Two recipients - Mr. Ken Thrasher and the late Mr. Richard Alexander - will receive the second annual Concordia University Governor Victor Atiyeh Leadership in Education Award for their long-standing commitment to education, especially early childhood education.
RICHARD C. ALEXANDER
Business Leader and Entrepreneur
(1935 - 2012)
Mr. Alexander was one of Oregon's leading business, civic and philanthropic leaders and focused resources where he knew they could make the greatest difference: early childhood education. He led two campaigns in Oregon where the goal was to increase funding for early childhood education. He was a driving force on the board of The Children's Institute, and he was the architect and leader of The Ready for School campaign to galvanize business and civic leaders to secure an additional $39 million in state funding for Oregon Head Start Pre-kindergarten. This additional funding make it possible for 3,000 more of Oregon's most vulnerable children to enroll in Head Start each year. In 2009 he received an honorary Doctor of Laws (LL.D.) degree from Concordia University. He and his wife Carilyn were early philanthropic investors in Concordia's community engagement strategy that helped launch the nationally-recognized Concordia Teacher Corps.
During his early years in business, Mr. Alexander founded Viking Industries, Inc, which grew to be one of the west's leading manufacturers of windows and doors. He also founded Viking International, Inc., a very successful exporter of specialty foods. He has served as chairman of the Board of Associated Oregon Industries, on the board of the Portland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce (now Portland Business Alliance), as President of the Portland Rose Festival, and as Vice-Chairman of the Board of Marylhurst University.
Chairman of the Board, Compli
Prior to joining Compli, Ken served 19 years in executive positions with Fred Meyer Stores including CFO and Executive Vice President with oversight of HR, finance and administration. He later became President and CEO of Fred Meyer Stores division after Fred Meyer merged with The Kroger Company (at $50 billion, the nation's largest grocery store chain). Currently, Ken serves on the boards of Northwest Natural, The Jensen Fund, GSL Inc, Friends of the Children, the Children's Institute, Oregon Mentors, Oregon Business Council and PSU's Foundation board. He was also appointed by Governor Kulongoski as Chairperson of the Quality Education Commission for Oregon in 2001 and served through 2004 as its Chairperson, and chaired Portland State University's Capital/Endowment Campaign through its completion in 2006. Ken and his wife, Marta, were early investors in the Concordia Teacher Corps and the Faubion partnership. Ken is a graduate of Oregon State University, where he serves on the College of Business' Dean's Circle of Excellence.
Founder and Executive Director of the Khan Academy
Sal Khan is the founder of the Khan Academy, a nonprofit with the mission of providing free, high-quality education to "anyone, anywhere" in the world. A former hedge fund analyst with degrees from MIT and Harvard, Khan was helping a young cousin with math in 2004, communicating by phone and using an interactive notepad. When others expressed interest, he began posting videos of his hand-scribbled tutorials on YouTube. Demand took off, and in 2009 he quit his day job.
The Khan Academy website now provides self-pacing software and unlimited access to over 3,000 instructional videos on its YouTube channel covering everything from basic arithmetic to college level science and economics. It's the most-used library of educational videos on the web, with 4.2 million unique students per month, over 118 million lessons delivered, and over 260 million exercises completed. A growing number of classrooms around the world are using Khan Academy to help build student mastery of topics and to free up class time for dynamic project based learning.
Read the article about Sal Khan featured in the November 2012 issue of Forbes Magazine.