ExamFX Launches Brand Refresh

Leawood, Kansas, Oct. 24, 2022 — ExamFX, an Ascend Learning brand and a leader in licensing training for the insurance and financial services industries, launched a new and enterprising brand refresh.

ExamFX:  A clear new identity.

“Think for a moment about the amount of change the world has experienced in the last decade,” explained Lori Edmonds, ExamFX Director of Marketing. “Here at ExamFX we’ve been thinking about how much we have evolved – recent acquisitions, a new learning platform, and a transformative analytics tool. For over 26 years, our brand identity and design have served us well. But recently it became clear it was time to review our established brand presence. The result of this consideration and discovery is our new brand identity.”

This week ExamFX is introducing an updated brand. The refresh enhances their ability to creatively engage with customers, creates new and compelling experiences for those who interact with them, and authentically represents ExamFX to candidates, managers, and corporate partners.

“We love the modern look, but it is much more than a new design,” said Scott Barnes, ExamFX General Manager. “It’s about communicating and engaging with customers in a clear and propulsive manner and then integrating that clarity and momentum into everything we do.”

The refresh includes a new logo, visual elements, color palette, and typography. The update also modernizes ExamFX’s personality and voice to reflect the new identity.

The brand is refreshed, but still honors ExamFX’s past and retains historic brand equity. This is visible in the way ExamFX integrated their past with their new brand identity:  the iconic orange has been updated to a fresher and more modern hue, ‘success’ is still a part of the tagline, and the name remains ExamFX.

“Our updated brand symbolizes clarity and our ability to quickly deliver what matters,” said Scott Barnes. “Here’s the story behind our brand identity:”

Click here to explore the brand story with full visuals.

Our Brand Idea

The core idea that drives our brand is Clarity.

We believe clarity is the cornerstone of our success and our customers’ success. The idea of clarity and momentum is encapsulated into every aspect of our brand.

Our Personality and Voice

When we think of our personality, we imagine a mentor. To us, a mentor is a partner who positively impacts individuals by guiding them on a path to success by listening, inspiring, and empowering them along their journey.

Our new brand voice conveys the idea of a mentor through the way we engage with our customers, approach our work, and interact with one another. Here is how we define our personality and voice:

     Experts. We are a future-ready company with longstanding expertise. Our decades of ‘know-how’ combined with a focus on innovation and relevancy empowers us to pave the way forward.

     Honest. We are a by-the-book kind of business; we are direct and honest – there is always purpose behind what we say.

     Bright. We are competent and accomplished, yet we project an understated confidence that makes us approachable and trustworthy.

     Uplifting. We inspire our customers, illuminating a clear path to success. We are right there beside them every step of the way.

Our Logo and Mark:

Our new logo is an evolution, familiar but revitalized to reflect a new order. A nod to the past, with our eyes on the future — representing continuity in an environment of change.

The brand mark uses shapes that represent steps, pathways, and connectivity. And the organic nature of the design adds an approachable, human element.

Our Tagline:

Progressing from ‘Success Starts Here’ to ‘Empowering Success’ demonstrates our commitment to all our customers: candidates, managers, and corporate partners.

Empowering Success means we are as invested in our customers’ success as they are — helping professionals throughout their careers and ensuring corporate partners meet their goals.

Our Graphic Elements:

Our new design has a modern feel and better aligns with the innovative solutions we offer today. The logo mark inspired the creation of our pathway elements:

  • The triangular shapes represent both our audiences and the prescriptive steps of our learning platform
  • The organic element represents each customer’s unique journey — a clearly connected yet individualized path from one step to the next   

Several of our designs convey a sense of momentum — their repeated, simple shapes move forward and grow larger with every step — reflecting our commitment to a clear path to success.

Our Colors

The simplicity of our new color palette evokes a feeling of sophistication and professionalism. Orange brings energy and stands out in our industry. Having one bold color incorporated into a neutral palette emphasizes an exaggerated level of clarity.

Our Font:

Gilroy is our new primary font. We use a variety of styles within the Gilroy font family which are modern, clear, and approachable. The use of typography hierarchy (capitalization, size, and style) allows us to reinforce the brand’s key features and message.

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“And there you have it — our new brand story — a clear reflection of who we are today and a path towards our future,” shared Lori Edmonds. “We invite you to keep watching and listening as more unfolds. This is just the beginning of the new ExamFX. Empowering Success.”

About ExamFX

ExamFX is an established leader in the development and delivery of online exam prep and continuing education training for the insurance and financial services industries. Since 1996, ExamFX has helped more than eight million candidates prepare to pass their licensing and qualification exams. ExamFX empowers customer success through their modern learning platform, predictive analytics, and the clarity and momentum integrated within their training programs. ExamFX is proud to be an Ascend Learning, LLC brand.

About Ascend Learning

Ascend Learning, LLC is a leading provider of online educational content, software, simulation, and analytics serving students, educational institutions, and employers. With products that span the learning continuum, Ascend Learning focuses on high-growth careers in a range of industries, with a special focus on healthcare and other high-growth, licensure-driven professions. Ascend Learning products, from testing to certification, are used by frontline healthcare workers, physicians, emergency medical professionals, nurses, certified personal trainers, financial advisors, skilled trades professionals and insurance brokers.

Make Your Move: Emma Sartwell

At Ascend, we strive to provide opportunities for employees to stretch their skills and advance their careers by moving among business segments, brands and teams, driving personal and team growth while creating a culture where people love what they do, take ownership and are empowered to pursue new career opportunities within the company so we “hire our own talent.”

After serving as a client services consultant with Ascend brand MedHub for nearly three years, Emma Sartwell moved into a senior client services role in June 2021. Eight months later, she transitioned to an associate product owner and then quickly accelerated to a product owner role, where she identifies and prioritizes upcoming changes and enhancements to MedHub systems. Emma also acts as the liaison between internal functions, ensuring clear visibility and communication among client success, support, implementation, training and consultants.

Ascend Communications (AC): How did your previous role in client support prepare you to make your move into a product position?

Emma Sartwell (ES): It gave me an incredible amount of platform knowledge, but more importantly, a close relationship with daily users. My intimate knowledge of client pain points and the insights I gained from these interactions are invaluable in my new role and allow me to deliver highly valuable small enhancements.

AC: How would you describe your former team?

ES: My former team was incredible — the best, most dedicated group of individuals I’ve ever had the privilege of working with. The passion this team showed cemented my own dedication to the platform and our clients. Working in a support role is both taxing and rewarding. I’m most proud of the grit we have shown in the more taxing times, ensuring that our work was of the highest quality even when we were overwhelmed by the volume.

Moving from a support role to a product role at another company would have been truly difficult without product experience, but this was much less of a leap within Ascend. I already knew the platform, teams and industry, and more importantly, everyone knew me. They knew what my resume could not say — that I would be successful in the new role.

AC: Can you tell us more about your experience making your move?

ES: My move came after encouragement from both my manager on the support team and from my future manager on the product team. Throughout my time in [client] support, I had pushed the boundaries of my responsibilities, opting to engage as a consultant for other teams in a way that was not traditionally a support role. I believe it was clear to the organization that my client insights and platform knowledge could be valuable earlier in the development pipeline.

AC: How are you settling into your new role?

ES: I’m surrounded by talented, passionate, and dedicated individuals. Every team I have the pleasure of interacting with is unafraid to voice concerns and advocate for what they need. This indicates a foundation of strong values.

AC: Do you have any words of encouragement for others who are considering “making their move?”

ES: Moving to another role internally often allows you to make a move that would not be possible otherwise, and it benefits everyone to have talented individuals grow their talents further. In my case, I was interested in product work at MedHub, but moving from a support role to a product role at another company would have been truly difficult without product experience.

This was much less of a leap within Ascend. I already knew the platform, teams and industry and “only” needed to learn the product role. More importantly, everyone knew me. They knew what my resume could not say — that I would be successful in the new role.

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When team members move to new roles across Ascend, they grow their skills and stretch their capabilities within a company they already know, maintain their benefits and connections with colleagues, and teams gain an employee already invested in the work, mission and culture — one that can ramp up quickly and bring legacy knowledge to their new role. To learn more about career opportunities at Ascend, visit our Careers page.

National Academy of Sports Medicine® (NASM) Launches New Physique & Bodybuilding Coach Program

GILBERT, Ariz.National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM), an Ascend Learning brand and the global leader in fitness and wellness education and certifications, is pleased to announce the launch of its new Physique and Bodybuilding Coach Program (NASM-PBC), a course designed to provide science-backed nutrition, training and coaching strategies to aid individuals in achieving their aesthetic-based goals.

The development for the program has been a multi-year process during which NASM brought together over 30 leading experts, including Dr. Guillermo Escalante who holds a Doctor of Science in Athletic Training and is a former bodybuilding competitor, and Dr. Sunny Andrews, MD who in addition to being a medical doctor, also competes as an International Federation of Fitness and Bodybuilding (IFBB) Pro.

Millions of people train to achieve aesthetic goals, and the primary audiences for this program include aspiring and active bodybuilders and physique competitors, as well as fitness professionals who want to include physique coaching as part of their practice. The 100% online course provides evidence-based coaching, training, and nutrition strategies along with the opportunity to learn the most current and proven methods of physique building.

“We are thrilled to broaden our offerings to the physique and bodybuilding community,” said Laurie McCartney, President of Ascend Learning’s Fitness & Wellness segment, which includes NASM. “Whether you are a fitness professional or anyone who wants to incorporate physique transformation into your life, this state-of-the-art program provides actionable and real-world strategies to achieve your goals.”

“Many well-known diet and fitness programs, especially those on social media, fail to offer a comprehensive and evidence-based approach to coaching and training for competitive fitness and bodybuilding,” said Mike Fantigrassi, senior director of product development for NASM. “In order to attain aesthetic goals in a fun and engaging online environment, it is critical to provide people with the scientifically sound information on recommended practices that we provide inside our program.”

The PBC program is available exclusively through NASM’s state-of-the-art, interactive and immersive online platform that is accessible from any location and any device. For more information, visit nasm.org/PBC.

About NASM

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) is a global leader in fitness and wellness certifications. Building on over 35 years of expertise, NASM programs create a roadmap for fitness and wellness professionals to help their clients achieve better physical and mental performance in athletics and everyday life. NASM provides an industry-first training system, with the Optimum Performance Training (OPT™) model, creating robust courses and content based solely on science-backed research. NASM has educated over 1.4 million fitness professionals in over 100 countries, creating a global space for optimal wellbeing and fitness. Learn more at www.nasm.org.

About Ascend Learning

Ascend Learning is a leading provider of online educational content, simulation, software and analytics serving students, educational institutions and employers. With products that span the learning continuum, Ascend Learning focuses on high-growth careers in a range of industries, with a special focus on healthcare and other high-growth, licensure-driven professions. Ascend Learning products, from testing to certification, are used by frontline healthcare workers, physicians, emergency medical professionals, nurses, certified personal trainers, financial advisors, skilled trades professionals and insurance brokers.

National Academy of Sports Medicine® and the Athletics and Fitness Association of America Present Lineup of Nationally Recognized Speakers for Annual Optima Conference

GILBERT, Ariz.—National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) and Athletics and Fitness Association of America (AFAA), Ascend Learning brands and the worldwide leaders in fitness certifications, are excited to announce a diverse lineup of speakers for the eighth annual Optima Conference taking place virtually October 13-15, 2022.

“Our fitness and wellness community is expanding as more people than ever before are focused on how they can lead healthier and happier lives,” said Laurie McCartney, President of Fitness and Wellness for Ascend Learning, where she oversees NASM and AFAA. “By bringing together the leading experts and innovators, Optima offers an abundance of learning opportunities for fitness and wellness professionals and enthusiasts who are looking for new and better ways to help transform lives, including their own.”

The roster of over 75 speakers provides a variety of health and fitness experts who will share insights on a wide range of topics – from wellness and nutrition to bodybuilding and sports medicine.

Featured speakers include:

  • Sunny Andrews, MD, one of the fittest doctors in the world, is a surgery resident, IFBB Wellness pro, fitness model, coach, nutritionist, world champion physique competitor, and successful entrepreneur.
  • Alan Aragon, MS, holds a master’s degree in human nutrition and is a nutrition researcher and educator with 25 years of success in the field. His most notable clients include “Stone Cold” Steve Austin, Derek Fisher, and Pete Sampras.
  • Allison Brager, PhD, specializes in sleep, circadian rhythms, and neuroscience research. As an elite athlete, Allison has leveraged her experience to help develop the first mental health handbook for the NCAA.
  • Bill Campbell, PhD, is a professor of exercise science and director of the Performance & Physique Enhancement Laboratory at the University of South Florida. He has published over 200 scientific papers and abstracts in the areas of physique enhancement, sports nutrition, and resistance training.
  • Tasha Edwards, MS, has 17 years of experience in the industry as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor of multiple modalities. She holds a master’s degree in counseling and utilizes her background in sociology and psychology to provide health and wellness services to help people live their best lives.
  • Guillermo Escalante, DSc, MBA, is an associate professor of kinesiology and dean fellow for the College of Natural Sciences at California State University San Bernardino. He is the lead subject matter expert for NASM’s Physique and Bodybuilding Coach Program, as well as an associate editor of the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition.
  • Ryan Glatt, MSc, is a personal trainer and brain-health coach with over a decade of experience in the fitness industry. Ryan has created the Brain Health Trainer course, which is the first comprehensive course to be released on the topic of brain health and exercise.
  • Joel Jamieson is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost authorities on conditioning and heart rate variability (HRV). With more than 20 years of experience as a coach, author, lecturer, and fitness entrepreneur, Joel has trained countless world champions and Olympic competitors.
  • Emily Splichal, DPM, is a functional podiatrist and human movement specialist, the founder of EBFA Global, creator of the Barefoot Training Specialist® certification. With over 20 years in the fitness industry, Splichal has dedicated her medical career to studying postural alignment and human movement as it relates to barefoot science, foot-to-core integration, and sensory integration.
  • Phil Weber is a leadership consultant, speaker, author, and executive coach. Phil coached for the Phoenix Suns, NY Knicks, and New Orleans Pelicans. He was an offensive advisor for the Miami Heat during three consecutive runs to the NBA Finals, including two World Championships.

The event’s keynote speaker is Kelly McGonigal who is best known for her TED Talk, “How to Make Stress Your Friend,” which has over 20 million views. She is also the author of several books including The Willpower Instinct, The Upside of Stress, and The Joy of Movement.

To learn more about the Optima Conference speakers and the topics of their sessions, visit www.nasm.org/optima-2022.

Registered attendees will have free access to more than 100 educational sessions, workouts, and networking events. There is also the option to purchase a Full Access Pass with Continuing Education Units (CEUs) which grants attendees the opportunity to earn up to 1.9 NASM or 19 AFAA CEUs.

The Optima Conference was awarded a Gold Stevie International Business Award for “Best Educational Conference” in 2021, making it one of the top events for members of the fitness and wellness industry. Last year, the conference welcomed more than 10,000 attendees from all facets of the fitness industry including personal trainers, wellness coaches, athletes, massage therapists, and health club managers.

About NASM

National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM) is a global leader in fitness education and certifications. Building on over 35 years of expertise, NASM programs create a roadmap for fitness professionals to help their clients achieve better physical and mental performance in athletics and everyday life. NASM provides an industry-first training system, with the Optimum Performance Training (OPT™) model, creating robust courses and content based solely on science-backed research. NASM has educated over 1.4 million fitness professionals in over 100 countries, creating a global space for optimal wellbeing and fitness. Learn more at www.nasm.org.

About AFAA

Since 1983, AFAA has issued over 350,000 certifications in 73 countries, providing generations with the practical skills, science and hands-on experience necessary for effective group leaders and trainers to motivate and inspire others to move toward healthier and happier lives. A global leader in fitness certification, AFAA upholds Basic Exercise Standards and Guidelines for safe fitness practice. To learn more about AFAA, visit afaa.com or call 1.800.446.AFAA. For news and industry insights, follow us on Facebook or Twitter at @AFAA_fit.

About Ascend Learning

Ascend Learning is a leading provider of online educational content, simulation, software and analytics serving students, educational institutions and employers. With products that span the learning continuum, Ascend Learning focuses on high-growth careers in a range of industries, with a special focus on healthcare and other high-growth, licensure-driven professions. Ascend Learning products, from testing to certification, are used by frontline healthcare workers, physicians, emergency medical professionals, nurses, certified personal trainers, financial advisors, skilled trades professionals and insurance brokers.

Make Your Move: Crystal Monteleone

At Ascend, we strive to provide opportunities for employees to stretch their skills and advance their careers by moving among business segments, brands and teams, driving personal and team growth while creating a culture where people love what they do, take ownership and are empowered to pursue new career opportunities within the company so we “hire our own talent.”

Crystal Monteleone made her move from a product owner in enterprise applications to a newly-formed team in our healthcare segment. In her former role, Crystal focused on ensuring the customer relationship management (CRM) development team for healthcare was focused on the most important enhancements to the business, improving the day-today business operations of CRM users and providing optimal solutions for managing their work. She continues to support the healthcare segment in her new role, where she serves as the technology & business readiness lead and helps establish processes to support better execution and management of technology investments.

Ascend Communications (AC): Can you tell us more about your new role? 

Crystal Monteleone (CM): I help to identify gaps in technology & processes and provide recommendations for success to our leadership. I also help drive complex technology projects, ensuring business readiness to be successful with those technology platforms. No day is the same, but each day I am focused on improving how technology supports the healthcare segment’s day-to-day work, and ultimately improving how we serve our customers.

AC: How did you learn about and pursue your new role?

CM: Through review cycles and regular 1:1 meetings, my manager and I often talked about how I could continue to grow my career. After a major initiative had wrapped up, I thought it was a good time to start exploring other role opportunities. We discussed what I was looking for and where I could add value given my background. I learned there was a new team starting up and after additional conversations, I was excited for the potential impact this team could have on the business and decided to formally apply.

AC: How would you describe the dynamic of your new team?

CM: Collaborative, creative, fun and hardworking. I love that we all bring different perspectives and experiences and are open to each other’s ideas to approaching and solving complex problems. There are so many opportunities to really make a business impact in this role.

AC: How have Ascend’s culture & values helped shape your experience?

CM: I honestly appreciate the positive and healthy culture at Ascend. It is something I brag about to friends and family. We’re passionate and courageous in the way we have faced industry challenges head-on and worked to make a positive impact for the business and our customers.

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When team members move to new roles across Ascend, they grow their skills and stretch their capabilities within a company they already know, maintain their benefits and connections with colleagues, and teams gain an employee already invested in the work, mission and culture — one that can ramp up quickly and bring legacy knowledge to their new role. To learn more about career opportunities at Ascend, visit our Careers page.