Ask An Expert – Susan Simpfenderfer
Sep 1, 2023
Interviewer: What is your name?
Marble: Susan Simpfenderfer
Interviewer: What is your position at Six Red Marbles?
Marble: VP, Client Partnerships
Interviewer: What does that position entail?
Marble: The role of Client Partnerships is all about being the voice of the client and working to transform that typical vendor/customer relationship into a mutually beneficial partnership. My position breaks down into three verticals: The first is working directly with higher education institutions, publishers, and education companies to help them advance their online program strategies. With another part of SRM, called SRM Essentials, I engage with customers to provide a third-party resource that focuses on small projects, new relationships, and growing those opportunities in a way that helps the clients’ budgets succeed. Finally, I also work with fledgling or established corporations to create custom online training solutions-oriented projects that bring their learning solutions to either their employees or to a new customer base.
Interviewer: How did you become a part of Six Red Marbles?
Marble: I started my educational content/publishing career with what is now Cengage; it was Thomson Learning at the time, and I managed divisions for them for 10 years. Six Red Marbles was one of my clients when I went on to start my own, small educational content creation company that focused on the higher education spaces. In 2020, Six Red purchased my business, and I came with the deal. SRM Essentials was born out of that merger, and it’s been a great privilege for me to be here.
Interviewer: What is the best part of your job?
Marble: I love education and have been involved in educational publishing for over 30 years; just knowing there is such purpose to our profession is rewarding. I have the most fun when there is the opportunity to consult deeply with the client as they formulate their needs and vision and then to work with them on how to make it come to life. After the Six Red team begins work on a new project, my role is to take a step back at that point as they do their magic. Having worked in operations for so long, I love watching the process unfold, even as I move on to working with new customers and new projects.
Interviewer: What do you wish people knew about your work at Six Red Marbles?
Marble: The people here and their talent! I have the privilege of bringing the client to our teams. To see education come to life in their hands and minds, to see them bring the client’s vision to life with such high quality is amazing. No project is just another project. It’s always the fulfillment of a vision, small or large.
Interviewer: What is a trend you see happening in the education space that you’re excited about?
Marble: Let’s start with higher education institutions: the trend and reality is that every college of every kind needs to offer hybrid and online education. It’s a trend that’s here to stay to capture new learners young and old. And AI is, of course, on everyone’s mind. It’s not only a trend but is working its way into a way of life for Six Red and all of our customers. It’s exciting to see how our services, our clients, and our jobs will evolve with the possibilities of AI.
Interviewer: What is one interesting fact about yourself that you’d like to share?
Marble: I am always enrolled in at least one online course. I love learning new things, and the asynchronous flexibility is awesome. I love that it’s also part of my own research for this profession.