Berj Akian founded ClassLink in 1998. What started as an effort to help one local school with their technology plan became ClassLink. Today ClassLink serves students and teachers around the world. Berj has been a panelist, presenter, and moderator at hundreds of conferences and webinars with industry experts on various aspects of education technology. His ongoing work with school and industry leaders for almost two decades gives him a front row seat on technology in the learning process and the use of data to improve learning outcomes. He has authored many articles for industry journals and has judged many education and technology industry award programs.
Ellen Bialo is CEO, President and Founder of Interactive Educational Systems Design (IESD), an educational market and product development research company recognized in K-20 publishing as a leader in research and analysis. She founded the DOLS, a professional women's organization that helps women who work in the business of education help one another. Ellen has served the education publishing community as chair of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) Education Section Board of Directors, an advisor to the National Science Foundation, a Board Member and industry awards judge for EdNET and the Association of Educational Publishers, and a member of the SchoolTech Exposition & Conference advisory board. She earned the QED Pinnacle Mentoring Award for her work in mentoring young professionals in the education marketing field. In 2009, she was awarded the first Education Technology Impact Award ever given by the SIIA.
Sean Cavanagh is Senior Editor of EdWeek Market Brief. He is also a reporter and editor for Education Week, where he has covered a variety of beats since 2002. His primary focus is on business and technology issues in K-12 education. Previously he covered math and science education, charter schools and school choice, and federal policy. Before joining Education Week, he was a reporter for daily newspapers in Tennessee and Florida.
Mike Fee is a co–founder of Spotlight, a company that works with education organizations and agencies to turn their data into personalized stories. Mike has spent his career in education, starting as a classroom teacher and later leading a range of education programs and organizations. In addition to teaching and later recruiting new teachers and providing them with professional development, Mike ran a division of Intrax, an international education business, and founded Lango, a multi–site company that teaches new languages to kids. Prior to Spotlight, Mike served as Executive Vice President at EverFi, a Washington, D.C.–based education technology company. Mike earned his BA and MBA degrees from Stanford (‘91 and ‘99).
Renee joined Curriculum Associates in 2008 and serves as President. With an innovative focus on infusing technology into product development, she has led the company's transition from traditional publisher to edtech industry leader. Previous to Curriculum Associates, Renee was Senior Director of Business Development at The American Museum of Natural History, where she built new business operations that increased funding for one of the top natural history museums in the world. Renee also served as Engagement Manager at McKinsey & Company and began her career as the youngest-ever Plant Manager for Shell Oil. Renee has been recognized among the Top 100 Influential EdTech leaders and was named a 2016 Woman of Influence by the Boston Business Journal and Female Executive of the Year by the Stevie Awards. Renee is passionate about creating tools to drive performance gains for all learners, particularly those with learning challenges and in under-resourced communities.
Keith Fowlkes has been a leader in higher education technology for over 25 years and now leads the development of the technology contracts portfolio for E&I Cooperative Services in Jericho, NY. E&I is the largest buying cooperative in the U.S. for higher education with over 4,000 educational member institutions. Prior to joining E&I, Keith served as Chief Information Officer for Centre College, Saint Maryâ€™s College and the University of Virginia at Wise. While at Centre College, he co-founded the Higher Education Systems & Services Consortium (HESS) and continues to serve as vice president of its board of directors. He is a frequent writer and speaker on educational technology, trends and innovation.
Hal Friedlander is the co-founder and CEO of Technology for Education Consortium (TEC). TEC is non-profit organization that advocates for ed tech pricing transparency. Prior to launching TEC, Hal was the Chief Information Officer at The New York City Department of Education, America's largest school district with over 1 million students.
Mike Hagerty is the Chief Financial Officer for the 4th largest Instructional Service Agency in Michigan, serving directly or indirectly 125,000 and 7,800 certified staff from 20 local school districts and 24 charters and private educational entities. A critical service that Mike provides in his role is leadership in the Collaboration Committee; a committee of educational leaders and innovators seeking efficiency and effective strategies for organizational innovation and improvements. Mike has led unique service delivery models resulting in economies of scale in technology device purchases, help desk supports, peak time deployment of educational technology services, and technical assistance to educators leveraging best-practices in classroom technology integration.
Jacob Hanson has dedicated his career to sales growth, marketing, and brand awareness. Jacob brings to PR with Panache! a fierce passion for education and extensive experience in moving high-quality companies and their brands to the forefront of the education marketplace. A skilled communicator with a zest for life, he has the wherewithal to see the big picture, connecting the dots between sales, marketing, and public relations to create dynamic communication and integrated marketing plans to effectively tell your story. Jacob serves on the Board of Directors for a MN-based STEM non-profit,Â High Tech Kids, whose mission is to deliver fun, hands-on science, engineering, and technology programs and events that inspire Minnesota kids in their formative years.
Jen is committed to bringing quality products to learning environments. With 17 years of administrative experience in education including roles as Assistant Superintendent and Chief Instructional Officer, Jen has a keen understanding of what it takes for students, teachers, and all stakeholders in education to find success. With her education background, Jen brings a seasoned and knowledgeable perspective to the vetting and endorsement of quality educational materials. She has an insider's understanding of the needs of educators and the lenses they use to procure products that will enhance instruction and strengthen the learning environment.
Elliott Levine drives strategy and go–to market tactics for HP’s $1B+ education sales in the U.S. and Canada, working with channel partners on a global scale. He is a sought–after global speaker to discuss the future of, and innovation to, the learning paradigm. He has, and is developing products focused on personalized learning and virtual instruction, some of which are patent–pending. A former K–12 district administrator and professor, Elliott is a past columnist for Electronic School and American School Boards Journal, and has been interviewed for many educational publications over his career. He currently serves on the board of PAPERbasket, an emerging edtech startup, as well as an advisory board member for WNET, the largest public television station in the U.S., and an advisor for 3D Africa, a nonprofit supporting educational opportunities for young women in Africa.
Brent Lomas is a former classroom teacher and policy researcher. He now develops marketing strategy for Noodle Markets, which brings transparency, speed, and control to K-12 buying. Prior to joining the team, Brent worked in Broadway advertising at SpotCo and contributed to BuzzBuzzHome's news wing, specializing in NYC housing development and legislation. He served on the advisory boards of En Garde Arts and Circle in the Square's Teens on Broadway program. A Teach for America alum, Brent taught at Aspire Public Schools and Harlem Village Academies.
Jack joined HMH in 2017 as President, Chief Executive Officer and Director, bringing with him extensive background in the K-12 education and technology space. With over 25 years of management experience in the software and information industry, Jack is highly respected in the field of education technology. He has been active in the K-12 education industry since 1999 and was the founding CEO of bigchalk.com, where he created an education network serving 40,000 schools. Jack was honored with the 2016 EY Entrepreneur of the Year award for his leadership.
Gary Mainor supports U.S. business, strategy and policy development and builds relationships with federal and state departments of education and professional organizations. He has served in a variety of general management roles within Pearson over the last 20 years. Gary came to Pearson with 20 years of business leadership in different industries including Rockwell Avionics and Dataserv computer services and maintenance. He has a passion for efficacy ensuring that products and services have a measureable impact on learning.
Jim McChesney is the Midwest Regional Manager with the McChesney Group, an independent manufacturers’ representation agency serving the Education industry since 2001. Over the last 15 years McChesney Group has grown into the only nationwide rep group serving the educational marketplace. Prior to joining the McChesney Group, Jim worked in real estate, sales and management for mortgage lending, and was a principal partner in a title company. Jim is an active member of the Education Market Association, serving on EDexpo Planning Committee, Legislative Committee, and Board of Directors.
Jim McGarry has served as President/CEO of the Education Market Association (EDmarket) since 2011. EDmarket connects people who want to succeed in the education market by providing events, resources and leadership to those who serve education. Prior to joining EDmarket, Jim worked as an Executive Recruiter at the McCormick Group. From 1995-2005, he served as President and Chief Operating Officer of the Independent Office Products and Furniture Dealers Association (IOPFDA), formerly the Business Products Industry Association (BPIA).
Angela Nelson founded Stages Learning Materials in 1997 as a vehicle to publish and distribute her line of photo-based teaching tools for autism and special needs. Currently Angela is President and CEO of Stages Learning Materials. She is a partner, and Vice President of Product Development at Consulting Services for Education and develops curriculum, supplemental products and technology for numerous companies in the school supply and educational publishing industry. Angela is the incoming chair of the Board of Directors for the Education Market Association, and serves as a Teaching Fellow at the Harvard Graduate School of Education.
Jason Palmer joined New Markets Venture Partners in 2016 as a General Partner. Jason brings twenty years of experience as an education technology entrepreneur, executive and investor, and focuses on fund strategy, supporting portfolio companies and leveraging deep connections with industry leaders. Prior to re-joining New Markets, Jason served as Deputy Director at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he led postsecondary innovation efforts to improve the outcomes of low-income, minority and first-generation college students by investing in colleges, universities and entrepreneurs pursuing digital and adaptive learning, student coaching and advising, financial aid structures, comprehensive credit transfer and employer pathways. Prior to the Foundation, Jason founded and grew three investor-backed technology and services companies before holding a series of executive positions at Microsoft, SchoolNet, Kaplan and StraighterLine. At Kaplan, Jason led three education businesses as general manager or president, in addition to founding and leading the company's venture capital effort.
Dr. John Phillipo is the founder and Chief Executive Officer of the Center for Educational Leadership and Technology (CELT). CELT assists schools and universities in linking 21st century educational reforms with the effective use of information technology. Dr. Phillipo is nationally and internationally recognized as a resource consultant for learning organizations, businesses, and state/federal departments of education on issues related to architecting and implementing a “digital” infrastructure in support of contemporary teaching, learning, and management. He has taught graduate courses, authored journal articles, and made numerous presentations on interactive and virtual learning technologies and their impact on student achievement and educational leadership.
Thomas Richards is the CEO of OETC, a non profit edtech consortium that serves 1,000 school districts and universities in the Pacific Northwest. Prior to OETC Thomas worked at Teach For America as the Director of Institute Operations. He received his J.D. from Loyola Marymount University in Chicago and is a member of the Oregon State Bar.
Andyshea Saberioon is a Houston native and a social entrepreneur starting his first venture at the age of 25. After working over 8 years in the luxury hospitality industry, Andyshea co-founded an education social enterprise, PledgeCents. PledgeCents is a social impact marketplace that works with over 2,000 schools, has put over $1,000,000 back into classrooms, and partners with over 70 companies in its marketplace. Andyshea is passionate about making a difference in our communities. His motto is “Live to make a difference.”
Lisa Schmucki is the founder and CEO of edWeb.net, an award-winning, professional learning network that helps educators connect and collaborate to improve teaching and learning - anytime, anywhere. edWeb provides free professional learning for teachers, librarians, and administrators that is sponsored by leading organizations in the education industry. edWeb.net won the 2017 SIIA CODiE Award for Best Professional Learning Solution for Faculty and Administrative Staff and a 2017 EdTech Digest Trendsetter Award. Lisa has 30 years experience in education in marketing, product product management, and product development with companies including Time Inc., Macmillan, Peterson's, Films Media Group, and Achieve3000. Lisa is a member of the board of the SIIA Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN).
Sally Searby is Vice President, responsible for Strategic Partnerships at Renaissance Learning. Prior to joining Renaissance, Sally was responsible for partnerships at Knewton, the adaptive learning company. Sally started her career in Education as an ESL/ELT teacher in Portugal, France and Spain, then as a High School English teacher in Cambridge, UK before moving into Educational Publishing. Sally was Head of Global Publishing in Education at Cambridge University Press, where she worked for 15 years, developing instructional and assessment language learning materials for teachers and students worldwide. At Cambridge University Press she also served as Director of Digital Publishing.
Dr. Kevin Singer is the executive director of the Central Susquehanna Intermediate Unit in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania.Â He has served as a superintendent, a district-level administrator, a building principal and as a middle and elementary school teacher.Â Singer received his B.A. at Washburn University, and both his master’s and doctorate at the University of Kansas.Â For more than 25 years, he was a senior lead auditor and trainer with the Curriculum Management Services, Inc. and has served as a consultant to the Ministries of Education in Moscow, Russia, Baotou, InnerÂ Mongolia, and Bermuda.
Jennifer Solomon currently serves as the Director, Market Development. Prior to her current role, Jenn spent the previous 15 years driving sales efforts for Jones & Bartlett Learning, a leading provider of educational management solutions as a sales manager, then Vice President of Sales, Education Curriculum Solutions, and later Vice President, Academic and Professional Sales. Driven by a passion for providing individualized content to learners of all types, Jenn has presented at numerous conferences and served on panels, speaking on adaptive learning technologies. She holds a firm belief that there is no longer a one-size-fits-all solution, especially with the current generation of college students, citing millennials who want to immersive, interactive learning experiences above traditional reading off printed pages.
Brad Summersell is Executive Vice President/Co-Owner of Educators Resource, a leading wholesale distributor of preK-8 learning materials and educational toys used by schools, teachers, parents and children. Brad brings 24 years of experience in educational distribution supporting all channels of retailers from brick & mortar and contract school distributors to all shapes and sizes of E-Commerce platforms. Educators Resource stocks over 22,000 educational/school products from 250+ manufacturers offering world-class order fulfillment services and comprehensive content support for its resellers. Over his 24 years, Brad has served in different management capacities including Operations, Purchasing & Inventory Control, Customer Service, and Vendor Relations. Presently he manages the Sales Department, e-Content Team, & EDI Team.
Lisa Taylor is charged with developing the growth strategy for Staples Technology Solutions within the SLED (State, Local and Education) sector. Staples Technology Solutions, a division of Staples Business Advantage, is a national distributor of technology supplies and services. Lisa partners with technology manufactures, educational strategist and customers to provide solutions that support the Staples Education customer’s needs. She has been with Staples Business Advantage for over 15 years, primarily in an Enterprise sales and marketing role.
Prior to co-founding Academic Business Advisors in 2005, Mitch Weisburgh founded two other businesses: Personal Computer Learning Centers of America in 1981 CollegePilot in 2001. As a partner at Academic Business Advisors, Mitch applies his knowledge and connections to help organizations align their products and services with the ways purchasing decisions are made in the education market so that they can scale and make a difference to kids and educators. Since then, he has also co-founded Edchat Interactive, Games4Ed and ThinkZone Games. Mitch has served on the Boards of the Ed-Tech Industry Network (ETIN) of the SIIA, and the nonprofit Youth Rights Media.
Joseph Wise has a longstanding record of helping school districts, school boards, and school leaders make rapid improvements to support student achievement. His focus on great governance, great leadership, and great student and parent engagement have been the cornerstones of his accomplishments. Dr. Wise formerly served as Superintendent of Schools for the nation’s 19th largest public school district (Duval County Public Schools, Jacksonville, FL) and the State of Delaware’s largest public school district (Christina School District, Wilmington, DE), earning a reputation as a visionary leader who brought about measurable improvements in both student achievement and operational management.