IWU names Qualls executive director of Eleven Fifty Academy
Indiana Wesleyan University on Thursday named local tech entrepreneur John Qualls the executive director of Eleven Fifty Academy, the coding school acquired by IWU in December.
Qualls has been serving as Eleven Fifty Academy’s interim executive director since the acquisition.
Qualls, president of Carmel-based business consultancy Purpose HQ, which he founded in 2018, served as president of Eleven Fifty Academy from 2015 to 2019.
“We believe John is the right person to spearhead Eleven Fifty Academy through this transition as he has a great understanding of what made the academy successful from the start,” Eileen Hulme, an Eleven Fifty Academy board member and chancellor of IWU-National & Global, said in written remarks. “In addition, he brings expertise and industry relationships with the tech community, which continue to help us reshape the program while providing students an affordable pathway to rapidly gain critical skills needed in today’s tech workforce.
Qualls, a six-year Marine Corps. veteran who served in Japan and Kuwait, got his start in tech as an information technology manager for Advantage Insurance Network in 1993. He started a technology consulting firm, eOmega Consulting, in 1998 before becoming the vice president of sales and marketing for Carmel-based information technology firm nFrame in 1999.
In 2006, he became CEO of Indianapolis-based data center design, construction and operations firm CVQ before founding local IT firm Bluelock in 2006. That firm was later sold.
He is on the board of directors for the Indiana Chamber of Commerce and has previously served on the boards of the Venture Club of Indiana and Techpoint.
Qualls will remain involved with Purpose HQ while he leads Eleven Fifty Academy.
“I am extremely grateful for IWU’s trust in me to lead the academy’s effort to rapidly prepare our students for opportunities in the tech workforce, while also transforming their lives for their benefit as well as the communities where they work and live,” Qualls said in written comments. “I look forward to connecting with industry leaders, government officials and philanthropic organizations who all share the vision of boosting tech talent in our state.”
Eleven Fifty, cofounded in 2014 by tech entrepreneur Scott Jones, offers boot-camp-style coding and cybersecurity instruction, with the goal of launching students into tech careers without the need to earn a college degree.
The school, which Jones said has graduated more than 1,800 students to date, fell into financial distress last year and suspended new enrollments. The school is also facing wage claims from more than 10 former employees who said they had started missing paychecks as early as Aug. 1.
IWU purchased Eleven Fifty’s curriculum, trademarks, trade names, domain names and social media accounts. The school declined to say how much it paid for the assets. Proceeds from the sale will go to Fishers-based First Internet Bank, Eleven Fifty’s lead secured creditor, to partially satisfy the debt that Eleven Fifty owes the bank.
IWU established a new not-for-profit organization that will run Eleven Fifty as a separate entity from the university.