VE Teachers Collaborate, Learn, and Network at 2017 National Teachers Conference


During the week of July 10th, 2017, over 130 teachers from across the U.S. gathered together at LIU Post to share advice, discuss the future of work, and learn the essentials of facilitating a VE class at the third annual National Teachers Conference.

Career Readiness Framework

Nick Chapman, President and National Program Director, covered how VE will be implementing the Career Readiness Framework, a comprehensive way to capture key competencies and skills employers seek and students need for success.

Review the Career Readiness Framework here.

Conference Sessions

This year’s National Teachers Conference had a range of helpful professional development sessions and collaborative roundtables. We would like to thank all the coordinators who volunteered to share their wisdom, experience, and knowledge as facilitators for these sessions.

Session TitleFacilitator(s)
Methods of FacilitationKendra Lee, VE Illinois State Coordinator and Wendy Schmitt, VE Great Lakes Regional Director
VE-JV Career Academy: 7th Grade Activity Map & Lessons/Introduction to CanvasMaria Frangella, VE-JV facilitator, MS 137 (NYC), Joanna Gillen, VE-JV facilitator, and William McKinley JHS (NYC)
Business Plan Basics For New VE TeachersAmy Demchak, VE facilitator, Westhampton HS (NY)
A Look at VE Competitions: Rubrics, Results, and the FutureNick Chapman, President and National Program Director, VEI
VE-JV Career Academy: 8th Grade Activity Map & LessonsFrank Bennici, VE-JV facilitator, MS 137 America’s School of Heroes (NYC), Joanna Gillen, VE-JV 7th & 8th Grade facilitator, and William McKinley JHS (NYC)
Making the Sale!Julie Levi, President, Progressive Promotions, Inc.
Basics of Accounting in VETeri Jones, Southern California Regional Director, VEI
Creating a Competitive Company WebsiteJenny Benack, VE facilitator, Morris Knolls HS (NJ)
Hashtags & Retweets & Endorsements...Oh My!Tyler Fugazzie, Marketing & Communications Manager, VEI and Abril Peña, VE Fellow, VEI
Human Resources SolutionsJoni Fulton, VE facilitator, Murrieta Valley HS (CA)
Encouraging Student-Led PD SessionsBrenda Bechtol, VE facilitator, Oscar A. Carlson HS (MI), and Teresa Millican, VE facilitator, Airport HS (MI)
Incorporating Personal Finance into Your VE FirmAlan Gersten, VE facilitator, Century HS (CA)
Engaging Your Local CommunityJaci Elliot, VE facilitator, Centennial HS (CA)
Featured PresentationDane Stangler, Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurship, LIU with Rob Valli, Dean, College of Management, LIU Post
Contagion: Fighting Back Against SenioritisIsai Serrano, VE facilitator, Manhattan Business Academy (NYC)
Preparing for a Trade ShowMike Silberman, VE facilitator, West Hempstead HS (NY)
Afternoon Roundtables: The Commons, Accounting & Finance, Administration, Sales & Marketing, Human Resources, VE-JV, Generation VE: Collab-A-ThonBrenda Bechtol, MI; Jenny Benack, NJ; Robin Buckles, CA; Rich Butzke, NY (Long Island); Amy Demchak, NY (Long Island); Jaci Elliott, CA; Joni Fulton, CA; Alan Gersten, CA; Darrell Iki, CA; Kathy McCoy, TN; Teresa Millican, MI; Chris Power, NY (NYC); Isai Serrano, NY (NYC); Mike Silberman, NY (Long Island); Kaye Sommer, MI



Insight from the VE Judges’ Panel

What are judges most focused on during Business Plan Competitions? What makes a business plan presentation team stand out? What’s the most common mistake presenters make?

We gathered four industry professionals who have served as VE competition judges to answer these questions and more. Watch Paul Stanley, Manager of Community Investments at HSBC, Ritu Banga, Co-Founder & Managing Director at Zoomdojo, Jack Powers, Director at International Informatics Institute, and Alexandra Van Arkel, Senior Manager at NBCUniversal shared their perspectives on extraordinary competition performance, professionalism, and what students need to succeed.

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Thank you to all the teachers that joined us at the third annual National Teachers Conference. We hope everyone has a great school year, whether this is your first or your fifteenth. Special thank you to WeWork for showing the future of work, Cisco for inspiration, and HSBC for supporting VE ambition. Thank you to Dr. Cline and the entire LIU Post team for helping make this conference happen.

Teachers Become the Students at 2016 National Teachers Conference

From July 11-14, 2016, more than 140 new and returning VE teachers gathered together at LIU Post for the second annual National Teachers Conference. These four days offered collaborative professional development, workshops, presentations, networking opportunities, a bus tour of New York City, and special events organized by LIU Post.

View Conference Program Booklet

Fast-Paced Firm Facilitation

A new offering for 2016, VE teachers joined groups of other VE teachers at the incubator space in the basement of LIU Post’s library to conceptualize, develop, and present business plans for businesses that would operate in the VE marketplace.



Students are expected to complete these plans in months but VE teachers were challenged to come up with these businesses in three days. Despite the abbreviated timeframe, teachers presented clever and creative business models. Some of these models included Capture Me, an app to make custom phone and tablet covers, V Stream, a video game streaming service, and WiFrame, custom home decorations.

A National Gathering of Educators

States represented included California, Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York (City, Long Island, and Upstate), Pennsylvania, and Tennessee. Teachers from Bermuda also attended, technically making this an International Teachers Conference.

Expanding the VE-JV Career Academy

There were sessions offered for VE-JV Career Academy teachers, VE’s middle school program. In 2015-16, there were programs piloted 3 NYC middle schools and expansion continues to more NYC schools, Long Island, Florida, and California for 2017-18. This program is funded by the New York Life Foundation.

Engaging with Business Partners and Class Mentors

On Wednesday, July 13, the group of teachers traveled to LIU Brooklyn to hear from Joe Delaney, Deloitte (Ret.); Linda Chen, Senior Marketing Manager, Deloitte; Shanehi Shah, Engagement Strategist, Capital One; Barbara Butler, Federal Reserve Bank of NY (Ret.); and Erin O’Leary, Content Distribution, NBCUniversal about how business partners help transform VE students.



Later on Wednesday night, the group attended WeWork Times Square for the VE Teacher-Business Partner Networking Night to connect with and hear from business partners, class mentors, advocates, alumni, and industry professionals.

VEI Teachers Conference Reception at WeWork in New York City. (Photo:

VEI Teachers Conference Reception at WeWork in New York City. (Photo: