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.

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.


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 Cleveland, 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.



Andrew Gibson


Andrew Gibson changed Truvelop's course from 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.


Lisa First-Willis


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 co-founded Trigger Transformation LLC (the parent company behind Truvelop) in 2017 when she left behind a successful HR consulting business to pursue her passion for HR technology and entrepreneurship.
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Kim Shanahan


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).

Technology, Customer Success, and Marketing


Juliana Withers


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 growth and improving performance with a variety of teams, both in the athletic and business realms. She is passionate about developing these skills and building relationships with Truvelop’s broad user community.


Meryl Goeke


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.


Isabelle Clavelli


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 as she promoted their new extension through an Instagram digital campaign. She looks forward to applying these skills to Truvelop as she will be working with the marketing and social media teams.


Joey McCord


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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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


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


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


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


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


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


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.


Doug Goeke

Founder & President, Integrated Advisory Board LLC

Doug started 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 this capacity 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.

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