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Current RTA Board members

Alex Cook, President

Alex Cook is a training professional with a decade of experience managing learning functions and designing learning experiences in health care, technology, and finance. Alex’s career in L&D began with a six-year role in Portland, Oregon, during which he built and grew the training department for a large nonprofit health care provider. Since moving to the Research Triangle in 2018, Alex has been working as an instructional designer in the tech and finance industries, with a focus on making engaging learning experiences for any topic.

Alex became a power member of ATD in 2014, joining both the national organization and the Cascadia chapter. Beginning on New Year’s Day 2018, Alex, his wife Kristy, and his dog Milo made the 2500-mile drive from Portland to Raleigh, where he immediately joined the Research Triangle Area chapter. As early as the February 2018 meeting, Alex was volunteering at monthly programs, and by December of that year he was joining the Board of Directors as Programs VP. In 2019 & 2020, Alex led planning and execution of 25 monthly programs and 4 workshops for the chapter, grew and coordinated a team of 10 volunteers, and navigated the virtual event transition brought on by COVID-19.

Alex completed his undergrad in 2009 with a Bachelors in English, and graduate studies in 2015 with a Masters in Public Health.

Maria Fister - President Elect 

Maria is the Lead Instructional Designer at NC State University's Finance Division. In this role, she collaborates with division colleagues and departments to develop training materials that are functional, clean, attractive, and that meet university's brand standards and guidelines for copy, visual identity, and design conventions.  Maria has over 20 years of experience in the higher education field, where she has focused on instructional design and grant management. She has been a member of the ATD RTA since 2011 and has recently become a more active member. She sees her role as President Elect of the ATD RTA chapter as a way to give back to the community that supported her professional growth over the years. 

Maria is a WolfPack alumna. She earned both her Bachelor of Arts and Master of Education degrees from NC State.

In her free time, Maria enjoys backyard bird feeding and traveling with her husband in their RV. 

Ken Katzeff,  Past President

Ken is the principal for Advanced Performance Solutions, a boutique Talent Development consulting firm that works with a diverse group of clients across a variety of industries. He has over 30 years of experience helping clients achieve their business goals and increase organizational effectiveness. Ken works collaboratively tailoring each innovative and cutting-edge Talent, Organizational and Leadership Development, and Executive Coaching solution to strengthen leadership and enhance team and individual performance that achieves measurably faster, better and more sustainable results.

Over the course of his career, Ken has also worked for a number of consulting companies and has lead Learning and Development functions for several major corporations. He has also been an adjunct faculty member at Pace, Iona and Fordham University’s Human Resource Graduate Program. Ken holds a MS degree in Counseling from Bank Street College and a BS in Psychology and Math from Lehman College. Before moving to Raleigh from New York City in 2017, Ken was long-time member of both National the local Metro ATD Chapter in of the NYC.

Nicole Licata - VP of Finance Position

Nicole Licata is a Learning & Development professional who has worn many hats throughout her career,

with a few highlights including high school science teacher, corporate trainer, instructional designer, and

solutions manager. She holds a master's degree in Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning

from Boise State University and is serving as VP of Finance for ATD – Research Triangle Area.

Currently, Nicole is a Sr. Instructional Designer at Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina where she

consults with internal stakeholders to design and develop effective solutions for the sales team.

Michelle Bartlett, Ph.D., VP of Membership - Retention

Michelle Bartlett, Ph.D., is a faculty scholar at the Belk Center for Community College Leadership and Research at North Carolina State University. Michelle received her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership with a cognate in Statistics at Clemson University. She currently is Editor for the Career & Technical Education Research Journal. Michelle has extensive experience designing and facilitating training for post-secondary education, business, and government programs. Michelle creates programs in Executive Leadership, Change, Conflict Management, Empowering Middle Management, Improving Training Effectiveness, and Instructional Design. She serves as VP for Membership on the Research Triangle Area Chapter Board.

Julie Foster, VP of Membership - Recruitment

Julie Foster is a Senior Manager at a Marriott International in Bethesda, Maryland. She has worked in the  learning field for over a decade. Julie creates training for a global audience of 800,000 employees and is skilled in creating and deploying a range of training modalities to include videos, instructor led trainings, and coaching sessions. Most recently, she led the strategy and deployment for multiple leadership programs, including programming for high potentials and leaders at every level. Julie is passionate about travel and diverse cultures, has facilitated translating training content into 17 languages, and has traveled within North America, Asia and Europe.

Julie was key in preparing her organizations associates for a massive integration and transformation of the loyalty program; she drove usage of a critical revenue management software; she created new hire training for company headquarters and global customer call centers. Julie is a strong advocate for virtual training as a means to make learning more accessible and inclusive. She completed her MPS in Organization Development and Change in December 2020 from Pennsylvania State University and as a Certified Hospitality Trainer from AHLEI.

Sean McGinty, VP of Programming Logistics

Sean McGinty is a Learning & Development professional with over 20 years of experience in design, development, facilitation, and evaluation of corporate Learning & Development programs with a full understanding of learning theories and international trends, while also holding ATD CPTD (Certified Professional in Talent Development) and MCCT (Modern Classroom Certified Trainer) certifications.

Always striving for innovation, Sean has helped guide companies as they modernize their learning departments, by evolving from purely instructor-led training to blended learning environments and the implementation of Learning Technology Stacks. Throughout the years' Sean has spoken all over the US at conferences, local events, and podcasts on L&D topics.

Sean's Why: I believe in ATD, when I made my career change to L&D from Network Engineering early in my career ATD was there for me. I gained the knowledge I needed to be successful and built the network I needed to grow through both ATD National and local chapters. After 4 years volunteering with ATD Suncoast, I would love to continue giving back by working with ATD RTA.

Nadine Oelke, VP of Programming - Speaker/Event Coordination

Learning development has been my niche since early in my professional career. I was always the one who volunteered for any type of training event. It is logical that it is now my daily job. I followed several different career paths until I found a home in Pharmaceuticals in North Carolina. Here I have been able to strengthen my on the job learning with learning fundamentals through ATD learning events. I am proud to have earned an Associate Professional in Talent Development in February 2020. I currently develop training modules in compliance-based curricula for a Belgium based Pharma company.

I participate in the academic community to shine a light on careers in STEM in association with Wake County Public Schools. We provide learning events for educators as well as assisting in student-based projects. This year we will expand into elementary grades in addition to the middle and high schoolers.

I have been an ATD RTA member since 2011 and a National member since 2014 and now am happy to be able to serve this community as VP of Programming – Speakers and Conferences. I look forward to working with a great team and bringing diverse and relevant programs to our community.

Jazmin Webster, VP of Communications

Jazmin is an experienced training professional who prides herself in being a life-long learner. Over her 15 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry, Jazmin has designed training programs, developed training strategies for global execution, and been an essential partner to her subject matter experts. Pursuing both science and education, Jazmin holds a Bachelors degree in Microbiology from Southern Illinois University, and a Masters degree in Education from Ashford University, specializing in Instructional Design and Assessment & Measurement. She continued her coursework with Capella University’s PhD program specializing in Training and Performance Improvement, reaching all but dissertation status.

My Why: Be better. I live in the spirit of continuous improvement. I believe there is always a way to improve if you stay positive and look at what lessons can be learned from every situation. Those lessons are the hidden gems of self-development.

VP of Marketing - Web/Social Media Position Description

Elissa Testu - VP of Marketing - Web/Social Media

In my current role as VP, Learning Services, at Intuition, I have direct responsibility for supporting key clients in the implementation and ongoing deliveries of our customized learning solutions, ensuring all projects are met to the utmost quality on time and on budget. Over the last 9 years, I have gained extensive experience working with our clients across a variety of verticals, products and services.

Joining the ATD-RTA Board will help me learn even more from our amazing members and drive interaction and engagement across the community.  It would be my pleasure to help the people and brands of the RTP area take flight and refine their approach to get their ideas front and center, though data-driven collaboration and AI integration.

Wendy Gates Corbett - Director-At-Large

Wendy Gates Corbett, CPLP, is in her 10th year serving on the ATD-RTA board of directors and she’s been a member of the chapter for 20 years. Wendy is recognized as a leader in the talent development field. Her love for the industry fuels her desire for all professionals to become and stay relevant in their chosen fields. She speaks around the country and around the world on the power of visuals, remaining relevant, and the power of belonging. She is the owner of Refresher Training, LLC, a company that works with professional athletes, speakers and business leaders helping them speak with impact and influence (and awesome presentation slides!). She just completed a two-year term as Chair of ATD’s National Advisors for Chapters and on the ATD International Board of Directors. I love ATD-RTA because nourishing others’ love for talent development and passion for learning nourishes my own love and passion for both.

Marianne Luther - Director of Student & Community Outreach

After spending 20 years of working with college students in student housing, Marianne transitioned to a corporate learning role where she currently serves as a training coordinator for a local A/E design firm.  With a passion for leadership development and on-going growth, she is excited to step into the role to continue working with students and the community.

Marianne has a bachelor’s degree in secondary education from The Ohio State University, a master’s degree in higher education administration from Kent State University and a master’s in education and human resource studies with an organizational learning, performance and change specialization from Colorado State University. She recently earned her PHR (Professional in Human Resources) certification.  In her spare time, she enjoys volunteering, reading, jewelry making, exploring craft beers, and cheering on the Buckeyes!

Karen Wolf, Director of Volunteers

Karen is Program Manager of Training for RTI Health Solutions, a business unit of RTI International headquartered in RTP. Her current focus is building e-learning and microlearning solutions. Karen earned her Associate Professional in Talent Development certification in January 2019.

Karen has a background in clinical drug development. She began her career as a training professional when her company was acquired and her research role was eliminated. Having enjoyed instructing study personnel to conduct research, she requested an opportunity to work in a training role. Karen has held different types of training positions in several companies and enjoys encouraging colleagues to break away from presentations to make training more interactive and effective.

Karen has been active in ATD RTA for over 10 years. Often working as a department of one, Karen valued the chance to spend time with others that share her interest and enthusiasm for learning. Karen enjoys being a volunteer, most often greeting participants at meetings which has allowed her to get to know more members. Karen would like the chance to give back to the chapter by serving on the board and encouraging others, based on her experiences, to support the chapter by volunteering.

Kokeita Miller - Director of Sponsorship

Kokeita has over ten years of experience as a Facilitator for employee benefits and job search skills. She holds a B.A in Communications with a Public Relations emphasis from the University of West Florida, and M.Ed in Guidance and Personnel Services from NC State University. She works in a dual role as a Storyline Developer/Instructional Designer with NC State University and as an Instructional Designer with Sampson Community College. She enjoys opportunities where she can help others to grow professionally! She also loves to travel, meet new people, and learn new skills.

Paige Daniel, Chapter Administrator

Paige has worked with the ATD-RTA chapter for 3 years and the Piedmont Chapter for 15 years.  In addition to working with ATD, she is a preschool teacher.  Paige has two children, two dogs and a cat.  In her free time, she enjoys volunteering and spending time with family and friends.

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