Gina Anderson

Interview by
Published on
October 7, 2022

In this episode...

Years ago, Gina Anderson was concerned when she saw how truck drivers were being trained - in dark classrooms, with TV on, and then just watching on the screen. As an educator at her core who believes that people have different learning styles, this was the start of Learn With Luma’s pivot to the transportation industry. Learning can be face-to-face, as has been done traditionally. It can also be done virtually through micro-lessons, which Gina refers to as eNuggets. It can also be asynchronous, such as when truck drivers listen to podcasts like Life By The Mile. It can be gamified and interactive, so they learn via an application. Learning can also be collaborative, such as when truck drivers engage in a community and share knowledge from experience.

Gina Anderson

CEO and co-founder of Luma Brighter Learning


people train how they were taught and if all of us that are listening today think about how we were taught how did most of us learn we learned in a traditional classroom with a teacher up in front training us there wasn't a lot of collaboration until more recent years with technology coming on board and so it's no fault of anybody that's in transportation training it's just they don't have the training on the different methodologies of how people learn Welcome to Night for the mile delivered by freightworks one of America's fastest growing podcasts actually produced by trucks indicted to tell stories

all here right now Swipe by the mile delivered by Frameworks I'm your host Butch Maltby and you know folks we want to make sure you know our desire is to help you understand the incredible just sometimes chaotic world of trucking and Logistics but from the perspective of Industry experts and it's such a joy today to have Gina Anderson now Gina your your bio is so long I'm not going to read all of it I'm not going to read all of them I I know you I know you don't because we were talking earlier and I could already sense you got a heart of humility here but I am going to say this she's the co-founder and CEO of luma she brings more than 23 years in the education field she started her career as a special education teacher always had the passion to improve learning for all Learners uh at all American Division One tennis athlete I want to talk about tennis in in a minute yeah and uh and she brings this passion to drive to help others and she's got Luma writer learning it's a learning and instructional design company with a focus on education and transportation industry so you know what after we get through sort of what they say online about about you if if I were to ask the question uh who are you and what gives you Joy what would you say yeah I love that question thank you so much so I this industry the transportation and trucking industry really does bring me joy every single day um having education and special education in my background being able to really talk to drivers specifically and and help them and do what we can to listen to what because everyone thinks training is boring right so we try to make it we listen to drivers and try to make it fun and listen to them about what content they want and try to deliver what they need so really that's really what makes us happy and makes me happy personally to be able to really work directly with the drivers and to help them you know people love to know kind of the story behind the person and uh you know I'm not going to ask you personal question but how did you get to where you are like when you were little yeah were there things in you that informed who you are today like what were you like when you were small yeah yeah I definitely

who might not have the full advantage um when I was in high school I I helped out in different classrooms and helping Learners with challenges just in high school I had that drive and I just continued on and um when I went back to get my doctorate I really wanted to study the brain and really how people learned and and chemically how they're made up so that we could really build something to actually impact learning um and so that's really where it came from and it started really early on to be honest do you have do you have a quick little story that would reflect that influence in your life I mean how how did you know early on that you had a heart for people that were unheard unseen and disparaged I love that question so I helped

could not read um could not really communicate really well um and at the moment where I worked with that learner and I and I helped them build confidence in themselves to be able to do it was able to actually speak um for the very first time and I think that really had a huge impact on me personally to be able to really help mentor and encourage someone and to train them in the skills to help them do that when everyone thought that they never would be able to speak or read and having that experience I think changed my life to be honest with you you know it's it's it's interesting and I I won't uh chase a rabbit Trail here but an important in in in the fourth grade I remember I remember there was a boy named Alex Chicos and he had a club foot Gina and we we had a 100-yard dash and I came in second yeah and everybody laughed at Alex as he drug his foot across the finish line and I went to my teacher Ms Ward and I said the word I want to speak I was in the fourth grade I want to speak to the class after lunch and I told the class he's my friend I hate Injustice I hate it when things like that happen well I got shunned by the whole class he became a great friend but you know what I love I love that you've had a hard for special needs which are not disabilities it's people that need help so how is that influenced what you're doing today yes so you know training you can do in any industry right you can train anybody any industry anytime I actually went and observed a truck driving um Class A long time ago and I and I walked in and I noticed how the drivers are being trained they basically were being put into a classroom the lights were turned off and the TV was turned on and they were meant to learn and you know I'm imagining these drivers getting in these huge you I have F-150 and I have a hard time driving that in the mountains all right so so it's it's a forward right yes it's a four okay all right we just folks if you think Fords are better than Chevys go ahead and post a comment right now yes here's why I'll tell you why if you have keys and you want to leave them in your car you have a secret code in Ford Ford has that you can get in through a keypad so I would say that would be my vote y Ford there's a lot of reasons okay I I took you off the path there go ahead yeah all right so I was in a classroom and I was observing the drivers and I'm thinking to myself this is not how people learn and they're being expect to learn in this way and then they're going out and being having to drive a Class A vehicle that to me was very concerning you know being on the road and so for for me it was really about let's do something different in this industry let's take all these methodologies of how people learn and let's really help drivers let's do this so and that's really why we pivoted and went into the transportation industry and we've been in it since 2014 helping truck drivers can you talk a little bit about uh the incubation of the company and what the company does yeah sure so we started our company in 2008 we actually started our company in higher education we still have some higher education you said that you know you were a professor so we worked with faculty um faculty don't need a lot of help I'll be honest with you uh they they are so sufficient um so we started like I said I was invited to go observe some training classes of truck drivers and that really inspired me to to really focus on on the transportation industry so what we do is a little different than other training providers in the industry we really focus on short what we call e-nuggets or micro lessons yes I love I love that I love yeah that phrase nugget I love it this is is our mascot I think every company should have a mascot and so the idea is is that people obviously learn in different ways and so we try to incorporate a lot of different formats not just video videos a very heavy format in the industry and it's not that video is bad but there's a specific way of Designing it so we do a lot of game based instructions so we're actually a learning company so we do all modes of learning so not just online we do Blended we do face-to-face we do on synchronous which this that's what this is is podcasts we do asynchronous so you don't have to be in the real time so we do a lot of different formats of learning for drivers because we know not everyone learns in the same way not one size fits all that's for sure that is so good you know uh a a few years ago I had the opportunity to consult for an Israeli firm called compedia compedia and they were very involved and still are in gamification and and training and learning in in that in that in that whole Arena what are you finding based on your educational platforms what and training platforms what are you finding that drivers need what is it yeah in The Core Essence of it what do drivers need yeah so in our system the drivers can actually rate the content they can give it up to five stars and tell us what they need drivers are really responding and giving us feedback that they really want to connect with each other and they also want to connect with their safety managers and people at their organization a lot of generic content I mean what's motivating about that I mean and and in addition the drivers have a lot of knowledge they bring a lot of them bring years and years and years of experience absolutely well what's interesting to me in the transportation industry not a lot of carriers will ask the driver what do you know bring your knowledge you can be a mentor and a teacher and so you know I think from what drivers tell us and they should be heard you should listen to the driver's knowledge and what they want to share and give them a platform to train each other and to support each other and to connect with people at the organization are you are you finding anything different with drivers these days in other words a lot of drivers that come here and I I speak to them the studio freightworks one Studios right around the corner from the driver's Lounge you know what I had an office and I got rid of the office I said I just want to hang out with the drivers and what's really funny is they'll think because I've got a shirt on like this that I can help get their truck fixed quicker and and when they describe what's going on with their engine I have no idea what they're talking about but I love them and I care for them and this yes this this that and the other but what are you finding drivers women and men need these things I mean what at the core of it do they need yeah that's a great question I think a lot of the drivers that we talk to and we interact want a variety of opportunities so not just learning face to face but not not learning face to face so having a combination of of training efforts are really important and being able to connect with each other connecting is now is so important more than any other time so being alone on the road just with content isn't the answer so having the opportunity to have engagements like this in real time but I can learn anywhere I don't have to be physically with you right now in that room to have this conversation we can have this conversation anywhere anytime so I think really what the drivers need is having a varied approach to training and the industry has been so doing the same thing for so many years it's really time to be able to diversify and provide different types of learning opportunities for both men and women in all ages of drivers Gina what what has mostly influenced the traditional Paradigm of training in other words so yeah yeah I think this is this is actually grounded in research people train how they were taught and if all of us that are listening today think about how we were taught how are we most of us how most how did most of us learn we learned in a traditional classroom with a teacher up in front training us there wasn't a lot of collaboration until more recent years with technology coming on board so a lot of people will train the way they were taught and so it's no fault of anybody that's in transportation training it's just they don't have the training on the different methodologies of how people learn interesting and uh what what do you see in terms of the days ahead with things like um virtual reality uh augmented reality how how does technology Gina how does technology inform where you believe we're going in the whole training Arena yeah so take

a technology technology can take a very long time and so it can be scary it can be intimidating especially with Learners that may have diverse learning needs and so while the technology is there I mean right now they're still drivers with flip phones right I mean I know there's drivers out there listening right now that don't have a smartphone and there are a lot of benefits of having a smartphone but there's also I can understand some of the drawback that some of the drivers feel with having that type of technology so there are a lot of opportunity one thing that we're looking at at Luma is doing immersive learning because one of the challenges with the virtual reality technology is there's a cost to it and there is a barrier of trying to get the technology so for us it's trying to offer the same types of experiences that anybody can do with limited amount of Technology but offering the same result with The Learning Experience so for example one thing that we're building is the ability to take of virtual kind of like three-dimensional photos with your phone and being able to create immersive learning without having a headset I mean people get dizzy with headsets where are you gonna find headsets people are going to steal headsets there's a lot of challenges so with every new advancement there becomes some challenges that you just have to look at how are we going to overcome these challenges and do we really want to do we want to what's the benefit of having this to improve and Advance us forward in our learning that's interesting and I remember from uh from communication Theory there was all a discussion about the latitudes of acceptance and who were the people that actually become like lead adapters and and yeah and and and and the like let me let me ask you this it's maybe more of a personal question you you were involved in special education I always thought that there was a better moniker than special education but but you know what it means that you had a heart and the patience to go the extra mile can you talk a little bit about what Drew you there and how that's informed the work that you're doing now yeah I think

this is really informed by doing what's best and helping others like leading with kindness I know we talked a little bit about kindness I love that what a big difference it makes um when you're feeling down and when you when you feel like there's nowhere to go you can always think about if you help someone it makes you feel better right so if you do one thing to help someone else feel better it actually does make you yourself feel better so if you're in a job that is frustrating or that you don't enjoy um it's always good to find something that will bring you Joy and for me personally that was helping others who couldn't necessarily do or have a challenge making them and bettering them then in turn made me feel better and and gave me value in my own life so I really feel that we do and I know and I believe this is the core value of our team at Luma if you met anybody on the Luma team we all live by the fact that we have a commitment to our customers and that's really the drivers we want to listen to drivers and we want to hear what they want to do for learning we actually get topics from the drivers like our kindness curriculum some of the some of we have a some depression e-nuggets nuggets that the drivers really tell us that we want it's really about listening to what people need and then helping them and so you know going into a field like education or special education even driving driving on driving is I mean it I had to drive down to a conference uh not very far you know several hours it was almost almost eight hours and I was thinking drivers do this every single day that is a tough job right so really thinking about what you can do in those situations to help the drivers is really important to me personally Gina can you talk a little bit about what you were describing just now reminded me of the power of empathy and listening can you talk about empathy and listening as important elements in the mix of what you do yes definitely

you really have to um Encompass and embrace uh you have it's really important when drivers call us we have an understanding what their day was like because they could be very frustrated maybe they were just you know pulled up to a customer and had a very bad experience and then they're trying to log into their training and they can't log in and they're really frustrated and it's really having an understanding of where they're coming from they may be upset there may be something that they're going through that you have no idea and so just being that person that might be the person that can lift their spirits up is always important and so as a driver too you're all you're out all day and you have so many touch points and you have the opportunity to change lives every single day and I think that's really important empathy is something that isn't it's something that's practice I think you have to really take an effort to um to be empathetic and to listen it's really it's much easier to talk as I'm doing than to than to listen so always try to listen first is so important yeah you're you're not you're not talking you're sharing what's interesting is you use the word touch point and the company that I sold in Colorado Springs before I moved here my company was called touch Point Solutions and it was it was it was predicated on this notion that you know understanding the touch point with a person you know the couple of Summers that I spent on a dairy farm with an uncle that had Holstein cows gave me the opportunity to talk to people not with authority but with some touch point about what Holstein cows were were like let me let me ask you this uh when you look at where your company is going uh and and by the way why did you pick the name yeah so the name came from doing something brighter and writing brightening up people's lives when people think of training they're like oh my gosh I have to do training right it's terrible who wants to do it it's like it's like going for an annual physical or exactly it's like oh my gosh because you know why it's because people Force Learners to do these awful trainings and force them to go through this and it's terrible so why not do something a little bit brighter make it fun um lumify lumify your life by doing something good and so you know part of our mission at Luma is to provide opportunities for drivers to expand their Horizons to learn in all different ways you always can learn something new and share your knowledge and it's not about just taking information in being a bright being brighter being brighter learning is is giving and sharing your knowledge to others and so building a community of Learners is really important to us we build it with our clients we have a client base of Learners we have a learning community it's about building Community with your organizations and among the drivers drivers they have they're in our learning uh our discussion forum sharing all of their knowledge I mean it's so much information that they can do so for us the name really came from that and it and and we have our logo and there's a burst in the end and hopefully that we can always bring a little bit more brighter learning to our truck driver clients and also our customers we are shamelessly promotional when guests come on and so I want you to say right I want you to do your best interpretation of an infomercial that people want to get to know if people want to get to know you better get to know your platform better how could they reach you what can they do oh I'd love that well if any of you want to connect with me and get a nugget uh sent to you you certainly can so here's a few ways so nugget is our mascot and we have drivers who take nugget and get pictures of nugget all over and share your stories we have a map on our website so if you go to our website you will go to our blog you'll find nuggets map however if you go to our LinkedIn page which is obviously Luma brighter learning you can connect with us that way too we have a Facebook page I know the drivers like the Facebook too and that's where in the world is nugget and you can connect with me on LinkedIn too so you can look me up you'll find me you'll see nugget in my background yeah you know what Gina just now you took on a different Persona when you were promoting the company it was great I I know I I know it was it was it was great it was like an infomercial in a moment but it was with authenticity and I mean I mean that uh I I don't patronize and I'm not gratuitous okay so so so so so let me ask you this when it comes to the whole area of trucking companies marketing it seems like everybody says we're a family you'll get good miles you got good equipment you won't be a number everybody's kind of marketing the same way drivers are pretty Discerning aren't they drivers and Veterans men and women I've been told really kind of can cut to the core yeah how can companies be more authentic in communicating their message well I think I think they have when they communicate their message they have to follow through I mean with drivers especially you can promote and Market but at the end of the day if that's not your core values and how you operate you're gonna find that out pretty quickly at an organization if a company is saying that they are going to uh invest in you and provide training so make you safer then you should really look at that and say are they really doing that so it's really again following your word and being authentic to your word having a commitment to the drivers is showing commitment in all types of ways showing that you appreciate them all year um and and really and really listening to the drivers to hear what they want so you know if you're going to do surveys through Luma for example taking the feedback and really making a difference with them so it's one thing to sell a product or to sell a company but it's another thing to truly create that and environment for your team and for your people and for your customers and so I definitely think that's important I do hear that a lot with the CL with customers in trucking saying that those are their core values I agree with you 100 and that's not always the case as We Know excellent now now listen when you're not when you're not facilitating these new and Innovative educational platforms and encouragement for Trucking and logistics companies what what do you do that gives you Joy outside I love that question and so I have two dogs so what kind I have the schlas does anyone know what a vishla is I I okay we're gonna have people I'm sure that post a comment there so all right we'll see all right so I'll show you I don't know if uh if anybody can see their videos but these These are these are my dogs this is uh that's Daisy May she's 17 weeks and that's Lucy and she is six and animals that's precious I don't I don't use the word precious very much yeah that's precious yeah well took her sister a while to get used to her but um animals are precious any kind of animal one of our clients has donkeys one of them actually has a squirrel I think uh animals are really important for for wellness and well-being so they keep us you know when you work all the time you got to get out and do something so we walk them and and so forth and I'm a runner so I run a lot that helps I used to play tennis a lot talk about that real quickly where did you play tennis so I played tennis at the University of Dayton um in college the date the Dayton Flyers the Flyers exactly I have no idea I have no idea why I remember college and university names but I I do too the mascots are important yeah Rudy flyer my first dog's name was Rudy after Rudy flyer okay um lieutenants there is there after college I played and we won a national championship so it was a great experience so playing sports is good running if you can't run obviously you're in their trucks a lot walking health and wellness is so important so try to keep in shape if you have have an opportunity to have an animal they're awesome do you have any pets you you know what uh yes a a dog that that is 15 named Bentley

Bentley is Bentley is just working through the last parts of life I know and you know we just apply too we we just we just help them we encourage them and and we love them along the way by the way Dayton is where Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is you got it yep yeah it is in there I'm sorry you have a connection there uh I had a dad that was in the air force uh he's he's passed on but you know what those are touch points you know we you talked about that earlier I I tell people it doesn't matter drivers and others whatever your life is inventory your life because those are little connecting places to create conversations and conversations are the first step towards training and learning and mutual understanding and the like you know Gina building empathy you're right exactly you know great I say this often great conversations move on quickly we've only got a couple of minutes and so we've got to make it we got to make an exit here shortly but before that before that Gina uh this is Gene Anderson by the way co-founder and CEO of luma a great educator she's somebody that cares about the industry okay so now I do like my QVC yeah imitation but we've got a gift to give you okay oh that's that's nice all right well okay so we got three we got we got three choices oh I get to choose my gifts and and and and William who's behind the scenes is gonna make sure he gets the address and says all right so it's gonna be winter before we know it so we got this got a beanie we got three so don't pick yet this has got the life of the mile leather logo there that's a beanie we've got uh this went over really well at mats have you gone to Max I have not been at Matt's yet no okay I went for the first time it's a nugget see right right okay this would over well at at the Mid-America truck show so it's a life of the mile hat it's got a patriotic theme wow in the back there all right so that's Choice number two okay or we should have people vote which choice choice choice number three it's got the freightworks One logo you know me and Frank works I have is that like the final Choice yeah oh so those those are your three choices okay Freight Works freightworks has my heart so uh works is the choice there we go you know you know you know Gina I I I appreciate so much that you've unpacked some of the things behind a curtain with with training and so many of the training modalities these days and and platforms are so one-dimensional they're not interactive and it's clear just and I've I've not met you before we've done this short podcast it's clear to me that you're hard and your soul is all about helping drivers get better so remind people real quickly before we end how they can get in touch with you yes if you want to get in touch with me and our team go to learn with and you'll get our website you can also go to our LinkedIn page Luma brighter learning and finally you can go to our Facebook page it's where in the world is nugget nuggets our mascot and of course you can reach out to me on LinkedIn and I'd be happy to connect with you and thank you so much for having me today it's been such a pleasure meeting you and being on your podcast and being able to connect with drivers across across the globe it's it it's wonderful and and by the way check in on this we're going to launch a freightworks is a pet friendly pet ah pets are part of the family company and so we're launching a campaign and I want you to weigh in on it where we've got drivers with their animals telling us how animals are so important to their Journey we have any so definitely check into that at freightworks uh sign that to your drivers and hopefully drivers if you're using Luma you can do that but I'll certainly check that out I'll participate I'm all in with pets great great this is life of the mile delivered by freightworks I'm your host Butch malpe it's been a blessing to have you on make sure you come back again soon okay thank you I I appreciate it thanks so much thanks for watching this episode you know life by the mile delivered by freightworks is one of the newest largest and fastest growing podcasts actually produced by a trucking company now we want you to like and share this episode if you'd like to see more episodes click here and make sure that you subscribe to this channel by clicking here we'll see you there

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