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Mindy Bingham

Innovative educational approaches have always been a mission for Mindy Bingham. As a part-time college professor, seminar leader, author, publisher, and community activist, Mindy has dedicated herself to improving education. She has traveled around the country conducting workshops for instructors, administrators and curriculum specialists.

As early as college, Mindy Bingham envisioned someday creating a curriculum that high schools could use to motivate young people to stay in school and prepare themselves for a career and a satisfying life. In 1990, when she finally had the financial reserves to capitalize her dream, she started Academic Innovations from her home office, fulfilling the initial stream of orders from her garage.

To date, titles authored or co-authored by Mindy Bingham have sold over two million copies. They include Career Choices: A Guide for Teens and Young Adults, Lifestyle Math, and Possibilities. An ambitious endeavor, this interdisciplinary curriculum has been used in over 5,000 school and job readiness programs across the country, and has sold over 2 million copies of the texts of this series. Over the years, Career Choices has received national acclaim. In 2000, the United States Department of Education awarded the Career Choices series its coveted "promising" citation as a curriculum that works.

Her best-selling Choices: A Teen Woman's Journal for Self-Awareness and Personal Planning and Challenges, the young man's version, are credited with helping "kick-start" the gender equity movement in the early 1980s. Her children's picture books include the Ingram number one best-seller (August 1987) Minou and My Way Sally, the 1989 Ben Franklin Award winner for Best Children's Picture Book. Mindy has also published Things Will Be Different for My Daughter: A Practical Guide to Building Her Self-Esteem and Self-Reliance from Infancy through the Teen Years with Viking/Penguin.

In 1985, she was named one of the outstanding women in education by the Santa Barbara County Commission for Women. In 1991, she was named an honorary life member to the Vocational Education Equity Council (VEEC) of the American Vocational Association. In 2001, she was honored with the Woman of Distinction Award by the Santa Barbara Associates and the Breaking Traditions Award of the Equity Council of the Association for Career and Technical Education. In addition to her creativity and writing skills, Mindy is a savvy business woman. In 1998, she was named Entrepreneur of the Year by the South Coast Business Network, and in 2012 was recognized by the Santa Barbara chapter of the National Association of Women Business Owners as their 2012 Spirit of Entrepreneurship Rock Star.

Mindy lives in Santa Barbara, California, with her husband, Jim Comiskey. Her daughter, Wendy, graduated from the University of Southern California with a degree in Business Administration and is now a partner with her mom in Academic Innovations, functioning as the vice president of professional development and sales.