Corey Michael Blake
CEO and Founder, Speaker, Facilitator
Corey has been storytelling for two decades since he graduated from Millikin University with a BFA in theatre in 1996. His epiphany moment in storytelling came after he played the lead in a show at Millikin called “Jeffrey.” Three months after the show closed, Corey was called by a theatre 90 minutes away who was putting on the same show, but whose lead had fallen ill. Corey was asked to drive down immediately, block out the play that afternoon with their actors, and put on the show that evening. With the help of his previous director, Corey performed the leading role, on stage for the entire two-hour show, in front of 300 people that night. He was never afraid of taking the big swing again.
Working in Los Angeles for a decade, Corey was the face and voice behind a dozen Fortune 500 and Fortune 100 brands as a commercial and voiceover actor (his work won Belding, Addy, Cannes, and London International Advertising awards), before working as a film producer and director, as an author and award-winning publisher, and now as the founder and president of Round Table Companies.
Check out Corey’s TEDx talk, Vulnerability is Sexy and keep an eye out for Corey's HERMES and ADDY award winning short documentary by the same name.
Corey is the co-author of numerous books, including Edge! A Leadership Story (Finalist 2008 National Best Books Awards) and From the Barrio to the Board Room (Finalist, 2012 International Book Award) and its companion comic book Mi Barrio (Winner, 2011 Independent Publisher Book Awards; Winner Best Graphic Novel, 2012 International Latino Book Awards), which are being used around the country in schools and youth prisons to inspire at-risk youth. Corey's projects have been profiled or showcased in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Inc., Barrons, Wired, USA Today, and on NPR and Bloomberg TV.
Corey is a member of the The Young Entrepreneur’s Council, the Stagen Integral Leadership Academy (Black Belt award recipient for Leadership), and is a sponsor of Conscious Capitalism and Social Venture Network. Corey is also a recent participant in the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland’s 18-month GTP program and now works with the Institute on programming for leaders. He is a frequent speaker and facilitator; his passion is using storytelling to create epiphany experiences and identity shift in people and organizations. Check out where Corey will be this year.
Before becoming RTC’s president, Kristin served the company in numerous roles: director of operations and training, client coordinator, staff editor, and administrative assistant. Her years with RTC have made her a strong believer in the power of stories to change the world.
Kristin lives in Florida with her husband, Joe, and their three children, Kelsey, Kirby, and Grice. She loves spending time at the beach and considers flip-flops the high heels of the south. She also loves football, grilled cheese sandwiches, a good Pinterest project, and ghost hunting shows, although they’re the reason she won’t stay at bed and breakfasts—she knows most of them are haunted.
Director of Client Relations
A strong believer in positivity, Yolanda is passionate about bringing clients into the RTC family. Yolanda—whose nurturing nature has earned her the nickname “Mama Yo”—enjoys cooking and is a gung-ho Georgia Bulldogs fan. She and her husband, Matthew, live in Florida with their beloved Chihuahuas, Buster and Bella.
A practical dreamer, Sunny loves both organization and spontaneity. She takes pride in telling stories and connecting people through beautiful design, and she loves skylights, fresh air, warm rain, discovery, climbing on things, energy, avocados, music, and yes—flare jeans. As RTC's creative director, Sunny oversees all of the company's book design, branding projects, and art installations.
Organizational Office Architect
Mike, an Air Force veteran, keeps RTC’s office in line and helps ensure that things are running smoothly. Teller of many an intriguing car story, Mike worked at a racetrack as a teenager and had just begun a promising racing career when a competitor poured sugar in the engine of his candy apple red ’56 Chevy, ruining the engine.
Andrea is a born and bred Minnesota Girl. She has been married for the past 18 years to a wonderful husband and they have seven children together. Their 4 living daughters range from ages 2 to 17. Over the last 5 years, Andrea and her family have lived in Indiana, Kansas, South Dakota, and back to Minnesota following her husband's career as a pastor. Being a pastor's wife opened doors for Andrea to also serve congregations with her music skills in piano, organ and choir directing. If Andrea isn't working on accounting and taxes or getting ready to play for a church service, you will find her sitting with her best friend, Gus the English Mastiff, reading a good book and drinking a Starbucks, both are so addicting.
Writing Project Manager
When Leeann isn’t making project management magic, you can find her cooking, rooting for the Baltimore Ravens, or drinking too much coffee. A Jersey girl at heart, she currently lives in Gettysburg, PA, with husband Josh, daughter Emmalee, and crazy cats Kuby and Izzy.
A bona fide superwoman, Keli works closely with various RTC projects and movements, cares for her five kids, and takes pleasure in stain removal and closet organization. Enthusiastic in all things, she’s the first to take the mic at karaoke and will hop the curb for a Krispy Kreme sign.
Writer, editor, and general adventurer Aleks Corwin can be found spending time with her family, teaching yoga, surfing, scuba diving, gliding, hiking, and backcountry camping. She loves attending book clubs, Burning Man, and her local acrobatics class. She also enjoys Scotch, chronological order, and Icelandic songstress Bjork. Aleks has BAs in Economics and Computer Science from NYU, and a Master of Liberal Arts from the University of Chicago. Prior to writing she spent two years on Wall Street with Salomon Smith Barney.
Katie Gutierrez Collins
Katie finds joy in helping others tell their stories, believes a well-told story can change a reader’s world, and loves to mix the mundane, the mysterious, and the mythical. Katie enjoys popcorn, especially with Trechas (Mexican sweet-spicy sauce), and she fancies listening to guilty-pleasure audiobooks on long walks. She’s a strong swimmer and loves the ocean but is terrified—absolutely terrified—of fish. As a fiction writer, she is represented by Hillary Jacobson at ICM Partners.
Kathy can’t resist being a little too busy. She’s a novelist (Penguin, Harper Collins), playwright, stage actor, voice actor (DC Universe), ardent road tripper, and compulsive collector of notebooks. She lives in Austin, TX, claims to be a bad dresser, and is the oldest of six children, a position that developed her valuable organizational and cat-herding skills early on.
Lizzie's favorite color is glitter and her spirit animal is a unicorn, but don't let the blue and silver hair fool you. Not only does she have a Master's degree in Rhetoric and Composition and seven years of experience teaching college writing, Lizzie has been collaboratively writing books with and for people since 2007. These days, she washes her fruit before eating it and cooks actual food for her fur-kid, Pippa, whose allergies are pretty terrier-able (get it?). She lives in her hometown of Los Angeles, CA, where going prematurely silver is much cooler than it used to be.
As RTC’s master transcriptionist, Liz is the Keeper of the Calls, the Guardian of the Gab! She types faster than a speeding bullet, she loves to cook—which works out nicely for her husband and their four kids, who have voracious appetites—and she has quite a serious fear of balloons.
Adam lives by stereotypes—drinking maple syrup right from the bottle while watching Montreal Canadiens hockey games. He has very strong opinions about compound predicates, bagels, coffee, and the peat content of single-malt Scotch. A friend to felines, Adam gets a kick out of watching his cat, Audrey, air-dry her paws. He lives in beautiful Montreal.
Analee has been drawing cartoon characters since the age of five, painting since the age of seven, and taking pictures ever since she got a hot pink camera at the age of ten. Whether she’s traveling, watching documentaries, playing with her puppy (Van Gogh), attending concerts, or trying out a new recipe, she is always seeking creative ways to document life.
Design is always on Christy’s mind as she looks at packaging, walks past storefronts, reads labels, and walks the streets of Orange County. She loves Vietnamese food—especially when her mom cooks it—and melts away stress by organizing, cooking, cleaning, and being silly with her fiancé.
Nathan Lueth was born with a pencil in his hand, a feat that confounds obstetricians to this day. When not drawing comics for other people, he produces a steam-fantasy web comic called Impure Blood (www.impurebloodwebcomic.com) with his fabulous wife, Nadja. He and Nadja currently reside in St. Paul, MN, with two cats, a turtle, and their wonderful daughter, Katja.
Obsessed with all manner of technology, Kyle enjoys exploring how the internet connects us and how design plays a part in everything we do. When not working to make things pixel perfect, Kyle follows his passion for all things baseball-related.
An enthusiastic collector of gargoyles and journals with ribbon bookmarks, Agata also loves old typewriters and steamer trunks, but resists collecting them because they take up so much space. She huffs green tea like it’s air and loves hiking in beautiful Montreal, reading, cooking, and spending time with her family, including her cat, Audrey.
Annie Rose Stathes
Annie Rose Stathes lives in Los Angeles, CA with her husband, John. She surfs, she runs, and she practices yoga. When she’s not dodging giant waves, catching her breath, or working on handstands, she’s painting, practicing improv, or traveling the world. You might also catch her dancing hip-hop and learning how to beatbox. She’s passionate about social justice issues and loves to brainstorm new solutions to old problems. Her adventures in life inform her writing, and she loves using words to change the world.
Carly has always been a word nerd and never leaves the house without a book in her purse. She also loves exploring the Pacific Northwest, from its hiking trails to its breweries. Carly recently discovered her love for gardening, but unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be a reciprocal relationship, yet. She can usually be found with a book in her hand, a cat in her lap, and a cup of coffee close by.
Dale was born during one of the worst blizzards in Ohio’s history. (People still talk about it!) Prior to embracing the writer’s life full time, he dwelled at various ends of the earth and held a series of jobs that helped inform some of the characters who appear in his work. He waited tables at a truck stop café in Alaska’s arctic before shifting latitudes dramatically to wash dishes at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Thereafter, the equator called him and, through the Peace Corps, he went to Zambia as a rural aquaculture promotion extension agent, staying there well after his PC service ended. He has written a novel and is striving to get it published (speculative fiction full of dark humor and social commentary, anyone?) and will gladly share his opinion on what happened in the news today (if you’re into that sort of thing). To answer your burning questions, yes, he did see penguins. They were Adélies and yes, they were very cute.
Gen is addicted to beautiful words and putting her life on paper. She is the year of the horse and gaelic for white wave. She is a lover of car commercials and strawberry season. She is a music junkie and feels lost without peanut butter. She is the alter ego of a wolf and a politician in a past life. She is happiest at home and most comfortable in her flip-flops. She is afraid of thunderstorms and losing the people that she loves. She is convinced, as the saying goes, not all who wander, are lost.
Gen is a published writer…a professional photographer…and a passionate storyteller. She lives in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada with her husband and two children.
Sure, Geoff is a writer, an editor, a journalist, a professor, a literary researcher, a political reporter, husband to wife Linda, father to twins Kirby and Mackenzie, the chef in his family, someone who’s run two marathons, a baseball enthusiast, and an all-around great guy—but did you know he has Samurai blood? It’s true.
Heidi Jon Schmidt
Heidi is the author of five novels and has published stories and essays in The Atlantic, The New York Times, People, and many others. She teaches for 24Pearl, the online writing program from the Fine Arts Work Center. Motherhood has been a daily joy and revelation to her. She's always been obsessed with dioramas, model train villages, living history museums, and, yes, books: different ways to see how a whole society fits together. There's a bit of the superhero in everyone and she loves to discover that, in her characters and her friends.
James has been in love with stories and writing since the age of six. When not moonlighting as a property manager or writing novels, he is usually acting goofy somewhere else. An aspiring outdoorsman, he can often be found somewhere in the wilds of Southern New England either kayaking, hiking, camping, fishing, learning to surf poorly, or honing his landscaping skills. Most other times he is found with his wife Jessica, daughter Reilly, or arguing with his cat Taz.
Equal parts writer, thinker and human, Katina has broad experience derived from the worlds of publishing (29+ books), advertising (big retail clients), and metaphysical/human potential studies. Obsessed with the past while contemplating the future, she loves antiques and vision boards. She lives in the mountains of North Georgia with her husband, daughter, three dogs and a Manx-Maine Coon cat named Eliza.
Lauren is awed by the power of storytelling, even when it's her dad's 57th version of the same tale. She enjoys helping others craft their heartfelt stories using vulnerability, levity, compelling copy, and above all, good grammar (this also works great for online dating profiles). Lauren can be found guffawing loudly and/or inappropriately, having a dance party with her son, or listening obsessively to podcasts. She lives in Portland, OR and takes care of her clever and tireless 3 year old, as well as two lovely kitties who, regretfully, dislike one another.
Mary Anna Rodabaugh
Mary Anna began writing in the second grade. Her first project was a book about unicorns living on another planet and each page was a new chapter. Since then, Mary Anna has been an avid contributor to the creative world as a freelance journalist, art columnist, social media marketer and avid blogger. Mary Anna has a Master's degree in Journalism and spends her free time making others laugh, planning out her life in her bullet journal, hiking and embracing all the joys her home city of Philadelphia has to offer. She's a doting dog mom to a Boxer, Bronx Brutus and has a unique obsession with coffee gadgets.
By day, Rebecca Thomas is a marketing manager in the real estate world. By night, she’s a writer, graphic designer, yoga enthusiast, wine lover, and overall dreamer. She’s basically a superhero saving the world through creativity and innovation, one freelance project at a time!
Ron Delaney, Jr.
Training and coaching expert, yoga instructor, tattoo enthusiast, long-haired nature dude, textbook Libra, and that guy who “gets” M. Night Shyamalan movies, Ron has written four novels and numerous short stories. When not perfecting plans to survive the imminent robot-pocalypse, he spends his non-day-job time writing, removing passive voice and unneeded adverbs from his and others’ works, defending the Oxford comma, and crafting moderately long bios.