Leading Student Success Organization Expands Senior Leadership Team

Social impact organization InsideTrack announces new senior vice president of partner success and senior director of finance

PORTLAND, OR. (OCTOBER 30, 2019) — InsideTrack, the pioneering student success organization, today announced the appointment of Steve Ast as senior vice president of partner success and Riikka Marr as senior director of finance. Marr and Ast bring decades of experience helping organizations grow sustainably, improve internal processes, and solve their most complicated challenges, which will help InsideTrack advance its mission to improve student outcomes and unlock human potential. 

As senior vice president of partner success, Ast will lead InsideTrack’s team of partner success executives who cultivate relationships with higher education leaders across the country and support them in enhancing their student support programs. He joins the team with more than 10 years of executive experience at leading education product and service firms — including Ruffalo Noel Levitz, Wiley and Pearson — providing Ast with a deep background in working with colleges, universities and other education organizations to promote student success, enhance online learning experiences, and support students through the enrollment process.

“From declining enrollment and funding to increasing scrutiny around outcomes and equity, today’s colleges and universities face unprecedented challenges, but also a profound opportunity to reorient themselves around the needs of the modern student,” said Ast. “There is growing demand among institutions for partners who can help them navigate the changing education landscape and better support students in reaching their full potential. I’ve long admired InsideTrack’s mission-oriented approach and dedication to driving measurable impact and am excited to support the organization, its partner institutions and their students to thrive.”

Marr is an accomplished financial planning and analysis (FP&A) leader with more than 15 years of proven success at companies of all types and sizes, including Thermo Fisher Scientific, FEI Company, Pixelworks and KPMG. As the senior director of finance at InsideTrack, she will use her financial reporting, strategic planning, budgeting, forecasting and process improvement expertise to lead InsideTrack’s financial strategy and oversee crucial activities such as auditing, financial planning, and reporting. 

“I was drawn to InsideTrack by its focus on bettering society through increasing educational access and success,” said Marr. “The organization has already impacted millions of people’s lives and I look forward to helping InsideTrack greatly expand that impact going forward.”

Over the past 18 years, InsideTrack has directly supported millions of students and assisted thousands of academic programs in providing more consistent, professional and holistic student support. A member of the nonprofit Strada Education Network, InsideTrack’s proven student success coaching model helps students develop the knowledge, skills, attitudes and beliefs required for long-term success, and its consulting and training services support partner institutions in executing the organizational transformation needed to deploy scalable, sustainable student support programs that drive ongoing improvement.

“InsideTrack was founded on the belief that education is a transformative force that should be accessible to everyone,” said Pete Wheelan, CEO of InsideTrack. “For nearly two decades, we have worked to build a team of dedicated, passionate higher education leaders that share this belief and are committed to working with colleges and universities to provide students with the support they need to thrive in academics and in life. Riikka and Steve are exactly the types of leaders that InsideTrack needs to continue to grow and positively impact millions of more students in the years to come.” 

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About InsideTrack

InsideTrack is passionate about student success. We partner with institutions and organizations to improve enrollment, persistence, completion and career readiness. Our student support methodology uncovers first hand feedback about student goals and challenges. Through strategic guidance, staff training and student coaching, we help institutions turn this feedback into actionable insights that drive better student outcomes. As a member of the nonprofit Strada Education Network, we offer partners access to a comprehensive range of student success solutions as well as the latest research and insights on student success. We’ve supported more than 2 million students since 2001 and currently serve over 4,000 programs. Join us and the leading institutions, foundations, and others working to bring the transformative power of education to all individuals. Visit us at www.insidetrack.com and follow us on Twitter @InsideTrack.

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