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President's Message

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  • Fri, October 05, 2012 2:27 PM | Deleted user

    I look at my calendar and am reminded that ASTD Employee Learning Week is fast approaching. December 3 through 7 is a time set aside each year to focus on the impact made by employer-supported learning. If you haven’t already, start planning what you can do at your place of business to shine the spotlight on the importance and impact of workplace learning. Each year ASTD-Lincolnundefinedtogether with ASTD-Nebraskaundefinedcelebrates the event by having our governor proclaim Employee Learning Week in Nebraska. Also, we at ASTD-Lincoln would enjoy hearing how you acknowledge Employee Learning Week at your company.

    On a sad note, we lost a member of ASTD-Lincoln recently. Claudius Shoniwa passed away September 30, 2012. Claudius was a very quiet man, but also a very recognizable member of our chapter. He was very involved with ASTD, mostly behind the scenes. He served on the Membership Committee for a number of years, and would volunteer for whatever needed to be doneundefinedfrom greeting people at monthly meetings to setting up or tearing down tables and chairs for a learning event. He was finally acknowledged for his contributions last year when he was honored with the ASTD-Lincoln Volunteerism Award. Claudius was the President of the Malone Foundation, and ASTD-Lincoln has made a contribution to the foundation in his memory.

    Every October, members of our Board of Directors attend the ASTD Chapter Leaders Conference (ALC) in Washington, DC. We have five Board members making the trip this year and are looking forward to exploring ways to make our chapter stronger. We will be sharing ideas with ASTD chapters from all over the U.S. and making the kinds of connections we need to keep delivering high quality programming to you.

    As always, I encourage you to make the most of your ASTD membership. You may contact any Board member with ideas or to investigate ways you can be more involved. Links to all of our email addresses are on the Chapter Board page of the website.


  • Tue, September 04, 2012 9:04 AM | Deleted user

    I received a “gentle nudge” today reminding me that I have not updated the president’s blog since May.  I hope you enjoyed the summer vacation. I guess this installment will serve as my what I did over summer vacation essay.

    The ASTD Board of Directors has undergone some changes. Our 2012 President Elect, Anissa Schroeder, has accepted a new position that will unfortunately take her away from ASTD. She will serve as Vice President of Finance for the remainder of the year. Jeff Beck, formerly Vice President of Communication, has stepped into the position of president elect.  Jeff’s wife Mona has taken his place as Vice President of Communication.

    Mary Yelken has replaced Janelle Francis as our Vice President of Education and Certification. One of the first things Mary did after joining ASTD was to earn her CPLP. Her experience with and knowledge of this certification process will be a tremendous benefit to our membership. I know many of us have the desire to study for the CPLP…Mary will be the one to light a fire under us.

    Lora Yardley has been tapped as the nominee for Vice President of Professional Development. Lora has served on the board for quite a while at the director level and brings a great deal of energy and creativity to ASTD-Lincoln.

    Our main concern now is to find someone for the position of Vice President of Finance. The ideal person for this position will be someone with strong organizational skills and someone who has worked with budgets and finances. This person will work closely with Glenda. Anissa has been fulfilling her duties and president elect as well as maintaining the board finances. Anissa is also available to provide guidance to the person who accepts this position. Speak to any board member if you think this might be the right spot for you.

    Expect to see a renewed focus on member involvement in the coming months. There are, and will continue to be many opportunities for you to make you membership more active. Whether you wish to serve as a committee member or have aspirations to be a member of the board we will find a place for you to use your strengths.

    One last thing, our October event is a tremendous learning opportunity and an incredible bargain. Vital Smarts is a world leader in developing people. Some of us on the board got to experience a shortened version of the Change Anything workshop last year and left wanting more. Seats for this workshop are limited so please enroll soon. This workshop isn’t just for workplace learning professionals as is focuses on the individual’s ability to change. It is an event that anyone from your organization will enjoy.


  • Mon, May 07, 2012 3:15 PM | Deleted user

    The Bucket Lists

    This month being the 14th anniversary of my 39th birthday, I figured it as good a time as any to check the status of my “bucket lists.” Yes, lists; one personal, one professional.  Some of the items I’ve already checked off the personal list include:

      Put the band back together and play at my wedding reception.

    Be in a movie.

      Appear on TV without having to rob a liquor store or claim to have been abducted by aliens.

      Make a living full-time as an entertainer.

      See the Chicago White Sox win the World Series.

      See these performers live:

    •   The Rolling Stones
    •   Crosby, Stills & Nash
    •   Dizzy Gillespie
    •   Tito Puente
    •   Buddy Guy
    •   George Carlin, and…(too many more to list).

    Some that aren’t yet checked (and probably will never  be checked) are:

    •    Buy a Harley (if you happen to know my wife, maybe you can help me out with this one).
    •    Play first base for the Chicago White Sox.
    •    Have drinks with Richardo Montelban and have “fine Corinthian leather” come up in the conversation.

    In looking at my professional bucket list, I see that most of the checks are there because of my involvement with ASTD. I have:

    • ü  Become a better presenter.
    • ü  Learned to create effective e-learning programs.
    • ü  Compiled a list of professional “go to” people.
    • ü  Met leaders in the field of employee learning.
    • ü  Played a role in the planning of professional learning events featuring internationally known speakers, and the list goes on.

    Take a look at your own bucket lists. ASTD can help you fulfill your professional goals.  Attend a learning event, workshop or certificate program. Topics on this year’s calendar include story telling in training, effective teaching methods, instructional design, coaching and more. Be a part of planning events like the ones we have hosted  in the past, like: Disney, Afterburner, Author-Marcus Buckingham, founder of Caterpillar University- David Vance, Rapid E-Learning guru-Tom Kuhlman, just to name a few.

    The opportunities are here. If you are a member, be a more active member. If you are an active member, look into serving on our board of directors. If you are an ASTD-Lincoln member, upgrade to a Power of 2 membership. Find something you want to learn then attend a meeting and find someone who can help you.

    ASTD-Lincoln is one of the strongest and most active chapters in the US. We continue to grow and we’d like to help you grow. Bring us your bucket lists. We may not be able to get you that Harley, but we can certainly help you realize some of your professional goals. We make a difference; what do you make?

  • Fri, March 30, 2012 1:11 PM | Deleted user

    My wife told me of a meeting she recently hosted and her first comment was about the shortcomings of the guest presenter. While the topic was an important one, she feared that her staff got little or nothing out of the monotone, death by Power Point training session. On the bright side, presenters like this have kept many caterers, pizza places and donut shops in business. When was the last time you asked someone about a training or meeting he or she had attended, and the response you got was, “Great! They had one of those big sandwiches!” People should want to attend training regardless of whether you serve chocolate covered, cream filled, big as a 1980’s cell phone, Long Johns; or a box of powered donuts from the day-old bakery. What really puts butts in the seats…pizza or pizzazz?

    Look at the programs our ASTD-Lincoln programming committee has slated for the next few months. There are no titles like “Increasing Retention with Baked Goods” or “Employee Engagement with a Vegetarian Option.”  Our programs are focused on things like, making slide presentations more visually engaging, story-telling and learning from highly effective teachers.

    Our April program features ASTD member Jim Ellis who will show us how to create visually engaging and branded Power Point presentations. Learn how to create themes that stand apart from the standard Power Point templates that everyone has seen.

    At the March duad meeting with LHRMA we learned about using improv and story-telling to effectively deliver content. We continue that theme in May when Brian Remer of the Firefly Group will present a learning event and workshop featuring the 99 word story format and techniques to increase involvement and retention in training sessions.

    One of ASTD-Lincoln’s most popular speakers, Dr. Dennison Bhola, returns in June for a learning event that explores what we as corporate trainers can learn from highly effective teachers.

    Yes, we will continue to serve lunch at our meetings, but our goal is to stimulate brain cells more than taste buds. Come to our programs for the content…the buffet is a bonus. Then listen to yourself the next time someone asks how the last ASTD meeting was, we hope that your answer will be, “Fantastic! I learned so much! Oh, lunch? It tasted like chicken.”


  • Tue, February 21, 2012 1:20 PM | Deleted user

    During our learning event program last month our presenter, Diane Siefkes, polled the group to find out how many and to which social media networks each of us belongs. The vast majority of us belong to more than one. I think many of us felt pretty good to be in that sort of company; the hip, happening, tech savvy crowd. We raised our hands with zeal then threw our shoulders back letting the others in the room bask in our coolness. Then she asked how many of us are active in those networks.  Some of us weren’t so cool anymore. I know personally that my LinkedIn account has quite a few cobwebs; and aside from an occasional message to a friend or family member, my approach to Facebook is somewhat voyeuristic. I watch the stories on Facebook like some people watch soap operas. I’ve watched relationships start, marriages end, battles with cancer, Disney vacations and more. However, to say that I have used Facebook as a tool to improve the connection I have with friends, family and people who have similar interests to mine would be a lie.

    Many of us are in the same boat. One person at the meeting told me, “Today was the first day I have ever seen my LinkedIn page. Bailey, Lauerman built it for me, but I’ve never used it.” I think we see the magic of these technologies and figure that good things will just happen. If we have professional looking LinkedIn pages employers and clients will beat a path to our door; all of our long lost cousins and high school chums will seek us out if we post our smiling faces on Facebook. Then, when it doesn’t happen, we blame the technology. We do the same thing with everything from health clubs to professional organizations.

     When something isn’t producing the results you had expected you must ask yourself if you have put enough in to realize any sort of return. Return on investment isn’t possible without investment. I’m not talking about membership dues; paying your dues and then lamenting that you get nothing in return is like buying a hammer then wondering why the family portrait is still sitting on the floor.

    We have made the Power of 2 membership easy. This gives you membership to both our local chapter and ASTD National in one easy purchase.

    • Power of 2 is the first membership option listed on the membership page of our website.
    • You only enter your information once.
    • You (or your employer) only cut one check. Particularly convenient if your employer only pays for one membership for you per year, as it is a package membership with a cost savings built in to the low price.
    • We handle all of the paperwork for your ASTD national membership.

    The door has been opened; it’s up to you to take full advantage. You can pay your dues and peek in on all of the juicy things ASTD is doing or you can pick up the hammer and get to work. Use these tools for what they are designed to do: keep you up to date with advances in the field, make connections that will help your career, provide discounts on professional learning opportunities and make a difference in the lives of your learners and colleagues.

    At the chapter level we have a number of great opportunities for you to be involved:

    • Two different ASTD national certificate programs.

            o   The Coaching Certificate is being offered in June.

            o   The Advanced Designing Learning Certificate Program is set for  September.

    • Dennison Bhola, Ph.D.  will be our featured speaker in June.
    • A number of different committees are forming or looking to add members.

    An ASTD National membership offers myriad of benefits too long to list, including:

    • T+D Magazine
    • T+D Webcasts
    • Discounts on things from books to automobile insurance.
    • Discounted registration for ICE (ASTD’s International Conference & Exposition) scheduled for May 2012 in Denver.
    • Many other national conferences and learning opportunities throughout the year.

    An ASTD membership is what you make of it. You may pay your dues and adorn you resume and LinkedIn page, or you can achieve the return on your investment that is available to you. For more information on how to maximize your membership, please feel free to reach out to any of ASTD-Lincoln’s board members or long time members.


  • Thu, February 02, 2012 1:00 PM | Deleted user

    When I was a kid, our television brought into our living room three entire networks of programming and several local channels that were found on the UHF dial. Reception and picture clarity often depended on the strategic placement of people in the room and tin foil antenna boosters. Today, I have hundreds of stations beamed into my living room (bedrooms, family room, kitchen) from space. I am WIFI’ed, digital, cellular, LinkedIn, and Facebook friends with people whom I have never met in person. My children laugh at the primitive technology in my “when I was your age” speeches and we have to draw straws (there’s an app for that) to determine who gets to use the Kindle Fire first.

    I can credit the colleagues I have in ASTD for dragging me into the 21st Century. I have gone from Etch-A-Sketch to (almost) iPad in less than a decade. While I have yet to earn my Techno-Geek pocket protector, I am much more comfortable using today’s technology… I’m blogging for Pete’s sake!

    Speaking as someone who used to be very quick to dismiss advances in technology and passing fads, I encourage you to attend our February program and workshop. We are calling the event the Social Media Tool Kit and it promises to have very valuable information to benefit you both personally and professionally. I have used Facebook as a learning tool, my connections on LinkedIn and with ASTD pointed me toward my current employment, and I have connected with family, friends and colleagues all over the world via these tools and others. I have yet to venture into the world of Twitter; mostly due to my inability to express myself in 140 characters or fewer.

    Social media gives us new and exciting ways to learn, connect, network and plug into a global community of learners and teachers. Attend the February event and discover how these tools can benefit you.

    The January event gave us a great start to 2012. I was particularly pleased with the number of guests we had in attendance. The most effective marketing tool we have is our membership, so keep talking about ASTD to your friends and don’t hesitate to ask a board member to help facilitate the enrollment process for anyone interested in joining us.


  • Fri, January 13, 2012 2:13 PM | Deleted user

    I heard someone tell recently of being set up on a date by a friend. She accepted the invitation and the mystery man took her to a fine restaurant, dinner, drinks, and dessert. Then, as he was tending to the last remaining crumb of turtle cheesecake and chasing it with a sip of coffee, he excused himself to the men’s room. When he hadn’t returned for nearly 20 minutes, she grew concerned. She asked the waiter to go to the men’s room to make sure he wasn’t ill or hurt or worse. The waiter returned to inform her that there was no one in the men’s room, and her concern turned to rage. She was left with a $200 dinner tab and no ride home.

    As unfortunate as this story is, I would imagine that similar situations happen with groups ranging from Cub Scout Packs to PTAs. Having been involved with other organizations and seeing the messes left for the incoming president, I feel fortunate to be assuming the responsibility of ASTD-Lincoln President. I’m not being stuck with a $200 dinner bill or left alone to sink or swim. Our chapter is on pretty solid ground.

    We survived the downturn in the economy and have bounced back, thanks to the efforts of our leaders and membership. The quality of our programs and workshops is unmatched, and 2012 looks to be even more exciting. We have a strong working relationship with ASTD Nebraska. Our board of directors is a passionate, creative, and hardworking group of professionals.

    During my year as president, I would like to see our chapter build a stronger connection to the business leaders in our community. I would like to grow our membership and our members’ connection to ASTD- National. And I would like to give our members the opportunity to showcase and be acknowledged for their professional achievements.

    My two major goals for 2012 are to establish an executive advisory board with business leaders from the Lincoln area. This group of executives would help us identify issues that our chapter could address with our events and programs, and help us find ways to better serve the local community in the area of workplace learning and performance. Also, I would like to revive and revamp the Community Impact and Workplace Learning and Performance (WLP) Champion awards. As the WLP authority in Lincoln, we must acknowledge the work individuals and organizations are accomplishing in the area of employee learning.

    I turn to you now to step up and make these things happen. Feel free to contact me, or any board member, to find out how you can become more involved in one of the strongest ASTD chapters in the country.


  • Thu, December 01, 2011 10:08 AM | Anonymous

    “There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning.” - Louis L’Amour


    As the end of the year rapidly approaches and I happily (and sadly!) turn over my position of ASTD-Lincoln President to Kevin Mattran, I look back on the accomplishments, struggles, and the non-stop learning opportunities that were made available in 2011. In November the ASTD-Lincoln Chapter celebrated its 35 anniversary and yes, there was cake! A HUGE thank you to all the past presidents, board members, and committee members who have helped grow the field of training and provided high quality monthly programs and special events.


    December 5 – 9, 2011 has been designated by ASTD National as Employee Learning Week (ELW). This is an opportunity for organizations to showcase employee learning and organizational development. A proclamation was signed by Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman, stating December 5 – 9 to be Employee Learning Week in the State of Nebraska. This was submitted as a dual proclamation by the Lincoln and Nebraska (Omaha) Chapters of ASTD.


    The annual awards ballots have been tallied and will be presented at the December learning event. You do not want to miss out on the holiday event at Hillcrest Country Club…networking, socializing, and a wonderful presentation on enjoying the holiday season. We are also collecting monetary donations for Foodnet, Inc. Our goal is to raise at least $500 for those less fortunate within our community.


    And although I will remain on the Board of Directors in 2012 as Past-President, it may appear my work here is done. However, it is just the beginning of many new adventures! I will now be in an advisory role for the current Board members, will continue to attend learning events, and will always promote the Chapter and the field of workplace learning and development.


    Happy holidays and cheers to the New Year! And now, heeeerrrreee’s Kevin!

  • Mon, October 10, 2011 4:19 PM | Anonymous
    Don't be fooled by the calendar. There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. ~ Charles Richards

    Is it October already? Whew, what a whirlwind 2011 it has been! ASTD-Lincoln has provided many educational and successful learning events this year, including a collaborative Regional Event with ASTD Nebraska. All the hard work put into coordinating the event truly paid off, as we earned just over $6500 for our chapter! And we sold out all available seats to the September learning event with Tom Kuhlmann. Cheers to our Professional Development Team and the Regional Event Committee members and volunteers!

    Did you know since the beginning of 2011, we have posted 102 career opportunities within Lincoln and Omaha? You can also visit the ASTD.org job bank for nation-wide career opportunities or attend a monthly learning event and network with others in training and development.

    We have yet another fantastic certificate program coming up this month called Multimedia for Instructional Designers. The program will provide the skills needed to make powerful multimedia content quickly and cost effectively. The program will be held on October 24 and 25 at SCC Continuing Education Building.

    Be sure to attend our November learning event, as we will be celebrating ASTD-Lincoln’s 35 year anniversary! Rumor has it there might be cake…

    A special congratulations to Mary Yelken, of the Yelken Group, who earned her CPLP this spring! The Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) credential provides a way for workplace learning and performance professionals to prove their value to employers and to be confident about their knowledge of the field.
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