Digital transformation is more important than ever – but not in the ways it was originally perceived.

A History of Innovation

AccelerEd is built on a history of innovation and a passion for education. We have deep roots in providing the expertise required to support and scale a broad set of solutions to attract learners and drive revenue growth.

We got our start developing and engineering innovative technology solutions to help the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) become one of the world’s largest and most effective distance learning institutions.

Our work has encompassed improving virtually every facet of higher education operations, from enrollment management and marketing to academic affairs, faculty management, and career services.

AccelerEd is a portfolio company of UMGC Ventures. We’re 100% focused on delivering innovative solutions to meet the challenges facing higher education institutions as they adapt and transform in a continuously evolving environment. 

We’re a diverse team of academic, business and technology innovators with vast experience in higher education. AccelerEd enables institutions to leverage technology more efficiently, freeing educators and administrators to focus on student outcomes.

Our Leadership Team

We’re a multidisciplinary, results-oriented team with dynamic backgrounds from the academic, business, and tech worlds. We’re committed to creating a diverse environment and proud to be an equal opportunity employer.

Ashish Patel

Portfolio President & CIO

A seasoned technology executive, Ashish brings more than 20 years of experience in IT services, consulting, and e-commerce operations to AccelerEd. As Portfolio President & CIO, he leads the IT strategy and oversees the teams that modernize global enterprise applications and provide IT managed services for the University of Maryland Global Campus (UMGC) and other prominent partner institutions. Building on AccelerEd’s history of innovation, his current knowledge and future vision of information technology advances the company’s mission of improving the student experience around the globe.
Before joining AccelerEd, Ashish served as a managing director of digital acceleration for MorganFranklin Consulting with a focus on the firm’s CIO and CFO advisory practices and developing solutions in IT strategy, business transformation, and technology modernization. Throughout his career, he has helped organizations worldwide improve their technology readiness and efficiency, with a focus on aligning business processes and IT capabilities to realize cost savings, accelerate performance, and sustain strategic flexibility. Prior to MorganFranklin, Ashish was Senior Vice President of Technology for Bank of America, leading mobile and online retail banking technology projects, as well as CIO of Creative Marketing Solutions, where he played a key role in IT operations, fulfillment technology reengineering, and data management to drive business value. He holds an MBA and a Master of Science degree from University of South Carolina and is both a six-sigma green belt and a certified scrum master.

Barry Sugarman, Ph.D.

VP, Learning Platforms

Dr. Barry Sugarman oversees AccelerEd’s Learning & Innovation and Product Design teams, which work to create new pathways, partnerships, investments, and workforce solutions that enable new revenue opportunities and competitive advantage for partner institutions. His team is continually enriching and expanding upon solution and service offerings that drive the delivery of distinctive digital learning experiences at scale.
Barry has more than 25 years of experience in the higher education, electronic publishing, and technology sectors. Before joining AccelerEd, Barry served as Vice Provost and Dean of the School of Lifelong Learning at Walden University where he oversaw the Office Teaching & Learning Excellence, the University Library, and the Office of Degree Acceleration, as well as initiatives aimed at improving doctoral student success. Prior to Walden, Barry founded and led Laureate Education’s Center for Global Faculty Excellence and served as Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs/Chief Academic Officer at Divine Mercy University (DMU). Barry holds a doctorate in Education from Columbia University and an MBA from Pace University.

Tulio Lagos

VP, Operations & Strategy

Tulio is responsible for establishing a strategic roadmap across AccelerEd’s IT portfolio, partnering closely with the company’s product owners and business leaders. In this role, he provides the necessary connections between university operations and technical system application and performance. His team is accountable for evaluating new initiatives that improve the student experience and digital transformation for higher education overall.
Prior to joining AccelerEd, Tulio served as Director of Market & Business Insights for Laureate Education—defining the strategy, product vision, and roadmap for the entire analytics and market intelligence portfolio across a group of universities. During his tenure, he effectively stewarded cross-functional teams to develop and implement product and service features to provide stakeholders with greater flexibility and improved outcomes. Prior to Laureate, Tulio spent seven years at Confecciones Internacionales, where he led the day-to-day operations of a manufacturing plant across all levels of the supply chain. Tulio holds a bachelor’s degree from Universidad Tecnologica Centroamericana (UNITEC), and an MBA from Instituto de Estudios Bursatiles. He also completed a certificate in business analytics from the University of Pennsylvania.

Gary Kohlheim

AVP, IT Infrastructure & Operations

Gary Kohlheim leads AccelerEd’s IT Infrastructure and Operations team, which provides IT services and support to the company’s clients from the end user through the application stack. The services his team provides include end user computing, IT helpdesk, network and cloud infrastructure, server engineering, and asset management services. They are also hyper-focused on continuous improvement to ensure AccelerEd is providing the highest levels of support for its clients.
Gary has three decades of experience in IT operations across various industries to include higher education, professional services, government, non-profit and financial services. Prior to joining AccelerEd, he served as the Director of IT Operations at Walden University, providing IT support for faculty, staff, and students. Before joining Walden, Gary spent 13 years at TD Ameritrade, leading and managing network, telephony, contact center, and operations. Gary holds a Masters of Science in Information and Communications Sciences from Ball State University.

As a leading provider of education technology products and services, AccelerEd partners with education institutions to deliver innovative solutions and learning experiences to help institutions grow. If you’re looking to work with the best, work with us.

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Brian Gnatt

The dedication from our leadership team and the leadership of UMGC has really made a difference in how we all work together to deliver for our students.

Brian Gnatt
AVP, Engagement Platforms