Andrew Friedman

Andrew Friedman

President and CEO

Andrew Friedman was appointed to Learning Ally as President and CEO in January, 2011. As CEO, Andrew has led the transition from a government funded library of audiobooks for students with disabilities to a leading nonprofit, education solutions organization championing equity in education. With a ground-breaking approach Whole Child LiteracyTM, Friedman has led the organization in the development of a portfolio of programs from PreK-12, that support educators in helping new and struggling students to read, learn and thrive.

Behind the Whole Child LiteracyTM approach is Friedman’s commitment to the organization’s mission to meet the needs of underserved populations, with a holistic lense that takes into consideration all of the factors that impact a student's ability to read and learn. Under Friedman’s guidance Learning Ally has developed a range of programs from prevention to intervention, as well as a robust Professional Learning catalogue with packages that ensure educators are well supported to deliver individualized learning at scale, measurable student outcomes and change the trajectories of students’ lives. Immediately on the horizon, is the debut of Learning Ally’s new early literacy program, Excite Reading, which is designed to bridge a critical gap in reading comprehension that will serve educators and learners in securing the foundational skills that set students up for academic success. Learning Ally now serves over 1.6 million students and over 260,000 educators. The flagship product, the Learning Ally Audiobook Solution, is a three-time Cool Tool Award EdTech Digest finalist, a 2021 SIIA Codie Award honoree for Best Virtual Learning Solution, and a 2021 Fast Company World Changing Ideas honoree in the education category, joining the ranks of trailblazing organizations and products at the forefront of world-changing innovation for the good of our society. Friedman’s philosophy is captured in this interview with EdTech Digest.

Prior to joining Learning Ally, Andrew was founder and partner of iFOS Publishing/Parenting Teens Network, where he raised capital to launch the company and run all operations. He was also financial partner and Chief Financial Officer for Rosetta LLC, a marketing services agency and professional services company, from 2000 through 2007, where he defined and implemented ongoing corporate strategy growing the organization from $10M in revenue to over $100M, ultimately leading to the sale of the company.

In his earlier experience, Friedman took on roles of escalating responsibility with Petersen Publishing Company, where he served as general manager; Primedia Directories Inc., where he served as CFO and director of financial services; and ADP, where he served as finance director. Andrew received his B.S. degree in business administration from Tulane University.

Who We Are

We all have personal stories and motivations that connect us to the Learning Ally mission. Our strength comes from embracing our differences, enjoying and respecting each other, and sharing a passion and commitment to providing equity in education so each student is able to achieve their academic and life goals.

Leadership

Patrick Brennan
“I've always had a personal interest in creating equity and access for all learners, no matter where, or to whom they were born. At Learning Ally, we’re doing that.”
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Patrick Brennan

Vice President of Government Relations

Rob Edenzon
“After decades of selling to increase investor value, I am thrilled to apply my experience to helping students succeed. Learning Ally is a rare opportunity to work with an equally talented team while changing lives.”
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Rob Edenzon

Vice President of Sales

Sam Edla
“After decades of selling to increase investor value, I am thrilled to apply my experience to helping students succeed. Learning Ally is a rare opportunity to work with an equally talented team while changing lives.”
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Sam Edla

Vice President of Technology

Andrew Friedman
“I see myself in the faces and the struggles of the students we serve. My best day at Learning Ally was being asked by an 8 year old student if she could just give me a hug, because Learning Ally had changed her life. I am proud to be part of an organization that deserves hugs!”
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Andrew Friedman

President and CEO

Cynthia Hamburger
“Because I have dyslexia in my family, I know what it means to struggle to read. I like knowing that we’re making that struggle a little less for our students.”
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Cynthia Hamburger

Senior Advisor

Jeff Ho
“I’ve worked at companies focused solely on profit, but at Learning Ally, when we say that we’re focused on helping students and educators first and foremost, we really mean it. I really appreciate that we’re making a difference.”
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Jeff Ho

Chief Machine Learning & Innovation Officer

Molly Ness
“I'm excited to collaborate with like-minded passionate literacy advocates around effective instruction for all children. I'm thrilled for the chance to impact the professional lives of teachers and the literacy development of students.”
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Molly Ness, Ph.D.

Vice President of Academic Content

Terrie Noland
“A curiosity cap sits atop my head daily. I not only get curious. I stay curious and run headlong into a daily commitment to learn and grow. This curiosity has driven me to smash the literacy divide by sparking a flame of understanding and enthusiasm in others.”
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Terrie Noland, Ph.D., CALP

Vice President of Educator Initiatives

Lee Peters
“As a child of educators and a former adjunct university professor myself, I've witnessed far too many students with an acute lack of the literacy skills necessary for success in college and career. We're helping them change their trajectories.”
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Lee Peters

Chief Operating Officer

Missy Sherburne
“My former students, the educators I’ve worked with, my son and the millions of students who struggle to learn to read, inspire me to do this work. There’s a science to this work of literacy and we need to equip every educator to become literacy leaders, whether they teach Pre-K or Chemistry.”
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Missy Sherburne

Chief of Growth and Strategic Partnerships

Andrew Singleton
“My dream is for other diverse populations to stand on my shoulders to achieve more. That’s only possible if I make a concerted effort to remove all obstacles and help pave the foundation through an organization that embraces DE&I.”
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Andrew Singleton

National Director of State Initiatives and DE&I Lead

Elissa Tomasetti
“As the daughter of two NYC educators, I saw firsthand the profound impact teachers can have when they engage their students in learning. Our work at Learning Ally is my part in supporting educators in transformational change and smashing the literacy divide.”
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Elissa Tomasetti

Vice President of Marketing

Steve Valvano
“I believe that the ability to read and grow in one's education is directly linked to one's degree of freedom in life...and what’s more important than that?”
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Steve Valvano

Vice President of Great People,
Human Resources

Heather Wiederstein
“My work here at Learning Ally feels a lot like "coming home.” Having started my career in the classroom, I've learned how to make the lives of students and teachers a little better. It also allows me to be a part of others' classroom practice through the solutions, software, and instruction we deliver.”
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Heather Wiederstein

Vice President of Solutions Development

Tim Wilson
“I have the opportunity to create life-changing impact through providing the tools that increase a student's ability to learn. Helping students reach their full potential is absolutely the best use of my time and knowledge.”
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Tim Wilson

Chief Financial Officer