Meet The Team


John Hupalo

CEO & Co-Founder

A nationally recognized expert in education finance, John is the former CFO of First Marblehead Corporation, where he participated in the company's Initial Public Offering. He has been the lead banker on more than $50 billion worth of student loan securitizations at Deutsche Bank, UBS, Solomon Smith Barney and Manufacturers Hanover Securities Corporation. He co-founded a student loan restructuring business at Ramirez & Co. and worked on the staff of John E. Porter, a former member of the Education and Labor subcommittee of the Appropriations Committee. John holds a B.A. with Honors from Boston University and a M.B.A in Finance from NYU's Stern School of Business.


Peter Mazareas, PhD


Dr. Peter Mazareas is considered one of the nation's foremost experts on college finances and a committed advocate for the national college savings movement. He is the Chairman Emeritus of the College Savings Foundation, the leading Trade Association for the 529 college savings movement, and the former Executive Director of The Massachusetts Educational Financing Authority (MEFA), where he implemented some of the nation's first 529 college savings Plans (UFund) and pre-paid college tuition programs (UPlan). He has served as Deputy Treasurer for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and as a full-time Visiting Professor of Business at Boston College's Carroll Graduate School of Management. Dr. Mazareas received a B.A. from Harvard College, and both a M.B.A and Ph.D from The University of Chicago.


Mary Nickeson

Senior Vice President

Mary is a marketing and college financial planning professional with 25 years of experience and a proven track record for developing successful programs for leading financial services companies. She has deep experience in the 529 college savings arena and a strong knowledge of the financial aid process, the education loan market, and emerging trends in the retirement market. She most recently led DST’s College Planning Solutions group, providing clients with mobile-friendly college planning applications and consulting services. She also served as product owner for all financial planning calculators. Prior to DST, Mary served as vice president at Archimedes and Wealth Management Systems Inc. Mary received a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and a M.S. in Communication Management from Simmons University. She also earned a Graduate Certificate in Administration and Management from Harvard University and completed graduate studies in management and education at the Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study and Boston College respectively.


Jeff Bentley

Director of Strategic Partnerships

In his role as Director of Strategic Partnerships, Jeff is responsible for business development and client relations, working closely with prospective and current clients to deliver valuable college planning services to their constituents. He has over 15 years of experience in the education sector, with a main focus on ensuring students and families have the financial competency to understand college costs and student loan repayment. As a father of three school-aged children, Jeff understands the importance of starting early with a comprehensive plan for higher education. Jeff received a B.S. in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.


Jonathan Dela Cruz

Vice President, Regional Business Development

Jonathan has 20 years of higher education experience, serving in numerous capacities, from admission counselor to assistant vice president. He’s held positions in enrollment management (recruitment, admissions, student loan administration, marketing) at the University of Chicago, Seton Hall University, Elmhurst College, Dominican University and Olivet Nazarene University. Additionally, Jonathan has extensive experience in the education finance industry during his days at Sallie Mae/Chase Education Finance and Access Group, Inc. and has in - depth knowledge of the rapidly changing landscape of higher education. Over the course of his career, he’s visited over 250 campuses throughout the country. He is passionate about helping students and families make informed decisions with their college selection and is an advocate for financial literacy and saving for college. Jonathan earned his bachelor’s degree in Communication from Dominican University - River Forest, IL.


Tunde Agboola

Director of Software Engineering

As Director of Software Engineering, Tunde leads and manages Invite Education's development team. He has over 6 years of experience developing web and mobile applications at Bytelight, Wellington Management and Boston University's Laboratory of Networking and Information Systems. Tunde received a B.A. in Computer Systems Engineering from Boston University and a M.S in Computer Science from Harvard University.


Ken O'Connor

Director of Content Development

Ken is passionate about helping families navigate the college funding process. He brings 15+ years experience, having served as a financial aid counselor and student advocate for thousands of college students. At Invite Education, Ken provides insightful content bringing clarity to the most critical college financing questions. Areas of expertise include student financial aid, student lending, college choice, federal/state/institutional funding policy, student counseling and effective communication. Ken holds an MBA and BS in Finance from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He enjoys travel, music, and is a certified yoga instructor.

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