2018 Volunteer Awards and Honorees

In December each year, we recognize those who made possible all of our Chapter programs, activities, and accomplishments. Thank you!

Belisle Chapter Leadership Award

Given to a Chapter member whose outstanding leadership in ATD-OC has substantially improved  the effectiveness and influence of the Chapter.


  • Contributed significantly to the Chapter’s achievement of its mission through the creation or enhancement of one or more Chapter programs or services.

  • Exemplifies the most positive and worthwhile leadership qualities to the Chapter and to other parts of ATD.

Don McGray

For outstanding service during the past three years as Chapter CFO and strategic thinker. Not only has Don’s expertise improved the financial effectiveness of ATD-OC, but his focus on learning as a means to achieving business goals is helping the Chapter evolve toward the needs of L&D practitioners in the 21st century.

Rookie of the Year Award

Given to an outstanding new member (less than one year) who has been active in numerous projects and made several contributions; someone who volunteers readily.


  • Chapter member for one year or less.
  • Made significant contributions during their first year as a member.
  • Has been active in at least two projects.

Lynn Nissen

For supporting Talent Development, Leadership Recruitment, and Programs, and for stepping early into her duties as 2019 Vice President of Talent Development.

Walt Tait Award for Community Goodwill

Given to one or more Chapter members whose community service in has resulted in increased good will and respect for the Chapter among Orange County residents and organizations.


  • Documented, extraordinary service for a significant period of time to a nonprofit, community- based professional, artistic, human service, or other worthy organization in OC.
  • Services provided pro-bono or reduced compensation with the intent of contributing to the OC community.
  • Recipient organization (which must be other than ATD-OC) concurs with the presentation of this award.

Technology & Training SIG:  OneOC Project Development Team

For developing an eLearning module for OneOC’s Volunteers Management Portal. The eLearning teaches OneOC’s nonprofit members how to use the Volunteers portal to recruit and manage volunteers for their events and other service opportunities.

  Paul Venderley

Kimberley Goh



Award of Merit

Given to members of at least three years, who assume responsibility for project leadership in the Chapter and/or national ATD level; who have served as a previous or present Chapter Board member, Manager, or committee member.


  • Chapter member for three years
  • Project leadership at Chapter or National level.
  • Strong commitment to ATD.

Karen Wales

For her history of co-leading the Training Managers’ Meet Up. 

Margaret Connery

For her history in Total Trainer University, Trainer's SIG facilitator and team member, and assisting with Training Manager's Meet Up.

Distinguished Service Award

A member who has been continually involved in numerous Chapter projects/programs and who has made a significant contribution in at least two of these projects/programs. Someone who demonstrates strong commitment to the learning and development profession.


  • Shows extra effort/enthusiasm.
  • Significant contribution in at least two Chapter projects/programs.

Laura Emery

For revamping and management of the Chapter website.

Michele Bivens

For service on this year’s Leadership Recruitment Committee, and for organizing and facilitating the Board transition.

Chapter Torch Award

A member who assumes responsibility for project leadership, has served as a Manager, Co-Manager or SIG Manager. Someone who works hard, volunteers readily, and demonstrates strong commitment to the Chapter.


  • Program/Project leadership as a Manager, Co-Manager or SIG Manager.
  • Continual involvement in two or more programs.

Jan Slater

An ATD-OC Past President whose continued history of service includes organizing events such as September’s “Best In Class: Developing Your Employees;” helping ATD-OC form connections with other Orange County organizations, such as Youth Employment Services; and providing advice and support to current Chapter leaders.

Sheri Long Outstanding Teamwork Award

Given annually, when appropriate, to an exceptional project or functional team of Chapter members whose collaboration results in either a new Chapter service or benefit, or substantial improvement in an existing one.


  • Team worked well together to overcome obstacles, meet deadlines and deliver services in a timely manner.
  • All team members contributed value to the overall work products.
  • Team created and/or provided a service that is well documented, practical, and effective.

2018 Volunteers


  •  Member Ambassador, Karen Thompson (Volunteer of the Month -March) 

Programs- VP Paul Venderley

  • Nancy Ingram supported our MLEs by keeping our Chapter Business decks up to date. 
  • Don McGray-Functioned as MLE Coord for Jan/Feb/October 

Special Interest Groups:

  • Change SIG Co-Leaders: Susmitha Valvekar, Jason Galeener (Volunteer of the Month-October)
  • Trainers' SIG:  Anthony Harmetz, Kevin Figueroa, Maria Falcone, Jesus Avalos, Donald Smith, Karen Thompson
  • TMMU:  Anthony Harmetz, Karen Wales, Lori Schnaider, Margaret Connery (provided host site)
  • Technology & Training: Paul Venderley, Kimberly Goh, Wendy Sterndale, Jeannie Jurado, Dee Grajeda, Lisa Osborn


  •  Vern Vihlene, Volunteer of the Month, July

President's Book Club Coordinator

  • Nancy Chavez

Professional Development -VP Tom Mayer

  • Nadine Ambrose   (Volunteer of the Month-June), Facilitator Partnership Program
  • Lori Pitts, Motion Graphic Video Workshop

Total Trainer University 

  • eLearning Team:  Anthony Harmetz, Tiffany Nye, Laura Emery, Holly Carpenter, Cliff Rosa, Nicole Madro, Jeannie Jurado, Dee Grajeda, Sean Shimohara, Brigitte Lindstrom, Nancy Ingram
  • Creating Training Facilitators/Project Team: Anthony Harmetz, Denise Lamonte, Geri Lopker, Melissa Ruiz, Vera Michaels, Mary Voegelie - September VOM, Annette Kahaly, Michelle Qualls
  • Delivering Training Project Team/Facilitators: Jesus Avalos, Melissa Ruiz, Cynthia Boccara, Rhonda Askeland, Cristina Barbatti, James Rhys, Margaret Connery, Nicole Madro, Susmitha Manav, Brianna Koeppe, RuthAnn Ritter, Becky Daly

Marketing- VP Eileen Azzara

  • Social Media Manager: Paul Venderley,
  • Social Media Community Managers: Nancy Chavez, Nancy Ingram, Jennifer Puente  (Volunteer of the Month- August)

Technology- VP Gillian Wilson

  • Website Content Manager: Laura Emery  (Volunteer of the Month-April) 
  • Analytics Manager: Laura Fuentes

Talent Development- VP Kathleen Ashelford

  • Assistant and 2019 VP - Lynn Nissen

OneOC Leadership Development Curriculum Facilitators:

  • Gina Salzman; Ed Mendieta, Matthew Van Matre (co-facilitator with Ed); Nadine Ambrose; Jeffrey Hansler; Anthony Harmetz; Kathleen Ashelford

Leadership Recruitment Committee 

  • Michele Bivens, Andrew Stenhouse, Jolynn Atkins

Thank you all for the positive impact you've made for our members and community!

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