About Us

Every child has a genius. Every child deserves to thrive. At Thrively, we are guided by those two core beliefs. With a little ingenuity and a lot of hard work, we're helping kids reach their potential. We're helping parents understand their children better. We're helping teachers connect with their students on a more personal level. If you are passionate about adolescent development and inspired to use your strengths to make a difference, join Thrively today.

Leadership

We are a team of parents, technologists, educators, entrepreneurs and adolescent development specialists who are passionate about helping every child thrive.

  • Girish Venkat

    Founder & Chief Executive Officer

    Girish, a lifelong entrepreneur who has spent his career building innovative technology, including as the founding Chief Architect of Stamps.com. Girish’s relationship with his son, Rohit was the spark that started Thrively. For years, Girish struggled, like many parents do, to find the right enrichment activities to spark a genuine passion in Rohit. Helping Rohit find his passion, became Girish’s and through countless hours of speaking with experts in child psychology, reading books from Malcolm Gladwell’s “Outliers” to Jenifer Fox’s “Your Child’s Strengths,” and applying his entrepreneurial mindset to Rohit’s fledgling interests, Thrively was born.

  • Jon Kraft

    Co-Founder

    Jon is the father of 3 children, ages 6 to 13, and has been active in the community working with kids as a youth sports coach for more than 30 years. He was also the founding CEO of Pandora, and he has spent much of his career as an entrepreneur developing recommendation engines around highly complex information sets.

  • Dan Chang

    Chief Operating Officer

    After a career in education policy and philanthropy, fatherhood focused Dan's attention on making sense of all the opportunities he sifted through for his own children. The joy of being a dad and his passion for education led Dan to Thrively, where he serves as the Chief Operating Officer. Dan is a firm believer that people should always be looking to grow and find the right fit.

  • Larry Hitchcock

    Chief Education Officer

    Throughout his life and career, Larry has a passion for kids and learning that he brings to Thrively everyday. He's been instrumental in bringing kids learning materials to the digital world with the likes of Dr. Seuss, National Geographic and beloved titles like Not a Box and more. He helped to create Pearson's digital curriculum platform with the goal of providing equal access to learning materials across all learners. Larry is a strong believer that every child should have the opportunity to learn, grow and find their interests and passions on the way creating a successful life for themselves and their families.

  • Ali Rashidifar

    Director of Product

    Finding his interest in engineering early in elementary school, Ali was tinkering with technology and developing a broad product development skill set for as long as he can remember. With his family members spanning 3 decades involved in early childhood education, education was always a big part of his life. This blend of technical and personal interest brought Ali to Thrively, where he spends his days dreaming of the features that will unlock each child's potential.

  • Patrick Dela Cruz

    Head of Classroom Engagement

    A passionate educator who believes that every child is a genius and every child deserves to thrive. As a classroom teacher, Patrick discovered the tremendous impact student-centered learning has made for his students. The level of engagement, passion, and interest drives the learning experiences to new heights and really gives every student a sense of pride and purpose. Patrick continues to share his passion for personalized learning with a platform that focuses on students' strengths, interests, and aspirations. As Head of Classroom Engagement, Patrick gets to champion every child's inner genius and support educators all over the world on how their students can thrive with Thrively.

  • Sonya Wrisley

    Head of Classroom Innovation

    Since Sonya was four years old, she knew she wanted to be a teacher! She pursued that dream and has now spent the last 33 years as a teacher and principal. In 2012, Sonya was given the wonderful opportunity to open a new K-8 public school called Design39Campus. This innovative campus in Poway Unified School District, in San Diego County, CA has become a beacon for other educators to visit from around the world. Design39Campus focused on the strengths of students, and Thrively is used to help with this focus. After her retirement from public education, Sonya started working with Thrively, a company she believes in very strongly. As the Lead of Classroom Innovation for Thrively, Sonya enjoys working with educators around the nation to develop exciting content for the Thrively platform!

  • Our Doctors

    This passion is shared with and amplified by our doctors. Drs. Jonine Biesman and Jayme Neiman-Kimel are two of California’s seven board-certified pediatric neuropsychologists. Together, they’ve created our groundbreaking Strength Assessment, the first and only online assessment designed specifically for children. They’ve combined modern knowledge of neuroplasticity with a desire to create a new way of looking at children and families. With this strength-based approach, we are helping parents to learn more about their children and then create healthy and reinforcing environments in which their children can thrive.

  • Dr. Jonine Biesman

    Dr. Jonine Biesman is a Board Certified Pediatric Neuropsychologist and Clinical Psychologist who has been licensed in the state of California since 2001 and in Private Practice since 2003.

    Prior to establishing a private practice, Dr. Biesman worked at a multitude of settings including nonpublic and public schools, community mental health centers, child and family agencies, residential treatment centers, brain injury facilities, and hospitals. She has served as a Medical Expert for the Social Security Administration; has been adjunct faculty at Phillips Graduate Institute and Fuller Psychological Seminary; as well as being involved in training students at California Lutheran University, Exceptional Children's Foundation, and Child Psychiatric Fellows at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

    She earned her undergraduate degree from Brandeis University and her Graduate degree from Alliant International University in San Diego.Additional training was completed at the Fielding Institute through their post-doctoral certification program in Neuropsychological Assessment and Intervention.

  • Dr. Jayme Neiman-Kimel

    Dr. Jayme Neiman-Kimel is a board certified pediatric neuropsychologist and leading specialist in neuropsychological assessment for children and young adults. Over the last 20 years, Dr.Neiman-Kimel has built a practice that has provided service to hundreds of clients, schools and expert witness testimony. Dr. Neiman-Kimel also maintains a private clinical practice providing therapy to adolescents, adults, and couples.

    Dr. Neiman-Kimel is a Board Certified Pediatric Neuropsychologist and has been licensed in the state of California since 1992. In 2000, Dr. Neiman-Kimel earned her post-doctoral essay writers uk degree in Clinical Neuropsychology with an emphasis in pediatrics. She received her doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Medicine in 1989.

    Professional memberships include National Academy of Neuropsychology, American Psychological Association, California Psychological Association, and Los Angeles Psychological Association.