Posted on: July 14, 2021
Author: Casandra Blassingame, IACET CEO
The Wired-Side Chat: From the Desk of the CEO - July 2021 image

And just like that, it’s July!

I hope you are finding a way to enjoy your summer.  While the world is beginning to re-open and we welcome in a new normal, let us keep those who continue to struggle with the health challenges that COVID-19 has presented, as well as many facing financial and personal well-being challenges, in our positive thoughts and prayers.

There are two key happenings going on here at IACET: The 2nd Annual Conference and the 2022-2027 Strategic Plan!

Annual Conference Update

We are two months away from our most exciting time of the year. IACETs 2nd Annual Continuing Education and Training Conference: Innovating Then, Innovating Now: Setting the Standard for Quality September 21-22, 2021, in Reston, Virginia at the Hyatt Regency. Not only will you be able to attend in-person, but you also do not have to miss out on any of our sessions due to our virtual platform powered by our Live Stream Sponsor, BeaconLive, LLC..

headshot of Dr. Henry Shannon

This year, we round out the 50th Anniversary of the CEU with our Gala and Fundraiser for the Grover J. Andrews Research Fund and our keynote speaker is the esteemed Dr. Henry Shannon.  Dr. Shannon is the Superintendent/President of Chaffey College, a three-campus college in Southern California, which enrolls approximately 23,000 students per semester. During his tenure at Chaffey College, which began in 2007, Dr. Shannon has enhanced and transformed the college’s vision to serve today’s community college students, preparing them for academic and occupational success. His focus on retention and graduation yielded the ninth largest graduating class in Chaffey College history.

In 2018, Dr. Shannon was awarded the Marie Y. Martin Chief Executive Officer Award from the Association of Community College Trustees (ACCT), and in 2020 he was the recipient of the Educator of the Year Award from the Inland Empire Economic Partnership (IEEP).

Dr. Shannon brings over 40 years of experience in higher education. He earned a master’s and doctorate degree from Washington University in St. Louis, a management certificate from Harvard University, and a bachelor’s degree from Harris-Stowe State University. Dr. Shannon is and has been active on many boards at the national, state, and local levels. He has also been a member of Phi Beta Sigma since 1966.

Our session topics at the conference include:

Introduction to Neurodiversity in Adult Education – Delany King, MEd 

Maximizing Subject Matter Experts and Instructional Design Team Collaboration  – Norina Columbaro, Ph.D.

Continuous Improvement is More than Learner Feedback – Sherard Jones

Stay tuned for updates on speakers and additional presentation topics designed for practitioners and researchers alike! Registration is open and click here to make your hotel reservations.

Thank you to our corporate sponsors BeaconLive LLC, CCEI Online, Insync Training, LLC, and Site Safety for your support! If you are interested in a sponsorship opportunity, there is still time! Contact Marketing and Communications Manger Dee Wells at

Strategic Planning Survey

Finally, we have begun the next phase of our Strategic Planning process. The 2020-2021 strategic plan set us on a path for thriving and despite the disruption in our global community.  We survived!  We thrived! We arrived!   Surviving, thriving, and arriving is a continual process. Even once you arrive, you are doing so anew only to find yourself working to survive and thrive in that changed space. Thus, the theme of the 2022-2027 Strategic Plan: Survive, Thrive, and Arrive.

Included in the process are all staff, representative stakeholders (Council, Commissioner, Committee Members, Accredited Providers, Individual Affiliates, and Directors), and all IACET Stakeholders. You will receive a link to a survey specifically for the Strategic Plan from Vertical Leap Consulting, LLC. We have engaged Steve Lane to facilitate this process for IACET. Your voice is important as we begin to lay the roadmap for the coming years. We cannot survive, thrive, or arrive without your contributions.

Now, we know surveys can be time consuming, but please, take the time. Your participation is extremely important. The survey can be completed in less than 20 minutes. The only way we can be a better resource and understand the impact that the IACET Accreditation has on your training organization is through your lens.

We look forward to learning, conferencing, engaging, collaborating, and celebrating with you over the next few months and in the coming years. Thank you for everything that you do to impact the lives of adult learners every day!

About the Author


Casandra Blassingame, MEd, is the Chief Executive Officer of the International Association of Continuing Education and Training (IACET).  She is a recognized leader in adult and continuing education and has over 20 years of experience in higher education, continuing and professional studies, and workforce development.  Prior to joining IACET as CEO, Casandra was the Vice President of Education Services for the American Gear Manufacturers Association where she led the organization’s effort in achieving and maintaining IACET accreditation.  She has also served as an IACET commissioner, reviewing dozens of applications, and an IACET Board Member.

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