Recall a teacher who made an impact on your future; a teacher who was personally invested in the success of every student.
For many of us, Karen Billings has embodied this spirit throughout her years in the classroom and in the education industry. Karen is a visionary. But more importantly, she’s a lifelong teacher and learner.
Karen’s experience in education – she’s held positions in management, development, marketing, sales and classroom teaching – spans more than 40 years. As a respected leader and dear friend of CB&A, Karen this year announced her retirement from ETIN-SIIA.
I’m humbled to have witnessed Karen’s journey to build a brighter future for education. Throughout her decades in the industry and 14 years leading ETIN-SIIA, Karen has made a lasting impact:
- Leadership of innovations: Karen introduced SIIA’s Innovation Incubator program, which was renamed the Trendsetters with Traction program at this year’s Education Industry Symposium, to recognize companies pioneering innovation and to provide a platform for these companies to grow.
- Unparalleled support of start-ups: Karen has judged countless innovation competitions and recognized groundbreaking companies worldwide. Her continuous involvement is testament to her dedication to helping new innovations take hold in the industry.
- Trendsetter mentality: Karen stays current on the latest trends in education, as exemplified by regular updates to the CODiE Award categories, the introduction of an updated ETIN-SIIA e-newsletter, and her status as a go-to source for education and consumer journalists.
- True passion: Karen has an amazing ability to make each and every member feel like they are the only ETIN member. She’s a driving force for organization development at ETIN-SIIA, yet remains super responsive to day-to-day member queries.
While Karen may be leaving her full-time position at ETIN-SIIA, she’ll continue to consult ed tech companies and serve on education boards. She’ll also begin a new project detailing the history of education technology.
Karen and her husband Jim will be dearly missed at annual industry gatherings. We wish her the most joyful KREXIT (Karen’s Retirement Exit) as she begins the next chapter.