First Step Advisors
Education advisory services


Experience Matters.


Jim McVety and Sarah Dawgert founded First Step Advisors with the goal of creating an organization focused on helping others thrive. Through their work in education and social services, they carried into this advisory practice a fervent belief that helping others is the best way to do well by doing good. 

Since it's founding in 2009, the company has worked with dozens of leading organizations in education. The client roster includes global providers in technology, manufacturing, learning sciences, and professional services. Accompanying this "who's who" of providers is a growing list of emerging leaders, start-ups in education that are introducing new models for game-based learning, credentialing, and curriculum. 

Operating as a virtual enterprise, associates from First Step Advisors have engaged with clients online and on-site in four continents. Although we are small, our global reach is strong. 


Get in touch

We at First Step Advisors understand both the potential of education and the potential pitfalls of being an provider in this market. Bring us your needs and your goals so that, together, we can help you realize your vision.  

Book an appointment ▸



Managing Partner

Managing Partner

Managing Partner

Jim McVety

Experienced sales and marketing executive and respected education industry expert. Recognized authority in education technology, publishing, and service sectors with deep experience serving for- and non-profit organizations. Thrives in situations requiring the ability to drive growth, build strategic relationships, establish organizational brands, and improve overall performance. Since 2009, Jim has worked with dozens of leading organizations, each of which value his sales acumen, relationship building, marketing savvy, analytical thinking, and leadership style. e.


Senior Partner

Senior Partner

Senior Partner

Sarah Dawgert

Experienced social services advisor, having worked in community-based organizations serving a diverse range of clients, from families in need to survivors of sexual assault and domestic violence. Having worked in some of the most challenging settings providing services to clients in need, Sarah has become a renowned expert on best practices in crisis intervention, victim advocacy, and first-responder services. 

Most recently, Sarah turned her attention to children's publishing and now runs Woodland Way, which publishes kids books and artwork that foster kindness, respect, empathy, resilience, and laughter.