At Remote Learner, our greatest strength is our staff. We have a diverse group of employees around the United States and Canada, individuals with the unique backgrounds and skills needed to meet the challenges faced by our clients. Over the last few months we’ve been profiling some of the staff members that make the Remote Learner team strong. This week we talked to Brendan Landry, Remote Learner’s Account Operations Manager.
Name: Brendan Landry
Position: Account Operations Manager
Home: Beverly, MA
Brief: Brendan Landry lives in Beverly, MA with his wife and their two children. Brendan has a rich operations and management background, as well as a diverse range of interests including playing the mandolin and homebrewing. He recently joined Remote Learner after a prolific not-for profit career.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself, Brendan.
After about 17 years in Denver, CO, I recently moved to Beverly, MA (just north of Boston) to be closer to my wife’s family…and great seafood. My wife, Stacey, and I have 2 young kids, Eliot (3) and Esmae (1), so we spend most of our time playing with them and/or cleaning up legos, trucks, and spilled cheerios. Even so, I manage to pursue a few hobbies on a regular basis, including mandolin performances to mixed reviews from the kids, pizza baking, yoga, and home brewing. I still consider myself to be a soccer player, though I do far more watching of games these days than actually playing.
Q: Tell me a little about your career path and what brought you to Remote Learner.
The majority of my career has been in the not-for-profit sector, where I started out as a preschool teacher for a Head Start program. From there, I stumbled into a career in community economic development after signing up for an Americorps year during which I taught at-risk kids about entrepreneurship and helping them start actual businesses. In 2008, I co-founded the Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute, an organization that supports aspiring entrepreneurs from marginalized communities to launch and grow small businesses (10+ years later, you can still see RMMFI in action!). The true magic of that work was that our job was literally to help people turn their dream into a reality; and the added bonus was that in order to do it, we got to elicit support from an amazing and diverse community of people (which is how I first met Remote Learner CEO Ron Olsen)….and even better, I got to do all of this amazing work with my wife right by my side, as she was a fellow co-founder.
My last gig before coming to Remote Learner was with Denver Public School’s Innovation Lab, where I coordinated district-wide innovation challenges to source grassroots solutions to some of public education’s most pressing problems. Though we didn’t solve many of the problems during my tenure, the job did give me a chance to hone my skills around human-centered design and develop an even healthier respect for the educators of our world, who I believe are some of the most dedicated and hard working people you’ll find anywhere.
Q: You joined the company just a few months ago. What made Remote Learner a good match for you?
First things first, I would say the people that make up the team. I became aware of Remote Learner because I knew Ron and had the chance to do some work with him and learn from him. The assumption for me was that good people surround themselves with good people. As I started exploring opportunities with RL, I saw that to be the case. Secondly, I think Remote Learner directly connects to the common theme I have seen throughout my career, which is around the power of providing solid, meaningful opportunities through access to relevant educational experiences. At its core, that is what I believe RL is all about.
Q: What’s a day at Remote Learner look like for you?
Well, I currently spend a lot of time learning the ropes; but a lot of my role as Account Operations Manager is ensuring that we have processes and systems in place behind the scenes so that Account Managers have what they need–information, support, etc.–to address client needs as they come up. A typical day is shaped by the ever-changing client issues or requests that come down the pike (which has thus far kept things interesting), and I spend a lot of time working with Account Managers to help them think through specific issues and get them moving toward the best solution for the client as seamlessly as possible.
Q: How would you describe the impact you and your team aspire to make for our clients each day?
Remote Learner’s success is determined by the relationships that we are able to maintain with the clients, and to me, that means that the Account Managers are primarily in the people business. It’s our responsibility to go beyond the simple transaction, to really understand the goals that each client has set forth, and be a partner and champion in finding the best solution, whether we are talking about overhauling their full LMS or simply ensuring that today’s support ticket is dealt with quickly and effectively.