It all started with a crazy idea. An idea so wild that many of my peers didn’t understand it. A panel reviewing proposals at ATD Chapter Leader Conference rejected it. An idea that I had to make a committee to find people who believed in the same thing I do to help make this idea a reality.
My idea? To create a program that showcases new ideas. A program that may give someone their first speaking opportunity. I wanted to create an Emerging Professional Showcase and with a lot of love and support from a fabulous committee, it is finally happening on October 3.
Central Ohio Association for Talent and Development removed the term “young professional” last year in favor of the term emerging professional. We define an emerging professional as someone who is a student in an L&D related program AND/OR possesses 5 or fewer years of experience in L&D.
To seek out emerging professionals, I wanted to start by doing an RFP process but then I immediately changed my mind. I don’t have the heart to tell someone no, especially if it’s the first presentation they have ever given. I then thought about potential barriers for the speakers, with the big one being the audience. Is there anything more scary that worrying about what kind of question you will be asked? Then, of course, the question is something you don’t know the answer to? In order to create a more welcoming environment, I’ve recruited a panel of coaches who will provide each speaker with warm yet targeted feedback on how to improve. There is no reason to blow out someone else’s candle for stumbling through a concept or not delivering a keynote worthy presentation. We all start somewhere and the purpose of this program is the help light the flame for the future of L&D. There were also two folks that were not in Columbus that I wanted to participate so I decided to have both in-person and virtual presenters. Does this complicate things? Absolutely, but I don’t know any other way of doing things than reaching for the stars. I’ve recruited an excellent emcee for the event, another fellow emerging professional so I can focus on producing and managing the virtual presenters.
I’d like to formally thank the panel of coaches: Ana-Paula Correia, Dawn Snyder, Tracy Shroyer, Matt Yauk, Maria Moore, Joe Suarez, and Todd Remer. This couldn’t be possible without you being kind enough with your time to help guide our presenters. Also a huge thank you to Dana Vogelmeier, Michelle Stiver, Kara Stafford, Tracy Shroyer, and Jane Magness for serving on the committee that helped bring this to life.
Without further adieu, I want to introduce you to the five speakers at Central Ohio ATD’s Emerging Professional Showcase and share with you why I think they are so important to the future of L&D.
Michael Garrett is going to be talking about using green screens in your next learning product. The reason I asked Michael to present during the Emerging Professionals Showcase is that he’s so talented behind the camera. Michael earned his BA in Film Studies from OSU in 2015 and is my co-worker at OSU. His calm demeanor is something I’m very envious of. Furthermore, the quality of his work speaks volumes. Michael is also competing in our Look & Learn portion of the program sharing the great work he did with Dr. Claire Kamp-Dush about the motherhood penalty.
I believe with all my heart that Ankit Shah is the personification of passion. I met him a few months ago when he reached out to me on LinkedIn to ask about my masters in workforce development since he was also interested in the program. I’m so glad I’ve had the pleasure of adding him into my network. Ankit will be talking about the role of artificial intelligence in the workforce. Another passion of Ankit’s is diversity and inclusion. We went to lunch together today and he asked me a great question: “Why are L&D and D&I separated?” I didn’t have a good answer and just by knowing him, I’ve thought more about diversity and inclusion. He’s definitely asking the right questions and I’m so excited he’s part of our program!
I’m calling it now, Ceren Korkmaz is the future of learning experience design. Asking Ceren to talk about emotional design will result in her starting to glow. Her perspectives on emotional design are new and needed for L&D to progress and get to the level that marketing and other industries are killing it in.
I met Tony Jones on LinkedIn after he reached out to me about getting into the L&D space. I had a networking event that evening about 30 minutes away so we had a phone conversation as I drove to my destination. I was blown away by his energy and experience in call centers. I started my L&D career in call centers and I know how draining those environments can be. I’m thrilled Tony is joining us sharing some of his tips to coach associates in call centers.
I created this program for people like Alex Godinez. I met Alex through the Training Learning and Development Community and we almost immediately become friends. Alex is crazy talented as a training facilitator and is ridiculously funny. He should be the perfect way to end our presentation portion of the program.
Immediately following the Emerging Professional Showcase is our Look & Learn event. This event will allow participants to learn more about how L&D is approached at different organizations. We are still accepting RFPs for this from ALL professionals, so please consider submitting your project!
If you’d like to support this effort and our emerging professional speakers, I invite you to sign up to attend if you are in the Columbus area or join us virtually to cheer on our virtual presenters. Or if you are busy on October 3, consider adding these folks to your network. Support them, invite them to virtual coffee, lift them up.
Also, I want to know what YOU are doing to make L&D better! How can you make an impact?