Way back before Windows and the internet were popular, Janet Stead, founder and owner of CTC Computer Training, went to college to become a computer programmer analyst. After teaching part-time during post-secondary, she landed a job teaching software courses to the military.
“I just fell into it. I was very, very lucky. They wouldn't hire me as an employee. They said instead, no, you have to be a business. So I made a business.”
So, in 1990, CTC Computer Training was born. Shortly after, Stead created a small classroom in her house.
“I had big companies like Molson Breweries, Reader’s Digest and the OPP coming upstairs in my house, where we had four computers set up.”
As she grew, she opened a classroom on Peter Street North and the second location in Barrie and hired additional instructors.
“We've travelled the country doing on-site training. We do training in the classroom, and it's fun. It felt good being a woman, being self-employed, and making it for many years.”
CTC Computer Training
Unlike 30 years ago, each one-day course teaches students how to work more efficiently on Microsoft Office, rather than breaking down what the programs are. And although younger generations are more likely to have a foundational knowledge of how programs like Excel work, no one taught them how to use them efficiently.
Through her 32 years of experience, she knows her business, teaching thousands of people across military, corporate entities, governments and charitable organization sectors.
“They don't need to add up a household budget. They need to forecast. They need to look at trends, etc. So we've been able to customize and build agendas that best suit the corporate world.”
Stead said the number one thing she’s learned about software is people spend way too much time working rather than having the computer do the work for them.
She said only a few tricks, shortcuts and formulas could make all the difference.
“Honestly, it makes us feel like magicians. People just see these things. And they go, ‘Are you kidding me?’ And they realize how often they’ve gone through those steps when they didn't have to. And that's a very, very satisfying feeling.”
She said they have the magic to excite their students about programs like Excel, Word, Outlook, PowerPoint, OneNote, OneDrive and Teams.
“How easy they can get answers from their data that they never dreamed possible without spending hours trying to manipulate it,” she said. “It's a very, very rewarding career.”
Meet Tyler Marshall, CTC Computer Training’s new owner
During her first 25 years, Stead built a solid reputation for herself—she never had to advertise. So, she was picky about the instructors she hired.
Six years ago, she hired Tyler Marshall after discovering him at a local grocery store where he worked while going to school for computer programing. Stead said she immediately recognized his intelligence and personality and offered him a job.
“I told him I expected perfection—not just knowing your stuff, but knowing how to treat people properly and make sure that they're not just comfortable but to get them excited about these programs.”
And that’s what he delivered. Marshall became an exceptional trainer and business partner, eventually taking over all front-line work.
“When I hired him, I told him I wanted him to buy me out in five years. So six years later, he approached me and said okay, I’m ready. And in that time, he's become a phenomenal teacher.”
Janet Stead Enterprises
As for Stead, after three decades of public speaking, she said she’s comfortable explaining things, intimating and making herself clear. She decided voicework would probably be a good segue.
She took courses, received both voice and technical coaching and mentoring, and began Janet Stead Enterprises about two and a half years ago, where she does voiceovers for videogames, documentaries, commercials and her favourite—explainers.
“I love doing explainers because I feel that's my area of expertise. I've been explaining things for 30 years.”
Although she’s still been managing CTC Computer Training, it’s time for her to hand the baton to Marshall.
“Tyler has been doing everything else. He's been teaching the courses. He's been updating the manuals. He's been updating the agendas and developing new courseware exercises. And I've just been managing it so that I could start to spend time on my new my next career.”
“Tyler is such a trainer. He loves what he does, he’s incredibly smart—and even though he knows these programs inside out, he doesn’t talk over anyone’s head. He pays attention. He watches people and their body language to recognize when they need help.”
If you are a company in need of a voice artist to bring your explainers or commercials to life, you can contact Janet through her website.