The 2019 Brandon Hall Group Human Capital Management (HCM) Excellence in Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition, Workforce Management and HR, Sales Performance, and Corporate Initiatives Awards

Curriculum Associates Wins Gold

North Billerica, MA, August 22, 2019

Curriculum Associates, a leader in innovative adaptive assessment and personalized learning materials for K–12 students and teachers, won a coveted Brandon Hall Group gold award for excellence in the Talent Acquisition: Best Candidate Experience category. Curriculum Associates’ win was announced on Thursday, August 22. The winners are listed at

Curriculum Associates’ mission has always been to make classrooms better places for teachers and learners, and the company’s culture is heavily tied to that mission. Curriculum Associates believes successful companies must have a higher purpose and promote a culture in which employees are driven by that purpose to succeed, and that starts from the minute candidates apply for a position at the company. Throughout the interview process, the Talent team strives to make the whole experience as seamless and painless as possible, leading to even those who aren’t ultimately hired to recommend Curriculum Associates to others in their networks.

“Our team works tirelessly to ensure each candidate has a positive experience interviewing with Curriculum Associates, and we’re honored to see that hard work recognized with this award from Brandon Hall Group,” said Shrina Sood, Senior Director of Talent at Curriculum Associates. “From travel support and itineraries for their interview day to a dedicated Candidate Experience Coordinator for each candidate, every aspect of our talent pipeline has been honed with the candidate in mind.”

“Brandon Hall Group Excellence Awards Program has recognized leading organizations for the past 20-plus years for the latest trends in HCM,” said Rachel Cooke, Brandon Hall Group Chief Operating Officer and leader of the HCM Excellence Awards Program. “The initiatives that were honored are not only innovative, but [also] fit the unique needs of the business and create truly remarkable success stories.”

Award entries were evaluated by a panel of veteran, independent senior industry experts, Brandon Hall Group analysts, and executives and were based upon the following criteria: fit the need, design of the program, functionality, innovation, and overall measurable benefits.

Excellence Awards winners will be honored at Brandon Hall Group’s HCM Excellence Conference, February 4–6, 2020, at the Hilton West Palm Beach, Florida. Select winners will also serve as presenters in breakout sessions, sharing their leading practices during the conference.

“The HCM Excellence Awards recognize programs that measurably benefit organizations,” said Mike Cooke, Brandon Hall Group CEO. “Many [HCM] departments are unable to confirm that their initiatives help the business’s bottom line. Because we focus on measurable benefits, our awards program is universally recognized and highly prestigious.”

About Curriculum Associates
Founded in 1969, Curriculum Associates, LLC designs research-based print and online instructional materials, screens and assessments, and data management tools. The company’s products and outstanding customer service provide teachers and administrators with the resources necessary for teaching diverse student populations and fostering learning for all students.

About Brandon Hall Group
Brandon Hall Group is an HCM research and advisory services firm that provides insights around key performance areas, including Learning and Development, Talent Management, Leadership Development, Talent Acquisition, and HR/Workforce Management.

With more than 10,000 clients globally and 25 years of delivering world-class research and advisory services, Brandon Hall Group is focused on developing research that drives performance in emerging and large organizations and provides strategic insights for executives and practitioners responsible for growth and business results.

Their mission: Empower excellence in organizations around the world through our research and tools each and every day.

At the core of their offerings is a membership program that combines research, benchmarking, and unlimited access to data and analysts. The membership program offers insights and best practices to enable executives and practitioners to make the right decisions about people, processes, and systems, coalesced with analyst advisory services which aim to put the research into action in a way that is practical and efficient (


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Mike Cooke

Chief Executive Officer of Brandon Hall Group Mike Cooke Prior to joining Brandon Hall Group, Mike Cooke was the Chief Executive Officer and co-founder of AC Growth. Mike held leadership and executive positions for the majority of his career, at which he was responsible for steering sales and marketing teams to drive results and profitability. His background includes more than 15 years of experience in sales, marketing, management, and operations in the research, consulting, software and technology industries. Mike has extensive experience in sales, marketing and management having worked for several early high-growth emerging businesses and has implemented technology systems to support various critical sales, finance, marketing and client service functions. He is especially skilled in organizing the sales and service strategy to fully support a company’s growth strategy. The concept of growth was an absolute to Mike and a motivator in starting AC Growth, in order to help organizations achieve research driven results. Most recently, Mike was the VP and General Manager of Field Operations at Bersin & Associates, a global analyst and consulting services firm focused on all areas of enterprise learning, talent management and talent acquisition. Tasked with leading the company’s global expansion, Mike led all sales operations worldwide. During Mike’s tenure, the company has grown into a multi-national firm, conducting business in over 45 countries with over 4,500 multi-national organizations. Mike started his career at MicroVideo Learning Systems in 1992, eventually holding a senior management position and leading all corporate sales before founding Dynamic Minds. Mike was CEO and Co-Founder of Dynamic Minds, a custom developer of software programs, working with clients like Goldman Sachs, Prentice Hall, McGraw Hill and Merrill Lynch. Also, Mike worked for Oddcast, a leading provider of customer experience and marketing solutions, where he held a senior management position leading the company into new markets across various industries. Mike also serves on the Advisory Board for Carbon Solutions America, an independent sustainability consulting and carbon management firm that specializes in the design and implementation of greenhouse reduction and sustainability plans as well as managing the generation of carbon and renewal energy and energy efficiency credits. Mike attended University of Phoenix, studying Business Administration and Finance. He has also completed executive training at the Chicago Graduate School of Business in Chicago, IL.