Chris Norwood is a social change agent, born entrepenuer and a leader in creating greater educational equality. He is the Founder of Bay Area Tutoring Association, Codewritingkids.com and Milpitas Unified School District Board Trustee Vice President. He has held technology and innovation leadership positions in both the private and public sectors. Chris began at a very young age by speaking on local and national platforms on a wide variety of topics – from the history of Civil Rights movement to the evolution of 21st Century Common Core Educational Standards.
In private and public technology sectors, Chris was an early participant of the Silicon Valley dot.com boom. He joined Alcom Corporation, a Finnish internet start-up in the early 1990’s, and rapidly rose through the ranks to lead their technical services and worldwide product management teams. In the midst of a 5-year span of award-winning product lines, Chris became one of four co-owners of the company prior to being acquired by Esker Inc – a French technology company. As the dot.com boom waned, Chris joined One Touch Global Technologies of NewPort Beach Ca and led the development of their One Touch Integration Server – a server based e-document communications platform for clients such as MD Anderson Cancer Center, Abbott Labs, Anthem/Blue Cross and Blue Shield. Within Alcom, Esker and One Touch Global, Chris honed his leadership, business development, management and public speaking skills by conducting subject matter expert and technical training seminars in the US, Canada, UK, Germany, France, South, Germany, South Korea and Australia.
In the education sector, Chris began his career as a high school sports coach and business development consultant for Xcel Educational Services. Within five years, Chris became the CEO and expanded the organization from a math specific, traditional brick-and-mortar operation to a multi-subject, California Department of Education recognized mobile services and after school service provider for No Child Left Behind, Title 1, English Language Learners and GATE programs. Under his leadership, XCEL won Best Tutoring Company in Milpitas, California, for four years in a row (2008 – 2012) and was nominated for Best of the Bay Area Tutoring Company by KRON TV Channel 4 in 2012.
In December 2013, Chris founded the Bay Area Tutoring Association, a non-profit company dedicated to erasing the achievement gap and providing technology skills and experiences to S.F. Bay Area children, The purpose of the Bay Area Tutoring Association is to complement evolving school systems academic support and parent empowerment through the provision of intervention, enrichment tutoring programs and services. The Bay Area Tutoring Association allows Chris to tap into all of his life’s experiences, dreams, professional endeavors and passion for advocating education equality for all.
Share your thoughts on what it means to receive this award?
Since its inception three years ago, Bay Area Tutoring Association has focused on raising the academic tutoring bar for students and parents to increase academic achievement of all children. We've launched a library Love 4 Literacy and coding initiatives to inbeen nurtured by a diverse group of distinguished business and community leaders. We've also been blessed with some very talented young people who are unique in their own way. This award symbolizes them and the fact academic and tech tutoring are becoming an integral part of the Silicon Valley education fabric.
Why is it important for the business community, and the work that it does, to be highlighted annually by The SVO?
The silicon valley organization is a thought leader in business, social enterprise, common good and political issues. The organizations it highlights, through this award or other activities during the year are the ones that are innovative, diverse and strategically purposed to benefit the business community and residents of Silicon Valley.
Share words of advice that someone gave you at the beginning of your career?
Strive to move at the speed of business and opportunity until opportunity and business move at your speed.
Share words of advice to give to those aspiring to be future Distinguished Business Award recipients?