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Executive Leadership

Portrait

Angela Selden , Chief Executive Officer

Angela Selden was appointed Chief Executive Officer of American Public Education in September 2019. Ms. Selden brings more than 30 years of experience in technology and technology-enabled services, both within private-equity and publicly traded environments, and has deep experience executing business transformation initiatives for Fortune 500 clients. She was previously CEO and board member of DIGARC, a leading education technology provider to higher education institutions. Previous roles include CEO of Workforce Insight, a global, strategic workforce consulting, analytics and services company serving Fortune 100 clients, CEO and Executive Co-Chairman of Arise Virtual Solutions, a virtual workforce solutions outsourcer, and interim CEO of Skybridge Americas, a global contact center and provider of fulfillment solutions. Ms. Selden serves on the University of St. Thomas, Opus College of Business Strategic Board of Governors and was honored as the University's Entrepreneur of the Year for 2012. Ms. Selden currently serves as Chairman of DinerIQ and as a board member of TalentWave. Earlier in her career, Ms. Selden spent 18 years at Accenture, including serving as the Managing Partner, leading the North American Consumer and Industrial Products group to significant growth.

Ms. Selden graduated from the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN with a Bachelor of Arts in both Accounting and Computer Science.

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Richard W. Sunderland Jr., CPA , Executive Vice President
Chief Financial Officer

Richard “Rick” Sunderland was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer effective January 2014. Mr. Sunderland joined the organization in February 2011 as a consultant providing several critical program enhancements, user testing, project implementation and process change management. In December 2012, he was appointed to lead the finance and student financial aid departments of American Public University System (APUS) as Senior Vice President of Finance.

Prior to joining APUS, he served as the Chief Financial Officer of NovaSom, Inc., building all of the company’s corporate financial functions and providing strong financial leadership during a period of rapid growth from 2008 to 2010. In addition, Mr. Sunderland served as Chief Financial Officer of Active Day, Inc. between 2005 and 2008, and in various roles, including as Controller, Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, at NeighborCare, Inc. from 1993 to 2004.

Mr. Sunderland has over 20 years of experience at leading the financial and operational functions of large established public companies, as well as in building the financial operations of emerging growth companies. During his career, he also served as Senior Manager at Price Waterhouse (now PwC). In addition to being a Certified Public Accountant, Mr. Sunderland holds a M.B.A. in Finance and Accounting from Amos Tuck School of Business Administration, Dartmouth College and a B.A. in Economics from Dartmouth College.

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Patrik Dyberg , Executive Vice President
Chief Technology Officer

Mr. Patrik Dyberg was appointed Executive Vice President and Chief Technology Officer in May 2018, having previously served as interim CIO in a consulting capacity from mid-December 2017. Since arriving at APUS, Mr. Dyberg has been instrumental in setting a new direction for the use of information technology across the organization. As CTO, Mr. Dyberg oversees IT, providing vision, leadership, and strategy to enhance agility and innovation.

Mr. Dyberg brings 30 years of experience in digital transformation, digital product development, and IT strategy to APUS. Most recently, he was with The WGroup, an IT management consulting firm. Prior to that, he spent 15 years in the information services industry and 15 years in the transaction processing and data communications industry. During this time he developed very deep expertise in business and content strategy, IT alignment, digital transformation, change management, operational alignment, and global sourcing. He has expertise in building and running large global organizations, delivering results, and operating in global and multi-cultural environments.

Before serving as a consultant, Mr. Dyberg was a managing director for Luxoft, an IT services company headquartered in Switzerland, where he focused on the financial services sector. Prior to Luxoft, he was the executive vice president and CTO of John Wiley & Sons, a global provider of content and digital education solutions. There he ran the global technology organization and all content management, was a member of the Wiley executive leadership team, and a key driver of the company's digital transformation agenda.

Prior to Wiley, Mr. Dyberg was the senior vice president of global solutions development at LexisNexis, driving the development and maintenance of all global customer facing products supporting a $3+ billion revenue stream. His team delivered over 150 software development projects per year at 85%+ on time and on budget and with a defect detection ratio of 96%+. Before LexisNexis, he was the CIO of the Business Information Group of the McGraw-Hill Companies, where he established a leveraged shared services IT model across three different companies enabling them to transform to digital business models. Prior to MGraw-Hill, he was the leader of data technology and management at D&B, VP of communications systems at GTECH, and CIO for the Swedish National Lottery. Mr. Dyberg started his career at the ABB Group in Sweden, and holds a M. Sc. E.E. from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm Sweden.

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Tom Beckett , Senior Vice President
General Counsel

Mr. Thomas Beckett joined American Public University System (APUS) in 2011 and serves as general counsel and secretary. Mr. Beckett also serves on the Board of Directors of Shenandoah Telecommunications Company. Prior to joining APUS, Mr. Beckett was the General Counsel and Chief Operating Officer of InnoZen, Inc. (now CURE Pharmaceutical) and HealthSport, Inc., pharmaceutical and dietary supplement technology companies located in California. Mr. Beckett also held various other leadership positions at these companies. Prior to this work, Mr. Beckett was an attorney at the international law firms King & Spalding LLP and Holland & Knight LLP.

Mr. Beckett earned a B.A. degree from the University of Virginia and a law degree (J.D., with honors) from the University of Florida College of Law.

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Amy Bevilacqua , Senior Vice President
Chief Innovation Officer

Amy Bevilacqua joined American Public Education, Inc. in May 2016 as the organization’s first Chief Innovation Officer.

Amy brings over 25 years of experience in media, technology, and education, spanning the K-12 Higher Education and Lifelong Learning sectors. Starting out her career in college admissions, she went on to found a new division of an international scholarly book publishing company serving the college market, run content-related businesses for PBS, serve as Chief Marketing Officer for an early learning company and lead the global rollout of a SaaS solution for McCann Worldgroup, the world’s largest network of advertising agencies. She also ran an educational film production and distribution house--a portfolio company for the private equity firm KKR--shepherding its sale to a strategic buyer. Earlier in her career, Amy worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers’ entertainment and media consulting practice, and the European Marketing division of Disneyland Paris.

Actively involved in education entrepreneurship and innovation, Amy has served as an investment advisor in the education sector for a global private equity group and for the world’s largest network of angel impact investors. She serves as a mentor to early stage education entrepreneurs informally, and through her affiliation with the Jefferson Education Accelerator, The Runway-Michelson Accelerator, and with Echoing Green.

Amy serves as an adjunct faculty member for the only Masters in Education Entrepreneurship program, housed at the University of Pennsylvania’s Graduate School of Education. She teaches business model design and is the Director of the Capstone program.

She serves on the Board of Directors of the National Woman’s Party at the Belmont-Paul Women’s Equality National Monument, part of the National Park Service. She helped found YaleWomen, an independent 501c3 and global network of over 35,000 female alums of Yale.

Amy has a B.A. in English and Film Studies from Carleton College and an M.B.A. in Strategy from Yale.

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Beth LaGuardia Cooper , Senior Vice President
Chief Marketing Officer

Ms. Beth LaGuardia Cooper oversees marketing strategy and operations for the organization and its subsidiaries, providing leadership direction grounded in a data-driven and nurturing culture that strikes a balance of performance, efficiency, and innovation. During her tenure, Ms. LaGuardia Cooper has led the core brands through the transformation necessary to meet growth objectives with a low-cost marketing model in an increasingly challenging competitive environment. Key tenets of her marketing program include an emphasis on data-driven decision-making and lifecycle management; a strong referral-based brand strategy; and innovative approaches to leverage emerging marketing channels.

In her role, she is responsible for strengthening distinct identity, awareness, and preference for brands vis-à-vis a strategy that is consistent with APEI’s commitment to integrity, transparency, and leadership in the learning management space. This includes helping to guide a unified end-to-end approach to the customer experience that is consistent with emerging market demands and informs or reinforces brand strategy. Ms. LaGuardia Cooper is also responsible for assessing and leading implementation of next-level marketing strategies for new business opportunities.

Prior to APEI, Ms. LaGuardia Cooper held a variety of product management and marketing leadership positions for organizations in the B2B and B2C technology services space, and she crafted campaigns for an agency providing marketing strategy and support for clients in the healthcare and financial sectors.

Ms. LaGuardia Cooper earned an A.B. in Economics from Duke University and an MBA in Marketing from the University of Maryland.

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Melissa Frey, CPA , Senior Vice President
Controller

Ms. Frey joined American Public University System in October of 2004, and held a variety of finance positions prior to her current role as Vice President, Controller. During her tenure at APUS, Ms. Frey has assisted with the design and implementation of automated processes including invoicing, refunding, and general ledger and cash reconciliations. She has also assisted with the preparation of monthly, quarterly, and annual financial statements, as well as financial and non-financial reporting. Ms. Frey manages the university’s business office which includes student, government and third party billing and collections, and student accounts. In addition, she is responsible for financial systems project requirements, prioritization, and quality assurance.

Prior to joining APUS, Ms. Frey had extensive experience working in corporate finance for Learning Tree International, Columbia International, and T. Rowe Price. Responsibilities in these roles included reporting and analysis, revenue recognition, and reconciliation.

Ms. Frey received her MBA in IT Project Management from American Public University and a B.S. in Accounting from University Maryland University College.

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Amy Panzarella , Senior Vice President
Human Resources

Ms. Amy Panzarella is the Vice President of Human Resources at American Public University System (APUS). She joined the University in 2008 and is responsible for all aspects of human resources including budget, healthcare benefits, professional training and development, and compliance. Since her arrival, Ms. Panzarella has developed and increased the HR Department staffing levels to accommodate the growing needs of APUS employees. Under her leadership, the HR Department completely streamlined and automated the employee benefits, performance management, and recruiting processes. Ms. Panzarella’ s goal is to position the HR Department as a strategic partner within the organization, aligning its efforts and objectives with the mission and vision of APUS.

Ms. Panzarella has worked in human resources for over 16 years in a variety of industries to include finance, gaming, manufacturing and now higher education. She holds a Master’s degree in Management with a concentration in human resources. Ms. Panzarella earned her Senior Professional Human Resource Certification (SPHR) in 2009 and was named “HR Professional of the Year” in 2011 by the West Virginia Society of Human Resources State Council. She recently graduated from the “Leadership West Virginia” program in Charleston and continues to be a contributing writer for the “Around the Panhandle” magazine offering human resources, management and professional advice to its readers.

As an active member in her local community, Ms. Panzarella is the 2012 President of the Board of Directors for the Eastern Panhandle Society of Human Resources Management (EPSHRM) and serves on the Board of Directors for the West Virginia State Council of SHRM. She is a board member of the Charles Town Rotary Club, the Jefferson County Chamber of Commerce, the West Virginia University Hospitals – East Foundation, the United Way of the Eastern Panhandle and the Charles Town Old Opera House. In addition, she volunteers for the Personnel Committee of the Eastern Panhandle Free Clinic, the Local School Improvement Council (LSIC), the Career and Technical Education Council in Jefferson County, and the Marketing and Technology Advisory Council for Washington High School.

Ms. Panzarella lives in Charles Town, WV with her family. She enjoys spending any free time that she has with her husband Chris, their three sons Anthony, Andrew, and Tyler, and their two dogs Bella and MJ.