Meet our Trainers

Maggie Bayless is ZingTrain's Founder and Managing Partner. She regularly leads both public and private seminars, together with our four Staff Trainers: Ann Lofgren, Elnian Gilbert, Katie Frank and Timo Anderson. Mara Ferguson (Keynote Liason), Gauri Thergaonkar (Community Builder), Meredith Nicholson (Mission Control), Arianna Tellez (Events Concierge), Dan Carroll (Accountant) and Carol McCoy (Events Support) round out ZingTrain’s team.

In addition to the above, ZingTrain draws upon the experts within the Zingerman’s Community of Businesses who practice what we teach on a day to day basis and are experts in their own fields. Whether it be leadership, human resource management or merchandising, our training reflects operational reality and is led by people who have successfully used (and are still successfully using!) the tools being taught.

  • Managing Partner
    ZingTrain

    HelLo, my name isMaggie Bayless


    How many Zingerman's businesses have you worked for? Three. The Deli from fall of 1982 to winter 1984, then off and on through the late 1980s. The Bakehouse, helping with bookkeeping, during the fall of 1992 when they had just opened and Frank brought over a shoe box full of receipts. And now ZingTrain from 1994 and counting!

    What is your favorite business book?

    I like lots of business books, so it's impossible to pick just one. Right now I'm really appreciating the insights about organization growth from Ichak Adizes's "Managing Corporate Lifecycles." Also enjoyed "Mindset" by Carol Dweck, which is not a business book, per se, but provides interesting insights into personal and organizational success.

    What is your dream vacation? Whatever vacation I am in the process of planning and/or is coming up next.

    What is your favorite way to learn? I like to read and then discuss what I've read with others. If I want to really understand something, then I'd design and teach a class about it.

    What do you like best about working at Zingerman's? This has never changed. The people I have the privilege of working with - both inside and outside the organization.

    What is your presentation style? Confident, calm and approachable. Also, my expertise and experience is in teaching/training - I'm not a "motivational speaker."

    What is your "secret" skill - that skill you have that you don't have the ability to show off at work? I play a mean hand of Euchre and I can hold my own on a stand-up paddle board.

  • Trainer
    ZingTrain

    HelLo, my name isAnn Lofgren


    How many Zingerman's businesses have you worked for? 5 and maybe 6 depending on how you count. Not that I'm competitive but is that the record?!

    What is your favorite business book?

    The Great Game of Business. It's a topic close to my heart and I'm amazed that it's still just as relevant 30 years later.

    What is your dream vacation? Anywhere with a great story, sunshine, food and people I like. However, if I am missing for an extended period of time, please feel free to begin the search in Tuscany.

    What is your favorite way to learn? Hard to choose, I like them all!

    What do you like best about working at Zingerman's? The people who work here and keep me moving forward, the culture of being serious about business in a casual atmosphere, being part of an organization that lives its guiding principles and, of course - the food!

    What is your presentation style? Clear, empathetic, emphatic and fun!

    What is your "secret" skill - that skill you have that you don't have the ability to show off at work? Spray Painting. No, really.

  • Trainer
    ZingTrain

    HelLo, my name isKatie Frank


    How many Zingerman's businesses have you worked for? 2, Bakehouse for 6.5 yrs. as the Bakeshop Manager, and ZingTrain

    What is your favorite business book?

    Oh, the Places You'll Go by Dr. Seuss and Confidence by Rosabeth Moss Kanter

    What is your dream vacation? Italy, eating my way through each small towns' specialty & taking lots of pictures.

    What is your favorite way to learn? By doing!

    What do you like best about working at Zingerman's? Where to begin?!? The food! The leadership style, entrepreneurial approach and the expectation that as a staff member you are helping run the business through open book management. I love interacting with our customers and connecting around learning and food. I love the many opportunities to learn and teach, and the approachability of all of our Partners.

    What is your presentation style? Interactive, to the point and hopefully relevant to the audience.

    What is your "secret" skill - that skill you have that you don't have the ability to show off at work? I make a mean dessert and I have a sweet jump shot! (guess that's 2...)

  • Trainer
    ZingTrain

    HelLo, my name isElnian Gilbert


    How many Zingerman's businesses have you worked for? I’ve worked for two businesses. I started at Zingerman’s Mail Order’s Service center in the holiday season of 2006. And loved it! I wanted to stick around Zingerman’s when the holidays were done - luckily for me, ZingTrain hired me in February 2007 and I’ve been around ever since.

    What is your favorite business book?

    The Ultimate Question by Fred Reichheld

    What is your dream vacation? It totally depends on how I’m feeling - right now, I just want to go back to Vegas!

    What is your favorite way to learn? A mix, but primarily by doing. I learn best when the method of delivery is changed up as we go along.

    What do you like best about working at Zingerman's? I like the fact that you can go from being temporary, seasonal holiday staff to a full time consultant at ZingTrain - for nothing more, or less, than that you’re smart, willing to work hard, and know where you want to go.

    What is your presentation style? Spirited and full of humor (appropriate humor, of course!)

    What is your "secret" skill - that skill you have that you don't have the ability to show off at work? I’m a knitter! I really enjoy taking yarn and turning it into a hat, or scarf, or mitts - and being able to make unique gifts for friends and family.

  • Trainer
    ZingTrain

    HelLo, my name isTimo Anderson


    How many Zingerman's businesses have you worked for? 1

    What is your favorite business book?

    Currently I am reading The Ultimate Question 2.0 to gain more understanding of the theory behind the NPS numbers.

    What is your dream vacation? A summer trip to Spain with my wife- Pamplona, Seville, and as many little towns as we would have time for.

    What is your favorite way to learn? I love to be able to think out loud through a process with open discussion, dissent, and ultimately new understanding for everyone.

    What do you like best about working at Zingerman's? The encouragement to learn all the time and the opportunity to move in directions that truly excite and engage you

    What is your presentation style? I look to engage a group in a variety of ways in order to allow them to find their way to the knowledge that clicks and makes the information theirs.

    What is your "secret" skill - that skill you have that you don't have the ability to show off at work? I have played ultimate frisbee since 1989.

  • Trainer
    ZingTrain

    HelLo, my name isJoanie Hales


    How many Zingerman's businesses have you worked for? I have worked for two businesses: the Roadhouse and now ZingTrain as a Trainer. I started at the Roadhouse as part of the opening crew and worked as a server, hostess, bartender, accounting assistant, assistant restaurant manager, catering manager and marketing manager. It is not an actual Zingerman’s business but I was also the Zingerman’s Camp Bacon® Director for four years, which was always a blast to plan and host.

    What is your favorite business book?

    Is it too obvious to say Ari's Being a Better Leader? But it's true, he writes about what we live everyday and it is always motivating and inspiring to read his books.

    What is your dream vacation? My husband and our two boys on a lake somewhere. I love hearing the three of them laugh while they play together.

    What is your favorite way to learn? Definitely a visual learner, enjoy reading instructions before being expected to do them. And I am a huge notetaker. I always like to take lots of notes to refer back to.

    What do you like best about working at Zingerman's? Hands down the people. My co-workers have become some of my dearest friends and one became my husband!

    What is your presentation style? I like to think fun! I want the training to be informative and engaging, but I really want people to leave having had fun.

    What is your "secret" skill - that skill you have that you don't have the ability to show off at work? I am a pretty darn good Catchphrase player - I welcome anyone to a challenge.

  • Co-founder
    Zingerman's Community of Businesses

    HelLo, my name isAri Weinzweig


    How many Zingerman's businesses have you worked for? Essentially all of them.

    What is your favorite business book?

    Right now, Ignore Everybody, but you have my whole list.

    What is your dream vacation? Being on the beach in really great dry hot sunny weather with access to a lot of really good food and good books and somewhere to run.

    What is your favorite way to learn? Reading.

    What do you like best about working at Zingerman's? I think we make a positive difference in the lives of customers and co-workers, we're always learning, we have fun, it's hard and challenging in good ways, we help support suppliers/producers of great artisan food... It's always interesting and never boring and there's always way more to do than I'll ever get done and i like all of that. I get to write about bacon and business, help CEOs and 16-year olds all to improve their lives through the work we do, and I get to eat really well and travel and learn a lot while I'm doing it.

  • Co-founder
    Zingerman's Community of Businesses

    HelLo, my name isPaul Saginaw


    How many Zingerman's businesses have you worked for? All of them

    What is your favorite business book?

    Leadership is an Art - Max DePree

    What is your dream vacation? Good friends, good weather

    What is your favorite way to learn? Experiential

    What do you like best about working at Zingerman's? Having the opportunity to impact our community in a positive way

    What is your presentation style? From the heart

    What is your "secret" skill - that skill you have that you don't have the ability to show off at work? I am a skilled gambler

  • Managing Partner
    Zingerman's Bakehouse

    HelLo, my name isAmy Emberling


    How many Zingerman's businesses have you worked for? Just one! Baking is my calling (as corny as that sounds) so the Bakehouse is the right place for me.

    What is your favorite business book?

    Das Capital (just kidding but I did manage to study Marxism all 8 semesters of college).

    What is your dream vacation? Going to some weird and slightly dangerous place with my husband.

    What is your favorite way to learn? I learn best by listening to a person -- so lecture me, I love it and I learn through doing.

    What do you like best about working at Zingerman's? The freedom we all have to make a difference and to be ourselves.

    What is your presentation style? It depends...on the topic and on the audience.

    What is your "secret" skill - that skill you have that you don't have the ability to show off at work? I'm fluent in Canadian and I know too much about the British Monarchy.

  • Partner and Chief Administrative Officer
    Zingerman's Community of Businesses

    HelLo, my name isRon Maurer


    How many Zingerman's businesses have you worked for? 1 - ZingNet

    What is your favorite business book?

    Great Game of Business

    What is your dream vacation? Mediterranean Cruise

    What is your favorite way to learn? Listening

    What do you like best about working at Zingerman's? The Ability to make a difference no matter where you work and at what level.

    What is your presentation style? Casual, walking around and not tied down to behind a podium, I also like to use appropriate levels of humor.

    What is your "secret" skill - that skill you have that you don't have the ability to show off at work? Cooking breakfast

  • Venue Manager
    Zingerman's Cornman Farms

    HelLo, my name isTabitha Mason


    How many Zingerman's businesses have you worked for? Two! I started my career here at Zingerman's as the General Manager at Zingerman's Roadhouse and after two years moved to Zingerman's Service Network, our shared services office, as the Service Steward. I now work as the Venue Manager at Zingerman's Cornman Farms.

    What is your favorite business book?

    "Customer Satisfaction Is Worthless, Customer Loyalty Is Priceless" by Jeffrey Gitomer. I've had the same dog-eared copy for over 10 years. It's full of post-it notes, highlighted sentences and handwritten notes to myself in the margins, but I'll happily lend it out to anyone who wants to get fired up about the customer experience.

    What is your dream vacation? My ideal vacation could take place anywhere but would involve lots of reading, red wine, cheese and a strong wi-fi connection. To make it my dream vacation, it should include my husband and take place in a foreign country.

    What is your favorite way to learn? I need to take notes and doodle to help me process and then do the task in order to really cement things in my mind.

    What do you like best about working at Zingerman's? Open book Management.

    What is your presentation style? Conversational and informal.

    What is your "secret" skill - that skill you have that you don't have the ability to show off at work? I'm a mad shopper. Seriously. Whether it's finding just the right thing at a thrift shop or quickly processing reviews and choosing a product online, I love to shop and take pride in my ability to give gifts the recipient will love.

  • Service Steward
    Zingerman’s Service Network

    HelLo, my name isKristie Brablec


    How many Zingerman's businesses have you worked for? Mail Order, Zingerman's Service Network & ZingTrain

    What is your favorite business book?

    Ignore Everybody (Hugh MacLeod)

    What is your dream vacation? Traveling across an entire foreign country with no timeline and getting to know the local culture, food and land.

    What is your favorite way to learn? Seeing and Doing

    What do you like best about working at Zingerman's? Learning and making change that impacts Zingerman's in a positive way.

    What is your presentation style? FUN! I want make sure people learn and leave with useful tools but it's important to me that it's fun.

    What is your "secret" skill - that skill you have that you don't have the ability to show off at work? I'm an artist, a pilot and music lover. I really enjoy travel, a good taco and talking about sharks.

  • HR Generalist
    Department for People, ZIngerman's Service Network

    HelLo, my name isLeah Trulik


    How many Zingerman's businesses have you worked for? I have worked solely in the Zingerman's Service Network (ZSN), but I make it a habit of visiting all of our businesses regularly, as ZSN provides shared services to all of the Community of Businesses.

    What is your favorite business book?

    I really like the StrengthsFinder 2.0 and Strengths Based Leadership Companion Guide. I have found that by understanding our own strengths, as well as those of our colleagues, it allows individuals and organizations to make their best contributions while honoring who we are!

    What is your dream vacation? My dream vacation would be to return to Hawaii, where I lived as a child, and was last there on my honeymoon. I have such wonderful memories of blue waters, white sandy beaches, sunsets, fragrant flowers, luscious fruits and more! i would love the opportunity to return and make these memories a reality!

    What is your favorite way to learn? I am definitely a visual learner. I love seeing how to do things either in pictures, or better yet, in real time!

    What do you like best about working at Zingerman's? The culture and the people are definitely my favorite part of working at Zingerman's. No matter what business you are in, you can count on being around people that care about one another, and our products, love to give great service, love to learn, AND spread enthusiasm infectiously!

    What is your presentation style? You could describe my presentation style as informal. Regardless of the size of the group, I like to interact with everyone as if we were just a few coming together to listen and learn together!

    What is your "secret" skill - that skill you have that you don't have the ability to show off at work? I must say, I love to bake, and to eat my goodies! Love making cookies and cakes. Not great for the waistline, but great fun!

  • Managing Partner
    Zingerman's Coffee Company

    HelLo, my name isSteve Mangigian


    How many Zingerman's businesses have you worked for? Only one! Coffee! Although I am in the process of finalizing the purchase of a portion of the Candy Company.

    What is your favorite business book?

    I have several: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (Stephen Covey Sr.), The Speed of Trust (Steven Covey Jr.), The Road Less Traveled (M.Scott Peck) ... to name a few

    What is your dream vacation? Two words: Beach and Ocean

    What is your favorite way to learn? I love to read and DO!

    What do you like best about working at Zingerman's? What I love about working at zingermans is that I can be ME and bring the very best that I have to offer, hopefully making an impact in the lives of those I come in contact with.

    What is your presentation style? Focused and intense. but interactive and fun!

    What is your "secret" skill - that skill you have that you don't have the ability to show off at work? My pitching wedge.

  • Managing Partner
    Zingerman's Mail Order

    HelLo, my name isTom Root


    How many Zingerman's businesses have you worked for? I started as CIO at Zingerman's Service Network (centralized services) and Managing Partner of Zingermans.com. I then became the Managing Partner of Zingerman's Mail Order and I'm now Operations Officer at Zingerman's Service Network again.

    What is your favorite business book?

    Its a tie.
    1. Unleashing the Killer App (12 Principles of Killer App design)
    2. The Great Game of Business

    What is your dream vacation? Great location with great friends.

    What is your favorite way to learn? By doing.

    What do you like best about working at Zingerman's? I get to define my best contributions everyday.

    What is your presentation style? Is Baptist minister an acceptable answer?!

    What is your "secret" skill - that skill you have that you don't have the ability to show off at work? For a big guy, I've got some sweet dance moves.