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–March 2014–

Sudha Pichumani QA Analyst

Sarah Wildhaber Digital Media Account Supervisor

Quentin Stevenson Media Buyer

Cynthia Love Enrollment Coordinator

Addison Price IMS Planner

Megan Pudenz Account Executive

Brandi Westhoff Enrollment Coordinator

Jennifer Clasen Enrollment Coordinator

Do you have a column or article you’d like to write? Have suggestions for our Editorial team? email the Podium DL!

TAKE NOTE PEOPLE! These are the examples among us who rock! If you also wish to rock, take note of the rocking of these individuals! Kyle Harbaugh – Creative Production Manager TAKE NOTE

Jonathan Gaikwad – Principal Systems Administrator




David Seibert – Senior BI Developer



Manuela Belluomini – Senior Billing Associate


Employee of the Month Congratulations to Kari Pirtle for winning PlattForm’s February companywide Employee of the Month award! The winners of these awards receive a plaque and the coveted reserved parking space. EOM nominations are submitted by director-level employees and above and the winners are determined by PlattForm’s internal board.




February 2014 Kari Pirtle Account Executive

Jerry Award Jerry Award Winner for Valuing our SERVICE value “Employees”

February 2014 Rebecca Streeter V.P. of Interactive Marketing

V & H LOOKUP Lessons An in-depth look into V and H LOOKUP formulas Instructor: Becky Siegel Date: 03/13/2014 - 9:00am LOOKUP formulas are very commonly used and can be very helpful in day-to-day reporting. This class will cover the ins and outs of both VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP. Attendees can expect to be able to immediately apply and perform what they learn in this course. A laptop (either PF or personal) is required to attend this class. PIVOT TABLE TOPICS An in-depth look into Excel Pivot Tables Instructor: Becky Siegel Date: 04/17/2014 - 9:00am Pivot Tables are a powerful tool used to quickly and easily analyze large pieces of data. This class

will cover creating, navigating within, adding calculated fields, and pulling data back out of Pivot Tables. Attendees can expect to be able to immediately apply and perform what they learn in this course. A laptop (either PF or personal) is required to attend this class. IMPROVING YOUR CHARTS AND GRAPHS An in-depth look into Excel charts and graphs Instructor: Becky Siegel Date: 05/22/2014 - 9:00am Charts and Graphs allow the user to visually express numerical data. This class will cover creating, formatting, and commonly used variations and additions to charts and graphs. Attendees can expect to be able to immediately apply and perform what they learn in this course. A laptop (either PF or personal) is required to attend this class.


BIRTHDAYS Brett Suddreth-March 1 James McMillian-March 2 Michael Pope –March 2 Shanna Shafer-March 2 Shannon Smith-March 2 Megan Whitesell-March 2 Jamon Abercrombie-March 3 Gary Murra-March 4 Jennifer Morris-March 5 Stephanie Hagmeier-March 7 Stefanie Jackson-March 8 Lance Barker-March 10 Jonathan Fizette-March 10

Tony Anderson-March 17 Anne Bowden-March 17 Kate Edwards-March 18 Bridget Duffy-Hays-March 22 Matthew Galbraith-March 23 Stephen Green-March 23 Deena Wienberg-March 23 Christine Boyd-March 24 Ryan Busch-March 25 Melissa Davis-March 27 Vanness Emokpae-March 27 Ashlyn Beadel-March 28 Alexa Chitwood-March 28

Raj Shankar 03-01-2009

Herston Fails 03-19-2012

Gary Murra 03-04-2013

Kristin Turner 03-20-2013

Jamon Abercrombie 03-05-2012

Pamela Cawthon 03-23-2009

Jessica Swan 03-06-2013

Sheri Hart 03-26-2002

Kyle Regier 03-07-2011

Brian Blancho 03-28-2007

Natalie Uhart 03-11-2013

Raphael Taylor 03-29-2010

Josh Votaw 03-11-2013

Russ Snowberry 03-31-2008

Kyle Andrew-March 11 Nicholas Samlow-March 11 Matt Griffin-March 12 Stefanie Hart-March 12 Dani Damaske-March 14

Andrew Hillard-March 28 Kerry Longwell-March 29 Sarah Martin-March 29 Anne Tomlinson-March 29

Anne Horrell 03-18-2013

Stacy Pendlay 03-12-2001 Jeffrey Russell 03-12-2012 Tony Anderson 03-15-2010 Steven Johnson 03-15-2010 Sarah Moon 03-18-2013 Manuela Belluomini 03-19-2012

Wellness Corner Biggest Loser Update

By Johanna Kluemper

PlattForm has kicked off its annual Biggest Loser competition once again! Each year we have been trying to change up the style of the competition. This year, we have introduced new coaches, added different goals to encourage more participation outside of just weight-loss, tested for endurance with 3 fit-tests throughout the competition, and outside of the money, we have some new prizes! Our coaches this year are Vanness Emokpae, Will Buntin, Jen Morris, Andrew Dalbey, and myself. The coaches are available to the participants for one-on-one training, group training, nutrition recommendations, motivation tips, and continued encouragement. Health and Fitness is a passion for all 5 of us, and we love to share that with others that are seeking it out. We really want this to be a healthy competition (literally and figuratively) so that the tips and workouts we give can be taken with each participant to continue on with once the program is complete. As coaches, our goal is to encourage the start of a healthy lifestyle to share with co-workers and family members so that there is still a level of accountability and discipline once the competition wraps up on April 25th. The participants are nearing the half-way point, which is coming up on March 10th. With a month under their

belt, they have collectively lost around 110 pounds from their original weight for those in the weightloss category, and close to 5% body fat for those participants in the body fat loss category. We have a private yammer group that is dedicated to posting weekly results, sharing ideas or questions, sending out workouts, and much more! It’s a great place for the participants to collaborate with each other and for the coaches to keep pushing each other to be better each week and keep up with their ultimate goal.

: E MONTH H T F O IP guessing y d o BL2014 T b r u o y r to keep ut with the Remembe o g in k r o w es to when it com le. Workout ip c in r p n io e fus t make sur muscle con s ju t u b , t e grea routines ar exercises w e n e m o s te r to incorpora to push you n e h t d n a /better. r e every now t s a f / r stronge oaches for body to be c e h t f o y to an d to your d a Reach out o t s e is w exerc ideas on ne utine! workout ro


HOT OFF THE PLATTFORM.COM/BLOG Restore Order to Content Marketing - Dani Damaske


Mobile Convenience: Understanding Click-to-Call Marketing -Rebecca Streeter Instant Reaction: Lessons Learned From Engaging in Real-Time Conversations -Megan Mandel 3 Social Media Trends to Try in 2014 -Ashley Powell

What’s Inside: • Rising cost-per-click trends • Changing user behavior and demographics • Diversifying digital and traditional media spend and more!

Want to contribute to our blog and possibly be featured in the Marketing Matters newsletter? We’re always looking for new, creative ideas – and you don’t have to be a writer to participate! Email Dani Damaske for details.

Where We’ll Be SXSWedu (South by Southwest) Annual Conference March 3-6 | Austin, TX Attendee: Angie Keiser

TUESDAYS 10 a.m. - 11 a.m. Our beloved CoffeeCakeKC had to raise their insurance to comply with building management. Now that they’re back, they need our support.

LeadsCon West 2014 March 25-28 | Las Vegas, NV

Warm up to some coffee and #showthelove.

Attendees: Kris Little, Justin Gill, Brian Blancho, Lori Turec, Brad Gibbs, Aaron Edwards, Lyle Kraft & Kyla Booth

Tuesday is the new Monday!

8th Annual OCICU (Online Consortium of Independent College and Universities) Conference March 27-28 | Denver, CO Attendee: Lyle Kraft

99th Annual UPCEA (University Professional and Continuing Education Association) Conference March 26-28 | Miami, FL Attendees: Michael Purcell, Nirmeen Hasan

CoffeeCakeKC will now be here every Tuesday morning at 10 a.m. And find them at Liquid Education every Wednesday at 9:45 a.m.!

Spotlight Series Dave Admire Chief Integrity Officer By Arianna Suddreth

I had the opportunity to sit down with Dave before his retirement from PlattForm and ask him a few questions about life after PlattForm, the best lesson he’s learned throughout his career, and what success really looks like. Arianna: What attracted you to PlattForm?

D: Never say never. Whether it’s marketing or tech or working with people, just never say never. There’s a saying in the Sea Bees, “The difficult we do right away the impossible takes a little bit of planning.” That rings true out of the Navy, too. A: What would you say you are most proud of, or is your biggest accomplishment, during your time at PlattForm?

Dave: Michael and Tami, knowing them. I knew Michael was a great idea guy, and I was a good D: Liquid Education. Formerly known as Career operations implementing guy. Once I learned Advisor. what we were doing, I thought it was a win/ A: What is your favorite sport? win. A: I usually ask people how they begin their day. But, let’s switch it up, how do you end your day? D: At the office? By making sure my inbox is empty. I don’t like to leave things hanging. There’s never something I haven’t paid attention to. I also look at my daily calendar to see what’s coming up the next day. Away from the office? I head home; I call my Dad every night on the way home. A: What is the best lesson you’ve learned throughout your career?

D: To play? Baseball. To watch? KU basketball, with the Chiefs being a close second. A: Do you have a personal motto? D: It’s simple but, “Always tell the truth, and you never have to remember what you said.” A: Who would you say is your biggest role model or source of wisdom? D: My mom and dad. The way they raised me to open car doors, and say thank you. To treat people with respect. That if you’re going to work, you give it everything you’ve got.

Pour your life into people. That’s what I got Cuba. A Navy kid, he grew up in Pensacola, FL from [my] Mom. and Long Beach, CA before moving to Olathe in 1966. He currently calls Gardner home. A: As you head into retirement, do you have any parting words of wisdom? He’s been married to his wife Mary for 23 years in May and credits communication and D: Believe in what you do because it makes compromise as the secret to a lasting marriage. the journey a lot more enjoyable, and it helps He and Mary have three children, Nick, Pinky, you give everything you’ve got to pour into it. and Kelsey. When asked who his favorite was he quickly responded that he didn’t have one. A: What is your definition of success? He went on to say that if you ask any of his children, though, they would each tell you that D: When I’m gone, that my family still talks it’s them. about me around the campfire about what He also has two grandsons, Noah and Colin, I did. I think about my Mom’s funeral and all and one granddaughter, Rileigh. the people that were there, and that she never gave herself any credit because she had a Dave, best wishes for the next journey fourth grade education. But she gave. And that life has in store for you. that’s success - knowing that I helped people get further than they could. That’s success. PlattForm will miss seeing your face in And success is always walking around in [my its halls. children] Nick, Pinky, and Kelsey. They are just good people. A: What is in store for you after PlattForm? D: Work for six more years, get my software product off the ground, and catch a 50-inch Muskie. Dave Admire was born in Guantanamo Bay,

Spotlight Series Patrick Donoghue – CFO By Arianna Suddreth

You may have seen our new Chief Financial Officer in the halls over the last several months and didn’t even realize it!

A: As CFO, what are your goals for PF? P: Some CFOs are very accounting focused, but that’s not me. I focus more on the business and driving the business using financials and data to inform and shape where we go and Please join me in welcoming Patrick what we focus on. A big part of my job is Donoghue to the PlattForm family. I to help shape our strategy moving forward had the opportunity to sit down with and also continue to work on improving the Patrick and learn a little bit more about efficiency of the business.

him, how he tackles the role of CFO, and what he thinks PlattForm’s next A: What is PF’s biggest opportunity? steps should be as we look toward our P: One of the initial bursts of energy we are going to put in is figuring out what everyone future.

thinks the strategy should be moving forward. He also had some, um, interesting, What can we add on top of our base offering ideas on how to liven up the office to double or triple the size of the company, and how are we going to fund the growth? environment. Arianna: How do you begin an ordinary day? Patrick: Working out, happens only a fraction of the time –but that would be the ideal. When I’m home, I see my wife and one daughter, the high schooler is usually up at the same time. I have three daughters, ages 20, 18, and 15. I also have a 12-year-old chocolate lab named Libby. A: I’m gonna put you on the spot now. How long have you been married? P: 22 years

A: What is the best lesson you’ve learned throughout your career? P: Everybody controls their own destiny. If what you’re doing today is not what you want to be doing figure it out - first manager A: What is your favorite sport/team (college and professional)? P: Hockey. Hockey. Ice hockey, not field hockey. Blackhawks.

A: I was worried you were going to say you were a Cubs Fan. P: The way I describe baseball in Chicago is if you want to see a baseball game, go to a White Sox game, if you want the social aspect, go to Wrigley Field – they also happen to have a baseball team.

in touch with what’s going on. The industry stuff, there’s a lot of stuff out there, you know you’ve got The Chronicle, and to just sort of get snippets of stuff, there’s a new one that I really like, Education Dive.

A: What does PF stand for within the education industry? A: Only an ice hockey fan? Not a college P: From a new person’s perspective - they sports fan? have a reputation of delivering high quality P: I am. College basketball. Illinois. Big 10 advertising marketing services and over the Rules. One thing I think can improve the office years have grown into a supplier of leads environment is if we convert the Big 12 room that both nonprofit and for-profit schools into a Big 10 room, wouldn’t you agree? rely on. But at its core, it’s the marketing and advertising services. A: What attracted you to PlattForm? P: Embanet was the first time I worked A: Who is your biggest role model or source within the education industry. It’s a feel good of wisdom? industry; the end result is that you’re helping P: My father. I think your parents are the ones someone achieve whatever life goals they are who embed in you the values you both aspire aspiring to. It’s a fun industry to work in and to and follow as you go through your life, and when we were done at Embanet, I still had a he was a person who showed the value of strong interest staying in education, and I was hard work and dedication and commitment to looking for a company that had a good base whatever it is you’re doing. to springboard off of for growth, and I think a lot of the things that PlattForm has done over A: Do you have a personal motto? the years gives a great base to grow into other P: Work hard. Play hard. services. And it is a great environment; it’s a lot of fun, and I like to have fun at work. Now THAT’s a good motto!

Welcome to the PlattForm family, A: Are you active on social media and who Patrick! We are glad you’re here. do you follow? P: I’m active to the extent that I use Facebook and look in on Twitter, but I don’t actively follow any one. I spend a lot of time reading industry research and articles and news. Same with financial and business news. A: Who should we be reading? Which financial or educational based outlets should we be paying attention to? P: On the Business side you’ve got The Journal, Financial Times. The Economist is probably the best global magazine if you want to keep

DEPARTMENT UPDATES Culture Club By Brett Suddreth

Culture Club has been busy planning out the next couple months of activities. Here is what is coming up: MARCH Tournament of Champions • Nintendo Wii Bowling • 3-on-3 Basketball • St. Platty’s Day

We also welcome your suggestions on how we can grow culture here at PlattForm. We encourage you to jot your idea down, and place it in one of our suggestion stations, or email Thanks to everyone for making this such a special place to work! Have a great week!

APRIL Tournament of Champions • 3-on-3 Basketball (continuation/completion) • Ping Pong (singles and doubles) • Culture Club Elections

Client ServiceS By Lori Turec Client Services has been focused on several initiatives to ensure client engagement and satisfaction. Highlights include: • Addressing specific client opportunities and challenges identified in the December client survey • Continued work with Sales and Marcom on cross selling/proposal win rates • Finalizing analytics with IT and internal teams that will take a more client-centric view of performance data.

We also have kicked off our AOR Boot camp training for any AE who is not on an AOR account. Looking forward, we’re scheduling meetings with clients who will be at LeadsCon in March, and we’re working with Accounting, IT and internal teams on streamlining the current billing process.

OPERATIONS By Michael Pope

With the end of March fast approaching, everyone in Ops has been (figuratively) working their butts off to make sure we send the 2014 fiscal year out in style. Of course, this time of year is also when PlattFormers attempt to use up their required amount of PTO, and each of us have been taking our turn spending time away from the office. So when I said last month that you would soon be seeing less of Ops, I wasn’t technically lying! (I give you all full permission to be jealous of Melissa, who has spent the past week hiding out from the cold in sunny California.)

Meanwhile, our Yammer groups on proofing and docket tips are still continuing to dispense pure wisdom. Covering everything from common RT questions and etiquette to the secrets of the dreaded Client Information Sheet, these updates can help you out no matter which department you’re in. Do yourself a favor, and check them out each week for another juicy tidbit of Ops knowledge. And finally, your Holly Balloon Update for this month: It’s still going strong! At this point, we should seriously consider charging admission.

SEO By Lauren Hipp

Q: Which team gained new business with Viterbo University and Jones International, is in the process of hiring two additional members, has a total of three new team babies*, and won the holiday poddecorating contest over 2 months ago?

A: SEO. *Special thanks to Allen and Joe for creating the aforementioned babies.

CREATIVE By Steve Bennaka In the past month, the rapscallions in the Creative department have participated in a wide range of activities designed to built camaraderie and promote out-of-the-box thinking. We went on a team outing to tour Boulevard Brewing Company, had a team breakfast (you probably smelled the bacon), and completed our 18-hole office mini golf challenge. We even managed to do a little work. We’ve also added a couple of team members recently. Here’s a quick Q&A to help you become acquainted:

AARON BAKER, VIDEO EDITOR Who is your favorite Sesame Street character and why? Snuffleupagus, because he was gigantic and slow.

Would you rather fight 100 duck-sized horses or one horse-sized duck? One horse-sized duck. You could just take its knees out and jump on top of it. What song do you listen to when you want to get really pumped up for a long editing session? “Eye of the Tiger” by Survivor SARAH MASON, TRAFFIC COORDINATOR If you could hire one celebrity to narrate your life, who would it be? Let’s just go with Jennifer Lawrence, because she’s funny. Who was your first crush? Taylor Burns. He gave me a rose on Valentine’s Day, so I was kind of interested in him for a while. What kind of bear is best? Red pandas are kind of adorable.

STEVE’S QUIRKY QUERIES 1. Would you rather: 5. Who is the best Toy Story character? • Pitch a perfect game in Game 7 of the World Series 57% • Woody 20% • Win the 100-meter dash in the Olympics, setting a new world record 43% • Buzz Lightyear 11% • Jessie 0% 2. Where do you land on White Castle sliders? • Rex 18% • Love them. I really wish we had one in Kansas City. 41% • Slinky Dog 13% • They’re the most abhorrent food ever created. 59% • Hamm 11% • Mr./Mrs. Potato Head 20% 3. How many games will the Royals win this year? • Bullseye 5% • 60 - 69: Same old Royals 9% • Other 2% • 70 - 79: We might see a slight drop-off from last year 9% • 80 - 89: Maybe we can snag a Wild Card berth 66% • 90 - 99: AL Central champs, baby! 11% • 100+: See you in the World Series! 5% 4. How would you describe your reaction to the Royals ending the tradition of singing Garth Brooks’ “Friends in Low Places” at every home game? • Relieved 64% • Enthused 14% • Thrilled 12% • Pumped 10%

Team By ? inspire • engage • ser ve


HAPPENINGS By Morgan Baker

Keeping up with Team Phil Have you been curious as to what the Leadership Team has been up to lately? Well, wonder no more! In January, this group made a special trip to the local Ronald McDonald house to make dinner for 30 residents! The Ronald McDonald House helps people who have loved ones in the hospital and want to be nearby. The Leadership Team had a great time cooking up some tasty taco bar food and getting to know the people currently living in this house. In February, Team Phil donated $1000 to local animal shelters! Members of the leadership group went shopping for some much needed supplies, and even delivered all these goodies to the homeless cats and dogs.

Team Phil Honorable Mention Team Phil works hard to put together volunteer activities and opportunities, but in February, another group of great people stood up to the challenge of creating their own activity! The Human Resources & Administration team crafted Valentine’s for Rose Brooks and Safe Home women’s shelters! Not only did they organize and buy all of the materials, but they reached out to other teams and made this available for anyone who wanted to participate (including Liquid Ed!). Way to go, HR! You did a great job, and really made a difference to the recipients!

Bookin’ it PlattForm Style The time for spring cleaning is near, and what better way to clear out the clutter than to donate what you no longer use?! Team Phil is putting on a book drive to benefit Pages & Chapters’, a local organization that provides support and resources in the area of literacy. There will be donation bins in the lobby of both floors in which you can drop off new or gently used books during the month of March! If you have any questions, please direct them to Team Phil on Yammer.

Upcoming Volunteer Opportunity: Books on the Move! Are you interested in furthering your participation for the Pages & Chapters’ opportunity? On Saturday March 29th, this group will be riding local transit to pass out books and spread the word of literacy, and YOU can join them! If you would like more information, please contact Team Phil through email or Yammer.

? Have you used your Charity PTO day yet? Drawings will be held quarterly at the EOM announcement!

Behind the Scenes: EDITOR Valerie Good-Turney DESIGN/LAYOUT Jennifer Baker

EDITORIAL BOARD Morgan Baker Steve Bennaka Lauren Hipp Johanna Kluemper Michael Pope Arianna Suddreth Brett Suddreth Lori Turec



March Podium