OUR TEAM


Leadership

  Libby Fischer   CEO  A graduate of St. Louis University, Libby taught Spanish in the Mississippi Delta with Teach For America before joining Revolution Foods, where she supported school partnerships to provide healthy lunches to students. After a few too many cold winters, Libby returned South to join Whetstone Education as Director of Growth. She moved into the role of CEO in the fall of 2014 & is thrilled to be partnering with the country’s foremost thought leaders on instructional development. She was recognized as a Forbes 30 under 30 in Education in January 2016.

Libby Fischer

CEO

A graduate of St. Louis University, Libby taught Spanish in the Mississippi Delta with Teach For America before joining Revolution Foods, where she supported school partnerships to provide healthy lunches to students. After a few too many cold winters, Libby returned South to join Whetstone Education as Director of Growth. She moved into the role of CEO in the fall of 2014 & is thrilled to be partnering with the country’s foremost thought leaders on instructional development. She was recognized as a Forbes 30 under 30 in Education in January 2016.

  Zach Hollwedel   Director of Operations and Data  Zach earned his BFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and subsequently spent eight years overseeing programs at Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, a service and advocacy organization for NYC’s nonprofit theatre industry. In May of 2014, he traded the Big Apple for the Big Easy and managed operations and finances for various nonprofit and creative organizations. He is thrilled to have found a home in New Orleans’ vibrant start-up and education communities at Whetstone.

Zach Hollwedel

Director of Operations and Data

Zach earned his BFA in Dramatic Writing from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts and subsequently spent eight years overseeing programs at Alliance of Resident Theatres/New York, a service and advocacy organization for NYC’s nonprofit theatre industry. In May of 2014, he traded the Big Apple for the Big Easy and managed operations and finances for various nonprofit and creative organizations. He is thrilled to have found a home in New Orleans’ vibrant start-up and education communities at Whetstone.


CUSTOMER SUCCESS

  Lizzie McDonald   Director of Customer Success  As a graduate from Tulane University and a Venture for America fellow, Lizzie joined Whetstone in 2015 as the Customer Success and Marketing Manager. Lizzie was inspired by her experience with the Center for Public Service at Tulane, and start-ups in New Orleans, and decided she wasn’t quite ready to leave the Big Easy after graduation. She is super excited to be working at a company that prioritizes education in the city and beyond.

Lizzie McDonald

Director of Customer Success

As a graduate from Tulane University and a Venture for America fellow, Lizzie joined Whetstone in 2015 as the Customer Success and Marketing Manager. Lizzie was inspired by her experience with the Center for Public Service at Tulane, and start-ups in New Orleans, and decided she wasn’t quite ready to leave the Big Easy after graduation. She is super excited to be working at a company that prioritizes education in the city and beyond.

  Allie Flowers   Lead Customer Success Manager  Allie studied Communication at the George Washington University before pursuing her interest in education and joining Teach for America – South Carolina. After the Corps she earned her MS in Educational Studies from Johns Hopkins University and made her way down to New Orleans. She joined the Whetstone team as our fourth Customer Success Manager in June 2017 and is excited to continue her passion for student success through building excellent school communities.

Allie Flowers

Lead Customer Success Manager

Allie studied Communication at the George Washington University before pursuing her interest in education and joining Teach for America – South Carolina. After the Corps she earned her MS in Educational Studies from Johns Hopkins University and made her way down to New Orleans. She joined the Whetstone team as our fourth Customer Success Manager in June 2017 and is excited to continue her passion for student success through building excellent school communities.

  Spencer Nessel   Customer Success Manager  Originally from Jackson, MS, Spencer has spent the last four years working in New Orleans public schools as both an instructor and coach. Before coming to New Orleans, Spencer received a B.A. in English from Millsaps and taught abroad in China. He is a proud AmeriCorps alum and is passionate about partnering with schools to continue working towards a stronger and more equitable education system.

Spencer Nessel

Customer Success Manager

Originally from Jackson, MS, Spencer has spent the last four years working in New Orleans public schools as both an instructor and coach. Before coming to New Orleans, Spencer received a B.A. in English from Millsaps and taught abroad in China. He is a proud AmeriCorps alum and is passionate about partnering with schools to continue working towards a stronger and more equitable education system.

 
  Hannah Schuele   Customer Success Associate  Originally from Michigan, Hannah spent the last few years studying Psychology at Tulane University. She started as our customer success intern and joined the team in May of 2018 as our first Customer Success Associate. She’s ecstatic to be sticking around New Orleans and looking forward to the opportunity to work at a startup with a great mission.

Hannah Schuele

Customer Success Associate

Originally from Michigan, Hannah spent the last few years studying Psychology at Tulane University. She started as our customer success intern and joined the team in May of 2018 as our first Customer Success Associate. She’s ecstatic to be sticking around New Orleans and looking forward to the opportunity to work at a startup with a great mission.

  Dusty Atchison   Customer Success Manager  Dusty graduated with a B.A. from the University of Alabama in History and Educational Studies. In college, he served in schools through various volunteer opportunities, such as youth mentorship, 3rd/4th-grade chess education, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Following graduation, he served with City Year for two years, one as an academic and behavioral interventionist, and one as a Team Leader. He's excited to continue gaining exposure to the field of education while doing his small part to help it grow.

Dusty Atchison

Customer Success Manager

Dusty graduated with a B.A. from the University of Alabama in History and Educational Studies. In college, he served in schools through various volunteer opportunities, such as youth mentorship, 3rd/4th-grade chess education, and Big Brothers Big Sisters. Following graduation, he served with City Year for two years, one as an academic and behavioral interventionist, and one as a Team Leader. He's excited to continue gaining exposure to the field of education while doing his small part to help it grow.


PARTNERSHIPS

  Michael Richard   Director of Partnerships  Michael /reeshard/ joins Whetstone after 15 years working in public education as a teacher, school leader, and most recently as the Director of Education Pioneers New Orleans. He earned his BA in philosophy from Northwestern University, an MA in curriculum and instruction from National Louis University, and an MBA from Tulane. He is thrilled to grow Whetstone’s impact nationwide while continuing to call New Orleans home.

Michael Richard

Director of Partnerships

Michael /reeshard/ joins Whetstone after 15 years working in public education as a teacher, school leader, and most recently as the Director of Education Pioneers New Orleans. He earned his BA in philosophy from Northwestern University, an MA in curriculum and instruction from National Louis University, and an MBA from Tulane. He is thrilled to grow Whetstone’s impact nationwide while continuing to call New Orleans home.

  Georgia Conklin   Partnerships Operations Associate  Georgia completed her BA at the University of Toronto in English and Book & Media studies. Upon moving to the United States, she began working in sales and operations roles across the country, including Business Development and Recruiting. Before arriving at Whetstone, she worked in New Orleans as a Retail Sales Manager. She is excited to call New Orleans her home, and thrilled to join Whetstone.

Georgia Conklin

Partnerships Operations Associate

Georgia completed her BA at the University of Toronto in English and Book & Media studies. Upon moving to the United States, she began working in sales and operations roles across the country, including Business Development and Recruiting. Before arriving at Whetstone, she worked in New Orleans as a Retail Sales Manager. She is excited to call New Orleans her home, and thrilled to join Whetstone.


PRODUCT

  Kevin Kolz   CTO  Kevin was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. He graduated from LSU with a B.S. in Computer Science in 2008. Since graduating, he has worked for a myriad of different companies in different states, ranging in size from 10 - 300,000 people. He is a full stack developer with 10 years of experience and has worked with a multitude of different technology stacks and languages. After working for so many different companies, he decided the startup scene is where he is happiest. So, he made the move to Whetstone. He is passionate about learning and keeping up with the latest technology. He aims to innovate and apply the lessons he has learned over the years at Whetstone.

Kevin Kolz

CTO

Kevin was born and raised in New Orleans, LA. He graduated from LSU with a B.S. in Computer Science in 2008. Since graduating, he has worked for a myriad of different companies in different states, ranging in size from 10 - 300,000 people. He is a full stack developer with 10 years of experience and has worked with a multitude of different technology stacks and languages. After working for so many different companies, he decided the startup scene is where he is happiest. So, he made the move to Whetstone. He is passionate about learning and keeping up with the latest technology. He aims to innovate and apply the lessons he has learned over the years at Whetstone.

  Dylan Legendre   Senior Software Developer  After obtaining a B.A. in Computer Information Systems from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA, Dylan went on to work for a few different companies as a full-stack developer before deciding to settle down at Whetstone. He strives to be a part of something where he can work hard as a member of a closely-knit team, working together to solve today's engineering problems in an industry where he can make a meaningful impact on the world.

Dylan Legendre

Senior Software Developer

After obtaining a B.A. in Computer Information Systems from Nicholls State University in Thibodaux, LA, Dylan went on to work for a few different companies as a full-stack developer before deciding to settle down at Whetstone. He strives to be a part of something where he can work hard as a member of a closely-knit team, working together to solve today's engineering problems in an industry where he can make a meaningful impact on the world.

  Grace Halbert   Software Developer  Originally from Alexandria, LA, Grace moved to New Orleans in 2010 after graduating from Auburn University with a degree in Public Relations. She pursued her interest in software development by completing an intensive immersion course through Operation Spark in New Orleans in the winter of 2016. She is excited to be a part of a team that strives for excellence and contributes to the education community.

Grace Halbert

Software Developer

Originally from Alexandria, LA, Grace moved to New Orleans in 2010 after graduating from Auburn University with a degree in Public Relations. She pursued her interest in software development by completing an intensive immersion course through Operation Spark in New Orleans in the winter of 2016. She is excited to be a part of a team that strives for excellence and contributes to the education community.

  Maria Plotkina   Product Manager  Maria joined Whetstone in June 2016 as our second Customer Success Manager before joining the Product team. Most recently, she served as a Talent Coordinator for one of our partners, FirstLine Schools in New Orleans. Maria graduated from the University of New Orleans with her MA in Arts Administration and has made her home in New Orleans ever since. Originally from Brooklyn, she is passionate about working in the intersection of education and community.

Maria Plotkina

Product Manager

Maria joined Whetstone in June 2016 as our second Customer Success Manager before joining the Product team. Most recently, she served as a Talent Coordinator for one of our partners, FirstLine Schools in New Orleans. Maria graduated from the University of New Orleans with her MA in Arts Administration and has made her home in New Orleans ever since. Originally from Brooklyn, she is passionate about working in the intersection of education and community.