Under the spotlight: Andrea Miles

By Harriet Croxton November 24, 2015

Andrea_MilesShe’s a winner! This year’s E-learning Awards recognised our own Andrea Miles for her contribution to the learning industry, giving her a bronze award. So we would like to take this opportunity to celebrate and share some highlights from her fascinating and extremely successful career.

History

Andrea started her L&D career in 1998 at Epic and then moved to Futuremedia Learning in 2003. There she was part of a small team responsible for creating learning and development software, within a larger organisation. The larger organisation, a NASDAQ listed company, was primarily focused on a successful Home Computing Initiative scheme – however, shares took a battering when the initiative was abolished in 2005, leading to a 90% loss in revenues. This was time for one of Andrea’s greatest attributes; the ability to embrace a challenge. Her determination to succeed was soon recognised and she was promoted to Managing Director of the group.

Lumesse’s Head of Learning Solutions, Carole Bower was with her in the Futuremedia days and explains: “We had many changes to deal with in those days.  In short Andrea had to rebuild the business and turn it into a profitable organisation. Andrea was the person that stabilised the business and started building the brand again. Investors were looking for returns and they sold the business to Edvantage”.

Few believed it would turn around, so it is something of a miracle that the basis of that organisation – albeit gestated through two mergers – is today, the industry success story that is Lumesse Learning.

Speak to Lumesse insiders and they will place that success firmly at Andrea’s door.

As a Manager

Ask the staff at Lumesse how Andrea motivates them in the office and they are likely to refer to her sunny disposition (and her singing!).  It’s quite usual to hear Andrea belting out a song in the office and she even once managed to get a karaoke-shy client to sing along at the project mop-up party!

Carole Bower continues; “Andrea is incredibly motivational, really inclusive and fun to work with.

It doesn’t feel hierarchical and everyone feels they have a voice and can speak up and push innovation”.

Kelly Wright, Lumesse’s Senior Learning Designer adds, “I first met Andrea as a potential client and she was inspirational. With Andrea, you do feel like you’re on the rollercoaster together. And though you’re screaming on the down bits, you’re all still there for the up bits too. She doesn’t hide behind glass doors. It’s just better when she’s here.”

Outside of work

Andrea is a ‘super mum’ with three children and is incredibly supportive and proud of her husband who works with disadvantaged people. She is also well known for her charitable work, primarily for Chestnut Tree House, the Sussex children’s hospice.  For many years Andrea has organised a charity rounders match with the Brighton based e-learning companies to raise money for the hospice.

What others say …

To support the e-learning award entry we reached out to clients and colleagues who have been involved with Andrea over the years and this is what they said:

Client – Formerly Head of Learning, UK Government Agency

“Andrea is a pleasure to work with. Not only are the results she delivers first class, the journey getting there is good fun. She’s innovative and is always looking for the fresh angle and thinking out of the box. I look forward to our next project together!”

Ex-Epic colleague

“Andrea is always passionate about the potential of learning and technology to improve performance. She brings drive and enthusiasm to every project to help clients get the best from their learning. What really sets Andrea apart though is her commitment to her clients. No one will work harder for clients or go further to make sure they get the most out of their e-learning investments.

Former CEO

“At Edvantage Andrea developed the company from an unknown Scandinavian elearning company to become a brand to be reckoned with. Andrea never ceases to impress me. She is easily the most committed person I know. Over the years, Andrea has become a vital part in shaping the UK e-learning industry to what it is today, one of the Europe’s leading.”

Client  – E-learning manager, travel industry

“The three attributes that best describe Andrea; personable, high integrity and creative  all contribute to her expert abilities in e-learning and her dedication to achieving great results”.

Client – Healthcare supplier

“By allowing her team the freedom to create interesting and engaging e-learning from potentially complex topics, Andrea has allowed us to reach a wider group of learners than we ever have before. People actually want to see the e-learning we create with Lumesse, rather than some of the dry material produced by other departments and suppliers.

On a personal note; I would love to have a boss like Andrea!”

Client – Mining Sector Company

“Andrea’s input and insight has created a close working partnership. Her contribution should not be underestimated, in insight, understanding, and in how she inspires her team to deliver time and again.”

Summary

Andrea is not a person who sits comfortably in the limelight or happily pursues glory for herself. She rarely takes to the public stage and writes few articles. But as her clients say, ‘she is there when it matters’. At presentations, key meetings and the hard bits, that’s when Andrea takes centre stage. She has changed the industry in the most important way possible. That is by creating trust and confidence in e-learning products and solutions at a time when many derided them. She has won over countless organisations to e-learning technologies, not just by talking, but by her actions and driving her team to innovate in a fast-moving market. For this reason alone, she has made an outstanding contribution to our industry.

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