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.

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  • 04/21/2024 6:38 AM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    We are thrilled to announce James Skee as our Volunteer of the Spring 2024 Quarter! James has served as a Certification Manager in the Multi-Chapter CPTD Study Group, helping to prepare our members to site for the CPTD exam.  In addition, he’s served on the Chapter Finance Committee since 2023, where he is developing visualizations to help the finance team clearly communicate the Chapter’s financial health. 

    A Director of Learning & Development at NexusTek – a Managed Services Provider focusing on the mid-size market in North America – James chose to volunteer with ATD-OC not only to “give back to the Talent Development community, but also to apply the principles of L&D.” He views volunteering as a practical arena to leverage and expand his skills beyond his full-time role, embodying the true spirit of learning through service.

    Connect with James at an upcoming Learning Event to explore how you can also invest in yourself and grow within our community. Or perhaps be inspired to follow a similar path of volunteerism and professional growth in our own journeys.

    James D. Skee is Director of Learning & Development at NexusTek, a Managed Services Provider focusing on the mid-size market in North America. Prior to joining NexusTek in 2018, he worked for 10 years in higher ed and secondary education, and 12 years in Information Technology. James has taught courses in History of Business, History of Science, and Science, Technology & Society (STS) at UC Berkeley and Hult International Business School. He earned both his MA and PhD at UC Berkeley.

  • 04/11/2024 4:42 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    In an ATD article titled: Beyond Gamification, professor Karl M. Kapp suggested that gamification might not be a solution for building employee engagement. 

    “Many gamification efforts focus on cute characters, meaningless point systems, and leaderboards, which only the top 10 people care about,” writes Dr. Kapp. “Unless gamification is part of a larger strategy or a more focused effort, it will not have the success an organization hopes to achieve in terms of employee engagement.”

    Jonathan Peters, Ph.D., would agree. He peppered the start of his webinar: “The Four ‘Levels’ of Gamification Implementation in Learning Experiences” with a few game mechanics: the opportunity to collect badges, a chance to win a gamification surveyor certification workshop, and a chance to lose the previous opportunity if you don’t have enough badges.  Then he asked us to think about the experience.  How long would he have been able to motivate us and keep us motivated?

    The majority of participants were motivated up until we had earned three badges, which was the threshold for qualifying for the workshop registration. 

    If badges and points and leaderboards is all we have when it comes to gamification, he informed us during a Gamification of Learning webinar, “We can expect that we won’t get results over time.  It might make something more interesting, and it feels fun, but what we know from the research is that it doesn’t last over time.”

    Badges and points and leaderboards provide a cosmetic level of gamification, Dr. Peters shared. These game mechanics have no impact to the course and are easily ignored once the learners figure out how to game the system.

    The higher levels of gamification are:


    Helps the learning happen by gamifying an element of learning so people can pass a test.


    The game becomes part of the experience.  There is no separation from the material and the gamification elements.


    The gamification elements become the “raison d’etre” of learning. 

    To reach that immersive level, Dr. Peters shares a 30 point path that incorporates deliberate, purposeful consideration of game mechanics to ensure the resulting product doesn’t feel superficial or meaningless, but rather guides the learners towards achieving a mutual objective.

    And of course, they lay out those steps in a game format.

    Dr. Peters will walk you through this path during next month’s Gamification Certification workshop.  This program is like no conference or workshop you’ve attended. The Sententia Gamification LIVE Certification is a complete immersion experience designed to leave you creatively inspired and technically masterful.

    Learn More About Our Upcoming Workshop:

    Gamification Certification: A Learning and Design Adventure Through the Fundamentals of Gamification for Learning

  • 04/09/2024 10:14 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    "If you’ve ever been pitted against colleagues during corporate online training or started a new job where the health and safety compliance course involved quiz questions to progress through a series of levels, then you’re familiar with gamification. Gartner has defined gamification as “the use of game mechanics and experience design to digitally engage and motivate people to achieve their goals.” In other words, gamification uses gaming elements in a nongame context, which could be any situation where engaging people with an instructive process is necessary. Examples include recruitment, company inductions, brand loyalty schemes—or e-learning."

    Read the complete article: Gamification in E-Learning: How Does It Work? at (

    We've got a full-day workshop on gamification the first Saturday of May.

  • 04/07/2024 12:29 PM | Paul Venderley (Administrator)

    The California Young Professionals Special Interest Group is a collaborative community of young learning and talent development professionals from the ATD Los Angeles, ATD Orange County, ATD San Diego, and ATD Golden Gate Chapters. This SIG is co-led by Jessica Del Rosario Dent, a learning and talent development professional with experience in both corporate and higher education.  We asked Jessica a few questions about her journey to becoming the leader of this group.

    What personal experiences or beliefs drive your passion for the group's focus?

    Jessica: When I was attempting to enter into the corporate learning and talent development space, I often heard from recruiters that the companies I applied to were seeking candidates with "more experience" than I had. Ironically, gaining "more experience" becomes a challenge when companies are reluctant to hire you due to a perceived lack of it. This dilemma is a common concern for many young professionals or those aiming to shift their career paths.

    This experience motivated me to create an environment that nurtures growth, encourages the sharing of knowledge, and supports the professional development of its members, all while addressing the challenge of gaining the necessary experience to advance in our chosen careers.

    How do you foster a sense of community and collaboration among SIG members, especially when addressing unique challenges of leading a multi-chapter SIG?

    Jessica:  It’s all about creating opportunities for authentic connections.

    In our events, we prioritize intentional networking by encouraging thoughtful discussions and fun personal questions, aiming to make connections meaningful. Attendees are urged to stay in touch via LinkedIn, fostering professional relationships beyond the event. 

    Similarly, as representatives, our collaboration is both deliberate and proactive. Recognizing that everyone has busy schedules, celebrates life events, or life just happens, it's essential to be understanding, while also remaining flexible. Beyond our professional collaborations, we value our personal connections by sharing moments from our lives through photos, Instagram, or casual texts. I believe successful collaboration is more likely when you understand your team members as whole individuals.

    Can you share a moment or event during your SIG leadership that profoundly impacted you or the group’s direction?

    Jessica:  The moment that significantly impacted our group's direction occurred when we changed our name from Southern California Young Professionals to California Young Professionals. This change was largely due to an amazing colleague of mine, Remy Biglow from ATD-Golden Gate, who spearheaded the effort to expand our group. It’s so exciting to create these connections with other L&D professionals across the state!

    How has leading this group influenced your perspective on the Learning and Development profession and your personal goals?

    Jessica:  Leading this group has deepened my appreciation for diverse insights, broadening my perspective on the L&D profession and significantly influencing my career path. It has highlighted the importance of empathy and considering multiple viewpoints in professional growth, underlining my commitment to continuous learning and strategic thinking in my career choices.

    How do you measure the success of your SIG?

    Jessica:  A way to measure success for our SIG would be through the growth and social media interactions from members across all our chapters, as any progress in these areas is a step in the right direction.

    What goals do you have for your SIG's future?

    Jessica:  I am eager to expand our social media presence. Being a multi-chapter SIG offers us many opportunities to enhance our reach and impact. This will allow us to connect with a more diverse audience, share our insights, activities, and achievements across a wider platform, foster a stronger community, and encourage more engagement from members and potential members.

    Explore what the California Young Professionals SIG has to offer you!

    View Jessica Del Rosario Dent's member profile.

  • 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.

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