Leadership Team

Amelia Mezrahi | CEO – Next Step Universe

ameliaAmelia is the CEO of Next Step (U) Universe. Starting out as an engineer, she later moved into product and process development, technology, program management, consulting, and digital marketing.  Amelia has a wide range of experience developing and executing strategic programs and products across several Fortune 500 companies and industries, including technology, consumer products, financial services, data and digital marketing. At Next Step Universe, she is responsible for all aspects of creating and running the firm’s multiple brands, operations, and strategic direction. She is passionate about the education industry and the impact it has on our next generation’s future. Amelia is a graduate of Industrial Engineering and Operations Research from Cornell University and completed her M.B.A. in Finance and International Business from New York University. 



Rob Aronson | Chief Revenue Officer


Rob is an education industry professional who has helped to bring together students, colleges and brands.  Helping both emerging companies and mature firms, Rob has a successful history of growing properties by creating innovative solutions allowing for educational institutions and companies to reach their target audience.  Rob will be leading the NextStepUniverse sales and partnership efforts as we empower students with the NSU brands.



David Mammano | Founder NextStepU Brand and Advisor


Dave is the Founder/CEO of Next Step Education Group. He has successfully founded 7 businesses (and sold a few) in the education industry. As the founder of the Next Step Publishing (currently Next Step Education) and the NextStepU brand, Dave will remain as an advisor and a part of the leadership team at Next Step Universe and the NextStepU brand. Dave has more than 20 years of  experience and is passionate about helping people realize their highest potential through education. David has spoken at hundreds of high school, college, business and entrepreneurial events and has published books and videos. He is currently the CEO of Next Step College Prep and David Mammano Entrepreneur Coach. David graduated from the University at Buffalo in 1991 with a bachelor’s in communications/advertising. He is also a graduate of the MIT Entrepreneurial Masters Program, an executive education program offered through the Entrepreneurs’ Organization (EO).



Francine Ryan | CMO – Next Step LifeStyle Brand


Francine has held senior Sales, Associate Publisher and Marketing Director positions at some of America’s most iconic and successful magazines: Martha Stewart Living, People Magazine, Good Housekeeping, and Country Living.  Her passion is in launching new brands and revitalizing existing ones and has successfully provided the marketing clout and strategic partnership ideas for several brands – including the launch of new magazine platforms for AARP, Rodale, Hallmark, and the revitalization of This Old House, Reader’s Digest, and Weight Watchers Magazine. Francine is a native of Hell’s Kitchen, New York, and the descendent of Suffragettes, Francine is passionate about women’s rights and the organic movement.



Kate Alexander | Editor –  Next Step Universe Brands


Kate Alexander is an avid writer and editor, a Shakespearean teacher, scholar, and actress, as well as a passionate musician. As a former high school English teacher and college instructor, she loves helping students find and fulfill their dreams – in college, career, and beyond!

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Silvio Del Monaco | Art Director


Silvio has over 10 years of hands-on experience in art, graphic design, digital and print magazine production. He has been extremely successful in applying technology to bringing about creative web, publishing, and marketing deliverables. He is an avid learner of all things technology and publishing with a goal to delight his customers with beautiful designs to look at, all the while he is smiling!