2018 Board of Directors Election

As a member, please exercise your right to vote for those who should lead ATD-Orange County Chapter. In order to verify that each voter is eligible to vote, you must put your name on your ballot. Each member is allowed to submit a single ballot. (If more than one ballot is submitted by a member, the last ballot received will be counted as the official ballot.) You may write in candidates. Any write-in candidate(s) must meet the qualifications as stated in the bylaws to be elected.

Anyone who is a current ATD-OC member in good standing and joined on or before September 13 is eligible to vote.

Voting closes Friday, September 15 at 9:00 p.m.

Click here to cast your vote.

Candidates and Statements

2018 President: Jeffrey Hansler (The current President will continue for another year ~ non-elected)

All other candidates and their statements are included below.

Click the position below to go directly to the candidate(s) statement:


Jeffrey Hansler

Jeffrey Hansler is a trusted Organizational and Business Development Consultant with over thirty-five years of talent development experience including: leadership, strategy, persuasion, and management. He is Managing Partner of Oxford Company. Their clients include organizations in construction, education, government, medical, manufacturing, and technology industry.

Jeffrey rejoined ATD-OC in 2014 and the BOD as VP Marketing. He served his next year as President Elect and has served the last two years as ATD-OC President.

Jeffrey sees ATD-OC as an experiential opportunity for talent development individuals to grow their skills, talents, and career opportunities by putting them to test in volunteer activities. ‘The ATD-OC community is where you can advance your skills and experience at an exponential rate through volunteer work in implementation, leadership, design, delivery, and experimentation. His vision is for ATD-OC to lead the way in use of new technology, combined with the most effective learning models, to propel corporate learning value within organizations.

His message ‘Participate and discover where your talents can take you.’

Jeffrey makes free time for scuba, golf, surfing, and freediving with friends and his growing family which now spans four continents.


Susmitha Valvekar

Susmitha Valvekar is a highly motivated human resource professional with  experience in Instruction, Training, Course Content Designing and Facilitating professional development Online, in class and one to one settings. She is proficient with platforms like Blackboard, Canvas, Wimba, Adobe Connect, Big Blue Button, Webex.  She is pro-active in seeking workable solutions to training needs and committed to expanding the scope of teaching and learning via various methods. She is empathetic, dynamic and dedicated trainer who is skilled in working in contemporary virtual realities and creating the necessary atmosphere for online learning successes. For testimonials see - www.linkedin.com/in/susmithavalvekar.

Susmitha, while working as an Instructional Designer, also facilitates HR classrooms  UCLA Extension as an  Instructor,  teaching Elements of Human Resource Management, Human Resources Development and Managing Change in Organizations classes. She has been making significant and valuable contributions, as a researcher, a facilitator, a coach and a coordinator. In addition she is has been actively involved in research with Professor Daniel Van Bogaert, J.D., in the subject of HRM & IT Security Risks in the Workplace.

Her Journey with ATD-OC matched her passion to learn and contribute to the learning society. Her contributions to ATD-OC include creating instructional guides for the Total Trainer Program, managing workshops and as a lead in the monthly events for Change Management. She wants to expand all that she received from the ATD-OC by expanding the embrace of this intellectually infectious community to immediate and community at large.

Susmitha was the Founder and Director of a pre-school where she had overseen successful training and orientation programs for the staff, ranging from content development to delivery, recruiting and administrative processes.

Susmitha has an MA in International Politics from JNU, India, and M.Phil(pre-doctoral degree) in Political Science (focus on international politics) from HCU, India, and Human Resource Administration certification from UCLA Extension. She is an active contributor to ATD-OC and member of Professionals In Human Resources Association (PIHRA).

 Past President

Anthony Harmetz

Anthony Harmetz is a an ATD-OC Past President and longtime chapter volunteer who’s helped with Total Trainer, TMMU, Trainers’ SIG, and other ATD-OC initiatives. Serving on the board as 2018’s Past President, he intends to help the chapter initiate new offerings while bringing a historical perspective to the board.

Currently Anthony is an independent consultant helping organizations with training strategy, instructional design, training delivery, and coaching. Prior to working independently, Anthony spent 13 years establishing and leading the learning function for Bally Total Fitness as Bally’s National Training Director. 

 Chief Financial Officer

Don McGray

Don McGray has over 25 years of management experience in the corporate and military world, in several different industries- Aviation, oil and gas, and Banking. He has managed careers in numerous business lines including Financial Planning, Physical Security, Corporate Security, and Corporate Training. Don has strong leadership skills, business acumen, solid relationship management experience, communication skills, project management experience, consultation, strategic planning, and critical evaluation skills. Don is focused on implementing "best practices" to improve operational profitability in the organization.

As a Management Consultant for his company, Next Step Solutions, Inc., Don uses his business, organizational development, risk management, and training skills to focus on continual process improvement, best practices, and running the department like a business. Don believes that a successful leader must be a business person first and a professional specialist second.

As Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Don will bring his experience, passion and leadership to ASTD-OC (ATD).  His background experience as a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) provides an excellent analytical background for this position. Using his strategic planning experience, Don will look at strategic ways of improving events in the ATD-OC chapter, including monthly learning events, workshops, and membership.

Don and his wife, Robin, moved from Houston, Texas to Huntington Beach in December, 2013 to spend more time with his daughter, her husband and their granddaughter, who is now 11 years old. Don enjoys spending his free time watching his granddaughter play water polo or enjoying time aboard his boat.


Kimberly Goh

Kimberly Goh is an educational leadership and business consultant who helps organizations achieve tangible results. Her specializations include systems thinking, team building, and e-Learning. Kimberly has experience as a facilitator and project leader in both nonprofit and for-profit organizations. She has a deep understanding of industry trends, group dynamics and personal leadership. Kimberly is currently working toward her certification in e-Learning and Instructional Design at the University of California, Irvine (expected completion: summer 2018). 


She is the founder of Stretch Education, a consulting service designed to help educators and business professionals succeed in the digital age. She is the creator of StretchEducation.com and is active on Twitter as @StretchEducate.


As ATD-OC Secretary, Kimberly will capture discussions and decisions during the Board meetings, and will contribute her insights to the organization.

Vice President, Programs

Paul Venderley

Paul has viewed ATD-Orange County as the keystone for his professional development, and has advocated using Chapter resources as a source of information for those seeking to further themselves in this vibrant career. He sees the Chapter Programs as a launching point for a larger talent development discussion, either within the Chapter community or without, among peers and other TD professionals.

Even as you cast your vote, Paul's planning the 2018 MLE Calendar, and would like to hear from you regarding what would make our Learning Events meaningful to you!

Please share your ideas/wants/needs in this Learning Event Survey.

 Vice President, Marketing

Eileen Azzara

Eileen Azzara is a talent development leader with over 15 years internal and external consulting experience. Her areas of expertise include 360 feedback, leadership development, organizational assessment, individual assessment, talent planning & analytics, performance management, training, surveys, employee selection, and competency modeling.  She’s held several talent development program manager and consulting roles in a Fortune 250 company working on programs for leadership assessment, talent & succession planning, corporate training, performance management, and human capital reporting. She’s consulted in a variety of industries including financial services, manufacturing, retail, government, biotechnology, hospitality, automotive, and utilities.

Eileen blends a strategic and practical approach to develop and implement talent development solutions that work. Currently she is Director of Consulting & Marketing for Fast Mirror, a cloud-based platform that helps employees get actionable feedback and create meaningful development plans. In this role she oversees development of all content, writes the company blog, and leads the marketing strategy. With a background in industrial / organizational psychology, she balances scientific rigor with practical application to develop products that facilitate career development in a modern, realistic way while maintaining professional standards. This role also requires to her keep up with the ongoing changes talent development professionals are currently experiencing. 

With the recent rebranding of ATD to a more holistic talent development organization, Eileen is excited by the opportunity to apply her varied background to the VP Marketing role. As an entrepreneur with internal and external consulting experience, she’s excited by the opportunity to help the chapter expand program content to include new and emerging areas of interest to chapter members and the OC talent development community. She also looks forward to applying her operational experiencing managing large-scale corporate training and development programs to deliver a variety of types of events.

Eileen takes a strategic approach to program management and would do the same in this role.   

Eileen holds a M.S. in Industrial / Organizational Psychology from San Diego State University and a B.S. in General Studies from New York Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys participating in fitness activities, wine tasting, and spending time with her two welsh corgis.

Vice President, Membership

Dena Gunsolley
Dena Gunsolley has well over 15 years of Public and Community Service. She has strong working relationships in the Corporate Private Sector as well as the Public one.  Currently she serves on the Learning and Organizational Development Team for the CEO’s office of The County of Orange.  Previous to working at The County, Dena served in the Laguna Beach Police Department as a Police Aide with a focus on Community Service and Safety. Dena is comfortable with large and small groups of people as their Leader or as their Support.

Her Philanthropic work includes Board Positions on School Site Council, PTA, and Distinguished School Committee for Riverside County and Laguna Beach School Districts. She has held previous roles as Vice President of Membership and welcomes the opportunity to do so for Atd.

Dena is a dedicated wife and mother. She is married to her husband Brian for twenty years and they have two children, their son, Nolan, a UCLA Electrical Engineering Major, and daughter Kaitlin, a Junior at Laguna Beach High School.

Vice President,
Professional Development

Tom Mayer

Tom Mayer is Director of Professional Services @ eGennaker. He specializes in Business Process Optimization using Enterprise Content Management technology to assist clients in optimizing and automating business processes. He integrates Enterprise Content Management solutions that meet specific business needs of our clients. With extensive experience in implementing client software training, he ensures clients have an easy way to understand today’s technologies.

Tom combines a unique analytical and training background in the areas of healthcare and software technologies. Bringing daily practice of connecting with CFOs and controllers at mid-size companies in the Southwest; he enjoys connecting with client organizations and their business leaders. He looks to accelerate workplace commitment, performance and results.

As VP, Professional Development, Tom will bring experience, passion and leadership to ATD-OC (ATD).  He is ready to demonstrate how he will invigorate the board, and will showcase thoughtful, relevant professional development for all chapter member colleagues.  Tom will help realize the chapter’s vision of a pre-planned, pre-scheduled, integrated professional development offer including emerging technologies and learning. 

Skilled at communicating with business leaders to share ideas and implement Training and Development, Tom expects to introduce key speakers in the Training and Employee Development to entertain and educate chapter members, their organizations and National ATD.  We’ll explore and expand ASTD-OC’s professional development offerings—ensure we open up opportunity to learn more from our community business leaders.

Tom enjoys hiking, biking and traveling. Grew up in the Midwest (Ohio) and now has lived in Southern California for 25 years.

 Vice President,
Talent Management

Erica Beggan

Erica has trained thousands within her professional tenure through her work within municipal government, non-profit organizations and for-profit education. She has coached industry experts from companies such as Better Engineering, Prana, Kingston, Hyundai, Dell & Intel, as well as TEDx Speakers. Recently, she’s decided to take her brand of Training & Development to an internal client in Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar as their Senior Training Specialist.

Never settling in her own professional development, Erica acquired her Certificate of Completion in the Total Trainer: Creating Training course as well as achieving Distinguished Toastmaster (DTM) from Toastmasters International (only 1-2% of all Toastmasters world-wide become DTMs) this year. Previously, she’s obtained an undergraduate degree in Sociology, including a Minor in Speech Communications, from California State University – Long Beach, as well as certificates from the National Association of Colleges & Employers’ Career Coaching Intensive, and the Dale Carnegie Course: Skills for Success.

Erica considers herself as having a unique, "one foot in, and one foot out" Learning & Development perspective since she’s been doing this work naturally in every stage of her professional career, even without the title or the benefit of working within an L&D team. This non-traditional experience gives her the ability to try the unexpected to gain real-world understanding of approaches that can be integrated into building successful programs.

Her passion for training & coaching is one of her Superpowers, as she calls it, which propelled her to becoming a guest speaker for ATD-OC, giving trainings and presentations to the Trainers’ and Biz SIGs, and at a Monthly Learning Event (MLE). She also gave of her services as an Assistant Trainer for the Total Trainer: Delivering Training course last year. Her dedication to the chapter resulted in becoming Volunteer of the Month, and identified as someone who could help navigate a new board through a new year.

As VP, Talent Development Erica’s ready to continue to support ATD-OC and define new successes for the chapter by locating and harnessing other members’ superpowers!  She’s eager to build upon the strength of legacy best practices, and add to it by engaging disruptive ideas that may help to propel the chapter into a growth phase. Just because it hasn’t been done, doesn’t mean it can’t be done!

Erica’s looking forward to being of service to her peers and to the chapter she’s call ‘home’ for the past 4 years.

 Vice President, Technology

Gillian Wilson

I have been the VP of Technology since April 2017, and I’m looking forward to continuing on with this position in 2018. My initial goals of leading and facilitating the enhancement and optimization of the Web content, and add on tools such as Google Analytics and Google Drive, are progressing well. For 2018 I want to dive deeper into ways of reaching out to the Orange County business community, in conjunction with other members of the Board, with an aim of engaging local companies more, and helping to grow the ATD Orange County Chapter membership.

I have a PhD in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, and relocated from the UK to Orange County over 10 years ago. Since coming to this wonderful area I have diversified, and have been working in HRIS and learning and development with large organizations such as Allergan, Broadcom, and First American. I was the lead LMS administrator for 7 years at Allergan/Broadcom, and I received the ATD Master Instructional Designer certification in 2016. I first joined the ATD Orange County Chapter in late 2015, and immediately stepped up to volunteer. I was the manager of the Storyline Advanced Workshop in June 2016, and helped with the Gamification Workshop in September of the same year. I am excited to have the opportunity to continue with the ATD Orange County Chapter Board, and enhance the ATD Orange County Chapter membership experience.

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