About Us

Divon Academy is a leader in soft skills training for students and young professionals.

We help young people develop skills that technology has disrupted, Covid has stunted, and remote work prevents learning on the job at a time when they’re needed most.

Divon Academy is a leader in essential skills training for students and young professionals in the 0-5 entry level bracket.

We help young people develop skills that schools don’t teach and technology has disrupted at a time when they’re needed most.

Meet our Founder

Elan Divon, Founder & CEO
Elan Divon is a Harvard-trained author, speaker, and founder of Divon Academy: an organization that helps students and young professionals develop work, life, and leadership skills that companies want but technology is eroding at a time when they’re needed most. Elan’s clientele include Fortune 500 companies and universities where he has trained thousands of students and young professionals on how to land jobs, lead teams, and multiply their impact. His work has been recognized by influencers such as NBA board Chairman Larry Tanenbaum, U.N. Undersecretary General Haile Menkerious, and wellness guru Deepak Chopra. Elan holds a BA from the University of London, and Master’s degrees from Brandeis and Harvard Universities... Learn About Elan’s Story >

Elan’s Story

After graduating from Harvard with a second Masters in 2007, I thought finding a job would be easy. I had the academic pedigree, decent work experience and a strong social network. But I couldn’t land a job and it took me a year of unemployment before I did.

What I realized was this. University hadn’t prepared me for the workforce. I had knowledge and degrees, but I didn’t have the skills and the mindset. I was clueless. And it took me 10 years of developing these skills the hard way to understand what it takes to succeed professionally and have impact. (Launching a social venture on NASDAQ in 2017 provided some vindication).

I therefore founded Divon Academy to help answer a problem affecting young people but also the companies and organizations they serve: Helping young talent bridge the gap between school and the workforce; youth and full-fledged adulthood, by developing essential skills that help them thrive, unlock their potential, and be workforce ready.

At a time when technology has rendered rites of passage obsolete, I see our work as a means of “initiating” young people into the uncertain and fast changing world they are entering. And this is exactly what makes us different. We are not just another “training company”. We are a company focused on developing young people both personally and professionally at a time of major life transition, so they can handle the curve balls, build the skills, and add value to the companies and communities they serve.

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The DA Team & Executive Advisory Board

Joli Divon Saraf

Chief Operating Officer

Joli joins Divon Academy after serving for more than 14 years as the Assistant Director of the…

Jofi Baldrich

Chief Business Development Officer & VP Training

Jofi Baldrich is a highly respected executive coach, instructor and business leader…

Yahli Ozery

Director of Student Affairs

Yahli is a marketing and communications professional with a background in the Creative School…

Yesha Panchal

Manager, Outreach and Partnerships

With an educational background of Bachelors in Engineering and a certified associate degree …

Stephanie Hirsch

Leonard Haynes, Ph.D.

Former Education Advisor to the White House & University President

A former senior director with the Department of Education, and former executive director of the…

Lori Tauber Marcus, Founder, Courtyard Connections, LLC

Lori Tauber Marcus

Founder, Courtyard Connections, LLC

Ms. Marcus serves as an independent board director for several companies: Fresh Del Monte Produce, Inc. (NYSE: FDP)…

Lori Tauber Marcus, Founder, Courtyard Connections, LLC

Marty Pompadur

Media Industry Executive & Former EVP of News Corporation

Mr. Pompadur joins Divon Academy’s Executive Advisory Board after a prolific and distinguished 60 year…

Stephanie Hirsch

Larry Namer

Founder, E! Entertainment Television | President/CEO, Metan Global Entertainment Group
An entertainment industry veteran with close to 50 years professional experience in cable television, live…
Adam Kahan

Andrea Harry Bibbs

Founder and CEO of The ACB Group

Andrea Harry Bibbs is the Founder and CEO of The ACB Group, a boutique media and marketing consulting firm she founded in late 2022…

Aida Rodriguez.

Managing Director and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Ascension.

Aida C. Rodriguez is Managing Director and Chief Diversity & Inclusion Officer at Ascension: a national minority owned…

Arjun Saraf

VP of Finance and Administration, New Haven Mortgage Income Fund

Born in Toronto and raised in New Delhi, India. Arjun completed his undergraduate degree at Carleton…

DA Faculty & Instructors

Mark Bowden

World Renowned Communication Expert, Keynote Speaker and Best Selling Author

Mark Bowden is a world-renowned body language expert, keynote speaker, and bestselling author…

Dr. Kira Banks

Psychology Professor at St. Louis University, Global Expert on Equity & Inclusion, and Co-Founder of the Institute for Healing Justice and Equity

Dr. Banks’ decades of experience allow her to help individuals and institutions in corporate America…

Yvonne Gomez

Confidence Building, Focus & Motivation

An Olympic, World and Professional figure skater and two time Emmy nominated TV Sport and Entertainment Director, Yvonne has performed alongside…

Michael J. Gelb

Creative Thinking & Innovation Expert

The world’s leading authority on the application of genius thinking to personal and organizational….

Dr. Terrence Underwood

Diversity, Equality & Inclusion

Dr. Underwood is the Founder of The National Association of Minority Speakers (NAMS). He is a growth-minded, inclusive thinker with more than 20 years’ experience…

Adam Lazarus

Virtual Communications & Sales Pitch Skills

Adam Lazarus is an internationally acclaimed instructor and corporate speech consultant who is widely…

Sarah Lang

Leadership & Communication Skills

Sarah Lang is a professional certified coach (PCC, CPCC) and a public speaking and leadership instructor. She facilitates workshops and training…

Melanie Novis

Public Speaking & Presentation Skills

Melanie Novis has spent decades earning the nickname the ‘speech whisperer’ as President of Corporate Speech Consultants.

Vicki Salemi

US Representative, Career Management

Vicki Salemi is a nationally recognized career expert, author, former corporate recruiter, speaker, spokesperson, and columnist…

Gary Wexler

Creative Thinking & Collaboration Skills

Gary Wexler is a professor of Team Creativity, Advertising, and Nonprofit Marketing…

Brenda Pearson

DA Master Instructor

A career in the Career Management field was destiny for Brenda when as a child her favourite board game was one called ‘Careers’…

Chris Asper

DA Master Instructor

Chris Asper is a leadership coach with over 14 years of experience in Human Resources. He specializes in creating inclusive workplaces and…

Kathleen Fyfe

DA Master Instructor

Kathleen Fyfe is passionate about assisting individuals and organizations to grow and develop, creating positive impact personally…

Barry Kaplan

DA Master Instructor

Barry Kaplan inspires leaders and their teams to declare what they want and coaches them to access their power to make it happen…

LaNae S. Croxton

DA Master Instructor

LaNae S. Croxton believes that the alignment between organizational strategy and employee engagement helps organizations to retain…

Flory Achammer

DA Master Instructor

I am driven to help people improve their holistic well-being, through better connections. Most of my days are on running two start-ups…

Honorary Circle

Honorary Circle

Adam Kahan

Adam Kahan

President of ABK Associates
Former VP, Ryerson University

Adam is President of ABK Associates, Inc. consulting to the not-for-profit industry on strategic planning…

Sanjiv Chopra MD

Professor and Author, Harvard Medical School

Sanjiv Chopra is a distinguished professor of medicine and former Faculty Dean for Continuing Medical…
Acting CEO & Chief Strategy Officer of Ed2Work
Kathy Gardarian

Award Winning Business Executive

Kathy is an award winning businesswoman, author of “Feet to the Fire”, and founder and CEO of Qualis…

Mana Saranj


An accomplished real estate developer and businesswoman with a passion for education…

Helen Pink

Helen Pink

School Board Chair
Former Marketing Executive with the Financial Times

Helen Pink draws on 25 years of experience in sales and marketing, where educating, guiding and inspiring…

Amb. Haile Menkerios

Amb. Haile Menkerios

Former U.N. Undersecretary-General

Haile is the former U.N. Undersecretary-General and head of the United Nations Office to…

Jay Rosenzweig

Rosenzweig & Company

Jay Rosenzweig is an internationally renowned social impact entrepreneur, investor, humanitarian, trained lawyer, and leadership strategist…

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