Posted on: January 13, 2021
Author: Casandra Blassingame, IACET CEO
The Wired-Side Chat: From the Desk of the CEO image

In about 10 days, I will be celebrating my one year work anniversary as CEO of IACET. Who knew that 2020 would present the world with challenges beyond our belief. The IACET staff worked tirelessly to ensure the best possible customer experience while maintaining the integrity of the organization and the Standard. In our second year of independence from the association management company, all team members collaborated in strengthening our core foundation. We certainly hope that we were able to provide you with the guidance you needed to make successful transitions in your own business models to meet or exceed your goals or even simply put, survive the turbulence.

As we enter the second year of our Strategic Plan, I would like to share some updates on the accomplishments:

  1. Increasing Brand Awareness- hired a MarComm Manager, developed the marketing plan, increased social media presence.
  2. Strengthening Stakeholder Engagement- mobilized all committees by assigning a staff liaison, Director of Accreditation and Training and ANSI Consultant leading the Commission and Council with onboarding, orientations, training, and regular meetings.
  3. Provide Products and Services that Support the Accreditation Process – Launched the first Annual Conference that included all stakeholders, developing new courses and seminars relative to our APs and their business needs.
  4. Acquire and Retain Customers – the pandemic has reconfigured the way we do business. Virtual Site Visits are in full operation. The assessment of the business model and the accreditation process are ongoing and we are providing added value to our affiliate (membership) categories.  We have conducted surveys and have been responsive in our offerings to our customer base which has been well received.
  5. Increase IACET Global Footprint – The Board, Council, Commission, and Committee all have International members who are engaged and willing to advocate for IACET.

I encourage you to visit our website to download a copy of the 2020-2021 Strategic Plan and get involved. We are excited about the opportunities that 2021 will bring and stand ready to  service our Accredited Providers and Affiliates through challenges that may arise. We highly value our volunteer leaders and appreciate your contributions of time and talent. Your leadership and expertise is critical to our success.

So let’s get to it! What is happening this year at IACET?

We are starting the year with announcing the Awards Nomination process which opened on Monday, January 11, 2021! Last year, the pool of awardees was very competitive and it surely challenged the Awards Committee in their choosing of award winners. We have some amazing Accredited Providers who are providing incredible learning experiences to adult learners all over the globe. Please continue to submit your nominations. There is a new addition to our awards category – The Emerging Leaders Award. We are looking forward to presenting this award for the first time in IACET history. I would also like to remind you of the Grover J. Andrews Award. This award supports graduate students and continuing education and training professionals in conducting research studies aimed at refining and strengthening standards of good practice in continuing education and training. There are two awards at $3000.00 per award!

The Nominations and Elections process will open on February 8, 2021. In addition to the high volume of nominations for Awards, we received stellar credentials from individuals interested in serving as Council members, Commissioners, Committee Members and Directors of IACET. We are looking forward to continuing the work of IACET with incredible continuing education and training professionals throughout the globe.

To bring more value to your association with IACET, we have updated our benefits for Individual and Corporate Affiliates. Please visit our website for more information and these important updates!

Social Media! We had a great year launching our social media presence! We gained approximately 800 new followers on LinkedIn, approximately 550 on Twitter, and we launched our Instagram presence in September of 2020! Thank you all for engaging with us and we look forward to more engagement in 2021. Stay tuned for communications from our staff on social media contests throughout the year!

Last but certainly not least- The 2nd Annual IACET Conference will be September 22-25, 2021. It will be held near IACET Headquarters at the Grand Hyatt in Reston, VA. We had a great time with our first conference in 2020 in its virtual format. Just imagine what a time we will have in person! This will be the official 50th Celebration of the CEU event with industry related sessions, vendors, events, and our celebratory Gala! Sponsorships and vending opportunities are available!

I leave you with a quote from one of my favorite philosophers, novelist, and lyricists in the world, Paulo Coelho. He said, “When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.” I believe it because we are living it right here at IACET. Again, I want to thank all of our Stakeholders for your contributions, support, and encouragement. We are stronger for it and now look forward to a productive and prosperous 2021. Stay safe and healthy. Be good to yourselves and to others!

Best regards - Casandra

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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