About Us


  • George Fogel

    Chief Executive Officer

    George has over 25 years of education services, operational, and development experience throughout his career. Most recently, George held various senior management positions at Bennett Day School, a private pre-kindergarten to 12 school, Rasmussen College, a private equity backed for-profit college, and Deltak edu, a leader in online higher education partnership and technology solutions. He holds an MBA from Booth School of Business at University of Chicago and a BA in Economics from DePauw University.

  • David Prekop

    Chief Development Officer

    David has almost 15 years of lower middle market private equity and investment banking experience. He was most recently an investment professional at a lower middle market private equity investment firm that focused on education, consumer and healthcare companies. Prior to working in private equity, David was part of the investment banking team at Duff & Phelps. He holds an MBA from the Booth School of Business at University of Chicago and a BBA degree with distinction in Finance, Investment & Banking from the University of Wisconsin.

  • Gena Sayej

    Chief Operating Officer

    Gena brings nearly 20 years of experience in early childhood education.  Beginning her journey as a teacher, Gena has continued to take on new positions, challenges, and opportunities with leading early childhood education companies.  In her most recent role, Gena was responsible for new center growth, where she led first-year operations of acquisitions and de novos for 30-50 centers per year. She has a true passion for providing a high-quality solution for today’s working families and ensuring children receive the best early learning experiences possible.

    She holds a BS in Child Development from Madonna University.  Gena lives outside of Detroit with her husband and two sons. 

  • Emmett Riordan

    Chief Financial Officer

    Emmett has over 15 years of finance and accounting experience, primarily at growth-stage, investor-backed businesses. Most recently, he was Director of Finance and Accounting at Q-Centrix, a private equity owned Healthcare IT firm. Emmett’s other roles include leading the finance function for Sagence, a venture capital-backed data consulting/analytics firm. Prior to working in industry, he was an auditor for PricewaterhouseCoopers, LLC. Emmett is a CPA with a Finance degree and recently earned an MBA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

  • Rachel Binford

    Director of Business Development

    Rachel has over 10 years of program management, strategic partnerships and development experience throughout her career. Most recently, she held the role of Director of Business Development for an early childhood education organization focused on improving quality in childcare centers across the country. Rachel holds a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and Educational Studies from Trinity College in Hartford, CT.

  • Emily Frankiewicz

    Regional Director

    With over eight years of experience in early childhood education, Emily brings a terrific background of classroom and leadership experience to Premier.  Prior to joining Premier, Emily was the center director for a large provider of early childhood education. She also has served as a preschool teacher at an early childhood education center. Emily received her BS degree in elementary education from St. Xavier University, where she graduated with honors. Her passion is early education; seeing the growth and the “aha” moments of the children make the job a treasure. She finds delight mentoring teaching teams to provide high-quality education.

  • Kimberly Hannell Hopkins

    Regional Director

    Kim brings a unique perspective and background to Premier as she grew up in the world of educating and caring for young children. For more than 40 years, her family built and operated early childhood education centers in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. Kim started working in the field during college and has over 25 years of experience as a center and regional director. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree with honors in Journalism and Mass Communication with a concentration in Early Childhood Education from The University of Iowa.

  • Krista Hurlbut

    Regional Director

    Krista brings more than 25 years of operations and business management experience, primarily in early childhood education.  Most recently, she held the role of Director of Business and Finance for an independent child care company, helping them grow into a thriving multi-location group of Five Star Early Childhood Education Centers.  Prior to that, she worked as both the Director of Operations and Marketing for a contract service company.  Krista holds a Bachelor of Science in Institutional and Hospitality Management from Penn State University.

  • Elliot Jarvis

    Director of Business Development

    Elliot has almost five years of lower middle market M&A experience. He was most recently an VP of Business Development at a lower middle market buy-side M&A advisory firm. Prior to the buy-side firm, Elliot was part of the business development team at McGuireWoods LLP, where he focused on the private equity and family office sectors. Elliot holds a Bachelor of Science in Finance from Central Michigan University.

  • Seth Pound

    Director of Business Development

    Seth has over 10 years of Corporate and Business Development experience leading teams in various industries to deliver on key growth goals. He has worked with publicly-traded corporations, family-owned companies, and owners/operators of early childhood education businesses. Seth holds an MBA from the University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School and a BS with honors from the Georgia Institute of Technology.

  • Cameron Smith


    Cameron is the founder and CEO of Bennett Day School, a private pre-kindergarten – 12 school. The school was created to fill the unmet need for progressive education in the vibrant West Loop of Chicago and most importantly for his children. Previously he was a vice president at CHS Capital and has been a board member of the New York Kids Club, Namaste Charter School, and Royall & Company. He holds a B.S. degree from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania as well as J.D. and M.B.A. degrees from Northwestern University.

  • Paul Simcox


    Paul is the Founder and CEO of NorthHaven Capital and serves as a Director of Villarboit Realty Partners. He previously co-founded Whiterock REIT and grew assets under management from $0 to $600 million, resulting in the company’s public listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange and eventual sale to Dundee REIT for over $1 billion. Paul also worked at JPMorgan in the real estate private equity group and at Credit Suisse (DLJ) investment banking in New York. He holds an undergraduate business degree from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario.