Keypath to discuss their accomplishments, their passions, and their experiences working with a largely female leadership team.

On their roles in the company:

“Group President of OPM Global.” – Nirmeen Hasan

“Global Vice President of Instructional Design.” – Chris Valadez

“COO of Keypath Education UK.” – Catalina Rosellini

“SVP of University Partnerships.” – Howell Williams, PhD

“SVP of Research and New Program Development.” – Cindy Wheatley, PhD

“SVP of International Recruitment.” – Lori Turec

On their diverse paths to leadership:

“I started off in Admissions, and very quickly grew to lead the team. I oversaw all-new program launches for our partner universities, then moved on to running and managing all the academic partnerships for the Pearson Embanet Toronto office. I have worked with and supported over 35 university partners and over 100 online programs. I came to Keypath in January of 2014 with the objective of building a global OPM organization.” – Hasan

“I began my career at the postsecondary level as a lecturer at Florida State University and then at several universities in Indiana and Kentucky. Then I taught at a private high school in downtown Louisville, Kentucky. From 2009 - 2016, I held a variety of positions at another OPM company where I worked in and oversaw account management and launched the Student Success and Online Liaison (business-to-business), functional divisions. I have also led and authored several university consulting projects and strategic plans for launching online degree projects and management.” – Williams

“Five years ago, I was working as the CMO of a large online university and was invited to be a speaker at a Keypath conference. I spoke about marketing’s role in student retention to a receptive audience. At the event, I met some Keypath company executives who later approached me about leading the Account Services group. After about 18 months in that position, our CEO Steve asked me to head up marketing services for the new OPM division. I was the 7th person to join the OPM team and have been thrilled to watch our rapid growth across North America, UK and Australia.” – Turec

“After six years of teaching high school English, my passion for the design and development of technology materials took me to the publishing industry, where I helped produce online and multimedia products for Kaplan, Houghton Mifflin, and McGraw-Hill. From 2009 to 2014, I led learning design teams in the development of thousands of online courses at the Masters and Bachelors levels. In 2014, I co-founded an eLearning vendor, where I acted as SVP, Client Services. I joined Keypath in 2016.” – Valadez

“In my 12+ years in OPM, I have overseen marketing, recruitment and sales cross-functional teams, launched a diverse portfolio of academic partners for undergraduate and post-graduate programs, led a team of Managing Directors that supported top-tier universities across healthcare, business, engineering and technology, and launched a Corporate Partnerships effort that connected with Starbucks, Mastercard and other global corporations.  I joined the Keypath family in 2016.” – Rosellini

“I was educated as a traditional academic in the humanities. I earned my Ph.D. in British Literature in 1993 and taught for several years before joining a start-up distance learning company 2000. It was an exciting time, as online higher education was just taking off and we were learning together about how to deliver quality education to students studying at a distance. I stepped away from the OPM world for two years as I served as the Associate Dean for Online Learning at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary—another exciting opportunity to step into the shoes of our university partners to experience starting an online operation from the ground floor. I joined Keypath in July 2014.” – Wheatley

On how their experiences have led them to become who they are today:

“We often receive letters from students, but one sticks out – a note from a student who described her desire to become a university alumna since she was 10 years old. Her siblings, parents and grandparents all attended the same university.  Decades later, due to personal circumstances, she found herself unable to proceed with an on-ground program. She thought her dreams of a becoming an alumna had vanished. With our online offering available, she wrote to proudly say she was on her way to completing her course with flying colors.” – Rosellini

 “My success and accomplishments have been shaped by the challenges I’ve faced as a student, educator and professional. Some of the greatest challenges I’ve faced have become the greatest areas of opportunity at my job.” – Williams

 “Ultimately, everyone wants to believe they are making a difference. I believe in what I am doing every day for my team, our partners and our students. You have to have faith in your own journey and be inspired by the challenges – they make your life interesting and fun!” – Hasan

On their experiences working with other female leaders:

“It is inspiring to work for an organization that has put so many women in leadership positions. Keypath hired these women because of their accomplishments in education and who they truly are. Together, we are some of the most experienced people in the OPM business, male or female.” – Valadez

“The female leaders at Keypath care deeply about the mission of higher education and building strong relationships with our university partners. We have extensive expertise in our respective fields and positions, as well as a driving desire to improve the lives of students for whom online programs represent the best, or only, an opportunity to earn a degree. I am also amazed at how my female colleagues balance work and life as they take care of their own families while taking care of our Keypath family.” – Wheatley

“Keypath leaders come from a variety of industries, backgrounds and experiences.  Our female team members have a wealth of expertise, are committed to excellence and show an entrepreneurial spirit in everything they do.  With offices located around the world, we are still one Keypath. I could not be more proud of the family we are building.” – Rosellini

“My female colleagues are strong communicators, inspirational leaders and very innovative in their approach to managing our business. Over the past few years, we have rebuilt an organization and developed new functions and services, and my colleagues have been instrumental in leading the path to success.” – Hasan

On how Keypath’s diverse global leadership team drives the company to success:

“Our range of backgrounds and long history of diverse success allow us to not only operate from a position of strength, it creates an environment that fosters innovation and respects a variety of opinions on how to optimize and grow.” – Turec

“Because Keypath has an incredibly diverse leadership team, we value the individual learner and break down assumptions about students. This allows us to have a clearer vision into the unique needs of our partners and students.” – Valadez

“Just like in the classroom, a variety of skills, perspectives and opinions makes for a better-informed team. Universities here “Down Under” don’t necessarily act or behave like universities in the States or the UK. “Best practices” in online learning mean something different depending on your geographic perspective and experience. This diversity challenges our strategic plans and tactics across a global company, requiring us to learn from one another. That is the fun part and leads to success.” – Williams

On their passion for the work:

“I love being part of a smart, committed team that is positively changing lives, families and communities through education.” – Turec

“I am passionate about creating meaningful, quality courses because I know students are impacted by the work my team and I do. I often say to my team, ‘our job is too important to get wrong. We are impacting the lives of students. Students who are or will be organizational business leaders, nurses, engineers, teachers … this world’s heart and soul.’” – Valadez

“I began my career in education with a passion for learning that has not diminished over the years. I love higher education and see it as a calling rather than just a job.” – Wheatley

The women who lead and advise Keypath Education are some of the most knowledgeable, respected and passionate leaders in the industry. Together, they’re working to build a company culture that celebrates the success that differences and varied experiences can create.

If you’d like to be part of a fast-growing global education marketing company that puts the best candidates into roles where they can excel – regardless of gender, global location or ethnicity – check out the current career openings at Keypath: