About The Academies Staff

The Academies’ Staff

April Summerford, Academic Services Manager

April Summerford has seven years of higher education administration experience. April holds a BA in Psychology and a MS in Industrial and Organizational Psychology. April oversees the many details of our ongoing classes, tracking student enrollment, assisting students and faculty with everything they need for our programs to run flawlessly – including answering questions regarding upcoming/current classes, and working with alumni to maintain their credentials and other administrative activities. Meeting the needs of our students is her number one priority! April can be contacted at april@theacademies.com.

Nicoletta SimmonsNicoletta Simmons, Webmaster

Nicoletta Simmons is the Webmaster for The Academies and has been with the Academies since 2013.  As Webmaster, she updates the website, assists with e-commerce management, and helps the VP of Operations with marketing materials, business promotion, network innovation and general administration activities. Nicoletta can be contacted at nicoletta@theacademies.com.

The Academies’ Faculty 

Ellen Bartkowiak, CCMC University/MBA Instructor
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Ellen Bartkowiak is a 20-year career management expert and understands the inner workings of a career management center and its primary audience: the student.  She is a sought-after speaker, coach and consultant and is President of EllenCoaching, a career management firm which assists MBA students and alumni to manage their career.  She is an Instructor for The Academies and co-teaches the Certified Career Management Coach course and uses her experience as a former Director of Career Management Centers to assist Career Coaches with their demands: employer relations, event planning, and most importantly, one-on-one coaching.  Ellen holds a Master’s Degree in Career Counseling and certifications as an Executive and Leadership Development Coach, Career Management Coach, Twitter Job Search Coach, and is a 360Reach Personal Branding Strategist. Ellen has worked at nine different career centers throughout her lifetime and has assisted traditional undergrads, international students, the working professional student, veterans, the executive MBA and alumni. Ellen can be contacted at ellen@ellencoaching.com.


KPrendergastPhotoKatherine (Kit) Prendergast, CCMC Instructor and Mentor Coach

Katherine (Kit) Prendergast brings a wonderful energy, spirit and focus to her work. Kit is a PCC credentialed coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF), a Certified Career Management Coach (CCMC), a Certified Life Coach (CLC), and a certified Life Blueprint® Facilitator for the “Now What?™” coaching program. She is also a certified Myers Briggs Inventory Instructor, holds a Master’s degree in social work (MSW) and was previously licensed as a clinical social worker (LCSW) in three states. Kit also lived in Norway for six years where she established a successful training business specializing in cross-cultural transitions.

Kit is the owner of Career Connections of Sierra Nevada (estab. 2000) located near the Truckee River in downtown Reno, Nevada. She welcomes coaching and training clients throughout the state, nationally and internationally. To learn more about Kit visit her website www.CareerConnectionsSN.com. She can be contacted at Kit@CareerConnectionsSN.com.


Beverly Harvey, Certified Job Search Strategist Program Instructor

Committed to the careers industry for more than 20 years, Beverly has guided thousands of clients in designing progressive job search strategies and campaigns that deliver superior results. Her passion lies in identifying her clients’ innate talents, crystallizing their message, articulating their value proposition, and creating dynamic marketing materials and job search plans to achieve a successful landing.

As Director and Lead Instructor for the Job Search Academy, Beverly co-created the curriculum for the Certified Job Search Strategist program that has received rave reviews from students who are career-industry veterans as well as emerging stars. In addition to leading the Certified Job Search Strategist program, Beverly has presented at several of the industry’s leading conferences and workshops and is the Job Search Expert for the Career Thought Leaders Consortium.

Beverly has earned more than ten certifications in personal branding, career management, job search, online identity, leadership coaching, career transition coaching, and resume writing. She has also been published in 23 career books and enjoy “expert status” affiliations with several career-focused online organizations. Contact her at Beverly@JobSearchAcademy.com.


Fran LaMattina, Executive & Leadership Development Coach Program Instructor

Fran LaMattina brings 30 years of business experience in marketing, sales, finance, and operations gained from leadership in telecom, financial services, consumer products, and non-profits. She is the instructor for The Academies’ Certified Executive & Leadership Development Coach (CELDC) program and has taught leadership coaching for Richmont Graduate University and other coach-training organizations. She is completing her PhD in Executive Coaching and runs a thriving coaching business serving corporate, nonprofit & entrepreneur clients.

Elisabeth Sanders-Park, Certified Tough Transitions Career Coach Program Instructor

Elisabeth Sanders-Park has been a leader in bringing career solutions to people facing significant barriers for more than 15 years. She authored the ground-breaking, L.A. Times top ten career book “No One Is Unemployable”, “The 6 Reasons You’ll Get the Job,” and 50+ publications used to help people make tough career transitions. As a trainer and speaker, she has equipped and inspired more than 10,000 career industry professionals and employment staff in schools, prisons, workforce centers, and social service programs across North America. To learn more about Elisabeth visit her website www.worknetsolutions.com. She can be contacted at elisabeth@worknetsolutions.com.

Barbara Safani, Social Networking Career Strategist Program Instructor

Barbara Safani was an early adopter of social media and she was one of the first professionals in the careers industry to create a comprehensive strategy for leveraging online identity and social media tools to accelerate job search campaigns. Barbara is a Reach Certified Online Identity Strategist and she has helped thousands of job seekers harness the power of tools such as Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, ZoomInfo, and Twitter to optimize search time and land faster. She is the author of Online Identity & Networking Tools: A Guide to 50+ Social Media Sites, and a recognized speaker and blogger on social media job search strategy. To learn more about Barbara visit her website www.careersolvers.com. She can be contacted at info@careersolvers.com.

Pat Schuler, The Academies’ Serious Revenue Sales Expert

Pat Schuler brings decades of experience to the table, having worked for technology companies, large and small, and won awards. She has sold successfully to Fortune 500 companies in the long-term, complex, big-ticket technical sale, and she has coached career entrepreneurs to double and triple their income while landing 4- and 5-figure clients. Her mission is to help you find the right combination of sales skills, inner strengths, and overall strategy to make a difference in an astonishingly short time. Doing so and watching you find the freedom to flourish and prosper is the zest and joy of what she does.


Deb Dib, Coach Program Instructor

Known as the CEO Coach, Deb Dib delights in innovating and in empowering colleagues and clients to land faster, earn more, have fun, and change the world! A twenty+ year career-industry veteran, she is a recognized trend leader; career communications expert; and one of the world’s first Certified Personal Branding Strategists. An avid change-agent, Deb is co-author of the award-winning book, The Twitter Job Search Guide; the first recipient of the Dick Bolles/Career Management Alliance “Parachute Award” for innovation and mentoring; co-founder of the Academies’ G3 (Get Clear, Get Found, Get Hired) Coach program; and founder of ExecutivePowerBrand.com and C-SuiteCareerCatalysts.com. She holds ten career certifications, is featured in 30+ career books, and has been interviewed by the Wall Street Journal, The Daily News, and other major media. Contact her at DebDib@TheAcademies.com.


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