Employee Spotlight: Kevin Reber

Kevin Reber, team member at Ascend’s National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), works as the director of retail sales out of the Gilbert, Arizona office. Day-to-day, Kevin’s role is to assist his team in helping others realize their dream of becoming a personal trainer or group fitness instructor. In his four years at Ascend, he believes he has gained appreciation for what a strong culture can do to drive a team’s performance. Kevin enjoys spending his free time golfing, playing ice hockey, hiking and watching his kids play sports.

Q. What’s your favorite Ascend value and why?

A. Passionate – As I have interacted with many employees across Ascend, they are all passionate about the customers we serve. As leaders, we can train people in a lot of different aspects of the job, however, passion has to come from within and it is great to see how well we recruit individuals who bring that passion with them.

Q. What is your favorite thing about the business unit or department you support?

A. I love the culture! Our staff never gives up and is always striving to exceed goals and break records. Our sales staff continually works as a team and never quits!

Q. If you could have a completely different career for a week, what would it be and why?

A. Selling private jets. I love selling and I love flying, so it would be the best of both worlds.

Employee Spotlight: Jaime Fiorucci

As the vice president of strategic partnerships and global markets for ATI Nursing Education, Jaime Fiorucci says she spends her time at work doing, “whatever needs to be done each day to serve our clients and meet our business objectives.” She says she enjoys that Ascend allows her and her team to get away from job descriptions and hierarchy and focus on outcomes in a collaborative way. “I focus on leading a lean, mean, results-oriented team that embraces smart risks with our clients and carefully considers each decision,” says Jaime. “Our work with complex accounts and global markets allows me to guide strategy and execution in a way that challenges each of us to innovate and see change and the opportunities to grow together as a virtue.” When she’s not at work, you can find Jaime spending time with her family or traveling.

Q. What does an average day look like for you and your job?

A. Every day is different! Three mornings a week I start very early to support sales and service support for our clients in the Philippines and India and prospects in the United Arab Emirates. Our largest national accounts warrant daily engagement. Being close to our clients is how we solve problems and because of this I spend about 65% of my time client facing for service and sales. The remainder is spent in the Leawood, Kansas office.

Q. What’s the greatest piece of advice a mentor has given you?

A. “It doesn’t matter if you talk at dinner.” This may seem strange, but early in my career I was very shy. I focused on what I had to do like it was a project plan – introduce yourself a certain way, engage in conversation in a scripted way, drink espresso if they do even though you know you’ll be up all night. It was not authentic and did not serve who I am. The approval to choose when and how I engage with the professional environment around me allowed me to be more thoughtful, more intentional, and bring greater value to the engagements where I choose to speak at dinner.

Q. If you could live anywhere on this planet, and take everything that you love with you, where would you choose to live and why?

A. Africa – My family has been traveling to different countries in Africa for years. The resolve and power of the human spirit in remote areas is inspiring, and we have found that they are just as curious about our way of life as we are about theirs. We have had the most amazing people-to-people experiences in our time there and can imagine a simple life of learning and meaning on this amazing continent. I don’t even need my stuff, we’d be happy with just our interactions in this amazing place.

Employee Spotlight: Danielle Schaeffer

From her home office in Auburn, New Hampshire, Danielle Schaeffer places intense focus on providing national accounts customers with everything they need to use Jones & Bartlett Learning products.

As a manager of institutional sales for Jones & Bartlett Learning, Danielle and her team provide solutions to national accounts customers like large online schools. Solutions can be as simple as a book for a course or more involved, like a complete program build or custom content development. Every school is different, which Danielle says keeps her days interesting. She sees her role as supporting her team’s efforts with these accounts, helping to drive projects forward internally, executing contracts, and support the team in whatever ways she can.

Q. What’s the greatest piece of advice a mentor has given you?

A. Being in sales, our goals are driven by finding solutions for customers. In my first role as a new manager of a small team here at Jones & Bartlett, another director gave me the following advice: “At the end of the year you don’t want to look back and feel like you left anything on the table.” It’s important to find the ideal solution to help each client.

Q. What is your favorite thing about the business unit or department you support?

A. I love my team members! They are creative, thoughtful, passionate and fun people who really care about their customers and Jones & Bartlett Learning. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to work alongside them every day.

Q. What’s something you’ve done that most people haven’t done?

A. Last year I participated in the Loon Mountain Race. Loon is a ski mountain here in New Hampshire, and the running race is 6.6 miles up, with the last quarter mile going up a double black diamond trail. If you aren’t familiar, look it up! It is known as one of the country’s toughest mountain races.

Q. What’s the best thing about the city you live in?

A. I live in Auburn, New Hampshire. It is a beautiful little town with a lake in the middle. The lake is drinking water for the adjacent city, so you can’t swim, but it’s lovely for kayaking and fishing. There is also a great trail system all around the area for biking and running. You feel so far away, but are only 10 minutes from the city and an airport.