Team

Charlie Nguyen
CEO | Founder
As the CEO of CMS Global, Charlie Nguyen leads a team of highly accomplished professionals to fulfill our mission of ‘educate, connect our world’.  Previously, Charlie led operations for the University of Phoenix in the US, from Texas to Nevada to Colorado to New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, Massachusetts in addition to serving online students in over 20 states. During his tenure with University of Phoenix, he contributed to explosive growth in which enrollment triple to almost 500,000 students and almost 1million graduates. In the recent years, he was asked to lead operations in Asia by Apollo Education Group, parent company of the University of Phoenix.  During this timeframe, he assisted a number of universities with launching/expanding their online programs.  Prior to Apollo, Charlie started and ran several successful companies in the hospitality, real estate, insurance and e-commerce industries.
Jane Baker Pierce
Chief Operations Officer
As the Chief Operations Officer, Jane heads up CMS Global’s day to day operations. She works closely with market leaders to develop and operationalize a comprehensive internationalization plan.

Jane brings 28 years of higher education leadership and business experience to CMS Global. In various roles throughout her career, she began building marketing and adult enrollment management expertise at the Institute for Professional Development, a subsidiary of Apollo Group, Inc. She expanded her role into developing strategic partnerships with private, non-profit institutions. Leveraging her experience, Jane works collaboratively with each partner to improve student engagement, retention and graduation rates. Proficient in forecasting, she assists institutions with growing enrollment and revenues by alignment of strategic goals which support the institution’s mission and vision. Jane transitioned to Helix Education in 2014 where she continued to serve as Regional Vice President until retirement in early 2016. Providing world-class service as a consultant or partner is the core of her belief system in serving the higher education community.

Jane has a Master’s Degree in Social Work from the University of Wisconsin.

Shichao ‘William’ Du
Head of China Operations

As the Head of China Operations, William heads up CMS Global’s corporate development effort in China. In this role, William works closely with universities and e-learning providers in China to develop network of student recruiting and support channels as part of our strategy to ‘educate and connect our world’.

William has extensive experience in higher education for both US and China.  In addition, having worked for one of China’s largest investment work with strong emphasis in M&A of private education providers, William is uniquely positioned to expand CMS Global’s operations. Some of William’s core competencies are:

  • Established relationships and connections in Chinese higher education and capital market.
  • Deep understanding of Chinese online educational field.
  • Market research and segmentation.

William has a Master of Business Administration Degree with Finance concentration from Pace University.

Matty Freeman-Richards
Chief Marketing Officer 

As the Chief Marketing Officer, Matty is not only responsible for overseeing all marketing operations and initiatives within CMS Global, she is also the voice of the student and the academic partner. As CMO, Matty is a strategic activist in shaping the company’s profile and a critical growth partner for CMS Global. A highly motivated and proven marketing executive with 15 years of experience, Matty has led brands such as University of Phoenix, Google and Airbnb. With a career focus on brand, acquisition and customer lifecycle, her goal is to drive company and product success and profitability.

Matty has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism from the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Todd David Maurer  
Board Member 
Todd Maurer is Chief Strategist and Founder of 3/1 Global Research and a career Asia and Emerging Markets analyst with a focus on education and knowledge industries. For over two decades he has brought analytical research, capital markets and cross-border M&A expertise to corporations, governments, start-ups and private investors worldwide. 

Maurer was previously Vice President of Corporate Development, China and North Asia, for Apollo Global, a joint venture investment company formed in 2007 by Apollo Group, Inc. (NASDAQ: APOL) and Carlyle Group (NASDAQ: CG), with operations in 14 countries.  Prior to this he was a Partner at Lotus Asset Management Limited, a Hong Kong-based hedge fund and alternative investment firm.  He has also held senior corporate finance and equity research positions within Peregrine Investments Holdings Limited based in Hong Kong, Seoul and Beijing. He commenced his career as a trade economist with KOTRA, a Korean government agency. 
Mr. Maurer earned a B.A. in Economics from U.C.L.A, an M.I.A at the School of International and Public Affairs at Columbia University, and has conducted post-graduate study at Peking University and Nanking University, China.  He speaks and reads Mandarin Chinese, and conversational Korean and Russian. 

John Dobbertin 
Board Member 
John Dobbertin served as the Chief Operating Officer of Helix Education, Inc. and the General Manager of Enterprise Services and Platforms at Helix Education, Inc. With extensive experience in technology and service leadership, John actually began his career in higher education on the technology side.

Mr. Dobbertin served as Vice President and Director of Product and Infrastructure at eCollege.com, Inc. for seven years. Mr. Dobbertin started working for Pearson eCollege in 1998 in the quality assurance department and then moved over to start its systems integration team. He served as General Manager of EQUELLA, leading it from Tasmania, Australia, before coming back to Denver to take on the role of Senior Vice President of Business Operations and Services for Pearson eCollege. In this role, he was responsible for all partner-facing aspects of the business, including 24/7 Technical Support, Client Services, Account Management, Professional Services, EQUELLA North America and Europe consulting, and the Thirdway business (Pearson eCollege’s OPM offering). He was responsible for Pearson eCollege’s Software as a Service (SaaS) hosting and hardware infrastructure, maintenance and security worldwide.

John has presented at numerous conferences including CiTE, EDUCAUSE and WCET. Mr. Dobbertin was part of the Ultimate Customer Panel for the Tier1 Research DataCenter Transformation Summit in Silicon Valley. Prior to coming to Pearson eCollege, he taught French to elementary students in Atlanta’s inner city.

John holds a BA in Elementary Education and French, Niagara University and completed Technical Education tracks at Georgia Institute of Technology.

Dr. Blake Faulkner 
Board Member 

With more than two decades of successful experience leading multi-campus universities and online degree programs through international expansions and large-scale change, Dr. Blake Faulkner provides a unique and broad set of strengths as a strategic higher education leader.

A proven expert in globalization strategies for international expansion, Dr. Faulkner’s dynamic skills, broad connections and myriad resources have helped him plot successful long-term growth plans, identify sustainable funding avenues, and manage the accreditation process and regulatory bodies for numerous universities. His work has resulted in vastly improved enrollment, improved financial stability and capacity, new revenue streams and lean operations.

A prudent fiscal steward of budgets and an innovative leader, Dr. Faulkner has proven experience revitalizing campus capital investments and programming and building strong partnerships with business leaders. He knows how to develop high performing, engaged faculty and staff and has the knowledge base to help higher education leadership teams navigate the challenging terrain of higher education today to help their institutions and programs flourish.

The former college football coach has advanced swiftly through his career, starting in early roles as a faculty member and athletic director, then promoted to senior VP roles in Strategic Advancement, Enrollment, International Affairs and Administration.

Most recently, Dr. Falkner has held Provost and President positions for universities, making significant impacts with his change management leadership. He has reimagined the future and grown private colleges and universities and knows how to navigate the accreditation and transformation process.

He currently provides higher education counsel and expertise, guiding international expansions, strategic planning and vision building, precision management of retention, development of strategic alliances and partnerships , and innovative academic and business models, to meet the educational needs of today’s student to compete in the global marketplace.

Jeff Creighton 
Board Member 
Successful serial entrepreneur with a passion for, and deep domain knowledge in the education space. Jeff successfully started and exited three venture backed education eCommerce businesses, with significant returns to investors. Jeff created several successful new businesses by bringing fundamentally new business models to the historically conservative education space, causing significant disruption and driving very rapid growth. A few of Jeff’s accomplishments include:

  • Founded EduPoint in 1996, creating the education industry’s first online lead generation platform. EduPoint grew to a valuation of $55 million in 18 months.
  • Directed the close of a major co-branding sales agreement with Microsoft, creating an online learning marketplace within the Encarta portal.
  • Chief Business Officer to Telanetix, helping position the Company for a successful IPO within 5 years.
  • Formed and led EdAssist, a SAAS application that managed over $100 million in annual tuition volume prior to its sale to Bright Horizons in 2010.
  • Most recently, Jeff launched Knoitall, whose mission is to “Build and Support the world’s largest online destination for consumers in pursuit of learning”.
Don Benson 
Board Member 
In addition to being a board member of CMS Global, Don serves on the following boards:

  • InStream – Board of Advisors
  • Jones & Carter, Inc – Board of Directors
  • CHR Solutions, Inc – Chairman of the Board of Directors
  • Compass EMP, Fund Trusts – Board of Trustee
  • Net America Alliance – Board of Managers
  • Agile Edge Technologies, Inc – Board of Advisors
  • S & S Healthcare Strategies, LLC – Advisor.

Previously, Don successfully led a number of companies:

  • President / CEO of TriSurant
  • CAO & Sr. Vice President of National Nephrology Associates
  • President & CEO of The Methodist Office Building Co.
  • Sr. Vice President of Methodist Healthcare System  
Matt Ankrum
Co-Founder
Matthew A. Ankrum, CFA   In December 2010, Mr. Ankrum co-founded BodeTree LLC, a business-to-business subscription-based web application focused on serving franchisors and lending institutions, where he continues to serve as Executive Chairman of the company.  From August 2008 to September 2012, Mr. Ankrum served as the head of strategy for Apollo Education Group, Inc. Prior to these positions, Mr. Ankrum served as a financial analyst and portfolio manager for Janus Capital Management, Lateef Investment Management, and William Blair & Company.  Mr. Ankrum holds a B.B.A. in Finance from the University of Wisconsin, Madison and an M.B.A. from the University of Chicago.