Roy Gilbert – CEO
Roy Gilbert is Grockit’s CEO. Prior to joining Grockit, Roy spent seven years at Google in multiple roles. Most recently, Roy led Global User Operations, which was responsible for all of Google’s non-advertising functions including search quality, consumer and ads policy, localization, book scanning, and product support. Prior to that, Roy built and led Google’s operations in India and launched the business operations for Gmail.
Roy began his career as an officer in the United States Navy, where he served onboard the attack submarine USS MIAMI (SSN-755) as Sonar Officer and as a watch officer for several classified missions. Roy graduated with a BS in computer science from the US Naval Academy as well as an MBA from Stanford.
His favorite teacher was Henry Pfingstag for 12th grade Calculus.
Farb Nivi – Founder and Chief Product Officer
Farb Nivi is the founder of Grockit and Chief Product Officer. He has been an Entrepreneur and Teacher since he was in his teens. The first company he started is Michigan-based Vision Computer Solutions which he ran from 1995-1998. He then joined The Princeton Review where he was a teacher, a trainer, and wrote curriculum and pedagogy. In 2001, Farb was honored with The Princeton Review’s National Teacher of the Year Award. Just prior to founding Grockit, Farb was a center manager and academic director for Kaplan. In his advisory role to the Kennedy Centers Millenium Stage and the World Peace Institute, Farb has begun working with youth artists and musicians on adaptive learning efforts designed to create real acts of peace throughout the world.
His favorite teacher was his 8th grade teacher Mr. Rodriguez.
Rusty Greiff – Chief Strategy and Development Officer
Rusty is Grockit’s Chief Strategy & Development Officer. Rusty has over 15 years experience in launching and running early-stage and large-scale education, social entrepreneurship and interactive technology businesses. Prior to joining Grockit, Rusty worked in corporate development at USAInteractive (now IAC) and launched USA e-commerce Solutions, and senior executive positions at Educate, Inc. including Catapult Learning, Hooked on Phonics and most recently at Sylvan Learning, where he oversaw Sylvan’s national college prep and readiness business.
Rusty began his career working in the Clinton Administration launching the AmeriCorps program and for Senator John Kerry on education and technology policy. Rusty graduated with a B.S. in political science and history from Washington University in St. Louis as well as an MBA from Harvard. He has completed coursework at the London School of Economics and is a former Coro Leadership Fellow.
His favorite former teacher was Mr. MacDougal in 10th grade American History; he prefers now to be taught by his three sons Theo, Noah and Isaak on everything Harry Potter.
Ari Bader-Natal – Chief Learning Architect
Ari Bader-Natal is the Chief Learning Architect at Grockit. He experiments with new ways to use social software to motivate student engagement and collaboration, and actively incorporates ongoing work from related academic research fields so Grockit’s learning platform can better support and adapt to each individual learner.
Ari received his PhD in computer science from Brandeis University, where he built and studied game-based mechanisms to motivate appropriate challenges among peer learners. As part of this work, he developed a multi-player online learning game used by thousands of teachers and tens of thousands of their students.
Ari strives to imbue the best qualities of the social learning environments from which he has benefited into the systems that he builds. His math study group in high school left a lasting impression, and while the group study on Grockit is quite good, it’s still lacking the pizza and chocolate chip cookies.
Aaron Burcell – VP of Marketing
Aaron Burcell is Grockit’s VP of Marketing. He was recently the VP of Marketing at SmartyCard, a learning game for kids ages 7-13. After graduating from Stanford, Aaron was an early employee at WebTV (Microsoft) and Stata Labs (Yahoo!), and he has worked on several popular social apps and social media efforts since 2006. In 2010, Aaron was named as one of the 1010 Youth Media Greatest Minds in Youth Marketing.
Aaron’s favorite teacher is Rene Girard, the Anthropological Philosophy researcher advancing the ideas of mimetic desire as fundamental to literature and scapegoating as the origin of language.
Chris Henley – VP of Engineering
Chris Henley is Grockit’s VP of Engineering. He was recently the Director of Engineering and Executive Producer at Social Gaming Network (SGN) where he helped build a strong engineering team and launch several chart topping social games on both Facebook and iPhone. There he helped mold an Agile environment and coordinated operations across three studios on three different continents. Chris also served as VP of Engineering at Roost, a social media start up focused on creating SMB customer acquisition and brand marketing channels with large vertical industries. Early in his career, Henley worked at telecommunications and wireless industry giants Cable & Wireless and Hughes, and as a consulting engineer to NASA and the TSA.
Chris’ favorite teacher was Dr. Roald Sagdeev for his brilliance and honesty.
Board of Directors
Roy Gilbert – CEO, Grockit
Farb Nivi – Founder and Chief Product Officer, Grockit
Rusty Greiff – Chief Strategy and Development Officer, Grockit
Jeff Fagnan – Partner, Atlas Ventures
Mitch Lasky – Partner, Benchmark Capital
John Powell – Managing Director, Integral Capital Partners