In the spirit of a new year and a new beginning, we wanted to launch a new blog series that will give a behind-the-scenes look at InReach and the chance to meet the awesome team that works here.

To kick-off this series let’s learn a little bit more about the new InReach CEO, Neil Ashizawa.

What is that you do at InReach?

As CEO my primary responsibility is to do my best to ensure that InReach provides our clients the most powerful assistance in achieving their Continuing Education goals. Bringing this down to the level of daily activity, this means collaborating with the InReach team to provide the software and services our clients need to succeed.

How have your past experiences helped prepare you for this role?

Ok, stick with me on this one. As a child I was raised to be very competitive. My father really encouraged me to participate in sports, and be very competitive at them. When I moved into the realm of product development, I transferred that competitive nature into managing and developing products. I view product and product development through the lens of competition and focus on what it takes to create a product that will succeed, or “win”, in the marketplace. And, in order to succeed, a product needs features that make it uncommon, superior, and strategic. These qualities set a product apart from all others, and ultimately make it the market leader. Now, as CEO, I focus the company on developing these attributes in everything from sales, marketing, product development to client and production services to technical support.

What are the most critical challenges that face the field of continuing education?

I would say that the greatest challenge to any industry is market drift. Generally market drift is caused by either demographic, political, economic or technical disruptions. For instance, the development of cloud computing has been huge market disruption and a leading cause of market drift. In the world of CE, we are in the middle of a perfect storm. All four factors are pushing the market from in-person CE to online CE. Demographics are changing and younger learners have different expectations and desires. Changes in the political environment, and new legislature and policy require the rapid dissemination of information and education. The rising cost of travel, and tighter budgets put constraints on travel for in-person events. And technological improvements add to the appeal of an online learning environment. All of this is pushing towards online continuing education, and those companies that can innovate and make strategic decisions will be the new market leaders.

What excites you most about the upcoming year at InReach?

Working with the team that we’ve created here. We’ve brought in new people, switched-up some roles, and really developed a team dedicated to supporting our clients’ growth.

If you were a superhero, what would your superpower be?

Ultimate or Total Communication. Really think about communication. You can’t say it is spoken or written words, it is so much more than that. Communication is about effective action. After a communication has occurred effective action is the result. If I say something to you, but your actions don’t reflect what I intended to communicate, then we didn’t communicate even though words were exchanged. So my superpower would be Total Communication where effective action was the result of every communication, whether it was verbal, written or non-verbal.