S: Our Book of Bob
BC: A PDL People Production. August, 2011
FC: our book of bob
1: To Bob Roliardi, on the occasion of your retirement, with gratitude and affection, from your friends and colleagues at Pearson Digital Learning. August,2011.
2: no matter where it was, Bob led the way and made us feel like it would all work out just fine...
3: we may have changed our name a few times... and moved around a bit but thanks to Bob we never lost our way.
5: The wheels of the bus went round and round... to chicago three days after 9-11, All around the country during good times and bad, fair weather and foul. To parking lots full of kindergarten kids amazed at what computers could do... and adults who wondered out loud "Where'd you get these kids?" What we will remember most is Bob's decision to lead the charge after Hurricane Katrina left hundreds and thousands of families stranded and scared. Through his guidance and vision, Pearson sent three buses to the hardest hit areas of Louisiana, Mississipi and Texas and offered help, and a warm place to sit and search for loved ones, or simply read a story to their kids. He made sure that PDL employees who wanted to volunteer their time got the chance to do so, and showed us the way by going himself. Some memories last a lifetime...... long after the bus has left town.
6: Bob, it was my very first day of work as a "newbie" on the road in Philadelphia. You made me feel comfortable right away when you started a conversation with me. It's the little things like that which showed me what type of person you are, and what kind of company Pearson is. It was appreciated. Rob Pizzurro, Regional Marketing Specialist | Thanks for coming to Pearson Education Technologies, transforming us into PDL and giving us the clear leadership, decisive thinking, direction and stability that we needed to forge ahead. We had a very dedicated group of people that were only lacking the vision and guidance you provided immediately. Thanks again!, Kevin Gent Field Engineering Manager, SE | Thank you Bob for always being an admirable role model and having a "professional presence" yet friendly demeanor.It has been a pleasure working with you and I wish you all the best in the years to come! Julie Roberts , Connected Sales | Thank you for your leadership and guidance over the years. It has been a pleasure to work with you, over this past year especially. Best wishes to you and your family. Katie Peabody Manager, Curriculum Development | How do we find the words?......
8: When I first started working for Bob, I was less than four years into my career and had only recently transitioned from a field sales job to a corporate role. At the time I was "high energy"... but neither disciplined nor organized. I remember my first meeting with Bob. I brought a pad of paper and a pen. As we talked about upcoming meetings and events, I jotted them down. He asked: "Where's your planner? Your calendar?" I answered that I didn't have one - I just remembered stuff or wrote it on a piece of paper. Then I got that look from Bob that I experienced many times over the next 8 years I worked for him at Pearson. He said: "Go and get yourself a planner. Today." That afternoon I invested in my first PDA (a Palm Handspring) and never looked back! I have had the opportunity to work for four different individuals whom I consider to be great mentors. Of those, Bob has had the greatest impact on my career and on my life. He has the perspective and wisdom to go with the kind of direct and succinct advice that causes folks to make immediate and lasting changes for the better. Bob is also approachable, compassionate and has the sense of humor that makes one feel very comfortable to be around him regardless of title or reporting relationship- enough so to ask him for some cash for a taxi if you are a little short on a business trip. ( I paid him back the twenty dollars) Congratulations Bob on a great career. Thanks for the tremendous positive impact you have had on the lives of so many "learners" over the years, including me. Andy Myers
10: Dear Bob, Your leadership will be missed. I am fortunate to have many wonderful stories that showcase your generosity and compassion, all of which influenced me to be a better employee because I knew I could rely on your good judgement and management to lead us. My first memory is of a leader that wanted to meet everyone and quickly learned our names. I was impressed - after all- who was I in the larger scope of Electronic Education? Then there were the many trips and and I took to LA as the Waterford program was being implemented. I remember being so nervous driving you that I went the wrong way on a one way right out of the rental car place! You didn't let it phase you one bit, and i quickly calmed down as we visited clients over the next few days. You made Steve and I feel so weclomed when we moved to the corporate office. You and Jackie had us over to dinner, and lind lined us up with your realtor and you didn't lose a step when my computer was stolen my first day in the Scottsdale office! Finally, I appreciatate that you were not only concerned about how I was doing at work, but about how my family was as well. Thanks for always asking about Steve. Thanks for having Kleenex in your office for the times I would cry, and thanks for telling Peggy not to stand in my way and leting me move into the Sales group. I pray for Jackie and for you. May God bless and keep you and may his light shine upon you. Sincerely, Karla Kleine
11: Bob, I have admired your leadership for many years, and your resence around here will be greatly missed. As I reflect on your leadership, there are two lessons you taught me that i will never forget: the first is " do the right thing every day" and the second is that "it's how you play the game that matters most". These two lessons have influenced me greatly, both personally and professionally, and I'm deeply appreciative of your example. Thank you for standing with courage and conviction. I wish you good health and much happiness as you pursue new frontiers. Sincerely, Jason Dance Regional VP, Sales West | I remember the first time that I met Jackie Roliardi in Jamaica. That was one of the first times I understood the expression that "behind every good man is a great woman!" Go have the time of your life during this next season of your life together! Best wishes, Pam Foster Account Executive, Southeast | Bob, Thank you for always being an admirable role model and having a professional presence, yet friendly demeanor. It has been a pleasure working with you and I wish you all the best in the years to come! Julie Roberts Connected Account Executive.
12: Ribbon cutting day at the Chandler office... the mayor declared it " Pearson Day"!
13: It has been a highlight of my career to work for and with Bob. I have often told colleagues that he is the best leader for whom I have had the pleasure to work. The positive characteristics that Bob displays on a daily basis are too many to list. I always tremendously enjoyed his sense of humor and his ability to be calm and relaxed under stress. Bob certainly knows how to take life as it comes. He seemed to know just what people wanted and needed to hear...or not hear. He is the master of knowing when to be silent. I have had the pleasure of working with Bob for more than ten years, and I doubt that anyone will leave the same impression as Bob has left on me. I learned a lot from him, most importantly how to be better with people and how much they matter and are influenced by our words and actions. Bob demonstrated how much he cared for the people of PDL and the business so many times. The weekly email was a labor of love and kept us all connected. Bob always crafted great messaging and some of it timeless. "Do the right thing every day" comes to mind. I had quite a number of fun and wonderful experiences with Bob over the years. I want to recall a few in particular: The first one when I was in charge of facilities in the Scottsdale office. We didnt' have a facilities person so I got the call. ( I enjoyed changing the light bulbs the most, Bob) One of our first initiatives was to buy a grill so we could have company barbeques on the back patio and each month a new team of folks had to cook. What a great idea - I had a blast picking out some grills and setting them up. These bbq's turned out to be a great time. I recall when it was Bob's turn to be on a team, we all had salmon and it was some of the best salmon I ever had. Another one was when I was fortunate enough to receive a promotion, and Bob had a celebration for me. It was very important to me and Bob made it a memorable experience.We had cake and everything!! I always wanted to have more events like that. One of our more recent ventures was when a group of us were negotiating a contract with one of our partners. it required long hours with Kevin, Chris, Bob and I and we all learned a whole lot about each other. Of course the most fun was learning how good Kevin is at Scrabble and learning some new words. We had a lot of laughs. Bob kept us all connected and made it such a great place to work in many ways. He always made sure we took our work seriously but didn't take ourselves too seriously. One thing that crossed my mind is I was lucky enough to attend Monday morning meetings for many of the years we worked together, probably about 8 out of the ten years we've worked together. So, I figure Bob and I were in about 400 Monday morning meetings together. I think I might have the record on that. Bob, your presence and influence will be with PDL and its people for many years into the future. You have been a great and very positive influence on my life and I am very appreciative. I will miss working with your and Monday morning meetings just wont be quite the same. My best to you from Cindy and myself. Matt Stricker VP Finance
14: I tend to equate the "six word sentence with you Bob, and so I've decided that's the best way to capture my thoughts upon your retirement. I hope you don't mind. > Bob's retiring? Really? It's well deserved! > One person with vision DOES matter! > It has been one great ride! > Building successful teams is a gift. > Your influence will be missed by us. > Our loss is your family's gain. > I wish you all the best! Debbie Gates, Curriculum Sales Specialist FL
15: Come to think of it, we really haven't found a place where Bob doesn't find a way to lead us.... what's he saying here? " I think they went that-a- way?"
16: As an iconic movie, the Breakfast Club has always been a favorite of mine. Little did I know that another Breakfast Club would become one of my favorite and most memorable eating establishments. It was the day after Labor Day in 2004 when you and I first met...although I still think we ran into one another at least once in Sunnyvale Building 5. Our breakfast meeting was the result of a phone call I had made to our good friend Leon Kwiatkowski just a few weeks earlier. Leon told me he thought that you and I would hit it off and as usual he was right. For me, you made the conversation effortless and I felt quite comfortable that I was with a kindred spirit that had very similar beliefs and vlaues. The opportunity to work for you was the easiest and least concerning decision I ever made. I always felt comfortable that I could be myself. My views and ideas were accepted without bias or judgement. i was truly enjoying my work, the PDL organization, and most important for me...working for you.
17: Then, about two and a half years into our time together, you again asked me to join you at the Breakfast Club. It was another opportunity to revisit the iconic eatery with you. The conversation was around taking on a new role based upon our good friend's decision to retire from the PDL Sales organization. It was the position I had hoped to assume at some point. As always, you made it a comfortable conversation for me. Your openness and straight forward communication style are among the many things I admire about your leadership. I've had the good fortune to work for some good people throughout my career... with a spattering of bad apples along the way. I've tried to learn from each experience in an effort to make myself a better individual in business as well as my personal life. Bob, you have done the most to help me be a better person and a better business leader. I have learned more from you than any other time in my career which is very meaningful given that I am certainly in the autumn of my working years. You taught me more about the power of connecting with people; the importance of taking all sides of an argument into view prior to coming to a conclusion; and that in doing the right thing- good guys can , and do- win. Just like the movie, and the eatery - like both Breakfast Clubs... you will always be an icon in my life. Karl Gustafson SVP Sales - PDL
18: Whether saying goodbye to old friends, or hello to brand new one's ...Bob has a knack for keeping us smiling.
19: Bob is one of those people who will forever remain an exceptional standout, and the epitome of excellence in leadership. It has been such an honor to work with Bob and learn from his tremendous experience and professionalism. Bob is the ultimate example of our "do the right thing" motto. I remember during my first year in the sales as an Account Executive in Connected Sales, Bob would stop by and chat about the business stats I had written on my white-board. If sales is indeed an art form, then Bob is our Picasso, lending his expertise, humor and encouragement to our canvas. Bob has the knack of making you feel special while simultaneously pushing you to do your best. His kindness and support has meant so much to so many of us. And I have a feeling that we will all continue to ask ourselves, "What would Bob do?" when met with a significant challenge. Thank you Bob! Connie Stonebraker District Sales Manager, Connected Digital East Ps... here's a quote I thought you'd like.... " If people concentrated on the really important things..there'd be a shortage of fishing poles" Doug Larson.
20: Bob, When a leader is inspiring we want to do all we can to please him. Back in January of 2004, at a PDL Sales meeting, you let us know how we could please you. You put these words on a flip chart - "Bob's Top Ten Wishes." Each one resonated with me so strongly that I have kept the 5x7 notepad that I wrote them down on. My hope is that all these years later, you will look back on your career at Pearson and your relationships with us and be able to say "my wishes came true." So, here they are now, recorded in print so you can know the impact is lasting. There is no better way for me to say thank you. Susan Farrar Vice President, Connected Sales
21: Bob's Top Ten Wishes 10. Honor the past ... but let it go. 9 Take a minute to look around at the 595 years of experience and talent we have here at PDL. 8 It has to work for everyone. 7 Our responsibility is to sell. 6. Be the team - don't just talk about it. 5. Know it now - be efficient every day. 4 .Have fun. Make it fun. see good, have a sense of humor, listen, say thanks. 3. Singles, bunts, fundamentals, champions, and sacrifices all make WINS. 2. Have a plan and execute. 1. Take personal responsibility to DO THE RIGHT THING EVERYDAY.
22: Bob helps the development team celebrate the release of the " new" SuccessMaker!
23: Dear Bob, As I've shared with you already, you are PDL. And your stamp on PDL is what I've come to recognize as why PDL is a great place to work. Your demeanor and the tone you set simply keep everything in place and moving forward. You have always talked about the importance of family and balancing work as many bosses do, but you are the one that actually walks that talk through your words and your actions. What I appreciate the most of you as our PDL President is watching you "listen" to what people have to say. It didn't always mean you were going to do anything with those words or concepts but I admired how you really ponder over what was said. That small action on your part was huge to those having the opportunity to talk to you. As much as I am excited for you to enjoy some very well deserved time in retirement and with your family, I'm also selfishly wishing you wouldn't go away. You truly are the " rudder" for PDL and you have made a significant impact on me and how I try to manage my responsibilities. thank you for everything you have done for Pearson, and more importantly PDL. You have to know you will be truly missed: both for your professional direction and for the person you are. Enjoy every day of retirement!! Regards, Doug Haughsby Director, Services
25: I have had the unique opportunity to work directly under Bob for the past three years. He's been a terrific mentor and coach. He's helped me learn how to work at a strategic executive level. One of my fondest memories is getting an invitation from Bob to meet him in Old Town Scottsdale at The Breakfast Club years ago. I had recently rejoined the company as the Director of Curriculum for SuccessMaker development. This was a challenging project because we had control of the the content, but the platform development was outside of our direct control. SuccessMaker was going to be the first product on a "shared platform" across the organization. This shared platform concept created conflicting priorities for the platform development team. I joined Bob for breakfast and he gently brought our conversation around to the topic he wanted to discuss. He looked across the table and said, "I'll bet you don't play poker on the weekends, do you?" He then went on to share that he had noticed me showing my frustration regarding the platform development team, and their disconnect with meeting our content needs. He shared some ideas on ways to lessen the emotions in the meeting while focusing on getting the end result I desired from our product. He gave me constructive feedback in a way I could hear it and learn from it. He helped me have more positive impact with the larger development team and I believe it ultimately made me a better leader. Bob is truly gifted in making everyone feel special, capable and empowered. I learn something every time he and I talk. I appreciate his wisdom, and will miss our conversations. Bob, thank you for everything you have done to help me grow as a professional and as a leader. I am truly blessed to have been able to work so closely with you! I wish you the very best in this next phase of your life!!! Kathy Stanley SVP PDL Services
26: We've determined over the years, there is really nothing Bob won't do (or wear!) for a good cause.
27: "I was fortunate enough to see Bob often at the Chandler office before transitioning to the field. There was never a time that he would walk past someone without greeting them with a smile. When my family came for The Snowy Day RFTR, they all agreed that he was a genuinely nice guy! The kids still remember Bob reading that book to everyone. My move to the field in Indiana was quite a transition, and Bob made sure it was as smooth as possible for my entire family. Bob, no doubt, truly does live by his motto.."doing the right thing every day". Thanks for being you Bob. And good luck on your next adventure. Steve Crider Secondary Account Executive, Secondary Central. | On a return trip from a President's Circle event in Jamaica, my mother,Bob and Jackie, and I were changing planes in the same area. We were all told by the attendant to go to a small room and "wait for our luggage"". The attendant then walked away to another gate. Why in the world we all listened I will never know, but we did! Now we all know that inside an airport NO ONE ever gets their luggage and moves it to the other airplane, so ...what were we thinking? We sat in that room for well over an hour and no one came in or out and of course, no one ever brought us our luggage. Finally, we all looked at each other and said ... there is no way we should be here! Of course by then, Mom and I had missed our plane, and Bob and Jackie barely made theirs. We ended up renting a car and driving from Orlando to Georgia. Now Bob Roliardi, who would NEVER do something so foolish, has at lease one silly memory in his book! Anne Sansom Elementary Account Executive, Southeast PS: even now when I run into Bob, he shakes his head and says "What were we thinking?!"
29: As we've come to know Bob, I wonder if someone knows she was a part of almost every conference, many many manager meetings, and a number of special events. We came to know her as a sage, a guide and the force behind the fearless leader. We'd wait for the "Jackie stories" , the anecdotes that began with "My wife told me this morning"... and the wisdom he was quick to share. Even when it meant showing us his weakness. She became part of our team. And someone that we more than once thanked for her wisdom, humor and most especially for being there for the man who carried our burdens as if they were his own. Thanks Jackie. We'll miss you too.
30: A few highlights from Tracy's album
31: Dear Bob, I am so grateful to have crossed paths with you and Jackie! You are both very special people and you definitely deserve many years of " play time" for yourselves and your entire family. Congratulations on your retirement! Thank you for all the years of thoughtful and brave leadership. I always felt a great peace knowing you were at the helm, guiding this PDL ship that delivered such important goods to children who need us! Your leadership made the difference in more lives than you could ever count, certainly more than you will ever know. That difference was made, not just in the children's and teacher's lives we served, but also in the lives of many employees who had the pleasure of working with and for you. You made a difference in my life. Your example always inspired me, your presentations always made me smile (especially the low tech flip charts) and your commitment to do the right thing alwys reminded me of why we do what we do and the way we should go about it. "What would Bob say?" Remember that mantra? It worked, and we followed your guidance with great faith and strong belief that all would be well. I will miss seeing your emails. I will miss you at conferences and award ceremonies. And I will miss just knowing you are there in Chandler watching out for all of us., thinking of what is in our best interest, and making even the hard decisions that keep this great ship pointed in the right direction. I wish you and Jackie all the best. Farewell, and may God bless you always, Tracy Zinn , Elementary Account Executive - Texas
33: Supporting our community, especially when it involves kids is something Bob taught us is integral to "doing the right thing" every day... and every chance we get!
34: let it go | summer arrives | Feeling Smarter. | important things happen during the dog days of july | First week of Q4 | A chapter ends the story continues | things Boring | 7 red stones. | Help save Jackie Roliardi's birthday Dinner | Record Happenings | this is Halloween week! | diets, lifestyles... | Thanks Ladies, let the party Begin! | Delighting customers is what we do. | BE MEMORABLE | Do You Feel The Beat? | another week in the books | Happenings. | To paraphrase Marjorie | Pick up the phone | Michael Kiah | The Moon and the stars are big. | virtual sales expansion | Monday for a change
35: Bob's Weekly Wordle. | the future of pearson digital learning | Two weeks to go | Tell Your Stories | Honor The Past | WE GET LETTERS | 2 Weeks to Go | texans and "dale" | Preference in Passwords | welcome to March | Subtracting The Present | do the right thing | very good things happening | Why not Tuesdays? | first half performance | Can you communicate with six words? | 27 days 7 hours 15 minutes | find someone | Another Week for a First. | idle musings | Skeuomorphically? | The Cloud! | This week at PDL | What's it all about Alfie? | It's all about the customers
36: Bob, What can I say? You're really going to be missed at Pearson. I've been with the company now for 13 years, and have experienced other company leaders during my travels through NCS, NCS Pearson, NCS Learn and Pearson Education Technologies (tough to keep them all straight - and I may be missing some!) You have been by far the most dedicated, relatable, and experienced leader I've known. I will always remember that while your office was being updated at the Camelback building you were relocated to that very small office near the storage room on the seond floor- right next to me. I was pregnant with my first child at the time and you were always thoughtful to ask if I'd like a cup of tea or a piece of chocolate. (and your chocolates were pretty fancy!) I appreciated when you took me to lunch to give me a few "pointers" on presenting, and I've used those pointers during every presentation since then. I don't know that I will ever reach "Bob status"- being able to capture an audience quite the way you do...but I'm going to give it the ol' college try anyway. I wish you and your wife the very best during retirement. I know you'll find great joy with seeing your family more- especially your grandson. Enjoy every moment. I hope to see you around sometime. Fondly, Katie Finney Director, PDL Marketing Services
37: Just another example of Bob at his best... his legendary presentation techniques capture every audience... no matter the size... or age!
38: It was always a good experience to pass Bob in the halls or run into him in the elevator. He always looked you in the eye and called you by your name; He made it a point to know who you were and at times would recognize the efforts you were making at Pearson. This personal connection often made a huge difference in the way your day was going. Bob, thank you for all the years of making that effort. Aaron Crisp ESS Project Manager EMO
39: Dear Bob, I have enjoyed your calm leadership style over the past nine years and will miss the familiar comfort zone you have created for me. You have always provided clear dierction in business situations and thoughtful kind responses during times of personal distress. I have tried to balance business and personal life especially since the girls were born, and I typically ask myself "What would Bob think?". I have heard your commitment to our mission of helping students and I listen to your special "Jackie" stories...these days "Jackie and Will".. and know that at PDL you have built a culture of balance through your own example. Thank you so much for your leadership, and support. Sincerely, Dianne Fish District Sales Manager, Elementary Atlantic Coast
40: Dearest Bob, I feel I must begin this letter to you with a most sincere and heartfelt "Thank You" for your support. In all the interactions we had, I have always felt such a great comfort knowing you were such an inspirational leader holding this entire organization to the highest expectations and standards. For this reason, I have felt the utmost respect and honor to work under your great leadership. I cannot find the words to express to you how much Pearson has changed my view of life, and without your approval, I would have never had the opportunity to learn about a part of me I never knew existed. I am so grateful for the chance to work with a God-given sales partner, Tracy Zinn, and for learning two of the most important lessons in these past 3 years with Pearson. 1. Real success requires personal integrity: If you are not a success by God's standards, then you have not achieved true success. 2. When we give our life to serve God and others, we discover the real purpose of living. Without your approval and your willingess to take a chance on me to learn this business, I would have never appreciated such valuable life-long lessons. Please know your choice made a powerful impact in my life. Thank you for allowing me this journey and making a difference in my life more than you will ever know. Best wishes on your retirement! Enjoy every minute with your family and cherish your grandson's every move! Blessings always, Lisa Gonzales, Account Executive, Texas
41: Notice a trend? We've discovered over the years that Bob REALLY enjoys visiting with our most important customers. And he's a pretty darn good reader, too.
42: Bob, I've only been at PDL a year now, but you have definitely made an impact on me and my time here. I don't know if you remember, but it was in the fall of 2010, and we were coming back from a trip to Waterford, and I happened to mention one of your weekly emails, and how much I look forward to those. I think I even wrote you and said that. It's because they're written from the heart, unscripted and what you want to say at that moment in time (or what you want others to think about) - just like some of the first things you say at a meeting or event. Anyway, you said to me that you were considering stopping them, as you didn't think they had much impact, or at least you hadn't received much feedback about them. I'm glad you didn't stop. I have paid particular attention since that time to the number of references to those emails from individuals in the company. I know you must know now just how impactful they were, and they will be just one piece of the legacy you leave here at PDL. Everyone will always remember "Bob's weekly e-mails". I still reference to colleagues your message about the seven special education children from Texas who never passed the state test before, and that "it doesn't sound like a big deal- unless of course you are one of those kids, their parents, or their teacher." Exactly. I am a parent and a teacher, and every child I raise or teach means something to me. I will miss your weekly messages of inspiration, Bob, but know that your leadership has kept my eye on the end goal - our children. Cammie Soderquist Director, Product Management PDL
43: Through Bob's support, Pearson Chandler partnered with the International Rescue Committee to help refugees learn english, share books and experience the generosity of hundreds of Pearson employees.
44: Bob, I admit I am envious of your retirement and look forward to my own in a few years! But the envy does not mean I am not happy for you as well. It has been wonderful to have such a strong leader at the helm, one with vision and high expectations but also with compassion and understanding of family. I am so proud to be a part of the Pearson Family and will definitely miss you as the head of our unit. I wish you the best of the best as you and Jackie move into this next phase! I will miss you - Pearson Digital will miss you - Pearson as a whole will miss you! Congratulations & Warmest Regards Roe Kirbach Curriculum Specialist, Secondary Central
45: Dear Bob, Marketing people are supposed to know all the right words. That's their job, to know exactly what to say, and how to say it so that it jumps off the page and gets embedded into the reader's mind forever. I have waited until I have exactly 32 minutes left to send in my congratulatory note because, just like when I'm in your presence, I struggle to find the most perfect thing to say. Indirectly, you gave me a piece of advice that has really been impactful to me. You had some constructive feedback about one of the first executive forums hosted in Chandler. You relayed this to me through Katie, bottom line being "Shawn needs to lighten up". You don't know how right you were in saying this. When the road ahead begins to overwhlem me, or I think I'm up against impossible odds, I go back to that piece of advice and remember, "Bob's right, it doesn't have to be this hard...just lighten up." Since you like quotes, I'm quoting this from the song " For Good" from the Broadway show " Wicked"... Thank you for all you've done for Pearson. I wish you and your family happiness and health as you embark on your next adventure. | "I've heard it said that people come into our lives for a reason bringing something we must learn and we are led to those who help us most to grow Who can say if I've been changed for the better? But because I knew you, I've been changed for good. " | Shawn Humphrey Regional Marketing Manager
46: The Top 10 Things I learned from Bob ( in no particular order) 1. People really want to know the truth, even if it's hard to hear. 2. A question can be far more powerful than a statement. 3. If you don't know how to spell something, just write really sloppy. It works as good now as it did in the 3rd grade. 4. If you want people to do something, get them all together and feed them. 5. When someone puts you on the spot it's okay to not answer right away. You can say "I'd like to think on that and get back to you".
47: 6. People like consistency. Pick something memorable and do it consistently. 7. If you want to be a leader you can't run around with your hair on fire. People are watching. 8. If you hold the bar high, people will reach for it. Many will go beyond what they imagined was possible. 9. Don't worry about what other people are doing. Stay focused on what you are doing and be the very best at it. 10. The words "I believe in you" can be life changing. Joni Schlapa District Sales Manager, Secondary West and Pacific Elementary
48: Bob, I don't have a funny story or a memorable picture that will remind me of you. I do have a memory that I will carry forever though. It's the memory of you giving me the hug I needed when I came back to work after my son's death... it's the thoughtfulness you model and the culture you " fathered" at PDL that have made it a wonderful place to work and grow professionally as well as a safe haven when we may be at our lowest. Thanks for the legacy you've left all of us. Deb Little | I really appreciate Bob's candor and friendliness. He makes sure he knows people's names and shows that he cares by talking with them and including them in conversations. I have only had the pleasure of knowing Bob for a couple years, but I consider him a quality person, and someone wh has impacted my life positively. Caroline Miller Supervisor,Marketing Services | Dear Bob, Thanks for all the guidance you provided, your wisdom, and your confidence in me. I feel very fortunate to have experienced your leadership and dedication to Pearson and all the children we serve. I wish you the best of luck with your family and the next chapter of your life. Sincerely, Lisa Maurer Manager, Usability and PDR
49: I was very fortunate to be hired at Electronic Education in June of 2000. The company was a lot smaller back then, and I was able to meet Bob right away. I knew immediately that he was a kind man who appreciated hard work and dedication. I was hired as an Educational Trainer and loved my job, but in December of that year the District Sales Manager for Texas asked me to take on one of the new KB specialist jobs in his group. I liked the job a lot, but missed my true calling which is training and teaching. I didn't know if I could move back to my old job, but when I found out I could, I was excited. However I was nervous that Bob might not be happy about it. Since our KB team was new, and we were trying to get a fotthold for the product, we worked with Bob more than most others did. I knew how much he wanted this to succeeed and I was afraid he would view me as a quitter. The fact that I valued his opinion so much made my move back that much harder. Before I transitioned back, I had a meeting in the Scottsdale office with the Utah rep and people from the Utah DOE about Knowledge Box. Bob attended the meeting. I was so nervous about what he thought about me, I guess he could sense it. He had to leave early, but he asked me to step outside with him for a moment. He told me that he completely understood my move and wanted people in the company to be in the right spot for them where they could do their best work. I was so relieved. His opinion meant more to me than anyone else in the company. It still does. The fact that the president of our company took the time out of his day to reasure me meant so much. It made such an impact on me and showed me his character. I am going to miss bob and his leadership. he taught us a lot about being the kind of company we could be proud of. so we'll "honor the past - and move on". We'll continue to reach for "that extra inch". And of course, we'll "do the right thing- every day". Have fun Bob! Stephanie Donachy
50: Best wishes on your retirement Bob! From Joy, Mark, Luke & Josh Ikeda | A few familiar faces from back in the day! | Bowling with Bob is always fun. No, really.
51: Bob, I just want you to know I would do just about anything for PDL. And if these pictures aren't proof...well.. I'm not sure what else I can do. Greg Adams- Woodford VP Digital Product Management
52: Dear Bob, I knew this day was coming , I have thought about it for several years. In my eyes it's too soon. You are leaving PDL for greener pastures, a schedule with no schedule and a chance to turn in your frequent flyer miles instead of accruing them. Off to start a new journey with your family and sharing wisdom that only a grandparent can offer. I am glad we had the opportunity to laugh at the past and at the people that that crossed our paths getting to here. I feel like we have been through a lot over the years, all the name changes, the books, the initiatives, the reorganizations and the continuos cycle of improvements. Through it all I appreciated your personal touch, accessibility, calming influence, and your humor. You have always said PDL is much larger than what happens within the walls that lead our organization. You have said it's about our families. The move to Indiana for my family, although difficult at first- has provided so much for my family professionally and personally. To understand the full impact, I feel compelled to tell you more. We live in Norman Rockwell America - Zionsville, Indiana. People here are passionate about their children, their education, their religious beliefs and keeping their small town community small. It's not uncommon on a warm summer evening to watch crowds gather to take in a little league game. Or walk picturesque cobblestone streets surrounded by art galleries, quaint restaraunts, farmers markets, wine stores, a oy museum, a B&B, home made ice cream store and of course a Bentley dealer. It's a great place to live and raise some children. Oprah lived here, she can't be wrong.
53: Professionally Indiana has opened so many doors for my wife Shannon. She worked in the number one trauma center in the state, IU Methodist downtown Indianapolis. She thrives on the rush of the unexpected that ER's provide. During her time at IU Methodist she finished her bachelor's degree of Nursing at University of Indianapolis. She worked three years as a helicopter flight nurse. She will be graduating from Ball State with a Masters in Health Care Administration. Currently she is the IU Arnett ER supervisor in Lafayette, IN. The kids, Nathan-13, Madeline- 10, and Avry- 4 attend Zionsville Community Schools- a top 5 district in the state. They are getting a great education. They are happy and healthy Hoosiers. They still don't know what I do for a living, and can't explain it to their friends. : ) It's hard to say whether or not staying in Illinois would have offered the same quality of life and opportunity. However it is clear we wouldn't be here without you... and PDL. I am thankful for the chance to have had a seat on the bus. I assure you we are better than we were before. Best wishes, Steve Kunberger Elementary Account Executive, Midwest
54: Bob, Thank you for letting me "grow up" at Pearson, and learning from the best. Tessa Finn Global Sourcing Coordinator, Pearson | Bob... Thanks for all the wonderful opportunities you've helped make possible for me at Pearson. Have a wonderful retirement. Victoria Cervantes Sales Administrative Assistant, PDL | Bob, You are amazing! What else can I say. You know how to talk to people and I like that about you. I'll miss your random comments about my hair and your guest appearances in the HR hallway. I hope you enjoy this retirement...you should spend it on a boat! I would. Anyway, thatnks for being absolutely fabulous 100% of the time. You will be missed. Courtney Wells Sales Staffing Coordinator
55: Back in 2001 Electronic Education landed a 27 million dollar deal in LA. Overnight, the company just about doubled in size. 5 new field engineers and 15 new educational consultants were hired. We came out to the new Scottsdale office for training. I walked in the front door and the security guard told me no one was there yet. A very distinguished looking man with a hand full of papeers and dressed in an olive, flowered, almost hawaiin shirt came walking by. The guard told him I was there. He looked me over and said " you must be one of the new field engineers". I said " yes, and I'm a little early" He looked at his watch and said he had a few minutes, to follow him and he would show me around. he took me through the lower half of the building, ending up in the break room and showed me how the coffee maker worked. Then h e looke at his watch and said he was late to a meeting but to wait there, and someone would be there soon. Well, someone did get there along with the rest of every one else. Ten days went by and I did not see this person again. It was now Thursday and we were leaving the next day. Our manager informed us that the president of the company was coming to talk to us before we left. The door opened and about four people came in -including this gentleman that had shown me around on the first day. We went around introduced ourselves, and they did the same. I almost fell out of my chair when bob introduced himself and said he was the president of EE. I knew then that if the president of the company would take time to show a person around - that he did not even know - well, that was the kind of company that I wanted tto work for. Chuck Dexter Jr Field Engineer, Services
56: See what we mean? Bob will take on any challenge for the team. Not sure what this is...maybe "pirate golf"???
57: Bob, Thank you for all the wonderful guidance and memories. I specifically remember you taught me some pretty important things that have helped me here at Pearson (plus a few "not so important" but still memorable) 1. What the meaning of "it" is. When I first started working with you, you commented several times that "they" just don't get "it". I nodded in agreement the first few times I heard it but finally I worked up the nerve to ask you what the "it" is that " they" don't get. You spent the time to talk with me, more from a philosophical standpoint of what you are looking for and why you questioned whether or not "they" get it. I still don't think I could acurrately articulate what "it" is.... but I do think I would now know it - when I see it. (or when I don't!) 2. You also gave me an invaluable tool that has helped me through sticky situations. All I need to ask myself is "am I doing the right thing?" and the parts seem to fall into place. 3. You showed me what "salesman boots" look like. I had never seen or heard of these until we pulled into the parking lot of the Champaign office and you were dressed for the weather! Thank you for your support of Human Resources. I never felt like we were a "necessary evil" but rather a valued business partner. Have a wonderful retirement. Enjoy every day! Denise Schaumberg, HR Manager - Pearson School
58: Chandler's own Read For The Record Employee event in 2010 was clear evidence of how large our PDL family had grown over the years! | Hey Bob ! Remember when it snowed in Arizona?
59: Over a hundred PDL and Pearson employees gathered to hear Bob read "The Snowy Day" and munch on wintery snacks... and then came the real surprise! Bob had arranged for a couple tons of icy white snow to be delivered to our Chandler backyard! Did the kids respond? The pictures tell the story. And you'll notice the adults had just as much fun as the little ones!
60: What can I say about Bob Roliardi? I have only known Bob for a year, but I find him to be a REAL gentleman. Bright, intuitive, sharp and above all, flexible. He fit right into the local culture and if there is any doubt- just look at the "Chuleta CanCan" - a typical Puerto rican dish he is ready to devour! I wish I could have been "under his wing" for a longer time because I'm certain I could have learned so much more. But with his retirement, he is still setting an example for me, and an expectancy of real time with my family to come. Enjoy your well deserved retirement, Bob! Lourdes Sanfiorenzo Director of Sales - Curriculum and Higher Education- Puerto Rico and US VI | Hasta Luego Bob! | Bob, Whenever I hear the word "organic" I will always think of you because of the story you told about your grandson. Thank you for your trust in me. FORE! Juan Reyes Director of Operations, Curriculum and Higher Education Puerto Rico and the US VI
61: Bob, I wonder if you will ever know how much one conversation in the middle of the NECC madness in 2001 changed my life. I told you I had to ask you one question or I'd wonder about what your answer might have been for the rest of my life. You looked at me with one raised eyebrow and said,"You've got my attention". What I said next was that I was so impressed with what you and your folks were doing at EE, I wanted to come work for you. You invited me to lunch so we could talk about "life". In the ten years since that wonderful beginning, you've taught me to believe in possibilities. When I falter, lose faith, and even fail, I know that taking a moment to breathe and finding the lesson will guide me. I remember so many small things - how you would always stop by my office on your way out the door in Scottsdale and ask me if I was "still having fun?" And just shake your head when I always said yes. I remember once when you said "we never had problems here till we had HR". I was walking away and didn't see your grin till you had stopped me in my tracks. (Glad I turned around!) I remember your telling me I didn't have to be "superwoman" when you knew how hard it was to juggle being a single parent and a professional. And when you stood in my doorway and we shared tour sorrows over the loss of employees, friends, and even our fathers. You made a difference every day because I knew you truly cared about me, and all of us. As Oprah says - "What I know for sure " is that I am a stronger, better, kinder person and parent for having known you. For myself, and Tess and Jordan...you have our eternal affection and gratitude. Have a happy forever with Jackie and your family. You deserve only wonderful things. Tia Finn HR Manager
62: I have been thinking this over for a couple of weeks now... So - I have a file in my personal folders called "Bob". I don't really remember why I thought it would be important to keep Bob's emails, but he seems like a pretty smart guy, so I did. :) I guess I didn't realize how long I had been keeping these emails until I went into my "Bob" file for some guidance on what I could add to his surprise book. I was shocked to find I had an email from bob that dated back to march of 2004!!! Perhaps it's time to clean out my email? For some reason, I held on to these. I think that over the years I have found Bob's weekly emails to be entertaining, inspiring and motivating. He sort of has a "no nonsense" way about him that I find to be enjoyable. His words oftern make me laugh. Anyway, what could I possibly say about Bob. There is so much to say. Wisely, I decided to let Bob say it all himself. I hope this is a BIG book! Carrie Austin Connected Sales Account Executive, Digital. | A great leader once said.... The road ahead.... Good to Great? ... Get on the bus... Feed the mind & fire the imagination... thanks for all that you are doing to get to "the final 10%". I love saying EVERYONE is on board. We are trying to confirm the availability of Dr. Phil to speak at our summer conference. Many of us seem to have an issue with committment. Believe in yourself. I believe in you. Embrace Change. I like vacation, but I LOVE this business. Teach Differently. Take Responsibility. E-buss#3 has come in service this week in Pas Christian, MS. Now with Bay St. Louis,, MS and Pasadena TX we are fully operational. Destiny is in our hands... White Sox Win Series! Enjoy the journey. Look for the good in your colleagues, the organization and our customers. Be conscious of how our good works affect the students we serve. This is all too hard not to have fun along the way. I went on a tour of all three E-Bus cities in the towns affected by Hurricane Katrina. The overwhelming destruction overcomes you. The daily conveniences we take for granted do not exist. We are doing good things there. When Waterford suddenly arrived one morning in a first grade class, a little girl runs over and starts hugging the computer. "Nobody told me we were going to have WATERFORD!" This is why we do what we do. Every one of us helps earn our reputation each day by doing the RIGHT THING. Kids and teachers need us. Do not be afraid. We have a plan, now we just need to execute the plan. Repeat after me: It's all about the implementation! Every sale, large or small makes a difference. Mark Twain would have fit right in at PDL. He said " when all else fails - do the right thing".
63: I am checking out for next week. I am sure the trout across AZ and Utah are trembling. Jackie is so confident in my fishing skills that she already has her restaurant guide packed. When I leave... good things tend to happen. We must always be challenging ourselves to determine, are we doing the right things for our business today. No one will tell us when we need to change. Execute today's plan and think about tomorrow's strategy. Hey, who is the new guy appearing on the Digital Whiteboard? So what have I learned besides the fact that all airlines have figured out how to put fewer peanuts in the same size bag? I have seen first hand that our customers have a great passion about our products. They believe that these products help provide kids with a better education. Favorite kid story of the this trip is the one about the kindergarten kids having their first SuccessMaker experience who said to his teacher : What are we supposed to do with the earmuffs? Visualize your success! Be memorable and dramatic! Step out of your comfort zone! Make it happen! Think Big! Final miles on the road ahead are the steepest. It is the challenge of the final assalut that mkes the view from the top so exhilarating. See you at the top! Thanks for making PDL such a great place to be! Our mission remains the same: We are committed to providing innovative, research-based digital learning solutions that elevate the art and science of teaching and inspire children to reach their greatest potential. Together we can do this. Remember on Wednesday November 23, both offices will close at one to begin the holdiay. Plan accordingly. It's Thanksgiving. Take it seriously. Have faith, we are going to get this right. These days are good. Better ones lie ahead. In all the years that I have enjoyed the final weeks of the year, never has the activity sounded like such a fine symphony to me. this year we will do it smoother than ever. I like the sound of smooth. Susan Farrar's Inside West team now has 100% of their reps making their number and they had three babies this year! I am turning off the lights and going home to enjoy the final days of 2005. I hope your experiences were the stuff of fond memories. For me (on the Miami President's Circle Trip) it was the numerous sightings of Bon Jovi. Oprah reminds us not to forget. If you saw Oprah on Tuesday you had a chance to see Sandra Reed who presented PDL with the flag from Bay St. Louis when we visited what was left of her home. The devastation continues, as they live their "new normal". We need to remember our work there is not done. If you have thougts and ideas I would like to hear from you. DO NOT, I repeat, do not respond to this email with the infamous "reply all" unless you want to risk one of those possible career altering decisions. On the surface... there is just not that much going on. If an organization really believes that the people make the difference, then you just can't have enough good people. When I think of PDL people certain qualities are clear: Resilient. Adaptable. Insightful. Committed. As I observe all this going on what really catches my attention is how the remarkable has become routine. What was complex has become simple. What took forever comes quickly. What was a mountain is a speed bump. I am struck by how PDL people go about their business with passion but little of the emotion that is counter productive or robs the energy from co-woprkers. Doing the right thing - every day is taken for granted. And that's a good thing.
64: Bob, thank you so much for the leadership and role modeling during the past eight years I have been employed by NCS Pearson. I can think of several moments that made strong impressions on me. One was in 2005 when we were at our winter meeting in Salt Lake City. One of our very top salespersons was standing in a huddle of men during a break. He was unhappy about giving up part of his sales territory. He was expressing his displeasure in very certain terms. As you walked by, you caught part of his statement, and several people noticed that you heard him. Rather than ignore him and keep walking, you stepped right into the middle of the group and told him that you thought he was bigger than that! I never heard him act that way again. And he is still with us. I will always remember how well you personally handled the whole national meeting and Denali in DC. I was proud then to be on your team and still am. Thanks for taking the high road and for leading with passion and confidence. Mike Ratliff Elementary Account Executive, Texas | When I think of Bob, I think of bob on the stage, in front of an audience. If Bob were the subject of a documentary, his natrual habitat would be the stage. He seems to be in his own domain there, completely comfortable and in command. He may just be one of, if not the best, public speakers I have ever observed. If he can come up with a subject, he could have a great career on the lecture circuit. John G. Davis Systems Engineer/ Field Engineering Services
65: Dear Bob, Although I didn't have an opportunity to work directly with you, I have been inspired by your leadership. Over the years, I have watched PDL change and grow and always felt confident in where we were going, thanks to you. Unique leaders captivate their employees with a vision of greatness and a plan to achieve it. They leave behind a legacy of excellence that guides us even after they're gone. Well that is what you have done for PDL as a whole and for me as an individual. When you spoke, I listened intently, as your words had an underlying positive message about what we could achieve. You helped us believe in ourselves and aspire to do great things...and always do the right thing, every day. That is great leadership. I will always be thankful to you for this. When I first came to PDL, there was a slogan that made me feel good about us an an organization - today, it resonates in my mind as I think of you. Bob, you truly are -"Simply the best!" With warmest wishes for a happy retirement, Donna Van Gross HSM Supervisor, Training and Development Services. | When I first started at the company, Bob would come by my cube every day and ask me what sales had come in, and I would never have them at hand, and when I did..he wouldn't stop by. I would sit there and try to calculate all the orders for the day with him watching me. Then one day, I bought a small white board and hung it outside my cube, and when he came up to ask about the sales for the day - I pointed to the whiteboard. He talked about it in his weekly voice mails, and still does in his weekly emails. It went from a small board outside my cube, to what it is today - available online and on blackberries. I invented the whiteboard just for Bob. May the whiteboard be with him. Heather Brooks Field Operations Specialist, PDL
66: Bob Congratulations! I wanted to take a few minutes to share some personal thoughts with you before you retire (a very well deserved accomplishment) after all you have done for education for so many years. I am so happy for you, Jackie and your entire family. I joined Pearson Digital 5 years ago after being a Title One elementary school teacher for 6 years in Atlanta, GA. I have to tell you that this professional move was the best thing I have ever done. Pearson has fostered an environment for me to grow both professionally and personally achieving goals beyond what I ever would have thought to accomplish in a mere 5 years. I remember crossing paths with you at my very first converence (I was still finishing my teaching contract) and being so nervous to even say hit to you. You were so kind and so personal and there is so much to be said about a leader who makes people truly feel like Pearson family right away. I am so proud to work for Pearson Digital Learning and I believe whole heartedly that it is because of your leadership that we have become who we are today. I have enjoyed getting to know you even better this year with working on the Think Tank and look forward to continuing my efforts to help the greater good of both Pearson and our children of the world. I meant what I said at the Atlanta SM Forum, that I truly am inspired when you speak. I hope you go on to continue speaking publicly because I think you have an absolute gift. Thank you for all you have done and I wish you all the best in all your future endeavors! Sincerly, Kim Cowan, Educational Consultant.
68: Dear Bob, I am both saddened and delighted to hear of your retirement. On the one hand, it is a great loss for the company. However, our loss is your family's gain. As a single mother for the past 14 years, my now 19 year old twins have benefited extraordinarily by my parents relocation from Michigan to Texas. They serve as touch points of decency, expectations, and extended love that I could never have managed on my own. I wish the same for your grandchildren. On a personal note, my hard drive crashed with no data saved a few weeks back, and I felt your pain from the PDL Town Hall meeting a while back. As such, we had exchanged emails regarding your unusual Feruary 24-2011 visit to Killeen and Fort Hood Texas. You were kind enough to respond to an email I sent regarding our time spent (although being held hostage en route from Killeen to a Barbeque joint in Round Rock hardly resonates with your job description - warn Mr. Dragon) - it meant the world to me. All good wishes to your and yours - you leave an indelible impression on all who are blessed to be in your presence, Warmest regards, Linda Levine Educational Consultant
69: I started with Electronic Education before Bob joined us. In one day of manager meetings at EE, both the President and Sales Manager had resigned- leaving us rudderless. It was a pretty shocking day. At the time, I was a Training Manager - not in sales. So, when Bob joined as our new CEO, we just didn't know what to think - didn't know him at all and were pretty paranoid. So, as a small group of managers with our new leader, we were sitting around a board room table discussing our business, our future...etc. Apparently I'm one of those people who wears my thoughts right on my face - and I must have been making some faces during that meeting, as I was quite concerned about the future of our business and our product offerings. At one point during the meeting, we stopped for a break and I headed down the hall. Bob immediately followed me down the hall and stopped me to ask me what I was thinking. He said he could sense that I had concerns and I needed to speak up- he wanted to hear them. From that moment I was hooked! That he cared about my concerns, my opinions and wanted them out front - well- that meant everything!! Though I'm sure he doesn't remember that day, I've been a loyal Bob fan ever since. It's been a long journey since then, but Bob has always been extremely supportive to me and an amazing leader of people. The old CEO of Electronic Education used to close every sales meeting with a long - really long- drawn out story meant to be motivational. He literally kept us captive for 2-3 hours as the story went on and one and no one could leave until he was done. The first meeting Bob hosted for the company - a meeting where it rained so hard in Phoenix that Bob's room flooded at the Biltmore!- He used his " flip chart" closing strategy and motivationally ended the meeting on a super high note in 20 minutes!!! Again- we were hooked on Bob!! Sandy Drusch District Sales Manager - Texas
70: Dear Bob, Herer's wishing you all the best in your next chapter. I especially thank you for adding to my vocabulary, as well as my list of motivational quotes. Thanks to you, I can now use in sentences, words and phrases such as - the cloud, VOC, SaaS and IaaS, Proximal Moment for Learning and of course - skeuomorphically. Some of the motivational gems you've shared in your PDL Weeklies that I've noted, include: "The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy." Martin Luther King, Jr. "Unless we believe we shall not. Focus on the negative and it becomes our reality". From My Political Life by Tony Blair "Every worthwhile accomplishment, big or little, has it's stages of drudgery and triumph; a beginning, a struggle and a victory." Gandhi " Please stop waiting for a map. We reward those who draw maps, not those who follow them: Daniel Pink | believe
71: And from your own voice : We create our own climate. Be comfortable with being an actor, not only a critic. We are all responsible for our own heads. When we listen to customers we have an opportunity to learn - and we have the opportunity to truly delight them. it's been a delight to benefit from yhour leadership and from your interest in the day-to-day work lives, successes, and challenges of the Pearson team. Thanks for everything. All the best, Marty Nagy Digital Writer/ Editor | Bob, Thanks for being a great leader, mentor, and friend, Chris Dragon SVP Digital Product Management
72: A few of our amazing connected sales team members along with three of their District Managers - Susan Tortora, Bethany Cummins and Dana Eiler. | Bob, Over the years there are so many things I can recount about how you have positively affected me and my life. Not just the Pearson me, but me as a person. I will be eternally grateful for the opporunity to get to know you and learn from you. I hope this letter will serve as an appropriate thank you. I still remember many of my firsts here at Pearson. I remember my first conversation with Tia prior to my interview - we talked like we were old friends getting back in touch. I remember my interview with Matt and Joni where it seemed like this job was not a great fit for me, but I was still intrigued. I remembery my first day - it was raining and I walked in the door to my new job holding my umbrella over James Watson's head so he wouldn't get wet. I rarely remember details from the past - no room in my head to hold those unimportant memories, but for some reason everything here sticks with me. Of course I remember the first day I met you.
73: You came by my first cube in Scottsdale, the big "double wide" next to Nick DeGeorge's office. You introduced yourself, asked about me, and then the newspaper article I had hanging in my cube about my son Leo. You seemed genuinely interested and I was genuinely surprised. I had always come from large corporate environments where it seemed like leaders didn't care about individuals. They barely said hello, let alone engage in conversations. You were clearly a different kind of leader. Over the years your support and trust in me have made a tremendous difference. I would not be where I am today without your words of encouragement and your belief that I coud do it. The time you have taken from your busy days just to say hello or ask about what was going on make such a difference - more than you know. You lead by modeling your "do the right thing" motto. I have become a better leader by watching you and learning from your examples. I hope to continue channeling you through the coming years. I am so happy for you that you now have the opportunity to spend more time with Jackie and the rest of your family. Will is very lucky that his grandfather will be in Chicago more often to help him grow and spoil him a little bit as well. While I am happy for you, I will dearly miss seeing you around the office. I will miss thos times when you stop by and chat for a few. I will miss your wisdom and encouragement. Most of all, I will miss you. Have a great time in this new phase of your life. Don't be a stranger! Do the right thing and come back and visit from time to time. Thank you for all that you have done, all you have said and all that you are. You are the best. With Admiration, Susan Tortora District Sales Manager, Connected Basal and Supplemental
74: I was first introduced to you during a large meeting where it was announced that Pearson Ed Tech (or whatever our name was at the time) was merging with Electronic Education. I had never even seen the current leader of my part of the organization before that meeting. I remember thinking that I liked how you handled yourself. You seemed like a genuinely likeable persona as well as a strong leader. When I came to work in Scottsdale, gone were the Mesa days where the organizational leader would stay removed from everyone. I remember watching you walk through the call center and stop and talk with the reps. You would ask them about their families and check in on how they were doing. You were personable and careful to put them at ease. It impressed me that you knew each one by name and that you genuinely cared about them. When we moved upstairs in Scottsdale, it would have been easy for us to have felt removed and separate but you made the effort to walk up and check in on us. I remember you making the long trek down to my office regularly and asking how things were going. That really stood out to me since I was kind of removed at the far end of the building. You were one of the only folks outside of support that visited regularly and I really appreciated it. One of my early years in support management was extremely challenging. We closed the Champaign office and moved the support function to the Scottsdale call center. During that time it was not easy to ensure that people were happy with our service. I received a calendar invite from Colleen, and I remember being nervous that you wanted to speak with me. However when I got there, you just spent time encouraging me and making sure I was doing ok. You even asked if people were being nice to me. I 'll never forget that. I really appreciated that you cared enough about what was happening in my world to take the time to meet with me one on one during that period. Bob, you really are a great leader. I have learned so much from you about leading people. You've reminded us over and over again to be memorable - well- you've certainly been that for us. I'll temember to "Be the Pig" (the chicken played a role in the breakfast - but the pig was committed!) and to be really committed because of you. I'll continue to do the right thing every day, in part due to you. Thank you for being a leader that cares about your people. Thank you for being approachable and personable. You've made the culture of PDL a wonderful place to work and you will be missed. Bethany Cummins District Sales Manager , Connected Basal and Supplemental.
75: In any setting...on any occasion .. .Bob's unique ability to make everyone feel special, included and inspired is evident.... and will be missed!
76: Dear Bob, I don't know that I've ever told you my " first day Bob" story, but I have shared this with many others, and I guess it's time to come clean with you. I was in my new office in Scottsdale and was in the midst of a very exciting first morning as I organized my pens and tried to figure out how to "dock" my laptop. I had already met many people that morning ans was pleasantly surprised as another nice man walked into my office and said "Hi Dana - Welcome to Pearson, I'm Bob". Now what followed was a moment in my life that I will be forever grateful for, because I actually didnt' ask the question that came to mind , which was : "Thanks so much Bob, now are you on Susan Tortora or Joni Schlapa's team?" Instead, I answered with a thank you, and expressed how excited I was for my new role at Pearson, and you went on your way. A short time later I walked with my team to hear the President speak during a monthly company meeting. As I sat down, I saw you at the front of the room, so I leaned over to one of my colleages and said "I met Bob earlier today, what is his role?". She looked at me with horror and said "Umm.. he's our PRESIDENT". Again I will be FOREVER grateful that for once I held my tongue (although I can imagine your answer would have been quite funny). As I think about that moment though it explains so much about who you are as a leader. You didn't identify your role to me, didn't feel the need to make me aware. Prior to working for you, I had the exact opposite experience with corporate leadership. Over the past four years you have shown me what true leadership is. I have been so lucky to learn from you and been amazed by your availability. I don't know if you realize how much it has meant to me for you to offer your guidance, thoughts support and time over the years. I know I will miss hearing you say "Good morning Dana" as you walk by my office. I appreciate beyond words your willingess to listen and to share advice. The fact that you take time to brainstorm and help me walk through issues has meant so much. I will never forget that you overheard me make a comment about wanting to become a better public speaker and sent me an email the next day offering to share some of your advice. I coudn't believe you took the time to do that.
77: You have provided leadership by example. I promise to continue to do the right thing every day, for every colleague, customer, child and also for my family, for you have provided leadership by example there as well. I don't quite know what we all will do without you, but I know that the future holds exciting times for you and Jackie ( whose beautiful spirit will also be missed around here). I know you will enjoy time with your family and hopefully some fantastic travels and adventures. Thank you, Bob, for your commitment to us, your wisdom, your humor, your kindness and your fierce commitment to creating a company of value and integiry. With deepest appreciation, Dana Eiler District Sales Manager, Connected Basal and Supplemental
78: It has been an honor to not only learn from Bob at work, but to learn from him on the golf course as well. Whether he realizes it or not, there are many similarities between his conduct on and off the course. Here are a few of my observations: > Off the tee box, with the pressure on, Bob has a knack of splitting the fairway every time. At work, with the pressue on, Bob has a knack of saying or doing the right thing...every time. > From the fairway, Bob measures his shot: takes any input that is available to him and executes the shot he feels will give him the best chance of success. At work, Bob is always willing to listen and discuss. When the time comes, he will execute the strategy that has the best chance of success. > On the green, Bob can make the putt or miss it. Either way he doesn't get too high or too low. He understands there is always another hole to play. At work, not every year was a success, not every sales call was closed. Bob was unwavering. Dust yourself off and figure out a way to do it better next time. Like so many that have worked with Bob throughout the years , I've learned so much just from listening, observing and interacting with Bob. For that I cannot thank him enough. In retirement, Bob no longer needs to keep a schedule, check a blackberry, or dial in to a conference call. He can do whatever he wants. Whatever it is, I'm confident he will still do the right thing...every day. John Spiesman Bob's "People" Partner
79: Small Town Feel in a Big Organization. To be part of Bob Roliardi's PDL organization is to experience a small town in a big city....or in this case a small company in a large organization... Bob, Some of my fondest memories reach beyond the walls of working on NovaNET Classic and NovaNET Courseware. One of the unique qualities about the PDL is the way you have created an environment that supports and values FAMILY. READ FOR THE RECORD is always a favorite of mine, as well as my children, Mackenzie and Carter. They love to come to "mommy's work" and hear you read the story of the year. You have provided an opportunity for parents to share quality time with their children in a fun and educational environment. IT SNOWS IN CHANDLER ARIZONA. Takeing the time out of our crazy schedules to enjoy some of the joys of mother nature, or the blessings of crushed ice and a pile of snow in the desert. This is just another way you have helped bridge the gap between work and home to help us make special memories with our children. THANK YOU BOB! ...for opening the door to all of the professional opportunities I have had here at PDL. And thank you for providing an outlet for me to share my work and my passion with my family. You have created bery big shoes to fill, and your legacy here at PDL will be held with the highest regard. I wish you the very best in retirement! Warmest wishes, Josey Borman Sr.Curriculum Specialist
80: The Legal Department is one of those areas of Parson we call a "shared service." One of the problems with being in a shared service, doing work for multiple businesses, is that you can feel underappreciated, because people in one business often don't understand the demands of the other businesses you support. No one has a clear picture of what you're doing. That's one of the reasons I've said for a long time that PDL is my favorite Pearson business to work with - There is a culture of appreciation. And that starts with Bob. Even back when my team was based in Mesa and Bob was in Scottsdale, he'd make a point on his occasional trips to Mesa to swing by, say hello, as how we were doing, and thank us for our contributions to PDL. Bob undersands the importance as a leader of recognizing people's efforts. His weekly updates to PDL don't just talk about the latest product advancements or PDL initiatives: he goes out of his way to give personal credit to the individuals involfed in PDL'S successes. And, of course, he rarely takes the credit for himself. I got to experience one of those recognition moments a number of years ago. I had been working with PDL for a couple years, after the Scottsdale and Mesa businesses had merged. Bob made a point of asking me to attend the general session of the PDL meeting, something I was planning to do anyway, but I wondered why I got a personal invitation. He then proceeded during the session to go through his flip chart, and when he got to the 6th page on the chart, it said: WHAT DO JODIE FOSTER AND KEVIN SCHUTZ HAVE IN COMMON? I was sitting there in a room full of several hundred people wondering, where is this going? What DO I have in common with Jodie Foster? Could it be that we're both exceptionally good looking? No, probably not that..
81: Bob then explained that Jodie had starred in a movie called " Contact", in which she portrayed a scientist searching for, and ultimately finding evidence of extraterrestial life. Bob went on to say that one of the movies' messages was "We are not alone", and that this was an important message for PDL to keep in mind as well, because PDL relied on a number of other groups to provide various assistance and support. And one of those groups was the contracts organization that I managed in Mesa. Bob asked me to stand up, and proceeded to talk for a bit about his appreciation for the support that I provided to PDL. I don't remember everything he said, but the theme was that, even though I was a lawyer, I wore a business hat and went out of my way to understand the needs of the business and to help out wherever I could, even if it was sometimes outside of my official job description. At the end he asked everybody to give me a round of applause. It was a little embarrassing - being singled out in a large group almost always is.- but it felt great to be acknowledged, especially since it's easy to get lost in the shuffle when you're in a shared service. I wasn't in a reporting chain that rolled up to Bob, so he wasn't in a position to give me a rais,e or a bonus or a promotion. But that didn't matter. In fact, probably because it wasn't about money, or some official award: but rather it was just about being appreciated - that moment remains the highlight of my professional career, not just at Pearson, but anywhere. Bob's awareness of the importance of recognizing people's efforts is just one of the qualities that make him not just an exceptional business leader, but an exceptional person. Thank you Bob, for everything you've done for Pearson, for the kids we're trying to help succeed, and for the people like me who have had the honor of working with you. Kevin Schutz Vice President and Assistant General Counsel, Pearson
82: Will we remember Bob and the cowboy boots? Sure. Will we remember Bob and the weekly e-mails? Sure. Will we remember Bob and the rousing speeches? Sure. We will remember Bob because Bob made us feel that he will remember us. | Jason Upah Director, Finance &Field Ops
83: It makes it a little easier for all of us to bear, knowing where you're headed. Enjoy your road ahead.