We help people and organizations become more human.
At Round Table Companies, we are truth seekers, storytellers, and dream makers. We work with leaders, managers, and frontline employees to authentically show more of themselves to one another and to make a bigger impact in their life and their work. We strive to always be people-first and give ourselves, and each other, permission to be fully human.
Our mission is to amplify psychological safety.
In this endeavor, we aim to give and receive vulnerability with grace and compassion. We work to reduce self-judgment that is often the obstacle to higher team performance. We strive for no one to go unheard. No one to go unseen. We help people and organizations to align their walk to their talk, build deeper, stronger relationships with one another, honor their transformational capacity, and fortify their entire ecosystem through storytelling.
LOVE acts as a cornerstone to the work we do.
In adhering to our core value of love, we provide skills and techniques to enhance belonging, psychological safety, and purpose in the lives of those we engage with. A courageous company culture begins with the willingness to act courageously when it is least convenient.
Storytelling impacts how we live out our core values.
Finally, at RTC, we believe in the power of stories to transform our relationships with ourselves and others. Storytelling can both elevate one’s belief in oneself, just as storytelling can deflate an entire organization. We work to help organizations and the people within them to align the story they are telling themselves with the behaviors they exhibit so they can go further, faster.
Founder and CEO
Corey Blake has spent two decades at the intersection of leadership, psychology, and storytelling. His work has guided alumni associations in collecting more than 1.6 million alumni stories, helped save lower-wage workers more than $500 million in penalties and fees, and continues to inspire thousands of at-risk youth to leave gang life and return to their education. His current passion is the development and transformation of frontline managers and employees at scale. Corey has been featured on the cover of the Wall Street Journal and in the New York Times, USA Today, Inc., Forbes, and Wired magazines. Since 2015, Corey is adjunct faculty at the Stagen Leadership Academy, where he has studied since 2015, and in 2016, he graduated from the 18-month Gestalt Training Program at the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland. As a commercial actor representing Fortune 100 brands, Corey's face has been seen by hundreds of millions of people around the globe, including in one of the 50 greatest Super Bowl commercials of all time. As a speaker and facilitator, he has delivered unique experiences to YPO, EO, Zappos, Northwestern University, and dozens of business communities. Corey is the co-creator of the Vulnerability Wall (with the remarkable Sunny DiMartino!)—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 Stories and Learning
With a wide background in the literary arts, education, journalism, and story coaching, Kelsey Schurer co-created, alongside Corey Blake, the original content for the Courageous Company Culture program at Round Table Companies. As the director of stories and learning, she specializes in helping others find language in authentically expressing who they are to the world.
With the deep and persistent belief that everyone has a purpose and a testimony that magnifies that purpose tenfold, Kelsey’s current passion is to create artful educational experiences for leaders and employees to learn more about who they are and how they can ignite a courageous culture. She oversees all course program content with care and utilizes her love for language to make sure others are seen and heard as they move through their personal and professional journeys.
Kelsey received her master of fine arts in fiction from Virginia Tech, 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, Harvard Business Review, and Apalachee Review.
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.
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.