We Are Storytellers
At Round Table Companies, we are truth seekers, storytellers, and dream makers. We are the quiet introverts, the wild extroverts, and the most amazing group of people willing to go the extra mile for everyone on our team. We are always people-first and give ourselves, and each other, permission to be fully human. To love, to share, to acknowledge the bad days, to celebrate the good days, and to show up as our most authentic selves. We not only encourage vulnerability, but we receive vulnerability with grace and compassion, always striving to be a safe place to land. Through it all, we promise to stand with each other, to support each other, and love each other fiercely. No one gets left behind. No one goes unheard. No one goes unseen.
At RTC, we believe in love, we believe in the power of our stories, and most of all we believe in each other.
CEO and Founder, Artist, Speaker, Storyteller
Corey Blake is the founder and CEO of Round Table Companies (RTC). Prior to starting RTC in 2005, Corey starred in one of the 50 greatest Super Bowl commercials of all time among a dozen commercials for Fortune 100 brands. His work with books and graphic novels has yielded 17 independent publishing awards and mentions/features in the NY Times, WSJ, USA Today, Inc., Forbes, and Wired. In 2021, Corey launched Round Table Storytelling Academy, where he focuses on his passion for creating courageous company cultures where employee purpose is connected to organizational purpose. He is an avid supporter and sponsor of Conscious Capitalism who has appeared on their main stage at seven national events. In 2019, Corey launched Conscious Capitalism Press in partnership with Conscious Capitalism, Inc. He is also the creator of the Vulnerability Wall—whose clients include Microsoft, ADP, Marketo, and Workday— and the Vulnerability is SexyTM card game. His documentary of the same name won 2017 ADDY and HERMES awards for branded content.
Director of Publishing and Design
Sunny has more than a decade of book design experience and has created interior layouts, covers, and/or digital versions for 150+ books including business topics, memoirs, illustrated books, workbooks, and test prep books with complex math typesetting. With an eye for detail, she oversees the design and publication of all RTC and Conscious Capitalism Press books. She has over 15 years of experience with Adobe InDesign and offers an online course to other book design professionals. A designer for as long as she can remember, Sunny has also provided layout or creative direction for countless brand pieces over the years. She enjoys hand lettering and helped to pioneer RTC’s live art installations, providing structural design, creative direction, management, and onsite artistry. Sunny has been growing personally and professionally with RTC since 2009. Her personal interests include many things such as line dancing, healthy homes, and longevity—and, of course, always reading.
Finance and HR
Andrea Yahr, head of finance since 2016, is in charge of payroll, budgeting, finances, accounting, royalties, book orders, HR, and bookkeeping at RTC. She’s the one who spends 18 hours each year on continuing education in US tax rules and regulations and who has QuickBooks certification as well as a specialization in clergy tax.
With a head for numbers and a heart of service, Andrea brings more than 20 years of experience in taxes and accounting to the table. For more than 15 of those years, Andrea has operated her own bookkeeping and tax company, where she currently supports over 320 clients. As part of her business, she also provides pro bono financial work for her community.
When Andrea is not wrangling numbers, she spends time with her four daughters and her husband Karl. She enjoys reading fiction and watching Netflix. And it’s not just numbers that are music to her ears; Andrea also plays the organ at local churches.
Liz has been the keeper of the calls at RTC for over 10 years and if anyone should have James Bond music as their entrance music, it’s Liz. She’s heard and kept all the propriety, secret information shared between writers, editors, and clients—and has even transcribed it.
Liz has transcribed tens of thousands of hours of calls and has scheduled thousands of calls. She makes it look easy, but she’s often juggling different time zones, many busy schedules, and tight deadlines. She books calls, answers tech questions about Zoom calls, Uberline calls, Google Calendar, and the other tools RTC uses. She makes sure writing teams have the accurate transcripts they need to create beautiful work.
Liz’s journey to RTC began with transcriptionist training. She had always been organized in school and with a word per minute rate of 88, it seemed like a natural step. Working as a medical transcriptionist for over a year and transcribing doctors’ dictations only marginally less messy than doctors’ handwriting, Liz learned all the obscure medical terms usually reserved for textbooks. She got five-star ratings and rave reviews from her clients for her accuracy and the speed of her transcription, but something was missing.
It wasn’t until she was recruited for the RTC team that Liz realized the missing puzzle piece: working on books that brimmed with purpose and stories helped her enjoy work even more. Today, Liz works with a notebook at her desk, so she can make notes, and a foot pedal that lets her control playback of the audio files she’s always transcribing. When a team member is having problems with a phone call or an RTC client needs something scheduled, Liz is only a quick email away. When she’s not keeping RTC on track, Liz is spending time with (and scheduling and organizing) her family—which includes four children and her husband.
Born and raised in Jacksonville Beach, FL, Kelsey Schurer received her master of fine arts in fiction from Virginia Tech University and her bachelor’s degree in creative writing from Florida State University, and she is a Douglas Anderson School of the Arts alum. Previously nominated for a Pushcart Prize, her honors include Winner of the Virginia Tech Poetry Prize presented by the Academy of American Poets, second-place recipient of the Emily Morrison Fiction Prize, winner of the Louis and Mart P. Hill Outstanding Thesis award, and winner of the regional Scholastic Writing Award presented by Alliance for Young Artists & Writers. Her work has most recently appeared on poets.org and in Apalachee Review.
As a former college writing instructor, a writing mentor, and a journalist, Kelsey is passionate about engaging and growing with the arts community. She has experience in poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction, as well as technical report writing, article writing, copywriting, copyediting, and multimedia art projects, and she has even dabbled in playwriting and scriptwriting. In addition to her passion for the arts, she has also volunteered at a rescue horse farm, a wildlife sanctuary for tigers and lions, and her local church as a starting-point course leader.
At RTC, Kelsey engages with all kinds of projects, from book coaching to business storytelling and children’s illustrated books. She played an integral role in the creation of The Story Hero, RTC’s educational storytelling course.
A novelist, playwright, and actor in Austin, TX, Kathy has been with RTC since 2014 and has had a hand in editing nearly 50 of our clients’ books. As an author, she has three books out with Penguin Random House and HarperCollins. Collectively the honors for The Radiant Road, Summer and Bird, and The Cabinet of Curiosities, include, among other recognition, six starred reviews in industry publications like Publisher’s Weekly; making Booklist’s 2012 Top Ten First Novels for Youth, IndieBound New Voices, and the Amazon Editors’ Pick lists; being chosen as a Junior Library Guild selection; and selection as one of the New York Public Library’s 2014 Best Books for Young Readers.
In her decades as a stage actor in Austin, Kathy has won eight acting awards and starred in a film that premiered at the Sundance Film Festival. She also voices regular roles in video games like DC Universe Online and Wizard 101.
In 2018, Kathy was commissioned by a professional theater to adapt her first book into a theater-for-youth play. Of her nine produced short plays, one was published in New Monologues for Women by Women, Vol II and another was nominated as best original play in Austin’s 2016 B. Iden Payne awards.
She holds a BA in English literature from Reed College in Portland, OR, and an MA in literature from The University of Texas at Austin.
An achiever at heart, James took the long path to becoming a writer and editor first pursuing careers in manufacturing, sales, property management, as well as starting a few businesses. With a lifelong focus on personal growth, James finally rediscovered writing, a skill he had pursued his entire life, and made it his profession in 2016.
His business and management experience brings a unique perspective to our clients’ work, many of whom share his experiences. In the nearly two years he has been with RTC, he has enjoyed helping clients express their stories in books, articles, blog posts, and online platforms. Traveling to conferences such as the Writer's Digest conference and the Conscious Capitalism annual conference, James has worked face-to-face with clients eager to share their knowledge and inspiration. Integral to RTC's culture through his work on the culture committee, James has led workshops and online events designed to help writers approach the blank page at their best. He has been featured on the Write Away podcast and was a regular contributor to the 30 Points of View Blog. He has had the pleasure of seeing one of his plays produced by a theater and is working on his second novel.
James lives with his wife and teenage daughter in Massachusetts. When not writing, coaching, or researching, he enjoys most things outdoor: golfing, hiking, kayaking, fishing, surfing, and hopes to try his hand at scuba diving and rock climbing within the next year.
Annie Rose Stathes
Annie Rose Stathes fell for the power of language in third grade when her classmates belly-laughed at her short story. Since then, she's used words to touch hearts and souls and to elucidate illusive ideas. Her formal writing experience derives from earning a BA in international affairs and an MA in political science. During school, she wrote congressional briefs; dozens of essays on culture, economics, and humanity; grant applications; and long papers on complicated issues. After graduation, she taught academic writing and research at the college level. There, she taught that the most important writing, whether academic, creative, or other, comes from the depths of the bones. Meaningful writing, she tried to instill, requires a process of turning one's self inside out to discover something new.
Standing by clients' sides as they turn themselves inside out is another of Annie Rose's loves. She has extensive training in listening, inquiry as an art, and excavating beauty and profundity where there seems to be none. She brings these skills to the table, along with the curiosity, love, and respect she has for human beings and their stories.
Beyond writing, Annie Rose improvises with Improv for the People and devotes much of her time and mind to addressing historically stuck issues, like racism and poverty. She does so through improv, inquiry and dialogue, storytelling, yoga, dance, and breaking bread. Her greatest passion lies in establishing connection among people and inviting people into new territory to learn and grow together. She surfs, runs stairs, chases cats, loves her husband, digs in deep, and otherwise lives life in Los Angeles, CA.
David believes every individual has a captivating story to tell—full of accomplishment and adventure, tragedy and triumph. The details just need to be recovered from the haze of our faulty and failing memories. But maybe that is just because he has led a high-speed chase, slept with rats in an ice cave, lost a child to a reversed adoption, been caught in a mountaintop hailstorm, and broken his back.
The sixth of seven children, David learned to captivate audiences from a young age—primarily out of fear his parents would forget to feed him or leave him behind like Kevin McCallister in Home Alone.
His RTC story began when striking up a friendship with James at a writer’s conference in New York City. (Okay. In an Irish pub during the Writer’s Conference in New York City. But isn’t that somehow more perfect for two writers to become brothers?) Months later, David met most of the RTC team when they worked a conference in Phoenix, just miles from his home. He immediately realized this was a family of kindred spirits.
David has written columns for nonfiction publications the vast majority of his life, and his debut novel, Skull Valley, will be available June 1, 2021. An engaging speaker, he has given keynote talks everywhere from Santa Clarita, California, to Derry, Ireland. And although he keeps himself busy, his most important job is being husband to Maryrose and Daddy to Georgiana.
Adrian’s love for language began many eons ago when she was a young grasshopper . . . whippersnapper . . . you get the idea. She still vividly remembers being selected to read The Wizard of Oz aloud to her first-grade class and becoming completely captivated by the story and how the art seemed to bring the words to life. From there, she began creating artwork and writing short stories of her own. One such story was written in the third grade and was dedicated to “everyone in the entire universe and solar system.”
As time went on, a preteen Adrian started noticing and marking errors in the books she was reading. Feeling very passionate about maintaining the integrity of the books she so dearly loved, Adrian began emailing her favorite authors to let them know what she discovered, along with the page numbers and specific editions where the errors could be found. Surprisingly, these emails actually led to some wonderful conversations and were exhilarating interactions for a budding editing enthusiast.
Fast-forwarding to today, Adrian now has nine years of professional copywriting and copyediting experience. Throughout her career, she has proofread and edited books, short stories, magazines, brochures, web content, news articles, and materials for multichannel marketing campaigns. Her favorite aspects of her role are being able to genuinely connect with others and help people refine their stories into well-crafted, beautiful works of art. Adrian is grateful for the opportunity to work with a company that encourages vulnerability, connects with others through intentional empathy, and embodies the spirit of acceptance.
When she isn’t proofreading for RTC, Adrian can be found doing one of the many hobbies that bring her joy, such as hanging out with her friends in Discord while playing video games until three a.m., binge-watching anime (also until three a.m.), sketching comics, and working on music projects with her talented friends. Basically, she doesn’t sleep.
Fun fact: Adrian was involved in choir and band throughout her school years and eventually majored in music with a double concentration in flute and voice. In a true full-circle moment, she had the opportunity to portray Dorothy in a production of The Wizard of Oz.
Sheila Harris graduated from Western University with a BA in English language and literature. Always content as long as she had something to read, according to her mother, Sheila has been an editor and (technically award-winning) writer for nearly twenty years (but has yet to develop carpal tunnel syndrome). She may be myopic in eyesight, but never in attitude.
Being Canadian, Sheila is fluent in both Canadian English and American English (the former being the exception, not the rule). She is a proponent of the Oxford comma, knows when to use whom but nonetheless believes the word should be abolished, and takes puerile delight in mentioning her favorite punctuation mark, the interrobang.
When not reading for business or pleasure, Sheila can be found engaging in other introvert-friendly activities, such as kayaking the nearest body of water, playing games (be they card, board, or video), traveling, watching TV and movies, and fostering kittens for her local animal shelter.
A graduate of The Second City’s Improv Program, Sheila applies many of the lessons learned to her career and life: listen well, think fast, and say yes!
Nathan Lueth was born with a pencil in his hand, a feat that confounds obstetricians to this day. Nowadays he is a freelance comic book artisan, illustrator, and traveling caricaturist who has worked on more than a dozen books and countless illustrations for RTC. His steam-fantasy graphic novel series, Impure Blood, recently raised 120 percent of its goal on Kickstarter, with three more books in the series to follow through the end of 2021. The complete Impure Blood saga can be read at www.impurebloodwebcomic.com.
When the physical limitations of hands demand that he not draw sometimes, he enjoys reading comics and novels, watching movies, traveling, martial arts, and goofing off with his two awesome daughters.
RTC has a group of artists (not all pictured) who lend their talents to live art installations across the country. They all enjoy working with their hands, playing with typography and shapes, and seeing how their art impacts guests and adds a new dimension to an event.
Want to join our team?
Do you dream of joining the RTC team to craft life-changing stories? Do you picture being part of the team’s inside jokes? Want to hang out with the coolest creative people online?
Check out our hiring page and submit your resume today!