ESM Announces Executive Promotions

Highlands Ranch, CO — ESM, a provider of student lifecycle solutions to help schools enroll, graduate and place more students, today announced several executive level promotions. Rick Fort, ESM founder, will be moving to Chairman of the Board and Entrepreneur-in-Chief from his current role as CEO, Doug Kelsall will move to CEO from his current role as President and CFO, and Marcy Suntken will move to President and COO from her current role as COO. The promotions will be effective July 1, 2010.

"These promotions are the culmination of a plan that was put into place last year – we’ve built a solid team to lead our continued growth and expansion in student lifecycle solutions,” said Fort. “Both Doug and Marcy bring a wealth of industry experience and knowledge to take ESM and our clients’ programs to the next level, and I have the utmost confidence in them to lead ESM. I look forward to increasing our entrepreneurial focus by finding new ways to help our clients ensure the highest level of student support while growing their organizations."

Kelsall joined ESM in November 2007 and has been instrumental in advancing the company’s financial management and discipline, technologies, systems, and strategy, as well as developing new client relationships and partnerships. He brings close to 30 years of experience in operations, technology, financial management, sales and marketing for start-ups and large private and public companies. Prior to ESM, he served as president and COO of eCollege, which was acquired by Pearson Education. Kelsall also has held leadership positions with Tava Technologies and Evolving Systems, and presently serves on the Board of Trustees of Westwood College, the Board of Directors of Topschool Inc., and the Advisory Board of University of Colorado at Denver.

Suntken joined ESM in January 2009 with over 20 years of executive leadership experience in the education field. Her entire career has been spent working with client-centric organizations, with expertise in account management, strategic planning and operations. Under her guidance, ESM’s overall operational performance and client relations have climbed tremendously. Suntken previously served as president of Knowledge Learning Corporation’s School Partnership division.

Fort moved into education as the owner of a Sylvan Learning Center franchise, and in 1995, founded a customer contact center for a handful of Colorado Sylvan Learning Centers, which grew into ESM. Under his direction, ESM has grown from two employees to more than 600 nationwide, positioning ESM as the premier provider of student lifecycle solutions services for the education industry. In his new role, Fort plans to recruit a Board of Directors, and will focus on investigating new business opportunities, exploring new technological applications and developing new products.

About ESM
ESM provides student lifecycle solutions to help institutions enroll, graduate and place more students. Leveraging its highly trained people, performance-driven processes and advanced technology, the company complements an institution’s in-house teams. ESM operates the largest education-only call center in the country with 600 people in four U.S. locations, delivering rapid, cost-effective lead processing, high contact rates and strong conversion rates. Additionally, ESM provides student retention solutions to improve graduation rates, as well as career placement services to help students succeed professionally. To learn more, please visit

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