group photo of four Gray Associates team members

Our Team


Gray Associates, Inc. is a strategy consulting firm focused on higher education. We help education clients develop fact-based institutional and marketing strategies that maximize outcomes for students, the school, and its constituencies.

To support our client work, we have developed an industry-leading database that combines information on inquiry volumes, demographics, competition, and employment. Using this information and proprietary analytical techniques, we work with faculty and school leadership to develop institutional strategies, select programs, pick locations, and prepare curricula.

Bob Atkins

CEO and Founder Bob Atkins Twitter Bob Atkins LinkedIn
Bob led Gray’s entry into the education industry and the development of Gray’s proprietary industry databases and service offerings. He has worked with all of Gray’s education clients, consulting with CEOs and CMOs on business strategy, pricing, location selection, and program strategy.
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Steve Probst

Senior Partner Steve Probst Twitter Steve Probst LinkedIn
Steve leads the development of Gray’s education industry databases, analytical processes, as well as several client relationships. He has pioneered new approaches to educational program strategy, city selection, location selection, and pricing.
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Mary Pahissa Upchurch

Senior Partner Mary Pahissa Upchurch Twitter Mary Pahissa Upchurch LinkedIn
Mary leads Gray’s relationships with several of the firm’s largest education clients. Her work includes corporate strategy development, customer segmentation, market and program analysis, program portfolio optimization, offer optimization, and location selection.
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Zachary Paz

Partner Zachary Paz Twitter Zachary Paz LinkedIn

Zach has developed and led Gray’s data analytic capabilities and tools. He has drawn together over a dozen industry and proprietary sources to create a comprehensive education industry analytical tool.

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Peter Starrett

Partner Peter Starrett Twitter Peter Starrett LinkedIn

Pete has worked extensively on marketing, operations, program, and location strategies for both on-ground and online colleges and universities across the country. Pete has developed a method that Gray's education clients use to review and assess their programs and campuses across dozens of U.S. markets.

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Lisa Piatek

Regional Vice President Lisa Piatek Twitter Lisa Piatek LinkedIn
Lisa is responsible for establishing and sustaining Gray's relationships with higher education institutions. She helps institutions find the support they need for strategic planning, program selection and assessment, pricing, and location selection.


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Elaine Rowles

Analyst Elaine Rowles Twitter Elaine Rowles LinkedIn
Elaine has worked with Gray’s education clients on strategic planning projects, program profiles, best practice and price benchmarking studies, and research-intensive custom project work. She has performed in-depth analyses of existing programs and institutions, and assessed demand and employment opportunities for new and emerging programs.
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Elizabeth Atkins

Analyst Elizabeth Atkins LinkedIn

Elizabeth joined Gray in June 2018 after spending two years teaching high school math in a New Orleans charter school. As an Analyst at Gray, Elizabeth has worked with over a dozen clients on projects including Program Portfolio Strategy Workshops, Program Economics, and custom competitor and program analyses. Internally, she has led a marketing campaign, contributed to RFP submissions, and designed data visualizations.

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Ned Caron

Vice President of Marketing Ned Caron LinkedIn
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William F. Massy

Higher Education Consultant
Dr. Massy is self-employed as a consultant to higher education and an emeritus professor and former vice president of Stanford University. He has been active as a professor, consultant, and university administrator for more than forty years.
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Arman Uygur

Principal Data Scientist Arman Uygur Twitter Arman Uygur LinkedIn
Arman has worked with Gray's education clients on data-intensive projects. His work includes new and emerging program selection, sales territory optimization, and program-specific industry research (employment, competition, job postings, and other areas).
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