Customized advisory and consulting services dedicated to supporting the IEI community.

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IEI:Advise: Bridging the gap to Educational Excellence

IEI:Advise serves as the bridge, connecting business partners, aspiring and current district leaders, boards, educators, and EDtech CEOs with a wealth of knowledge, insights, and experience from both emeritus and current superintendents, as well as industry experts. Our mission is to empower and guide them in enhancing and fortifying their school districts, products & services, and individual and organizational goals.


Expert Guidance

Expert Guidance

Gain insights and wisdom from emeritus, current superintendents, and industry experts, which will drive your success.

Community Connection

Community Connection

Forge valuable relationships with our diverse network of education professionals, fostering true collaboration and growth.

Personalized Growth

Personalized Growth

Tailored support for district leaders, boards, educators, and partners to enhance your capabilities and achieve your objectives.

Innovative Perspectives

Innovative Perspectives

Stay at the forefront of educational trends and technologies to elevate your product and service offerings.



Our mission is to empower you to create thriving districts and companies that make a lasting impact on education for all students.

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Struggling to gain access to solution-oriented meetings with district leaders?

Business-minded emeritus and transitioning superintendents provide direct advisement and door-opening services to IEI:Advise clients.

Through one-on-one bi-monthly coaching sessions, emeritus superintendents help solution providers decipher the complicated and political context of generating sustainable, long-term relationships with education leaders. 

Business partners meet with two district leaders each month for a 1-hour coaching session with IEI Emeritus Superintendents. Who will provide personalized invaluable insights, perspectives, and experience regarding your product/service features, positioning, sales, and marketing strategies.? 

Additionally, business partners will receive in-person coaching and strategy at a pre-conference workshop at IEI's National Summit three times a year. 

Connect with the Experts 

Cultivate genuine connections while harnessing the wisdom of emeritus and transitioning superintendents during an hour of advisory consultation.


Monthly Coaching Session 

Maximize the value of your one-on-one meetings by discussing your target demographics, pipeline, and market position with industry experts.

Booked Meeting with District Leaders 

 Yield tangible results by joining prearranged meetings with your target districts. 



Are you looking to unlock the Power of Effective Communication in your District? 

Crafting impactful communication requires meticulous planning to align with your district's objectives. We simplify the process for you with a strategic communications gap analysis, goal development process, supporting actions steps, and comprehensive timeline.

Working collaboratively with you, we will identify your district's strengths and areas for improvement, and we will construct an actionable plan tailored for both you and your district team to implement immediately. Our comprehensive approach encompasses general messaging, media exposure, newsletters, award submissions, thought leadership development and more.

Within the plan, we identify key priorities and establish evaluation criteria for measuring your district’s communication tools. You will have the opportunity to not only establish a framework for clear and engaging communication with your audience, but also set the stage for continuous improvement.

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How we can help

Here is an overview of some of our services


Go To Market Strategies

Develop an effective and pragmatic go-to-market strategy with emeritus superintendents rooted in deciphering the code and building long-term sales partnerships with districts. 

Business Development

Business Development

Develop advantageous business development strategies that carry emeritus superintendents' rich insights and perspectives. 

Brand Positioning

Brand Positioning

Leverage the experience of Emeritus superintendents in your brand positioning development to provide a strategic edges and further distinguish you from competitors.

Product Vision

Product Positioning & Visioning

Develop a product position and vision with Emeritus superintendents that narrow in on your target districts, differentiate you from your peers, and open doors. 

Business Strategy

Business Strategy

Partner with emeritus superintendents to develop business growth strategies that prioritize tasks, capitalize on market segmentation, and leverage partnerships. 

IEI: Advise Advisor 

How can our K 12 Education Industry Experts help you? 

Doug Roberts

Doug Roberts

Founder & CEO

Doug has worked with leading ed-tech entrepreneurs and district administrators for almost 20 years, developing partnerships that improve outcomes for students and help nascent organizations get their "sea legs."


Nate Lichte

General Manager, IEI Advise

Nate has more than 10 years of experience in education and has served in a variety of roles spanning K-12, post-secondary, adult and juvenile justice, and corrections education.

Dr. Clayton Wilcox

Dr. Clayton Wilcox

Lead Advisor, IEI:Advise

Dr. Wilcox brings over 40 years of experience in education and the private sector. He has held leadership positions at Scholastic, Inc. and Compass-Group, USA, focusing on education and corporate relations.

April Grace

Dr. April Grace


Dr. Grace is an experienced Superintendent, CEO, and visionary leader with a proven track record in education management. A passionate advocate for educational excellence, skilled in recruitment, executive leadership, and leadership development. Specialized expertise in curriculum design, professional development, and policy development.

Dr. Dennis Carpenter

Dr. Dennis Carpenter

Superintendent Emritus

Dr. Carpenter has worked in education for more than two decades and consulted numerous EdTech organizations. Some of his many accomplishments include achieving Missouri’s highest annual performance score for improvement in underserved student performance and spearheading the implementation of the equity-focused "Innovation Track Program," which enabled students to earn low or no-cost college credits in partnership with the local community college.

Pat Sullivan-Kriss

Pat Kriss

Superintendent Emeritus

Patricia serves as superintendent of West Hempstead Union Free School District in New York. Prior to that, she led Hauppauge School District for ten years and has been a deputy superintendent, an assistant superintendent, an elementary principal, and a special education teacher. She and her husband have four children.

Paul Shaw

Paul Shaw

Superintendent Emeritus

Paul is a two-time State Superintendent of the Year who led Georgia’s White County School District and South Carolina’s York School District 1.He was a member of the Georgia School Superintendents Association’s board of directors and president of the South Carolina Association of School Superintendents.

Sarah W

Sarah Williamson

Owner - SWPR

Sarah Williamson is an expert specializing in public relations and communications strategy. With a focus on supporting today's changemakers, she has collaborated with a diverse range of clients, including startups, think tanks, innovative technology companies, philanthropic agencies, and Districts.

Lee Mandel

Lee Mandel

Safety and Security Advisor

Lee Mandel is a multi-faceted entrepreneur, technologist, and consultant known for his expertise in school safety and security. As the former CEO of IntraLogic Solutions, he developed groundbreaking security software, including the One-Button Lockdown system, recognized for its effectiveness in ensuring student safety during emergencies.

IEI: Advise Articles  

How To Break Into The U.S. EdTech Market? Think Small

How To Break Into The U.S. EdTech Market? Think Small Slider 


When viewed from a distance, the United States educational market seems impossibly large: 50 states, each with its own department of education and its own policy mandates. There are around 15,000 school districts, each with its own procurement process and a confusing array of personnel who may—or may not—have a voice in implementing new tools, and nearly 100,000 schools, each with its own needs and hierarchies. And that’s just the public schools.

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How Edtech Startups Can Think Beyond The Trade Show

How Edtech Startups Can Think Beyond The Trade Show Slider

Doug Roberts | Forbes Business Council

For many edtech entrepreneurs, snagging an exhibit booth at a tradeshow convention seems like a no-brainer to build buzz.

Over just two or three days, you get your products in front of an endless parade of potential buyers, talk one-on-one with high-level decision makers and generate profitable leads. The thousands of marketing dollars you drop on a booth are nothing compared to the millions you could potentially bring in.

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Let's Chat 


IEI creates a culture of honest, candid, and productive feedback for improvement among our superintendents and business partner


Become an IEI:Advise Advisor

Are you an emeritus superintendent looking for a new and exciting opportunity to share your wealth of knowledge and expertise? Join us in a unique consulting opportunity where you can use your years of experience and industry know-how to coach and guide organizations of all sizes in opening doors to success.

With your help, we can refine, build and shape products that will serve students in the best way possible. As a consultant, you will have the chance to work with a variety of organizations and make a real impact in the lives of students everywhere.

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