Consulting firm founder is Misericordia University convocation speaker

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DALLAS TWP. — Stephanie J. Anderson, ’68, the founder and retired president of Knowledge Design Group, a national performance consulting and learning services firm based in Emmaus, will be the keynote speaker at the annual Misericordia University Convocation Ceremony at 2 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 23 in the Wells Fargo Amphitheater.

During the convocation ceremony, Misericordia University Alumni Association President Mark Oberstaedt ’89 will present Anderson with the Mother Mary Catherine McGann Achievement Award. A graduate receives the honor for distinguished and sustained career accomplishments.

Anderson earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business education from Misericordia University in 1968. Soon after earning her degree, she accepted a teaching position at Emmaus High School, where she remained for the next 10 years. In 1980, she made a career change and joined ComputerLand, a national reseller of personal computers, as training director for the Lehigh Valley Group. At ComputerLand, she designed one-day seminars for business executives, before branching out and developing learning programs for use across the network.

Together with a three-person team, Anderson established the PC Information Center in 1987, offering seminars in all the popular desktop applications. By 1990, the company was working with computer giants Microsoft, Apple and IBM to provide learning solutions for Fortune 500 companies. Her commitment to innovation and excellence in adult learning led to the development of ways to measure the effectiveness of training investments for companies. That model to evaluate, measure and report certain success criteria helped the company secure contracts to train thousands of employees for companies implementing desktop computers.

PC Information Center’s success resulted in the creation of Productivity Point International (PPI), a collaborative effort with five other companies across the United States. Organized as a franchise, many other companies joined PPI and soon there were 125 locations with more than 700 employees across the country and in Canada, with partners in Europe. PPI had become the second largest technical training company in the U.S.

Under Anderson’s leadership, Microsoft recognized PPI Allentown as having 75-percent market share in its product suite. As the most successful location in the business network, her sales, marketing and operational methodologies became a model for the entire company.

The demand for PPI Allentown’s services continued to grow, as Anderson’s operation was delivering training on many different application technologies in 13 classrooms in three cities and at many client locations. To remain on top, PPI Allentown developed proprietary applications to manage registrations and provide detailed reporting to clients.

In 1997, an investment group in California purchased the PPI network, merging 37 independent companies into one operating unit. In the new PPI, Anderson was a senior executive, managing national programs and reporting to the president of the new conglomerate.

In 2001, Anderson and her husband, Dr. George Anderson, Ed.D., launched Knowledge Design Group, Inc., to provide learning solutions consulting to companies, school districts, and government agencies. The couple’s services included front end analysis, instructor and facilitator certifications, instructional systems design, authoring, project management, and evaluation and measurement services.

Knowledge Design Group designed and delivered leadership programs for many Fortune 500 companies, including an online training program on ethics and compliance, an online certification-testing program in eight languages delivered throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia, and a protocol for evaluation and measurement of training for a large health care network. The company also delivered services to the National Center for Education and the Economy, the National Institute of School Leaders and the Pennsylvania Department of Education.