Steve Pines, who for more than a decade has served as executive director of the Education Industry Association, a voice for commercial vendors working in schools, is retiring and will step down from that position later this year.
The association, based in Vienna, Va., represents about 190 dues-paying companies in educational technology, tutoring, test-preparation, and private and charter school operations, among other sectors.
Pines said he’s likely to leave the post in the first half of the year, though the date is not certain. He will still be on board for the group’s education industry summit, scheduled for Feb. 18-20 in Washington.) Pines said he’s not leaving the world of education—he plans to continue to work as a consultant on many of the same issues the EIA is involved with now.
The executive director is looking for a bit more balance between his personal and professional life. Pines, 62, says he will work with EIA’s board of directors to find a replacement for his position.
“I’ve done it for 10 years,” Pines said. “I’ve helped the organization grow and explore policy and helped entrepreneurs. [Now] I’m ready to move on to other challenges.”
Pines became EIA’s executive director in 2004, joining the organization after having served as a vice president at Sylvan Learning Systems, Inc.
At EIA, Pines’ organization has sought to provide education companies with information and advocacy on a range of issues. One recent topic EIA has focused on is trying to bridge the divide between vendors and K-12 officials over how districts buy products, a longstanding source of frustration for vendors.
Many district officials say too many companies seem clueless about or unresponsive to their specific needs; many company officials, in turn, see the K-12 purchasing process as soaked in bureaucracy and policies that slow buying and make it harder for smaller, potentially innovative businesses to compete. The EIA, along with the congressionally authorized nonprofit Digital Promise, commissioned and helped design a nationwide study of district procurement, the results of which were released in November.