First-ever virtual Love’s University class celebrates graduation

First-ever virtual Love’s University class celebrates graduation

screenshot of Love's Travel Stops managers on a zoom/webex call

With COVID-19 impacting learning trends around the world, we learned how the Love's learning & development team planned and executed the first ever virtual Love's University class.

This group of 23 store leaders celebrated their graduation as trailblazers of this new way to train. During seven weeks of virtual training, the group gained new skills, learned what it takes to run a successful travel stop and learned more about Love's operations and culture.

"I'm proud of Love's for coming up with a way to keep Love's U going and not allowing the pandemic to stop the program," said Love's Travel Stop General Manager Misty Beutler. "I'm so glad I was a part of the first-ever virtual Love's U."

Traditionally, managers fly in from stores all over the country for up to five days of training, which equips them to be successful at their jobs and learn what it means to be a Love's leader.

"I am one of the fortunate managers who got to experience traditional Love's U when I become a restaurant general manager, so I was worried about not getting to see people face-to-face and how virtual classes were going to disrupt our ability to form new relationships and network," Beutler said.

Anxiety quickly turned into excitement as virtual Love's U began to prove itself as a unique and engaging opportunity for managers to learn and grow.

"The initial disappointment I had didn't last long because the most important part of Love’s U is attaining the information to be a successful manager, not necessarily the location of the classes, and virtual Love's U definitely delivered," Love's General Manager Willie Walker said.

Beutler and Walker both were impressed and pleased with their ability to implement lessons immediately after class as a great advantage of virtual Love's U.

"One of our first classes centered around the book The One Minute Manger. I was able to take some of the ideas from the book and other participants and implemented them in my store immediately," Beutler said.

As the participants celebrate graduation, it's evident the group believes virtual Love's U is a sustainable and promising way to train employees in the future.

"The learning & development team did an awesome job with the cards they were dealt," Walker said. "The ability to recognize the need to keep training managers to be successful even through the pandemic and actually execute it is a testament to their dedication to their mission."

Love's Manager of Learning & Development Keith Varner celebrated the graduates and said his team learned a lot from the group.

"I am very proud of all of our virtual Love's U graduates. I told them on the first day they were trailblazers in a new learning environment," Varner said. "They have taught us as much as we have hopefully taught them, and future virtual training programs will be better because of these managers and their active participation in this course."

Congratulations, graduates! Thank you for all you do.

Virtual Love's U travel stop class - August 2020

  • General Manager Steve Barr-Love's 765 in Commerce, Georgia
  • General Manager Ed Bayliss-Love's 759 in Hazen, Arkansas
  • General Manager Misty Beulter-Love's 625 in Sidney, Nebraska
  • General Manager Gino Galeaz-Love's 687 in Jacksonville, Illinois
  • General Manager Victor Gonzalez-Love's 749 in Westmorland, California
  • General Manager Shiron Hamlin-Love's 560 in Franklin, Virginia
  • General Manager Brian Hefel-Love's 752 in Elkhom, Wisconsin
  • General Manager Chris Hert-Love's 247 in Memphis, Texas
  • General Manager Paige Hough-Love's 694 in Eastview, Tennessee
  • General Manager Michael Love-Love's 720 in Boyce, Louisiana
  • General Manager Miguel Mendoza-Love's 410 in Coming, California
  • General Manager Billie Moreno-Love's 411 in Des Moines, Iowa
  • Operations Manager Justin Mufalli-Love's 495 in Fort Myers, Florida
  • General Manager Matthew O'Neal-Love's 738 in Sulphur Spring, Texas
  • General Manager Brandon Porter-Love's 604 in Guthrie, Oklahoma
  • General Manager Justin Raydo-Love's 382 in Tulare, California
  • General Manager Jimmy Richardson-Love's 471 in Natalia, Texas
  • General Manager Michael Shannon-Love's 424 in Lexington, South Carolina
  • General Manager Aaron Thomsen-Love's 213 in Tonkawa, Oklahoma
  • General Manager Willie Walker-Love's 420 in Flowood, Mississippi
  • General Manager Darren Watson-Love's 790 in Summerton, South Carolina
  • General Manager Tom Wilkerson-Love's 743 in Bridgeport, Michigan
  • General Manager Kathy Wittman-Love's 757 in Milan, Michigan