Chief Executive Officer
Randi originally joined Capstone in 2010 as the Vice President of the West where she was instrumental in building our Go To Market strategy for seven years. In July 2022, Randi returned to Capstone as Chief Executive Officer. She is a seasoned executive with over 2 decades of leading and contributing to the vision and strategy within EdTech organizations within the US and internationally. She has a proven track record of executing company-wide transformations and driving organizational excellence and growth in challenging, highly competitive, and brand-new markets. Beginning her career as an educator and staying true to her passion for teaching and learning, Randi believes that education is key and has dedicated her career to advocating for life-long learning opportunities for all children. She has held a variety of leadership positions within TeachMaster Technologies, PLATO Learning, myON, and most recently, Renaissance. Randi has been successful in positioning organizations as market leaders through driving the business strategy, operations, and innovation, while focusing on growth and building and maintaining a positive culture. Randi holds an undergraduate degree in English and she graduated Magna Cum Laude with a Master of Education from Grand Canyon University.
Chief Financial Officer
Steve Robinson is the Chief Financial Officer for Coughlan Companies, LLC. He spent 11 years at Upsher-Smith, a pharmaceutical company in Minnesota, serving as its CFO for the last seven years. Steve began his career in public accounting, working several years for PriceWaterhouse as it was known then. After obtaining his MBA, he then moved to Minnesota to work for Honeywell. Steve was with Honeywell for 10 years serving in a variety of finance positions before moving over to Upsher-Smith.
Chief Marketing and Innovation Officer
John has been engaged in the K-12 education and technology market as an educator, a sales and marketing leader, and a consultant, for more than 30 years. He began his career as a secondary English teacher and curriculum specialist and has been a part of education start-ups and established education organizations. With leadership roles at Lightspan, Pearson, We Are Teachers, myON, Renaissance and other K-12 companies, John has sharpened his skills to help customers work to solve the literacy gap while embracing a servant leadership philosophy that focuses on breaking down barriers to allow teams to perform at their best and expand their capabilities. John is a current board member and past president of Friends of Texas Public Schools and is engaged in many state and national education associations. John is a graduate of Texas Tech University.
Sr. Vice President, Product Development
Laurie has 20+ years of experience creating educational products ranging from software-as-a-service (SaaS) learning and development platforms to content-rich, multimedia learning experiences. Prior to joining the Capstone team, she worked with brands including For Dummies, Everything DiSC, Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team, The Leadership Challenge, PXT Select, CrossKnowledge, and RMC Learning Solutions. She is a firm believer that the team is the most critical ingredient in the product development process—people from different perspectives and skill sets working together in creative tension will craft something much greater than any individual can create alone. Laurie is a graduate from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities campus.
Vice President, Publisher
Beth started with Capstone in 2006 as an editor and held roles of Assistant Editorial Director and Editorial Director before she was named Director of Product Planning in 2018. She oversees the Capstone Content Team and is responsible for the content development, strategy, and execution of Capstone’s publishing list. Beth began her career at Simon & Schuster and is a graduate of Sarah Lawrence College.
Vice President, Business Development
Matt has been with Capstone since 2000. He is an accomplished executive with comprehensive experience in strategic planning and leadership, market segmentation, product positioning, education technology, product management, marketing communications, and sales channel management. Matt has a track record of success in product creation, customer loyalty programs, strategic acquisitions, brand management, and industry partnerships. Matt graduated with a degree in English from Saint John’s University.
Vice President, IT
Renee Saint-Louis, CBAP, CSM is the Vice President of IT. With more than 20 years as a business analyst, director of projects, and project manager in industries as varied as food manufacturing and retail, and five years in publishing and EdTech, Renee has particular expertise in leading complex projects and developing solution-oriented teams. She joined the Capstone team in 2015, is an accomplished speaker and has a Bachelor of Arts from Seattle Pacific University in Family and Consumer Science.
Vice President, People Operations
Amy has a 20+ year career at Capstone, helping support the business life cycles and processes that include start-ups, acquisitions, business shutdowns, and sales. She is a seasoned leader of People Operations, focused on providing counsel and support of the strategic vision of the business, creating people programs that can bring that strategy to life, and mitigating risk along with leadership coaching, recruitment, retention, compensation, learning and development, and employee relations. Before Capstone, she worked in banking and higher education. She attended Minnesota State University, Mankato where she graduated with a degree in Business Management specializing in Human Resources Management. She is a Leadership Coach with certification from the Institute for Professional Excellence and Coaching (IPEC) as well as the International Coaching Federation (ICF). She also holds her Professional in Human Resources (PHR) certification from HRCI.
Board of Governors
Robert J. Coughlan
Principal and Board Member
Bob was part of the team that acquired Capstone in 1990 and became its sole owner in 2019. Capstone rapidly expanded from its inaugural year of publishing 48 books to an industry leader, annually publishing over 700 titles in a variety of formats and successfully innovating into the digital space with products such as PebbleGo, a subscription database designed to be a K-2 student’s first research experience. Prior to his leadership at Capstone, Bob served in a variety of executive leadership positions in the manufacturing and publishing industries. Bob enjoys being involved in CEO peer to peer roundtables. He graduated from Gonzaga University, Spokane, with a B.A. in History.
Maerin A. Coughlan
Owner and Board Member
Maerin is proficient in marketing with significant work experience in the publishing industry. Specialties include communications, social media marketing, and event planning. She is passionate about spreading the importance of literacy through community outreach and engaging with customers. Maerin graduated from Saint Thomas University, Saint Paul, with a B.A. in Communications and Journalism.
Mary J. Cullinane
Mary has spent the last 25 years in leadership positions in the education, technology, and publishing industries. As a former C-Level executive, she has led large organizations responsible for over one billion dollars in annual revenue. She has been responsible for helping drive a company through restructuring and IPO events and has led marketing, communications, and product development organizations in technology and publishing. While at Microsoft, Mary led a team who worked with leaders from around the globe in the quest to improve the teaching and learning process. Mary, a former teacher and author, holds an undergraduate degree from The College of New Jersey and a Master’s degree from Columbia University.
W. Douglas Hile
Chair of the Board
Doug is a business executive with over 40 years of experience in senior executive and CEO roles in financial service businesses in money center, super-regional, and large community banks. He has expert skills in building high performance teams and executing growth strategies in private companies. He has served as a director on over 35 private, public, and cooperative boards in 10 states, with experience chairing boards and numerous committees, including Audit Chair for two large reporting entities. Hile is a graduate of Marquette University (BA, Economics) and the University of Chicago (MBA, Finance and Marketing).
Mary M. Merrill
Mary has over 25 years experience in mergers and acquisitions, private placements of debt and equity, strategic advisory services, and valuations for middle-market companies. She has worked for several investment banking firms, including a boutique investment bank she founded and subsequently sold to Manchester Companies. In her roles as investment banker and private equity investor, Mary has worked with family owned businesses, private, and public companies to achieve growth, liquidity, access to capital, and exit strategies. Merrill earned a Bachelor of Sciences degree in Business and an MBA in Finance and International Business from the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota. She holds FINRA series 7, 24 and 66 licenses.
Dr. Charlie Miller
Charlie is the founder of Flipgrid, a social learning platform used by more than 50 million students, educators, and families across 190 countries. He joined Microsoft as Partner General Manager in 2018 when Microsoft acquired Flipgrid. Prior to Microsoft, Charlie was an Associate Professor in the College of Education and Human Development at the University of Minnesota, as well as the founder and Executive Director of the Institute for Design Innovation (now Education Technology Innovations).
Jeffrey L. Sugerman
Jeff brings more than 30 years of experience in executive management, marketing, and business development within the technology, training, and publishing industries. He joined Inscape Publishing as President and CEO in 2001 to lead its transformation into an independent, growth company. In February 2012, Inscape was acquired by John Wiley and Sons, Inc. and he was named Executive Vice President of the Talent Solutions and Education Services Group. In August 2017, he left Wiley and now works independently as an Advisor and Director to technology-enabled, high-growth companies in the middle market. Jeff received a Ph.D. in psychology from Washington University in St. Louis and a B.A. from Northwestern University.