Posted on: December 7, 2020
Author: Casandra Blassingame, IACET CEO
The Wired-Side Chat: From the Desk of the CEO image

I hope this message finds you, your family, and friends well, in a very happy place! We are in our ninth month of dealing with the great effects COVID-19 has had on our global community. The safety of our staff, customers, and partners remains important as we adhere to all precautions as it relates to the pandemic. It has certainly forced a shift in how we communicate, operate our businesses, and how we engage with one another.  This is especially the case with the landscape of education, both elementary and secondary, continuing to shift in the mass of uncertainty.

‘Tis the Season, right? The month of December brings reflection.  Last year this time, I was preparing for the new year and thinking, “Hindsight is always 20/20”.  For me, the new year was going to be about sharpened vision. Strategically, I was able to hone-in on heightened goals for the company while maintaining the ability to be flexible.  It turned out this was sorely needed and thankfully, IACET was able to head off much of the disruption brought about in early Spring and we maintained continuity in moving forward. Personally, I could not predict what the future would hold but I knew we needed to prepare for all the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Reflecting on the year, IACET made it through 2020 and so did you! Here is a re-cap of our accomplishments this year:

  • Virtual Site Visits were successful and continue to be effective;
  • Technology was successfully working and updated;
  • We provided continued leadership to our Accredited Providers;
  • Several people attended trainings and completed their applications;
  • We worked with Accredited Providers to address their concerns and challenges;
  • We moved offices in July 2020 to our new location in Sterling, VA;
  • We have 15 new Commissioners with outstanding credentials;
  • The Standards Council is strengthened;
  • Our Board of Directors and Committees are committed and engaged; and,
  • We persevered in planning and presenting an excellent virtual Annual Conference in Fall, 2020, for the first time in the history of the organization. 

In the words of a colleague of mine, we turned the ‘Pandemic’ into a ‘Plandemic’!  Everyone began to lead from where they were, and Organizational Citizenship happened. This is what happens when those ‘other duties as assigned’ are operationalized. Organizational Citizenship behavior deals with the actions and behaviors that are not required by workers but are still key to the successful growth of the organization. They are not critical and specific to the job but benefit the team and encourage even greater organizational functioning and efficiency. This is typically categorized as a worker “going above and beyond,” or “giving their all.” Everyone looked at their job as more than just a paycheck and made strides to do all they could to make their work environment run smoothly, even with minimal connection to their current duties.

It is my belief that 2020 was indeed all about sharpened vision versus hindsight. In the realm of business, it quickly became clear that as a leader, it was and is vital to be forward-thinking, creative, innovative, adaptable, nimble, and responsive.

It has always been a priority of mine as a professional – no matter the position - to provide the best customer experience and be the best resource to the Continuing Education and Training industry that I could be. During these unprecedented times, the disruption of the pandemic could have prevented us from doing just that. However, not only did we persevere, but we also flourished. 

One of my favorite quotes by Paulo Coehlo reads, “If you are brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.”  Let us make the saying ‘Hindsight is always 20/20’ a thing of the past. Let us leave all things 2020 in 2020 as we make way for the year ahead, with all its amazing possibilities and challenges, both known and unknown. Let us be brave and say goodbye to 2020 and reap the reward of the new Hello! in 2021.

Thank you again for all you are doing for the good of the order! The IACET Board of Directors and Staff really do appreciate your dedication to the accreditation and standards development processes and to the continuing education and training industry.

From our Families to yours, we wish you the Happiest and Healthiest Holiday Season of All!

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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