Learning Technology Partners
Learning Technology Partners (previously known as Convene) is an early distance learning company and the largest company in that market. The software company was founded in the late 1980s by Larry Allen when he created collaborative seminary training programs. Although Convene still has collaborative software for use by some 15,000 religious leaders, it expanded into an international distance learning software company in 1993. It uses specialized software to facilitate online classes for over 100 universities.
Learning Technology Partners International
Between 1989 and 1993, Allen discussed the company with Jeffery Stein, who had founded an information process company called On-Line Business Systems. Working with Reda Athanasios, Stein, buoyed by his experience founding a computer-based service company, played the largest role in turning the early software company into Convene International. As part of its transformation, the company began offering asynchronous distance learning software in Windows (instead of DOS) and eventually added 24/7 phone tech support. The first major client to offer the service was the University of Phoenix online campus, then in its fledgling years. Convene International then expanded to over 45,000 students at more than 100 universities in the United States and elsewhere.
Stein left the company in 2000 to form a corporate advisory services company, Peyton Investments. He is the chair of the IT History Society. In 2002, the Learning Technology Partners, a similar company, bought Convene in 2012 for an undisclosed sum.
Mr. Athanasios currently serves as the President and CEO of Learning Technology Partners, a Cloud Solution Provider for educational technologies. Mr. Athanasios has provided consulting and advise to some of the world largest technology companies like IBM, Control Data, Microsoft and EDS. He was the former COO and President of Convene, which he co-founded in 1992. Convene was the company, which introduced Internet online education via the Internet, to distance education programs years before Black Board and eCollege were founded. In fact Mr. Athanasios was the technologist who designed the University Of Phoenix online model which is still the backbone of this world renowned largest online education program. http://www.phoenix.edu
He is also the former senior Vice President of Client Services for Dallas-based, Affiliated Computer Services, a $16 billion Fortune 500 company that provides business process and technology solutions, systems integration, professional services, and e-commerce.
Mr. Athanasios has served on numerous panels and presented at eLearning conferences for organizations such as EDUCAUSE, Syllabus, Converge and numerous investment banking firms. In addition to contributing to numerous articles, Mr. Athanasios has been quoted and interviewed in major media outlets including The Chronicle of Higher Education, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Business Week, and Educom Review. Mr. Athanasios is recognized for his major support and contribution to some of the world's largest eLearning programs including The University of Phoenix Online program.
- Jeffery R. Young. "Distance Education Transforms Help Desks Into '24-7' Operations" The Chronicle of Higher Education. May 26, 2000. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
- Ann Hill. "One Company’s Impact On The World Of On-Line Learning" ALN Magazine. March 1998. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
- Ann Hill. "Convene Appoints Reda S. Athanasios President and Chief Operating Officer" (Press Release). Business Wire. August 25, 1998. Retrieved September 14, 2007.
- "Learning Technology Partners buys Convene" San Francisco Business Times. September 5, 2002. Retrieved September 14, 2007.