She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

She Snoops for Scoops: The Personal Side of the EdNET Community

Wow, the Snoop has just returned from a terrific week of business and fun in New York City. It was great to see so many of you during the week's events! I love to be in NYC this time of year, and even with the rainy, cold and windy weather, the city full of lights gets you in the holiday spirit. Read on to get the scoops I picked up this week for you—anyway, all the ones except those some of you made me promise not to share!

Summary from the week's activities

We had such a fun DOLS (Dirty Old Ladies of Software) dinner on Monday evening at Trattoria Dell'Arte. We had a great group of 45-50 women, among them many DYLS ("Young" in the market or newcomers to our group). There was lots of laughter, lots of networking and some amazing food. We even encouraged our DOLS "mom" Ellen Bialo, IESD, Inc. to sing a little for us, and by the chorus of "You've Got a Friend", we were all singing along. I understand the guys are making noise again about starting a DOGS or some such group. Gentlemen, this has been tried before on several occasions, but good for you for trying again. I have to admit we DOLS sometimes chuckle that you need us to help you get organized! ;-)

The SIIA Ed Tech Business Forum was really excellent....great networking and strong content. Kudos to Dr. Karen Billings and her team! And congratulations to the two winners of the Innovation Incubator Awards.

  • For the first time, one product, Panopto Focus, swept the honors as "Most Innovative Product/Service" and "Most Likely to Succeed in the Education Market." The product empowers instructors and students to capture and broadcast lectures, mini-lessons, training sessions and presentations with slides, audio, video and screen capture components. It includes search and note-taking features to maximize learning time, productivity and student achievement.
  • For only the second time ever, one product, Motion Math, took the runner-up award in both the "Most Innovative Product/Service" and "Most Likely to Succeed in the Education Market" categories. The product creates learning games that fuse educational theories and advanced mobile technology to give learners a physical experience of math. First conceived at the Stanford School of Education, and drawing on research in embodied cognition, Motion Math is creating a gaming and data platform. Under its physical/digital hybrid games, a unified architecture will individualize learning in real-time and provide detailed progress reports for kids, parents, and schools.

Congratulations to Panopto and to Motion Math, Inc. on these much-deserved awards!

The EdNET Holiday Party Wednesday evening at Copia (formerly Metro 53) was a ton of fun, and the doors stayed open late as people continued to visit and network and enjoy long-time and newly made friendships! This is one of my favorite events of the year, a time to socialize and wish colleagues and friends all the best as we move towards the holiday season and closing out another year working together. As a very special touch, Dr. Nelson Heller, President of EdNET at MDR, presented the immensely respected and immensely loved Anne Wujcik, Editor of this newsletter and Education Research Analyst for MDR, with a beautiful plaque and bouquet of roses, recognizing the over 20 years of work she has done with Nelson and in our community. Congratulations, friend! Those of you who were not able to toast Anne that evening can send her your own note of congratulations and thanks for all she does at

And the AEP Hall of Fame breakfast, which I was disappointed to have to miss this year, recognized three amazing women and inducted them into the Educational Publishing Hall of Fame:

  • Marilyn Burns, 
of Math Solutions
  • Rachelle Cracchiolo, 
of Teacher Created Materials
  • Diane Trister Dodge, 
Founder and President
 of Teaching Strategies, Inc.

I know you join me in congratulating these women on this prestigious award, which honors their tremendous contributions to educational publishing!

Business happenings with colleagues and friends

Some of you may be wondering about what our friend Ken Kay will be doing next, now that he has stepped down from his leadership of P21. He has some exciting news about a new initiative he will be leading. Ken will continue to lead e-Luminate Group, but he and his Tucson colleagues are also launching EdLeader21. It is the first national professional learning community specifically designed for local superintendents and district leaders and focused on the challenges of 21st century education. While traveling the country over the last several years advocating the need for a new model of education for the 21st century, Ken has been struck by how little is being done to help support local school district superintendents and local school leaders who want to prepare their students for the 21st century. EdLeader21 is being formed to provide such support through the development of district implementation tools, an online community, and an annual meeting devoted to the 21st century education best practices of districts. Learn more about EdLeader21.  And if you know an education leader you believe would be interested in learning more about this new 21st century education leadership community, tell them to go to the website, review the information and consider joining. And if you have any reactions or suggestions, just contact Ken at or

Many of you know Mark Phillips, Managing Director of Hire Education. I am enjoying getting to know him. Mark has been serving the Ed Tech market as a headhunter since 2006. He started Hire Education this past April and is engaged in a number of interesting searches. Check out his website  and say hello to Mark at

Doug Roberts, President, Educational Solutions Consulting LLC (ESC), started his consulting business last summer and has been very busy with clients. Doug is a proven leader of business development, marketing, and product management efforts at several leading K-12 assessment and curriculum technology shops. A 10-year veteran of the K-12 industry, he has been a high school social studies teacher; directed a nationwide implementation of Project Achieve, Inc.'s early-stage implementation of web-based software to help schools meet the accountability requirements of NCLB legislation; led the development of Edusoft's Formative Assessment Item Bank which helped solidify the product's position in the California market, leading to acquisition by Houghton Mifflin; developed early-stage product prototypes that eventually became mainstays of Wireless Generation's mCLASSR Product Line; when charged with helping Wireless Generation establish a presence in the west, built a $2M renewable book of business; and led Scantron's partnership with the NYC Department of Education's Periodic Assessment Program.ESC helps edupreneurs build their businesses. Services include:

  • Developing strategic partnerships to maximize revenue opportunities
  • Capital Raises and Mergers/Acquisitions
  • Direct Institutional Sales and Marketing to K-12 State, Regional, and Local Educational Agencies
  • Competitive Analysis and Market Research
  • Revenue Forecasting
  • Business Plan Development
  • Targeted Executive Talent Recruitment

You can follow Doug on Twitter @dougedsolutions or e-mail him to say hello or discuss his company's services at

And MDR has added to their sales team in the last few weeks!  Laurie Lynch ( is a new Account Executive in the Shelton office. Laurie brings a wealth of education sales experience to her role, having most recently sold directly to districts and schools for Atomic Learning and Crick Software , as well as working for several years with QED as an Account Manager developing accounts in the Northeast. Also joining the MDR team in Denver are Alisa Loper ( and Courtney Pederson ( Alisa brings significant direct marketing experience to her Account Executive role, having previously worked for MCH as their western regional sales manager, as well as selling a full suite of list, email and data appending/hygiene products for Accudata and Walter Karl. Courtney Pederson also joins the MDR sales team as an account executive, bringing with her strong education market insight and successful sales strategies in leadership roles with Inspiration Software, Learning Station and Atomic Learning. Join me in congratulating these seasoned sales professionals on their new roles at MDR!

And NO MORE business happenings!

You have by now likely seen the news regarding the merger of K12, Inc. and American Education Corporation. This is terrific business news and also terrific news for Jeff Butler, who has been Chairman and CEO of AEC. With the closure on the merger this week, Jeff had his last official day as an officer, director, employee, etc. and is now on his way to retirement. I am thrilled for Jeff, and he is certainly deserving of a little R&R, but I am going to so miss seeing him at industry events. He will continue to consult with the company during a six-month transition period but is looking ahead to a new stage of his life. He and his lovely wife Janis are looking at a possible move to Phoenix early next year and are actively searching in the Scottsdale area. I love and respect so many in our industry, but Jeff has truly been one of my, hard-working, with integrity and vision and just a heck of a lot of fun. I will miss him and his endless smile but wish him all the best in his retirement. Job well done, friend!

Babies arrive!

I visited with Therese Mageau, editorial director for Campus Technology and T.H.E. Journal, during our DOLS dinner. She and husband Peter Kelman have just greeted their newest grandchild, Jules, who was born last Saturday - he is a doll. She said they are all thrilled! Send your congratulations to the new grandparents at

And Annie Galvin Teich, VP, Business Development - Group Publisher at Bayard, Inc. was at the EdNET holiday party and beaming about her 4-month old granddaughter, Zoe. She sounds adorable - I am waiting for the pics! Let Annie know you are happy for the new grandmother at

And late breaking news I received this morning from Jim McVety, Next Step Advisors. He had to miss this week's events in New York but for a wonderful excuse. He and his wife welcomed baby #3 into the world on Monday. Maya Elizabeth (who looks like a little angel from her picture) joins big sister Anna (almost 2 years old) and big brother Owen (3 years old). Jim has therefore been pretty busy this week, but we understand! Send the new dad best wishes on the wonderful news at

Very sad news in our community of friends

I am terribly saddened to bring you the news that the very special Lilly Toback, Owner of Meizner, Inc., who had been battling cancer, passed away on November 8th due to side effects from chemotherapy. She was a New York area ed tech vendor icon. Lilly built Meizner, Inc., which is entering its seventh decade in our industry, into the successful company it is today. She was an incredibly talented musician; a strong, savvy businesswoman; passionate, articulate, and loving; a great friend and listener; an amazing mother to her two daughters as well as an incredible doting grandmother. Her beautiful daughter Allegra joined us at the DOLS dinner, and we had a chance to let her know how much we respected her mother and how strongly Lilly impacted many of us. If you would like to send messages of sympathy to Lilly's family and colleagues, you may address them to Allegra Toback Simon, Meizner, Inc., 629 Fifth Avenue, Pelham, NY 10803. Lilly will be terribly missed!

Have a wonderful weekend, friends. I will be doing lots of decorating and spending time with family and friends. I will be thinking of those of you in Marblehead and wishing you and others a wonderful, memory-filled weekend. Till next Friday...Vicki, the Snoop