We were formed with the belief that great ideas and great companies require specialization to be successful in the education market. We bring over 70 years of experience and market savvy to services that are wrapped around sales and marketing support. This includes advising, selling, and often, completely integrating support within companies. Our belief is centered on the need to help kids, teachers and administrators to have the most innovative and effective solutions in an ever-changing educational landscape.
Meet our Team
Over 70 years of experience and market savvy to services that are wrapped around sales and marketing support.
Buzz Rhodes Chairman, Chief Strategy Officer
As Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer, Buzz relies on his extensive background in sales and marketing to quickly assess a partner’s strengths and goals and help them to be more successful. Buzz began his career as a star sales rep in Florida where he was ranked number 2 in the country.Read More
From there he moved into senior management positions for companies such as Macmillan, Open Court and Pearson, where he led his region to record sales for 3 years, while staying under budget, a feat he repeated for the next several years of his career. In fact, his history is one of rebuilding sales organizations and continually breaking sales records while lowering expenses.
In 2004 he joined Heinemann Publishing as VP of Sales. Realizing that the company didn’t understand their end user, he transitioned the sales organization to a commissioned independent sales force, growing the business from $28 million to a 2014 close of over $180 million. Buzz is a graduate of Georgia Tech with a BS in Industrial Management,
Brent C. Rhodes Owner/CEO
As the Owner and CEO of BBB Educational Enterprises, Brent partners with K-12 education institutions across the Southeast to help them meet their curriculum, instruction and technology goals. Brent believes in truly listening and understanding each partner’s current successes and challenges before developing a plan/solution.Read More
Brent has a unique perspective on education, sales and technology, having worked for two giants in educational publishing, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and Pearson as well as for AT&T. Brent has years of experience working with multiple school districts in all areas of curriculum. He has been a part of multiple successful new product launches within K-12. It is his passion to improve learning for children of all ages. Brent is a graduate of Georgia Tech’s Scheller College of Business with a BS in Management.
Brian Rhodes President, Owner
As President and Owner of BBB Educational Enterprises, Brian has to be equally adept at working with both companies and educational institutions. Fortunately, his background has given him extensive experience in both.Read More
Having began his career in higher education within an academic unit, Brian developed skills in student advisement, business operations, funding and grants, which, combined with the satisfaction of helping students learn, drove him to pursue a career in educational sales. Mr. Rhodes worked for several large educational organizations, including Pearson and Scholastic, where he moved sales teams to great success. He demonstrated a particular talent for building teams from the ground up while keeping them focused on aligning solutions to the needs of customers. Brian is a graduate of Georgia State’s Robinson College of Business with a Bachelor of Business Administration. Brian resides in Birmingham, Alabama with his wife of 17 years Sarah and his four children, Nate, Emily, Michael, and Erin.
Janna Thomsen, M.Ed. Account Executive – Central Florida
As the Florida Account Executive, Janna has over 25 years’ experience in the field of education. She obtained her Master’s Degree in Elementary Education from Mercer University with a specialization in Early Childhood.Read More
As a former elementary teacher, she taught second and third grade at nationally recognized blue-ribbon schools. For the past 18 years, Janna has worked as an Account Executive for large publishing companies including Macmillan, McGraw-Hill and Scholastic Education. She has partnered and consulted with large Florida school districts helping them match solutions to the needs of their students. Her focus and passion has been in the content area of reading particularly with balanced literacy programs and working with English Language Learners. Janna resides in Sarasota, Florida.
Chris Barker Account Manager - Flroida
Chris is a highly accomplished sales professional with over 26 years’ experience selling educational products and solutions. As your Florida Account Manager, Chris’ goal is to provide the highest quality service and best resources to grow the next generation of lifelong learners. Chris places a premium on developing enduring partnerships with educators in helping them achieve their teaching and learning goals for their students.
Matt Johnson Chief Learning Officer
Matt holds a doctorate in educational leadership and has spent the last 15 years working in education with the mission of improving teaching, learning, and student outcomes. He has done extensive work with the Georgia Department of Education and the Alabama State Department of Education with academic standards, assessment practices, and professional learning. Matt’s passion rests in the power of collaboration to ensure that teachers and leaders have the knowledge and support to do the best job possible so that their students receive the quality of education needed to compete in a rigorous global economy. He is excited about the opportunity through BBB to bring this passion to a larger scale across multiple states.
Sabrina Wilks Sales Representative
As a sales representative for BBB, Sabrina has over 28 years’ experience in the field of education.
She obtained her Master’s degree from the University of Alabama and her undergrad from the University of Montevallo in Elementary Education.
As a former 1st and 3rd grade teacher, school-based literacy coach and state department literacy coach, Sabrina concluded her career in public education as an ELA supervisor for K-5 in one of the largest school systems in Alabama.
Sabrina enjoys her continued work in education with the BBB team.
Lauren Finkelstein Consultant
Lauren Finkelstein has served as an educator in the inner city. She attended the University of Montevallo, receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education. With a passion for education, she believes students should be lifelong learners. My goal is to serve and provide Educators with the top resources and professional development.
Jan Myers Executive Administrative Assistant
Jan earned her Bachelors in Marketing from George Mason University and began her career in finance with KPMG in Virginia. Through the years she has forged her way into a successful work/life balance by serving different support rolls for companies by working as a bookkeeper and project manager, while raising her two daughters with her husband in Cumming, GA. She joined BBB in 2019 with hopes of bringing her previous experience to help support the education industry.
Pat Finkelstein Director of Professional Learning
Pat Finkelstein is Director of Professional Learning for BBB Educational Enterprises. She received her advanced educational degrees from the University of Alabama in Birmingham. She also earned Reading Recovery Teacher Leader certification from Clemson University.Read More
As an employee with Birmingham City Schools, she held various positions including elementary and resource teacher, Reading Recovery program specialist, assistant principal, and central office administrator. Pat knows that strong reading skills form the basis for learning in all subjects, therefore, she is a strong advocate of early literacy. She is dedicated to developing life-long learners. Pat is the proud mom of one son, Alex, and new daughter-in-law. She serves as a board member of the Animal League of Birmingham.