035: Doing things that scare you when networking with Todd Herbert

Todd Herbert is a life-long educator with over 36 years of experience working in public school, corporate and non-profit learning settings. He has led teams responsible for the creation of instructional resources and the design of learning environments using a range of media and strategies. His approach has always been to drive alignment of learning to the strategic needs of an organization. 

Although technically retired, he prefers to call this his encore career, taking the time to pursue his professional and creative passions. One example is a non-profit his wife, Jody, and he started, the EgGS Initiative (Engaging Girls in STEM). Founded in 2014, together they offer high school girls opportunities to explore strategies and nontechnical skills to help them thrive in fields traditionally dominated by men. their daughters were the inspiration for EgGS. Since 2015 they have provided nearly 300 girls from over 20 area high school opportunities to work with and be inspired by successful STEM professional women from a range of industries. he has also served as a board member for a number of non-profit including currently with Wisconsin Education Innovations. 

He has an MS in Education from Indian University and an undergraduate degree in Education from UW-Eau Claire. In 2011 he received that University's President's Award for outstanding professional achievement for my work in the definition of learning paths as a corporate strategy. 

Jody and Todd have been married for nearly 31 years and call Glendale, WI home. The EgGS Initiative is their second professional collaboration. They met creating our first, a program for special needs students to help them better integrate into their community. Seeking ways to be engaged with and help improve our community have always been their shared passion.


With no background in STEM, is your current career something you’re qualified for?

·         “Qualified is a relative term. As an educator, we’re always looking for ways to draw students into the learning process that makes them feel more comfortable. Secondly, my wife and I have always wanted to serve underserved populations. Stem just seemed like a natural fit after talking with our daughters and seeing the hardship that women face in that career path.”

Your organization is targeted towards girls interested in a STEM career, aren’t boys interested in that as well?

·         “As my father in law always said, you can’t kiss all the babies. Secondly, the boys have a lot of other opportunities that girls won’t necessarily have.”


Red or white wine?

·         “Oh, always red, except in July when white is actually preferred.”


Share with us one of your best networking stories

·         “I don’t really have a story but I have a relationship that comes to mind. I had met a gentleman who was very generous and quick to introduce me to others early on in my career and we’ve maintained that relationship to date.”


How do you stay in front of your network or community?

·         “Well one, I don’t take it for granted. Individuals I speak with are giving me their times so I try to be as respectful of their time as I can and I always try to give back.”


What advice do you have for business professionals looking to grow their networks?

·         “I would suggest you begin by thinking about what you can offer to an individual. Enter every meeting with goals and objectives and the readiness to offer something yourself.”


Digital networking or traditional networking?

·         “You need both but the traditional networking is what will create that long term relationship. Digital opens the door but it takes the traditional networking to build that relationship.”


If you could go back 20 years, what would you tell yourself to do more or less of regarding your career?

·         “I would tell my younger self to be less afraid of making mistakes because you will make them. If you’re afraid of making mistakes you won’t make the big ones and that’s where the best learning comes from.”


Who would you love to connect with and do you think you could do it within 6 degrees?

·         “I would love to meet President Obama just because he held such grace while he was in office event with all the things that were thrown at him. When I was thinking about this I realized we have a good friend who’s very involved in the democratic party and that would certainly be my starting point.”


What book are you reading right now?

·         “I’m reading one book for fun called ‘Time Travels’ which looks from a literature and scientific standpoint at what is time? The other book I’m reading, especially because of the current political climate, is ‘Healing the Heart of Democracy.’


Any final words of advice for our listeners??

·         “Never stop, continue to look for opportunities to expand your horizons and scare the crap out of yourself every day.”


You can get in contact with Todd at:

You can email eggsinitiative@gmail.com


Visit www.eggsinitiative.org