SIIA Honors Industry Veterans with Lifetime Achievement Award and Ed Tech Impact Award
Washington, D.C. (April 30, 2015) – The Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) of the Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA) announces that it will honor Tom Snyder, founder of Tom Snyder Productions, with its prestigious Education Lifetime Achievement Award. SIIA will also present its Ed Tech Impact Award to Farimah Schuerman, senior vice president for strategy and alliances of Copia Interactive, during the upcoming Education Industry Summit held in San Francisco May 3-5.
During a special awards ceremony, David ‘Dock’ Dockterman, chief architect, learning sciences at Scholastic, will present Tom Snyder the award as SIIA highlights Snyder’s accomplishments and contributions to the education technology industry. Before Tom Snyder founded Tom Snyder Productions, he attended Swarthmore College and signed as a recording artist with Capitol Records and played professionally after college. After retiring from late night bar gigs, Snyder became an elementary school teacher in science and music. It was there that he developed his first whole-class computer simulations which led to the creation of Tom Snyder Productions at the back of his classroom.
The company grew to 170 employees, winning many awards for educational software that always put the teacher in a central and rewarding role. The company motto was “We Never Forget Our Favorite Teachers.” Tom Snyder’s cutting edge vision has been to design educational software that would enhance the teaching process, not dominate it.
Snyder started a second division that created and produced animated television comedies and educational shows which won Emmy and Peabody awards on 5 major networks. Ultimately, his company was sold to Scholastic Corporation. Tom Snyder Productions continues this mission of creating software for teachers who love to teach. Today, Tom Snyder is working in Cambridge on a musical comedy for the stage about a young teacher who works to understand his obsessions.
“Tom’s early work in the educational technology space highlighted the central and important role of the teacher in the classroom,” said Karen Billings, vice president and managing director of the ETIN-SIIA. “While he was a visionary with a deep appreciation for technology, he developed software that supported the teacher, and as a result, helped students learn.”
In addition, SIIA will present the Ed Tech Impact Award to Farimah Schuerman for her accomplishments and contributions to the education technology industry, as well as to ETIN of SIIA. Schuerman began her career in the education industry at CEL Communications, formerly the Corporation for Entertainment and Learning. In 1996 she joined Simon and Schuster’s Higher Ed division, brought on to introduce their first internet offering, College NewsLink. That role transitioned to heading up marketing for Pearson’s newly formed Distance and Distributed Education Learning Group. In 1999 she began her consulting efforts as a solo practitioner, until she and business partner, Mitch Weisburgh, formed the education consultancy business, Academic Business Advisors (ABA). From that year through 2014, ABA helped dozens of companies plan and grow their businesses.
In late 2014, Schuerman pivoted back to the corporate side, joining Copia Interactive as the senior vice president for strategy and alliances. She made that move because she believes that she has the opportunity to build something that can have significant impact in areas about which she has personal passion: addressing the distribution challenge that has limited the opportunity for success for so many wonderful products while eliminating the limitations of any one hardware platform.
As an active member of SIIA, SETDA, CoSN and other industry associations, Schuerman is often called upon to develop or moderate conference sessions. She co-chairs the Postsecondary Sector Board within the ETIN of the SIIA, as well as being a past chair of the SIIA Education Board.
“During Farimah’s years of service, she has made outstanding achievements that benefit the entire education industry,” said Billings. “Her many years of leadership within ETIN has produced great results for the division, as well as in the broader education and technology community, making her an excellent recipient of the Ed Tech Impact Award.”
SIIA is the leading association representing the software and digital content industries. SIIA represents approximately 800 member companies worldwide that develop software and digital information content. SIIA provides global services in government relations, business development, corporate education and intellectual property protection to the leading companies that are setting the pace for the digital age. For more information, visit www.siia.net.
The Education Technology Industry Network (ETIN) of SIIA serves and represents more than 200 member companies that provide educational software applications, digital content, online learning services and related technologies across the K-20 sector. The Division shapes and supports the industry by providing leadership, advocacy, business development opportunities and critical market information. For more information on ETIN of SIIA, visit siia.net/etin.
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