Today we are thrilled to announce that Jason Manibog will join LearnKey as our resident expert IT Instructor. Jason is a seasoned Microsoft Certified Trainer with over a decade of award-winning classroom experience and another seven years of experience building, authoring, and delivering on-camera and live demos in a large variety of e-learning courses. Adding Jason, who has the perfect blend of experience and training skills, enables LearnKey to continue to deliver the best possible learning experience through our IT & Career Ready Certification courseware.
Some of you may recognize Jason. While it is possible you might have seen him sinking some putts at a local golf course, you probably have seen him in some of our previous IT courses, such as SharePoint 2013, Windows Server 2012 Server Infrastructure Design and Implementation, and Windows Server 2012 Advanced Server Infrastructure Implemention.
He is a great guy and I recently had a chance to interview him, as this was a pretty exciting hire for LearnKey! He has worked with several of our production and writing staff members previously, therefore, we know he’s all about our core values: ease, value, and trust. He’s always been professional and easy to work with, has great value in the accuracy of his work, and our team members went out of their way to tell me how much they trust his delivery of our content on camera. Day one and he already has raving fans in the company!
Please take a minute to learn more about Jason through a fun Q&A:
- What is your educational background? I majored in Communications and minored in Speech at Cal State University Dominguez Hills. Growing up, I was always told I talked too much, so I figured that is what I should do. More recently, I have been a Microsoft Certified Trainer (MCT) for six years now. I have multiple Microsoft, CompTIA, Adobe, and other industry-recognized certifications.
- What is your professional background prior to being employed at LearnKey? For most of the past 15 years, I have been a computer trainer in the classroom and have done the occasional business consulting (and even built courses for LearnKey!). I have also authored several computer training books specifically for the computer training center market.
- Describe effective learning techniques or ideas you hope to bring to LearnKey courseware. I always try to use a good mixture of the three main methods of learning: auditory, visual, and kinesthetic (using humor works, too). Plus, I try to make the material relate to real-life situations as much as possible. My goal is to help people reach both their certification and career goals.
- What five words would you use to describe yourself? Energetic, driven, humorous, kind, and caring.
- What are three tips every student learning online could benefit from?
- If you feel like studying, study. If you don’t, don’t. The worst time to try to take a course is when you don’t feel like doing it.
- Take breaks from watching and practice. The courses we build will have plenty of chances for practice.
- Try to relate any learning to a real-life situation. For example, if you are trying to learn Excel, build some Excel files for items such as a home budget or expenses. In other words, don’t just take the course, DO the course.
- In 50 words or fewer, describe what skills and knowledge you will bring to the LearnKey team. I have always tried to be as versatile of an instructor as possible, both in being able to write and deliver courses and explain things in many different ways. My goal is to bring that forward with the outstanding team I am privileged to join.
- If you could be a super hero, what would you want your superpowers to be?
- Cure multiple sclerosis.
- Reverse this trend of more and more empty hair follicles on my head.
- Get better at golf.
- What do you do in your free time? Spend time with my beautiful wife Joan and our two adorable cats, Ivey and Luske. And, continue the never-ending quest of trying to be halfway decent at golf. I also watch a ton of baseball and hockey.
We are glad to have you on our team, Jason, and are looking forward to your positive impact on our courses!
After just over six (6) months on the job our newest employee of the month has taken a “can do” attitude along with a great “team first” mentality.
That is why it gives me great pleasure to introduce Jenna Welch as this month’s Better Learning Systems/LearnKey employee of the month! Not only has she learned various roles on the LearnKey Veteran Services team she is also cross-trained in areas of our client services and accounting support groups as well. This just further demonstrates her ability to be flexible and take on projects that are not only in her area of expertise but outside her responsibility. A true utility player on our team!
Check out what her nominating manager had to say about Jenna’s performance to date “Jenna Welch has shown us that she can adapt and change to what is needed to complete a project or task. She is extremely easy to work with and has already achieved Word & Excel 2013 Microsoft Certification. I trust that when I ask her to take on a task or project that she will complete it on time if not sooner. Jenna has proven to be a valued team player and we look forward to what we can accomplish with her as a part of the LearnKey family”.
Take a minute to get to know Jenna on the personal side with this fun Q & A:
- How many siblings do you have? 11 altogether (2 brothers, 2 sisters, 2 sisters-in-law, and 5 brothers-in-law)
- What is your favorite movie? Star Wars!
- What is your favorite band? No longer together would have to be Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Three, or the original E Street Band (RIP, Clarence Clemons). Currently together…it’s a toss-up between Frank Turner and the Sleeping Souls, The Gaslight Anthem, The Menzingers, Against Me!, and Alkaline Trio. Please don’t make me pick just one!
- What is your favorite vacation spot? I love the mountains, but my most memorable vacation was in Tokyo
- What was your high school’s mascot? Panthers
- What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten? Brownies and garlic cheese spread (delicious, by the way)
- What is/was the name of your favorite pet? My family had two tomcats named Thomas and O’Malley
- What was your first car? ’98 Dodge Intrepid (not recommended without a bottomless maintenance budget)
- If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? India
- Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail? Definitely zip line
- What is the funniest saying you have heard working here? Any/every time someone besides Brian says “Are we done here?”
- If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why? My grandpa passed away last summer so I would love to have one more conversation with him.
While I agree that Jenna tells the truth not sure I am ready to try Brownies and garlic cheese spread just yet!
Please join me in congratulating Jenna on this award as we are delighted to have her as part of our Better Learning Systems family.
We’ve talked a lot this year about job training and industry certification, and not just because LearnKey is an elearning company. Industry certification is one of the little things that sets a candidate apart when applying for a job. Continuing education is what helps an employee keep their job in an ever-changing technological landscape.
LearnKey’s mission is to create flexible expert learning solutions – solutions that work for everyone because they are not only easy to use, but they are extremely engaging and interactive. Our goal is to train the planet through a better learning experience.
At the beginning of the year, Jeff Coruccini, Chief Executive Officer of LearnKey, challenged our employees to use LearnKey’s training to earn at least one certification in their respective fields. This served the dual purpose of (a) helping employees to gain additional training and achieve certification, and (b) giving all employees the chance to experience our training and give feedback on how to improve our products. Several employees have taken Jeff up on his challenge and during 2014 LearnKey helped the following employees achieve certification:
- Aaron Colborn – Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, Adobe Illustrator CS6
- Brad Washburn – Adobe Dreamweaver CS6
- Chad Stocks – Microsoft Excel 2013
- KaeLee DeMille – IC3 Global Standards 4, Microsoft Word 2013
- Kim Johnson – Microsoft Excel 2013
- Marian Eckley – Adobe Premiere Pro CS6, Adobe Illustrator CS6
- Rob McNeil – Adobe Premiere Pro CS6
LearnKey’s Veteran Services team has also been busy this year helping veterans to become certified. There are currently over 300 veterans enrolled in LearnKey’s Blue Ocean and Certify for Life programs with each student working toward several certifications. One of our first Blue Ocean graduates was Tristan Roberts, who earned A+, Network+, Security+, Word, Outlook, and Excel certifications this year, and now works for LearnKey on our Veteran Services team.
Congratulations to all those who have earned certifications this year and in previous years, and good luck to all those to are studying to become certified.
Today is Veterans Day and I want to start off by saying THANK YOU to all of the brave men and women who have served or are currently serving our country. I would also like to say THANK YOU to my Grandpa Ramsay who served in the Army and fought in the Korean War (1950-53). I have learned so much from him and am so grateful for the sacrifices he made for this country.
At LearnKey we are proud to have both Veterans and active duty military on our team. On this day I want to recognize and thank them for their service. THANK YOU to Michael Watson, Kelly Woods, Aaron Colborn, Jessica Staples, and Tristan Roberts. We are grateful for your service and proud to have you all on the LearnKey team. I asked Michael, Kelly, Aaron, Jessica, and Tristan to share a little bit about their experiences. I hope everyone enjoys reading about their experiences as much as I did.
Michael Watson – Has worked at LearnKey for for 15 years. But Scott Walker was here a year before me. =)
- What branch of the military did you serve in? U.S. Navy
- How many years did you serve? 4 years
- What were you trained in? Communication Technician Radioman & Yeoman
- Reflections on your service: I was stationed on the island of Ohau, Hawaii. Based in Pearl Harbor and worked for CINCPAC (a joint command in the mountains overlooking the island) for three years. Not the typical sailor’s tour of duty, but I had it made for my entire four years including one at sea on an attack carrier. I would never trade those four years.
Kelly Woods – Has worked at LearnKey for 2 years
- What branch of the military did you serve in? Currently serving in the Army Reserve
- How many years did you serve? I have currently been serving for 3 1/2 years
- What were you trained in? My MOS (Military Occupational Specialty) is a 68J/Medical logistics Specialist
- Reflections of your service: It has been very rewarding to go into the service at an older age. I was 39 when I went through basic training and I learned how old I was then! =) However, through perseverance and dedication I was able to grow tremendously. I find that I love the freedoms that we have in this country and I am proud to be one of the soldiers who defend those freedoms!
Aaron Colborn – Has worked at LearnKey for 9 months
- What branch of the military did you serve in? Air Force
- How many years did you serve? 6 years in England, Italy, Spain, and Kuwait.
- What were you trained in? I was trained to work on the LANTIRN system (Low Altitude Navigation and Targeting Infra Red for Night). Basically, radar navigation and laser bomb targeting for F-15’s and F-16’s.
- I personally had a very good experience, it taught me how to be responsible for myself and others as well as giving me the tools to work as part of a team, something that has been very helpful in the rest of my life. It also put me through school. I used the GI Bill to follow my dream of going to film school. Now I have a BA in Film Studies and didn’t have to pay a penny. I have zero school debt.
Jessica Staples – Has worked at LearnKey for 7 months
- What branch of the military did you serve in? U.S. Navy
- How many years did you serve? 4 years
- What were you trained in? I was a Cryptological Technician. Basically, I analyzed various radar characteristics (what frequencies they ran on, what vessels or aircraft used them, which ones were navigational, which ones were used for weapons systems). I did a lot of investigating, picture taking, logging. It was a cushy, but necessary job on the ship.
- Reflections of your service: I really enjoyed traveling. As awful as it was being stuck on a ship for weeks at a time, or on deployment for months at a time, the port visits to foreign countries made it all worth it. I’ve been to Japan, Hong Kong, Palau, Dubai, other areas of the Middle East, Alaska, Guam, and a few others I can’t think of. Experiencing other cultures really made me respect diversity and food. I would give almost anything to experience it all again. Well, the traveling…not the deck swabbing. =)
Tristan Roberts – Has worked at LearnKey for 3 months
- What branch of the military did you serve in? U.S. Navy
- How long did you serve? 4 years
- What were you trained in? I was a Hospital Corpsman (GreenSide) Trained in med/field medicine
- Reflections of your service: Best decision I made was joining the military
Jeff Coruccini, Chief Executive Officer of LearnKey, started this year with a goal of helping and encouraging every employee to become certified in their respective industries using our video courseware. The race was on to see which employee was going to be able to earn their certification first. The answer, drum roll please, Marian Eckley and Aaron Colborn! Both employees work out of the Salt Lake City Studio and are now Adobe Certified Associates in Premiere Pro CS6. Then, just two days later Rob McNeil, who also works in the Salt Lake Studio, earned the same certification. They like to call themselves the elite team. The jury is still out on that one.
Not only have these employees answered the challenge of become certified, but they also used LearnKey’s Premiere Pro CS6 course to earn their certifications. This gave our video production team an excellent opportunity to see firsthand what worked and what didn’t. Since then, we have been able to film and edit our Premiere Pro Creative Cloud course. We were able to take what we learned and pull those changes into our new course. We are looking forward to releasing this new and improved course and can’t wait to share it with everyone!
The list of employees who have earned certifications this year continues to grow:
- Kim Johnson, Director of Client Services and Support, earned her Microsoft Office Specialist in Excel 2013 Certification
- KaeLee DeMille, Technical Writer, earned her IC3 Global Standards 4 Certification
- Brad Washburn, Online Content and Social Media Manger, earned his Web Communication using Adobe Dreamweaver CS6 Certification
As you can see Jeff’s goal of having employees become certified is catching on and changing how we produce our courses with a higher level of competence. Congratulations to all those employees who have earned certifications both this year and in previous years, and good luck to those studying to become certified!
That is correct, our very own Colin Bell has been working hard to improve the user experience when navigating learnkey.com. His approach really demonstrates “less is more” as you can see from our home page and how we focus on students, educators, veterans and corporate enterprises.
This was no easy task, and for that he has been recognized as Better Learning Systems employee of the month. His hard work truly demonstrates and lives up to our core values: ease, value and trust. The site is much easier to understand, our value is in the quality of our courses with new releases up front and he trusted the input of his team members when planning the improvements. Colin had to accept a ton of feedback, sometimes not getting clear enough direction and last minute changes – he handled all of it just like a true team player.
Here’s what one of the nominating leaders had to say about Colin:
“We would like to acknowledge Colin this month for his outstanding work in updating and streamlining our website LearnKey.com. With his attention to detail he has created a cleaner and more user friendly website. Colin has been a trusted team player who ensures that we are representing our brand in a professional manner. We are truly grateful to have him as a part of our LearnKey family.”
A perfect example of someone putting passion around his work.
We’d like to share with you some fun questions and answers so you can get to know Colin too:
“Outstanding”, “Amazing”, “Invaluable” – Those were the words used to describe Rikki McKim, our newest LearnKey employee of the month.
Rikki is a customer service champion known for a keen sense of how to “connect” with students, teachers and learners so she can help them use our LearnKey education courseware and OnlineExpert Learning Management System for the best experience. Anyone who has ever spent time with Rikki quickly understands why we feel so fortunate to have her as part of our team. She truly cares about our customers and values their commitment to us as a learning provider.
Here’s what her leader had to say:
“I value her knowledge and her ability to dig in and understand our systems better. Her customer service skills are outstanding. Rikki is extremely easy to work with and truly cares about her coworkers and our customers”.
There is a saying “happy employees create happy customers” and this is living proof that it works!
Learn some fun facts about Rikki:
One of the greatest things our employees do everyday is focus on how they can make a positive difference in the learning experience. In our Salt Lake City office where we shoot the courses with our experts, our production crew is making sure the objectives are covered and we cover the right topics. In Cedar City where we produce the courses tying in video, technical writing and graphic design ,once again its about how can we drive the best learning experience making our courses easy to understand.
Then there is our LearnKey veteran services team that is working hard to help every veteran who goes through our program to counsel and support them making sure they stay on track and meet all their milestones.
This is where our newest Better Learning Systems/LearnKey employee of the month Corin Saunders works hard to “make a difference” – not only for our veteran students, but also working to improve our systems and processes we use each and every day.
Following her nomination, here is what here manager had to say:
“Corin joined the Veteran Services team in April of this year, and from day one she has had a huge impact on the team and the students that we support. She has truly immersed herself into the position and become an expert in all of the multi-platform education programs that we provide. In the interviewing process, Corin made it clear that she loves to help people and feel that she is making a difference. That is very apparent in her work with over 100 Veterans with whom she communicates on a regular basis. She dispenses just the right amount of compassion and tough love to help our students to make the most of their time with LearnKey and gain the certifications they need to advance their careers”.
We are so fortunate to have Corin as part of our team, and for fun, let us share a little bit of insight to her personally by way of these questions:
Another exciting month for Better Learning Systems as we head into the 4th Quarter of 2013, and it has all to do with our great people. At LearnKey, we are celebrating another Employee of the Month, and this month our congratulations go to Ben Lee and all his hard efforts to go above and beyond in becoming one of our best quality control specialists in our Cedar City, UT office.
His efforts go far and beyond a quality control specialist – he is a true team player who has demonstrated his efforts through actions, not words.
Here’s what his leader had to say about him during his nomination:
“Ben is an energetic, optimistic, hard working, and friendly team player. He understands most of our LearnKey training & courseware very well, therefore increasing the accuracy of our training. He always gets his work done by the end of the day, and will rearrange his schedule to make sure it is done. He identified a problem with how we keep QC records, and implemented a new QC record keeping process. Ben has always been willing to take on work that isn’t necessarily QC related, and completes each task very well”.
One of his most recent accomplishments was when Ben learned we were wanting to improve our A+ course; he took the training, provided detailed notes on what part of our courseware was effective and what could be improved, then went and took the exam passing the first time! Every challenge we bring to Ben, he has overcome it both in doing the actual work and in dealing with the people involved. He goes above and beyond what is expected and required for a QC person in order to make sure he is doing his job correctly. He has done such a great job with his own work, resulting in less and/or easier work for his team and supervisor.
Enough about work, take a minute to learn more about Ben with our fun survey and who he would take to dinner if he could pick anyone:
Those are the words that describe our Better Learning Systems newest employee of the month: Mrs. Katie Kuether, someone who not only demonstrates our core values to her team, but other teams within the company. Katie has been working in our client services team for almost a year now and plays a key role in making sure all the school districts and student files are loaded and ready come the beginning of school season.
Katie has demonstrated her ability to be a quick learner and very efficient, as this is truly a role in which you “learn as you grow” into the position. As school starts, the most important part of the process is on boarding students and teachers. She fields all kinds of calls ranging from how to sign in, run a report, or save a file to our Learning Management System (OnlineExpert.com) and even troubleshooting.
During our monthly nomination, here’s what Katie’s leader had to say about her:
“Katie has been with the company almost a year and it has been my pleasure to have her as a part of the team. She has been so easy to work with, and has taken on a role that encompasses both a part of accounting and client services. She has excellent customer services skills and asks all of the right questions when given a task. Most of the work with Client Services cannot be trained and added to a manual and you learn on the job and as you go, Katie has done an excellent job of jumping in and going with whatever she has been given”.
Now for the best part – please take a moment to learn more about Katie and learn things like a peanut butter and jelly (add the Cheetos) sandwich…
1. How many siblings do you have?
I have 4 siblings, 2 brothers and 2 sisters
2. What is your favorite movie?
3. What is your favorite band?
Of all time? Nsync
4. What is your favorite vacation spot?
5. What was your high school’s mascot?
6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten?
Peanut butter and jelly with Cheetos.
7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet?
8. What was your first car?
I don’t even know what kind of car it was; I just know it was a very yellow station wagon.
9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
New York City
10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail?
I would pick parasail, that seems the safest. J
11. What is the funniest saying you have heard working here?
My favorite is Kim’s phrases “OH BUDDY” and “Yeah weird”.
12. If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why?
My mom and grandma passed away when I was 21, so if I could I would love to have dinner with them again.
Congratulations to Katie for this accomplishment and we are so fortunate to have you as part of our team.
Warm Regards and ’til next month!
– Jeff Coruccini