Our Story

Who We Are

Achieving Dreams Through Education

At Sova, we partner with higher education systems and institutions, associations, and philanthropies to achieve large-scale change through careful attention to actionable strategy and practical implementation support.

At Sova, we are driven by a powerful story that speaks to the core values we hold dear. Our journey began with the fusion of two extraordinary backgrounds: the daughter of a war refugee and the son of Kentucky dairy farmers. United by a shared vision, we embarked on a mission to help America realize its promise of equitable upward mobility for all through higher education.

The name “Sova” holds deep meaning. Derived from the Czech word for “owl,” it pays homage to our founding partners’ rural roots and symbolizes wisdom and discernment celebrated in cultures worldwide. For us, wisdom transcends theory; it is practical knowledge that drives change. That’s why our team comprises experts from diverse fields, pooling their combined expertise to catalyze large-scale, student-focused transformations.

Our unwavering dedication lies in improving the lives of hardworking individuals. With decades of experience tackling complex challenges, we have nurtured a team of exceptional professionals. Former faculty members, higher education administrators, operations specialists, community organizers, researchers, and on-the-ground technical assistance providers form the backbone of our organization.

We understand firsthand how real change unfolds, and we tirelessly support those who strive for better and more equitable outcomes for today’s students.

Join us at Sova as we create pathways for success and empower dreams through education. Together, we will create a better future where every individual has the opportunity to thrive.

Allison Kadlec Senior Partner

Paul Markham Managing Partner

Our Mission

Our mission is to improve problem-solving in higher education and workforce development, driving socioeconomic mobility for all.

Our Values

Sova exists to help America fulfill its social contract to provide equitable upward mobility for more people through higher education. We support higher education leaders and the organizations they serve in comprehensive efforts to achieve significantly better and more equitable outcomes for today’s students. We help our clients build programs, practices, policies, and structures that facilitate equity for those communities who have been historically marginalized. Sova promises to bring an equity-focused ethos to our engagement with clients. Our core values include a commitment to helping leaders at every level own their power to put students at the center of their work, to learn, and to constructively address and overcome the expressions of inequity that will likely arise in the course of the work.