The Buzz from the Busy Bennett Beehive
It’s been a very busy couple of months here, what with Bennett’s acquisition of SCI at the end of January. Since then, we’ve been working on getting to know each other and getting increasingly excited about all the ways in which we can offer the best of both companies to our clients. There are endless “to think about lists” before we even get to the “to do” lists, but it’s all coming along nicely. Before long, we’ll be announcing all kinds of things: our new name, our new logo, our new blended menu of services, and much more.
In the meantime, we didn’t want to forget the core of our profession—education. So we took a break from integration efforts and spent the day together, enjoying an extended visit at a public elementary school in New Jersey and catching up on what we’ve been doing—schools we’ve visited, trends in college applications and acceptances, acquisitions of one schools group by another and lots of related topics. Like all worlds, the world of education is ever-changing, and it always offers something new to think about, something to learn.
Good News, Bennett Schoolplacement Worldwide Acquires School Choice International!
As of January 29 2018, SCI is now held exclusively by Bennett.
Liz Perelstein founded SCI in 1998 and, with the help of an outstanding team, grew it to the highly-respected organization that it is today. Having seen it to its 20th birthday, Liz decided that it’s time to pass the baton to another owner, who will steward it into its next 20 years of success.
Like Bennett, SCI is an industry leader in providing education consulting to corporations and their relocating assignees. It occupies a similar space as Bennett and has often been both a peer and a competitor. Both companies share a dedication to the employers and families they support, and a commitment to providing excellent service. Together, we will enjoy significant synergies and the ability to offer our clients a broader array of services, a larger team of professionals, and the accumulated experience and wisdom of both companies.
For the foreseeable future, both Bennett and SCI will maintain their distinct names and identities and will continue to exist and operate as they always have. Your Bennett consultant team remains unchanged and your contacts at Bennett — Elizabeth, Tony and Jayne—are still at the ready!
Likewise, at SCI:
- We are delighted that Tim Dwyer, who was integral to making this deal happen, has agreed to continue in his leadership role at SCI, now reporting to Elizabeth Sawyer;
- The SCI headquarters team will remain intact, as will the excellent global network of education consultants;
- SCI will continue to deliver the same products and services;
- There will be absolutely no disruption to the many families to whom SCI is currently providing assistance.
We will be back in touch in the coming months with updates as we enter this exciting time, bringing you the best of our two wonderful companies.
Bennett Schoolplacement Wintertime Training
Bennett Schoolplacement Worldwide held its semi annual training in scenic Ambler, Pennsylvania in early December. Consultants throughout the US gathered for two days of intense professional development in a cozy farmhouse.
A lovely two days of congenial collegiality! We started off taking a look at the health of Bennett and very happy to report that we are hale & hearty thanks to our consultant’s good hard work and our partners around the globe.
The Bennett team spent much time thinking and discussing how to continue delivering bespoke services to families and find ways to routinize our processes to ensure quality and consistency.
Other highlights: a lively exchange with a panel of public school administrators who gave of us the skinny on the ever changing US public education scene and they fielded every question they were asked, a delicious dinner and sparkling conversation, consultants reporting on their sundry of school visits, and a good lunch! The Bennett team is a delightful bunch to be with & we all leave training tired and inspired! A happy New Year to all!
The Ever-Moving Relocation Industry
Back from Chicago! -what a few days, chock a block full of skinny on the latest trends and currents in the relocation business! There are some surprising and consequential changes that are influencing how we work together to best help assignees with families manage the exciting and trying times of relocating.
It’s always nice to see our friends and partners, old and new, in the packed exhibit hall. By the by, Elizabeth made a new good friend, Wafer, who looked sharp in her orange waistcoat, who escorted her most of the evening, and neither of them could keep their paws off of each other! (who is Wafer? give us a call to find out.)
Interesting to note there were more International Schools in the exhibit hall than ever before; seems like schooling is sharing the stage, front and center, along with the concerns and complexities of housing, moving of household goods and pets, taxes and data security. For corporations and their talent, Bennett is at the ready and able to find the solutions!
Bookending the WERC conference, we met with some of our partner RMCs who are in step with these quickly moving sands and cultivating partners who can turn on a dime to answer the call; Bennett has proven for more than twenty five years to be the fleet- footed, reliable and expert industry provider of choice for any education-related needs.
Aside, next time you’re in Chicago and have some unscheduled time, maybe visit the Chicago History Museum and have a look at the Vivian Maier exhibit.
More to come from the road…
EXTRA! EXTRA! EXTRA!
Bennett has recently welcomed two new consultants to its team, Annemiek Young and Eric Miller. Annemiek comes to us from Admissions at a Philadelphia private school and adds Dutch to the list of languages spoken by Bennett consultants. She has also recently been accepted as an Associate Member of IECA.
Recently returned to the U.S. after extensive international experience including, most recently, a stint in Prague, Eric joins us from the world of tutoring, bringing with him his fluency in French, German, Italian, Portuguese and a working knowledge of Czeck. Both Annemiek and Eric have made it through Bennett’s training “boot camp” with flying colors and are underway with their case work and doing a fabulous job.
An additional announcement is that consultant Jayne Gandy, who has been with Bennett for more than 10 years, will be joining the management team and directing daily operations. We’re excited to have her even more fully on board and look forward to benefitting from her energy and competence in her new role.
For those of you who have been holding your breath to find out about Bennett’s new book, relief is here! It’s been a long time underway, but we’re happy to announce the publication of our book The Bennett Guide to International Education in The United States.
By way of a bit of background: in 2005, Bennett published a book with the same title, and back then, the book was already one of its kind, a profiling of 557 schools in the United States that offered one or more of the International Baccalaureate Programmes. It also listed an additional 79 international schools in the United States that offered the national curriculum of another country, e.g. English GCSEs or the French Baccalaureate. Last year, feeling invigorated by our 25th birthday, we decided to undertake an updating of the guide.
Now, we were aware that the International Baccalaureate and other kinds of international education had been growing in the U.S., and we knew that our guide needed a good dusting off. We did not realize, however, just how much international programs had multiplied over the past 12 years, and what started off as a seemingly contained updating project became a magnum opus in its own right—a project that got bigger and bigger and threatened to overwhelm us.
We are finally at the celebratory stage of things, however, and feeling very proud! Our new Bennett guide lists 1742 IB Schools across the United States and 238 other international schools, and will be a wonderful resource for families moving to the United States in search of international education options. The guide also contains information on accrediting organizations, suggestions for important questions to ask when visiting schools, and an overview of U.S. education in general, by way of orienting families in the world of American education options.
Bennett wishes you a happy springtime full of colors and peace!
“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”
― Rainer Maria Rilke
Bennett has been on the road quite a bit visiting our friends in Phoenix and Houston with a trip across the pond in May, always a pleasure!