July 30, 2018 – Northfield, IL-based executive recruitment firm Came | Sweeney is initiating a search to find the president for Teaching Channel, an organization dedicated to the professional development of educational providers. The firm is looking for a leader who can navigate in a mission-driven environment, imbued with a teacher-centric culture.
The new president will be charged with providing the leadership, vision and guidance to profitably grow the online education content provider to K-12 teachers, said Came | Sweeney. Teaching Channel is pivoting to a business-to-business sales strategy of selling school districts both content and proprietary software. The company has around 20 employees, most of which, work remotely.
The president’s direct reports include the vice president of engagement, senior director of finance and senior director of product, director of marketing and senior director of advertising & sponsorships. The president, in turn, reports to the CEO of the consolidated, private equity-backed platform company (Learners Edge) and will interact with organization-wide leadership and the board of director. Execution, communication and collaboration will be the keys to success at Teaching Channel, said the search firm.
The new president will have P&L responsibility for mostly stand-alone business, with some of the back-office functions delegated to parent-insurance, treasury, legal and others. Further responsibilities include leading day-to-day operations of sales, marketing, content production, technology (online website and software) and operations; growing top-line revenues while executing value creating synergies with the other related companies in the portfolio; leveraging relationships and implementing initiatives to immediately grow revenue; and managing a creative culture, educational mission and private equity investor expectations.
The new leader will also be charged with motivating and coaching employees in a virtual environment where employees are not in a central location; establishing appropriate KPIs; developing and managing a monthly reporting package; helping develop strategies and taking an active role in the execution; and being a steward of preserving and enhancing the credibility of a well-respected and globally recognized brand.
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Came | Sweeney said candidates should have at least three years experience in education markets, preferably providing content solutions to K-12 teachers and school districts; have successfully demonstrated leadership and management skills; have a proven track record leading sales and marketing teams, showing top line and bottom line growth; and demonstrate an ability to lead, empower and energize individuals at all levels of the organization, among other requirements.
The new president will also be expected to be an outstanding leader, with exceptional verbal and written communication skills and the ability to set high but reachable goals, clearly communicate those goals to employees and then infuse the team with a sense of purpose and urgency in attainment of those goals, said the search firm. The individual should also have excellent interpersonal and relationship building skills with all kinds of people at all levels, inside and outside the organization. An ability to adapt his or her approach to the situation is also necessary. As is the ability to work throughout conflicts, gain trust, establish credibility and persuasively influence outcomes.
Teaching Channel is a for-profit enterprise dedicated to the professional development of teachers. It provides video resources and interactive tools (blog posts, on-line workshops and podcasts) for education development and professional learning. Its on-line platform helps teachers stay relevant and meaningful, and succeed in the K-12 classroom. Teaching Channel has a library of over 1,300 specialized instructional videos for teachers and over one million registered users.
The company was founded by and for teachers 16 years ago in the U.K. It was nurtured by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and later migrated to the U.S., where it morphed from a non-profit TV channel to a for-profit online platform. The for-profit, self-sustaining model was adopted with the encouragement of the Gates Foundation and other philanthropic partners. Today Teaching Channel’s $5 million in revenues come primarily from customized programs and SaaS solutions for independent school districts, advertising and foundation-sponsored content.
Came | Sweeney is an executive recruiting firm focusing on identifying senior and mid-level executives in the bioscience, healthcare, consumer product, industrial product, private equity and higher educational arenas. The partners of the firm have significant management experience in or with the industries its serves.
Paul Came co-founded Came | Sweeney in 2002 after a long history in the executive recruiting business. He is primarily engaged in conducting senior managerial and leadership level assignments for universities, industrial manufacturers, not-for-profit organizations and healthcare companies. His clientele includes both emerging growth and Fortune 200 companies as well as small colleges, large universities and medical centers.
Peter Sweeney, who is based in Chicago, is a co-founder of the firm. With more than 30 years of search and senior marketing experience, he has assisted a variety of publicly and privately held companies in recruiting executives to top-level general management and key line and staff positions. His search practice includes an emphasis on several areas: industrial (both discrete manufacturing and process industries), private equity, business services and digital commerce and media.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Andrew W. Mitchell, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media