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The Visionaries Behind Truvelop

How an Award-winning sports broadcaster and an HR superstar built a mobile employee review tool that would revolutionize everything.

Our Story.

It Began with a “Sliding Scale”

Our Story.
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Broadcaster Gerry Sandusky and HR legend Lisa First-Willis created Truvelop by leveraging the sports evaluations process for real-time employee reviews.

Truvelop traces its roots back to a conversation that co-founder Gerry Sandusky had at the kitchen table with his father, John Sandusky, a long-time NFL assistant coach.

“Do coaches really treat all their players the same?” Gerry asked.

“Not the good coaches,” his father replied.

“What do they do?”

“They give the players who help them win more latitude, more input, more flexibility. The players who either can’t or don’t help you win get less latitude, input and flexibility. It’s a sliding scale,” John Sandusky explained.

The phrase “sliding scale” stuck with Gerry.

Years later as a broadcaster, the play-by-play voice of the Ravens and a communications consultant, Gerry set out to figure out the scale. He interviewed dozens of coaches, scouts, general managers. He spoke with team owners and front office members, collecting their input on how they evaluated and developed talent.

A conversation with a friend and successful business owner convinced Gerry to expand his view of the project to include the business community.

Gerry listened to the input of managers, vice-presidents, HR directors, business owners, board members, and employees in multiple industries around the country all centering around the shared pain and frustration with employee evaluation and talent development. Those conversations produced the rudimentary algorithm that grew into Truvelop.

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A chance meeting through a mutual friend led Gerry to share his tool and algorithm with Lisa First-Willis, an HR professional with more than two decades of experience in human resources at the local and national levels. Over one dinner, Lisa saw the potential and signed on as co-founder, bringing her background, experience, and network to shaping the tool and launching the company behind the tool.

Lisa grew up as the daughter of a talented and tough union negotiator in Akron, Ohio.

Thousands of test cases, academic research and validation, and customer feedback led to solution through alpha and beta testing and into its introduction to the marketplace in 2019.

 

Our Team.

We Focus on delivering you the best resources possible to help you improve your people, teams, and organization.

Our Team.

LEADERSHIP

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Andrew Gibson

CHAIRMAN

Andrew helped to guide Truvelop's course from the beginning states of an online tool with impressive features to a fast-growing company with a bold vision.  The former chairman of the global airline food service giant Gate Group, Andrew also spent seven years at the legendary management consulting firm McKinsey & Company. Andrew received his bachelor's degree at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch, New Zealand before earning his Masters and Ph.D. in civil engineering at Cal Tech.

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Lisa First-Willis

PRESIDENT AND CEO

Lisa is a career HR executive and recognized professional in HR strategy development, technology, employee engagement and labor relations. Lisa brings 25+ years of experience working with established companies and start-ups in the airline, gaming, hospitality, healthcare, technology and manufacturing industries in the U.S. and globally. She received a B.A. in International Relations from the College of Wooster in Ohio and studied at Johns Hopkins University and the University Stendhal in Grenoble, France. Lisa is a co-founder of Trigger Transformation Inc. (the parent company behind Truvelop). She left behind a successful HR consulting business to pursue her passion for HR technology and entrepreneurship and hasn’t looked back since.

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Kim Shanahan

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Kim is a recognized thought leader in the HR space and brings 25+ years of technology, management consulting, corporate strategy and executive search experience to the Truvelop team. Kim is CEO and Co-Founder of accelHRate, a top certified WOSB and executive search firm in the Washington DC metro area focused on placing Board of Directors and executives in Human Resources and Finance roles. She has partnered with hundreds of CEOs, Board Members and CHROs across multiple industries and geographies throughout her impressive career. Kim holds a B.S. degree with a double major in finance and communications from Virginia Tech where she participates in multiple Advisory Boards including Vice Chair of APEX Center for Entrepreneurship/Startup Hokies, President Sands’ National Capital Region Leadership Council, The Department of Management, and the Pamplin College of Business (PAC).

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Greg Moran

Board of Directors

Greg is a recent addition to the Truvelop Board of Directors and is a recognized leader in HR technology. Greg is Founder and former CEO (2008-2021) of Harver (formerly Outmatch). He successfully acquired and integrated nearly a dozen companies across three continents and built the company from inception to be one of the world’s leading providers of hiring technology. Greg is also Co-Founder of Evergreen Mountain Equity Partners. Evergreen Mountain provides early stage capital for founders who are creating the technology that is defining the future of work globally. Previous to Outmatch, Greg was Co-Founder of PeopleAnswers America, which delivered a first of its kind SaaS platform delivering talent selection technology to many of the world’s leading enterprises.

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Ira Grossman

Board of Directors

Ira is a recent addition to the Truvelop Board of Directors. He is a career entrepreneur and experienced HR technology investor focused on early and growth stage software companies. Ira’s career has been centered on operating and advising category-changing SaaS platforms. Ira is a Co-Founder of Evergreen Mountain Equity, providing venture capital and resources to progressive founders that are defining the Future of Work. He is an Executive-in-Residence at Ridgemont Equity Partners, where he provides operational diligence on investments in the tech sector, and board-level support to portfolio companies. Ira was previously President and COO of SignalPath (acquired by Verily Research/Alphabet in 2021). Prior to that Ira was COO of PeopleAnswers (acquired by Infor in 2014).

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Doug Goeke

Board of Directors

Doug founded the Integrated Advisory Board LLC as a means of leveraging his experience creating value in executive roles within a variety of service, consumer products, and manufacturing industries. In his role as President, he’s made equity investments in lower and mid-market businesses, advised their Boards and CEOs on strategy, and integrated with their management teams to lead key initiatives and drive value. This has led to his current role as CFO at Sunless, Inc., a private equity backed manufacturer in the beauty and cosmetics industry. Prior to this, Doug served as SVP & Managing Director at Babcock International Group, President & CFO at Gategroup, and held various financial roles at Lincoln Electric and Arthur Andersen.

Technology, Customer Success, and Marketing

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Juliana Withers

CUSTOMER SUCCESS TEAM

Juliana is a Kenyon College grad and recently earned her Master’s degree in Performance Psychology from the University of Denver. Juliana has experience aiding individual and organization growth and improving mental performance with a variety of teams, both in the athletic and business realms. She is passionate about further developing these skills in an applied setting and building relationships with Truvelop’s broad user community.

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Meryl Goeke

CUSTOMER SUCCESS TEAM

Meryl graduated with a degree in Global Development and a minor in Spanish & Latin American Studies from Queen’s University, Canada. Her work at a think tank in Amsterdam, NGO in DC, and Peace Corps Guatemala led her develop an analytic perspective, and with it the ability to assess proposed solutions. Meryl’s interests in data analysis and behavioral science add to her ability to provide exceptional support to Truvelop’s customers.

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Isabelle Clavelli

SOCIAL MEDIA & MARKETING INTERN

Isabelle is a senior at Virginia Tech majoring in Public Relations with a focus in Marketing. She is a part of PRSSA where she facilitates social media outreach, curates PR campaigns, and develops customer relationships for multiple clients. Isabelle was also a brand ambassador for Facebook through an Instagram digital campaign. She looks forward to applying these skills to Truvelop on the marketing and social media teams.

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Joey McCord

Advisor of Product and Engineering

Joey McCord oversees all aspects of product development and technology for Truvelop. McCord was previously with ICX Media, Inc., as co-founder, COO and CPO. He brings product and technology expertise and leadership experience from several successful startups, including Baltimore-based Millennial Media. A graduate of Virginia Polytechnic Institute, McCord received his MBA from George Washington University.

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Barrett Hennessey

Senior Account Executive

Barrett is a Senior Account Executive with Truvelop. For the past 15 years, Barrett has worked in the Human Capital Management space helping organizations of all sizes hire, retain, and develop their talent using cutting edge HR technology solutions. Barrett helped to build several HR tech startups, including PeopleAnswers, OutMatch (now Harver) and Infor into industry leaders. Most recently, Barrett worked at Modern Hire. Barrett’s willingness to put others first is one of the reasons he has been so successful in building long lasting relationships in Human Resources.

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Kevin Tracy

Sales Development Representative

Kevin is a graduate of Towson University with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration with a concentration in Marketing. As a seasoned outside sales representative, he takes pride in going the extra mile for his customers. Kevin has joined the team as a sales development representative for Truvelop. He has a passion for growing businesses and developing relationships.

ADVISORS

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Bill Assaad

Financial Planning & Analysis

A finance and business strategy professional for more than two decades, Bill's span of experience reaches around the world from the United States to Europe to the Middle East. Bill has served as vice president of financial planning and analysis at Millenial and director of financial planning for Gate Gourmet.

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Tim Hodge

LEGAL COUNSEL

Tim is the Managing Partner of Nelson Mullins Baltimore office. He provides outside counsel for businesses in the Mid-Atlantic region and beyond. Tim focuses much of his time on complex transactional matters that often prove crucial to a company's growth, evolution, or exit strategy.

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David Noel

CEO of MOI INC.

David has over twenty-five years of experience in the office interiors world. As an early investor, David has provided thoughtful guidance and advice to the Truvelop team and provided incubator office space at MOI as Truvelop began to grow.

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Dan Burpee

FINANCIAL ANALYST CONSULTING

Dan is a strategy-minded executive with a 20-year portfolio of success building road maps to significantly enhance bottom lines through financial analysis, project management, and financial modeling. Dan helps the Truvelop team develop projections and tools like the pricing tool which helps customers have a clear understanding of cost and return.

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Gerry Sandusky

CO-FOUNDER

The play-by-play voice of the NFL's Baltimore Ravens and TV broadcaster for the past 35 years, Gerry Co-Founded Trigger Transformation, LLC, the parent company behind Truvelop, with Lisa First-Willis in 2017. The resource and the company grew out of Gerry's exposure to the success of micro-evaluation and micro-feedback approaches used in pro sports.

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John Dinkel

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

John has over 25 years of experience in business development, sales management and operations, and has worked in leadership roles at numerous organizations around the Mid-Atlantic. Prior to joining Truvelop, John was the president & publisher of the Baltimore Business Journal.

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Bob Barry

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT

Bob Barry brings 35 years of leadership experience. For the past 12 years, he served as COO and since 2012 as CEO of The Greene Turtle Franchising Corporation, a chain of more than 40 sports-themed bar and grille restaurants.

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