Company

Meet the Team

We’re revolutionizing higher education

Hong Bui

CHIEF PRODUCT OFFICER

“Educators want to deliver great learning experiences – and students want to learn. Our job at Top Hat is to drive innovation to make the whole process more seamless, engaging and effective for everyone.”

In his role as Top Hat’s Chief Product Officer, Hong Bui is responsible for driving Top Hat’s product innovation to increase value to students and academic institutions, while enhancing the company’s competitive positioning and business growth.

Bui is an accomplished product leader with over 20 years of senior executive experience developing and launching products on behalf of industry luminaries such as Amazon, Expedia and Apple. Prior to joining Top Hat, Bui served as Vice President, Product Brands and New Solutions at GoDaddy where he led the organization’s security business across its global brands portfolio.

Bui holds a BA in Science from California State University in Fresno.

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Maggie Leen

Chief Marketing Officer

From small moments of learning to major discoveries, I truly believe education positively changes the trajectory of people’s lives.

As CMO, Maggie Leen is responsible for driving the company’s overall marketing strategy, including brand management, demand generation, product marketing, planning and execution. 

Leen is an accomplished sales and marketing leader with a proven pedigree of winning the hearts and minds of customers. Prior to joining Top Hat, Leen served as Vice President, Marketing and Communications at Adtalem (a $1.2B revenue organization) where she led a high-performing team of 80+ marketing, business development, sales, operations, communications and creative professionals. Before that, Leen served in a variety of progressively senior Sales and Marketing roles at Pearson, most recently as their SVP Product Marketing, Global Higher Education. 

Leen holds a BA in Science and Psychology from Marquette University in Wisconsin.

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Curtis Tripoli, Top Hat CFO, stands in front of a beige building. He is wearing a blue blazer.

Curtis Tripoli

Chief Financial Officer

“Higher education has been foundational in shaping my career and perspective on the world. I couldn’t be more excited to work with a team so dedicated to enabling instructors and institutions to transform the learning experience for their students.”

As CFO, Curtis Tripoli leads Top Hat’s financial and operational functions. Tripoli is a highly-experienced servant leader with a proven track record of delivering positive outcomes for shareholders.

Before joining Top Hat, Tripoli was VP, Global Head of FP&A at Ancestry.com. Under his leadership, he led the billion-dollar company from being public to three Private Equity recaps over the past 12 years. Prior to Ancestry.com, Tripoli led Financial Planning and Analysis at Omniture through its successful acquisition by Adobe.

Tripoli holds a BA from the University of California, Los Angeles and an MBA from the USC Marshall School of Business.

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Bradley Cohen

CHIEF ACADEMIC OFFICER

“Technology is the driving force of innovation in higher education. Top Hat is poised to have an industry-wide impact on teaching and learning that will accelerate institutional and faculty efforts to engage, retain, and help all students succeed.”

As Top Hat’s Chief Academic Officer, Bradley Cohen provides leadership and advocacy within the higher education community as well as guidance to support Top Hat’s product innovation, digital publishing, and institutional engagement strategy.

Prior to joining Top Hat, Cohen served as the Chief Strategy and Innovation Officer at Ohio University. Under his leadership, Ohio University made great strides to improve student learning outcomes, saved students millions of dollars through textbook and course redesign initiatives, and successfully executed ambitious growth strategies in online and blended learning. Before that, Cohen advanced instructional innovation and technology for 15 years at the University of Minnesota as the head of the Center for Educational Innovation and the Associate CIO for Academic Technology.

Cohen has a PhD in Philosophy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Jessica Hately

Chief Legal Officer

“I am inspired by Top Hat’s purpose to make education more accessible and innovative to meet the real-world needs of students and professors. To work for a high-growth company that lives and breathes that mission is very exciting.”

As Top Hat’s CLO, Jessica Hately oversees mergers and acquisitions, investments, and strategic transactions to drive aggressive growth and support business performance.

Prior to joining Top Hat, Hately served as VP of Legal Affairs at GoDaddy. In that role, she helped guide the company’s growth strategy, led worldwide mergers and acquisitions, oversaw corporate compliance, and helped expand the legal team internationally and into new lines of business. Before that, she was Senior Corporate Counsel at LifeLock, where she worked on corporate governance, securities, and mergers and acquisitions.

Hately holds a BA in Art History and English from Williams College and a JD from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Larry Indovina

Chief People Officer

My goal is for our employees to wake up 20 years from now and reflect on the fact that Top Hat was the most memorable and impactful part of their careers.

As Top Hat’s CPO, Larry Indovina is responsible for the design, development and execution of the company’s strategic human resources initiatives, with a keen focus on growth and expansion.

Indovina has more than 20 years of experience pioneering people strategies at high-growth companies, leading global teams and supporting mergers and acquisitions—all while maintaining a relentless focus on world-class employee experiences and workplace culture. Indovina joins Top Hat from Fleet Complete, a Toronto-based tech company that rapidly scaled during his tenure from 80 employees in Canada to 800+ across 16 countries.

Indovina has an MHRM from York University.

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Donna Battista

MANAGING DIRECTOR, LEARNING SOLUTIONS

“Tackling the hardest challenges in teaching and learning is what we do, but it’s not just about providing solutions. It’s giving educators the tools and flexibility to meet the needs of their students as only they can. I don’t think there’s a company better positioned to deliver exactly this.”

As Top Hat’s Managing Director of Learning Solutions, Donna Battista is responsible for the strategy and development of Top Hat’s growing catalog of high quality, interactive digital learning experiences, custom content delivery and content services.

Battista has 20 years of experience leading content and product development in higher education. Prior to joining Top Hat as Vice President, Content Strategy, Donna held senior executive positions at Burning Glass Technologies and Pearson Education, where she served as Vice President, Product Management.

Battista holds an MA in Literature from Boston College and a BA in English and Business from Northeastern University.

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Justin Weinberg

VP of Product | Co-founder, Aktiv Learning

“STEM students enter higher ed with varying degrees of preparedness, and our job is to make sure they each receive the guidance they need to succeed. Bringing Aktiv and Top Hat together empowers us to improve the way we support students while also driving growth at scale.”

As Top Hat’s VP of Product and co-founder of Aktiv Learning (acquired by Top Hat), Weinberg leads product strategy and innovation for STEM disciplines and is responsible for accelerating the growth and impact of the Aktiv Learning platform. With a background in chemical engineering, he has a passion for teaching students and a deep understanding of the struggles and opportunities in STEM education. His goal is to support students with the preparation they need to succeed and empower educators to easily improve student engagement and outcomes.

Prior to joining Top Hat, Weinberg led Aktiv to become the premier active learning platform purpose-built for chemistry and math, driving growth from 0 to more than 700 colleges and universities in just six years. But the achievement he is most proud of is knowing that 86 percent of Aktiv students attribute the platform to making them more engaged or interested in chemistry.

Weinberg holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.

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Igor Belyayev

VP of Engineering | Co-founder, Aktiv Learning

“By blending Aktiv’s innovative learning solutions with Top Hat’s strengths in dynamic courseware, we’re able to fully empower educators to deliver truly connected learning experiences.”

Belyayev leads development in the STEM disciplines at Top Hat. His work supports the vision, design, strategy, and implementation of Aktiv Learning while also providing technical leadership to the broader Top Hat platform. Working closely with other leaders in the business, he drives product innovation to further strengthen Aktiv’s educational toolset and level the playing field for struggling students.

Prior to joining Top Hat, Belyayev led technical development at Aktiv where he brought to life new ideas for interactive experiences that empower students to learn by doing. As Aktiv’s chief architect, his focus is on enabling connections with coursework so that students can experience, interact with, and visualize difficult STEM concepts on any device.

Belyayev holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art.

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Mike Silagadze

Founder

“Top Hat is an amazing place filled with smart people driven by the clear mission to improve education.”

Mike Silagadze is the co-founder of Top Hat. Under Silagadze’s leadership and vision, Top Hat has become the market leader in student engagement software, and is used by millions of students at three-quarters of the top 1,000 colleges and universities in North America.

Silagadze is an active speaker in the higher education, technology and startup communities, having lectured at the Rotman Commerce Entrepreneurship Organization, the ASU GSV Summit, MaRS, Tech Fest Toronto, SAAS North and T­E­Dx­Laurier­University, among many others.

Silagadze holds a BSc in Electrical Engineering from the University of Waterloo.

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