NativeAdVantage 10-Q2BA:

(10 Questions 2B Answered)

What do you do best?
What makes you the best?
Biggest success?
What are your aspirations?
Most challenging moment?
Favorite Motto?
Favorite People?
Favorite Places?
Favorite Products?
Current Passions?

Featured NativeAdVantage:

Andy Weir: Author of "The Martian"

John Philipson: VP, Six Senses Resorts

Tom Sito: Chair of Animation, USC Film School

Elizabeth Wynn: Broker, Sotheby's RE

Leonard Greenhalgh: Professor, Tuck-Darmouth)

Ryan Blair: NY Times Best Selling Author/Entrepreneur


Featured NativeAdVice:

Shai Reshef: Founder of University of the People

Paul D'Arcy: SVP of Indeed

Susan Hatje: GM of Mandarin Oriental, NY

Dan Laufer: Co-Founder of RentLingo

Hilary Laney: President of Tri-Digital

Greg Marsh: Co-Founder of onefinestay

Omar Qari: Co-Founder of Abacus

Gabriell Weinberg: Founder of DuckDuckGo

Stacy Rauen: E-I-C of Hospitality Design Mag

Jon Gray: CRO of HomeAway

Joe Speiser: Co-Founder of

Ben McKean: Co-Founder of HungryRoot

John Boiler: Founder/CEO of 72andSunny

Wayne Pacelle: CEO of The Humane Society of the US

Tom Guay: GM at The Sagamore Resort

Dr. Alejandro Junger: Founder of The Clean Program

Rob Flaherty: CEO of Ketchum

Neil Thanedar: Founder/CEO of LabDoor

Andy Grinsfelder: VP of Sales/Marketing, Delaware North Resorts

Laura Frerer-Schmidt: VP/Publisher of Women's Health

Avi Steinlauf: CEO of

Kathy Bloomgarden: CEO of Ruder Finn

Gabriel Flateman: Co-Founder/CTO of Casper

Mark Bartels: CEO of StumbleUpon

Bill Hagelstein: President/CEO of RPA

Adam Singolda: Founder/CEO of Taboola

Jonathan Plutzik: Proprietor of The Betsy-South Beach

Jessica Scorpio: Founder/VP of Marketing at GetAround

Ralph McRae: CEO of Leading Brands

Warren Berger: Bestselling Author

Liz Kaplow: Founder/CEO of Kaplow Communications

Dave Girouard: Founder/CEO of UpStart

Dave Asprey: Founder of BullectProof Executive

Douglas C. Smith: President of EDSA

Val Difebo: CEO of Deutsch NY

Guido Polito: CEO of Baglioni Hotels

Doyle Graham, Jr.: CEO of Valencia Group

Oscar Farinetti: Founder of Eataly

Angelo Sotira: CEO of DeviantART

Ali Khwaja: CFO of Safecharge

Zach Erdem: Proprietor of 75 Main

Jim Beley: GM of The Umstead Hotel

Alexis Gelburd-Kimler: Proprietor of West Bridge

Elie Georges: Proprietor of Hotel San Regis

Kalen Caughey: Founder o VOKE Tab

Michael Friedenberg: CEO of IDG

Donna Karan: Founder of DKNY

Edward Nardoza: Editor-in-Chief of WWD

Scott Dadich: Editor-in-Chief of Wired

Rhona Murphy: Former CEO of The Daily Beast

David J. Pecker: CEO of American Media

Lilian Roten: VP of Swissotel Hotels

Kenny Dichter: Founder/CEO of Wheels Up

Joshua Tetrick: Founder/CEO of Hampton Creek

Paul James: Global Brand Leader of The Luxury Collection

Dr. James Wagner: President of Emory University

Amy Thompson: President of ATM Artists & Management

Neil Gillis: President of Round Hill Music

Brett Matteson: President of Columbia Hospitality

Jonathan Reckford: CEO of Habitat For Humanity

Phil Harrison: President/CEO of Perkins+Will

Chef Bill Telepan

Tony Horton: Founder of P90X

Beth Weissenberger: Co-Founder of The Handel Group

Michael Fertik: Founder/CEO of

Dana Cowin: Editor-in-Chief of Food & Wine

Bob Proctor: Chairman of Proctor/Gallagher Institute

Dennis Turcinovic: Owner of Delmonicos

Vittorio Assaf: Co-Founder of Serafina Restaurant Group

Shafqat Islam: Co-Founder of Newscred

Matt Williams: CEO of The Martin Agency

Bruce Rogers: Executive Chef at Hale & Hearty

Caleb Merkl: Co-Founder of Maple

Candy Argondizza: VP of Culinary at ICC

Neil Sazant: President of The Sagamore

Matt Straz: Founder/CEO of Namely

Terry Couglin: Managing Partner of Marta/Maialino

Andrei Cherny: Co-Founder/CEO of Aspiration

Ronen Nissenbaum: Managing Director of Waldorf Astoria NY

Patrick Godfrey: President of Godfrey Q

Sarah Berman: Founder/President of The Berman Group

Michael Schwartz: Owner of Genuine Hospitality Group

Stephan Aarstol: Founder/CEO of Tower Paddle Boards

Peter Shaindlin: COO of Halekulani Corp.

August Cardona: Founder/CEO of Epicurean Group

Nick Kenner: Co-Founder of Just Salad


Michael Dougherty: CEO of Pencils of Promise

My NativeAdVice:


Michael has 25+ years of experience in the education space, including stints at Bain & Co. and in Washington DC helping states keep pace with international best practices of student achievement. Working in developing nations with PoP, he sees even greater impact for students and higher ROI for supporters. Michael has degrees from Colgate and Stanford, is an ultra marathoner, Springsteen fanatic & adventure motorcyclist.

How did you get into the Philanthropy industry?

I spent 30 years of my career in the for-profit education sector, helping teachers succeed and students learn to read and write. A few years back, however, I had a realization that the days of my career were numbered. It caused me to reflect on the lasting impact I was making in the world. That’s why when my wife Cindy and I decided to have a joint mid-life crisis, which we’re calling our “crisis for good.” Instead of buying a fancy car or taking extra vacations, we decided to dedicate the final decades of our careers towards bringing education to those who need it most. It’s a decision that we get to share daily; every morning Cindy wakes up and heads to the South Bronx to teach middle school English, and I make my way down to the PoP office to scale innovative literacy programs in the developing world.

Tell us about Pencils of Promise. What inspired the idea and what is your vision for the company?

At PoP we’re driven by the fundamental belief that where you start in life shouldn’t dictate where you finish. It’s a sentiment on display in our office and drives the work that we do everyday. There are 250 million children around the world who can’t read and write. That number is huge! But we have the tools to fix this problem, and our teams in NYC and in Ghana, Guatemala and Laos are working every day to do so. My vision for the future of education aligns with PoP’s mission: that all children, no matter where they are born or what resources they have, receive access to a quality education. We do have a long way to go, but education is one of the most important investments a country can make in it’s people. If all students in the developing world left school with basic reading skills, 171 million people could be lifted out of poverty. It truly takes a collaborative effort from a lot of people and organizations working on the shared goals of education for all in order to achieve this vision.

What strategic partnerships/marketing strategies have you implemented that have contributed to PoP's success?

Storytelling and creativity are integral to our marketing strategy. Since the early days, something that has set us apart is that this team understands that in order to build a movement around our cause, our brand needs to be at our core. We have a stellar marketing team.

I think of them as our internal creative agency – scrappy and audacious. We approach marketing as if we’re a Fortune 100 brand; we don’t see why it would be any different. We’re able to execute big ideas because of authentic relationships that have been built with people who are equally as passionate about our mission. A successful corporate social good partnership should be mutually beneficial – we want the partnership to be long term versus transactional. We look for partners who see themselves both growing with PoP and who are interested in creating an ongoing narrative of sustainable impact.

A strong signal that the partnership could be beneficial to both brands is an awareness of all that PoP can offer from a marketing standpoint. Forbes named us one of the best nonprofits to reach Millennials, which is largely because we have over 1 million followers on our social media channels who make up an engaged and active audience -- one that truly cares about our work. When we ask our followers to come together for a PoP activation, they do.

What industry trends are you noticing and how do you capitalize on them?

Our use of technology and our brand are unique to the nonprofit space. We’re truly tech-infused and our use of best-in-class technology ensures that we are able to be transparent and close the loop with our stakeholders. We gather data in the field on tablets, engage students with digital content and support teachers with tech-integrated curriculum. We also report the impact of these efforts back to our support community via Salesforce and Tableau.

Something unique to PoP is that we were also one of the first brands to use virtual reality for social good storytelling. We premiered a VR film at our 2015 Gala, which transported guests into a before/after school build in Toklokpo, Ghana. The film was also included in the launch of Facebook360 and now has now reached more than 8 million people. We’re going to continue to explore and capitalize on all the excitement around the VR space for social good. There are definitely opportunities for big brands to be involved in our next project with Felix & Paul Studios.

Life Motto?

My high school senior English teacher, Arthur Naething, ended every single class with the words: “Go Forth and Spread Beauty and Light”. I’ve tried to do so ever since.

Your greatest success as CEO of PoP? Most difficult moment - how did you overcome it?

My greatest success is PoP’s sustaining success: opening up a future of possibility to every child in our communities. There is nothing better than the moment when a new school is inaugurated and the children rush in, laughing, giggling and playing...surely with the thought in their heads “Is this really ours?”. That never gets old.

One key challenge I face every day is communication. We’re building a school a week, training and supporting teachers daily, somewhere around the globe in three countries with vast cultural differences. We have to communicate exceptionally well across teams to pull our work off efficiently and effectively.

Your advice to an aspiring philanthropist?

Be fearless, act boldly and remain passionate and true to your goal. Since joining PoP almost a year ago I’ve come to see that we’ve had such positive outcomes and success because our staff is tenacious, bold and tirelessly committed to bringing our mission to life.

Describe the ideal experience using PoP.

Change the world for children with literacy in 10 years. There’s an urgency to our work. Every year, another 18 million kids give up learning to read and write and will soon “become” illiterate. By utilizing best-in-class tech, dedicated monitoring and evaluation and radical transparency to work in harmony with our donors, we’re working to stop that cycle.

How do you motivate your employees?

Beer – no really, beer. When I was at Bain & Co in the early 1990s, the idea of having a beer at the office to chill out while working late hours was not an option. Today, it’s a staple of fun, high-engagement office cultures. It took me a while to understand that, but recently I bought a beer fridge, stocked it with craft brews and opened PoP Cafe! And, the staff is pretty much in charge of the Sonos music system; recently I learned about “Fetty Wap Fridays.”

What's next for PoP?

First things first, we need to find what moves the needle for a student to become proficient in literacy. We’re vetting hundreds of micro innovations (classroom practices, tools, methods). For every 25 we research, we might pilot a few and scale one (the lucky one that has data evidence of efficacy). Second, 250 million kids in our world cannot read or write. We can solve that with technology in the classroom and do it in a cost-effective, individualized learning way. Beyond that, where do I see PoP? Better. Bigger. Bolder. We’re already on this path. We’re just getting started and I hope we can scale our methods and classroom interventions to the point that other organizations, and even governments look to PoP as the literacy leader and adopt our approaches.