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!
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.
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.
LearnKey recently acquired part ownership of Brighton College in Scottsdale, Arizona. Brighton is now one of the sister companies to LearnKey.
Brighton is an online college that offers Diploma & Degree programs for in demand jobs like Medical Billing & Coding, Criminal Justice, Paralegal, & IT. Brighton is flexible and can accommodate the needs of the student with one on one instructor support, payment options, and some of the best curriculum to prepare you for new career pathway. For a minimum investment and in months you can be on your way to a new career.
And each student enrolling at Brighton will receive a ProScan and Motivation Review to support them on their journey!!
Contact us today if you have any questions or would like to enroll in any Brighton courses!!
Pictured below are members of the BLS Team, following a workout session this past week at Brighton!!
Left to right: Matt Tidwell, Brighton Vice President, Kimberly Johnson, LearnKey Client Services Manager, Brian Tremelling, LearnKey Veteran & Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, Sarah Blik, Executive Consultant, Seth Boyack and Kelly Woods, both LearnKey Veteran & Vocational Rehabilitation Counselors.
This post originally appeared on KnowYourTalents.com.
The changing of a year is often a time of reflection and rededication. It’s a time to reflect on and analyze events of the previous year and rededicate ourselves to becoming the best we can be. It’s a time to remember accomplishments and set goals for the coming year. As I reflect on what LearnKey has accomplished in 2014, I realize that LearnKey and Better Learning Systems have had a very busy year. Very busy, and very productive.
Early this year, we began updating the design of the LearnKey website. This design update was an extensive process and was implemented a page at a time over the course of several months. The initial design was developed by Colin Bell, who left the company in February to pursue freelance web design work. Over the next several months, I created variations on Colin’s design to bring the remaining pages on the website into harmony with the finished pages.
Also in early 2014, Better Learning Systems developed an educational grant program to provide LearnKey courseware at a discounted rate for individuals who qualify. Our goal with this program is to provide assistance to those who need help in reaching their educational and professional goals, helping them gain the skills they need to succeed in their careers.
In February, LearnKey attended the Career and Technical Education (CTE) Recognition Ceremony put on by the United Federation of Teachers (UFT). Alex Bell and Emma Mendez, two teachers who have worked closely with LearnKey over the years, were both honored at the ceremony.
In March, LearnKey courseware was approved by the New York State Department of Labor and added to the Eligible Training Provider List. To be included, LearnKey courses were subjected to a review process to ensure they complied with the high standards set by the Department of Labor.
In June, as we began to wrap up the new website design, a new feature was added to the LearnKey website. Website users now have the option of engaging in a live chat with members of the LearnKey Client Services team.
In a much-needed move, LearnKey announced the retirement of a large number of obsolete courses in July. In order to make the transition easier for users, the courses on the list are no longer being sold but will remain active on OnlineExpert until January.
Also in July, we released our first course presented in American Sign Language, Word 2013 ASL. Presented by certified ASL interpreter Amelia Williams, this course represents LearnKey’s latest attempt to improve our product and make it more useful for users.
In August, LearnKey Veteran Services’s Blue Ocean program began showing results with the graduation of Tristan Roberts. While in the Blue Ocean program, Tristan earned certifications in CompTIA’s A+, Network+, and Security+, and Microsoft’s Word, Excel, and Outlook. Upon graduation, Tristan was offered a job at LearnKey and is now a member of our Veteran Services team.
In September, we updated the design of the LearnKey Veteran Services website to match the design of the main LearnKey site, including the live chat option. We also added a new Student Resource Center for Veteran Services students. The Student Resource Center includes support information, LKVS contact information, and links to our monthly LKVS newsletters, certification pocket guides, and weekly tutoring sessions.
In October, LearnKey attended the Arizona Business Leadership’s “Heroes for Hire” event where we were recognized by the ESGR for our efforts in hiring veterans. LearnKey has employed many veterans over the years and promises a job offer to any veteran to graduate from our Blue Ocean program.
Over the course of the year, LearnKey has been working on an application with the Project Management Institute (PMI) to be recognized as a Registered Education Provider. In October, LearnKey’s application was approved. This means that LearnKey’s Certified Associate in Project Management® 2014 and Project Management Professional® 2014 Certification Prep courses have met the PMI’s rigorous quality criteria.
By anyone’s standard, I would say 2014 was a fantastic year for LearnKey. In addition to the nineteen new courses we’ve released, LearnKey has updated our websites, been recognized for the quality of our products, and instituted several new programs to further education. We are meeting our goal of helping people fulfill their dreams through better learning, and LearnKey plans to continue our mission in 2015.
If you look at the About Us page on our website you will see the mission of not only LearnKey, but the entire Better Learning Systems family – “Dreams Fulfilled Through Better Learning.” As an online education company, we know that obtaining and maintaining your education is important. Earning industry certifications can provide you with the skills you need to land your dream career. It is also important to keep your skills sharp and updated with the most current certifications. For those of you who fall in either of these categories, you know that both of these goals require a great amount of time and money to complete.
Earlier this year the BLS team developed an educational grant program designed to provide LearnKey educational courseware at a discounted rate or at no charge for individuals who qualify. Our goal with this program is to be able to provide assistance to those who need some help in reaching their educational and professional goals. With the Bureau of Labor Statistics predicting a 30% increase in programming, software development, and other IT-related fields, it is more important than ever to enter the workforce as a certified, qualified candidate with the confidence and skills you need to succeed in your career.
For more information or to apply for this educational grant program, visit the LearnKey website or download the Better Learning Systems Education Grant application here. Everyone at LearnKey is committed to providing the best in online video courseware and is excited to be able to lend a hand in getting your dreams fulfilled.
Need a trade show coordinated? How about a marketing white paper? Or updated course catalog and better yet- how about travel arrangements? Those are key areas of our company and we are fortunate enough to have Beau Shakespear handle those duties or shall I say “wear all those hats” with a “can do” attitude and great pride in his work. It is for that reason and the way he demonstrates our company’s core values that he is the recipient of our March 2014 Better Learning Systems employee of the month!
As our Marketing and Tradeshow Coordinator Beau has developed strong organizational skills and really taken control in communicating our key messaging for students, teachers and veterans. Our leadership team can count on Beau to be one step ahead of us at all times when it comes to key marketing and support activities. Kim Johnson, his manager, had this to say regarding his nomination:
“Over the past few months Beau coordinated a major redesign of our LearnKey.com website that has made it easier to navigate, find information that is informative and much needed. I am so proud of how he went about completing such a major task and how he has adapted with managing multiple projects, meeting deadlines at all times”.
Our core values are built around ease, value and trust. Beau exemplifies these in how easy it is to work with him, the value his contributions bring and trust he builds with the way he goes about doing his job. Way go to Beau!
As always, here’s a Q and A on some fun facts about Beau:
1. How many siblings do you have? 2 brothers, 1 sister
2. What is your favorite movie? Baby Mamma – This could be because my wife is pregnant. But you can never go wrong with Tina Fey and Amy Poehler.
3. What is your favorite band? Couldn’t name a favorite band. But currently I am loving Happy by Pharrell Williams.
4. What is your favorite vacation spot? Disneyland
5. What was your high school’s mascot? Cowboys
6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten? One time in Mexico I ate crickets with spice on them. They were crunchy.
7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet? Tramp my dog.
8. What was your first car? 1989 golden Astro Van.
9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be? Italy or Ireland
10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail? I have been sky diving and zip lining. But I would go zip lining again in a heartbeat. It was so much fun.
11. What is the funniest saying you have heard working here? Some things are worth dying for, and one of those things is gluten. YOLO!
12. If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why? I would like to eat with whichever ancestor was the closest to William Shakespeare and ask them how/if I am related to William Shakespeare. Then I would finally have an answer when people ask me “Are you related to William Shakespeare?”
Please join me in congratulating Beau for this great accomplishment and thank you once more Beau for all the great work you do and how you go about doing it.
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
It was a great experience watching Justin Walker one of our LearnKey Courseware experts talk to a group of students from Fountain Hills High School in Fountain Hills Arizona.
These students are wanting to learn Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator, and earn their certifications. We had a simple message for them – Certifications can and will have a positive impact on your career and college ready preparation. Industry experts now state 89% of IT hiring managers use “Certifications” as a filter for prioritizing resumes. Once in, career professionals who keep their certification track up-to-date earn on average 26% more than their peers.
It was a fun day speaking with four classes as they were good listeners and truly wanted to learn. Another benefit we shared with them is they get a chance to learn “distance learning” by using LearnKey courseware. Also, lets not forget that the teachers we met were fantastic. Thanks again to Bonnie Perkins, Jennifer Ray (CTE Leader) and Karla Primosch for allowing us to come in and speak.
Its great to see BLS/LearnKey team members out talking with students and teachers getting their input so we can make better courses! Thanks again for the great work Justin!
At Better Learning Systems we recently announced the formation of an “A” Team within our LearnKey company who will lead strategic sales in our K-12 vertical. While we are very excited about the group during one of our conversations with a LearnKey team member Justin Walker ( a new member all of 8 months) explaining the realignment details we asked him if he had any questions. He answered “Yes” How can I be a member of the “A” team? The best part of all was when Lori and I heard that response- we both looked at each other and said that is EXACTLY what we expected to hear from Justin. That’s because “A” players work at it all the time and Justin is quickly becoming an “A Player”. He is willing and able to do whatever it takes to be a good team player for the right cause and working his “tail off” (small inside joke).
It is with great pride we announce that Justin Walker is our most recent November/December employee of the month. Over the past eight months Justin has worked extremely hard to learn the elearning industry, the “ins and outs” of selling to the education market, and most importantly do whatever it takes to be a great team player. He has demonstrated our core values making it Easy for people to work with him because he is a good listener. Second, he is quickly learning the importance of understanding what Value he can bring to not only his external customers but internal team members as well. Third, understanding the importance of patience while he builds his pipeline knowing that it takes time to build Trust, which is the trigger to successful partnerships.
Here are some fun facts about Justin so all of you can get to know him a little better:
There are a variety of different definitions around being a team player, but the one that stands out to me recently is the one demonstrated last month by Carole Heaton in our LearnKey video production office in Cedar City, UT. It is what made her our employee of the month for September 2012. Our team has just completed the roll out of: A+ 2012, IC³ GS4 and our Career Readiness bundle of courses (14 in total). At the last minute, we identified several ways to enhance the learning experience for A+ 2012 which meant we needed people to work overtime. When we needed help the most to meet our deadlines, it was Carole Heaton who stepped up big time.
Everyone in our Cedar office had been working overtime hours, everyone was tired. These projects needed to be delivered on time and Carole was willing to go the extra mile and work practically around the clock to help us meet our deadlines. Here is what her manager had to say when he nominated her for employee of the month:
“It seems like I can come into the office at just about any time, day or night, and find Carole either at her desk or online on my IM. She has put in more hours over the last month than any other member of her team. She is always willing to do whatever is asked of her as soon as it is asked, which has provided that level of Ease in getting fixes and files done on a tight deadline. I can always Trust that her files will look good and the fixes she is asked to do will be done correctly. She is always a positive force in the office, despite doing the lion’s share of work, and she can always be counted on to have a ready smile and a laugh available.”
Everyday in some way shape or form we communicate about our core values – Ease, Value and Trust. Carole clearly demonstrated all three of them by making it easier for us to meet our deadlines, valuing the importance of these courses and what it meant to get them out on time, and trusting the broader team that these improvements did merit being implemented for the benefit of our customers/learners. I thank you Carole for all your efforts.