Kevin Schnieders

CEO and President of EDSI (Educational Data Systems, Inc.) in Dearborn. Schnieders joined EDSI as a training consultant and gained additional responsibilities as the firm's human resources manager and director of operations, before serving six years as COO. During that time, he was responsible for coordinating the company's growth from one office and 18 employees to more than 400 employees across 35 locations in seven states and the District of Columbia. EDSI's core business is developing programs that help people transition from unemployment to career. The company also offers consulting services and develops customized training programs nationally. EDSI ranks in the top 1 percent of more than 14,000 firms internationally in the Denison Consulting Survey of high-performing cultures. The company has appeared on the Inc. 5,000 list of fastest-growing companies for the past three years and was named one of the 101 Best and Brightest Companies to Work For in Michigan and a Cool Place to Work by Crain's Detroit Business. The firm also won the Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility. EDSI's video, "Stepping Up to Fatherhood," about Pennsylvania's non-custodial parent placement and retention program and the potential benefits for its non-custodial parent clients, recently earned a bronze Telly Award in the non-broadcast productions, social issues category as well as a 2011 Clarion Award in the education category from the Association for Women in Communications. Schnieders was recently recognized as an Entrepreneur of Distinction by Corp! magazine and as one of the Crain's Detroit Business 40 Under 40. For two years in a row, he has been a semi-finalist for the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award. He received his bachelor's degree in English and communications with a teaching certificate from Albion College.

WHERE BORN: “Dearborn.”

MOST INFLUENTIAL PERSONS: “Certainly my father, the founder of EDSI. When we started a new division, I wanted to work full time. I wanted to help people. He said, 'I'll show you how to run a business,' and it started a 13-year conversation of him and me working together. We approach work very differently but his voice is always in the back of my mind. He is selfless in his relationship with me. He transitioned out of the company five years ago and is not involved, which shows how selfless he is.”

LAST BOOK READ:Unbroken by Laura Hillenbrand. It's a story of resilience.”

WORDS THAT DESCRIBE ME: “Caring and enthusiastic.”

WHERE MY FIELD/INDUSTRY IS HEADED: “For us, being involved in training, it will be significantly impacted by exiting baby boomers, which will create opportunities for new jobs and an opportunity for us to close the skill gap in this country.”

FAVORITE TECHNOLOGICAL GADGET: “It's still the iPad. I can't stop finding practical applications in business and it's tons of fun. People are still surprised to see them used in business.”

FAVORITE PLACE: “Our home in Huntington Woods.”

FAVORITE HOBBIES: “I love to sketch and draw and now I get to do it with my oldest daughter, who at five has more natural talent than me.”


MY HIDDEN TALENT: “I love to write and read poetry.”

HOW I WANT TO BE REMEMBERED: “As a good father, husband, and friend who puts the concerns of others before my own.”