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Work experience

Nov 2005Present

Chairman, Investor

•    Founder, Lead investor and business advisor to new Internet venture featuring an online guide to wines and a series of online tools serving people interested in wine at all levels.•    Developed the original platform and business model that is now the basis of operation for this seven person firm that is becoming the Internet's premier marketplace for online wine merchants and direct-shipping wineries•    Advise company on marketing strategies, perform operational reviews and oversee strategic planning and business development.

Apr 2009Present

Regional Director, North America

IDP Education Pty Ltd.

IDP is a joint venture, half owned by Australia’s 38 universities and half owned by a private firm called In addition to being a partner in the IELTS exam (English proficiency), IDP has a network of over 70 field offices in 25 countries that work with local students and their families to gain admission to private high schools, ESL, vocational and university programs in Australia. Now in their 40th year, IDP has placed over a quarter of a million students into Australia to date and has become synonymous with the internationalization of Australia’s universities. IDP has decided their next area of expansion should be directed to the American market and I will be a big piece of getting this started.Over the next months, I will be overseas, understanding how the IDP network works and working with their team of talented business analysts and computer developers to outline processes and systems to bring more foreign students to the USA. Once systems are in place, I will head the American university sales operations.

Oct 2008Feb 2009

Marketing Consultant

Schiller International University serves a globally diverse student body from a network of six campuses in Europe, one campus in Florida and as a relatively new participant in online education.  As a Marketing Consultant, reporting directly to the new university president, I completed a consulting project designed to increase enrollments and boost the marketing systems of this very unique university.Oversaw the consolidation of the university's marketing functions into a central office and introduced a number of process and productivity improvements that included:

  • executing an RFP process to bring Internet lead generation vendors as a source of prospective students
  • cutting over to a new university web site and implemented an editorial workflow for all university outreach defined as ”publish first to web, then to print”
  • rationalizing two underperforming recruiting methods and focused internal sales efforts on improving conversions/yield
  • hiring a sales coach to rewrite sales scripts of telemarketing portion of admissions and hiring a Salesforce Integration specialist firm to automate prospective student communications

After orienting my successor and overseeing a smooth transition, I began the planned second portion of the engagement with Schiller; that of building a truly global study abroad program. Using Schiller’s international study body and network of campuses in Europe and the United States, the transnational study abroad program proposed for Schiller is one of a kind, and will position Schiller in a class by itself. Along with two other consultants I put together a very ambitious plan, which Schiller will begin to implement shortly.

Aug 2007Aug 2008

Chief Academic Liaison

•    Editor and Publisher of, an online academic journal of best practices in recruiting, retention and communicating with students.•    Developer and project manager for "National Dialog on Student Retention" survey and conference addressing one of the major concerns for colleges today.•    Guided company marketing, public relations and brand development as Chair of the company's Brand Committee, overseeing the implementation of new corporate brand standards to acquired companies.•    Advocate for the support of traditional university values and business practices through internal consulting, research, meeting planning and public speaking; outlets include the company's Board of Advisors and various academic and trade associations.

Jan 2005Dec 2007

Co-founder, President

Academic Analytics, LLC

•    Developed a business model and supervised construction of an enterprise that brought to market the Faculty Scholarly Productivity Index, a method to measure the performance of doctoral faculty outside the classroom.•    Negotiated license terms with inventors, their employer (SUNY Stony Brook) and leading publishing company.•    Guided the business into a mature enterprise and transitioned it to new ownership and leadership.

Jun 1995Aug 2007

Founder, CEO

Leader, spokesperson, and driver of the well-respected, high-growth educational services company that focuses on student recruitment tools for higher education institutions. Steered the company through the turbulent "dot com" craze by focusing on a simple mantra: "to grow as fast as possible, profitably" which lead to the sale of the business to a private equity firm.

  • Employed a coaching style of management across all corporate disciplines which tasked everyone to have a stake in the company and for  all to share in its success while remaining accountable for their individual contributions
  • Oversaw a creative process that developed an inter-related series of products and services designed to help universities reach prospective students.  
  • Coordinated a talented staff to deliver high quality, measurable advertising and recruiting services to the higher education community.  
  • Orchestrated a marketing strategy that employed co-op style advocacy, citing the benefits of further education while delivering a product that was student-focused.
  • Provided technical stewardship that used common business tools to solve complex system designs, cutting product development time and costs to a fraction of the competition
  • Achieved and maintained market leadership in traffic, student inquiries and advertising dollars with and
  • Created an environment where individuals can prosper but teamwork and common goals are rewarded.  
  • Brought a sense of responsible commercialism to the circles of higher education by participating in trade associations and advocacy initiatives
  • Developed business partnerships with non-profit organizations such as the Institute of International Education (IIE) and University Continuing Education Association (UCEA).
Aug 1989Jun 1994

Founder, CEO

Liberty City College Promotions

Founder of a collegiate marketing service that represented national agencies and their advertising campaigns on campuses throughout the Philadelphia region. Leading a small staff, campus visits would place advertisements on school provided bulletin boards, maintain store displays, and conduct direct solicitation for clients at events.  Developed several new innovative product offerings and coordinated a network of cooperating service vendors.  Brought a high level of professionalism and entrepreneurship that still positively affects the business today.

May 1984Aug 1989

Senior Systems Analyst

Conrail. Corporation

Participated in the Computerized Train Control project where the company invested hundreds of millions of dollars in upgrading its communications, control and dispatching systems. Specific responsibilities included evaluating and designing communication networks and computer programming systems for remote control.  Also served programmer and project manager for new companywide billing system and provided technical support and engineering for the company’s private telecommunications network



As an entrepreneur, I have learned to be fully accountable for what I directly and indirectly control.  Taking full responsibility for my organization has been a hallmark of my success.  In exhibition halls, I am in front and center asking customers "How am I doing?"  I have built advisory boards to improve quality and always seek feedback from customers, good or bad.  Accountability ties directly to the stakeholders in any enterprise and success comes when all have a voice.  This conscientiousness, this near obsession for doing things right, adds to my ethics, and combines to create my reputation: honest and dependable. In an organizational structure this then translates to the values of the team.
Much like a conductor in an orchestra, I enjoy a complex situation involving many factors and enjoy managing all of the variables, aligning and realigning them until you are sure that I have arranged them in the most productive configuration possible. Again attributable to my engineering experience I enjoy figuring out the best way to get things done. 
My engineering degree harnessed by natural desire to take action and years of business experience have given me tools to improve the accuracy of my initiative, but I may well be the poster child of self-starting.  Staff has often labeled my drive as "ready, fire, aim" which only partly frames my perspective.  I firmly believe that the opportunity cost has to be analyzed in each major decision; the cost of inaction has definitely has a price.  Worst case, action is the best device for learning.
Have numerous successes in leadership, not only as CEO, but in professional and volunteer organizations.  Very attuned to the need to coach people as well as push progress, understanding that the net result of a project may be the experience as much as the outcome.  Have a solid sense of self-assurance, faith in my strengths and fortitude to withstand criticism.   Believe that successful leadership is not in being popular, but in reaching the objectives set when first assembled and reaffirmed throughout the process.


Geoffrey Bannister

Almost immediately after starting my new position as President of Schiller International University, I brought Mark Shay in to help resurrect the university’s sales and marketing.  Schiller had recently started a number of systems and initiatives, but few were integrated and the state of the marketing group was highly confused.  Instead of just observing and making recommendations as a consultant, Mark jumped right into the leadership role, made a quick and accurate assessment of the department’s near term goals and set forth a four month plan with six major milestones, plus a goal of boosting new student enrollment over that of fall.  He assumed an interim position of senior management in the university while a nationwide search for a permanent replacement was conducted.  In his temporary position, Mark fostered a sense of cooperation throughout the university and set a very positive tone and eased the transition for his successor. All six of the project’s milestones were achieved and new student enrollments for Spring 2009 did exceed those of Fall 2008. After orienting his successor and overseeing a smooth transition, Mark began the second portion of this engagement with Schiller; that of building a truly global study abroad program.  Using Schiller’s international study body and network of campuses in Europe and the United States, the transnational study abroad program proposed for Schiller is one of a kind, and will position Schiller in a class by itself.  Mark and a team of consultants put together a spectacular plan, which Schiller will begin to implement shortly.I found Mark to be a consummate professional, managing both the commercial and academic aspects of the position well.  He was a champion for the students, respected the faculty and administration and found many creative ways to improve the productivity and performance of those he interacted with. He managed to get things done and in a university setting, this is quite a feat.  I highly recommend Mark and his Higher Education Marketing Strategy consulting practice.

CNN Interview


Seeking a sales, marketing and new product development position at a college, university or organization serving higher education.  Ideally part of a leadership team at an institution that sees itself being more successful in future.


In addition to spending time with my three children, am passionate about education at all levels.  Provide financial support and volunteer efforts to organizations that impact my environment.  These include professional societies (AIEA, Council of Graduate Schools, NAGAP, NAFSA), church (UUCDC) and student/school organizations. Serve on committees, volunteer for task forces and speak at conferences and events as the opportunities present.  Outside higher education, I have volunteered for tasks as varied as a ministerial search committee, school board candidate and chairman of a proposed charter school's board of directors.


I am an entrepreneur with a long history of business success, especially in higher education and have served thousands of customers, ranging from individual faculty members and graduate deans, to university presidents and foreign governments.  I have a clear understanding of how universities work and a strong opinion of how universities should work.