Meet the Team

JAKAPA's Origin: A Tool I Wish I Had When I was 16

JAKAPA’s CEO, Gavin Pringle, wishes he had JAKAPA when he was 16 years old.

“I was a terrible high school student. I graduated from my 3rd highschool and dropped out of engineering college after 2 years. 

Dropping out led me to the Navy as a Nuclear Reactor Operator serving aboard Submarines. 

It was there that I started to reflect and realize that it was my poorly developed executive function, emotional resilience, communication, and teamwork skills; the soft skills, that caused my bumpy educational road.

Fortunately, the Navy trained me up in those skills and gave me a second chance.

When I got out of the Navy, I went back to college. I looked around and realized, “Bad Soft Skills were not just a Gavin Problem, they were an everybody problem.”

It seemed like all my classmates didn’t know how to manage their time, stress, teams, or flexible deadlines. 

I knew it wasn’t an age thing. I had led 18 year olds into some very stressful situations and they executed flawlessly. It was an educational thing, a practice thing.

It made me realize, I need to do something about this. This is the #1 reason why people are fired. The way we are currently preparing people for their futures is failing.

It was at this point I called my big sister, Keara, who’s an engineer and I said, “You need to help me build something”. Lisa, came on shortly afterwards to give our vision credibility, she is an expert in this field with a PhD, books, research, and recognition as a top presenter.” – Gavin Pringle

FAQ's answered by Gavin

JAKAPA is an unusual name... What's the backstory?

“When I was in the Navy I served in Guam, in the Pacific and I developed an appreciation for New Zealand.

“Kapa” is the Maori word for Team and “Ja” means “Yes” or “Go”.

JAKAPA = Go Team”

When did you know you were on to something?

“The first version of JAKAPA was Google Forms meets Google Sheets meets Gmail, and I would make you a custom Powerpoint and we would meet over Zoom.

I knew we were on to something when the students we were working with emailed us and said, “I just took the Powerpoint you made for me into a job interview” or “I wrote about the data you collected in my College Application or Scholarship Application” and they’d follow up with, “Now I have a job or scholarship or I got into my dream school.”

At JAKAPA, we aren’t the Hero of the story, the learner is the Hero. We are the sidekick that will empower them to achieve their dreams, whether that is to start their career, go to college, or get a cool summer camp counselor job!”


Meet Our Team

The JAKAPA team is diverse and each member of our founding team brings expertise that will help us succeed. 

Gavin Pringle

Founder & CEO

Gavin Pringle

wanted to be Iron Man

Gavin Pringle is our CEO and he has experience in organizational leadership, teaching, and developing curriculum and assessments. He has over 7 years of management experience in the US Navy and education sector and five years experience as an instructor and professional development provider.

He has successfully designed and executed multiple proofs-of-concept in the education technology space and has conducted extensive customer discovery and feasibility research in the education technology space. He leads our funding efforts, represents our company in St. Louis as an Arch Grant Winner, and focuses on sales. 

Lisa Riegel, PhD

Chief Operations Officer

Lisa Riegel, PhD

wanted to be a judge

Lisa Riegel, PhD is our Chief Operations Officer. She manages operations, leads the development and support of our coaching network and oversees the development of JAKAPA’s skills challenges, implementation and resources. Her doctoral cognate area focused on adult motivation and engagement, and she is an expert at designing curriculum and professional learning. Her strategic counsel on program improvement, communication, and evaluation has been sought internationally. 

She has experience building statewide learning curriculum in Ohio, including an intensive pedagogical institute for career switchers earning teaching licenses and a formative instructional practices series to improve instruction and assessment practices.  Dr. Riegel holds dual bachelor’s degrees in English and Secondary Education, a master’s degree in Curriculum and Instruction, and a Ph.D. in Educational Administration from The Ohio State University. Her work has appeared in peer-reviewed journals and she has authored three books.

Keara Pringle

Chief Technical & Finance Officer

Keara Pringle

wanted to be a doctor

Keara Pringle is our Chief Technical and Finance Officer. She oversees JAKAPA’s assessment system software. She manages the development of the user experience, supervises the developers and leads efforts to develop integrations that make the software more user friendly. She also manages contracts, generates our financial projections and manages all our accounts payable and receivable. She has a B.S. in chemical engineering and an MBA.

She worked for 9 years in product development, production operations, and product support for customers. She manages projects from design to released production and then oversees ongoing product support. She has worked extensively on accounting, sales, marketing, procurement, and technical teams and led oversight and budgeting of several million dollar development projects.

Measure | Train | Track Soft Skills.

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Helping Educators Bridge the Soft Skills Gap

Welcome to JAKAPA, the premier platform for measuring, training, and tracking soft skills in education. Soft skills play a crucial role in both professional success and student achievement. Did you know that a lack of soft skills not only affects workplace productivity but also impacts student success?

Poor soft skills, such as communication and collaboration, contribute to misunderstandings and inefficiencies in educational settings. Research shows that students with strong soft skills exhibit better academic performance, higher engagement levels, and improved behavior.

At JAKAPA, we understand the profound impact of soft skills on student outcomes. Our platform empowers educators to develop these essential skills in students, fostering a positive learning environment and preparing them for future success.

In the workplace, poor soft skills lead to wasted time and decreased productivity. For students, it can translate to challenges in teamwork, critical thinking, and problem-solving—key skills needed for academic and career success.

Join us at JAKAPA to transform your workforce and classroom. Let’s bridge the soft skills gap together and unlock the full potential of your organization and students. Together, we can cultivate a culture of communication, collaboration, and success in education and business.

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