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SIIA Education Division Elects 6 New Members to Higher Ed Board

The Education Division of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) has named 16 members to its 2011 Postsecondary Sector Board of Directors. Six are new, and 10 are returning.

SIIA, which offers government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to software and information firms, is a trade association for the software and digital content industry. The Education Division specifically represents companies in the areas of software, digital content, and other technology for the postsecondary education market.

The new board members are:

Donald Doane, CEO, ConnectYard, Wayne, NJ. Doane co-founded the company and oversees corporate strategy. ConnectYard helps schools find ways to use social and mobile media such as Face-book, Twitter, and text messaging. In 2000, he founded Web firm OpenDemand Systems.

Kurt Gerdenich, vice president of technology product management, Cengage Learning, Stamford, CT. At Cengage, Gerdenich heads up media development in the business and economics areas at the company that offers digital and print products to schools and colleges, libraries, government agencies, and corporations. Previously, he was a professor of English and composition/writing at Ohio University.

Katie Kurtz, vice president of business development, Knewton, New York. Kurtz manages strategic partnerships. Knewton is an educational technology company that offers a variety of courses, including GMAT prep, LSAT prep, and SAT prep. Previously, she served as assistant vice president of business development at The Princeton Review.

Liz Riley-Young, business manager of SAS Institute Education Group, Cary, NC. Riley-Young develops new products for the education industry, focusing on global projects. Prior, she was manager of strategy and development at the customer interaction center at SAS and a national sales manager at imaging company Merisel. SAS Institute Education Group provides on-site education technology programs for K-12 schools and colleges and universities.

Jeff Shelstad, founder and CEO of Flat World Knowledge, Irvington, NY. Shelstad launched the company that publishes free and open college textbooks in 2007. Previously, he was vice president and editorial director at Pearson Education and publisher at McGraw-Hill.

Nicholas Smith, president, DynamicBooks, New York, NY. Smith has spent more than 20 years in education and technology. Previously, he was vice president of technology product development for Cengage Learning. He also managed the creation of online learning materials for Pensare, and taught middle school. DynamicBooks lets college professors customize digital textbooks for individual classes.

Members who will continue in 2011 are: Jessica Finnefrock, senior vice president of product development, Blackboard; Isabella Hinds, director of digital content, CaféScribe, Follett Higher Education; Gary June, chief marketing officer of Pearson Education; Michael King, vice president of IBM, global education industry; Jim Kourmadas, vice president of strategic marketing, McGraw-Hill; Lou Pugliese, president of Moodlerooms; Dan Rinn, vice president of strategic alliances, Turning Technologies; Farimah Schuerman, managing partner of Academic Business Advisors; Megan Stewart, director of Worldwide Higher Education, Adobe Systems; Edward Walker, Ph.D., executive vice president of strategy and development, Consulting Services for Education.

Further information about SIIA's Education Division can be found on the association's site.

About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at timothyjsohn@gmail.com and followed on Twitter @editortim.

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