THROUGH ERDI, YOUR ORGANIZATION CAN EXPERIENCE THE SAME BENEFITS THAT THESE BUSINESSES HAVE ALREADY ACHIEVED.
“ERDI was a driving force that helped us grow from a small fledgling start-up to an edtech market leader who serves thousands of schools and millions of students in all 50 states. With ERDI’s small panel structure and 3-hour presentation format, we were able to ask probing questions and enter the minds of the ultimate decision makers in K-12 education. As recognized leaders in their field, ERDI Member superintendents truly “get it” and have a knack for providing actionable insight on edtech products, pricing and provisioning strategies.
Perhaps the best part of ERDI is the family atmosphere. Paul Dulle and his team work tirelessly to ensure clients feel at home and that their expectations for panel sessions are exceeded. While I knew that I was interacting with the best of the best in K-12 education, Team ERDI always makes you feel like you are the most important person in the room! I highly recommend ERDI for any edtech company who wants targeted insight and rational guidance on how to best position their product or service within the K-12 education marketplace.”
John F. Gamba — Co-Founder and CEO – PACE — President – NTI Group — President – MassiveU, Inc.
“ERDI superintendents are amazingly insightful, passionate, and dedicated leaders! The input they have provided to our Discovery Education team members through the many years we have been ERDI Corporate partners has been invaluable. ERDI panels helped our company shape the solutions we provide in classrooms across the country, and the partnerships we share with school districts are attributable to the powerful relationships we have developed through ERDI. I encourage education companies to join the ERDI Family.”
Coni Rechner – Senior Vice President – Discovery Education
“If marketing dollars allow for one thing and one thing only, it is ERDI.”
Jeromy Franks – Director of Education – Vertical Sales at OpenPeak
“ERDI has been the single most important organization I have been a part of in the ten years of our company’s history. The honest and candid feedback received from the superintendents has been invaluable for our continued product design, marketing and messaging of Classworks. I have met so many new friends through ERDI that I would have never have had the opportunity to meet. The entire ERDI experience has far exceeded expectations and ROI and continues to exceed at every session we attend.”
Daniel Dooley – Executive Vice President of Sales – Classworks by Curriculum Advantage
“ERDI is a brilliant concept, superbly executed. Where else can organizations committed to educational excellence get such thorough and invaluable feedback from top superintendents? Although Project SEED has been recognized nationally as one of the best at providing professional development for teachers and raising the mathematics achievement of at-risk students, we must constantly tailor our services to the changing needs of schools districts. The input from superintendents we receive at ERDI is essential to our continued growth and success. By providing a setting where excellent superintendents and organizations that provide services to school districts can work together, ERDI strengthens both in their joint efforts to provide quality education to all students.”
Hamid Ebrahimi, CEO and National Director
Project SEED, Inc.
“We have had the opportunity to participate in ERDI several times over the past few years, and it continues to be one of the most valuable partnerships we invest in. The level and quality of the engagement between the corporate partners and the superintendents exceeds expectations. The panels have provided a real opportunity for open dialogue and honest feedback from leading superintendents. The thoughtful and knowledgeable input we’ve received has contributed greatly to the development and delivery of our solutions to the education market. And the planning, organization and execution of the conferences by the ERDI team is always top-notch.”
Randy Wilhelm – CEO and founder – Knovation
“Every aspect of ERDI has been first rate. From the way it is organized to the involvement of the superintendents; to the general sessions, speakers, and networking opportunities. My entire team—which included product development, professional development, sales and marketing—felt invigorated by the entire process, and grateful to the outstanding ERDI team and each superintendent on our panel for their candid and invaluable input. We believe that ERDI is critical to our ability to bring successful products to market. I don’t know of another place where your investment of time and resources has such an immediate return. I think ERDI is making an enormous contribution to education by creating an environment where superintendents and product developers can freely and honestly collaborate for the benefit of teachers and students. We plan on attending every ERDI meeting.”
Michael Ross – Senior Vice President/Education General Manager, Encyclopaedia Britannica and Britannica Digital Learning
“I had the great privilege to attend the recent ERDI Conference in Baltimore, Md July 14-July 21, 2013 as a guest of an innovative corporate sponsor of the event. I was advised prior to the conference that this conference would be unlike any other I attended in the past. I wasn’t sure what to expect but did my research, prepared and went to explore and find out. WOW is all I can say. I was speechless from the moment I entered the reception the first evening to the final dinner on the last evening of the conference a week later. I have never attended such a positive, uplifting, respectful and nurturing gathering totally focused on the people who are the highlight of the conference-our nation’s Superintendents of Education representing every region throughout the US. . For those who do not know, The ERDI is a special membership organization for the nation’s district superintendents, if I might add, the real thought leaders and risk-takers of Education for the millions of children and students who attend America’s schools. ERDI was founded 28 years ago by Superintendents for superintendents. It is a venue where superintendents who are members gather to be themselves and are cherished, supported, nurtured and respected as leaders, spouses, parents, community members, and innovators by their colleagues and guests for the vital role as courageous individuals in an industry where they are never allowed to be anything but “the Superintendent”! I personally have tremendous respect for how difficult it is to lead such complex organizations often with little support or appreciation from the diverse constituencies with whom they must interact. It was a joy to see such a caring group of individuals come together to share, laugh, discuss issues, learn and have an honest exchange about their challenges, highlights and “pain points’ without any fear and consistently show deep respect for other’s opinions and experience. Kudos to ERDI for not only conceptualizing and sustaining such an unique organization for our ‘Education Hero’s’ but hosting such a successful week of flawless events! Thank you for allowing me to participate, become part of the ERDI family and share in so many memory- making moments!”
Kathleen Leos – CEO – GILD – Global Institute for Language and Literacy Development LLC – (former Assistant Deputy Secretary- ESEA Title III- US Dept of Education 2002-2007)
“I have been most fortunate to be connected with the Education Research and Development Institute (ERDI) from both sides of the meeting table. I served as a superintendent member of this organization during my almost decade-long tenure as the Superintendent of the Boise (ID) School District and currently participate as a corporate member in my role as Director of Business Development for Silverback Learning Solutions. Through both roles, I unabashedly describe the ERDI experience as extraordinary! The interface that ERDI facilitates between practicing PreK-12 school district leaders and representatives of companies who provide cutting edge educational programs and services is unique to the nation. ERDI brings together superintendents who are uniformly recognized as state and national thought leaders with companies who have embraced the responsibility to conceptualize and create the tools and practices that are vital to the daily educational experience of every student. In doing so, candid, high quality input from field professionals collected through focus group-style panels is used to shape the products and services that are essential to the success of school systems across the country. What a win for our schools, teachers, parents and children! In addition to the aforementioned input/discussion sessions, ERDI also creates numerous other opportunities at their twice-per-year meetings that allow school superintendents to take a “deep dive” into the numerous trends affecting America’s schools and then discuss cutting edge practices designed to address conditions and issues that emerge from them. Technology workshops, leadership forums and bi-annual updates of federal laws and initiatives are all part of every ERDI meeting. These intellectually stimulating program opportunities provide superintendent leaders with resources, tools and information that they bring back to their communities, regions and states to keep their school districts and those of their colleagues well ahead of the rapidly changing educational scene. The information provision and profound skill building options afforded every ERDI participant,every meeting stands as a professional development experience for educational leaders that is second to none. Last and probably most important, ERDI through its bi-annual sessions has helped create the most significant superintendent leadership network in the nation. As a result of the stimulating and thought provoking activities in which all ERDI participants engage a bond is created that continues well after the the winter and summer meetings. This relationship deepens session after session until there is established a personal as well as a professional kinship. ERDI superintendents regularly call on each other for advice, counsel and resources. In the sometimes lonely and often challenging role of the school superintendent this network of supportive and unselfish colleagues shaped through the ERDI experience is invaluable. No other single organization has had the impact on American public education the way ERDI has throughout its years of service. Founded by visionary superintendent Mike Kneale and led by current CEO, Paul Dulle and his exceptional team, ERDI is a “once in a professional lifetime” experience that is life shaping and extraordinarily rewarding for each of its participants. It helps school leaders at all stages of their careers grow and become more effective in their daily pursuit of that which is best for all of America’s students. It also helps to shape quality tools and programs necessary for teachers and students to succeed. The value that the ERDI experience has provided, and continues to provide to our schools and school children is incalculable.”
Dr. Stan Olson-Retired Superintendent-Boise(ID)School District;Director of Business Development-Silverback Learning Solutions Boise, Idaho
“One of the most impressive aspects of the organization is the quality of ERDI superintendent members. The consistency is remarkable – all passionate about education, articulate with their feedback and deeply caring about our business. We’d get a new set of panelists, yet the feedback was always a high caliber and unique based on the individuals perspective. ERDI truly has the best collection of superintendents in education. Additionally, ERDI is the single most important and valuable contributor to re-shaping the strategy and approach for The Coca-Cola Company in the K-12 market. The superintendent panels we attended provided insights on how to meet the true needs of the school district. The inputs we received were very different from the approach used at that time. It would have been easy for the panelists to tell us what we wanted to hear, but instead they deployed the ERDI philosophy of “open and honest feedback”. As a result, The Coca-Cola Company has continued to enjoy great success in the K-12 market. This success could only have been attained with the contributions from ERDI. I proudly recommend ERDI to any company conducting business in the education market.”
David Kaplan – Senior Manager, The Coca-Cola Company
Executive Director, The Alliance for School Foodservice Leadership
“I wanted to express my appreciation for the guidance and leadership Spectrum K12 has received from ERDI. The feedback and input from the superintendents at ERDI have been instrumental in the ongoing development of our vision, our product and our messaging. The open, forthright discussions we have experienced could only happen within the “family” atmosphere that is the essence of ERDI. ERDI has been essential to our growth, success and recognition in the industry as reflected in our being awarded the SIIA CODiE award for the “Best Education Solution” and “Best K-12 Enterprise Solution” in 2010. We truly believe we would not have received such success without the guidance we have received from the superintendents. ERDI continues to be one of the best investments we make each year. Thank you for all you have done to bring superintendents and education solution providers together in a collective effort to Move Every Child Forward.”
Jim Marshall President, Former CEO, Spectrum K12 School Solutions
“Our company has the opportunity to attend many conferences and association meetings each year. If we had to cut everything out but one (1) event ERDI would be our choice. The combination of research and development testing, along with learning about what is really happening in education on a regular basis, are the reasons that we value our relationship with ERDI.”
Barry Stock Executive Vice President – Business Development
National Express Corporation
“I came in with high expectations and you completely exceeded them. The real value of this experience was to be able to spend time in a relaxed environment with so many top-notch superintendents. After just a few days I could see why you speak so much about the “family” atmosphere you have at ERDI.
I also want to thank you and your team for the extraordinarily warm welcome and for the professional treatment we received. I have attended more than my share of business meetings and I felt like this meeting was about as well organized as any I’ve been to.
Jeff Vohden – President and CEO
“I wanted to send a note of thanks for the opportunity to visit with the ERDI family. You have created an impressive organization of capable leaders, willing to share their wisdom while continuing their quest to learn. I was trying to relay to some colleagues the ERDI event and I kept describing it as the experience of meeting a family. Your members are dedicated, experienced and accomplished. Their congeniality makes the transfer of good information effortless. How fortunate for the industry that these leaders have open access to each other through your efforts.”
Berj Akian, CEO
“ERDI is one of the most complimentary business/education partnerships we’ve been involved with and we know that the direction and vision will continue into the future.”
Dr. Janis M. Grace, Vice President
“By participating in ERDI, we are able to gather specific, quality feedback on the education market in general, as well as new business concepts. Johnson Controls values the input from the members and has used it to develop our marketing strategies. These two organizations certainly represent the dynamic leaders in education.”
“Entering ERDI we were a product company but, as we exited ERDI, we transformed our marketing to reflect a services company, which is exactly what we had been providing our clients all along. Prior to participation in ERDI, our marketing never seemed to reflect the vision and mission of what we were actually doing for our clients. However, our ERDI panel superintendents gave us candid and on -target feedback that helped us bridge the gaps between what we were providing our clients and our market approach so that we could accelerate and broaden our appeal without losing sight of our vision. We have taken thoughtful input of our ERDI members, processed it and implemented a plan of action for each item’s implementation in accordance with our new marketing strategies. Continuous product and “now services” development plans are in place to meet the growing needs of our clients. Thanks to all of the ERDI members that we met directly and with whom we have follow up activities as well.”
Chris Frydrych, Former Vice President
“ERDI has been one of the best investments our company has ever made. The expertise, knowledge, and counsel received has a tremendous and positive impact on our marketing as evidenced by the facts that HOSTS is now in 44 states and in the nation of El Salvador. When we started we had 4 employees.”
Bill Gibbons, Founder
“For years I have counted on ERDI to provide critical feedback and suggestions about my company’s marketing approach and materials. Not only has their direct feedback been invaluable in making what we do more effective, but I feel privileged to be a part of an organization that works so diligently to make a difference in the lives of children.”
Brenda Raker, The Greaves Group
“As General Manager of one of the nation’s most respected public broadcasting operations, I found the panels at ERDI to be most helpful. NET (Nebraska Educational Telecommunications) is a department of the University of Nebraska as well as a State Commission. We created one of the largest non-profit libraries of supplemental learning materials used in classrooms in all 50 states and 50 foreign countries. The materials include the rights to instructional television broadcasts, videotapes, DVDs, web-based curricula and more. What better way to help us determine the needs of the teachers we serve than to ask for advice from a panel of the top school superintendents in the country? I found their guidance to be invaluable as we considered future acquisitions and the development of new materials to add to our library. As all truly great ideas, ERDI is profound in its elegance and simplicity. It makes enormous sense to pair up the vendors, like NET, with customers to learn how we can do a better job to server America’s schools!”
Rod Bates, General Manager
Nebraska Educational Telecommunications Commission
“My view is that the information and direction that we were able to walk away with from ERDI Superintendents, was so powerful and rewarding! I was part of business groups in two separate time periods and participated in the ERDI panels. ERDI creates panels consisting of Superintendents from various size school districts to provide consultation to the business partners on the “HOW TO” market their particular product to school districts in the K-12 system as well as higher education.”
Thomas C. Cook – Investment Adviser Representative
QA3 Financial, LLC
“We want to thank you for permitting us to attend ERDI. It was an honor to be in the room with such accomplished educational leaders. The superintendents we met were impressive and we sincerely appreciate what they are doing to shape the future of education. We also appreciate the candid guidance provided by our panel members. Our hope is to deliver a tool that can increase communication and collaboration among schools, students, parents, and educators across the country. ERDI is a first class operation!”
John Burgess, CEO Interactive Media Holdings, LLC (d.b.a. ClassScene)
Jeff Vogel, CFO Walsworth Publishing Inc.
Alex Blackwell Director Marketing and Customer Technology Walsworth Publishing Inc.
““For the past 15 years, I’ve had the pleasure of participating in the ERDI panel discussions, led by Mike Kneale and now Paul Dulle. The cadre of ERDI Superintendents are thought-leaders and are very focused on helping companies to create the best solutions for 21st century learners. I’ve found the feedback and suggestions from our ERDI Superintendent panels to be thought-provoking, innovative and visionary. I highly recommend the ERDI forum to companies who haven’t experienced this vibrant environment. It’s an investment that is worth the time and the expense.”
Libby Preble – Former National Sales Director – Kurzweil and IntelliTools
“All of the ERDI conferences have been very beneficial to us, although each event has a different feel. For example, being involved with both ERDI I and ERDI II allows us to really connect with superintendents and get very high-level feedback. The panelists are absolutely engaged, and the feedback is based on their global view and vision. In fact, that’s a strong vibe that runs through the entire event: sharing passionate commitment and vision for educating children. We always leave the events feeling elevated and refocused on Gaggle’s true goal of making a difference in kids’ lives. The atmosphere at (I) and (II) is more formal that ERDI III, and because it is a larger conference, with respect to the number of companies participating, it sometimes can feel competitive during social events and meals to have conversations with the superintendents. In ERDI III which features Deputy Superintendents of Curriculum & Instruction and CAO’s, the panelists are sharing their vision, but also providing more feedback on nuts and bolts. It’s more the “how” than the “why” and they bring a perspective that is closer to the front lines. It feels more like we’re all rolling up our sleeves together. The conference is smaller and less formal, and the smaller ratio of corporate members to panelists is more balanced and not as competitive as in the larger conference. For Gaggle, it’s not a matter of one event being more beneficial than the other, and it’s not necessarily an either/or decision every year. Instead, it’s fitting our current objective to the appropriate group with the confidence that ERDI will provide lasting benefits and relationships. ”
Andrea Keith,PMP, Vice President of Strategic Initiatives, Gaggle
“Providing a “clean, well-lighted place” where leading superintendents can gather & learn best practices from each other; where they can gain the courage to continue to innovate on behalf of children; where business education leaders can listen to feedback on their plans, approaches, and solutions, and really understand what superintendents need to be more effective. This is the work of ERDI.The consequence of providing these unique forums where education and business leaders gather together – is an acceleration of innovation and “courage” in teaching and learning. At the end of the day this benefits both the superintendent and the business leader – but also the teacher, principal, student and parent – indeed all the stakeholders in the education market today. In this simple way ERDI is providing a much-needed positive impact on K-12 education in America.”
Frank Florence, K-12 EdTech Consultant/ Former Director, Education Market Development, Discovery Education and Cisco