Getting to Know Roundtable Learning: What we’re reading this month

Meet a few members of the Roundtable Learning team and take a look at which books we’ve had our noses in and what podcasts we’ve tuned into this month.

Doug Breehl-Pitorak – Creative Writer

What do you do at Roundtable?

Essentially, I’m a script-writer. I conceptualize and create scripts for clients’ tailored eLearning courses, VR scenarios and training videos.

What are you reading?

I’m currently re-reading a collection of poems titled Deaf Republic by Ilya Kaminsky. I also just finished All the Pieces Matter: the inside story of the Wire by Jonathan Abrams, which is an inside look at the show The Wire. It’s great.

Any podcasts you’re listening to?

I cycle between Poetry off the Shelf and the Poetry Society podcast.

Thoughts on these books/podcasts?

Reading poetry and listening to these podcasts helps me have fresh perspectives and angles on storytelling, and how I can bring these elements into my work at Roundtable. To be a better writer, you need to be a good reader, and reading stuff like this helps me to be an all-around better writer. Listening to poems helps me with the fact that I am writing for the ear, for example, when I write voiceover scripts. Hearing poets perform their work helps refine my sense of rhythm and pace for the scripts I write; it helps me understand how words will sound when spoken aloud.

Jamie Spencer – Graphic Designer

What do you do at Roundtable?

I’m a graphic designer, so I make our eLearning courses look beautiful! Aside from designing eLearning courses, I help with video-editing and motion graphics.

What are you reading?

Well, at the moment, I am reading Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets with my kids, but as a designer, I take inspiration from design magazines like Communication Arts. That’s my more consistent reading.

Any podcasts you’re listening to?

Anything true crime related!

Scott Stachiw – Multimedia Director

What do you do at Roundtable?

Here at Roundtable, I have the pleasure of researching, developing, and overseeing the production of Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, and Video-Based learning experiences. If I’m not traveling for a video shoot, I’m donning a VR headset or exploring immersive learning possibilities with our clients.

What are you reading?

I wish I had time to read some fiction or the latest Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, but most of my reading these days consists of white papers and documentation for software development kits. In fact, right now I’m brushing up on the latest features for ARKit 3! As for the articles on ARKit 3, I keep abreast of the latest trends and technology. This new release is very promising in allowing better AR experiences including multiple users, dual camera, and my favorite feature, person detection and occlusion. In essence, allowing augmented objects to appear behind people rather than always placed in front of them! 

Any podcasts you’re listening to?

What about music? Right now I’m digging Bad Guy from Billie Eilish!

Samantha McClintock – VP of Marketing

What do you do at Roundtable?

I oversee all marketing efforts including our inbound and outbound strategy, all sales enablement, and our brand awareness initiatives, for example, awards, conferences and general branding.

What are you reading?

I bounce between fiction and non-fiction, but I’m definitely more of a fiction reader. I recently finished An American Marriage by Tayari Jones, which was excellent. I also read City of Girls by Elizabeth Gilbert. I wasn’t a huge fan, but I have never not finished a book that I started! Next up on my reading list is a collection of essays by Toni Morrison, The Source of Self-Regard. She was my first literary love. 

Any podcasts you’re listening to?

I have a podcast schedule actually! Every morning I listen to The Daily. It’s a nice little snippet of news for my commute. On Wednesdays, I listen to a podcast called The Social Media Marketing Podcast. It has great interviews with inspiring marketers. I also have really been enjoying a podcast called Safe for Work. It’s a light-hearted commentary on navigating the workplace.

Thoughts on these books/podcasts?

The Daily is important from a marketing angle because it allows me to have a sense of what is going on in the world so that we may create timely content. The marketing podcasts challenge me. They make me consider: how can we implement this strategy at Roundtable? 

Ben Boggs – VP of Finance and Operations

What do you do at Roundtable?

Finance and accounting, the high-level operations of our Learning Team, and some HR-related tasks.

What are you reading?

I currently have Measure What Matters by John Doerr on my Kindle! Oh, and Influence by Robert Cialdini. 

Any podcasts you’re listening to?

I’m a big fan of The Tim Ferriss Show. He interviews world-class people in their areas of expertise. I love origin stories–what shapes people, habits, routines, life experiences–and he discusses all of that with these people. 

Thoughts on these books/podcasts?

Measure What Matters is great because it discusses how Intel and other companies used a system for ambitious goals by creating company alignment. I think that’s relevant to us as we are trying to be a best in class learning solutions provider. The book has made me consider how I can help us all move in the same direction.

Bob Baskette – Founder and CTO

What do you do at Roundtable?

I am ultimately responsible for all of the technology that comes in or goes out, and what we’re making, for example, software and its production.

What are you reading?

Right now, I am reading The Education of Cyrus by Xenophon with my son. Xenophon was a student of Socrates, an Athenian general, and a prolific writer. I also really enjoy studying the construction of languages and how they evolve after being introduced to Noam Chomsky’s work on context free-grammars that are used by developers every day.

Any podcasts you’re listening to?

Lots of technical topics! I like listening to vintage computing podcasts to hear about all the obscure, crazy things the industry tried in the past, writing software, and so on. I love Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History. And The Judge John Hodgman Podcast, just for laughs.

Thoughts on these books/podcasts?

Whenever you read a piece of ancient literature, it’s important to consider the audience at the time: who would have been able to read it or who could apply it. The Education of Cyrus is essentially a book on leadership. It discusses how deals were brokered, how peace was kept, how order was maintained. These works are bombastic, but there are thematic elements to pull from them that apply to modern times. 

Rose Robertson – Senior Learning Consultant

What do you do at Roundtable?

I am a learning consultant, so I partner with the Sales Team to come up with the best learning solutions for our clients. I also manage the Learning Team.

What are you reading?

Anything by Brené Brown. I recently read Dare to Lead by her. It discusses how to be an authentic leader. 

Any podcasts you’re listening to?

I love a good TedTalk! I love listening to TedTalks that center around leadership in general. I like helping people, and anything that can help me help others grow and develop, I’m interested in. 

Thoughts on these books/podcasts?

Dare to Lead challenges the traditional tropes of leadership and urges leaders to employ compassion and vulnerability. People sometimes think leaders need to know everything, but they don’t! Dare to Lead encourages leaders to have an attitude of “let’s work through things together,” and I think that’s important in any workplace.

Jim Lorentz – Client Executive

What do you do at Roundtable?

I strive to create strategic, long-lasting partnerships where the main goal is to try to understand who our client partners are so that we can help create appropriate solutions.

What are you reading?

A few things. Power of Your Subconscious Mind by Joseph Murphy and Moonwalking with Einstein by Joshua Foer. I particularly like the latter as it discusses ways to improve your mind and keep your memory sharp. I recently read Tim Tebow’s autobiography. I liked it because I like him. I walked away from it feeling good. 

Any podcasts you’re listening to?

I just listened to a TedTalk by Dan Gilbert. It’s called Why We Make Bad Decisions. It was excellent.

Thoughts on these books/podcasts?

Most of the things I read or listen to fall into the realm of “sharpening the saw.” They help me in both my personal and professional life.