SSGA Business Consulting Team


Kathy Ligon | Founder & Managing Partner

Kathy brings 30 years of experience and relationships in the education industry nationwide. Her background in accounting and educational operations has led to the development of pricing analysis and negotiation strategies that successfully match buyers and sellers. With the negotiation and closing of more than 150 educational transactions, Kathy provides an understanding of the nuances of process development and company integration that lead to long-term success after the closing. Kathy began her career in public accounting with an experience base in tax and auditing. This led her to a position as Financial Director of a growing educational organization, where she developed financial systems that led to successful operational management. After moving to COO and directing growth management, the company grew from five to 125 sites operating in several states.

Throughout this time, Kathy developed experience in growth strategy and management, target selection, pricing and negotiation, culture analysis and process development, and post-closing integration that led to success. Kathy has also started several new companies, all focused on serving the educational industry in varying arenas.

Kathy lives in South Carolina and earned a Business degree from Lander University with an emphasis in Accounting, and has taken course work toward her MBA at Clemson University. She has taught numerous workshops and seminars on growth management and successful acquisition on both the state and national level. Kathy serves on several for-profit and non-profit Boards.

Mike Pepper | Senior Broker & National Director of Real Estate

MikeMike has 30 years of commercial real estate experience as an investor, developer, broker, lender, pension fund advisor and portfolio manager. He has held senior positions with institutional real estate companies as well as small, entrepreneurial investment shops. During his career, he has been involved in the development, acquisition, management, leasing and sale of over $2 billion worth of commercial properties in California and the West, in Texas, and the Sunbelt. He has personally built a portfolio of early childhood education school campuses in Colorado, and has sold portfolios of schools including locations in Denver, Illinois, Florida and Maryland.

As the National Director of Real Estate for SSGA, Mike’s responsibilities include acquisition and disposition of early childhood education buildings throughout the country on behalf of our clients, providing leasing services for both tenants and landlords, analyzing and executing on portfolio dispositions and acquisitions, and adding value to our client’s bottom line through effective and innovative real estate strategies.

Mike received his degree from Stanford University with an emphasis on economics, organizational behavior and psychology. He lives in Denver, Colorado with his wife, two sons and one (so far) dog. He is a licensed real estate broker.

Reagin Curlee | Senior Broker

Reagin has over 15 years of experience in the real estate industry. She most recently served as Asset Manager and Investor Relations Manager for an Investment Advisory Group where she worked with both individual investors and corporations to strategize short-term and long-term investment goals. She has a wide breadth of knowledge in commercial real estate and has worked as Marketing Director/Asset Manager for real estate fund working with horizontal developers and on master planned large scale mixed used developments. Her background encompasses both private and government experience in all areas of finance and development.

Reagin lives in South Carolina and earned an Accounting degree from the College of Charleston. She holds a real estate license in South Carolina.

Mechele Rodgers | Associate Broker

Mechele has over 12 years of real estate experience, but her experiences as a multi-school childcare owner provides valuable insight into challenges and opportunities faced by our sellers as she leads them through the sales process of their early childhood education business. Mechele began her career in corporate sales for over ten years in the IT industry including working for IBM. In 1996 following the birth of her son, she left corporate sales and obtained her real estate license in Rhode Island, while at the same time opening a licensed in-home preschool. When her family relocated to Memphis, TN four years later, she taught at a local school and then one year later opened Cordova Christian Academy that she grew to 500 students and sold 12 years later to a national buyer. In 2012 she opened a second school, Cornerstone Learning Center, which quickly grew to full capacity with a waiting list.

In the midst of opening and running two schools, Mechele obtained her real estate license in TN in 2004 and worked in residential sales for 11 years while also being a multi-school owner/operator. She transitioned from residential to commercial real estate sales in 2015 and has continued to work in commercial sales while still owning/operating Cornerstone Learning Center.

Mechele received a degree in accounting from the University of Rhode Island. She currently lives in Memphis, TN with her husband and has three sons and a very spoiled English bulldog puppy named Sir Winston Biggs.

Shawn Riley | Real Estate Development

Shawn RileyShawn began his career in real estate over 20 years ago and has successfully completed over 500 purchase, sale, and lease transactions of child care businesses and real estate properties in 23 states. In 1999, Shawn joined the early childhood education company, Children’s Discovery Centers of America, shortly after its acquisition by Knowledge Universe, and was responsible for new site selection to build state-of the-art early child development centers in selected growth markets. Over the following six years, he helped the company grow to become the nation’s largest early education operator having served in several roles, such as Real Estate Manager, Director of Acquisitions, and Assistant Vice President-Development. His sales and negotiation strategies have been well honed through the many complicated real estate and financing transactions involving early education centers. Shawn earned both his BS/BA and MBA from The Ohio State University with an emphasis in Real Estate and Finance and is a licensed real estate broker in multiple states.

Carrie Pergerson | Business Manager

Carrie PergersonCarrie has over 20 years of professional experience with 18 of those in the employee benefit industry as a benefits broker and Vice-President of an agency that was located in Charleston and Greenville, SC.

Carrie manages SSGA’s marketing, processes improvement, client & transaction management, business development, webinars and conferences.

A College of Charleston graduate with a degree in Corporate Communications, Carrie resides in Greenville, SC with her husband, three children and their Golden Retriever, Sunny. Carrie is very involved with the James F. Byrnes Foundation as a Board of Director and creator/facilitator of the Maude’s Angels Network, as well as a regular volunteer with her youngest daughter at local wildlife rescue and rehab animal sanctuary Izzie’s Pond.