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PE-backed CEA and CAPA taps Cline as CEO

Most recently, he was president and CEO of La Quinta Inns & Suites and its successor company CorePoint Lodging, Inc. during its ownership by The Blackstone Group.

Cultural Experiences Abroad and CAPA the Global Education Network, both of which are backed by Infinedi Partners, has named Keith Cline as CEO. Most recently, he was president and CEO of La Quinta Inns & Suites and its successor company CorePoint Lodging, Inc. during its ownership by The Blackstone Group. CEA is a provider of international academic programs and services.

PRESS RELEASE

Phoenix-based education abroad leader Cultural Experiences Abroad, LLC (the “Company”) which operates through its wholly owned subsidiaries CEA, Inc. and CAPA the Global Education Network named a new CEO, Keith Cline, an experienced executive and proven leader. Keith will be the CEO of the combined CEA / CAPA organization.

The announcement comes after private equity firm Infinedi Partners, LP (“Infinedi”) completed the acquisitions of CEA in August 2020 and of CAPA in April 2021.
The Company works with more than 500 U.S. universities to provide comprehensive educational and internship abroad programs in Europe, Central and South America, Africa and Australia. The organization serves more than 7,000 college and university students annually with 12 international study centers and nearly 40 International university partners.

“I am honored to lead these amazing organizations and continue their long history of serving the needs of our university partners and students,” said Keith Cline. “The education abroad industry is the perfect intersection of my passion for leading people and dedicating my time and resources to the development of well-prepared and highly-educated students.”
Jay Hegenbart, Founder and Managing Partner of Infinedi, commented, “Keith is a seasoned leader with an established track record of success. He brings extensive experience in strategy development, team building and maximization of outcomes for all stakeholders. We are grateful we were able to recruit him to be our partner for this exciting opportunity.”

For much of the past twenty years, Mr. Cline has held key executive leadership roles in both the hospitality and specialty retail industries. Most recently, he was President & CEO of La Quinta Inns & Suites and its successor company CorePoint Lodging, Inc. during its ownership by The Blackstone Group.

“We have supported the Company to expand during the pandemic-driven industry contraction, providing greater support to our university partners and transformative educational options to their students,” said Carter Harned, Partner at Infinedi. “Keith’s appointment as CEO is a natural next step given his many years supporting higher education, both personally and professionally.”

Brian Boubek, founder and CEO of CEA, will transition from CEO to Executive Chairman of the Board. His new role is part of a voluntary and planned transition following the Infinedi acquisition.

About The Company
Since 1997, the Company has maintained one simple philosophy: to provide high-quality international academic programs and services. The Company recognizes and values greater access to global education by offering high-quality, discipline-based academic programs that integrate the host culture into an active learning pedagogy. The Company’s students engage in academically rigorous courses and innovative internships, all designed to create global leaders for the 21st century.

The Company works with more than 500 U.S. universities to provide comprehensive educational and internship abroad programs in Europe, Central and South America, Africa, Australia and Asia. The organization serves more than 7,000 college and university students annually with 12 international study centers and nearly 40 international university partners.

Visit ceastudyabroad.com for more information.

About Infinedi
Infinedi is a private equity firm focused on innovative partnerships with founder-owned businesses and financial entrepreneurs. Based in New York, the firm was founded in March 2018 by Jay Hegenbart. Unlike many traditional private equity firms, Infinedi focuses exclusively on situations where it is the first institutional investor. Additional elements of the strategy include using less financial leverage and having investment durations longer than is typical.
The firm’s approach is solution-based, working with business owners to create tailor-made private equity investments oriented to maximize effectiveness for all stakeholders. Infinedi’s investments are typically control investments with large founder re-investment. Its investors include a diverse group of prominent institutional investors. Many of these organizations have known the principals for decades and have benefitted from their successful track record of investing. Infinedi is actively seeking new investment opportunities.