Fun Facts


Background Details 

Dr. Weiss brings almost two decades of contextual understandings from accomplishments and experiences. From 2011 – 2018, Erika co-founded and led a start-up that became a multi-unit,  multi-division enterprise in South Florida. She was responsible for the organizations' knowledge management efforts and strategic planning inputs. Dr. Weiss grew the operation from the ground up, guiding and developing teams that executed on strategies. 


Applying expertise from the field of Education, and using acumen acquired through doctoral studies in Instructional Technology and Distance Education that supports professional development across industry sectors, Erika designed and developed curriculum for training programs. Alongside her teams, Erika executed on transfer of training objectives, with a focus on educating consumers, developing talent, building capacity, and optimizing organizational efficiencies for transparencies across corporate divisions. Likewise, Erika oversaw operational practices and created management systems for operational logistics and inventory controls that created checks and balances. Results of her efforts led to year over year increases in both customer acquisitions and ROI, respectively.


Additionally, Erika participated in civic functions associated with her business activities, with a focus on advancing one of the greatest public health causes of our times: reducing the number of smoking-related deaths due to combustible tobacco products through the innovation of electronic cigarettes. To this end, Erika was, and remains, an advocate for regulatory requirements that support public safety and that govern legitimate business practices within the Tobacco Harm Reduction industry. Such efforts involved engaging with local City Council Members; providing research findings from Tobacco Harm Reduction studies; and task force work in Washington D.C. towards developing standards that govern the industry.


In 2017, Erika was approached by an out-of-state company with interests in acquiring her businesses. In 2018, the companies were sold to this organization. Following the sale of her businesses, Erika launched Kenedd Inc., a design-thinking consultancy firm in South Florida where she applies her expertise in strategy design, knowledge management, training and development, and technology, and innovation. Erika works with clients on strategic development plans, learning designs, performance, capacity-building, and growth projects.

Previously, Erika held teaching roles at the K-12 schooling levels and in Higher Education.

Erika serves on the United States Distance Learning Association (USDLA) Board of Directors and was elected Secretary of the Executive Board in 2019 for the 2019-2022 term. She is involved in numerous professional organizations and has developed program tracks and calls for proposals for national conferences. She has also served as a reviewer and an invited presenter. Erika was also an invited student member of the 2018 Nova Southeastern University Commencement Speaker Selection Committee; an invited mentor-member of the 2018 Nova Southeastern University Mentor Madness Program; an invited speaker for the 2018 Summer Conference; and, an invited student panelist for the 2018 Fischler School of Education Faculty Retreat. Erika is published in Distance Learning Journal; and her research that supports Diffusion of Innovations Theory, as well as the field of distance education and the online learning community is published in Proquest. 


Nova Southeastern University, Davie, FL                                                                                                 May 2018

Ed.D. Major: Instructional Technology & Distance Education, GPA: 3.89/4.0 


  • Applied Dissertation: Virtual School Leaders Experiences and Perspectives of the Benefits of and Barriers to K-12 Virtual Schools in Florida. This research was guided by Diffusion of Innovations theory and responded to two public problems: digital divides and unequal access to educational opportunities via the growth of virtual schooling in kindergarten through Grade 12 (K-12) in the United States.

  • Brief Abstract: A qualitative instrumental case study approach was used to explore the relative advantages and disadvantages of public K-12 virtual schools in Florida through the experiences and perspectives of 5 virtual school leaders. This research also evaluated the virtual school leaders’ level of innovativeness in relation to the innovativeness/needs paradox (INP) in Rogers’s theory of diffusion of innovations (DOI). The INP suggests that innovativeness plays a role in social stratification issues between the higher and lower socioeconomic individuals in a systems.

  • Dissertation Chair: Michael Simonson, PhD.

  • Committee Member: Shirley Walrod, PhD. 

  • Awards: Student of the Year: 2017, Abraham S. Fischler College of Education, Student Life Achievement Award.

  • Academic Service: Commencement Speaker Selection Committee, 2017; Faculty Retreat Student Panelist, 2018; Mentor Madness Program, 2018; Student Panelist: Fischler School of Education Faculty Retreat, 2018.

Adelphi University, Manhattan, NY                                                                                                      December 1994  M.A. Major: Bilingual Education, GPA: 3.8/4.0 


University of Hartford, Hartford, CT                                                                                                                   May 1994

B.A., Major: Politics & Government, Minor: Education, GPA: 3.4/4.0

Professional Experience

Co-Founder, VP and Chief Learning Officer                                                                             2011-2018

The Vaping Place Inc., VaporBurst Licensing Inc.,

VaporBurst Retail Operations                   


Launched and Led Seven Start-up Corporations in Broward County, Florida

  • Lead the organization’s knowledge management efforts and strategic planning inputs.

  • Designed and developed organizational systems and training programs.

  • Oversaw talent development.

  • Created cross-cultural trainings and team-building programs.

  • Developed policy manuals, operations manuals, franchise materials, synchronous and asynchronous trainings, microlearning episodes, and media for marketing campaigns.

  • Developed compliance materials for operational practices that responded to regulatory requirements (FDA rules).  

  • Managed operational budgets that yielded to year-over-year increases in customer acquisitions and ROI.  

Interim Full-time Faculty | Adjunct Faculty | Broward College                                        2007 - 2011


Responsible for teaching ESL courses; designed and developed and blended and e-learning opportunities, using the Unit, Topic, Module approach; conducted formative and summative assessments using KSA-inventories and survey data. Assessment data were compared against curriculum strands to identify gaps in the curriculum and in students’ KSA assessments to further develop instructional materials around students’ needs and course objectives.

  • Member of Student Success Teaching Cohort: Increased retention rate of WRAP Student Group through an ADDIE approach. At least 75% of WRAP student cohort completed the program, an increase (50%) over national averages (25%) of counterpart groups

  • Coached and facilitated behavioral simulations for blended, e-learning courses; developed simulations that engaged students in peer-to-peer collaboration. Used CMS data to inform practices to yield higher levels of students’ engagement in e-learning activities.


Teacher, Grade Leader, P.S. 148 East Elmhurst Queens, NY                                             1993 - 1997


Responsible for teaching assignments and mentoring activities


  • Developed and implemented cross-cultural literacy projects.

  • Conducted need assessments using skill-inventories, advisory panel discussions, supervisor feedback.

  • Coached team members, with a focus on data analysis to improve student success outcomes. 

  • Developed and executed on service learning projects that raised funds for the Red Cross in response to the Oklahoma City Bombing in Y 1995