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CEDIA Expands Education Staff with Darling and Ventura

New Hires will Serve as Senior Vice President of Development and Education and Director of Education, Respectively

CEDIA has hired Thomas Darling and Samantha Ventura in a strategic move to bolster the association’s education leadership team.

Darling will join the CEDIA staff as the senior vice president of development and education. This newly created role will lead CEDIA’s professional development department, specifically focusing on strengthening the education programs and increasing the scope and quality of CEDIA’s curricula.

Darling brings significant experience in higher education. For the last eight years he served as the executive portfolio manager for career and technical education at Pearson Education, and prior to that served for five years as the executive director of workforce, economic, and community development for Ivy Tech Community College in Indianapolis, IN.

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Over his tenure with Pearson Education, some of Darling’s notable accomplishments included creating localized vocational courses for various global audiences, surpassing the overall revenue goal for his team, and winning large bids for state career and technical training. While at Ivy Tech Community College, he worked with public and private companies as well as state government agencies to drive accessibility to training, which led to an increase in workforce certifications from 368 to 4,600.

“Tom’s background and skills align incredibly well with CEDIA’s strategic plan. We are putting substantial emphasis on enhancing the overall education experience through refining, curating, and developing new, relevant, and compelling courses,” said Tabatha O’Connor, CEDIA global president and CEO.

Ventura joined the CEDIA team in late March. She is a PhD candidate in organizational leadership specializing in virtual leadership and cultural intelligence and also has her master’s degree in teaching.

Ventura’s entire career has been dedicated to developing and implementing learning programs both in California and Indiana. Most recently as the director of learning initiatives for the DevOps Library, she designed and developed online offerings supporting open source learning for a global audience. Over her tenure in the education field, Ventura has worked as a consultant for several companies, including McGraw-Hill, Eli Lilly, and High Point Global, and has published online learning in the field of automation for O’Reilly Media.

“Having two individuals with such a deep understanding of post-secondary educational programming and online education formats join our team is exactly the leadership we need to drive our education to the next level,” said David Humphries, CEDIA chairman. “We are anxious to get them up to speed so they can hit the ground running.”