Territory Manager—Outside Sales
I joined Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) in May of 2010 as a National Curriculum Specialist in Texas. Upon accepting the position I was sent to Houston to attend a National Workshop for our Pre-K and K-5 curriculum. As a former teacher, I can truly say it was the most exciting professional development I had ever attended. The workshop, hosted by Katrina Erickson, had me singing—literally! I went right back to the hotel room that night to work with my own little girl, Sophia, a Pre-K student at the time. The proof, as they say, was in the pudding. Sophia couldn’t wait to touch and play with every product I showed her. Needless to say, I was hooked.
As I acclimated myself to the environment that made up the company, I was incredibly impressed by both the talents and diversity of the staff. Every department boasted employees who were incredibly helpful as I was learning the ropes, as well as gifted with such incredible talents that they contributed daily to the company. Everyone truly made me feel welcomed and I was excited to be a part of such a unique environment.
During my time at HWT, the company has continued to grow and expand. Not long after I joined, several Curriculum Specialists were hired and new products for PreK have been introduced. Each day is truly a new adventure, and sometimes I have to pinch myself because I can’t believe how lucky I am to wake up and do what I do every day. I spend my days talking to administrators and teachers about our products and how they can truly change the lives of their students. I spend my nights enjoying the products with my two little girls, both of whom simply can’t wait to learn handwriting.
Handwriting Without Tears is a very special place to work. The daily enthusiasm and passion to produce and share products that make learning a joy for every child is contagious. I feel very fortunate that my former teacher co-workers have led me to HWT.
Training, Workshop Operations Manager
I began working at Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) in 2003. HWT offered me the flexible scheduling that I was looking for to find balance between my career and my young family. Prior to working at HWT, I was not familiar with the company or any of their products. It was not long after I began working at HWT that I really started believing in the company and the impact its products could have on children’s handwriting. I also discovered that HWT was quickly catching on with its customers and audience.
When I began at HWT, I was not sure how my career path would develop and change. I started as a HWT Sponsored Workshop Coordinator, which meant that I researched and booked workshops at various destinations (e.g., hotels, universities, conference centers) across the United States where HWT held its workshops.
After a few years of being a HWT-sponsored coordinator, I had the opportunity to become a school sponsored coordinator. In this position, I was able to work directly with the school sponsors to organize workshops at their schools or organizations and speak with them frequently regarding their handwriting needs. This was a great opportunity for me to learn another aspect of HWT’s business. It also allowed me to work directly with the sponsors and organizations that use HWT’s products. I really enjoyed this position because I had frequent interaction with our customers and was able to learn first hand how HWT was benefiting children and all of the occupational therapists and teachers who were bringing HWT to their classrooms.
Currently, I am the Workshop Operations Manager, which means I oversee the coordination and processes for both the HWT-sponsored workshops and school-sponsored workshops.
I am extremely grateful for the knowledge and support I have been given and glad to have been able to work on the HWT Workshop team. It has been and continues to be a great company to work for and grow with, all while making a positive impact on the many schools and young students that use HWT’s products.
Sr. Accounting Manager
I have been employed at Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) since 1999. In the years that I have worked for the company, I have seen many changes. Back then, the company was in Jan Olsen’s basement. Eric Olsen interviewed me in Jan’s kitchen dressed in shorts, a t-shirt, and bare feet. I arrived for my interview professionally dressed in a suit. When Eric called and offered me the job, he said he just had one concern: Did I own a pair of jeans? Back then, we all dressed very casually and pitched in and did whatever was needed to get the work done. I not only did the accounting work, I answered the phone, took orders from customers, managed employee benefits, coordinated workshops, purchased products from domestic and international vendors, and helped with facilities management, among other tasks.
Over the years, the company has continued to grow, hiring many new people all over the country, expanding its product line, shipping orders all over the world, and training more parents and educators in how to use the wonderful program through its many workshops. As the company grew, so did my department. I became the Accounting and HR Manager, hiring, training, and supporting staff. I relinquished my HR responsibilities to focus on developing and maintaining effective internal accounting controls. My days are now filled with managing the accounting functions of the company with the help of an outstanding group of people.
One area that I have especially enjoyed is having the opportunity to mentor high school and college students. HWT works with neighboring high schools and colleges to allow students to intern at the company’s various offices. It is personally rewarding to be able to coach and teach these students by exposing them to daily business operations in a professional business environment. It is amazing to see these young people blossom into young adults. Some decide to stay on after they graduate and pursue regular employment with HWT.
Our mission is "to make learning and teaching easy and fun by providing superior educational products, training, and promotional materials to educators and parents." I would have to say that the same spirit and passion is carried over in the way the company is managed. Management strives to make the company an enjoyable place to work with its various activities for employees: Pizza Fridays, annual company cookouts, turkey fries, gift exchanges, and sports tickets. Casual dress is still the rule, but shoes are now required!
Operations, Order Processing Supervisor
I work in the Operations division of Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) in our Maryland office. As the Order Processing Supervisor, I manage a small, talented team that processes orders with passion and efficiency. We also work within other areas of the company facing diverse customer situations.
In this unique team environment, I practice critical thinking, decision making, organizational skills, and effective communication to improve processes.
We enter our customer requests in a data system under specific procedures, so I’m responsible for planning and organizing the team schedules for fast turnaround and response to customers’ satisfaction.
The challenges and the dedication we give to different projects enrich our intellectual and interpersonal lives. At the end of the day, I leave thinking that we are doing a great job for the benefit of so many children.
Our team is very diverse across cultures and backgrounds. This company promotes an equal opportunity and future for all employees. My role as a supervisor has many faces, but the most important part is keeping the spirit of unity. I make sure that everyone has support and feel that they are an important part of HWT. Helping us to grow personally and improving our careers plays an important part in helping expand the company.
One of the founders of HWT was my neighbor and she insisted, many times, that I join the company. This was a completely different field for me, and my background was not the right fit. Even though it was not the future I had envisioned, the flexible hours and friendly atmosphere made me take the opportunity. I was also attracted to the integrity of the people and the perfect product waiting to reach millions of children. Since then, being part of HWT is a dream come true.
It was a pleasure to start helping with something that has moved forward and achieved tasks, big and small. The time, the positive thinking, the virtues of the people that put together the strategies, and the faithful customers and advocates helped the program become a valuable tool for parents, educators and occupational therapists.
I eventually reached the position I have today: managing this department and inspiring others to excel with good habits and personality, guiding with strength, motivating newcomers, and multiplying the benefits of our goals.
Sr. Interactive Designer – Creative Group
I joined Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) in August 2014 at the Cabin John office in Maryland. I wasn’t sure what to expect since this was a new position within the company. I was greeted with open arms and a welcoming environment, which helped ease any insecurity I had. There is a real sense of family here and importance on company functions and activities to forge relationships. We have a very talented design group and great, fun working relationships.
Being a designer, it’s important to have chemistry with fellow designers, as collaboration is very important. I feel I have blossomed more in the last year than I did several years spent at other companies, as I am allowed to share ideas and run with them with little interference at HWT.
I am delighted to be part of such an important mission with Handwriting Without Tears. As I learn and grow with the company, I appreciate the impact I can provide making our products and services better.
Territory Manager—Inside Sales
I began working for Handwriting Without Tears (HWT) in December 2012 as the Workshop Registrar. I learned so much in this role about our national workshops along with the Get Set for School (GSS) and Handwriting Without Tears curriculum! I love hearing from customers, and how much they love the program and workshops.
In the summer of 2014, I transitioned into the Sales team as Territory Manager—Inside Sales to serve seven states in the western part of the country. This was the same time our company introduced Keyboarding Without Tears (KWT)! It has been so fun learning more about our programs. GSS | HWT | KWT continues to grow and it’s exciting to be a part of it!
In the past two years I have learned so much in the past two years ! Being able to work closely with employees from each group has allowed me to be successful in my new role. Not only does HWT provide a developmentally appropriate curriculum, but it also offers a great environment for employees to work in. Yearly functions such as the Company Picnic, Turkey Fry, and Yankee Swap allow for employees to get to know each other on a personal level. It truly is a great place to work!