The Young Audiences Arts for Learning network is thrilled to welcome Jane Best, Director of the Arts Education Partnerships, Robert Gehorsam, Partner at Valence Ventures, and Paul Reynolds, CEO of FableVision, as our Digital Transformations key speakers.
Jane R. Best joined the Arts Education Partnership (AEP) in May 2016 as Director. AEP is a national coalition of more than 100 education, arts, business, cultural, government and philanthropic organizations with a mission to ensure that every child receives a complete and competitive education. Ms. Best has extensive experience working with education among national associations, cultural centers, local and state educational initiatives, research and development innovations, university researchers, policymakers, foundations, fee-for-service providers, and practitioners. She has also demonstrated the ability to work with multiple and diverse education groups and organizations to form strategic partnerships, bolster capacity and leverage resources.
Prior to joining Education Commission of the States, Ms. Best was the Chief Development Officer at My Student Survey where she created strategic partnerships, prospected new opportunities, and tracked state and federal policy mandates related to survey inclusion. She has also worked for McREL International as the Chief Strategy Officer, Learning Point Associates (now American Institutes for Research) and the National Conference of State Legislatures. Jane holds a Ph.D. in education policy from Vanderbilt University, a M.A. in education from the Ohio State University and a B.A. in communications with a minor in art history from Indiana University.
Robert Gehorsam joined Valence Ventures as a Partner in May 2016. Valence Ventures is an early stage venture capital fund in NYC. Their primary focus is helping extraordinary entrepreneurs gain access to the capital, people and tools that they need to build great companies. Mr. Gehorsam is currently a mentor for start-ups at the Entrepreneurs Roundtable Accelerator in New York and advises several start-ups in both digital media and internet sectors. His initial work in the computer games industry led to his belief that the consumerization of software and hardware would fundamentally change not just the nature of how individuals work but how businesses organize, adapt and thrive in the 21st century.
Prior to joining Valence Ventures, Mr. Gehorsam was CEO of Image Metrics, a leader in 3D facial analysis and animation software for immersive technology applications. He also was the co-founder, President and Director of Forterra Systems from 2002 until its acquisition in 2010 by Science Applications International (SAIC). He has also held senior positions at Viacom, Sony, Scholastic and Prodigy Services Company. He also served on the Board of Directors as well as Executive Director of Institute of Play. He is an active alumnus of Grinnell College, a private liberal arts college located in Grinnell, Iowa, which helped found Intel, inspired the @ for Twitter and MIME e-mail format. Robert holds a B.A. in religious studies, English language and literature/letters from Grinnell College.
Paul Reynolds has served as CEO of FableVision since July 1996, when it was founded. FableVision is a multi-media production studio that designs and develops a wide array of engaging media and interactives that inspire, teach, and move people to action. Its mission is to reach, support and inspire all learners-both through the creation of its own original educational media, storytelling and interactive apps, as well as partnering for co-development with other like-minded organizations. Mr. Reynolds has helped build the multimillion-dollar firm into an internationally recognized multimedia developer and publisher, with partnerships, strategic alliances and clients across many industries-broadcast, museum, institutional, k12, educational publishing, technology and research.
When he is not involved with FableVision, Paul also teaches digital media production at Boston College, where he has served as adjunct faculty for over two decades. Mr. Reynolds is also Co-Founder of The Reynolds Center for Teaching, Learning, and Creativity, a 501 c3 not-for-profit, dedicated to fostering positive human potential around the globe. Their programs serve to inspire and nurture innovation and creativity in educators and school leaders. Paul has also collaborated with his twin brother Peter H. Reynolds and wrote a children’s book, Going Places, a picture book with Simon & Schuster and a STEM-meets-Arts early chapter book series with Charlesbridge Publishing. Paul holds a B.A. in communications from Boston College as well as a M.A. in educational technology from Pepperdine University.