Let’s Start the Interview:

The Worlds Times: Explain your background and your Company’s in detail.

Luann Parker: Originally from Brooklyn, New York, I began my commercial real estate career immediately after my university studies at Cornell. Working for several Fortune 500 companies across the US, I quickly ascended the corporate ladder. Within my various remits, I oversaw teams who executed the real estate procurement of Grade A sites for global F&B brands, entertainment, and retail chains. Our scope encompassed the full development cycle of contract negotiations to acquire real estate through to the construction delivery of those assets to our operators. In addition, we delivered cost efficiency across real estate portfolios, improved location demographics, and increased value by maximizing companies’ cash positions.

Seeking to broaden my sphere of influence, I moved to the UAE to contribute my strengths to several esteemed companies doing business throughout the MENA region. More recently, the culmination of my global professional experience led to the formation of Wordy Affairs, a boutique business that specializes in teaching Business English Communications, to serve my passion for delivery of projects with dynamism and executional efficiency. Thus, I’ve leveraged my management skills and ability to work cross-functionally to assemble a multi-cultural team to offer customized lessons to improve the pace and quality with which business is conducted globally.

The Worlds Times: What are your goals?

Luann Parker: Simply stated, our goals are embodied in our bold mission and values.

Our Mission: We are committed to providing Business English language lessons particularly designed to empower professionals everywhere with real-world language knowledge needed to help them achieve significant career growth and reach their full potential. This commitment is built on 3 solid pillars: KNOWLEDGE, EXPERIENCE, and PROFESSIONALISM, which are stepping stones for everything we do on a daily basis.

Our Values: We aim to become the leading language education platform with an eminent reference for Business English language learners globally.

Our ultimate goal is to generate a meaningful long-lasting impact on the global workforce by providing individuals with the best language skills and knowledge to become more confident, resourceful, and successful at what they do. This paves the way for enhanced work inclusion, increased participation in professional development, and a more level playing field for those who come from different circumstances and backgrounds. Moreover, international talent management and progression at advanced levels are better facilitated.

The Worlds Times: What do you feel is the biggest strength of “WORDY AFFAIRS” right now?

Luann Parker: Our unique selling point is our educators who have both business and teaching experience. Moreover, they are certified in their craft through the formal study of educational pedagogy in its most researched and successful form for guaranteed results. Having worked across numerous industries, including law enforcement, oil and gas, hospitality, banking, medicine, and academia, they are equipped to curate personalized lesson plans to facilitate a much more comprehensive and thorough learning of the language, and thus elevate English learning communication skills in the workplace. Finally, they are well-rounded professionals who are multilingual so they understand the process of language learning.

The Worlds Times: What was the path you took to get to where you are today?

Luann Parker: It was quite linear in that I had recognized this need in the business community across MENA. As a native English speaker and a professional who is passionate about executional excellence in the workplace, I knew I could forge a venture to connect the two. Therefore, I decided to pursue the requisite certifications to become a credible and qualified instructor, following which I realized that I could not facilitate this connection alone. I needed a team of professionals with not only prior business experience, but also teaching expertise.

With urgency, I searched for this unique combination of skills and interviewed every teacher on our roster today. In parallel with this concentrated effort, I managed other areas of the business that were needed to complete this valuable service.

Despite some challenges with the IT development of the platform, all other areas were in lockstep with our vision. In fact, every third party with whom I engaged in facilitating these areas passionately echoed support and belief in what we were endeavoring to create. That reinforcement incessantly fueled me, particularly during several challenging moments.

The Worlds Times: Why did you start WORDY AFFAIRS?

Luann Parker: I witnessed a vital opportunity amongst a significant portion of the talented professional community here to elevate their communication skills in a way that could significantly impact the quality and pace at which business was conducted.

More specifically, at least 70% of my colleagues over the past 10 years were non-native English speakers.  Often times, major gaps in communication resulted from their inability to clearly articulate challenges occurring in projects.  Many meetings were a pure exercise in minute-taking rather than a productive update on a project’s status and clear action items to occur prior to the next meeting.  The ultimate result was incremental delays to project timelines.  In addition, I assisted numerous colleagues with re-drafts of emails, reports, presentations, and meeting minutes as they would ultimately reflect on communications from our team.  It was important to me that our team communicated in a meaningful way across the organization to obtain results.

Ten years of witnessing and aiding these communication gaps along with my passion for executional excellence made me want to find a way to make an institutional difference. Thus, my business standing paired with educational credentials paved the way for me to make this happen.

The Worlds Times: What have been the biggest challenges you’ve had to overcome during the journey of your leadership?

Luann Parker: IT Development! I am not techy by any stretch of the imagination, so trusting a 3rd party with all elements of design and coding of the platform entailed a significant learning curve. After what I thought was a completed website, I later learned the initial developer hard-coded much of the platform which my subsequent developer could not decipher or alter. Having to redesign the website at the point where I thought it was complete, was the pinnacle of my struggle. I had to chalk it up to a right-of-passage, stay the course, and continue to drive the execution of this platform for our targeted demographic and our teachers who are passionate about making a difference.

The Worlds Times: Give us one word that describes you the best.

Luann Parker: Sunshine!

Q8: What do you value the most about WORDY AFFAIRS vision?

Luann Parker: The right culture is key to how a company performs.  We are a boutique niche platform, so our environment is intimate and comfortable for our students. It’s a pleasant atmosphere with teachers who really care, and it shows in their messaging on our platform.

The Worlds Times: We saw that you have helped several people through your professional English language education teaching skills, what gives you inspiration for this?

Luann Parker: By nature, I am a team player.  I believe that every team player should contribute in a way to not only achieve the goal, but to make each team member look good.  As a team leader, my philosophy has always been that my job was to make my team members look good and with this, they would in turn make me look good.  Working together in this spirit creates success and everyone wins!

The Worlds Times: What are the strategies of WORDY AFFAIRS and how do you stand unique from your competitors?

Luann Parker: Our overarching strategy centers on providing one offering (Business English) and providing it well. We view ourselves as the business class experience of online learning where students can expect unparalleled instruction from any of our Wordsmiths at the same rate. Therefore, a student will not have to make a teacher selection based on pricing and will not spend hours sifting through thousands of instructors from whom to select. The superior quality of the student journey commences with this review/selection process and is maintained through the completion of a student’s lessons.

The Worlds Times: What are the key values which helped you to overcome the challenges in your path? Tell us something about your memorable incident in your leadership?

Luann Parker: A positive and focused mindset has served me well. Positivity is a choice, and it overrules negativity the majority of the time if you practice it enough. Through practice, I’ve built this muscle that powers me with fortitude to tackle challenges. Focus is what drives my behavior to do daily activities towards the advancement of a goal. Both attributes have guided my ascent professionally and transition across the globe to execute at the same level.

I’ve had the pleasure of leading successful teams throughout my career. As such, I’m a staunch believer in high-performing teams who deliver quality results. One of my most memorable leadership moments was at Yum Brands as Head of Portfolio Management for their 5000+ company restaurant chain in the US. I was brought in to manage a team of 8 mid-level professionals with a sore history of neglect in terms of their own professional trajectories. After spending one year in this role, my team members gained a renewed perspective on their roles in our team, in the company and truly became passionate about the next phases of their careers. They did not enjoy my decision to move back to NYC for a promotion, but were grateful and proud of what we’d accomplished together in a very short span of time.

The Worlds Times: How do you see the company changing in two years, and how do you see yourself creating that change?

Luann Parker: I am excited to see how our journey will evolve. It is important that we maintain our core values of a boutique environment supported by best-in-class instructors offering a specific service.

Numerous fields, including but not limited to, science, technology, computing, and aerospace, are typically taught and studied in English, as the lingua franca. As a result, the number of e-learning platforms has grown exponentially, sparked by a high-interest level in learning English. In fact, the global English language learning market is expected to register a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.5% from 2022 to 2029 to reach $69.6 billion by 2029. At Wordy Affairs, we are well-positioned to be a disruptor in these fields with our specific service offering. Not only do we communicate well in English, but we do it well within specific industries using the jargon needed to learn and excel professionally.

My leadership will be pivotal in garnering B2B with companies who want to invest in the learning and development of their team members. I believe my proven business background lends significant credibility that businesses will seek as they explore partnering with Wordy Affairs. Additionally, we are already in talks to partner with a complementary EdTech company to provide the much-needed upskilling necessary in most companies today. Thus, Wordy Affairs will provide a 360-degree solution to enhanced communications in the workplace.

The Worlds Times: What benefits are your clients getting from WORDY AFFAIRS in this competitive world?

Luann Parker: Our clients benefit from enhanced communication in their workplace and with their customers which ultimately manifests in greater productivity, confidence, professionalism across team members, more efficient deliverables/outcomes, and greater profitability. In sum, clients are gaining a competitive advantage through these benefits.

The Worlds Times: Would you like to say anything else to our viewers?

Luann Parker:  Thank you for taking the time to learn about Wordy Affairs.  We believe in our mission and are ready to serve you.  Let’s get started today!

Connect with Luann Parker on Linked