Blog Post

Meet Bert Lamar: The Possibility Man

From Bert’s perspective, the glass is always half full. Learn how he leverages his superpowers to overcome any issue — no matter how big.

July 27, 2022

Apprentice All-Stars

Who: Bert Lamar

What: Senior Director of Learning & Development, Apprentice

When: 1 year, 9 months at Apprentice

Where: Matawan, New Jersey

Why: Bert’s a hands-on customer success advocate, 24/7 optimist, and awe-inspiring friend, leader, and human being!

“I’m a ridiculous optimist. It doesn’t matter how dire the situation looks, I believe with the right level of passion, determination, and teamwork, you can solve almost any problem.”

Bert Lamar

Get to Know Bert

What motivates you? Customer service and satisfaction motivate me. It sounds corny, but knowing a customer is satisfied with our products and services excites me. Especially witnessing those transformational “aha moments” when a customer moves from using a product to adopting [and enjoying] it.

What’s your work superpower? Seeing the possibilities, rather than getting stuck on the obstacles. I’m a ridiculous optimist in a lot of ways — it doesn’t matter how dire the situation looks. I believe as a team, with the right level of proactivity and enthusiasm, you can roll up your sleeves and solve almost any problem.

What’s your non-work superpower? My “work superpower” is also my “non-work superpower.” I’ve trained myself to see the silver lining in every situation, and this mindset serves me in all aspects of my life. I always focus on what I can control, and let the rest work itself out. This allows me to lead a peaceful, happy life without getting caught up in unnecessary stress and worry.

How do you spend your free time? I’m an avid reader and I enjoy watching TV and old films. I particularly enjoy science fiction and classic literature. Every few years I reread Moby Dick because it’s just so incredible. I get lost in the prose and feel like I’m watching a film the entire time I’m reading it — it speaks to me so much.

Currently, I’m reading the Murderbot Diaries and I highly recommend it! 

Where do you like to travel? My brother lives in Paris and visiting him is always extremely special for me. Unfortunately, due to COVID I haven’t seen him in three years, but I hope to visit again soon. I also enjoy traveling to Maryland and Virginia to visit with family.

“Basically, Bert is like a work dad — literally if my dad came into the workplace and moved all the obstacles for me and cheered me on from the sidelines, that's what Bert does every day.”

One of Bert’s reports, or should we say, work children
Bert's stepdaughter Sky and wife, Lisa reveal his secret identity on his wedding day, 9/28/2014.

Apprentice Deep Dive: Take a Look at Bert’s Navigator

“I have a mission for this team. We need a customer-facing documentation hub. Let’s find the tools and make it happen.”

Angelo Stracquatanio

What is the Apprentice Navigator?

The Apprentice Navigator is a navigational tool that simplifies user learning and development.

The Apprentice Navigator buckets product overviews, FAQs, support, and additional resources in one place. It’s a concept originally conceived by Apprentice co-founder and CEO, Angelo Stracquatanio to offer users 360-degree support, 24/7. 

Enter Bert: The Possibility Man 

We set the Navigator up in record time — our goal was to get it together to document all the functionality that was part of our first validated release. Naturally, we relied on the collective brainpower of our internal teams and everyone worked together tirelessly to pull it off. 

Step one was to find the tool — including the vendor and application that would enable us to fulfill the objective set forth by Angelo. Our VP of Customer Success, Russell, discovered Document 360, which became our “tool.” Equipped with the right tool, we got to work. With the clock ticking in the background reminding us of our looming deadline, we all learned the tool in days. At the same time, we documented everything we were learning on the fly. 

Incredibly, three of the people working on the project started in the middle of December — literally, at the start of this initiative. As you can imagine, their onboarding experience was very unique because they weren’t just learning about the company culture and product offerings, they were also knee-deep figuring out how to use one product to build another one. 

But if anyone could do it, it’s my team! They tackled the Navigator with flying colors, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out.

Bert poses with his L&D team at a corporate retreat in Jersey City
“I couldn’t be prouder of the team I’ve assembled over the last year and a half. It’s truly a team of superstars. But also, we’ve become a family.”

Bert Lamar

A Bouquet of Praise: Tributes from Bert’s Team

It’s kind of hard to put words to the sheer amount of brilliance and kindness Bert’s got. So we asked his team to do it for us.

Read on for tributes from Bert’s L&D team on what an incredible mentor and leader he is!

“Bert is fond of saying that everyone on his team is better than he — better trainers, better technical writers, and better instructional designers. That’s why he hired us… to be the “dream team." Bert is, of course, modest. He is a SUPERSTAR, excelling in all areas. Add in how kind and engaging he is, and you’ve got the perfect Apprentice employee!”

— Nora Aion, Senior Instructional Designer

“Bert is a fearless leader in every sense of the word. Not only does he care immensely about the growth of our customers, Bert encourages our team to step out of our comfort zones and continue our own learning paths to success. Bert is truly a fiercely loyal and understanding manager, advocate, and friend; L&D is so lucky to have him on our side!”

— Caisse Davis, Technical Writer

“Bert is an incredibly supportive leader — he is dedicated to developing his people and providing opportunities for us to both stretch and shine in our roles. Bert is incredibly transparent, which allows me to make informed decisions about how my efforts can best support Apprentice's mission and our clients' needs. One thing I value greatly about Bert is his willingness to explore ideas from others and work collaboratively to find solutions for all stakeholders.”

— Rebecca Hughes, Product Trainer

“I've never worked for a supervisor who places such an emphasis on work-life balance. Bert cares as much about my life outside of Apprentice, as he does about my professional performance; he understands how the two are intimately connected and equally important. He's a mentor first, and a supervisor second. Bert has a way of advocating for his team's needs, while ensuring the success of our customers and Apprentice overall!”

— Matthew Sarlo, Senior Customer Success Product Trainer

“Bert leads with vision, enthusiasm, and heart! He's always on the lookout for ways our team can help others achieve their business and personal goals.”

— Eileen Whitener, Technical Writer

“The greatest thing about Bert is that he will always be your advocate. He is your #1 hype man when you've completed a project, he stands up for you when you need someone on your side, and he is truly the most empathetic person I have ever worked for.

Bert removes all the extraneous stress in the work environment so I can just go forward and do my thing. He makes sure that I am prioritizing my family 100% of the time. I think Bert would be a joy to work for through all stages of life but particularly right now, at this point in my life, he's the kind of boss I need, and I couldn't appreciate him more!”

— Lisa Young, Instructional Designer

Looking for More L&D Inspiration?

Want to find out more about Bert’s approach to Learning & Development?

Check out his latest video for Skilljar, in which he talks through the power of customer training resources. Relevant, resonant trainings are a win-win for all: fewer support tickets for CS, and happier, motivated customers who know how to get the most out of their tools.

At the end of the day, it’s all about family. And Bert’s got a great one, both at home and at work.

Are You Our Next Apprentice Spotlight?

Want to work with brilliant inventors like Bert and his incredible L&D team? Check out our open positions today! Explore careers at Apprentice.

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