Key Contributor Award Winners – all about Teamwork and Support!

by Jeff - Aug 12, 2016


Last week Better Learning Systems announced the recipients of our 2016 2nd quarter Key Contributor Awards. One of the key benefits of this announcement is I use it as an opportunity to remind our team members of how important a role our core values, Ease, Value, & Trust, have in this accomplishment.

You see this award truly rolls up to making sure those individuals exemplify our core values, and the one thing that stays constant is they can’t do it alone; it takes a team. Our past recipients, Kim Johnson, Wyett Ihler, and Jason Manibog are big team players and truly support any team member they can.

Speaking of support we also had a theme this past year and it has been SUPPORT. There is a ton of that going on within our companies – it truly is part of our culture. Our production teams, mobile workforce, sales/client services, Veteran Services team, technical support teams, and administrative support working together is what is helping drive our success.

One team that really jumped out year-to-date was our Know Your Talents team. The behavioral consulting arm of the company is not only living our core values and supporting one another, they have also increased revenues 200% vs. same period last year.

That is why it gives me great pleasure to announce the Better Learning Systems Key Contributor Award winners for the 2nd quarter are Melanie Benitez and Sarah Blik!

Melanie Benitez and Sarah Blik

Sarah has had such a great year with her new sales and growth of existing customers. The largest to date for Sarah has been the Sundt/DPR joint ventures that she has sold.  AND she continues to gain referrals across the country due to her success and relationships built with all the Executive Directors of the projects.  Sarah has also launched us into the Title and Escrow industry, setting up a paid speaking engagement as  general speaker to 200 plus executives.  This is now an industry that we are beginning to circulate in which there are not many competitors.  Customers always have and do love Sarah. For fun, if you know her ask her why people call her ‘Gnat’!

As for Melanie, she has almost 5 times the amount of workshops on her plate, which includes coordinating, printing, and follow up exercises after each and every workshop.  She creates a ‘turn-key’ box of all ProScans, workbooks, badges, handouts, and framed certificates for each workshop and her contributions make everyone’s (all facilitators) jobs so much easier.  Melanie has developed such tremendous relationships with all clients from a customer service standpoint.  As we have had two large national accounts launch this year with ‘unlimited platinums,’ (Creative Testing Solutions, in all Blood Systems facilities, and HealthPlanOne) it requires a ton of coordination from the beginning of implementation and integration throughout the entire company, and Melanie has been in the forefront making this happen.  Her Tutor Tuesdays now compete with Tristan’s at LearnKey in that she is gaining more and more attendance each week.

Both Sarah & Melanie make it Easy for our customers to work with them, as well as always bring Value to the equation, and we know there is no better way to build relationships unless there is a lot of Trust. That’s our core values at work.

Please join me in congratulating both of them for their great accomplishments this past year.

 

 

Jeff


ACTE 2015

by Brad - Dec 10, 2015


ACTE 2015 has come and gone, and, as always, LearnKey was part of it. Scott Walker and Jared Baker, two of LearnKey’s sales representatives, manned our ACTE booth in New Orleans, and we recently caught up with them to ask them a few questions about LearnKey’s involvement in the show.

  • Why is it important that you attend shows like ACTE?
  • Scott: Several reasons. To see exciting clients. It’s a great place to visit with numerous clients and also a great opportunity for them to meet one another. This particular conference is great for new leads. It’s who we deal with. It’s important for them to see us and learn that we service all areas of the country.
    Jared: It is the main national show that all of our solutions align to perfectly.

  • What LearnKey product did people ask you about the most?
  • Scott: Microsoft Office, Adobe, and Career Readiness had a lot of interests.
    Jared: Office, Adobe, and career readiness courses. Many people associated our career readiness courses with “work-based learning.”

  • What schools or companies stopped by our booth?
  • Scott: School District of Palm Beach; Jefferson Parrish, LA; Iberia Parish, LA; East Baton Rouge Parish, LA; West Baton Rouge Parish, LA; Vermillion Parish, LA; Livingston Parish, LA; Tammany Parish, LA; Erie School District, PA; Philadelphia School District, PA; Alpine School District, UT; Washington School District; Jefferson District, KY.
    Jared: NYC Schools, Clark County, Minneapolis, APS, University of New Mexico, Houston, and Dallas.

  • We premiered the new LearnKey Certification Highway at ACTE. Did you have a chance to show anyone? What was their reaction?
  • Scott: I didn’t actually have the opportunity to show anyone.
    Jared: It was a hit. It was a great way to get people excited about a student’s pathway to a career.

  • Who won the drawing for the watch and headsets?
  • Scott: Chris Broussard from Iberia Parish won the watch, Ronnie Pocorello from East Baton Rouge won a headset.
    Jared: Alexa Wheeler, University of New Mexico Graphics professor.

  • What is the core message that you try to convey to everyone you talk to at a trade show?
  • Scott: We are the best Curriculum provider, in not only Industry Certifications but Career Readiness and preparation for job readiness.
    Jared: Every student is not going to college and this gives LearnKey a chance to help each student with a certification pathway to a career.

Thanks to all those who stopped by our booth this year, and congratulations to Chris, Ronnie, and Alexa!

Scott and Jared and ACTE 2015


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BLS Executive to Speak at I/DD Event

by Brad - Apr 23, 2015


On May 6, Lori Coruccini, co-founder of Better Learning Systems and LearnKey’s sister company Know Your Talents, Inc., is scheduled to speak at Riding the Wild Haboob, an event for intellectual/developmental disability (I/DD) providers.

Lori’s presentation will cover employee engagement and driving company success through the passion and commitment of employees. Other presenters include John Dacey, a health law attorney, and Tom Schramski, PhD, President of Vertess Advisors.

For more information about the event, visit knowyourtalents.com.


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Boots 2 Suits Program Matches Veterans with Mentors

by Melanie - Apr 15, 2015


Know Your Talents partners with ASU’s Pat Tillman Center to Support Boots 2 Suits Program

The Boots to Suits Program through the Pat Tillman Center at ASU is designed to assist veteran students by taking their military skills and education and training and connecting them with the right sources that can help them leverage opportunities for career placement.

The goal of the program is to match veteran students with Corporate Executive Leaders within the community that will mentor them towards reaching their goal of that dream job. Students are matched with mentors based on their natural behaviors as well as their intended career path. In February, the initial launching of the program, a mentor/mentee matching event took place. An estimated 30 students were paired with Executive Leaders from all types of industries, with both the mentor and the mentee receiving a copy of their individual ProScan reports. The ProScan was part of the initial introduction – what an awesome way for them to get to know and understand one another!!

If you are interested in becoming a Mentor, please call us today! 480-349-8900

This post originally appeared as part of the Know Your Talents Spring 2015 Newsletter.


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Culture Coach? Newest EOM does that too!

by Jeff - Mar 02, 2015


Melanie Benitez

You always remember when you meet people who are smart and make things appear easy to do. Our newest Better Learning Systems/Know Your Talents employee of the month Melanie Benitez has won over our entire company with that style of work over the past year and a half.

That is why when we wanted to introduce a “Culture Coach” she was the perfect person in our company to launch something new like this, and has successfully started by working with our LearnKey Production teams first. Rolling out something new to employees is a big deal and having someone like her with a positive “can do” attitude is a great quality and strength, which Melanie leverages successfully with her peers.

One who doesn’t like to say no (High P!) and gets things done as quickly as “the snap of a finger” has even been compared to that of Barbara Eden from the TV sitcom “I dream of Jeannie!” Melanie just makes things happen. Supporting internal and external customers and consultants with great success is another part of her job, and couple that with the great reputation she has with long-standing trusted partners such as Maricopa Workforce Connections, WIA folks, and MAXIMUS that is a true testament to the type of professionalism she brings our company.

Please take a moment and get to know Melanie’s personal side with a fun Q&A:

1. How many siblings do you have? I have one older sister and one older brother and then a younger step brother and step sister.
2. What is your favorite movie? Have lots of favorites but I would have to say “Blast from the Past” is my top favorite.
3. What is your favorite band? No favorite really, listen to all kinds of music from Christian to Classic Rock. Like a lot of variety in what I listen to.
4. What is your favorite vacation spot? Napa Valley – could spend an entire summer there just learning about wine and visiting all the amazing eateries there.
5. What was your high school’s mascot? Bulldog
6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten? I don’t know about a combination of foods, but I did try chicken feet once in Chinatown in LA.
7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet? Well I have two, both my pups I have right now. Annie is a Beagle and Hudson is a Brussel Griffon – can’t imagine life without them!!
8. What was your first car? A 1970 Chevy Chevelle – wish I still had that car!!
9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? I would love to see Italy!
10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail? Ummm, that would be none of the above. Did get into a hot air balloon one time and that was pretty amazing…this stuff… a bit too “risky” for me.
11. What is the funniest saying you have heard around here? Last week from a client during a PDP Certification workshop “If you have to eat a frog don’t stare at it too long” was a new one to me and quoted from Mark Twain.
12. If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why? I would probably say my grandfather, he was a very firm but kind German man, would be fun to have a behavioral conversation with him!

Please join me in congratulating Melanie on her display of all our core values Ease, Value, and Trust, while being a terrific team member and part of the Better Learning Systems family. We are both proud and very fortunate to have her on our team!


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Newest EOM keeps LearnKey looking good!

by Jeff - Jan 08, 2015


Join me in welcoming in 2015!

Its always exciting to start a new year especially when you have a great team.  No better way to do that than talking about our great people. So it gives me great pleasure to announce our first 2015 BLS/LearnKey employee of the month, JJ Embleton, who is our lead on the LearnKey production design team.

JJ_small

JJ’s job is not easy as he plays a key role in making sure our course designs are modern, effective, and drive learning engagement. A great example is the work he did around our Security+ course the end of last year and how he lead the team fostering creativity and providing feedback.  Here is what his nominating leader had to say about his efforts:

“It’s hard to choose just one course where JJ has exceeded my expectations as there have been several courses over the past six months where the Design team has had to meet crazy tight deadlines, Flash CC included. He ensures the courses we are releasing are up to the standard we have come accustomed, all while rallying the team alongside him. He does this with his strong organizational skills and a relentless positive attitude of ‘it may be hard, but we can do it.'”

We are fortunate to have JJ as part of our team and along with being a great co-worker we wanted to share a little about his personal life. So take a minute to get to know him through this fun Q&A:

1. How many siblings do you have? One Brother and one sister both younger.

2. What is your favorite movie? Haha! It changes about every week for me but right now it is Big Hero 6.

3. What is your favorite band? That is also another one that changes often, but I have been listening to a lot of Archive lately.

 4. What is your favorite vacation spot? Anywhere with good vistas and good hikes. I love hiking with my family!

 5. What was your high school’s mascot? The Panthers.

 6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten? I don’t know if it is exactly food, but recently when I was super sick and probably doped up on cold medicine, I mixed Grape Airborne with milk… It ended up being pretty good.

 7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet? Tango. He was a Yellow Labrador I had pretty much all through growing up.

 8. What was your first car? 1998 Ford Taurus

9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? I would love to go anywhere in the Scandinavian/Icelandic regions.

 10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail? Sky dive.

11. What is the funniest saying you have heard working here? “Mmm, hot brownie…in my mouth”

 12. If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why? My Grandpa Chuck. I knew him well when I was younger but he passed away and I think it would be really fun to get to know him better as an adult.

Please join me in congratulating JJ on his recent success and thanking him for his contributions to our great team!

Sincerely,

Jeff Coruccini

 


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Big Apple Classic — LearnKey Sponsoring Students in New York City Schools

by Kim - Dec 23, 2014


BAC---Program-small

In December 2013 Jared Baker and I were invited as guests of Sterling Roberson, Vice President for Career and Technical Education High Schools, with the United Federation of Teachers (UFT) in New York City to attend an event called ‘Big Apple Classic’(BAC).

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After seeing firsthand what an impact this had on the students who attended last year’s event, we wanted to get more involved in 2014. We are excited to announce that LearnKey did play a bigger part in 2014 by sponsoring schools which allowed students the opportunity to attend a basketball game, held in the Barclay’s Center Nets Arena in Brooklyn, and to attend the Leadership Summit, hosted at the UFT headquarters.

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The Leadership Summit gives students access to accomplished presenters, educators, entrepreneurs, and leaders in the industry inspiring them to set goals, pursue their dreams, and to help them understand that these opportunities are possible for them too. We are extremely excited to be a part of this program by giving back to the students in New York City schools.

Kim---Jared---&-Retired-NY-Congressman-Edolphus-Towns-small

More about the Big Apple Classic:

Big Apple Classic was launched seven years ago as New York’s first ever HBCU basketball competition. Produced by Johnson, Inc., a Richmond, VA-based marketing firm, the Big Apple Classic has one primary goal: to increase the awareness of Historically Black Colleges and Universities in the Northeast region. In addition to exciting basketball action featuring top CIAA and MEAC teams, BAC attendees enjoy live entertainment, an HBCU college fair, and more. Each year, the BAC partners with a non-profit organization or charitable cause that impacts the African American community, and donates a portion of the ticket proceeds. (Reference: http://thebigappleclassic.com)


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American Education Week

by Brad - Nov 19, 2014


Education Week Header

This week is American Education Week. First held in 1921, American Education Week was founded by the National Education Association and the American Legion. In the following years, sponsors grew to include the U.S. Department of Education and dozens of other national education organizations. American Education Week is always celebrated the week before the week of Thanksgiving.

In the words of United States President Barack Obama:

“Every young person deserves access to a world-class education. In classrooms, lecture halls, and laboratories across America, high-quality education helps unlock the limitless potential of our Nation’s students and creates pathways for their success. It prepares them for the jobs of tomorrow and the responsibilities of citizenship. A strong school system bolsters our economy and strengthens our democracy, and it is at the core of the American belief that with hard work, anyone can get ahead. During American Education Week, we celebrate the devoted educators who instruct and inspire students of all ages, and we continue our work to provide every person with the best education possible…

With grit and passion, America’s teachers give life to education’s promise. Our education-support professionals help ensure the health, well-being, and success of our children. And in small towns and large cities, principals and district administrators cultivate communities that value learning and share a common vision of academic excellence. Together, these leaders encourage our students to reach higher and inspire them to achieve their dreams. Great educators and administrators deserve all the tools and resources they need to do their job, including chances for professional development and pay that reflects the contributions they make to our country. They are the most critical ingredients in any school…

In a complex world, we must meet new and profound challenges. As a Nation, we must prepare the next generation to face these issues and the problems of their own time. An education equips the leaders of tomorrow with the knowledge and vision they need to discover the solutions of the future and build a better society for their children and grandchildren. This week, we honor the teachers, mentors, and professionals who guide our kids as they explore the world. Let us recommit to supporting a first-class education for all students, from the day they start preschool to the day they start their career.”

Take time this week to thank those who work in education and celebrate their contributions to the growth of our society.


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Newest Employee of the Month: Keeps us up and running!

by Jeff - May 23, 2014


Scott Wallace

Our IT department rocks and one of the reasons is people like our newest Better Learning Systems employee of the month, Scott Wallace. He treats everyone (internal or external) like a customer, with respect, follow-up, and “can do” attitude. Over the past three months Scott was there for us and our customers at very critical times and we were so fortunate for that. He comes in on weekends if need be, takes on additional responsibilities and always demonstrates our core values because he’s easy to work with, builds trust with people, and values the efforts of his peers .

One of the best experiences for me working with Scott is when he explained in simple terms what we needed to do to eliminate “points of failure” in our technical and operational support areas. I really respected how candid he was and not only expressed the problem but also recommended the right solutions. These recommendations keep our OnlineExpert.com enterprise up and running as well as our many office systems and servers.

His passion for making sure our teachers, students, and veterans have a good learning experience is clearly demonstrated by how he is always willing to take a call to help them any way he can. Could be an internet connection issue, web browser, configuration settings; he demonstrates patience and willingness at all times.

Take a minute to get to know some fun facts about Scott:

1. How many siblings do you have? Two.

2. What is your favorite movie? I can’t answer that there are too many, so I’ll give you my first favorite movie. Johnny Sokko and Giant Robot.

3. What is your favorite band?  Led Zeppelin.

4. What is your favorite vacation spot?  Anywhere I go together with Dawn & Izzie.

5. What was your high school’s mascot?  An Alta hawk, which is a fictitious bird, btw.

6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten?  Not really sure?

7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet? Bogger & Izzie.

8. What was your first car? 1970 Z-28 Camaro.

9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? I would take Dawn on a Disneyland world tour, or where ever she wanted to go.

10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail? We’ve been zip-lining. Parasailing I guess.

11. If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why? How could I have dinner with someone from the future? There is no possible way in our fixed number of dimensions that I could possible know who will be in existence in the future. Not two days into the future, not two seconds into the future. Ok how about my wife this weekend at the finest Disneyland restaurant in California.

As previously stated our IT department rocks and Scott Wallace is a big reason for that! Thank you again Scott and congratulations!


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When Employees “Get It” Everyone Wins!

by Jeff - Apr 24, 2014


Amazing people do amazing things and that is not by accident. Have you every met someone who just “gets it”? When we do there is a saying “they get the why”.

That could not be more evident then by our newest LearnKey, Better Learning Systems employee of the month Skyler Knight, a LearnKey designer in our Cedar City, UT office. The “why” is why we do what we do, not the what and how of our products and services; its the passion of wanting to help people “fulfill their dreams through better learning systems”. That is why we do what we do.

Skyler demonstrates that through always keeping our core values front and center. Here’s what his leader had to say  through his nomination:

“Skyler works every day to ensure he is meeting our core values (Ease, Value, and Trust). He is Easy to work with and we trust he will get the job done because he’s the first to finish assignments and brings so much value to our production team by always going above and beyond”.

In my own personal experience with Skyler he can also pull a fast one as he and another employee swapped places in April 1st of this year getting me to believe one of his peers was actually him! It worked and I owe him and Jordan big time the next time I am in Cedar!

For fun, here’s some more insight to Skyler:

1. How many siblings do you have? I have 3 siblings, one older sister, one older brother, and one younger sister.

2. What is your favorite movie? My current favorite movie is Abraham Lincoln Vampire Killer.

3. What is your favorite band? My current favorite band is Twenty One Pilots.

4. What is your favorite vacation spot? I don’t take too many vacations but my most recent trip was to South Korea. I would say that it is by far my favorite spot to travel to. There are so many beautiful buildings to see and a lot of beaches to admire there as well.

5. What was your high school’s mascot? My high school’s mascot was a Ram.

6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten? The weirdest combination of food I’ve ever eaten was live (still moving) octopus with sesame oil, raw fish, and salt.

7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet?  The name of my favorite pet was Halo.

8. What was your first car?  The first car I ever owned was a green 1995 Jeep Cherokee

9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? If I could go anywhere in the world right now I would travel to Japan.

10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail? I think I would rather zip line if I had to choose from the above options. Maybe someday if I gain the courage I would like to go bungee jumping or sky diving too.

11. What is the funniest saying you have heard working here?  “Will you smell my yogurt?” –Chris Walser

12. If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why? I would choose to eat dinner with a philosopher from the past, perhaps Socrates. The reason being that I would like to ask him about his personal philosophies about knowledge and gain insight and wisdom from someone who is not overwhelmed by all of the distractions of our modern world.

 

Please join me in congratulating Skyler and reminding him how fortunate to we feel to have him as part of our team.

Regards,

Jeff Coruccini

 


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