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2023 RTA Board members

Maria Fister, President


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. 

Kyle Mullaney - President Elect 

My passion for training can be traced back to experiences teaching in Taiwan where a schedule and a building diagram often constituted “onboarding and training”. New teachers were often new to the country or city, not to mention the language and profession. This gap between expectations and experience led me into freelance training and development. Interest in the profession eventually brought my family and I to the Triangle and a career in training and development. I currently manage systems training for Higher Ed research administration.

Outside of the office, my passion for learning finds an outlet in volunteering at my daughter’s school and facilitating education programs with our local church. I’m always involved in one or more hobbies, currently pickleball, and I count myself an amateur photographer, woodworker, and professional board game collector. While I contend I’m ‘fluent’ enough in Chinese to get food, get tickets, and get in trouble, my wife’s not sure that word means what I think it means. I’m always open to discussing new podcasts, ideas, or opportunities: if you’ve got one let’s talk.

Alex Cook,  Past 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.

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.

Kris Krueger, VP of Membership - Retention


Dr. Krueger is a business-minded talent executive. Her work experience spans industries, global

locations, and disciplines. She currently leads Unisys' global organizational change management

function, driving the growth of the OCM practice through a structured methodology and strategy, and

by leading innovative, data-driven change management approaches that align with Unisys business

drivers. Kris believes learning is integral to personal and organizational change, and grew up surrounded

by family members from the teaching profession. She received her BBA in Information Systems from

the University of Iowa, and her MEd/PhDs in Education from the University of Virginia.


A strong believer in “walking the talk,” Kris is transparent, curious, seeks feedback, and thrives on learning something every day. A resident of the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area for over 20 years, Dr. Krueger enjoys

outside activities such as biking, golf, and tennis, as well all the great cuisine and uniqueness the area

has to offer.

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.

Kokeita Miller, VP of Programming - Speaker/Event Coordination

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.

Zoe Fruchter, VP of Communications

Zoe Fruchter is a Learning & Development professional who is committed to making learning accessible, inclusive, equitable, and relevant. The shift from instructor-driven to learner-centric experiences inspired her to meet learner objectives through interactive and gamified learning. Zoe has more than 10 years of experience serving the public sector in L&D. Currently, Zoe is a Training and Development Specialist with North Carolina Medicaid (DHHS).

Zoe's Why: When I found ATD, I was immediately welcomed by a supportive and resourceful network of professionals. I have enjoyed each experience I have had with ATD - from Social Learning on Draft, SIGs, and monthly meetings, and have learned so much! I am so excited to be a part of the ATD Board and hope you join us at an event soon!

VP of Marketing - Web/Social Media Position Description

Zhaozhao Dongmen - VP of Marketing - Web/Social Media

Zhaozhao's name is Jiaoyue(Zhaozhao) Dongmen, but her friends and family call her Zhaozhao, pronounced like "Ja Ja." Zhaozhao(曌曌)means the Sun and the Moon in the sky at the same time in Chinese. Zhaozhao has one Master's Degree in Education in Training and Development and another Master's Degree in Agriculture in Veterinary Pharmacology. Currently, Zhaozhao works as a Lead Corporate Trainer at Hissho Sushi, LLC. She has lived in the United States for about 16 years and has a strong passion for Entrepreneurship, Training and Development, and Global outreach. Zhaozhao joined ATD RTA in April 2021 and has been an ATD National member since 2019.

My why:
"I enjoy spending time and learning with everyone I meet from ATD RTA. I consider ATD-RTA my professional family, and I want to serve these beautiful, talented people here :)." 

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!

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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