Learnit team and instructors
We love to help individuals and organizations grow. All our instructors are subject matter experts, have real-world experience in their field and have proven success in creating outstanding learning environments.
After dedicating the initial 22 years of his life to the pursuit of becoming a Major League Baseball player, Damon pivoted in 1995 to help his father (Walt Lembi, Founder of Learnit) by investing his heart and soul in Learnit to help individuals gain the knowledge and confidence they need in attaining their professional goals through the value of education. Damon has a deep commitment to the Learnit team past and present and the San Francisco Bay Area community as a whole, where he was born and raised. Damon attributes Learnit's longevity and success to the ability to surround himself with "A" players and taking advantage of learning / evolving through past mistakes. Outside of Learnit, Damon is an avid reader, moviegoer, and live music fanatic. Most of all, Damon loves spending time with his wife, children—Lucy and Wally, and his dog.
Post Graduation from San Francisco State University in 2003, Courtney was looking for a job to get her started in the corporate world. As luck would have it, Learnit was looking for someone to help out with client relations in an administrative role.After only a few months, Courtney quickly took a liking to the work Learnit was doing for its clients. Courtney developed long-lasting relationships with clients, eventually moving into the Executive Account Management role that she’s been in now for over a decade.
Matt is a native Northern Californian who loves the outdoors and grew up hiking, biking, skiing, and hunting. Matt is a no excuses, get it done kind of guy. He believes in survival of the fittest—mind and body—through hard work, discipline, and focus.
With 15+ years of experience in corporate sales at Learnit, Matt has successfully driven profits and created lifelong corporate partnerships. His mantra is Listen, Learn, Grow, Share, and Repeat.
When not in Learnit mode, Matt is either enjoying a well-brewed cup of coffee while burying his nose in the latest influential business book or he's exploring the great outdoors with his beautiful wife, rambunctious two boys, and dog.
Darren is a Bay Area native and UC Berkeley alum whose first professional career was spent performing on regional stages in lead roles and in films and TV in decidedly supporting roles as a full-time, working actor. Since then, he has become a communications and leadership trainer and consultant.Prior to joining Learnit, Darren served on the executive team of a top professional skills development company where he designed and delivered programs for Fortune 100 organizations around the world, managed key customer accounts and served internally as the Head of Faculty Development.When not at work, Darren enjoys spending time with his family, getting outdoors as much as possible to bike, play tennis and backpack with his 16 lb. beast of a chihuahua terrier sidekick, Tecate, in the High Sierras.
In addition to helping individuals elevate their skillset through formal training, Kandis Porter loves working with organizations on planning and executing productive offsite meetings, teambuilding, solving challenging problems associated with programs or projects, and ensuring a structure is in place to support effective communication. Through Learnit, Kandis has collaborated with numerous organizations to successfully design customized solutions, to include Sony, Travis Credit Union, and Lyric. She is also one of our primary instructors for getting certified as a Six Sigma Green Belt. Kandis has a MS in Project Management (MSPM) from The George Washington University and MBA in Human Resources. She is a certified Project Management Professional (PMP), Prosci Change Manager, and Six Sigma Green Belt. She is also a practitioner of the Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Thomas-Kilmann Instrument (TKI) for managing conflict, and DiSC Workplace assessments. Outside of work, she enjoys running, skiing, and spending time with her family. Kandis proudly spent more than seven years on Active Duty in the United States Air Force and is passionate about giving back to veterans and their families.
After spending eight years in the MN Air National Guard, Ben pivoted and started a career in customer service that took him to almost every continent.
At Learnit, Ben supports the company mission in delivering an exceptional customer experience to organizations and individuals alike by applying a best-in-class learning experience built upon proven instructional principles, advanced technology and tools, and modern, practical content.
A passionate learner himself, Ben is also a voracious reader. His consumption of business books might even rival that of Damon Lembi, Learnit's CEO.
After moving his family seven times over six years, Ben has finally settled in Denver, Colorado, with his wife, two boys, and two dogs. Any given weekend, you will find him and his family in the Mountains, biking around Denver, or road-tripping across the country on some adventure.
Amy is passionate about learning and enjoys working with individuals and organizations to help them realize their full potentials. Prior to joining Learnit, she held leadership roles in higher education for more than a decade, with expertise creating and delivering professional development programs for adult learners and businesses.
An educator and storyteller at heart, she has taught English abroad, as well as genocide and peace studies courses for the University of Nevada, Reno, and she loves performing in local theater as time allows. In her free time, she also enjoys running, paddleboarding, movies, and good food with family and friends.
Amy is based in Reno, Nevada, and serves on the Reno Little Theater Board of Directors and the Advisory Board of the Northern Nevada International Center. She holds a Master’s degree in global affairs from New York University, and a Bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of Nevada, Reno.
A bay area native, Elizabeth earned her BA in Sociology and Criminology from San Francisco State University and has continued her education through MIT Sloan. Prior to joining Learnit, Elizabeth ran operations as the Assistant Director of an International School, overseeing multiple branches of the company. She then took her talents to Yahoo, learning the day to day procedures of a large corporation. Elizabeth is now taking her experience and automating the operations here at Learnit, continuing her passion in making processes efficient. When Elizabeth is not at Learnit, you can catch her out with her pup or painting in her art studio.
Brian Lanier is Learnit’s primary leadership development and diversity, equity & inclusion champion. He has over 20 years of experience coaching scores of business leaders in a wide range of industries across North America.
Brian helps executives address diverse performance challenges, reimagine what’s possible and achieve their goals. He does so by altering the prevailing context and expanding corporate leadership and communication practices.
Prior to his training and development career, Brian was a Regional Vice-President with Starbucks Coffee Company and a Director of Operations for KFC-Canada.
Brian holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Saint Mary’s University in Halifax, Nova Scotia and studied journalism at the University of Houston. He serves as Vice-Chair of the Advocacy Committee for a non-profit group of Black professionals and academics committed to ending systemic racism for Black, Indigenous and People of Color.
Brian lives in Calgary, Canada with his spouse, Yvonne, their “velcro” dog, Fletcher, in their forever-house with breathtaking views of the Rocky Mountains and Bow River. Together, Yvonne and Brian are parents of an extended “modern family” that regularly gather for meals, real conversations and to remind Brian that he’s not nearly as funny as he thinks he is.
Highly innovative and goal-driven, Otis Dominique is a well-regarded leadership consultant who has been empowering others to reach their full potential since 2007. He is a passionate professional who has committed himself to overcoming systemic racism through the power of communication, diversity, and inclusion.He holds a BS in Healthcare Management and earned a Juris Doctor (law degree) in 2001. He has produced several social justice documentary films and launched a judgment-free online racial discussion town hall series, called Transform Race, in 2020.Though Otis loves what he does, when he is not working, you can find him spending time with his wife Maya, who is a respected physician.
A former New Yorker, Sheila enjoyed a first career in finance, from financial writer and editor to Wall Street analyst and portfolio manager. She did a 10-year stint as an entrepreneur and currently coaches business owners in profitability and management. The real-world business experience furnishes her with stories and examples for Professional Development workshops in Leadership, Work Relationships, and Change Management. She has a degree in economics from Bryn Mawr College and an MBA from NYU. Outside of work, Sheila’s enthusiasms include reading, ballroom dancing, hiking and bird watching with her husband and serving on the Board of an historic SF cultural Institute.
Joe recently moved to the Bay Area from New Jersey. As an avid world traveler, Joe has lived in Ukraine, Russia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, London, and a quick stay in China. When he isn’t traveling, he loves singing, acting, volunteering, and hanging out with his wife and son. Joe is very enthusiastic about being a part of the Learnit team as an End User Instructor. He truly believes in what Learnit has to offer to its customers.
James Jeffley is an award-winning international speaker and trainer, a professional coach, published author, accomplished musician, ordained minister and a two-time finalist in the Toastmasters International World Championship of Public Speaking. He blends humor and a varied skillset and knowledge base, with proven, real-world strategies and tools, and practical wisdom to create an environment where students are not only engaged, having fun and learning, but also motivated to take action after class to apply what they learned to create meaningful change in their lives.
Nadia is a San Francisco native who is currently far from the Best Coast - after moving away to attend Princeton University, she has since settled in Brooklyn, NY. Nadia considers herself a lifelong learner, and has been so happy to find a group of like-minded colleagues at Learnit! She is new to Learnit, but not new to the educational field, having worked in a variety of organizations in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. She aims to cultivate a fun, comfortable space to explore different ideas in all of her Learnit workshops, in which participants can share their expertise and develop best practices for themselves moving forward. In addition to working at Learnit, you can find her providing academic coaching for K-12 students, hunting for delicious pastries at local bakeries, and acting in live theater performances.
Edward is a California native that has brought his operational experience to many different industries; gaming, veterinary, and of course training. He has 13 years of experience working in the training industry covering various operational, managerial, and sales roles.
Edward transferred to Learnit in March of 2020 and since then has joined the operations team while also assisting in many other projects. You might hear from him in email, through chat, or on the phone as he excels at customer engagement and responsiveness.
In his spare time, you will find Edward with his children, playing games and exploring nature. He is an avid traveler and lover of learning and music.
Faz Karim possesses a strong background in computer science. He provides a tailored and hands-on approach to teaching software with comprehensive explanations of not only how to use software, but how the various components work behind the scenes. Faz’s tailored teaching methods support the student(s)/client(s) in developing and nurturing an overall deeper understanding of the concepts and ideas presented, with best practices applied.
Michael has been working in E-Learning since 2012. Starting out in the K-12 world, he’s now squarely focused on creating and managing content for adult learners. A majority of his free time is spent finding and listening to new music, eating an absurd amount of salad, avoiding the beach, and planning his next trip to NYC.
After studying business administration and marketing management at the university level, Kareen went on to work as a marketing assistant in Thailand, Vietnam, and in the Philippines before becoming a part of the Learnit team. Outside of work, Kareen enjoys hiking, reading books and travelling locally and internationally.
Evans has supported and helped develop Learnit's client base since 2005. As a Senior Account Manager, she helps Learning and Development, Technical and Individual teams build and implement tailor-made learning programs to support their business goals. Her event planning background prior to Learnit brings the tools to treat each class and program as its own unique event, requiring ultimate customer service and attention to detail. In addition to working at Learnit, you can find her doing yoga, hiking in Marin, or spending time with her family.
Nick is a Bay Area native and a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley. He spent his early years and time in college as a competitive swimmer, where he eventually became a US Open champion in 2017. After his athletic career, he moved to Miami, Florida to pursue his professional career. In August of 2020, Nick joined the Learnit team. He enjoys building lasting relationships with his clients while providing top-notch customer service and delivering a product that truly helps his customers. In his free time, you can find him at the beach, dining out at his favorite local restaurants, or spending time with his dog, Mac.
After graduating from the University of San Diego with a BA in International Relations & Economics, Carly started her career working in marketing for a tech start-up in the Bay Area. She quickly realized that she wanted to put her skills towards helping people learn and building community, so she was thrilled when she found Learnit. She joined Learnit's Sales & Account Management team in 2019 and has grown into her current role as Director of Community & Events over the past two years.
Carly loves bringing her passions for athletics, yoga, education, and community-building to Learnit and is inspired by the team of incredible people she collaborates with on a daily basis. When she's not leading events or growing Learnit's online community Offsite, she can be found surfing, traveling, teaching yoga, and trail running with friends!
Tayler is a Southern California native and a graduate of Azusa Pacific University. With a background in nonprofits and event management, the love of hospitality and taking care of customers is ingrained in her sales approach. When she is not helping clients develop amazing programs, you can find her volunteering with Make- A-Wish, playing beach volleyball, and frequenting Taco Tuesdays around San Diego.
Mo is a resident of Atlanta, GA. Originally from New York, he graduated from Hofstra University with a degree in Computer Information Systems.
He has a passion for technology and has served at Adelphi University and Georgia Tech as a computer engineer.
Three years ago, Mo answered the call to serve as a computer instructor at a new, small school in the Republic of Panama. In that role, he discovered his passion for teaching and completed his Master of Education. Mo believes teaching and technology are a great fit and is committed to lifelong learning.
During leisure time, you can find Mo enjoying the great outdoors with his family of four.
Bindi is originally from Australia, currently residing in sunny San Diego, CA. She graduated from the University of Sydney with a Master of Teaching, and Wollongong University with a bachelor's degree in Exercise Science.
Bindi has a wealth of experience in education, health, and wellness both here in the USA and in Australia. She has been a teacher, a coach, an instructor, and course developer - leading the creation of professional development education courses in previous roles.
Bindi believes that education and fun are the keys to help people develop a lifelong relationship with health and wellness. Outside of teaching, you'll find Bindi skiing, biking, swimming, hiking, and taking on outdoor adventures!
Saskia, a San Diego native, is a graduate of Santa Clara University and has a marketing background in various industries such as healthcare IT, nonprofit, and beverages. A former ballet dancer, Saskia values the balance between disciplined technique and creative innovation and applies this to all her work. She has a natural curiosity and hunger for learning, which she hopes to inspire in Learnit’s client base through her marketing strategies. In her free time, she enjoys cooking, exploring the restaurant scene in San Diego, interior design, and trivia.
Nick has been fortunate to work for and with companies who champion learning and development.
Prior to Learnit, Nick held entrepreneurial roles that required him to generate new business, build teams, create process, and be comfortable in the weeds. Learning was a necessity in those roles, and he developed a great appreciation for the mentors and managers who gave him the space and resources to grow and develop. Nick joined Learnit because he believes in helping others become the best possible versions of themselves at work.
Nick lives near the beach in San Francisco with his fiancé and dog. You can often find him surfing at Ocean Beach, golfing at Harding Park, or walking his dog in Golden Gate Park.
Valetta Burgess is passionate about leadership and helping others. She has been a member of the Learnit team since June 2021.
Valetta is a graduate of Howard University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and obtained her M.B.A. from Columbia International University. She is also a highly decorated soldier-athlete with the SC Army National Guard in the sport of track and field. She was the Soldier of the Year in 2017 as well as a National and Regional World Champion in 2019.
Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, Gunnar went to school at the University of Georgia in Athens. While there, he received a BBA in Business Management with a minor in Aerospace Studies.
Gunnar began swimming for his neighborhood summer league at the age of three, and ultimately went on to compete in two Olympic Games, earning a gold medal as a part of the 4x200m freestyle relay in Rio 2016. In Tokyo 2020 he competed individually, placing seventh in the 200m butterfly.
Otherwise, Gunnar really enjoys cooking and has mastered the art of grilling a medium-rare steak. The impetus of this love of cooking came from the need to intake between 6,000-8,000 calories a day while he was training. He figures that when you're eating that much, you'd better be able to cook.
Christian Durso is a professional development trainer, accomplished playwright and screenwriter, and runs a non-profit arts organization in his hometown of Los Angeles. He values bringing more creativity into the lives of working professionals, and bringing more professionalism into the lives of creatives. He has a background as a crisis counselor and values clear, empathetic communication as the basis for building powerful relationships at home and at work.
Christian has executive produced and written for shows on Netflix, films for Sony, and plays for theaters across the nation. He's managed teams internationally and remotely. He creates engaging environments where his students, colleagues, and peers can access their potential and discover joy in their work.
Originally from South Carolina, Mary attended the College of Charleston Honors college, where she competitively swam while earning a BA in biology and Spanish.
After graduation, Mary started her career in education by working in Morocco as a high school science teacher. She has since relocated to San Diego, CA, where she has worked in public and private schools developing curriculum, teaching courses, and implementing policy change. Mary most enjoys crafting thoughtful, research-driven curriculum that is engaging to her audience.
In her free time, you will most likely find Mary near the ocean or any body of water, surfing or swimming. She also enjoys traveling, camping, and any kind of outdoor adventure.