CEO - Conext
Michael (Mike) O’Brien is passionate about innovation. He is currently the founder and CEO Mingle, LLC whose properties include Conext.me & Postings.com. Postings.com enables companies to distribute job postings and manage candidates in the cloud, while saving up to 60% on their recruitment advertising. Conext improves business insight and electronically streamlines communication with students, graduates and employers.
In 2012, Mingle was recognized as the 6th fastest growing company in San Diego and 673rd fastest growing company nationwide by Inc, 500|5000. The company also made Inc 500|5000 list in 2013 and 2014.
Mike is an investor and advisor to Understand.com, RehearsalVRP and LawVeritas.com. Mike is currently a Board Member of the Pacific Southwest BBB. Mike is an advisor and investor to crypto asset fund Luna Capital, LLC.
Prior to Mingle, Mike was a co-founder and the CEO of financialaid.com, a pioneer in providing college finance solutions online. Founded in 2000, financialaid.com became one of the most successful student loan companies in the U.S., capitalizing on Mike’s direction and innovative Internet marketing strategies. financialaid.com funded more than $1 Billion in student loans each year. At financialaid.com, Mike conceptualized and created CampusDirt.com (at the time, the number one online college search engine), RateYourCampus.com (online feedback community) and CampusClix.com (a college social networking website). In October of 2004, Mike sold financialaid.com and properties to Education Lending Group (now Student Loan Xpress) which in turn was purchased by CIT (NYSE: CIT) for $400MM in January 2005.
Utilized as a media expert in higher education finance and Internet marketing, Mike has been interviewed by numerous national television and print news media — including The Wall Street Journal, CNBC, NBC Nightly News, Fox News Network, the Chicago Tribune and Kiplingers.
Mike received a Bachelor of Science degree in Marketing from California State University, Fresno. In 2006, he was recognized as Entrepreneur in Residence in 2006 at his alma mater. In 2007, he was on the Fresno State Alumni Association Board. In 2015, Mike was recognized as a finalist for the Most Admired CEO’s in San Diego by the San Diego Business Journal.
Nicholas M. Jimenez
COO - Conext
As Executive Vice President and COO at Mingle LLC, the parent company of Conext.me, Nicholas (Nick) Jimenez helps develop the site’s strategic business plan and unique product offerings, as well as directly manage the product development and sales strategy for Mingle, LLC.
Before joining Mingle, LLC, Nick served as Manager, Strategic Talent Acquisition for James Hardie Industries (NYSE: JHX), a high growth company in the building products industry with sales in excess of $1.4 Billion. He helped to design and lead the Strategic Talent Acquisition function that fueled the company’s 20+% annual growth across a diverse set of recruiting needs. Prior to that, Nick was an Account Executive at Management Recruiters International, a Fresno, CA-based recruiting firm consistently ranked as one of the top offices in the Pacific Region.
Nick holds a BA in Philosophy with a Minor in Criminology, from California State University, Fresno. He also holds advanced certification from The Wharton School’s Essentials of Management Executive Education Program (University of Pennsylvania).
Vice President of Business Development
Ms. Prochaska is an expert in the Higher Education space and a founder and Executive Director of CSPEN (Central States Private Education Network). CSPEN’s mission is to provide post-secondary educational institutions with access to resources and information designed to assist the institutional community in achieving compliance with state and federal legislative requirements and regulatory requirements and supporting students futures through the promotion of student access, completion, and successful entry into the occupational discipline and career of each student’s choosing.
She was also the Vice President of Higher Education Relations at TextAim, responsible for leading business development initiatives, and the successful management of education clients. While at TextAim Jeri was responsible for onboarding 750+ clients.
Jeri has a deep understanding of the education industry through her extensive knowledge of admissions, accreditation and compliance accumulated over a period of two decades of working within the higher education sector.