Written by: Kurt Frohlich – President
As I look back on the last calendar year, there are several notable changes and milestones that warrant further reflection.
On the personal side, it’s been almost six months without being dedicated to deliverables on a given project, which is the first time that’s happened since Apex was founded in 2001. While Apex senior leadership and others have been advocating this change for years, it’s been difficult to turn into a reality for several reasons. First, I love the work and the excitement of adding value to a client’s project because I know we make an impact wherever we’re assigned. Second, Apex has always and continues to run lean, and I always felt pressure to cover operating expenses by being billable. But as our book of work continues to expand, I finally realized that after being an individual contributor for 16 years while running a growing and successful company for 11 of those years, I needed to change my focus. I now devote the majority of my time to supporting our teams, helping to manage our sponsors, and ensuring the quality of our services and deliverables. This has not been an easy transition for me, but I’m fortunate to be surrounded by talented and dedicated people across the board who I really enjoy working with and helping where I can. And I’m excited about the results so far and the company direction…most notably in the area of strategic consulting.
The Apex strategic vision has always been to develop long-term client relationships, learn as much as possible about their operations, systems and processes, and turn that hard-fought knowledge into a self-evident value proposition. In our almost 10 years as a vendor with our largest client, this has happened over time but in isolated areas. However, this has accelerated greatly into several other areas by solidifying our position as a strategic partner. When we see our previously presented “blue sky” cost-saving and strategic ideas make their way into their presentations as efforts to be undertaken, there’s no greater compliment.
As for the general health of the company; this year we crossed a staffing milestone of 50+ employees; we were nominated again as one of the Best Places to Work in Reno; we have maintained a desired level of profitability and growth during the worse economy since the Great Depression; we implemented a 401K and profit sharing program, and Apex remains debt-free. We’ve also re-dedicated ourselves to raising our collective competence bar through a robust series of internal training events. Our investment in a dedicated Apex Training Manager has really paid off this year.
Lastly, any update would be incomplete without mention of the great work that Tech is Good has done this year. It became a 501C3 non-profit organization; our financial and computer equipment scholarship program helped fourteen more students who are attending the University of Nevada or TMCC this year; and we just concluded our Tech Teacher of the Year contest in which $8,000.00 will be awarded to Reno area teachers so they can purchase much needed technology/equipment for their classrooms (see http://techisgood.org/tech-teacher-of-the-year/).
In the course of taking stock and reflecting on the last 12 months, I hope you’re as impressed with our collective accomplishments as I am. Great things are in store as we take advantage of the solid foundation that we have built through our teams’ dedication, time, energy, and enthusiasm. I’m honored to work with such a great group of people, and for that I say a heartfelt “Thank You”!
Have a safe and happy Holiday Season!
All the best,
July 21, 2011- Apex Performance Solutions is pleased to announce a partnership with Talus Solutions Group; a Seattle based, veteran owned business that specializes in Business and IT solutions and services. Apex will provide change management, communications management, business process improvement and training design, development, and delivery services that will complement Talus’ competencies in systems development and integration, business intelligence, supply chain optimization, and ERP/CRM systems implementations across multiple vertical industries.
Bea Barbarito joined the Apex team in February to work on a strategic project at Microsoft Licensing, GP. She will have responsibilities within several focus areas, including Business Analyst, Project Management, Process Strategy and Mapping, and writing Business Requirement Documents – all relative to improving processes for OEM customers and for OEM Operations.
Here’s a bit about Bea in her own words:
Bea’s prior experience includes being a consultant and a member of the management team at Harrah’s Corporate. As a consultant, she managed the turn-around of failed implementations, managed software implementations, conducted user training, analyzed workflow and implemented efficiencies. At Harrah’s she was responsible for the development of new software, the support of existing software and the management of million dollar plus projects.
She has lived in Reno for the last 25 years and considers it home. Her passions include golf, hiking, food and cooking.
Please join me in welcoming Bea to the team!
Angela Allison has just joined the Apex team in the role of Solutions Delivery Manager. She will be working on a project in the Seattle, Washington area. Angela and her family have been in Bellevue, WA for six years now, falling in love with the area in 2005, when Accenture sent her up to Program Manage a Siebel IT release. When the family (husband, nearly 18yo daughter, nearly 12yo son) decided they wanted to stay, Angela left Accenture and went to work for one of the smaller companies supplying Program Managers to Microsoft. In addition to Siebel IT experience, Angela worked on Launch Wave 2006 with the Pricing/Data Operations Team, on the Customer Experience Measurement Team, and on the Customer and Partner Experience Team on the Global Relationship Study.
While with Accenture, Angela and her family roamed the world, spending a year in Phoenix, two years in Brazil, a year in the Philippines, two years in Bellevue, small amounts of time in Denver, Chicago, Atlanta, Alaska, and Hawaii, and only two years in her home office area of Sunnyvale/San Jose. Yes, Angela, Rob, and Margaret are fluent in Portuguese; no, Trent is not, he was just beginning to speak English (he had just turned two) and Angela did not want to lose that ability by complicating his life with another new language! They have great family pictures in lots of fun places with great climates. Recent family news includes sending Margaret to the University of Washington this past fall for her to begin her junior year studying Biology and Trent showing in Junior Showmanship at Westminster two weeks ago (Check out video!) as well as achieving the rank of Star Scout while still in his first year of scouting – it seems the family shares a common characteristic, if any one of them is passionate about something, nothing is impossible.
Please join me in welcoming Angela to the team!
It is our pleasure to welcome Shelly Person, who joined the Apex team on the 6th of January, in the role of Project Manager for the ACT Channel Incentives Disbursements Project.
Shelly’s prior experience in the private and public sectors includes serving as a Project Manager with Porsche Cars North America where she managed several IT implementations, a Quality Assurance Manager at the State of Nevada where she oversaw high risk/high dollar IT projects, and the Chief of Administration at the State of Nevada where she implemented a formal IT Charge-back model and policy to support the $40 million (annual budget) IT department. Most recently, Shelly was in Industry Professor at UNR teaching IT and PM courses to both graduate and undergraduate students.
Her background includes a BS degree in Computer Information Systems and an MBA from UNR as well as earning her Certification in Public Management from the State. She was also trained as a Facilitator for The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by the Stephen Covey Institute.
Shelly grew up in Las Vegas but has called Reno home for the past 30 years. She enjoys skiing, hiking, camping and all the wonderful outdoor activities northern Nevada has to offer.
Welcome aboard, Shelly!
It is our pleasure to welcome Michael Tedrow, who joined the Apex team on the 27th of December in the role of Project Manager for the DOBA Phase I MSE to MIMOS Project.
Michael’s prior experience includes serving as an Engagement Program Manager with Pomeroy IT Solutions located in Hebron, Kentucky, where he managed a national PC Refresh program for Kaiser Permanente that included 75,000 desktop installations per year, as well as 200,000 desktop service events per year from a centralized call center environment.
His background is primarily in the IT Life-cycle Service, Mining and City Government industries in which he has also served in the positions of IT Manager and Senior Project Manager.
Michael is originally from San Jose, California, but has lived in Reno since 2003. He enjoys assisting his daughter with Western Horsemanship competitions, as well as spending over 25 years building street rods with his father out of their shop in San Martin, CA.
Please join me in a (belated) welcome to Michael!
In January 2011, CEO and Apex were awarded a Program/Project Manager role for the project, as well as all instructional design deliverables.
In the Program/Project Manager role, the Apex resource will be responsible for creating and managing all PMO artifacts, providing Quality Assurance reviews of all design and development deliverables, budget tracking, executing the Training, Change, and Communications Management plans, Issue and Risk Management, and conducting project after-action reviews.
For the instructional design aspect of the project, CEO and Apex will be assessing and analyzing a strategic new-hire training program, proposing improvements, and where needed, creating an entirely new approach to the existing design. Our mandate is to take a “vertical”, tools-driven course that is very instructor-dependent and create a design that is more “horizontal”, scenario-driven, and makes effective use of blended facilitated instruction, Web-based instruction, and software simulations. Other requirements include helping the new trainees understand and embrace the Intuit culture and values, making them feel valued members of the team from day one, and ensuring they achieve measurable job proficiencies within their first 90 days of employment.
All of the instructional design work above will contribute to an accelerated materials development effort, with a target to begin delivering the revised 7-week course by early March. This type of rapid analysis, assessment, and instructional design work is nothing new for either Apex or CEO, and we are pleased to be a part of this exciting and business-critical Intuit project. Once this initial project phase is delivered successfully, we may be invited to supply the same instructional design strategies and Project Management services for other Intuit training courses as part of subsequent project phases.
We wanted to take this opportunity to let you know that effective November 29th , Cyndy Johnson has been offered and has accepted the position of Apex PMO Manager.
In addition to her current duties as PM on the ACT Invoicing Transformation Project, she will be delivering the following additional value to Apex:
- Creating the Apex PMO toolkit for PMI, SDLC, and ADDIE (training) projects. This includes all relevant templates and documents needed to run a project, plus best practices for using them
- Providing new Apex PM on-boarding, orientation and support
- Creating Apex PM development and training plans
- Providing annual reviews to Apex PMs (as requested)
- Leading the Apex Project Management service offering strategy for the short, medium, and long term
Please join us in congratulating Cyndy on attaining this new executive-level position.
Finally! After months of design, development and strategy, Apex Performance Solutions is proud to announce the launch of our new website. We hope the community enjoys the new features added to enhance our website’s user experience. Our main objective was to create a new website with superior interactivity and usability. We took great pride in the remodel of our website, so please explore and enjoy our new look and functions. Below is a list of the new features added to our website, with brief descriptions. Happy browsing.
- President Interview – Kurt Frohlich: A behind the scenes video interview with President of Apex Performance Solutions, Kurt Frohlich.
- A day in the life of Apex employees – Short Film: A detailed short film exploring the lives of certain Apex employees.
- News: Professional & Corporate achievements and updates.
- Employee: Updates from Apex’s employees on personal achievements, accolades and community events.
- Careers by Apex is a new sub-brand promoting jobs and careers within our organization.
- Check out our sophisticated job posting center located on “Careers” page.
- This section includes white papers & case studies developed by our Apex professionals on Industry topics and internal studies from experiences with clients and projects. These papers are free for download and share. Please visit our Download Resource Center.
Apex Performance Solutions was awarded a one-year contract to perform Internal Audit services for a Fortune 100 software company. This four-person audit team is primarily responsible for contract processing review and internal audit, plus invoice adjustment internal audit to ensure that established internal processes are followed, and that all actions conform to Sarbanes-Oxley guidelines. This team is also responsible for completing all month-end, quarter-end, and year-end audit activities in a timely fashion to ensure revenue recognition figures are correct when reported to corporate headquarters. Lastly, the team prepares for and provides data for an annual external audit, is expected to contribute to new and ongoing process improvements, and collaborate with and coordinate all activities above with its European-based counterpart Audit team that handles the same responsibilities for that geography.