Education Partners Appoints New Chief Financial Officer

AUSTIN, TX – January 2016 – Education Partners, a SaaS-based solution for postsecondary student lifecycle management, has just announced the appointment of Karrin Franco as Chief Financial Officer. Karrin has a background as an operationally-focused finance executive with experience in SaaS environments. Previously, she was the CFO of Double Line Partners, an education technology company specializing in performance management systems. Karrin began her career at Ernst & Young before joining for Dell, Inc. in Austin, TX. 

Karrin received a BBA in Accounting and an MBA from Texas State University. Karrin is a also Certified Public Accountant.

Education Corporation of America Completes Purchase of Kaplan College Campuses Expansion Broadens Campus Locations and ECA’s Portfolio of Brands

BIRMINGHAM, AL - September 3, 2015 - Education Corporation of America (ECA), which operates private, accredited colleges across the U.S., and Kaplan Higher Education, have completed the previously announced  all-stock transaction exchanging 38 campuses, which include Kaplan College, Kaplan Career Institute, Texas School of Business and TESST College of Technology,  for a preferred equity interest in ECA.  Financial terms are not being disclosed.

“This purchase is an exciting opportunity for Education Corporation of America,” said Stu Reed, Chief Executive Officer of Education Corporation of America. “Adding the Kaplan College campuses to our portfolio of career colleges strengthens our entire company by giving us the needed scale to prosper in this challenging industry. There is a very close alignment between the program offerings of the Kaplan College schools and ECA’s Virginia College, which offers opportunity to introduce new programs to both. And it brings together two talented teams that are dedicated to providing students with a great career training experience. The new company is now well-positioned for growth and better able to help people who want to build a brighter future through career education.”

Full conversion and integration of the campuses is expected to be complete in early 2016.

Both Kaplan College (and its affiliated schools) and Virginia College are accredited by Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). The geographic footprint of the new combined organization includes more than 70 career-oriented campuses and online programs across 20 states from coast to coast, serving approximately 30,000 students.

As part of the transaction, Kaplan College and its affiliated schools will be rebranded with a new name to be revealed in the coming weeks. The transaction, which was announced on February 12, 2015, does not include regionally accredited Kaplan University.

About Virginia College and Education Corporation of America: 

Growing from 34 campus locations to 72 Birmingham, Ala.-based Education Corporation of America (ECA) is a category leader in the post-secondary career school market with current enrollment of over 30,000 students. With the completion of the Kaplan transaction, ECA holdings now include Virginia College, Golf Academy of America, Ecotech Institute, Kaplan College, Kaplan Career Institute, TESST College of Technology, Texas School of Business and the fully online New England College of Business which is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). As noted, the newly acquired campuses of the Kaplan College portfolio will be rebranded under a new name to be revealed in the coming weeks. ECA career colleges are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) which is listed as a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

Media Contact:
Diane Worthington
diane.worthington@ecacolleges.com
205-329-7911 (o)

Willis Stein & Partners Announces the Addition of a New Investment Professional

NORTHBROOK, IL – August 3, 2015 - Willis Stein & Partners, a Chicago-based private equity firm that makes control investments in middle market companies, is pleased to announce that it has hired Alex Gart as Senior Associate to its investment team.

Prior to joining Willis Stein, Mr. Gart was an Acquisitions Associate with Morgan Stanley in their Real Estate Private Equity Group and the Vice President of Finance and Strategic Planning for Powderhorn Mountain Resort. Mr. Gart began his career as an investment banking analyst at Canaccord Genuity.

Mr. Gart received an M.B.A. from Stanford University Graduate School of Business and holds a B.A. degree in Neuroscience from Middlebury College.

Education Corporation of America Completes Purchase of New England College of Business and Finance

BIRMINGHAM, AL – June 2012 – Education Corporation of America (ECA), which operates private, accredited colleges across the U.S., completed the acquisition of New England College of Business and Finance (NECB), a regionally accredited, online institution focused on providing exceptional and market relevant online degree programs for working adults focused on building careers in business and finance.

FDHV Velocitels Appoints New Chief Financial Officer

NORTHBROOK, IL – May 2015 – FDH Velocitel, a leading infrastructure engineering and construction services company, has just announced the appointment of Joseph Busky as the new Chief Financial Officer. Joe brings extensive financial and business transformation experience from public accounting, manufacturing and service industries. Before joining FDH Velocitel, Joe was the CFO for Innerworkings, a publicly-traded marketing services company headquartered in Chicago, IL. He previously held executive positions at Dade Behring Holdings, Inc., and PriceWaterhouseCoopers LLP as a Senior Manager in the audit practice.

Joe earned his BBA in Accounting and MBA from Loyola University – Baltimore. Joe is a licensed (active) Certified Public Accountant.

FDH Velocitel Acquires Assets of Structural Engineering Firm Stainless, LLC

NORTHBROOK, IL - February 24, 2015 - FDH Velocitel, a leading infrastructure engineering and construction services company, has acquired the assets of Stainless, LLC, one of the nation’s oldest and most respected broadcast tower structural engineering firms. The acquisition includes an engineering team, CAD craftsmen, broadcast tower construction crews, and a library of over 7,500 structural drawings representing work that Stainless, LLC has constructed for the radio, television, microwave, and general communications industry since 1947. As many as half of the broadcast towers standing in the United States were fabricated by Stainless, LLC, of Lansdale, PA.

“The acquisition of Stainless is a critical part of our growth strategy. As demands increase on our wireless infrastructure we’ll need to add capacity. This capacity can be found in communications and broadcast towers. Most owners of these towers will rely on the original manufacturer for modifications to existing structures, and now that is FDH Velocitel. It is a perfect complement to our existing suite of wireless infrastructure services,” says Kevin G. Hostetler, CEO of FDH Velocitel.

In 2016, the FCC is expected to auction off additional broadcast spectrum for use by wireless companies. This requires the repacking of existing broadcast and communications towers and FDH Velocitel is uniquely positioned for this endeavor. FDH Velocitel will be able to work with the original tower drawings and (in some instances) with the original engineering, design and field crews.

“There are very few companies in the world with the breadth and scope of experience in the broadcast tower business as Stainless, LLC. We pioneered many techniques now in common practice and developed and erected some of the critical towers that provide the communications and broadcast backbone in the U.S. and over 100 countries abroad. We know the product and how to make it work for wireless. This is a win-win for all involved, especially the wireless industry as a whole,” says former owner Don Doty.

Don Doty and his partner Pat Moore, were the founders of Doty Moore Tower Services which was previously acquired by FDH Velocitel in 2013. Doty and Moore are also founding members of the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE). Doty Moore Tower Services and NATE together helped establish many of the safety protocols and standards in use today. FDH Velocitel remains an industry leader in tower safety initiatives.

About FDH Velocitel:

FDH Velocitel is a $300M infrastructure engineering, consulting, and constructions services company. Within the wireless communications business segment, FDH Velocitel delivers a complete suite of professional services to acquire, design, engineer, implement, upgrade and maintain wireless sites. The company has designed, constructed and/or deployed over 50,000 wireless infrastructure sites since its founding in 1987. FDH Velocitel also provides engineering, consulting, field investigation and inspection, and construction services to clients in the commercial, industrial, institutional and governmental sectors where the practice areas include civil engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, nondestructive testing, construction services, and research and development. The company is an industry leader in safety with extensive training systems in place, and a member of the NATE (National Association of Tower Erectors) Safety Committee. FDH Velocitel has 750 employees nationwide and is headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois with offices in California, Missouri, Louisiana, Ohio, Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. For further information on FDH Velocitel and its services.

Velocitel Acquires Assets of FDH

NORTHBROOK, IL - February 13, 2015 -  Velocitel, Inc. (“Velocitel”), a wireless network services company, has acquired the assets of FDH, a multidisciplinary engineering, investigation and construction company.

“This acquisition expands the footprint of Velocitel into new areas that are part of our growth strategy. FDH is one of the most respected engineering companies in the field, with a deep breadth of knowledge in civil and water, geotechnical, and structural engineering. Their capabilities are a natural complement to our existing suite of engineering and construction services,” says Kevin G. Hostetler, CEO of Velocitel.

“The synergies between FDH and Velocitel make this combination an easy decision. Collectively, the hybrid company will be able to provide a wide variety of benchmark setting services to support the critical backbone of our country’s infrastructure: from heavy civil to wireless communications. This is a win-win transaction that marries some of the best and the brightest in the fields of engineering and construction,” says Chris Murphy, President and CEO of FDH. The newly combined company will be known as FDH Velocitel and becomes one of the largest wireless engineering services companies in the industry. FDH Velocitel will be headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois.

About Velocitel:

Velocitel is a $200M wireless network services company delivering a complete suite of professional services to acquire, design, engineer, implement, upgrade and maintain wireless infrastructure sites. The company has designed, constructed and deployed over 50,000 wireless sites since 1987. Velocitel has 500 employees nationwide. The company is an industry leader in safety with extensive training systems in place, and a member of the NATE (National Association of Tower Erectors) Safety Committee. The company has acquired other complementary companies including SiteSafe, PS&W Engineering, and the business of Doty Moore Tower Services. Velocitel is headquartered in Northbrook, Illinois with offices in California, Georgia, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas and Virginia. For further information on Velocitel and its services, visit the company’s Web site at www.fdhvelocitel.com

About FDH:

FDH is a multidisciplinary consulting firm that provides engineering, field investigation and inspection, and construction services to clients in the telecommunications, commercial, industrial, institutional and governmental sectors. Practice areas include civil engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, nondestructive testing, construction services, and research and development. These areas work together seamlessly to deliver turnkey projects that meet the needs of FDH clientele. FDH projects cross all 50 states and include international work in the U.S. territories and Pacific Rim. Since its beginnings in university research, leading to three U.S. patent awards, FDH has maintained a strong focus on innovation in every aspect of its operation and is recognized as a true global leader in the engineering investigation of civil and industrial infrastructure. FDH is headquartered in Raleigh, North Carolina, with offices in St. Louis, MO, Irvine, CA, Baton Rouge, LA, Troy, OH, and Chandler, AZ. For further information on FDH, visit the company’s Web site at www.fdh-inc.com.

Education Corporation of America Announces Stu Reed as Chief Executive Officer

BIRMINGHAM, AL – January 14, 2015 – Education Corporation of America (ECA) is pleased to announce Stu Reed as its new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) effective Jan. 15. Formerly in the role of president and Chief Operating Officer at ECA, Reed will replace Tom Moore, who will become Vice Chairman of the ECA board of directors.

As CEO, Reed will work to shape the strategic direction and continued growth of ECA as it pursues its ongoing core mission to provide high-quality education and paths to new careers for students. With current enrollment of over 19,000 students, ECA is a leader in the post-secondary career school market and owns and operates private institutions of higher education throughout the United States including Virginia College, Golf Academy of America, New England College of Business, and Ecotech Institute.

"Stu has clearly demonstrated during his tenure with us as President and COO a passion for our industry and our mission, strong leadership and a commitment to excellence," says Avy Stein, chairman of the Board of Directors for ECA. "Stu's background prior to ECA and his personal focus on education positions ECA as a company to leverage the growth potential that exists in the education sector, both organically and through acquisitions." 

Reed joined ECA after a successful career most recently with Sears Holdings, where he served as president of the company's $3.7 billion Home Services business unit for the past six years. Prior to that, he was a senior executive for Motorola, where he ran the company's Supply Chain and Operations, and later served as president of the company's $20 billion Mobile Devices division. He also served more than 20 years at IBM, where he held executive roles in multiple operational areas and was a key thought leader among the team of senior executives who transformed IBM's supply chain operation.

Reed holds a master's degree in management from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he was appointed a Sloan Fellow. He also holds a bachelor's degree in materials and logistics management from Michigan State University. In addition to his education, he has been involved as an Executive Board Member at both the University of Wisconsin and Michigan State University.

For more information about ECA, please visit www.ecacolleges.com.

About Education Corporation of America:

Birmingham, Ala.,-based Education Corporation of America (ECA) is a leader in the post-secondary career school market with current enrollment of over 19,000 students. Holdings include Virginia College, founded in 1983, a private institution of higher education that offers non-degree and associate's, bachelor's and master's degree programs in 27 different cities in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, and Virginia. ECA also offers classes online via vc.edu/online and operates Golf Academy of America schools in California, Arizona, South Carolina, Texas and Florida, New England College of Business in Massachusetts, and Ecotech Institute in Colorado. These schools are accredited by the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS) which is listed as a nationally recognized accrediting agency by the U.S. Department of Education and is recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA).

For more information, contact Diane Worthington at diane.worthington@ecacolleges.com or (205) 329-7911.