Our Staff

Gary Lopez
Gary founded The NROC Project in 2003 and has spent every day since thinking of ways to help students and instructors succeed. He and his wife live in Monterey, CA where they enjoy cycling, vegetable gardening, GS Warrior basketball, and hiking in the Big Sur wilderness.
Ahrash Bissell
Ahrash is responsible for managing NROC’s budget and coordinating strategic partnerships and priorities, including ongoing development of the EdReady platform. He lives in Berkeley, California, with his wife and two boys. Ahrash enjoys outdoor activities of all kinds as well as cooking what he grows in his garden.
Nancy Cook
Nancy Cook
Managing Director
Nancy has served as the Director of Operations since the organization was founded in 2003 and enjoys helping our members be successful. Nancy’s passions are her children and animals but she is especially known for her legendary love of chocolate!
Jessica Everton
Jessica Everton
Senior Director, Product Development
From building learning resources to working collaboratively with leaders, teachers, and students, Jessica has been delivering learning solutions to NROC members for ten years. When not working, she’s busy raising her two young daughters, playing tennis, and espousing the benefits of the Oxford comma.
Marci Abraham
Marci Abraham
Technical Support Specialist
Marci’s highest priority is providing technical support to NROC members. When she’s not answering tickets, she’s working on the NROC web sites. Marci makes her happy home in California, where she juggles four teenagers, two households, a small zoo, and as much Grateful Dead therapy as she and her man can squeeze in.
Bryan Arvison
Bryan Arvison
Regional Membership Manager
Bryan has many years of experience with traditional for-profit educational technology software and services companies, but he is particularly excited to be a part of The NROC Project’s non-profit efforts focused on college and career readiness as a Regional Membership Manager. Bryan and his family reside in St. Louis, Missouri and he enjoys running, hiking and St. Louis Cardinals baseball!
Phil Cross
Phil Cross
Senior Software Engineer
Phil is a coder who develops and maintains much of the NROC software offering. He currently lives in Kansas with his wife and 2 children. He enjoys camping with the family, playing with the dog, and tinkering with small robots.
Jason Gipson-Nahman
Jason Gipson-Nahman
Implementation Specialist
Jason is dedicated to is helping members maximize NROC resources to improve students’ futures. He currently lives in northern California with his wife and two young children. Jason is a bit obsessed with the Spanish language, and he is raising his kids to be bilingual. He also enjoys running, recreational biking, and doing other outdoor activities with his family.
Ben Jacobs
Ben Jacobs
Implementation Specialist
Ben is passionate about education and supporting his members with excellent service. Ben currently resides in his home town in South Georgia with his wife and two children. During his spare time he enjoys golfing, reading, and spending time with his family.
Nicole McCabe
Nicole McCabe
Director of Implementation and Support Services
Nicole enjoys helping members make the most of their NROC membership and hearing their students’ success stories. She lives in the Chicago area and enjoys spending time with her toddler son and typically has a creative project in progress. While working from home, her two pugs keep her company all day and you may hear them snoring in the background!
Amanda Melton
Amanda Melton
Director of Marketing & Communications
Amanda is passionate about the NROC community’s commitment to college and career readiness initiatives that honor learners’ unique experiences and aspirations. She lives with her husband and two felines in the Pacific Northwest. In addition to her deep commitment to equity-driven organizations, she adores Mid-Century Modern architecture, fermented foods, and reference books.
Dani Pedrotti
Dani Pedrotti
Director of Member Development
For the last 20 years, Dani has strived to help educators use technology in creative and innovative ways. Helping students achieve success in their academic and life pursuits has been, and continues to be, her primary professional motivation. Dani lives in beautiful Gig Harbor, Washington with her spouse and menagerie of feathered and furry “kids.”
Beth Pickett
Beth Pickett
Editorial Project Manager/Success Team
Beth takes great pride in working toward NROC’s mission of helping meet society’s need for access to effective, high-quality educational opportunities. She lives in southern California with her two teen boys. Beth loves camping, English history, sushi, and a good pun.
Terri Rowenhorst
Terri Rowenhorst
Director of Member Services
Brian Rowlett
Brian Rowlett
Director of Technology
After more than thirty years in educational technology, Brian still gets nervous about the latest software release, inspired by a story about a user’s success, and excited about the next thing we are working on. Between sessions online, he’s usually standing in front of his espresso machine or outside exploring California’s central coast.
Lynn Skorniak
Lynn Skorniak
Editorial Project Manager/Success Team
Lynn is a project manager with the Editorial/Success Team and enjoys working on a variety of projects that further members’ use of NROC’s content and tools. She lives in southwest Florida with her husband and two children. Lynn enjoys reading, water sports, and all things chocolate.
Angie Smajstrla
Angie Smajstrla
Regional Membership Manager
Having spent over 15 years in education with publishing, Angie decided to pursue her Ed.D. in Educational Leadership at Dallas Baptist University and is now working on her dissertation. Her passion for education led her to NROC where she is currently a Regional Membership Manager covering the southern states. She enjoys reading, traveling, and scuba diving.
Jill Somrock
Jill Somrock
Member Services Associate
Jill supports members with her work on many projects, including preparing and sending member communications, managing member mailing lists, and supporting webinars, to name a few. A retired science teacher/technology coordinator from Minnesota, Jill and her husband are avid rubber stampers/paper crafters, and have traveled extensively to support their part-time home-based business