Leadership Team: Wes Creel - Colleges of Distinction - Colleges of Distinction

Wes Creel, Founder


Having helped his four daughters find their dream schools, Wes knows firsthand what parents go through during the complicated and intimidating college search process. He founded Colleges of Distinction in 2001 to help high school students and parents navigate the college admissions landscape. The first in his family to attend college, Wes was interested in helping other aspiring college grads.


Wes would later help launch the Center for Student Opportunity (CSO) in 2005, a national nonprofit organization based in Bethesda, Md., that works to empower first-generation college students throughout their college careers. The CSO develops and provides tools and resources to help first-generation college students and their supporters — parents, counselors, and mentors — on the road to and through college. In early 2016, CSO announced an agreement to merge organizations and integrate programs with Strive for College, a national nonprofit that delivers technology-powered mentoring to remove barriers to college access. Although Wes is no longer actively involved in the organization, his wife, Nancy, serves on its board, and his son-in-law, Matt Rubinoff, serves as its Executive Director.


Wes grew up in Texas and New York. He attended the Virginia Military Institute on an Army ROTC scholarship and received his bachelor’s degree in history from Syracuse University. While working on a Ph.D. in American Civilization at the University of Texas, he was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. He founded his first company in 1978, and for 10 years served as President and CEO of Creel Morrell, a marketing communications firm headquartered in Houston. In the 1980s, Creel Morrell became an industry leader and was on Inc. Magazine’s list of the 500 fastest-growing companies in America for three straight years.


Wes’ interests include running (including the Boston Marathon — six times!) and following the sports teams of Syracuse University and Texas Christian University (his fourth daughter is a recent grad). He is loving his newfound status as grandfather to his two granddaughters.