The Education Division of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) announces that it will honor Dr. Leonard Hall, co-founder of education companies SkillsBank Corporation and Impact Education, with its prestigious Education Lifetime Achievement Award. SIIA will also present its Ed Tech Impact Award to Sue Collins, principal at CollinsConsults, during the upcoming Education Industry Summit held in San Francisco May 12-14.
During a special awards ceremony, Dr. Hall will be presented with the award by his son, Adam Hall, president of Nervanix, as SIIA highlights Dr. Hall’s accomplishments and contributions to the education technology industry. When Dr. Hall joined two other colleagues to co-found SkillsBank Corporation, he did so from the foundation of an already remarkable career in Education and Health & Human Services. The SkillsBank series of basic skills software focused on “at-risk learners” and adults wanting to learn unattained skills. The series was introduced first as a beta for Timex Sinclair on cassette tape and piloted for IBM, then entering the infant stages of educational software on desktop computers. By the time it was acquired by The Learning Company in 1997, SkillsBank was among the most widely adopted educational software in the nation’s schools.
In 2000, Dr. Hall came out of retirement to co-found another business with his son, Adam, and wife, Nancy. Impact Education was a distributor of instructional software and offered an array of propriety data analytics that, to a large extent, served as prescient indicators of the big data and integrated platform features that are on the rise today. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt acquired Impact Education in 2010.
In addition, SIIA will present the Ed Tech Impact Award to Collins for her accomplishments and contributions to the education technology industry, as well as to the Education Division of SIIA. Collins began her career 35 years ago as a teacher, and she has held positions in both the public and private sector sides of the education technology industry. She left the classroom to become a district-level administrator and soon transitioned to the state level, where she served as the education technology director for the State of Washington. During the Clinton Administration, she was appointed to the Web-based Education Commission and represented SIIA in testimony before the U.S. Congress.
Collins has held senior-level positions at Apple Computer, Compaq Computer, Jostens Learning, bigchalk.com, and Apex Learning. In her consultancy, She provides strategic solutions to education technology businesses. Collins’ experience on both sides of the education industry has enabled her to understand and expertly navigate public policy as it relates to education and technology. As a consultant in the ed tech space, she continues to provide expert and strategic advice to a variety of companies. Over the years, she has served on various ed tech industry boards.
Collins was a driving force behind the development of the Vision K20 initiative, from the goals to the brochure to the website to the survey instrument. She has been an active member of SIIA through the years, previously spending eight years on the SIIA Education Board, and as co-chair for part of her tenure. Collins has also been a key contributor on the Ed Board Alumni Group.
Karen Billings is Vice President for the Education Division at SIIA. Follow the SIIA Education Team on Twitter at @SIIAEducation