Credential Engine Board of Directors September 15, 2017 Meeting
8:00 a.m. – 3:00 a.m. CT
Board Members in Attendance
Chris Bustamante, Anthony Carnavale, Waded Cruzado, Barbara Gellman-Danely, Eleni Papadakis, Carol Quillen, and Chris Roy.
Joe Bhatia, Jim Gibbons, Andreas Schleicher, and Elizabeth Shuler.
Staff and Other Attendees
Staff: Scott Cheney, Emilie Rafal, and Carrie Samson
Other Attendees: Paul Gaston, Jeanne Kitchens, Bob Sheets, Louis Soares, Sarah Steinberg, Roy Swift, Scarlett Van Stechelman, Holly Zanville, and from Stax Romero Hayman, Rafi Musser, and Griffin Weller.
Call to Order and Welcome
Scott Cheney welcomed the Board and turned the meeting over to Eleni Papadakis, Board chair, who called the meeting to order. The Board members in attendance approved the agenda and the minutes from the June 23, 2017 meeting.
Ms. Papadakis asked the Board what level of participation they need to feel engaged and empowered. The Board agreed that 3 in person meetings and 3 phone calls per year, with additional emails as necessary is sufficient for the time being, but they also requested monthly updates via email instead of just the current six prior to each meeting. They also requested that the 3 board call be more focused on critical decisions, actions, and board votes.
Executive Director Updates – Q&A with Board
Scott Cheney provided a variety of updates since the June 23, 2017 meeting for the Board. Credential Engine has welcome Emilie Rafal and Carrie Samson to the team since the last board meeting, has secured liability insurance and is about to sign a lease for office space.
New and continuing conversations with potential funders are generally positive; the Joyce Foundation hosted a meeting with funders, organized by Holly Zanville, on September 14th. Walmart has asked Credential Engine to submit a proposal in October and the Joyce Foundation is possibly interested in funding work in the Great Lakes states. Other potential funding includes the State of Washington, the Gates Foundation, the Ballmer Foundation, the Arnold Foundation, and others. Mr. Cheney noted that he believes that to maximize growth we may need to have a $3 – 3.5 million/year budget.
The Board suggested that a one-pager that articulates the problems that Credential Engine is trying to solve would be useful to funders. They also suggested using case studies that highlight the value proposition.
It was reported that there is positive growth in the number of credentials in the registry. In terms of state participation, Indiana has engaged over 30 credentialing and quality assurance organizations, and New Jersey is about to begin their work. Mr. Cheney and other Credential Engine staff have also met with various individuals in Washington and Texas. Currently, there are about 150 partner organizations and 668 credentials in the registry.
Later in September, the Business Roundtable will also be asking their member CEOs to support Credential Engine by publishing credentials to the registry if applicable, asking the credentialing bodies they work with to publish to the registry, and asking their human resource and recruitment systems to work with Credential Engine to consume the data from the registry.
Revenue and Fundraising Policy
The draft Revenue and fundraising policy was presented and approved by the Board.
Beta Launch Event
On December 5, 2017 Credential Engine will publicly launch its technologies and partnerships, including the registry, the API mapping tools, WorkIt, the CTDL, example applications, and the Credentialing Ecosystem Mapping Team, with a panel and press event. Confirmed speakers include Jamie Dimon, Wes Bush, Jamie Merisotis, Eleni Papadakis, Elizabeth Shuler, and Ted Mitchell. Potentially, a Governor and/or a DOD representative will also be invited to speak. Carrie Samson is working on messaging packets and press kits for organizations to use, and is coordinating launch events in Indiana, Madison, and other locations. More information can be found here.
Registry – Data Quality Recommendations and Discussion
Minimum Data Requirements
There was a very robust and valuable discussion around the Minimum Required Data policy by the board, staff, chairs and advisors who were in the room. After exploring the many sides, issues, and consequences of the decision to be made, the board adopted the recommended policy with the proviso that two additional clarifications.
1. That we make clear that there will be, at least for the initial time period following the launch, staff review of all requests by entities who wish to published their credential, competency, or QA data to the Registry for the purposes of authentication before they are given a key to the Registry. This is to ensure that we don’t get overwhelmed at first, and to ensure that fake organizations or the like don’t come into the Registry.
2. That for the purposes of working to ensure that we get as much data about a credential, competency, or QA body as possible, that we review all such data in the “sandbox testing environment” before it goes live on the production version of the Registry. This is so we can do our very best to capture all of the “required if available” data about entries as possible where such information is, in fact, available, such as competencies for licenses and certifications.
Mr. Cheney agreed to update and circulate the policy in the next week, and the Credential Engine team will work to implement the policies prior to the December launch.
The Credential Currency policy was also discussed and approved.
Revenue Plans – Stax Report and Recommendations
The team from Stax presented their research and findings regarding potential business models for Credential Engine. They found that the market potential is $61 million, and that secondary education and human resources are the two sectors that have the most potential to bring in revenue. Their recommended revenue model is a hybrid model where Credential Engine would revenue share with applications partners, and that Credential Engine will have to strike the right balance between mission and revenue.
Mr. Cheney will draft two to three options for the Board to discuss and approve by the January meeting.
Jeanne Kitchens presented an update of the progress the technical team has made since the last meeting. They have been working with institutions to test the API mapping tools, created a credentialing ecosystem mapping team to implement competency frameworks services, are in discussions with vendors to create applications, and are working to get the CTDL adopted by Schema.org.
New and Upcoming Business
Carrie Samson, Credential Engine’s new Manager of Communications, is working on a press kit, fact sheets, and a communications plan. The Board discussed how Credential Engine should communicate strategically; suggestions included touting successes and partnerships with big names, aligning the communications plan with the business plan, using contacts that the Board and other partners have, asking associations to publish information in their newsletters, and using student testimonials. For the launch, it was suggested that both streaming and high quality video would be worthwhile.
Ms. Samson offered to share all of the fact sheets with the Board and asked that the Board provide any input and put her in touch with their communications teams.
The next meeting of the Board will be held by phone on November 30, 2017 from 2 – 3 pm ET. An agenda and further meeting details will be forthcoming.