It is summer time, school is out, and the entire BLS/LearnKey family is totally focused on a successful second half of the year. One of our big productions at LearnKey this summer is a feature course on Internet and Computer Core Certification (IC3) GS5 that is an anchor learning program throughout our vocational and K-12 customers.
Because teamwork is the only way for us to achieve success in such a production it gives me great pleasure to recognize someone who has truly displayed TEAMWORK the entire way: Ms. Brittni Traynor from our Cedar City office!
This is what her nominating peer had to say about her “can do” attitude when it comes to her contributions: “Brittni Traynor exemplifies BLS/LearnKey’s core values of Ease, Value, and Trust. LearnKey’s production team has been feverishly working as we prepare our upcoming IC3 GS5 training and Brittni’s role as the lead writer has given her ample opportunity to demonstrate her dedication to the project and her team.
You can trust Brittni—during a recent conversation with a co-worker who expressed concern about making sure we were going to meet our writing deadline, she simply responded to him by saying ‘Of course we will, we’ll find a way and make it happen.’ And she did.”
We wanted to share not only Brittni’s success but also some recent Q&A with her about life outside of work:
- Where were you born? I was born in Rexburg, Idaho. We didn’t live there very long, I claim Portland, Oregon as my home base, it is where I grew up and where my family still is.
- What is your favorite type of Friday night? If I am not working, I usually spend my Friday nights with my two of my close friends. We usually go to the movies, or dinner, or sometimes go see bands play. It is really nice to kick back with some good friends and just spend some time detoxing from the busy week.
- How did you find your way to BLS/LearnKey? I had a friend who had recently started as a Technical Writer; when there was an opening in the Quality Control department, I applied and got the job.
- What is it that you like most about your job and why? The people hands down. We have such an amazing and talented group of people here in the Cedar office. I wish I possessed half the talent of the Designers, Writers, and Quality Control teams. We had an office lunch the other day and we were all chatting about some random things, and at one point I thought about what a diverse and amazing group of people we have working in this company. Everyone is seriously so very talented. It’s awesome.
- Who at LearnKey taught you something, where after learning it you went “they are smart”? I really believe that I learn something from someone every day in this company. But, the person who I am constantly learning from is Wyett. From day one, he has pushed me to think differently and to look for the details other people may not notice.
- Give us a dream vacation spot you want to visit one day? I would really love to go to Nepal with my BFF Jill. She went there a few years ago to volunteer with the Butterfly Home Project. I love hearing all of her stories and would absolutely love the opportunity to go and volunteer there.
- What is your ideal dream job? Well, I am not totally sure what my ideal dream job would be. One of my biggest passions is helping other people find their potential and helping them to grow and become the best, most authentic version of themselves. Ideally, my dream job would allow me to incorporate that passion with whatever it is I am doing.
- The boss is coming for dinner and wants you to cook the meal. What will you cook? I absolutely love to cook. My dad is a chef, so I was constantly interested in it as a child. If it were only Jeff coming for dinner, I would probably make some sort of pizza, because I know it is one of his favorite things to eat when he is traveling without Lori. If it were Jeff and Lori though, I would probably make Pollo en Mole. Because it is one of my favorite things to make.
- If you could gift someone $100,000 who would it be and why? This is hard for me, because there are many charities that I adore. I would probably choose to donate some to the Trevor Project, which focuses on suicide prevention efforts among LGBTQ youth: https://www.thetrevorproject.org/, as well as to the Butterfly Home Project. The Butterfly Home is a center in Nepal dedicated to the children of imprisoned women. In Nepal, if a mother goes to prison, and no one can take her children, the child is also imprisoned and the conditions are terrible. I have been able to learn about it through my dearest friend Jill, who volunteered there a few years ago. It is such an amazing organization: https://ecdcnepal.org/newportal/about-us/
We really enjoy sharing these wonderful employees we have at Better Learning Systems and hope you will continue to check back and learn about other successes team members are having as we take our BLS Journey.
Jeff Coruccini, CEO
2015 halfway point is almost here and I am pleased to announce that we have two Employee of the Month recipients for June. So join me in congratulating Sheena Chamberlain and Chip Ehlers as these two continue to dish up exceptional service and support to their co-workers.
Two common threads in reading their nominations: one, they are dedicated long tenured good standing employee’s, and two, they have a “can do” attitude when it comes to doing their jobs. Additionally, each of them are all about helping other people. In Sheena’s nomination she was noted for being our “database expert,” one who is always looking for ways to improve process and maintain an efficient operation. Chip’s nomination was about how great of a “team player” he is and can be counted on to always help anyone out in student support or packaging & distribution.
This month we will split the Q&A session so you get a little personal insight to them both:
Chip: Who is your best friend and why? My wife, We have known each other a long time. Even before we were married, we were the best of friends
Sheena: Name your husband’s favorite restaurant? Ninja – he could eat sushi every day of the week, for every meal!
Chip: What is your ideal dream job in the next five (5) years? If not at LearnKey, I would love to be a golf pro or professional basketball player.
Sheena: What is it that you like most about your job and why? I am an extrovert so it should come as no surprise…The people. I love the people I work with. There is so much respect for every employee and what they do for our company.
Chip: IF you won a million dollars, name a cause or not-for-profit you would donate a portion of that to? Cancer Research and World Hunger.
Sheena: Name your favorite meal to cook? I LOVE to cook! My favorite meals to cook are my own made up “copy cats” of some of my favorite restaurant meals. I cook everything from scratch, and challenge myself to have the end product taste even better than it does in a restaurant.
Chip: Name your favorite meal to cook? Anything barbecued!
Sheena: Who at LearnKey have you learned the most from? It’s impossible to name just one person, as I think there is something to be gained from each person here. Melanie has taught me so much about our behavior, and how to best communicate with each of my team members based on their behavior and “how they tick”. Kim continually teaches me that being a great leader means that you always have the good work your team does on your mind, and to make their accomplishments known.
Chip: What is it that you like most about your job and why? I love working with great people and adding to the success of LearnKey.
Again, let me thank you both on behalf of the entire Better Learning Systems Leadership Team for your contributions and team work. We truly are a better place to work because we have people like you on our team!
Back in October 2013 our employee of the month was recognized for his excellent commitment to quality control and going above and beyond to help us improve our A+ course. Fast forward a year and a half later and we are recognizing him again for doing great work all the time and keeping our core values front and center while he does it.
It gives me great pleasure to congratulate Ben Lee on being selected as our April 2015 employee of the month. In addition to this award he was also promoted to a Senior IT position within LearnKey at the end of last year and is becoming an outstanding overall team member with the same positive “can do attitude”.
I know first hand what a great problem solver he is i.e. and getting him involved with other parts of the business is something that will be great for his career. That said, here is what his manager had to say during the nomination process:
“Before Ben joined the Tech Support team I knew of his ability to research and present information with aplomb. He glides through such requests with Ease. Since joining our team his Value has been truly measurable in the impact he has had in raising our collective knowledge and skills. I can Trust him to dig in with a vengeance and deliver great results, such as with preparing us to move our Tech Support knowledge base to a new vehicle in the near future. Ben is like a human vending machine that never fails. You put in your money and he dispenses promptly, and it is always more satisfying than you expected.”
He is such a great person please take a moment to get to know Ben on the personal side through this fun Q&A:
- How many children do you have? One baby girl who will be here in June or July.
- Who is your best friend and why? My wife is my best friend. She is the person I spend my alone time with. We can discuss anything with each other, and we both love exploring new things together.
- Name your wife’s favorite restaurant. It changes from day to day—and with pregnancy status—but she is a big fan of independent diners that provide excellent customer service and high-quality food, like Milt’s Stage Stop, The Little Brick House, and The Pastry Pub.
- What is it that you like most about your job and why? I love synthesizing raw data into a format that accomplishes a task or helps other people.
- From whom at LearnKey have you learned the most? Whomever I am working closely with. I have learned a lot about time management and priorities from Bart. Val has helped me learn more about calm, effective communication. Sheena has taught me about the importance of procedure. Brian has been a great friend who has helped me understand my own talents and interests better. Kevin is teaching me about self-motivation and drive. Jeff and Lori have taught me a ton about kindness and generosity. I can’t say who has taught me the most, but I can say that I have learned something from everybody at LearnKey.
- Name a place you want to take your wife for vacation. I would love to take my wife to Germany for a month in autumn or winter.
- What is your ideal dream job in the next five (5) years? My ideal job would entail helping other people gain literacy in language and music.
- Name your favorite meal to cook. There are several meals that I enjoy cooking: 蛋饼(Chinese crepes), steamed Chinese food, Yorkshire pudding pancakes (British crepes), and Tomato soup with grilled ham and cheese sandwiches.
- If you won a million dollars, name a cause or not for profit you would donate a portion of that to? I would donate money to local small business start-ups that could help make quality education available to both adults and children.
Again, please join me in congratulating Ben on this recent accomplishment and if you know him it’s a pretty good bet in the future we will be saying “third time is a charm!”
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!
It’s safe to say our Better Learning Systems & LearnKey employees of the month are great at doing more than just one thing and this month’s recipient is no different. We are congratulating Bill Wilhelm from our Cedar City office. Bill has been with LearnKey Cedar City for over a year and a half and in that time he has become one of our most valued employees and built a reputation for being a master of everything he touches.
Take for example needing help with the right combinations of a code fix for a demo file? Or how about fixing OnlineExpert.com to pause correctly? Better yet, what about secrets of a Rubik’s cube? Bill to the rescue, says his leadership team. Probably one of the greatest qualities of Bill’s contributions is he does his job with a very easy-going attitude which makes him a great team player.
Get to know Bill a bit more through some fun Q&A:
1. How many siblings do you have?
One sister, younger
2. What is your favorite movie?
Bandits. It features a Suburban like mine as the bank robbers’ getaway car (see question 8).
3. What is your favorite band?
4. What is your favorite vacation spot?
I absolutely love being on the water at Lake Powell.
5. What was your high school’s mascot?
Falcons. Beware our astounding ability to plummet toward the earth really, really fast combined with incredible visual acuity! *
* (The FDA has not verified the falcon-like capabilities of all high school students. Your specific animal-based traits may vary.)
6. What is the weirdest combination of foods you have eaten?
Once, on a whim, I requested a deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich with onion gravy on top. My co-worker actually made the thing, and I did try a bite. It was every bit as nasty as your imagination can make it.
7. What is/was the name of your favorite pet?
Dewey, he was a miniature dachshund with a great temperament.
8. What was is your first car?
1970 Chevrolet Suburban. I still have it and drive it regularly.
9. If you could go anywhere in the world where would it be?
My wife and I would like to go on vacation to Thailand together some day.
10. Would you rather sky dive, bungee jump, zip line, or parasail?
Why not all four? I’d be up for any/all of them.
11. What is the funniest saying you have heard while working here?
There are too many Chris-ims to pick from, but a good recent one was “Sincerity is so hard when you don’t mean it!”
12. If you could eat dinner with anyone from the past, present, or future, who would it be and why?
I could over analyze the hypothetical ramifications of this question for weeks. Instead I’ll say Nikola Tesla. We’d have ever so much fun pontificating on his plans and apparatuses which are now lost to history while enjoying a specially prepared entrée of legume and fruit paste, surrounded by baked dough slices and briefly submerged in hot fat!
We are very fortunate to have Bill as part of the BLS/LearnKey family and value his contributions. He exemplifies our core values through making it easy for team members to work with him, providing problem solving skills that are of great value, and building trust with his leadership team.
Thank you Bill and congratulations!
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!
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.