Announcement follows company becoming Benefit Corporation
RALEIGH, N.C., March 19, 2013 — WebAssign, which last month announced it had become a Benefit Corporation, today named five leading North Carolina educators and business leaders from the technology industry to its board of directors. The five are:
• Dr. John Risley, Founder and CEO, WebAssign (Raleigh)
• Alex Bloom, President, WebAssign (Raleigh)
• Dr. Brand Fortner, Research Professor in physics, North Carolina State University (Raleigh)
• Petra Weishaupt-Smith, Managing Partner, Petra Financial LLC (Cary)
• Brian Handly, CEO, StepLeader Digital (Raleigh)
WebAssign, the leading provider of powerful online instructional tools for faculty and students, announced in February it had become a benefit corporation (joining the likes of Patagonia, Inc.) – a hybrid between a traditional stock corporation and a non-profit that has a social mission. WebAssign’s stated benefit is education, with all company strategy and decisions dedicated to promoting, supporting, and improving education and learning.
Dr. Risley, who has a physics Ph.D. from the University of Washington, has been a physics professor at North Carolina State University for the past 37 years. Under Dr. Risley’s direction in 1998, WebAssign first became commercially available as a hosted subscription service. Within a year, WebAssign quickly became the standard in online homework and grading.
Bloom, who was named president of WebAssign last spring, came to the company from Appia, a Durham, N.C.-based mobile content distribution company, where he served as chief operating officer. Bloom graduated with a degree in commerce/marketing from the University of Virginia.
A teaching professor at N.C. State, Dr. Fortner is considered an expert in accessible scientific visualization and in technical data formats. He previously was chief scientist of the intelligence exploitation group of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, and also has held positions at NASA and at the National Center for Supercomputing Applications. He earned a Ph.D. in astrophysics from the University of Illinois.
Before starting her financial consulting service, Weishaupt-Smith was COO, and earlier CFO, of DigitalSmiths Corporation in Mooresville, N.C. Prior to that, she was CFO of A4 Health Systems, also in Cary. She graduated with a degree in accounting from Saint Leo (Fla.) University.
Prior to joining StepLeader Digital, Handly was a general manager of Microsoft’s Online Services division and was co-founder and CEO of Accipiter before that. He holds a degree in marketing from the University of Missouri and is currently an executive in residence at N.C. State.
According to Dr. Risley, two more directors will be named to the board at a later date.
For more information on WebAssign, visit its web site at www.webassign.net, or call (800) 955-8275 or (919) 829-8181.
About WebAssign | www.webassign.net
WebAssign is the leading provider of powerful online instructional tools for faculty and students. Partnering with all major textbook publishers, WebAssign offers customizable pre-coded questions from a wide range of math and science textbooks along with easy-to-use tools that allow instructors to create their own questions. To date, more than eight million students have used WebAssign to submit over one billion answers to homework assignments, tests, and practice problems. In return, the students have received millions of pages of feedback on their work. During any one term, more than one million students are using WebAssign at over 2,300 educational institutions worldwide.
Based on the Centennial Campus of North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C., and with 200 employees WebAssign is one of the largest technology “startups” in Research Triangle Park (RTP). Incubated on the N.C. State University campus in 1997, WebAssign has a strong history of innovation, technology leadership and profitable growth. In 2013, the company became a “benefit corporation,” with a social mission to promote, support and improve education and learning.
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Note to Editors: High-res images available upon request for all WebAssign board of directors.
Doug Thompson, Thompson Drake Public Relations
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