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EVENT SPEAKER BIOS

To learn more about our Event Speakers see below for their short bios (alphabetical order by last name).

Nanci Appleman-Vassil, MA, NCC, BCC, CSP

Speaking at: March 2021 e-Learning SIG Panel Discussion

Nanci is a highly successful business owner and Certified Speaking Professional® with more than 25 years of experience delivering training, organizational development, executive coaching, and corporate consulting interventions with a focus on change management, developing leaders and managers, and building high-performing teams. She specializes in facilitating individuals, groups, and organizations toward better solutions for increased engagement and effectiveness.

Nanci consults with organizations in a variety of fields such as technology, health care, engineering, manufacturing, education, and retail. Past and present clients include Red Hat, Grifols, Nomacorc, Governor's Institute, Ipreo, MetLife, Cree, John Deere, and GSK.

As the Corporate Training Manager for R.H. Donnelley (now SuperMedia, Inc), the largest independent sales, marketing and publishing company for the Yellow Pages industry, Nanci provided a full range of training and organization development services, including identifying, coaching, and developing managers and other upper-tier employees to build a high-performance culture. She also designed and conducted a corporate-wide inclusion assessment process, and co-created a leadership and professional development series for all new managers and high-potential individual contributors. As the Performance Training Team Leader, she developed an infrastructure for technical and team training in RHD’s Morrisville, NC location.

As the Director of Programs for the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science in Alexandria, VA, Nanci designed a team-based infrastructure to better serve their existing and new clients from around the world. She was accountable for five profit and loss centers; designed and implemented tracking systems to curtail costs and increase profitability; and prepared statistical reports on the financial status of each workshop or line item for that center. She also designed and executed strategic business and marketing plans for several profit centers.

Nanci holds an MA in Counseling from the University of Colorado and a BA in Psychology and Education from the University of Denver. Nanci is certified as a facilitator for a variety of products and services including MBTI, AchieveGlobal, Situational Leadership, DDI, and a variety of VitalSmarts and Stephen Covey programs. She is a member of the Association for Talent Development (ATD) and the former president of Finance and Administration for their RTP chapter, as well as being ATD’s former National Advisor for Chapters and a Southeast Area Coach. Nanci has also served as a board member for Meals on Wheels of Wake County, NC. She is currently a member of the NTL Institute for Applied Behavioral Science and the National Speakers Association (NSA), and she is a board member for the NSA’s Carolinas chapter.

An accomplished author, Nanci recently released the book 18 Common Mistakes Small Business Owners Make, and she contributed chapters to Public Speaking Secrets and GPS for Success.



Thomas Bosket, SALT Program Manager 

Speaking at: March 2021 Learning Trends & Innovations SIG 

Thomas Bosket was awarded his MFA from Yale University in 1995. His long career as an educator includes notable positions as teacher of art, media and design at Yale University, Pratt Institute and Parsons School of Design. He is regarded by the New York Times as one of the world's leading color theory experts. He has pursued drawing, as a human behavior rather than a product, as it plays a dominant role in supporting creating learning environments. His most recent venture is the co-founding of ENGN {engine} a progressive educational organization focused on connecting civics, art and life.



Brian Boyle, Founder, CrossTrainer Elearning


Speaking at: April 2021 Monthly Program

Brian Boyle, Founder, CrossTrainer Elearning, and Co-founder, Crosstrainer Mixed Reality, is a training designer, technologist, and founder of the award winning CrossTrainer®. For over 20 years he's shared his future focus, graphic vision and learning design perspective to create innovative and engaging training across multiple industries, including pharmaceutical, manufacturing, retail and more. In recent years, Brian has focused on designing mixed reality products that deepen learning experiences. In 2019, Brian’s TEDx talk “VR Therapy: Unlocking the Potential of VR” paved the way for a new line of patient-facing CrossTrainer health care applications. Brian lives in southeastern MA with his wife and 2 young daughters.



Michael Cannon, Sr. Director, Red Hat University

Speaking at: February 2021 e-Learning SIG Panel Discussion

Michael joined Red Hat in March 2015 as Senior Director, Red Hat University. In this position he leads a global team of over 60 L&D professionals responsible for manager and leadership development, technical development, sales development, and professional development for all Red Hat employees. Prior to joining Red Hat, Michael held leadership positions for multiple learning and development teams at Cisco and IBM. Michael has a Masters degree in Education from George Washington University, a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Georgia Tech, and spent six years as an officer in the US Navy.

You can learn more about Michael at: www.linkedin.com/in/michaelcannon1/


Erin Carson, Senior Manager - Diversity & Inclusion, Association of International Certified Professional Accountants

Speaking at: March 2021 Training 101 SIG

Erin Carson is the Senior Manager of Diversity & Inclusion, with a focus on Young Member Initiatives, at the Association of International Certified Professional Accountants. Her responsibilities include managing the AICPA’s Young CPA Network, Leadership Academy, EDGE Experience conference, We’re About Success Program and Emerging Partner Training Forum. Additionally, she is the staff liaison for the Young Member Leadership Committee.

Erin joined the AICPA as part of the Academic and Career Awareness team in 2010. During her time on the student team, she worked on both high school and college-level initiatives and was responsible for the oversight of AICPA’s website and online community for college students. She was also responsible for developing, maintaining and leveraging strategic partnerships with key organizations that provide services to college-level accounting students.

Prior to joining the AICPA, Erin was part of the Interactive Team at Capstrat, helping bring organization and order to web development projects for her clients. She also worked as Marketing Coordinator at G4S Compliance & Investigations, developing strategies for increasing current business, gaining new business from potential clients and providing overall support to the sales team.

Erin graduated from the University of North Carolina at Asheville with a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications in 2006. She also earned a certificate in Technology and Communications from the University of North Carolina in 2014. Erin earned her Project Management Professional certification in 2017.


Brandi Einhorn, Certifications and Evaluation Manager, NetApp

Speaking at: February 2021 e-Learning SIG Panel Discussion 

Brandi Einhorn is currently the NetApp Learning Services Evaluation Manager. She works across technical audiences to create a strategy to measure success for partners, customers and NetApp employees. She grew the presence of the program and increased visibility at NetApp’s Insight event where she was a moderator of a panel about creating certification exams and the role of the Subject Matter Expert (SME). Prior to NetApp she worked in multiple roles at Lenovo and helped found Lenovo United, which promoted Lenovo CSR at the annual One Young World events. She has two young daughters and wants to set a good example in her work.


Cortney Harding, Founder and CEO of Friends with Holograms

Speaking at: May 2021 Learning Trends & Innovations SIG  

Cortney Harding is the founder and CEO of Friends With Holograms, a transformational VR/AR agency focused on creating innovative, powerful, and effective experiences for training. Clients include Walmart, Verizon, Accenture, PWC, Coca-Cola, and Eunoe Health. She is also the winner of multiple awards, including “Best VR/AR” at Mobile World Congress, SXSW Innovation Award Finalist, and Top HR product by HR Executive.



Florence Holland, EdD, Expert Consultant and Trainer, Strategic Planner, Communicator

Speaking at: February 2021 Training 101 SIG

Florence is a visionary leader, bridge builder, dedicated and hardworking professional with more than 15 years of strategic planning and hands-on expertise. She has worked with businesses and led strategic planning around talent development. She also has extensive education experience working with secondary and post-secondary students, securing resources, and implementing effective programs.

She has a well-rounded academic background, with practical knowledge of and experience in change management and diversification. Her proven ability to develop solid working relationships with business leaders, campus administrators, faculty and staff, the local community, and various stakeholders helps foster stronger external and internal communications. She brings exceptional interpersonal, analytical, and problem-solving skills to all her roles.

Why DEI? - "Until everyone in our society has the ability to go to work in a place where they truly can bring their full selves without fear of retaliation, then my work is not done. We should be a society that understands when one brings their whole self to work then innovation and the true actualization of the organization will happen. I’m committed to DEI until that day." -- Florence Holland, EdD



Alyssa Kaszycki, Learning Product Manager, Training Industry, Inc.

Speaking at: February 2021 Monthly Program

Alyssa Kaszycki is the learning product manager at Training Industry, Inc. and a doctoral candidate in the industrial-organizational psychology program at North Carolina State University.


Edward M. Marshall, Ph.D., PCC, Adjunct Professor

Fuqua School of Business & Pratt School of Engineering, Duke University

Speaking at: March 2021 Chapter Monthly Program


Edward Marshall's career has focused on leadership and team development, collaborative organizational change, executive coaching, and helping corporations transform their leadership cultures. In 2016, after 40 years in business, he joined the faculty of the Fuqua School of Business and the Pratt School of Engineering at Duke University, where he teaches leadership courses. He is Founder and Managing Partner of The Marshall Group, LLC, a collaborative leadership, team development, and change consulting firm, based in Chapel Hill, N.C. He has worked with C-suite executives at Fortune 500 companies like Microsoft, DuPont, Marriott, IBM, and Philips, as well as entrepreneurial and mid-sized firms. In his many engagements, he has served as an executive coach, culture and organizational change strategist, team developer, and facilitator.


His work has taken him beyond clients in North America to South Asia, Africa, Latin America, and Europe. He has facilitated more than 100 change initiatives in technology, healthcare, and manufacturing companies, ranging from strategic alliances and business process redesigns, to mergers, IT integrations, and cultural transformations. As an ICF-certified executive coach, Dr. Marshall has helped many senior executives, helping them to reach their professional goals.

Edward is best known for developing the best-practice Collaborative Method (sm), which won the Excellence in Practice Award from the Association for Talent Development. In 2015, he was recognized by Trust Across America with a Lifetime Achievement Award as a Top 15 Trust Thought Leader. As a pioneer and leader in the field of collaborative leadership, team development, and cultural transformation, Edward has authored two Knight-Ridder best-selling business books, Transforming the Way We Work: The Power of the Collaborative Workplace, and Building Trust at the Speed of Change, and has been a contributing author to four other books on trust and culture change. For 23 years, he was a nationally syndicated columnist writing In the Workplace column for The Triangle Business Journal. His latest book, Leadership’s 4 the Evolution: Collaboration for the 21st Century (2020), is the third in a series of books on collaborative leadership.



Whitney Martin, Manager, Learning Development at Marriott International

Speaking at: February 2021 e-Learning SIG Panel Discussion

My learning development journey began about 15 years ago in the sales and service industry, where I developed and facilitated ILT and created performance support resources. Since then, I’ve continued to grow my instructional design toolkit by designing learning experiences in various industries, including finance, higher education, legal, healthcare, and tech.

I’ve spent the last 3 years designing and developing digital learning in the hospitality industry at Marriott International. Most of my work is within systems training development, but I also get to dabble in other areas like brand, operations, sales, revenue management, and corporate disciplines (HR, finance, etc.). I’m currently an ID lead for a project that involves creating almost 3,500 learning deliverables; it’s allowed me to grow my project management skills and broaden my network.

With a passion to continuously grow and a thirst for knowledge, I completed my graduate studies in 2016 with a MS in Instructional Technology from ECU.

My WHY: Learning is constantly evolving—trends, technology, how we learn. Every project is different. Every deliverable is different. As a lifelong learner and avid problem solver, the variety, ability to help others grow, and challenge of creating impactful learning experiences are what drive me.


Jenny O'Donnell, Digital Learning Strategist, Lenovo

Speaking at: February 2021 e-Learning SIG Panel Discussion

Jenny is a Digital Learning Strategist in Lenovo’s Global Learning team and works across all countries and all business units to collect, assess, and resolve the digital learning needs of employees. She began her career at Lenovo seven years ago as a Senior Instructional Designer where she developed training courses for internal and external sales representatives and then transitioned into a Program Manager role, leading the creation of product education materials. 

She holds a Master’s Certification in K-12 technology instruction and a Master’s Certification in Instructional Technology and Design from Western Kentucky University and a Bachelor’s in Education from Murray State University. 


Jenny has spent over twelve years in global corporate training within the tech industry—previously working for both Cisco and HMS. Prior to corporate training, Jenny worked in K-12 education, starting as an elementary classroom teacher and transitioning into Middle/high School technology--leading the Student Technology Leadership Program, holding a chair on the district technology board, and creating a multi-district professional development program for teachers to assist them in increasing technology usage within the classroom. 


Brian Tarallo, Managing Director at Lizard Brain

Speaking at: January 2021 e-Learning SIG

Brian Tarallo, Managing Director at Lizard Brain, is a facilitator who specializes in visual methods and virtual meetings. He works with healthcare, federal and state government, defense, engineering, and education, and consulting industries. He is a Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) with the International Association of Facilitators (IAF) and a Certified Virtual Facilitator (CVF) with the International Institute for Facilitation (INIFAC.) He is also a Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Master Practitioner, one of 160 globally. He is the author of the forthcoming book, "Surviving the Horror of Online Meetings," which will be available on Amazon in early 2021. Since 2016, he's taught hundreds of facilitators how to be at their best online.


Carla Torgerson, MEd, MBA, Head of Learning Experience Strategy at TorranceLearning, Instructional Strategy & Design Expert, Author

Speaking at: February 2021 e-Learning SIG Panel Discussion

Carla Torgerson, MEd, MBA has nearly 20 years of experience as an instructional designer and instructional strategist. Always interested in the latest learning trends, she has authored numerous blogs and articles on a variety of topics, including eLearning, mobile learning, and microlearning. She also developed MILE, the MIcroLEarning Design Model© and is the author of The Microlearning Guide to Microlearning and Designing Microlearning (with Sue Iannone).

Carla currently leads Learning Experience Strategy at TorranceLearning, which helps organizations connect learning strategy to design, development, data and ultimately performance. In addition to strategic consulting and design, Carla is the product manager for TorranceLearning’s Eleventure® course series and the ID Ways of Working (WoW!) professional development community.

Connect with Carla on LinkedIn for insights and announcements:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/carlatorgerson/


Nekol Tseklenis, Chief Operating Officer-Driving Company Growth and Making Change for the Better

Speaking at: February 2021 e-Learning SIG Panel Discussion  

With over 20 years of experience, Mrs. Tseklenis brings a wealth of knowledge working with fast growing, highly competitive companies. Nekol has consulted with Fortune 1000s and many elite worldwide brands. Mrs. Tseklenis maintains a proven track record working with senior-level executives, including the C-Suite. Nekol has ensured implementation of solutions that align with business objectives, improve efficiencies and drive profitability. As a world-class and innovative leader, Mrs. Tseklenis has successfully built high-performing teams that consistently exceed revenue targets. Nekol embraces an agile philosophy, leading change management in fast-growing industries.



Adrian West, VP Timely Text, ATD RTA Learning Leader Round Table Facilitator

Speaking at: February 2021 e-Learning SIG Panel Discussion, Learning Leader Round Tables

Adrian West is a career communicator who supports TimelyText associates on the job while assisting with recruiting and business development. TimelyText is truly a niche staffing vendor, specializing exclusively in placement of Corporate Communication professionals--Instructional Designers, Tech Writers, and other content professionals. Adrian leads the behind-the-scenes mentoring system that is the hallmark of TimelyText’s service to its associates. Having spent much of his early career as an independent contractor, Adrian is in his element mentoring others in the field.

An active member (and perennial sponsor) of ATD-RTA, Adrian has spoken at many local gatherings to offer interviewing tips, salary negotiation assistance, and valuable insights about the job market for corporate communicators, here, in the Raleigh/Durham area.

Since the summer of 2018, Adrian has co-facilitated two Roundtable groups for corporate Learning Leaders in the Raleigh/Durham area. The Roundtables meet monthly, over lunch, to exchange helpful hints, feedback, and ideas. The interchange has been very successful, even inspirational, and he learns something new at every session!

Adrian is a strong believer in the power of networking, which can provide an especially important countermeasure to economic recessions, business downturns/layoffs, and even unforeseen restrictive impositions such as the COVID-19 pandemic.

© ATD Research Triangle Area Chapter 2021

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