5 Questions Every Employee Needs Their Leader to Answer
Bob Parks joins Susan Hall for Episode 5 of the Strategic Insights Podcast.Read more
Our company was founded in St. Charles, IL by Bob Parks and a partner in 1984. Our vision was to offer superior training and development consulting, using tools from the best resources available. Since then we have worked with companies, large and small, across diverse industries to accomplish amazing long lasting results. We are proud to say that we still work with our first two clients. Over 150,000 people in 600 companies in 37 states and 33 countries have benefited from learning opportunities that helped them increase their personal effectiveness, not only on the job but in life as well.
In 1988, Holly Parks bought out Bob’s partner and we started to grow, adding offices in Baltimore, MD, Bluffton, SC and St. Paul, Minnesota. While our offices are local, our reach is global. Through our partnership with Wilson Learning Worldwide, we have an established presence around the world. Over the years, we have made new alliances with companies like Celemi (simulations), Sell XL (strategic sales skills), Oxicon (sales hiring protocol) and Get Control!™ (email, phone and meeting efficiency) that could enhance our offerings to our clients. Consistently one of the top four agents for Wilson Learning, we have continued our legacy of commitment and dedication to our clients’ success through their employees.
Bob, one of the founders of Strategic Enhancement Group, has over 40 years of experience in business. Prior to starting Strategic Enhancement Group in 1984, he held sales, sales management, senior management and board of directors’ positions with three international companies. Bob earned his B.S. from the Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland and his M.B.A. from the University of Chicago Executive Program. SEG has consistently been one of Wilson Learning’s top performing and award-winning partners for over two decades. Bob has won both the Crystal Wisdom Award and the Summit Award given by Wilson Learning for outstanding contribution to the culture and growth of Wilson Learning’s agency network. He served as President of the Board of Advisors to Wilson Learning as well as on several charitable organization boards.
Our focus is on delivering real business results. We want to improve the performance of our clients by improving the performance of their employees, one person at a time. What we do is very important to our clients, but it is also very important to us. We believe our clients vote on us every day and therefore we have to demonstrate value to them every day."
Andrea has been working at Strategic Enhancement Group since 1992. She is vital in helping the sales consultants craft solutions that are truly customer focused and then helping the client to implement these solutions. She has extensive experience working with our international partners, making it easy to do business with us. Andrea graduated from Eastern Illinois University with a B.S. degree in fashion merchandising/interior design with a minor in business administration. Prior to joining SEG she worked with a merchandise wholesaler in sales and managed a retail home improvement store.
We have a vested interest in doing what is best for our clients. We work closely with our clients to solve their business problems. During the project, my goal is to make sure everything runs smoothly, anticipate the things our client may not have considered and ensure a positive experience for everyone involved. After the project is complete, I want them to say we had a positive impact on their business results and it was really easy working with SEG. Everyone who works here loves what they do and enjoys seeing their clients meet their goals.”
Holly bought out Bob’s partner in 1988 to become an owner in Strategic Enhancement Group. She has over 35 years of experience in business. Prior to joining SEG, Holly ran the operations for companies as diverse as paper converting to packaging to computer value added reseller. Her role with Strategic Enhancement Group is to set and execute the strategic direction for the company. Holly majored in political science with minors in French and Spanish at Western Illinois University. Along with Bob, Holly has been recognized with the highest awards given by Wilson Learning.
Every day we strive to make a difference in people’s lives by helping them to learn new skills to do their jobs more effectively. Over the years, we have had the pleasure of working with some really great people at great companies. It is so rewarding to hear about our clients’ success and know that we had a part in making it happen.”
Susan brings over 20 years of experience working with global markets and organizations, helping them navigate through tough economic challenges while maintaining their margins. Since joining SEG in 1995, she has had the privilege of working with organizations that truly value the development of their employees and recognize the impact their people have on their bottom line results. Susan graduated from Pennsylvania State University with a double major in business management and speech communication. She has also completed course work toward her master's degree at Johns Hopkins University.
Every client, every situation, every problem is unique, and that inspires me to continually hone my knowledge and bring my best discovery and problem solving skills in a way that meets each client’s needs. I am passionate about results – and strongly believe that generosity of insight and a thoughtful plan for transferring knowledge and skills are critical to ensuring long term impact. It is fulfilling to work with an organization like SEG that brings the best of personal touch - combined with superb expertise around employee performance. Whether it is helping clients with their strategic planning or implementing training initiatives, we pride ourselves on working closely with our clients to ensure they are achieving the results they expect when they work with us. I personally view my client’s success as my success.”
A native of Brazil, Joane first came to the U.S. as a foreign exchange student with AFS. She returned to Brazil where she successfully ran and sold two different businesses. Returning to the US in 1992, Joane put her business ownership experience to work with a small manufacturing company running the day-to-day operations and facilitating sales with South American companies. She joined SEG in 1999, where her experience has helped her clients get the results they desired. Joane has a B.S. degree in business management from North Central College, where she majored in international business and Spanish.
When we start to work with a new client, they sometimes have the perception that we are a just a training company and that we are immediately going to start pitching training programs to them. In reality we are a performance improvement company. We don’t come in with one solution in mind; we bring the ability to help them look at their challenges from a fresh perspective. Often in the process of our discussions, together we discover that their real challenge is something altogether different than what the client initially thought it was. For us this isn’t a one-time event. We want to develop the process that will deliver the business results that the client needs”
Tim brings over 25 years of experience working closely with business leaders throughout the Twin Cities and the USA. He has worked within a multitude of workplace cultures and economic cycles, helping leaders and teams improve their effectiveness and results. Since joining SEG in 2007, Tim has continued his work as a change agent, helping organizations meet their goals. Tim graduated from Warren Wilson College in 1983 with a B.S. degree in social work.
Whether our help is in the form of consulting or training or both, success for the client and for me is determined when they meet their goals and create the change and outcomes they desire. I’m excited to be part of an organization for which "helping clients" goes far beyond the purchase of the product. The SEG philosophy is consistent with my own personal and professional values. I’ve had the chance to work with some of the finest companies and non-profit organizations in the nation, and it’s extremely fulfilling to help clients fully understand their challenges and to work in partnership to determine the best ways to help them.”
Prior to joining Strategic Enhancement Group in 2005 Marilyn worked for 34 years with a large telecommunications company in the areas of customer service and project management. Taking advantage of her vast experience with customer service and her eagerness to learn new things, she has a multifaceted role at Strategic Enhancement, functioning as office manager, project manager, managing our public seminar offering and managing the marketing functions.
Customer service has always been number one for me and it is certainly true for everyone at SEG. I enjoy being part of a team whose only goal is the success of their clients. Each and every one of us, no matter what our role, is passionate about the work we do, and in the end, if our clients don’t succeed, we don’t succeed. It’s really all about the people, and it’s the people at SEG that make the difference.”
Ron has spent his entire career in sales, sales management and general management at a major chemical company. His passion for sales and for helping others succeed in sales is clearly apparent in the courses he facilitates for SEG’s clients. He has an instant rapport with the members of his classes because he walked in their shoes. Since 1999 Ron has facilitated and consulted with SEG clients to improve their hiring, selling, and marketing. Ron graduated from the Ohio State University with a B.S. in biology and a minor in chemistry.
I have really enjoyed working the last 15 years as a Consultant and Facilitator for SEG. I realized as a 12 year customer of SEG that their philosophy was different and totally focused on skill development, improving organizational performance and the development of each individual with an emphasis on fulfillment. In my role with SEG, I continue to use the skills of consultative selling with customers and prospects. Building trust by understanding the customer’s business, understanding the current and desired situations, and supporting the skill development after training have been key to building strong relationships with customers. Our impact on business performance, sales and leadership development makes my work very rewarding.”
As an organizational and personal performance coach, Debbie enjoys helping groups and individuals improve their effectiveness in the global marketplace. With close to 20 years of experience as a member of the international Wilson Learning Extended Enterprise, Debbie has worked with SEG since 2004 to improve client’s skill development in many areas of personal influence, including sales and leadership. Debbie has a master's degree in human resource development from George Washington University. She was also recognized by Wilson Learning in 2009 as Consultant of the Year.
Our approach is comprehensive, creating actual behavioral change through deep understanding of client needs, interactive learning facilitation, and state of the art follow up. Watching our clients succeed in challenging times is both fulfilling and exciting.”
Bruce brings over 35 years’ experience working within some of the finest companies and organizations in the nation, as a production manager, sales representative, sales manager and training manager. He also brings a global perspective to SEG’s clients having conducted training and consulting in 25 countries outside the U.S. Bruce graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point with a B.S. degree in general engineering. He left the Army as a Captain. He has a master of science degree from Boston University in business administration.
I enjoy being part of an organization which understands that helping clients goes far beyond the purchase of training products. The SEG philosophy is consistent with my own personal and professional values, and since joining SEG in 2008, I’ve enjoyed working with numerous clients. We offer clients the chance to fully understand their challenges and identify the best ways to address them. Whether our help is in the form of consulting or training or both, success for the client and for me is determined when they meet their goals and create the change and outcomes most desired. I love seeing the growth and development in knowledge and skills of the people and companies I work with as a Senior Consultant with SEG!”
Paul comes to SEG with 26 years of experience in a Fortune 500 company serving in capacities of sales and sales management. He spent 18 of those years as a trainer and training director. Working both domestically as well as internationally, he developed and implemented training processes which had heavy emphasis on the Counselor process. He is also a master certified CSP instructor. Retiring in 2003, he went on to form his own consulting business working closely with the Wilson philosophies and also serving as an independent facilitator for SEG. Paul graduated from Manhattan College with a B.S. in chemical engineering.
We all search our own motives as to why we do things. When I examine why I feel so passionately about the Counselor Process it all comes down to one thing: there’s no greater professional or personal self-satisfaction for me than to watch a salesperson use the skills I have been instrumental in helping him or her obtain and make a successful sales call. That’s the bottom line, my client’s success.”