Chapter Connections

Welcome to Chapter Connections, your Community Hub for everything related to our Chapter's journey. More than just a space for reading, it's where you'll find the heartbeat of our community—connecting you to the insights, stories, and opportunities that empower your professional development.

  • 04/05/2024 1:06 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    We’re driven by the transformative power of knowledge sharing and community engagement. So it’s not enough to host an event for our members; we want to capture the essence of our meetings and document it so others might catch a glimpse of the insights and ideas their peers received.  We’re looking for a person to fill a role which we could call “Writer,” but are thinking of calling: “Chapter Correspondent,” or “Event Historian.” 

    We're looking for:

    •  Someone who can capture the key points/takeaways from our events and share them with our community 

    •  Someone who will determine how our members benefitted from an event and share those ideas with our community

    In this role, you will explore how our events catalyze personal and professional growth. You’ll highlight the journey of our members from learners to leaders. 

    What Skills You Will Develop and Enhance


    • Skill in conceiving, developing, and delivering information in various formats and media, for example reports, briefings, memorandums, presentations, articles, and emails.

    • Skill in using communication strategies that inform and influence audiences.

    • Skill in expressing thoughts, feelings, and ideas in a clear, concise, and compelling manner.

    Lifelong Learning

    • Knowledge of resources for career exploration and lifelong learning for self and others.

    (Do these skills sound familiar? They should. They're directly linked to ATD’s capabilities model.)

    Here are some examples of previous articles.

    Future articles don’t need to be exactly like these.  Those were created by one person, with their own style. You will be encouraged to write in your own recognizable voice and let it grow. 

    If you are interested in developing your written voice or are motivated by the opportunity to make a significant impact through your writing and storytelling, we warmly invite you to join our team as... 

    “Chapter Correspondent?” 

    “Event Historian?” 

    We’ll let you decide.

    Fill out a Volunteer Interest Form or just email your interest at

  • 03/31/2024 3:03 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    Contributing Author: Kim-Khue Chieffo

    Kim Hayashi began her session: Designing and Facilitating High Impact Custom Learning & Development Programs by having us consider what we focus on when first creating a training program:

    1. Effective timing or effective methods?
    2. Getting to know the audience, or ensuring everyone learns all the pertinent information?
    3. Using great content, or great facilitation?

    The consensus was: it depends.

    Kim didn’t necessarily disagree with any of the insights we shared in response to her questions, but she did challenge us to consider a different perspective about content.

    “There are three types of content,” Kim shared. “There’s content that’s a good fit for your audience, content that is a bad fit, and content that they’ve heard before.” Each type of content creates a different attitude in our audience.

    How do we choose the right content?

    We ask questions.

    Kim backed up her approach with a bit of instructional design science:

    • Acknowledge Risk — Design to build trust and create the right environment to manage your audience’s perception of risk so they are mentally, physically, and emotionally able to continue learning with you.
    • Apply the Group Development Model — Identify which stage the class might be in. Storming? Forming? How do you get them to Norming, where they can begin to assimilate the skills and techniques you are sharing?
    • Consider Both The Developed Self and the Core Self — Kim acknowledges that most people attending a learning event will be displaying their developed self - the one that is trained to come to work and look and be successful. But she challenges us to consider the underlying values that our learners may have which influence their developed self and find ways to design with those values in mind.

    With these disciplines in mind, the great facilitator will keep the audience at the forefront of everything talent development related. Here, Kim recalled the discussion at the start of the session: we may not always have the opportunity to know our audience in advance. Taking a few minutes at the beginning of training for question-based activities to help us assess our audience is key.

    She demonstrated this, by the way, not by producing a poll in which we recited the length of our training careers or the type of training we design, but by asking us to state three to five words that represent how we facilitate.

    In doing so, she acknowledged that we all were skilled and experienced at what we do (of course! We’re ATD-OC!). Within the first ten minutes of an already active session, Kim had mentally adjusted how much of the science she would introduce and how much of the meat of the matter she would discuss.
    This had immediate results: we wanted to hear what she had to say.

    By facilitating around the needs of your audience, you create immediate impact.

    Which is what we want in our classes.

    We want our audience to do three things with the content we provide them:

    We want them to hear the content.

    We want them to want the content.

    We want them to use the content.

    By ensuring that the audience feels as though they belong in your class, they will want to hear the content, and they will want the content. From there, it’s up to our facilitation skills to want them to use the content.

    For Kim, low-impact content can be fixed. An agenda can be changed on the fly. But facilitation? Bad facilitation can ruin even the greatest content.

    For Kim, high-impact content requires a great facilitator who knows where the audience is in order to be effective.

    For Kim, high-impact content requires starting with the people.

  • 03/23/2024 9:41 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    The ATD-OC Board is constantly seeking ways to help you connect with peers and mentors in the field, invest in your professional development, and grow! At the heart of those efforts are our Programs and Professional Development Teams.

    As the Vice President of Programs, Richa Mukherjee spearheads the development, coordination, and implementation of engaging educational initiatives, networking events, and skill-enhancement opportunities for our community. Her experiences in the L&D field have spanned across four continents, with 21 years of experience leading, designing, developing, and implementing learning strategy and solutions.

    Why did you join the ATD-Orange County Board?

    I joined the ATD Orange County board because of my unwavering passion for Talent development. The opportunity to contribute to a community that shares this enthusiasm was a resistible, and being part of the board allows me to actively shape the future of our profession.

    What do you I hope to get out of this role?

    Serving on the board will provide a platform to make a difference. I want to influence decisions, drive results and contribute to the growth of talent development in our region. By collaborating with other board members, I can directly impact the experiences of the ATD orange county members.

    The board offers a unique learning environment, and I gain insights from fellow board members, industry, experts, and thought leaders. The networking opportunities are valuable as I connect with professionals, who inspire me and challenge my thinking.

    Joining the board is my way of giving back. In the past I have benefited from ATD Resources, events and community and now I have the chance to contribute my skills, knowledge, and time to enhance the Organization for others. I joined the ATD Orange County board because I believe in its vision to elevate talent, development practices, and empower professionals and I hope to leave a positive legacy, knowing I contributed to something meaningful.

    What is your proudest accomplishment of the past year?

    Last year was filled with many memorable experiences and accomplishments both at work, and personally. Some of my cherished memories are around driving key leadership development projects for established and senior leaders at Edwards Lifesciences, globally. The opportunity to travel across the world helping business leaders was an enriching experience. Outside of work I continued to do keynotes on leadership development topics, philanthropic activities and spend quality time with my family and friends. I am a grateful for an amazing last year and looking forward to a wonderful year ahead!

    Richa Mukherjee's Member Profile

  • 03/20/2024 12:54 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    The ability to create meaningful and impactful learning experiences is priceless. Every day, talent development professionals face the challenge of not just imparting knowledge, but truly engaging their audience, fostering an environment where learning is not just memorized but internalized and applied. This calls for a blend of understanding the learners' needs, creating the right environment, building rapport, and using appropriate delivery options to make learning engaging and effective​​.

    Imagine possessing the skills to not only facilitate learning but to do so in a way that feels natural, seamless, and profoundly impactful. Imagine leading classes that attendees look forward to participating in, rather than (sometimes reluctantly) showing up and checking off a box.

    High-impact facilitation can be the catalyst that sparks not just interest but transformation within each participant. 

    This month's Learning Event facilitator, Kim Hayashi, founded Leadership Inspirations on a mission to create an army of fabulous facilitators with the ability to design leadership development programs and adapt to anything in order to serve a group’s true needs.  She'll combine that same mission with her years of experience in her session: Designing and Facilitating High-Impact Custom L&D Programs.

    Join us in an event where you'll not only learn but experience a transformative journey in training delivery and facilitation.  This interactive, instantly applicable session will arm you with the knowledge and tools to elevate your facilitator game. Here’s what you’ll leave with:

    • The Knowledge to Facilitate Experiences: Learn how to create learning experiences that are intentional, engaging, and maximize your audience's potential.

    • A Stronger Understanding of Your Style: Gain insights into individual design and facilitation styles, and understand how they impact your process.

    • Increased Knowledge: Discover how your style affects your design and facilitation, and how to adapt for greater effectiveness.

    • Practical Takeaways and Tips: Walk away with actionable advice on how to custom design programs that resonate and engage​​.

    Whether you're looking to refine your skills in designing custom programs, seeking to enhance your understanding of the complex dynamics of facilitation, or aiming to apply theoretical knowledge more effectively in your practice, this session is tailored for you​​.

    Don't Miss Out - Reserve Your Spot Today!

    Designing and Facilitating High-Impact Custom L&D Programs will be held on Wednesday, March 27, starting at 6:00 PM.  

    Secure your place now and take a new step towards creating learning experiences that are not just educational but transformative.

    #InvestInYou #GrowWithUs

  • 03/16/2024 12:25 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    In her role as Chapter President, Lynn perceives ATD-OC as a valuable platform for Learning and Development professionals to enrich their understanding of the field. Leading the Board of Directors, she ensures that the chapter has access to diverse programs, networking opportunities, and avenues for continuous learning. Recently, we had the opportunity to engage with Lynn to glean insights through a series of questions.

    Why did you join the ATD-Orange County Board?

    I joined the ATD Orange County Board in 2019 as Vice President of Talent Development because I was interested in volunteering in a leadership role. At the time I was in the middle of a career pivot and searching for a new job. In 2021 I became President Elect, In this role I supported the President in achieving the chapter goals, which prepare for the position of President in 2023. It’s been an action packed six years on the Board and I’ve learned a lot about leadership, non-profits, and volunteer run organizations.

    What did you get out of your role?

    My role as Chapter President has helped me gain experience leading leaders, developing strategy, and working with the board to find creative ways to accomplish our goals. Professionally, it’s increased my confidence in leadership situations and talking with leaders in my career.

    What is your proudest accomplishment of the past year?

    In 2023 I attended ATD ICE for the first time in San Diego. This might not sound like an accomplishment but in previous years I’d always found a reason not to attend. (Too busy at work, too expensive, too busy at home with the kids) In 2023 I made it a priority, finally! I met so many people in person I’d only met online. People from across the US, who I met while getting my CPTD certification, speakers who had lead sessions for our chapter, our National Advisor to Chapters (NAC), and industry thought leaders. (I took a selfie with Britt Andreatta!) I attended every Keynote, Networking Night, and several sessions each day. I caught up with chapter members that I hadn’t seen in months, or in one or two cases, years! It was a whirlwind of experience and I did my best to make the most of every opportunity.

    View Lynn Nissen's Member Profile

  • 03/15/2024 11:39 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    Contributing Authors: Denise Ross, Cyndi Nagel, Paul Venderley

    “According to PwC’s annual CEO Survey, business leaders recognize the need to increase their organizations’ ability to learn and innovate.” “CEOs also are seeking greater creativity from employees. One CEO in our survey described creativity as "a skill that is always in need." “Learning executives must understand the technological capabilities needed for future business growth.”

    The above quotes came from an ATD article - Creating Value with Talent Strategies - published nine years ago. Their sentiments are echoed today as business leaders continue to examine the disruptive technologies and question how they can utilize them to better achieve their own organizational goals.

    How do we, as talent development professionals, support business leaders in developing innovation and creative mindsets in their organizations? Perhaps by reminding people that:

    "Innovation does not come from the well-worn path."

    Of the myriad insights shared by David Patrick at last week’s InsightXplore, this is the one that my mind was able to process best.

    When we try to innovate, he asks, do we base our ideas on a flawed model? Do we tackle problems that have been analyzed until any further advancement would result in an incremental increase in efficiency? Or do we build upon an inspiration that picks apart the existing models?

    For David, the inspiration that picked apart the existing models was one singular revelation: “The universe is spinning on three axes.” And from that motion the universe created six essential shapes that we see in the natural world around us.

    "An innovation-friendly culture gives its people the freedom to imagine the unimaginable. The next big idea can come from anyone and anywhere, and failure is considered a learning opportunity."

    David described innovation as a journey of constant failure. The idea may “fall out of the clear blue sky,” but manifesting the idea in a method that others can understand takes work and persistence. After his initial discovery, David’s pursuit was to create a model of a simple sphere rotating on three axes. His fantastic models and inventions, while remarkable, were at their heart practical applications to prove his premise correct.

    Throughout his work, David validated if he was on the right track by asking:

    1. Is this unique?  
      Stay off the well-worn path.
    2. Is this simple?
      Don't overcomplicate the solution. 
    3. Does this cover everything without exception?
    In some cases, David didn’t have the technology to adequately represent the patterns he was envisioning. In other cases, he just needed to turn his inventions onto a different axis in order to manifest their benefit. However, he viewed each failure as a step towards his goal; a challenge to explore a new field or technology that would give him the tools he needed to succeed.

    Allow that journey to unfold, and you'll have it in you to uncover the secrets of the universe.

    How does this relate to talent development?

    1. Question existing models. Models work and premises are true, until they don't and aren't and a different way of looking at things is discovered.
      At one point in time, the well-worn path asserted the earth was flat.

    2. If something doesn't seem to fit or make sense any longer, explore other perspectives. There are other people in other fields who may be studying concepts similar to yours.
      David provided a fascinating example of the shape of an electron and how it is defined using the Standard Model vs. quantum mechanics.

    3. Don't be afraid of change. Embrace it. How can you use technological disruptions to your advantage?
      The example here, of course, is AI, a tool that can make us more efficient, but not replaceable. How can we use AI to inspire, to initiate change within our own processes?

    David Patrick shares his inspirations with ATDOC members

    I’ve got to take some time to process the remainder of what was shared that night. Fortunately, David Patrick is very giving of his time, offering to continue the discussion any time we want to visit.  “I want medicine to change. I want energy to change,” he tells us. “I want everything to change.” This is how he intends to do that.

  • 03/13/2024 10:30 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    Paul started with ATD-Orange County as the Vice President of Communications some years ago. Since then he’s been the VP of Technology, Chapter President, Programs VP, and now VP of Marketing. He’s already activated an aggressive plan to ensure our Chapter Members remain informed via our various social media channels (“Like! Share! Comment! We’d love to hear from you!” he tells us). We asked him about his plans for the Marketing position.

    Why did you join the ATD-Orange County Board?

    I had some ideas for the Chapter and I wanted to see if they would make a difference.

    Like what?

    When I started with ATD-OC, we had a newsletter that shared the thoughts and ideas of our members with our membership, as well as promoted Chapter events and the other Chapter business. I think that was a special part of ATD-OC, a means of connecting our community by tapping into and spreading the expertise of our members. The idea of ATD-OC has always been to leverage a strong community of learning and development professionals with each other so that we can be better than the sum of our parts. I’m seeking ways to bring that back.

    What did you get out of your role?

    I’ve always viewed ATD-OC as a sandbox in which I can test my ideas and the best practices that I glean from ATD research. ATD National promotes some exciting ideas and best practices, but I need a place to pilot those ideas before I try to roll them out at work or with a client. ATD-OC is willing to let me try stuff like that here, although they may have to tamper my exuberance a bit.

    What is your proudest accomplishment of the past year?

    I spent the latter half of 2023 trying to resurrect the and Technology Special Interest Group. I’m pleased to say that it's coming back strong this year with a chance for our members to experience some mixed and virtual reality training applications (you can read a brief summary what our members experienced here). We’ll be following that up with a panel discussion on the impact of AI in L&D. We just lined up our third panelist. Following that, we’ll be returning to our roots, tapping into finding ways for our members to apply the stuff everyone’s talking about.

    Paul Venderley's Member Profile

  • 03/11/2024 10:52 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    How can immersive technology aid in the achievement of learning objectives? That's what the Training and Technology SIG asked in last month's meeting exploring extended reality.

    The group met at the CraneMorley offices, where a team of instructional designers with experience creating mixed reality and virtual reality training interventions showed off the various projects they had worked on.

    After a networking event that got everyone talking (once they translated what they had been prompted to talk about), participants were given a quick introduction to what extended reality covers and then split into two groups. 

    One group experienced L&D content created using mixed reality tools within the Hololens 2.  The other group experienced L&D content in virtual reality via the Meta Quest 2. The groups swapped midway through the event.

    As participants experienced the training courses in each of these mediums, they saw how both mixed reality and virtual reality take advantage of the ability to augment or completely change the environment in which the learner exists to provide more engaging and resonant learning opportunities.

    TTSIG attendees discussing and experiencing how Mixed Reality applications can support L&D initiatives.

    Learning Objectives achieved in the Mixed Reality content:

    • Spatially locate HVAC components within a Porsche 911
    • Connect and assemble a residential meter set assembly
    • Locate the position of underground gas lines within two inches

    Learning Objectives achieved in the Virtual Reality content:

    • Explain and perform shoulder dystocia resolution maneuvers
    • Reduce the associated risks when working on or near electrified propulsion vehicles

    “We’ve heard a lot about XR, but this is the first time we’ve had the chance to see it in an L&D environment,” said one participant.

    "It was really great to connect in person, and actually experience how these tools can work in person, rather than watching a video," shared another.  "It was cool."

    What’s next for the Training and Technology SIG?

    “Recently, KPMG published a report in which business leaders shared their opinion that the top three emerging technologies that will have the biggest impact on their business over the next year will be Generative AI, 5G, and Augmented Reality.  We’ve tackled augmented reality, so we figured next we’ll look at Generative AI,” said SIG Leader Paul Venderley. 

    “However, at our heart, we’re focused on training solutions that can be applied to the bulk of the organizations with which we work.”

    Linked in this post: AR Icebreaker used to kick off the event.

    You can learn more about the Training and Technology SIG here.

  • 03/07/2024 12:00 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    Effective talent management involves planning for future leadership and other critical roles within the organization. Within ATD-Orange County, it also means identifying and matching our members to professional development opportunities available within our Chapter.

    Our new VP of Talent Management, Taylor Dickey, loves helping people land their dream job, and is excited to collaborate with our members to connect them to invaluable roles within the Chapter that will help them grow and master their own skills. With years of experience as a recruiter through a wide variety of industries, Taylor brings with her the tools and experience(and the energy!) to help you make the most out of your involvement with ATD-OC. In this installment of Meet the Board, we invite you to meet Taylor Dickey and hear her perspectives on her role in our Chapter as Vice President of Talent Management.

    Why did you join the ATD-Orange County Board?

    I was introduced to ATD-OC by a dear friend named Susmitha Valvekar, who reached out to me about this exciting opportunity. The idea of being part of a board has always resonated with me, and ATD-OC appeared to be the perfect fit, with its shared values and promising beginnings.

    What do you hope to get out of your role?

    In this role, I hope to gain valuable experience and insights that will not only contribute to the success of this organization but also help me grow both professionally and personally. I'm eager to collaborate with talented individuals, learn from their expertise, and make meaningful contributions to our community.

    What is your proudest accomplishment of the past year?

    Upon joining a new organization I led a project to revamp our recruitment process, implementing new strategies and tools that resulted in a remarkable reduction in time to hire. This improvement not only enabled us to secure top talent more swiftly but also contributed to cost savings and increased productivity within the organization.

    Check out Taylor’s Membership Profile for more info.

  • 02/29/2024 12:10 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    The opening sentences of the BizSIG web page show an inclusive invitation to pretty much everyone in our Chapter. “The BizSIG serves the needs of internal and external organizational development practitioners. If you are a facilitator, trainer, instructional designer, organizational development specialist, manager, coach, consultant…the BizSIG is for YOU!”

    But still, the abbreviation at the start of the SIG’s name — “Biz” — may throw some of those internal and external OD practitioners off.  We joined ATD-OC for Learning and Development skills, right? 

    “When I joined ASTD in 1990 for business and skill development,” shared BizSIG leader Jeffrey Hansler. “I quickly realized the value of executive business and organizational skills alongside L&D expertise.”

    While there are multiple roles in organizational development, all of them focus on skill development and growth of individuals improving the organizations they serve.  This requires not just L&D skills, but business skills — perhaps explaining why the ‘Impacting Organizational Capability’ component of the ATD Capability Model includes segments on: 

    • Business Insight

    • Consulting and Business Partnering

    • Organization and Development Culture

    I proposed the BizSIG in 2014 to elevate L&D professionals through executive business and skill development,” recalls Jeffrey. “Economic pressures often lead organizations to cut L&D activities first, affecting compensation levels. BizSIG equips professionals with essential skills to advance economically and professionally, both independently and internally.”

    The ATD Capability Model also contains a segment titled: “Future Readiness,” and perhaps it is here where the BizSIG shines. Jeffrey continually experiments with content, delivery, pricing, media, presenters, topics, and design of the group.

    • In 2015 they experimented with hybrid meeting formats. Years before the pandemic you may have seen Jeffrey applying those formats to our Learning Events as well!

    • For 2022, the BizSIG innovated again, with a mastermind format and Spotlight Program. 

    • And in 2024, the BizSIG continues its innovation with the InsightXplore series, a series of meetings bringing together a select group of forward-thinking individuals for a transformative learning experience.

    “BizSIG's programs, covering hybrid skills, communication, business development, finance, podcasting, marketing, AI, C-Suite insights, foster innovation and success.” says Jeffrey.  “Despite CEO surveys highlighting a gap between L&D efforts and organizational success, BizSIG alumni flourish by applying learned skills.”

    Stay in touch with ATD-OC to see how Jeffrey continues to innovate with his BizSIG program.

    If you’re ready to embark on a journey of growth and innovation, register for the inaugural InsightXplore meeting this Thursday, March 14.

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