Melanie Flores and Chris Nedza, Symtrain (North Fulton Business Radio, Episode 394)
Facing the twin challenges of training and retaining employees while providing consistent customer service, salon owners and real estate companies now have the technology of Symtrain to rely on. Using Symtrain ensures customer-facing personnel are well-trained and provide outstanding customer service. Melanie Flores, Program Manager at Symtrain, and Chris Nedza, who mentors Symtrain through Georgia Tech’s ATDC, joined host John Ray to discuss Symtrain’s efficacy, impact, other verticals their technology can be applied to, and much more. North Fulton Business Radio is broadcast from the North Fulton studio of Business RadioX® inside Renasant Bank in Alpharetta.
Instructional training is not enough. People learn best by doing. In fact, we retain only 10% of what we’re “taught” compared to 90% of what we “do”. That’s because experience is immersive and gets us “involved”. But it can also be costly and difficult to scale, especially remotely. So, all too often learning happens on the job, which really means “on the customer”.
Symtrain engages employees in simulated work experiences that feel “real” – working at their own pace, anywhere, anytime, on any device. So, they’re empowered to take charge of their own learning and success. As a result, they learn faster, retain more, build confidence, and master the skills they need to deliver the best customer interactions every time.
While our platform makes it easy to create and manage simulations, we also offer expert professional services to help businesses succeed:
- EConsulting and Needs Assessment
- ETraining and Simulation Integration
- ESimulation Design and Implementation
- ECurriculum Planning
Melanie Flores, Program Manager, SymTrain
Melanie Flores is the Program Manager at SymTrain. She leverages an engineer’s mind, a teacher’s heart, and a gardener’s hands to help people learn and share memorable experiences together. She started up Corning’s optical fiber factory in the Charlotte, NC area, founded a popular kindergarten engineering design workshop based on a famous MIT course, and led the STEM coaching team serving Easter Seals teachers across metro Atlanta. Her work has been featured by TEDxJacksonville, TEDxAlpharettaWomen, Women 2.0, the National Association of Independent Schools, Engineering is Elementary, MIT’s pK-12 Action Group, the Boston Museum of Science, and many other entities. In June 2021 she joined SymTrain, an Atlanta-based tech startup. She is excited to apply her passion for learning and customer experience to the workforce development space. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time outdoors with her husband and two sons.
Chris Nedza, Entrepreneur in Residence, Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) at Georgia Tech
Chris Nedza is a serial entrepreneur and loves diving into a start-up business. He’s built an Inc. 500 company, led a turnaround as the CEO of a restaurant Point of Sale company, became CEO of an Ozone based technology company, and even brought his creative thinking and love of students to Gwinnett County Public Schools by becoming a high-school teacher and ultimately coordinator of academy business partnerships in 2014.
He most recently founded and scaled ZeeZor, a real-time mobile reporting and employee engagement platform for the beauty industry. ZeeZor was acquired by Vista Private Equity group in early 2020 and became part of Mindbody, a business management software system for the fitness, wellness and salon/spa industry.
Chris is currently serving as an EIR (entrepreneur-in-residence) and is on the faculty/staff of Georgia-Tech University. In his role, he helps technology companies with ideation>launch>funding>scale.
He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Georgia and an MBA from Emory University. He is a frequent contributing author, keynote speaker, devoted husband, father to 6 sons, drummer at church and championship level Pizza eater.
Questions and Topics
- What does SymTrain do?
- How did this business come about?
- Why do you care about solving this problem?
- Tell us about one of your customers and how you made their lives better.
- What are SalonScripts and how are they different from the rest of SymTrain’s offerings?
- Who does SalonScripts help?
- Where do you see this business going next? Who else could you serve?
North Fulton Business Radio is hosted by John Ray, and broadcast and produced from the North Fulton studio of Business RadioX® inside Renasant Bank in Alpharetta. You can find the full archive of shows by following this link. The show is available on all the major podcast apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, Amazon, iHeart Radio, Stitcher, TuneIn, and others.
Renasant Bank has humble roots, starting in 1904 as a $100,000 bank in a Lee County, Mississippi, bakery. Since then, Renasant has grown to become one of the Southeast’s strongest financial institutions with over $13 billion in assets and more than 190 banking, lending, wealth management and financial services offices in Mississippi, Alabama, Tennessee, Georgia and Florida. All of Renasant’s success stems from each of their banker’s commitment to investing in their communities as a way of better understanding the people they serve. At Renasant Bank, they understand you because they work and live alongside you every day.
Special thanks to A&S Culinary Concepts for their support of this edition of North Fulton Business Radio. A&S Culinary Concepts, based in Johns Creek, is an award-winning culinary studio, celebrated for corporate catering, corporate team building, Big Green Egg Boot Camps, and private group events. They also provide oven-ready, cooked from scratch meals to go they call “Let Us Cook for You.” To see their menus and events, go to their website or call 678-336-9196.