Mark Shay is a business leader with a long history of success helping higher education institutions recruit and retain students. In a career that has spanned three decades, Mark has served over 3,000 customers, ranging from individual program managers, to university presidents and foreign governments. He is known throughout the higher education industry as an innovator for developing products like GradSchools.com and StudyAbroad.com, creating international student recruiting solutions for agents and universities, and his consulting expertise in areas of sales and marketing.
Mr. Shay has started and self-funded several businesses, including Liberty City College Promotions which was sold to its employees, BoxBundles.com which was sold to a private equity firm and Educational Directories Unlimited (EDU) which after its sale to Halyard Education Partners became EducationDynamics (EDDY) and has risen to become a leading firm on online student recruiting. After 12 years leading EDU and 2 years in senior level positions at EDDY, Mr. Shay joined IDP, the world’s largest student recruiting agent and lead their launch into the U.S. market. As part of that launch, Mr. Shay was at the forefront of an industry debate over the use of overseas agents and he succeeded not only in establishing a very credible portfolio of institutions for IDP to represent, but also help establish the use of agents as a standard practice in international student recruitment. He was the first agent representative to serve as a Board member of AIRC.
Following short engagements with Drexel University Online, QS and some consulting, Mr. Shay returned to his entrepreneurial ways in late 2013 as the CEO of Abroad101, the first and largest study abroad review website. Billed as the “TripAdvisor of Study Abroad” Abroad101 provides students, parents and academic advisors tools to get more out of study abroad while helping study abroad providers in their recruiting of future students. Working with Ledra Capital, Mr. Shay has successfully turned around the company’s money losing operations and positioned the firm as a software company and Ledra is now positioned to exit and capitalize on its investment. While that process unfolds, Shay still serves as CEO of Abroad101, supervising a team of contractors and vendors that operate the site.
At Academic Assembly, Mr. Shay oversees the day to day operations of the business as well as guides the company’s business development efforts. His hands on approach and focus on the clients puts him in the middle of projects as well as advancing the company’s business objectives.
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