By Mike Fisher, Vice President and Director, Corporate Development at SRA International

Two weeks ago we began a new biweekly column highlighting the members of ACG National Capital whose work for some of the most aggressively growing companies and brands in the Washington, D.C., business community is driving economic and corporate growth in the capital region. This week, we continue the series by taking an in-depth look at Janet Matricciani, senior vice president of corporate development at ACG Corporate Growth Award-winner K12 Inc.

After receiving her B.A. and M.A. with honors in engineering from Cambridge University, Janet Matricciani realized that engineering just wasn’t her life’s calling. Feeling that the United States was, at the time, the undisputed leader in business innovation and the preeminent country for business in the world, Janet left to earn her MBA at the Wharton Business School.

Following graduation, Janet spent 10 years as a management consultant with McKinsey & Company. Her clients covered a breadth of industry sectors, from telecom to financial services to retail. In fact, it was during her tenure at McKinsey where Janet got her first experience in the education space, advising then Governor Jeb Bush on improving education in the state of Florida.

Following her time at McKinsey, Janet left for Capital One Financial Corporation, where she managed the U.S.-based International Corporate Development team and later ran Capital One’s Installment Loans business. She would then leave to become Chief Strategy Officer and EVP of Strategic Planning at Countrywide Financial Corporation.

It was around this time that the financial markets began to feel the beginning tremors of what would become the “Great Recession,” and Janet realized that the finance industry was not the best place for continued professional growth and long-term job stability. That’s when education once again beckoned.

Janet has spent the last two and a half years with K12 Inc., the leader in online learning for grades kindergarten through 12. K12 designs its own curriculum and offers online learning courses to students in more than 30 countries that study full time and receive a diploma just like in a brick and mortar school. The company also enables educational institutions the ability to offer courses these organizations might otherwise not had the resources to do so, or would have found it fiscally impossible to do so.

With economy still in recovery, the rush for people to educate themselves and their children in preparation to compete in the improving job market has meant great things for K12, which recently won the annual ACG National Capital Corporate Growth Award in the $100M – $500M category. In hindsight, Janet’s move from the financial sector to education seems like a homerun.

A member of ACG National Capital for about one year, Janet first thought of joining the association after coming to an event and realizing the opportunities membership would afford her and K12. ACG membership provides Janet with access to the collective thought-leadership of the capital region’s business leaders.

According to Janet, having other experienced business leaders to learn best practices and discuss business challenges is her largest benefit of membership. She also likes that so many ACG National Capital events are held in Virginia, since even the benefits of ACG membership can’t outweigh her distaste for traffic.

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