Jared Friedland, Founder & CEO

Raised on the mean streets of Princeton, New Jersey, Catalyst CEO Jared Friedland was a star student in high school and college, a classroom conquistador safely en route to following his forefathers as a gastroenterologist or at least patent attorney (if the whole med school thing didn't pan out), but somewhere along the line he succumbed to the Go West, Young Man impulses stirring in his head and moved to Los Angeles to pursue screenwriting. After a stint writing comedy for former Saturday Night Live star Al Franken, Jared forsook Tineseltown for the comparatively less glamorous world – actually, let's make that non-glamorous world – of test preparation. He currently oversees all of Catalyst's East and West Coast operations and is getting really good at moving money off-shore and slamming his fist on the conference table. When he's not busy being Catalyst's capo di tutti capi, Jared enjoys writing, oil painting, tennis, ping-pong, and reading. (Favorite authors: Philip Roth, Stanley Elkin, Martin Amis, and the unjustly forgotten S.J. Perelman.)

Why He Works for Catalyst

His name's on the LLC's tax documents, so might as well, right?

How the Universe Has Punished Him for Being a Freakishly Good Test-Taker

You know those really smart people who can walk into tests without even studying and get a 100 but ask them to throw a baseball or toss a frisbee and they look like they're suffering some sort of full-body spasm? Well, Jared isn't one of them. He's actually a halfway decent athlete. However, he is terrible – and we mean terrible – at assembling even the simplest piece of furniture from IKEA. Ask his wife about the time he tried putting together an Aspelund nightstand. Not a pretty sight.

Favorite 80s Movie / Favorite 80s Nobel Laureate

War Games / Heinrich Rohrer (Nobel Prize in Physics, 1986)