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My last blog post as CEO of ALT

As I write this, I am preparing to step down as CEO of ALT. The handover to ALT’s new CEO, Billy Smith, will formally conclude at the AGM during our Annual Conference on 6th September, and I hope to see many Members on the day in Warwick, and also online. Guests are most welcome, and if you’d like to watch the AGM, you can register now.

I am very grateful to have had a month of handover to Billy, and I am glad indeed to leave ALT in such good hands! Follow Billy on social media and find out more about the transition on Billy’s blog!

We are expecting the biggest in person audience for the conference in this post-pandemic era, and I am mindful that with so much happening at the event I won’t be able to connect with everyone who has been part of my journey since I first joined ALT in 2008. 

This blog post, my last as CEO, is my goodbye and my thanks to you all for what has been an incredible chapter.

Vision became reality

When I applied for the role in 2012, I had big dreams of what we could achieved as an Association, and looking at our Impact Report I am so very proud of all we do, punching far above our weight as a small charity. It’s been a privilege, a hugely inspiring privilege, to serve our Members and work with our community from across sectors here in the UK and internationally. 

My vision in 2012 focused on our work in Learning Technology, championing professional recognition, promoting research and sharing practice. I always saw ALT as being at the forefront of what a professional body can be (in what is often quite a conservative field) and we continue on that journey as we evolve as an Association.

What wasn’t on my roadmap, following the financial crisis in 2008/9, was ALT becoming an employer and closing its offices, the UK leaving Europe through Brexit or indeed the global Coronavirus pandemic and its wide sweeping and continued impact. 

To say that my time as CEO has not been boring would be an understatement. I worked closely with our Board, staff team and membership to navigate these challenges. As a result of all our efforts, our organisation has thrived as a virtual team and employer in its own right; continued to work closely with international partners in Europe and further afield, and found a way back from the hardships of the pandemic to financial and operational stability.  

We are not only still standing, we are celebrating 30 years of ALT this year. Indeed, our mission as the leading professional body for Learning Technology has never been more critical. The history of our discipline, to which we have contributed since 1993, continues to be fundamental to the ethical, equitable and fair use of technology in learning, teaching and assessment. 

My very long list of thank you’s

One of the greatest joys of my time at ALT has been collaboration. I have had opportunities to work with inspiring and fun communities, groups and individuals across all sectors of education, and I have enjoyed every minute of it. Along the way, I have learnt a huge amount, and discovered news ways of working in the open and online.

There are far too many names to mention, so I’d like to say one big thank you to everyone who has helped me along the way, shared inspiration, support and practical help.  I have received so much care and kindness, so many nods of encouragement and hugs, that I count myself lucky indeed. 

To each and every one – thank you. You know who you are. 

Special thanks to all Trustees I have been fortunate enough to work with during my tenure and in particular the current Board whose insightfulness and commitment to ALT always inspire me. 

To our staff team, there are no words that can adequately cover my sentiments. Hugs all round will have to do. 

IMage of my trainers with the initials CEO on the side and the logo of my new company.

Looking forward to new adventures!

It’s been fantastic to work for the Association and I will certainly continue to be active in ALT in future. I am very much looking forward to continuing my role as Strategic Lead for the amazing AmplifyFE project, as part of the partnership between ALT and Ufi VocTech Trust.

Once my handover is complete after the conference, I am looking forward to taking a few weeks off for a well deserved holiday before getting back to my desk. Come October, the next chapter of my working life will commence in earnest. I’ll be focusing full-time on my work as a consultant and coach for education and non-profit organisations. I’ll be working with lots of different people and projects, supporting emerging leaders and helping institutions find ways to make hybrid and blended ways of working really deliver for staff, and for students preparing to enter the workplace. 

If you’d like to keep in touch, subscribe to my podcast and monthly newsletter . I’ll be posting regular updates and resources on my blog, on LinkedIn and Instagram. If you’d like to explore coaching with me or discuss a project, get in touch with maren[@] or via my website.

One Comment

  1. Haydn Haydn

    It was an honour to work with you when you were responsible for membership and was so glad to see your appointment as CEO. Nothing that has happened since has made me question that judgement. Your achievements speak for themselves. Thank you for all you did for the Association and for me as a friend. Now we live so near each other let’s continue to stay in touch. Wishing you all the best for the next exciting stage in your personal journey.

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