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by Jenn Bergin

While studying education at De Paul University in Chicago, Greg Laufer designed Team Quest: The Ultimate Academic Challenge – an academic competition for gifted and talented (GT) students that incorporates teamwork, creativity, imagination and engineering. The program was so well-received that Greg never finished his student teaching. Instead, he combined academic challenges with education consulting and established the firm Adventures in Learning in 1994. Read More




Tips for Building a Strong Service Team for the Back-to-School Season

by Tina Manzer

An American Express Service Study recently showed that people actually have a physical reaction to great customer service. Sixty-three percent of 1,620 respondents said they feel their heart rate increase when they just think about great service. More than 50 percent have the same cerebral response to great service as they do to feeling loved.
The trick to eliciting that overwhelming reaction among your customers lies in helping your employees learn and use the most effective customer service skills, says bestselling author Ron Kaufman.“The truth is, the service provided by many of the world’s biggest companies can be downright disappointing,” says Kaufman, author of The New York Times bestseller Uplifting Service: The Proven Path to Delighting Your Customers, Colleagues, and Everyone Else You Meet. “We spend hours on hold when we just need an answer to a simple question. Store clerks don’t acknowledge our presence. The list could go on and on.” Read More

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Retailers Recommend Fabulous Products

July 2014

Christine Jasper from The Knowledge Exchange in Palm Bay, Florida “Our customers love Brain Quest decks by Workman Publishing (1). The cards are colorful, informative and entertaining. Parents and grandparents tell me that they never go on a road trip without them, and that the ... [click here to read more]



Stir Crazy

article by Tina Manzer

“We’re very proud of the fact that we are a family run business, and I believe that it really makes a difference to our customers,” says Chuck Jackson, owner of 41-year-old paint company Handy Art. “It’s been reinforced to me significantly, time after time, especially as more and more independent manufacturers in this industry become corporate owned. Customers tell me it’s just not the same as talking to a family.”
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The Issue
by Kevin Fahy


Kevin Fahy

Glory Days
I am something of a movie buff, which is why I agreed to chair the film committee of a local historic theater. We usually present an eclectic mix of indies, foreign films, documentaries, cult films and children’s programming, but recently I was tasked with developing a classic film series.
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