This blog written by:
USDLA Board Member
As we celebrate our 30-year anniversary at the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) I look back and fondly remember my early days, the friends I’ve made and how I became involved in this great organization. I’ve been involved with the technology industry for the better part of 30 years and remember my first USDLA meeting over 10 years ago. I was a rookie in a field of distance learning veterans yet I felt like I belonged from day one. At the time I was working in Marketing as a Director for VBrick Systems, a streaming video technology provider. A VBrick colleague (Michael Baker, who became a great mentor and friend) had nudged me to focus on the Educational market several years before. Since conferences were part of the market development job, he encouraged me to attend a USDLA conference. Prior, I had attended a regional TxDLA conference to support our sales team, however I hadn’t been to a national USDLA conference and was curious as to what they had to offer.
Quite honestly, up to that point I always tied distance learning associations to the Educational community but I quickly learned that was not the case. I recall meeting with folks from every facet of the community – Enterprises, Colleges, Healthcare and Government. There was lots of energy, great discussion topics and plenty of great times both during the conference as well as networking in the evening. It not only opened my eyes to the fact that distance learning applied to every vertical, it also helped to shape my career.
Over the years I decided to focus more on the Educational vertical, eventually building a sales and marketing team entirely focused on helping K-12 and Higher Education customers deploy distance learning solutions. As I learned more about the USDLA I also became more involved. I was asked to became an advisory board member shortly after my 2nd conference and contributed in that role for several years. One of my favorite assignments was helping on the technology front and ultimately hosting the streaming video webcast of the annual awards dinner. Over the years my involvement with the organization and fellow USDLA members became deeper and today I truly feel like part of an extended family.
I became a board member in 2015 and owe it all to that friend who thought it would be beneficial for me to attend my first USDLA conference. It was and continues to provide me great satisfaction in being able to help others in the DL community and I strongly recommend to anyone considering to join us in Indianapolis for our 30th anniversary conference in April of 2017.
USDLA 2017 National Conference
April 30 – May 3, 2017 in Indianapolis, IN
The USDLA 2017 National Conference is the premier event for professionals in the distance learning industry. This year’s conference celebrates USDLA’s 30th year and promises to deliver an action-packed agenda that will bring together distance learning practitioners from across the country and around the world.
*Click here for more information about this USDLA signature event.
Join the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA)
The United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) is a non-profit association formed in 1987 with headquarters in Boston, Massachusetts. The association reaches 20,000 people globally with sponsors and members operating in and influencing 46% of the $913 billion dollar U.S. education and training market. USDLA promotes the development and application of distance learning for education and training and serves the needs of the distance learning community by providing advocacy, information, networking and opportunity. Distance learning and training constituencies served include pre-k-12 education, higher and continuing education, home schooling as well as business, corporate, military, government and telehealth markets.