Our Vision for a new kind of service ministry has developed continuously for well over a one-half of a century. While the vision itself has remained in focus continually, its definition has been greatly enhanced over the years. It was informed, in no small measure, by a box of letters my sister sent me when she was preparing my now deceased parent’s home for sale. My mother had kept all of the letters from my teachers, through my adolescence, and during what would now commonly be referred to as middle school.
Every teacher wrote the same thing: “I just can’t motivate him!” Ten years after receiving that box of letters, I was speaking with my son’s history teacher at a parent / teacher conference. I was stunned when I heard these words:”I just can’t motivate him!”
At first I was more than a little ticked off. I thought: “You educators haven’t learned much about what motivates people have you?” Then, I considered the context. Thirty kids in a class. How can any teacher fine tune the curriculum for each kid? I then made a suggestion. “You know my son lives and breaths music right?” The teacher nodded. I continued: “If, in the context of the civil rights movement, Justin was asked to reflect on the influence Elvis had, or the effect of the Beatle’s refusal to play for a segregated audience, my son would have been all in with that.”
I was always a lackluster student. My mother told me, just prior to her passing, that she was “so tired of hearing me say; it’s not relevant.” Well Mom, if you can hear me, you will be pleased to know that I’ve since decided, it was all relevant.
I loved science. And my mother also said: “If you want to be a scientist, you better be good at math. About a year after being lured away from high school by work that I loved, I decidied I wanted to go to college, I had to take the American College Test. I scored in the twenty-seventh percentile for math and in the ninety-sixth for science. I shared my surprise with my closest friend while also mentioning my mother’s earlier admonition.
My friend had attended Scandinavian schools during her early years and, without skipping a beat, she said: “That just means you have more of an aptitude for theoretical science and not so much for practical science.” How did she know that? Why didn’t I know that?
We all have some holes in our knowledge. And, no class of thirty or more is ever going to address that problem for everyone. Although, in recent decades we’ve gained so much understanding of what constitutes quality auditing and quality instruction, that we can now personalize lifelong learning in a way that backfills what’s missing. Through interactive media, we can now reach more people, at less cost, and with greater effectiveness then ever before.
It doesn’t have to be a one size-fits-all set of offerings. We can develop instructional assets with the learner foremost in our minds. And, we can also do it in a way that gives the teacher precisely what they need, whether they’re performing as the sage on the stage or as the guide on the side.
Robert H. Kalk
Founder – The AEVIA Group
Lead Trustee – The ACT & The Ascension Experience
Robert Harrison Kalk
The Ascension Experience
Ascension University — Ascension Cafe — Experience Bank — We Rock Your World
Bob Kalk is a fervent advocate for the absolute right of each person on earth to be the true arbiter of their own destiny; to strive for, and hopefully achieve, their most cherished personal goals.
The history summarized below reflects the experience of a seasoned professional manager with a demonstrated capability in strategic visioning and planning. This team builder is characterized by high personal goals, initiative, and strong skills in problem solving. Kalk has the essential experience required for the marketing, sales, and support of a wide range of products and services combined with expertise in the necessary knowledge systems architecture and unified messaging. He has the experience required to direct and facilitate all phases and all types of resource development with special emphasis on managed services including business process in-sourcing, out-sourcing, and out-sourced service provisioning. Kalk’s vision, focus, persistence and effective communications skills is reflected by a track record in start up situations and has graced this manager making it possible for him to enjoy a wide variety of successful projects.
Aevia Group 1991 – Present — World Wide
The Aevia Group has evolved into an advocacy initiative, a benevolence engine, and a creatives factory producing inspirational and instructional assets that are tightly crafted to support personalized lifelong learning. The projects include formal presentations by Guest Lecturers through Ascension University, an online collaboration and gathering space known as Ascension Cafe, a consultancy operating as the Experience Bank, and an e-commerce platform branded We Rock Your World with an intense focus at the epicenter of human endeavor.
As a federal government contractor and through a special Aevia project known as the Interactive Media Forum, Kalk produced a series of technology briefings for executives, with a focus on interactive media and related topics. As a contractor to the NASA Headquarters Broadcast and Imaging Division, he was retained for consulting services and systems integration. This project involved automating the management of the still image collection and included an Agency wide needs evaluation. Included was an evaluation of a wide range of archive, search and distribution technology as well as recommendations and some implementation.
Kalk developed the overarching strategy to insure the interoperability of various image management systems used in support of deployment and servicing missions for the Hubble Space Telescope (HST), the Gamma Ray Observatory (GRO) and the Upper Atmosphere Research Satellite (UARS). He facilitated systems integration together with image acquisition, conversion, and presentation services in support of video teleconferencing between shuttle astronauts and ground personnel. Kalk served as on-site technical support during the extra vehicular activity (EVA) phases of the First HST servicing mission.
Kalk produced staff development workshops for use by colleges and universities. Additionally, he has overseen interactive video production and marketing efforts including the placement of numerous published works and software applications in educational institutions and libraries as well as corporate and government training departments.
Manager of Resource Development / Origination
One World Group 2003 — Dubai Internet City
Kalk managed a trio of perspectives and complex interactions between the client base, management, and human resource complement of this transnational company based in Dubai Internet City. Originally retained to conduct a harvest of best practices in managed services, Kalk, while on the Arabian Peninsula, insured that the men and women reporting to him enjoyed equal access and opportunity for advancement to leadership positions.
Kalk was deployed as a trouble shooter in the context of a preexisting work stoppage and slowdown by communications center personnel. After methodically investigating and addressing the immediate concerns of the personnel and management, he set about to identify individuals with appropriate potential, leverage their diversity, and integrate them into a unified organization with the capability to ascend the value chain in the crowded BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) market-space.
Kalk’s responsibilities included shaping strategy, setting policy, and creating a skills and capabilities pool. He developed an HR profiling system for market segment and language. He incorporated and further refined these methodologies during recruitment trips throughout India. The greatest challenges he faced involved ethnocentric biases, gender discrimination, and resolving the usual conflicts implicit to achieving global competitiveness. The most rewarding part of this engagement is inherent to creating hothouses of entrepreneurship and innovation while transforming piecemeal information into strategic intelligence.
Director of Special Projects / Origination
The Marlin Group 2002 – 2003 — Orlando, Florida Area
Kalk developed the Unique Value Propositions (UVP’s) for Channel One Now and ContactNet while also highlighting their complementary roles within a group of technology companies. The group was formed by Home Shopping Network Founder, Roy Speer to leverage the lessons learned and develop a more comprehensive media strategy. That experience immersed Kalk in the true beginnings of eCommerce. For ContactNET he fine-tuned the UVP to place emphasis on less transient differentiators. The new proposition focused on capturing qualitative data in addition to all the usual performance metrics. He articulated the complementary knowledge base requirements and implementation strategies outlining the problems associated with a cutting edge enterprise as it pushes the limits of technology infrastructure.
With respect to the communications, logistics, transaction processing, and expert systems requirements, those associated with insuring a return on investments in expertise, were the primary focus. Kalk worked to empower enterprise to manage change through strategies that promote a level of business integration and data warehouse symmetry never before seen. For Channel One he developed the UVP and much of the text used in marketing literature, the web site and promotional videos. He wrote, produced, and directed promotional videos. He wrote the job descriptions, the pro-forma Service Agreement, the Resale Agreement, the Terms and Conditions, the Service Level Addenda (SLA’s), the Acceptable Use Policies (AUP’s), Licenses, Supplements, and Non-Disclosures. Kalk refined specialized contract supplements including Satellite, Encoding, Hosting as well as Live and On-Demand Streaming.
Managing Director – Streaming Media Products and Client Services
ST3/NextLEC 2001 — Chatanooga, Tennessee
Kalk planned, directed, implemented and coordinated specific development and support programs designed to insure the success of st3’s strategic initiatives. This function included managing part of the streaming media product line and management of the Client Services personnel who, through their day-to-day interaction with clients, develop a unique understanding of the client base, its requirements, and the extent to which its needs are met through the company’s product and service complement.
Responsibilities included active participation in the development of requirements and specifications for streaming media product, development of the UVP for streaming media, development of procedures and systems for the capture and distillation of mission critical information concerning the client base, development of sales opportunities and partnerships for streaming media, development of procedures in support of the streaming media initiatives, plus short and long term planning of these same initiatives. In addition, Kalk carried primary responsibility for the planning development and coordination of all client services functions. This included management of client services personnel and systems including the management of a 1300 client ISP subsidiary with an internship program, the training and development of all client services personnel while insuring adequate and appropriate resources to fulfill mission objectives.
Managing Director – Zenith Image Systems
Zenith Computer Group 1984 – 1991 — Greater Chicago Area
The Zenith Computer Group was a wholly owned subsidiary of Zenith Electronics Corporation. Positions held included: Zenith Image Systems & The Interactive Media Project – MANAGING DIRECTOR 1989 – 1991. Kalk directed and managed the engineering, marketing, sales and financial aspects of an entre-intrepreneurial business group within a large television and computer company. He originated the group’s fundamental priorities, directions, objectives, and overall strategies.
Kalk forged profitable relationships between a diverse set of engineering, marketing and sales organizations while integrating a wide variety of internally developed and externally procured hardware and software.This effort enabled several internal organizations to profitably participate in newly defined market segments. He gained an in-depth knowledge of current and future trends in interactive media, conducted effective presentations to major system customers, developed the unique selling proposition and collateral material, including training programs, to insure customer understanding of the potential benefits of computer and video systems integration.
Kalk and his team proposed, developed, and implemented the image management system used in support of the interactive briefing system used in Houston by NASA’s shuttle astronauts. He personally developed the functional specifications for proprietary software product that supported the creation, transmission, and printing of annotated images. He provided product line management for forty-six (imaging) contract line items on the Zenith Data Systems GSA Schedule while managing additional product line support for sixty-three Heath/Zenith Corporate Business Centers, the Zenith Data Systems Education Division, and Zenith Data System’s European Operations Division. Kalk negotiated the contracts for development and procurement with outside product developers and suppliers. He managed departmental expenses to ensure compliance with approved budgets and current management tasks and provided regular P&L performance analysis.
Aevia Processing 1982 – 1985 — Bethesda, Maryland
Kalk established a small audio/visual, word and data service business in Bethesda, Maryland.
The otherwise complex, highly customized product offering was attractively and conveniently packaged to make ordering of a wide range of services easy and error free. The consumer photo portion of the business was sold in 1985 to a one-hour photo services chain. The highly specialized A/V and data services contracts were retained and new ones were captured and serviced. (See Aevia Group (reprise described above)).
Various Management and Sales Positions
Potomac Photo 1975 – 1982 — Washington D.C. Metro Area
Potomac Photo Inc. VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER 1980 – 1982 Rosslyn, Virginia based business providing photographic equipment, services and supplies to a balanced corporate/consumer/government clientèle. Responsibilities included the management of production and sales staff plus all buying and training. Kalk coordinated all sales to federal, state, and local governments. He retained responsibility for all advertising of this company and that of the parent company.
Potomac Photo Supply Co. – ADVERTISING MANAGER & INDUSTRIAL SALES 1975 – 1980 With primary responsibility for medical markets while personally engaging in the practice of medical photography, Kalk was responsible for sales and training in these areas. He generated sales leads and built relationships with past and existing accounts. He trained client personnel in use of equipment sold. He planned and produced audiovisual programs and managed all advertising for this company and it’s subsidiary Potomac Photo Inc.
Producer, Announcer, and Engineer
WHFS Radio 1969 – 1975 — Bethesda, Maryland
Hired as a combo operator which included producing, announcing, and engineering Kalk held an appropriate FCC License with a Broadcast Endorsement. He worked a swing shift overseeing various automation systems and an FM transmitter. He had his own show while majoring in broadcasting at a local college. He was responsible for the construction and maintenance of studio equipment and engineered the first live quadraphonic broadcast in the greater Washington, DC area utilizing a mixing console of his own design and construction. He built the first remote studio for the station and was later contracted to build a quadraphonic replacement. This employment spanned a part time college schedule and provided a well rounded experience that included the production of radio and print advertising while refining the technique to put forth a quality product with limited resources.