One of the biggest challenges each quarter for our leadership team is to select a team or team member to be our Key Contributor Award winner(s). That is the most wonderful problem to have as this award is about going above and beyond “what was expected of you.” We had so many fantastic nominations this past month that it really made the decision-making process tough. Which just shows we have such a great culture; everyone is always working harder to be better. Or as we say “Improving Employability Every Day.”
Speaking of employability, please join me in congratulating Jeff Martin as our newest Key Contributor Award winner and a key member of our employability team. What we learned about Jeff’s accomplishments was simply amazing. His leader, Beth Ciaramello, did a real fun “Did you know” on his nomination.
Did you know?
Jeff has contacted over one thousand (1000) students in the last 1.5 years. He has taken on additional roles (i.e. student services, workforce readiness coach) with a complete “can do” attitude. He has reviewed four hundred (400)+ resumes in 2020, has successfully placed over twenty five (25) students YTD, on-boarded a new team member, and constantly receives exceptional ratings from students on how good it is to work with him. Additionally, he fully owned the Employability Team’s assembly of our standard operating procedures.
The best part was to see and hear the feedback from everyone in the company supporting and applauding his selection. He works incredibly hard and he impacts all students’ lives and makes LearnKey an incredible place to work.
Strange times, I was able to finally congratulate him in person in a parking lot, North Scottsdale, so we could get a picture of him holding the award. Thank you for all you do Jeff Martin and the entire LearnKey family. We continue to strive to get better and improve employability every day.
Our quarterly award (Key Contributor) is something we are very proud of at LearnKey. This person or team is recognized for exceeding expectations and or demonstrating our core values (Ease, Value and Trust). Our newest recipient is someone who has been with us for almost 5 ½ years, and here is an amazing number that we want all of you to know about her: two seventy-two (272). That number, 272, represents the total number of globally recognized industry certifications (i.e. Microsoft, CompTIA, Cisco, Adobe, etc.) her students achieved in 2019. Take that number, along with her “can do” attitude, and you have our one and only Mrs. Susan Somerville.
Susan is Senior Student Services Representative. Someone who gets to see first-hand how our programs can touch and change people’s lives. She handles anywhere between 60-80 students at a time, helping them complete their online training on time, practice & study for exams, assisting them in coordinating any special tutoring needs, documenting and distributing monthly reports to counselors, the list goes on and on. She is someone who is always smiling and looking at the positive in everything, even when she has to give a student some “tough love” and remind them of their “Why” and motivator to complete our online programs. Her work directly impacts our students and their success in achieving their end goal: gaining employment. She has changed many people’s lives.
Here is what some of the leaders who nominated her had to say: “Susan has an amazing ability to help her students’ progress and is a pro at having the ‘hard conversations’ with them.” Another person said “she’s very helpful in our Cedar office, has a wonderfully positive attitude, and strives each day to help her students succeed.” Another added “she truly lives our mission of improving employability for her students, every day.”
When we presented Susan with the award she was actually spending the day in our St. George, UT office sharing best practices to some of our newer student service representatives so they can do their jobs as effectively.
Congratulations Susan for a job well done. Keep being present, doing your job, and making LearnKey better every day!
When you have great people it drives the engine of success for your company. Our newest Key Contributor Award Winner- Jacob Gardner is right at the center of that engine. Because of his work ethic over the past four (4) years, respect he has gained from his peers, he epitomizes our core values; Ease, Value and Trust. Every day he comes in and seamlessly does his job better than anyone can on the planet. Technical support, computer ordering (a big part of his job that has doubled over the past year), testing, telecom support he does it all and always as if it is no big deal.
We always talk about our “Why”- Improving Employability Every Day. Jacob knows the work he does directly ties to helping our customers: counselors, K-12 students, adult learners and veterans gain the key skills and industry certifications they need to improve their employability skills.
Just like last quarters Key Contributor Award Winner , a team member who is well respected, we are very fortunate to have him as part of our technical support team working in at our headquarters in St. George, Utah.
Please join me in congratulating Jacob for a job well done.
For a company to be on the same page it has helped a great deal that everyone knows our “Why” – Improving Employability Every Day. Our newest Key Contributor Award recipient Beth Ciaramello lives it every day as our Chief Employability Officer.
Beth’s job is to connect our students to employers, work study programs, and get them job ready/hired. She is also quite worldly as one of her personal accomplishments last year was traveling abroad working remotely.
She is being recognized for taking on three major projects, creating and implementing a ProScan to Placement process (P2P), finding new great talent to support the new process, taking over Brighton Colleges Employability activities, and taking over all recruiting and hiring for LearnKey staff (yes we are hiring).
Her “can do attitude” has resulted in two awesome new team members (Jeff & Wendy) based in Scottsdale, who have learned the P2P process and fully implemented it. We now have improved tracking and placements for both Brighton and LearnKey. Additionally, Beth continues to recruit awesome talent and truly displays our core values (ease, value, and trust).
The value she brings to our internal teams and external customers is exceptional. A great example is a recent partnership she has established with a new employer to our programs. This has required a lot of moving parts to come together and she has stayed with it all the way.
As a leader she knows our business and students as well as anyone else. One of her greatest qualities is the ease in which she works with everyone. Always willing to listen, offer advice and support no matter what. What that has left along the way is a tremendous amount of trust between Beth and everyone she interacts with on our teams.
We are so fortunate to have you on our team. Congratulations Beth for always keeping our Why – Improving Employability Every Day front and center for all of us.
Our newest Key Contributor Award winner is Sheena Chamberlain and in Sheena we trust.
This year LearnKey is rolling out new technology and tools so our learners have the best learning experience. The first roll out was enhancements to our student information system (SIS 2.0) in February this year. That was no easy task, however, having lots of expertise in-house that project was more manageable.
Our new Learning Management System has been a huge undertaking and in development for well over a year. This is new state of the art technology that has yet to be rolled out enterprise wide.
In January 2019 we realized we needed an A+ team player to begin to manage the beta testing and early adoption of this new system. In a perfect world someone would have come on board and had several months to get up to speed by working with the developers, our in house designers and production team. That did not happen.
What happened was Sheena Chamberlain stepped up an said “I can do this” without any hesitation. Not only did she have a tremendous “can do attitude” but she also quickly realized that there was more work to do, then anyone had anticipated. What did she do? What she is best at which is managing people and process. Soon, she had twelve (12) internal team members working on fixing labs, rebuilding courses, coordinating development efforts and managing new customer expectations. She did all this while continuing to do her normal job.
What jumped out with all of us is how she truly demonstrated our core values: Ease, Value and Trust, with Trust leading the way. She was open, honest, told it like it was, didn’t make excuses or complain that things were not they way they were portrayed. She just took it on herself to make it right.
I want to take this moment to congratulate Sheena for staying the course with a positive attitude, persistence and always taking the high road. We are so fortunate to have her on board and in the next thirty (30) days we will be launching this new LMS!
In Sheena we trust!
One of the most difficult jobs is one that requires a ton of travel. It can be extremely lonely and quite challenging with flight schedules, uncomfortable hotel beds, rental cars, and meeting people that are not always as passionate about their jobs as we are. That is not the case for our most recent Key Contributor Award winner – Kelly Woods. He travels no matter what weather conditions are on his journey.
See, Kelly is a Veteran, and his job is to meet with VA counselors and spread the word on how our programs help Veterans get jobs in IT, Cyber Security, Networking, Programming, Graphic Design, and Help Desk/Customer Service. When we say LearnKey truly is Improving Employability Every Day, Kelly is the face of that statement. He takes his job seriously and never hesitates to help out another Veteran or counselor when they inquire about our programs or if they need assistance along their journey. Our programs are not easy, which is why it’s important that Kelly does not mince words in that the program will be hard, but the reward will be great!
Of course Kelly attributes all our success to his supporting team members, which include the other Regional Representatives, LearnKey’s production and support teams, and the great job ready team and tutors, along with our student support representatives. It takes a team and Kelly takes pride in that he has a great team.
Thank you Kelly for your contributions and keeping our core values – EASE, VALUE and TRUST – top of mind.
It is one thing to task a video production team to create the best video based training IT & Career Ready courses, then its another when the not only meet and exceed their goal, but decide to move their entire office at the same time.
I am pleased to announce Marian Eckley, Neil Olsen and Seth Magers are the recipients of LearnKey’s Key Contributor Award for the second Quarter of this year! They truly represent our core values Ease- with the way the managed to transition out of one studio into another, Value- in that during the entire move the managed to stay ahead of the production goal and trust – making sure everything was done just right. That included finding the right office, negotiating a win/win lease and coordinating the move at a time when there would be no delay in production. just like previous LearnKey Key Contributor Award winners they achieved these results without being told what to do!
Our senior instructor Jason Manibog had this to say ” Marian started with getting the right person lined up to understand what we needed in a new office (i.e. decent space, little noise, the right price, etc.). From there, Seth and Neil took the “can do” approach to coordinating the removal of what was not needed and coordinating what needed to be moved.
LearnKey’s “Why” is Improving Employability Every Day. This team makes sure our courses “scream ” that message and I am just glad that their new office is something that gives them the best environment to keep doing that with each and every course they produce.
Please join me in congratulating them!
Today I am please to announce our Key Contributor award winners for Q4 2017: Val Deuel, Bart Giddings, Sheena Chamberlain, and Leigh Kulbacki.
Just like all our employees, they play a very important role in our company, as one of the most important aspects to our business is making sure that all of our digital employability learning solutions have the proper grammar and spelling for all our assessments, labs, and written content. They must also ensure all our video training has the quality so we always deliver an exceptional learning experience. Thanks to our awesome Quality Control team they are always there to catch all the errors and help us avoid re-work.
This past year they took it one step further by taking on transcribing and closed captioning most of our courses released in 2017. That was an amazing accomplishment as the results were transcribing 51 sessions and completing the closed captioning for 31 sessions. This resulted in a 27% increase in productivity!
Our “why” is improving employability every day. My goal is to make sure that everyone in the company knows how they impact that why. I am proud of this team as they truly know the importance of their role in our company and really stand for our core values: Ease, Value, and Trust!
Please join me and the rest of the LearnKey/Better Learning Systems family in congratulating them on this great accomplishment, and one thing is for sure: they are not going to like that I wrote this blog without them checking it before it gets posted! But what the heck, sometimes you have to go out on the edge. After all, it’s the thought that counts!
Week one of Remote Year ends, I must remind myself that it is in fact only 1 week! After a short week of a crash course in acclimating to a new culture, new location, and total opposite time zone, I find that I am blown away that even with all those distractions, we have already created deep connections with a talented, diverse group of nomadic professionals. In our travel family of 35 people we have IT professionals, graphic designers, attorneys, HR/management and political consultants, producers, operations managers, finance professionals and entrepreneurs. The work ethic is astounding, the talent is mind-blowing, and I get an entire year with this group.
WAY harder than I expected. How does one pack for a year?! Be warned, this is not an advising entry.
Supplies: Bagail packing cubes, 24-inch Samsonite suitcase, and 30-liter North Face Backpack
Packed each packing cube individually, weighed them, added up to about 38 pounds. Too easy. Ready to combine that with my 8-pound suitcase should be totally fine. Oh, but wait, that is 46, must be under 20 kg which Is 44.9 pounds.
Take out two shirts and extra pair of shoes I won’t need. No problem.
Let’s get this all together now.
Everything is going my way! Room to spare in the suitcase, easy to close, this is way too easy. I lifted it up to the scale, feels a bit heavy.
Scale: 52.8 pounds. I took stuff out and it weighs more than originally?!
Round 2 Beth vs. Samsonite
Take out a pair of jeans, two more shirts, and some luxury items I enjoy (the struggle was real on that one). Sweating as if I am running a marathon in 70% humidity.
Scale: 47.2. Dear baby Jesus, please help guide me, give me strength.
I need reinforcements. “Mom, I need help!” Mom provides sound advice, that I of course, do not take, because, Yes! I DO need 7 tank tops!
Back hurts. I am sweating. Start heeding mom’s advice.
No extras, less shirts, one bra, still tough to remove dresses, but down two more dresses, 1 skirt, really… I am not even sure what is left.
Hallelujah! I can successfully board the plane.
Immigration: My first time out of North America and I stood in line for an hour just to be asked, “are you traveling alone?” said with an awkward giggle from the immigration dude/officer. Is that normal? Seemed a bit anticlimactic. Then, wait for it, the FIRST stamp in my Passport! Wow, what an incredible experience. I feel like I accomplished something. Made the 24 hours of travel and loss of one day all worth it.
Airport: Surprisingly western. Littered with overpriced stores and souvenir shops. You know you are not in the states because of the smells of curry being carried to your nose in the humid, wet air, as if you were face-first over the hot pot of freshly cooked curry. Another shocking difference was the restroom. I was not expecting to squat but after being on a plane for almost 5 hours, any bathroom would suffice. At first, I thought it was so kind for two women to let me ahead of them in line, I thought, “they must see the emergency in my eyes.” Then I waked into the stall only to have the metaphorical wind knocked out of me in shock. Knowing I was being looked at, I acted like, oh, I got this. One thing the Army teaches you, you can pee anywhere. So, I used the “squat” toilet, only to realize as I left, there were western toilet options. The women were not allowing me to go ahead, they were waiting for the western toilet. Well, when in Asia!
Fast forward to about five days into the year: More than enough clothes, but should have brought my little bottle of Tide (MOM!) and my water filter. Could have done without 1 pair of jeans (too hot and humid). Overall, there is no way of knowing what you will need for an entire year. If the rest of the locations are like Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, there will be plenty of places to buy anything you need.
I am pleased to announce a new team member, Lara Skutt, who earlier this month joined the Know Your Talents (KYT) team. Lara’s role is Chief Flourishing Officer as her passion is leadership development, coaching/counseling, and training, which has brought her to join Melanie, Sarah, and Lori’s team. Her primary focus will be on growth of the business by enabling clients to meet their goals through leadership development and employee engagement.
Lara is a seasoned senior-level HR professional with over twenty (20) years of experience across multiple corporate industries/demographics. Additionally, she has extensive experience in all aspects of HR, which will also enhance the KYT offering. She lives in Arizona (has for over 22 years), works out of the KYT office in Scottsdale, and is the mother of three (3) amazing children. Her personal passions are family, health/wellness, and a drive for continued knowledge.
Here is a nugget…Those of you who are familiar with ProScan and the KYT offering might find it interesting to note that she has the exact same behavior/profile as Lori Coruccini.
Its a great start for 2018 and please join me in welcoming Lara to the KYT/Better Learning Systems family!