Interview: Brent Gerken, GED® Operations Manager

This month we’re highlighting our new GED Operations Manager Brent Gerken in our Q&A feature.

How long have you been working with GED Testing Service?

I joined the GED team on October 21, 2019.   

 What will you be doing in your role as GED Operations Manager? 

The Technical Operations (Tech Ops) team plays a critical role within GED Testing Service. This team is involved in all facets of the company. This includes working with the State Relationship Managers in the field and jurisdiction administrators–home and abroad. We also partner with our vendors and track analytics while working with development, computer and paper-based testing, Corrections, training, GEDWorks, and much more. My role on this team is to help resolve escalations, manage and improve processes, strengthen relationships and help ensure the team has what it needs to keep GED Testing Service running smoothly. 

What does a typical work day look like for you?

For the first three weeks it’s been listening, asking lots of questions and applying what I learn to better understand all GED influencers and their roles.  

What do you enjoy most about your job so far?

If being a part of a team that impacts the lives of so many people isn’t enough—it’s solving problems.

What kind of work did you do before coming to GED Testing Service?

Prior to GED Testing Service I worked for the Pearson Credential Management (PCM) division as a Technical Account Manager (TAM) for six years. Before that I worked 12 years at a healthcare reference laboratory that specializes in FDA-regulated testing.

Where is your hometown?

My roots and heart reside in Sac City, Iowa.  A small community of about 2,000 people with an abundance of personality and character. My graduating class size was only 40 students, but some of them I still consider my best friends today—which I think is rare.  

Who is the best teacher you have ever had? Why?

All of my teachers throughout my life made an impact on me. My mother who was a 5th grade teacher (which made skipping homework difficult), my high school music teacher Mr. Rock who helped me discover and develop my natural talents and Mrs. Jones and Ms. Birkhofer who encouraged my creativity.

Who (or what) have been your strongest influences in life?

My parents, sister and my wife.

Favorite vacation destination?

So far the Grand Canyon but each year we explore a new vacation destination.

What kinds of hobbies and interests do you have outside of work?

Spending quality time with my wife and five kids. I also enjoy playing softball, coaching youth sports, golfing, reading and watching movies.

If you were stuck on an island what three things would you bring?

A water filter, an abundance of matches, and a sailboat with GPS and built-in mobile OnStar. 

What are two things still on your bucket list?

Traveling and having lots of grandchildren. 

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