Rob Abel, Ed.D., Chief Executive Officer
Dr. Rob Abel is the Chief Executive Officer of the IMS Global Learning Consortium, a nonprofit collaboration of the world's leading universities, school districts, government organizations, content providers, and technology suppliers, cooperating to accelerate learning technology interoperability, adoption, and impact. Rob has been the CEO of IMS since February of 2006.
Rob is a recognized expert on the use of information and communication technology (ICT) for learning with over 30 years high tech and education market development experience. Under Rob’s leadership IMS has introduced the Learning Impact program, which is setting new benchmarks for high impact applications of technology in support of learning worldwide. During Rob’s tenure IMS has experienced dramatic growth in terms of members, revenues, and achieved significant adoption of IMS work by leading regional education communities worldwide. Under Rob’s leadership IMS is providing a foundation of technical interoperability and industry collaboration that is improving access, affordability, and quality of educational experiences worldwide.
Prior to IMS Rob was Senior Vice President at Collegis (now SunGard Higher Education), the leading provider of ICT services to U.S. higher education, he was responsible for online and academic services provided to over 60 U.S. institutions. As Senior Director at Oracle Education he was a leader and innovator in the development of online learning architectures and related standards. Rob holds a Doctorate in Educational Leadership and Change from Fielding Graduate University, a Masters degree in Management from Stanford, a Masters degree in Computer Engineering from the University of Southern California, and a Baccalaureate degree in Computational Physics from Carnegie Mellon University.
Mark Armstrong, Vice-President, Higher Education Product Development, Oracle
Mark Armstrong is Vice-President for Oracle Higher Ed Product Development, the division that develops and supports solutions that are specific to the Higher Education vertical market. Those products include Student Administration for higher education (Campus Solutions), Alumni Development and integration platforms for Learning Management, Master Data management and various technology products. With nearly one thousand application customers world-wide, he spends significant time engaged with this global customer base to understand their immediate needs, and how those needs inform the roadmap through longer-term challenges facing the industry. Mark gets directly involved in key implementations where customers are striving to transform their operations and the services they provide to their campus community. Some of those customers include City University of New York (CUNY), Hobart and William Smith Colleges, the University of Colorado System and National University of Singapore. Until its acquisition by Oracle, Mark held a similar position at PeopleSoft where he helped launch their Higher Education division. Prior to joining PeopleSoft in 1994, he developed and implemented student-centered solutions at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He lives in Los Angeles, CA with his wife Paz.
Jeremy Auger, Chief Strategy Officer, Desire2Learn Incorporated
Jeremy is responsible for formulating and supporting alignment on corporate strategy within Desire2Learn. Jeremy also provides leadership and management of corporate development, mergers & acquisitions, government relations, and intellectual property strategy.
Jeremy was part of the founding team at Desire2Learn, and continues to take a leadership role in driving the organization’s success within its key industries. Prior to joining Desire2Learn, Jeremy came from a strong technical and business background involving work with numerous high-tech companies throughout North America. Specifically, he has been actively involved with eLearning and technology companies for over twenty years, and participates on a number of boards and in advisory roles. Jeremy graduated from the University of Waterloo with an Honours Bachelor of Mathematics (Computer Science), specializing in Information Systems. He also earned a Master of Science in Management from Wilfrid Laurier University.
Timothy Beekman, President & Co-Founder, SAFARI Montage
Timothy R. Beekman, President & Co-Founder, SAFARI Montage, was founder of Dynacom, Inc., and a partner/owner of the former SAFARI Technologies, Inc. Mr. Beekman holds a BSEE from Western Michigan University and a First Class Broadcast License. He was honored as “Fellow of the Decade” by Ball State University Center for Communication Sciences and served as Director of Technology for Grand Rapids Public Schools. Currently, he is president and co-founder of SAFARI Montage, and brings leadership and focus to the team. Mr. Beekman has pioneered the integration of video technology in the classroom through projects like AT&T School of the Future initiative and the “Campus of the Future” at Ball State University. Under Mr. Beekman’s leadership, SAFARI Montage has grown to be an industry leader in Educational Video Integration Technologies in both analog and digital formats.
Malcolm Brown, Director, EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), EDUCAUSE
Prior to assuming the position of director of the EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative (ELI), Malcolm Brown was the Director of Academic Computing at Dartmouth College. His group supported faculty and students in the use of applications of information technology in research and in the curriculum, and oversaw classroom technology. During his tenure at Dartmouth, he worked actively with the ELI, contributing chapters to the ELI eBooks, helping to plan focus sessions, and serving on the ELI Advisory Board. He has been a member of the EDUCAUSE Evolving Technologies committee and served as a faculty of the EDUCAUSE Learning Technology Leadership program. He has been on the board for the Horizon Report since its inception in 2004 and served as Chair of Board of the New Media Consortium. He served as the editor of the New Horizons column for the EDUCAUSE Review. He is a member of the Frye Institute class of 2002. He has given invited presentations recently at the University of Nebraska, the University of Indiana Fort Wayne, Iowa State University, SUNY Plattsburgh, Deakin University in Melbourne, Australia, and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. He has given keynotes recently the DET/CHE and CCUMC conferences. Malcolm holds a pair of BA degrees from UC Santa Cruz; studied in Freiburg, Germany, on a pair of Fulbright scholarships; and has a PhD in German Studies from Stanford University. He has taught several academic courses on Nietzsche and maintains the Nietzsche Chronicle web site.
Michael Chai, Chief Digital Officer, Pearson North America
Michael is Chief Digital Officer for North America, responsible for accelerating the move to effective digital business models that reimagine the customer experience with Pearson digital products and services. In this role, he works with technology and business leaders to drive and integrate the K20 roadmap across technology, product and business strategies. His role is also a member of the PT senior leadership team to ensure global alignment. Prior to Pearson Michael spent six years at LeapFrog Enterprises as global head of product development and engineering (devices, content, ecosystem) where he learned tremendous lessons in transforming a company’s product strategy and business model in response to consumer technology and mass retail forces. Before that he spent fifteen years at EFI as a key management team leader that created the industry standard Fiery(tm) front-end for digital color printing worldwide. The company rapidly grew from small startup to mature public company through many cycles of competition and growth. Prior to that he was a Member of Technical Staff at AT&T Bell Laboratories and a Software Engineer at the NYIT Computer Graphics Lab. He holds an MS Computer Science degree from Stanford University and a BS Mechanical Engineering degree from Yale University.
Paul Czarapata, Ed.D., Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS)
Paul Czarapata, Ed.D. is Vice President and Chief Information Officer for the Kentucky Community & Technical College System (KCTCS). In this role, Dr. Czarapata is responsible for guiding the strategic direction of technology across the system. KCTCS is comprised of 16 colleges and over 70 locations across the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He will be the first to tell you he is blessed to have a talented group of people with great ideas surrounding him and the intestinal fortitude to see them through at KCTCS. Originally from the suburbs of Chicago, Paul came to KCTCS in 1999 after working for PeopleSoft, Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory (Fermilab), and three small software consulting firms. Before coming to the IMS Board of Directors Paul served on the Higher Education User Group Board of Directors for three years.
Paul earned his education degrees at Northern Illinois University (Bachelor’s in Operations Management & Information Systems) and Morehead State University (MBA and Ed.D. in Educational Technology Leadership). He lives in Versailles, KY with his wife Melissa and son Alex. Paul is involved in several national and local organizations, but has a special place in his heart for little league baseball.
Steve Flynt, Ph.D., Ph.D., Chief Strategy and Performance Officer, Gwinnett County Public Schools
Dr. Steve Flynt currently serves as the Chief Strategy and Performance Officer with Gwinnett County Public Schools. Prior to being appointed to this position, Dr. Flynt also served as the Associate Superintendent of the Division of School Leadership and Operations, the Chief Academic Officer as well as an Area Superintendent for the Division of Teaching and Learning.
Immediately prior to coming to the central office, Flynt served as the principal of Gwinnett’s Peachtree Ridge High School. Initially certified as a science teacher, Flynt spent nine years in the classroom teaching in both Gwinnett and neighboring DeKalb county schools. During most of his teaching career he also coached soccer and swimming at the varsity level. Flynt’s leadership experience in Gwinnett County includes service as a high school science department chair, administrative assistant and assistant principal, before being named principal in January 2006, in addition to serving on numerous education boards and task force committees.
Steve Flynt earned his education degrees at Young Harris College (associate of arts in education), Lees-McRae College (bachelor’s in biology), Piedmont College (master’s in science education), and the University of Georgia, where he completed his doctoral degree in Educational Leadership. He is active in many community organizations and with the Gwinnett Chamber of Commerce as an alumnus of Leadership Gwinnett.
Rick Johnson, Vice President of Product Strategy, VitalSource
Rick Johnson is the Vice President of Product Strategy, and one of the founders of Vital Source Technologies, Inc. Vital Source, a division of the Ingram Content Group, is the maker of Bookshelf®, the most widely used platform for delivery of electronic textbooks in the world. As VP of Product, Rick manages the strategic direction of the fast growing platform, guiding the architecture, and implementation of its clients and systems.
Rick's career has been focused on bringing together his three passions: technology, publishing, and education. He is a frequent speaker on electronic textbooks, their integration into an institutional environment, and how the accessibility needs of individual students can best be accommodated in their delivery. He served on the working groups responsible for version 2 and version 3 of the EPUB standard, is on the executive committee for the IMS Global Learning Consortium, and is the co-inventor of 3 domestic and international patents dealing with electronic books and their distribution.
Prior to Ingram and Vital Source, Rick spent more than 12 years with Apple Computer, Inc. As a Senior National Consulting Engineer for them he was instrumental in the implementation of complex solutions for many higher education and corporate customers, and received numerous national and international awards.
A graduate of the communication and business departments of Biola University in 1984, Rick has lived in the Phoenix area with his family since they moved from Southern California in 1991. Married to his wife Susie for 30 years, together they have raised two children, and are very active in their church and community. Rick serves on the board of directors for several non-profit ministries.
Michael King, Vice President, Global Education Industry, IBM
Michael King, Vice President, Global Education Industry, has been with IBM for over 20 years in various executive and management positions. He is currently the worldwide leader for the IBM Education Industry. In this role, he leads IBM's strategy, marketing and sales across schools and higher education. His prior responsibilities include Director, Market Development, Education Industry, focused on solutions and innovation projects, and Director, Alliances for IBM Learning Solutions, where he led a team in developing partnerships across the learning marketplace, including corporate education. He served as the lead market manager for learning in IBM, launching important corporate solution initiatives in Europe and globally. Prior positions include the Global Segment Executive for the IBM Education industry, leading the strategy for delivering solutions and products to higher education and primary school institutions around the world, and also the worldwide marketing manager for higher education. IBM's broad portfolio of offerings in Education Industry includes hardware and software products, business and IT services, and specific industry initiatives, such as open source software, grid computing, and other leading technologies.
Mr. King has also served as the client executive with responsibility for research universities in California, including the University of California system. In that position, he worked with leading universities in developing creative technology solutions for administrative and academic applications.
Mr. King holds Bachelor's of Science degrees in Physics and Engineering from Kansas State University and an MBA from the University of California, Los Angeles. He is a member of the California P16 Education Advisory Council.
David LaBine, Director, Education Software, SMART Technologies
David leads the engineering team for SMART’s education software portfolio and was part of the founding team who pioneered the interactive whiteboard. He oversees software development for classroom tools such as Notebook software and smartamp.com, products that are making a difference for millions of teachers and students around the world. He is also responsible for key product partnerships with several major software companies. He is actively involved in classrooms to further develop synchronous learning solutions, and enjoys engaging students in engineering hackathon events. He lives in Seattle, WA with his wife and two children.
Stephen Laster, Chief Digital Officer, McGraw-Hill Education
Stephen J. Laster was appointed chief digital officer of McGraw-Hill Education in August 2012. He is responsible for creating compelling student experiences, and developing breakthrough teaching and learning solutions. Prior to joining McGraw-Hill Education, he led Intelligent Solutions, LLC, a firm that engages with universities and businesses to leverage their digital technology and collaborative tools. At the same time, he served as the chief information and technology officer of the Harvard Business School and as a member of the HBS administrative leadership team, overseeing the school’s academic, research and administrative computing teams.
Mr. Laster holds a bachelor’s degree from Bowdoin College and a MBA from the F.W. Olin Graduate School of Business at Babson College.
Bruce Maas, Vice Provost for Information Technology and CIO, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Bruce Maas is the Vice Provost for Information Technology and CIO at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, a position he has held since August of 2011. He has served the University of Wisconsin System in a diversity of roles over a career of more than 37 years, including Campus Budget Manager, Assistant Dean for Business Affairs, and PeopleSoft Student System Executive Project Manager. Prior to his current position, he served for seven years as the Chief Information Officer at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Bruce has served as the Director and as a faculty member of the EDUCAUSE Leadership Institute, and as chair of the EDUCAUSE Midwest Regional Conference. Presently, he is serving a 4 year term on the EDUCAUSE Board from 2012 to 2016, and is the Board Chair after serving as Treasurer for 2 years. He is also a member of the Internet2 External Relations PAG, Co-Chair of the Internet2 Global Summit Planning Committee, and is the co-PI for two NSF infrastructure grants. In addition, Bruce is a member of the Board of Directors of Unizin.
Bruce holds an MS in administrative leadership from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Bachelor degrees in Accounting and MIS.
Dr. Jodi Marshall, Executive Vice President of Business & School Solutions, Florida Virtual School
Dr. Marshall began her more than 20-year career in education as a middle school reading teacher, serving students in Orlando, FL., as well as Los Angeles, CA, where she earned National Board Certification and authored a book on reading strategies, Are They Really Reading. In 2002, Dr. Marshall accepted an adjunct position at FLVS teaching 10th grade English while still teaching at her traditional middle school full time. She soon transitioned full time to FLVS, holding positions over her 12 years here as course developer, Literacy Coach, Instructional Leader, Director, Vice President of Instruction, Chief Academic Officer, and most recently to her current position of Executive Vice President, Business & School Solutions.
A graduate from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English, Dr. Marshall obtained a Master of Arts degree in English Education from the University of Central Florida. She earned a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Miami, and an Educational Specialist degree in Educational Leadership shortly after. A lifelong learner, she is currently working on her Masters of Business Administration.
Jason Palmer, Deputy Director, Postsecondary Success, Gates Foundation (Board Observer)
Jason Palmer, Deputy Director, Postsecondary Success leads the foundation’s efforts to improve the postsecondary success of low-income students with innovations like online and blended learning, digital courseware, student coaching and advising systems, competency-based learning, guaranateed credit transfer, and employer pathways.
Prior to joining 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 Microsoft Education, Jason was responsible for planning and launching the world’s first K12 learning management system for tablet-based education. At SchoolNet, Jason was responsible for helping establish assessment partnerships with Scantron, The Princeton Review, Kaplan and ETS. During his five years at Kaplan, Jason led three education businesses as general manager or president, in addition to founding the company’s venture capital effort and serving as a board member to startups like Moodlerooms, iProf India, and StraighterLine, where Jason also served as chief product officer. Immediately prior to the foundation, Jason also worked as an entrepreneur-in-residence at New Markets Venture Partners, a leading education-focused VC.
Jason holds a B.A. in interdisciplinary studies from the University of Virginia and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School, and also serves on the University of Virginia’s Curry School of Education Board.
Lenny Schad, Chief Information Technology Officer, Houston Independent School District
Lenny Schad, Chief Information Technology Officer for the nation’s 7th largest school district – Houston ISD, has been in the technology field for 25 years. His career has spanned both the private and public sectors. Mr. Schad has worked in K-12 since 2003 successfully leading implementations of BYOD and 1:1 in Katy ISD and Houston ISD respectively.
His recognitions include: National School Board Association’s “20 to Watch”, Texas CIO of the Year, Center for Digital Education “Top 30 Technologists, Transformers & Trailblazers”, and Education Week “Leaders to Learn From”.
Mr. Schad is a board member for CoSN and a published author. His book “Bring Your Own Learning: Transform Instruction with any Device” has helped many organizations implement digital transformation initiatives.
Jack Suess, Chairman of the Board, Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)
Mr. John "Jack" Suess is Vice President of Information Technology and Chief Information Officer (CIO) for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC). As Vice President, he provides university leadership for information technology at UMBC and serves on the executive leadership team of the university. He is responsible for providing information technology services in support of teaching and scholarship, research computing, and administrative support. Reporting directly to the President, he is responsible for strategic planning and implementation, coordination, budget, personnel, and policy related to information technology at UMBC.
Since 2000, Mr. Suess has been very active nationally in the areas of cybersecurity, identity management, analytics, and cloud computing and has served in a number of national information technology leadership activities with EDUCAUSE, Internet2, and InCommon. His recent activities include participating in the Internet2 Board of Directors (2010-2013), InCommon (2009-Present), Internet2 Council and Program Advisory Committees (2008-Present), ECAR Strategies Working Group (2013-Present), Higher Education Information Security Council (HEISC) (2000-Present, Chair 2003-2006), REN-ISAC Executive Advisory Group (2006-2013), Center for Higher Education CIO Studies (CHECS) (2013-Present), and the National Strategy for Trusted Identity in Cyberspace (NSTIC) (2012-Present).