IPMA-HR’s ASR Staff and Contributors

To get a better understanding of what makes each ASR staff members tick, we decided to divulge a bit of information about ourselves; our likes and outside-of-work activities as well as a personal outlook on the future of the ASR Blog.

Robert Burd – Series Writer for the ASR

I am now retired after over 30 years of public sector personnel assessment. My career focused on law enforcement selection including developing written, physical agility, and oral exams for police officers while writing promotional exams and assessment centers for police and corrections sergeants, lieutenants, and captains. I’ve conducted numerous national recruitments for department heads and assistant city managers. I have taught classes on item writing, creating assessment centers, and conducting oral exams.

I enjoy writing, I have completed eight screen plays, three television pilots and I am working on my fifth novel. I have come close to selling many of my works, but have not actually inked a deal yet.  Personally, I’m a runner, I still lift weights three days a week, and I’m an avid target shooter, both trap and skeet. I’m very happily married and my wife and I are active in our church.

Toni Kovalski – Writer, Series Idea Generator and Editor for the ASR

I began my career with Arlington County, Virginia working under their head I/O Psychologist.  We had the responsibility of creating and administering assessment centers for the police and fire departments.  It was very interesting work and gave me good experience in seeing how a public sector human resources department runs.  I have worked for IPMA-HR since 1993!  I worked at their offices in Virginia until 1998 when I made the move to Wilmington, North Carolina.  At that time I became a consultant to the assessment services staff and one of their test developers.  I enjoy the test development process and  working on our new ASR blog.

I am originally from Wisconsin (the home of the frozen tundra of Lambeau Field).  Which of course means I am a huge Packer fan.  We make it home twice a year to visit family and friends.  I much prefer the beach though and that is why I headed south to North Carolina.  I love to sit and read on the beach and my husband loves to surf.  I like to cook and it’s one of my main hobbies.  My husband is also in a band which takes up a lot of our time.  I love music and love going to see his band play.  We have become a small family with the band members and their families so it provides lots of fun and laughs along the way.  The name of the band is “L Shape Lot” if you want to go give them a listen.

Robert Svihla – IPMA-HR Assessment Services Fulfillment Manager; Author, Editor, and Content Manger for ASR

I graduated from George Mason University in 2001 with a B.A. in English and Film & Media Studies. Almost immediately, I discovered a passion for international travel, backpacking for long stretches of time through Europe and Southeast Asia, before finally settling into my current position at IPMA-HR in March 2005. Since then, my duties as the primary point of contact for sales and customer services calls have grown to include numerous marketing tasks and finding ways to use technology to serve our customers better, such as right here on the Assessment Services Review.

In my spare time, I obsess over crossword puzzles, Italian soccer and whatever new gadget I can get my hands on.

Andrey Pankov – IPMA-HR Research Associate; Author and Editor for ASR

I’ve only been a part of the IPMA-HR Assessment Department for a year and a half but I really feel like it’s been longer (that’s a good thing). I really enjoy interacting with customers and love having new avenues, such as the ASR to do so.

While there is plenty to do in the DC area during the summer months, I like to explore the countryside of Virginia, specifically their vineyards. Many people dont realize it, but just like California had a wine awakening at the end of the 20th century, Virginia is the up and comer now. Virginia wineries currently number more than 200, with more sprouting up yearly. “Great wine, food, and friends” is my summer motto. Just in the past 6 months we’ve visited more than a dozen VA wineries. It’s such a great experience because you meet the owners and winemakers and really have a chance to taste and learn which wines you like. While I have never visited the revered California vineyards, I hope to soon, but so far have gone to a number in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia.

I really enjoy writing for and editing the ASR because it gives me a non-formal way to interact with our customers; to highlight some industry news and events that I think are interesting. When I came on the ASR was a document emailed out with a few different stories; specifically news and product announcements.  But I believe the blog format has really allowed us to branch out and cover a much broader range of topics. I am really looking forward to what we can do with it in the next year and beyond!

—Other IPMA-HR Assessment Services Staff—

Bob Sewell – IPMA-HR Mail Room Manager

Originally from Atlanta, Georgia, I’ve wandered around the country (and world) as an electronics technician in the U.S. Air Force, a bar manager, a house painter, and a real estate appraiser, among other things. I joined the great team at IPMA-HR at the end of 2006, taking up the Mailroom Manager position, where I’m primarily responsible for assembling and shipping the test material to our thousands of customers.

After somehow surviving my first fifty years filled with motorcycles, hang gliders, and days spent climbing sheer cliffs, I’ve slowed down a bit. Now I’m more likely to be found reading, competing in a trivia contest at a local pub, or expounding upon why it’s so important to chuckle at one or another life’s many absurdities.

As the Review goes forward, we hope it will continue to provide useful and interesting information pertaining to IPMA-HR, and the assessment field in general. I’ll try to provide occasional thoughts on how to make the delivery of your test products as smooth and timely as possible. Hint: When possible, try to order your material earlier rather than later. Thirty-six hours before the scheduled test doesn’t leave much margin to account for life’s little surprises!

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