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All People > tjatkin > CCO Blog > 2018 > February

To me, being part of a diverse and passionate education community is the best part of Blackboard.  Through our Community site and Community programs users come together to network, share ideas and best practices, and help each other innovate.


To recognize the thought leaders in our Community, Blackboard offers various opportunities to share the good work that your institution, a colleague, or you are pursuing.


Please considering taking advantage of these opportunities below.


BbWorld 2018 Call for Presentation – Wednesday, February 28 deadline

BbWorld 2018 will focus on trends in teaching and learning, the student experience, analytics, institutional change, accessibility, employability, and community engagement in partnership with you.


Presenting at BbWorld is a great way to network, share the work being done by you and your institution (and can be a great resume addition!). An added benefit - presenters receive a discounted rate on registration. Submit a proposal!


Catalyst Awards – Friday, March 9 deadline

We think of the Blackboard portfolio as more that a set of classrooms or learning tools – we are focused on creating an ecosystem to help solve today’s education issues. And we want to highlight client successes and raise awareness throughout the educational industry by celebrating achievements and milestones.


Catalyst Awards recognize accomplishments in the following areas: (1) leading change; (2) community engagement; (3) teaching & learning; (4) inclusive education; (5) optimizing the student experience; (6) training and professional development; and, (7) student success.


Please consider sharing how you and your colleagues work every day to redefine what is possible when leveraging technology – it deserves recognition and being highlighted. Submit a nomination for yourself, a  team or a colleague!


MVP Nominations Friday, March 9 deadline

MVP's are Blackboard Champions from around the world who are engaged and dedicated Blackboard clients who are active and helpful in the community. If you are interested in becoming a Blackboard MVP, or have a colleague in mind who exemplifies the qualities of an MVP, please submit a nomination form today.


In the comments below, share “I’m in” – or a story from how you’ve given back previously and what you gained from that experience - and encourage others to give back as well.


Photo: Peter Gowen (NIU), Stephanie Richter (NIU), Tim Atkin (Bb), Bill Ballhaus (Bb)


As I mentioned in my last post, we just established a new organization at Blackboard focused on providing an improved post-sale client experience.  Lee Blakemore was announced as the President of our Global Client Operations & Success organization which includes all of Blackboard’s client delivery and support functions across the company and around the world – consulting, hosting and cloud services, client support, technical project management and client success programs.


I’ve had the privilege of getting to know Lee as an insightful and thoughtful leader with a deep first-hand understanding of Blackboard’s products, solutions and clients’ needs.  I recently asked Lee to share this thoughts on his background and new role to help you get to know him as well.


Q: What are some career highlights that have prepared you for this new role?

Lee: I’ve spent the past 27 years working to help clients across about 50 countries be successful with technology solutions.  As a result, I have a great appreciation for the impact that the client experience can have for the success of the client and their mission, as well as the success of the company providing the service. Specifically, I’ve worked for 3 different companies over a ten year period in the cloud hosting space and understand the complexities related to providing a robust solution in this area.


Q: What excites you about your new role?

Lee: In the almost three years that I’ve been at Blackboard, I’ve seen how passionate we are as a company to help enable student success and I have seen our impact first hand.  What I’ve learned to appreciate is that as students and institutions become dependent on our services it becomes even more critical that they experience a great service from us, in everything we do.


Q: What is your first priority with the Blackboard team?

Lee: I am going to start by raising the bar on expectations on the services we provide, and then focus on making the process improvements required to execute at this new level. I’m always asking my team to look at everything we do from the client perspective.


Q: By the end of the year, what is the most impactful thing you hope to accomplish?

Lee: I want everyone at Blackboard to be able to look our clients in the eyes and say with confidence that we are doing all we can to ensure their success.


Q: Tell us something fun about yourself?

Lee: I’ve lived in Europe on three different occasions, the first time being Budapest, Hungary in 1998.


I am excited to be working closely with Lee and energized by his perspective and client focus.  In my next post, I will highlight ways you can get involved in the Blackboard Community.



In Photo:

Mark Gruzin, President, Global Markets

Demetra Katsifli, Senior Director, International Solutions

Lee Blakemore, President, Global Client Operations & Success