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  • 07/05/2022 7:47 PM | Cheryl Hall

    2022 is the 75th anniversary of ATD VOS. When you think about 75th anniversaries, you think diamonds. Diamonds are rare. They demonstrate commitment. They have staying power.

    This organization started back in 1947, only a few years after ATD formed as the American Society of Training Directors. If you think back, how many businesses have come and gone in that time? How many still provide valuable benefits to their customers/members?


    It is rare for an organization to last this long. Our membership may have gone up and down over time, but there continues to be a need for development and growth after formal education. ATD VOS, like other chapters around the country, is a rare organization. The local chapter provides the opportunity for in-person interaction with peers. That, combined with the literature, research and events provided by the national organization creates a rich and varied canvas that, like a fine gem.  


    In 1959, the Valley of the Sun Chapter signed a charter with the American Society of Training and Development. Those members accepted their responsibility to provide ‘enrichment, opportunity and involvement to further the growth of its members.’

    ATD VOS continues to believe in this mission. We are still committed to your learning, providing content and activities that deepen, refresh and energize our members.

    Staying Power

    If you think back, how many businesses have come and gone while ATD VOS has continued providing a place for talent development professionals to share and learn from each other. Our staying power is partly due to our ability to grow and adapt as our profession has grown. Starting as a group of training directors working for manufacturing companies, ATD VOS has become a place for training professionals in all industries and all levels to connect. We now provide learning opportunities in such varied topics as OD, Change Management, Facilitation, Instructional Design, Diversity, Leadership Development and Coaching.  

    Let’s Keep This Going!

    Our chapter, like others around the country, is not seeing the same level of participation that it used to. The availability of free development resources may have created the feeling that professional organizations like ATD VOS do not provide as much value as they used to. I challenge that belief.

    We have just come out of a pandemic in which everyone has felt the loss of the connections and networks they had pre-pandemic. I don’t know about you, but I am desperate for more connections, not less.  For us to be able to look back in another 75 years, we need our members to participate.

    • Come to events
    • Engage in the conversations
    • Volunteer 
    • Share your knowledge in our programs and SIGs
    It takes a village to create something that lasts this long. Come help us make the next 75 years at ATD VOS something to brag about!
  • 04/02/2022 8:41 PM | Cheryl Hall

    I was thinking today about what it means to be a member of an organization like ATD VOS. April is Member Appreciation Month, so it is top of mind as I work on communications for chapter members. For me, being a chapter member comes down to 3 things: community, learning and volunteering.

    I love the sense of community I get from interacting with other members. Like most of you, I don’t work in a big talent development team. I don’t have someone at work with whom I can talk about ideas, practices, and tools. I love hearing about other ways of doing things. That helps me get better. Our chapter members provide a great community that scratches that particular itch for me. In March, we held a networking event using a new tool, Meetaway. I wasn’t able to attend, but I heard great things about how the tool facilitates one-on-one conversation; what most of us are looking for in networking events. I look forward to future virtual events using this tool.

    Let’s face it, those of us who develop learning love to learn. This is one of the greatest benefits I find in my chapter membership. Each year, ATD VOS has events on interesting topics that are relevant for what I do. This year we have already talked about industry trends, using applications, and storytelling. In April there will be sessions on DEI and improving learner retention. In May, we have a session on developing leaders. I can’t wait to see what else we have on the schedule for 2022.

    I have benefited so much from volunteering with the 2 chapters I have been involved with. In both cases, I gained new skills in leadership, planning, and executing programs. As the Director of Communications for ATD VOS, I am learning a new skill set in communications and marketing. I would probably never have had the chance to learn some of these skills if I had not volunteered to join a chapter board. I highly recommend it.

    This month, ATD VOS will be sending out our annual membership survey. Please take some time to think about what you value in a community like ATD VOS. Let us know what we can do to create a great experience for you.

  • 05/07/2021 11:47 AM | Anonymous

    What are you waiting for? There has never been a better time to jump into the pool of activities available at ATD Valley of the Sun. As the weather starts to heat up and the daylight extends just a little bit longer, our thoughts turn to getting outside a little more and gathering safely together again.  

    As you have read by now in the newsletter, we have some exciting new opportunities available and better yet- at no cost. As your Board members, we have heard your concerns and we wanted to let you know that we  value your membership and wanted to give you even more incentive to participate. We are working hard to add even more great programs to our schedule, so keep checking the calendar, and all we need now is YOU! So, come on in the pool of events and network, learn something new and meet your fellow ATD Valley of the Sun members.  

    See you soon and let me know how I can serve you best. 

    Kimberle Schumann

  • 02/25/2021 10:09 PM | Anonymous

    Hello ATD Valley of the Sun members and visitors to our site!   We are so excited to get our 2021 programing off to a busy start.  While it may have taken us a bit to get going, we are moving right along, and we have so many exciting things planned for this year.  Our programming is set for the next few months so make sure you sign up for these monthly evening networking educational events.  These are our longer educational programs designed to give you access to the hot topics in the Learning and Development arena today.  We’ll be staying in the virtual world for a bit longer but hopefully be able to meet in person again soon.

    In other exciting news, we are launching our Special Interest Groups (SIGs) which are smaller, targeted events that promote discussion around specific topics.  These will be happening on a regular, monthly basis so check out the calendar to join the topic that interests you.  While these too, are virtual we will make the most of these opportunities to get you connected to others in your community.

    There are many changes happening at ATD National as well.  If you aren’t aware, there are changes in the membership structure taking place starting March 1st, so take advantage and renew your National membership or become a Power member (dual membership in both VOS & ATD national).   If you haven’t heard, the ATD International conference August 29-September 1 has been moved to Salt Lake City, UT so if you were planning to attend in person you will need to re-route.  However, there are virtual options again this year.  Check out for more details.  

    The ATDVOS Board and I are working very hard to make sure your membership experience is one you feel is worth your time and investment.  The ATD Valley of the Sun Chapter is your chapter and we are here for you.  I am excited to be your President for the 2021-2022 terms and would love to hear from you on any topic so feel free to drop me a line at  



  • 07/01/2020 9:15 PM | Ina Heffner

    Hello, ATD Valley of the Sun Members and Friends.

    Can you believe it is July already?! A part of me feels disbelief that half the year is behind us. Another part of me feels like this year has lasted an eternity!

    What a world we’ve seen unfolding in 2020! I’ve felt the need to communicate my thoughts on current events for several weeks; however, I have been struggling with what thoughts and emotions to convey. We all have so many messages coming at us from all different directions these days and I do not want to just add to the white noise.

    First, I hope that you and those you care about are well. Many of us, including myself, have been taxed physically, emotionally, mentally, and psychologically over these past few months. News from around the globe this year has been exhausting, in and of itself: impeachment trials; Brexit; Australian and Brazilian, and now US, wildfires; the on-going fallout of the “Me Too” movement; primaries and politics; etc. Then came COVID-19 to show us just how much more we must be concerned about. Consequently, life as we knew it literally ground to a halt, we were instructed to change our behavior to protect ourselves and those around us, and the economy took a nose-dive. We’ve not yet made it to the safety of the other side of this pandemic and there are only question marks about when that might happen; and, now, there is a major social movement underway in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and many others that is leading to even more uncomfortable, yet necessary, conversations and situations. The common denominators in all the above are change and uncertainty!

    The doomsday recap above is not intended to discourage us, though; it is merely intended to acknowledge that there are many challenges impacting us all, to one extent or another, in this current environment. The silver lining to challenges is they offer us opportunities to grow - personally, professionally, nationally, and as a global community.

    In response to the COVID and remote work challenges, ATD Valley of the Sun rallied to quickly offer virtual programs on how these conditions impact our work in the Talent Development arena. We also gathered and publicized free development resources being made available during this time. I am so proud of Martyn Whitby’s efforts, our Director of Membership, and those who helped him pull those sessions together so expediently and efficiently. We have held, and plan to continue offering, virtual networking breaks at various times of day to give us an opportunity to have social and professional interaction while still practicing social distancing. Many thanks to Brittney Helt, Director of Marketing & Communications, for scheduling and managing the platforms to hold these events! Our Director of Professional Development and Programs, Lori Bond, pivoted quickly to virtual formats for programs during this time and arranged for one of our faithful chapter friends, Dr. Tyrone Holmes, to present a Healthy Living for Busy Professionals session with many valuable tips for managing stress and sustaining balance in this new world we are experiencing.

    Our entire Board has pulled together to regroup and adjust to the changing needs of our members. Yet, we realize we have much still to do! We’d very much appreciate your help in identifying what our to-do list and priorities should be going forward.

    The chapter leadership and I would like to hear from you on how we might better help you find the opportunities in these challenging times! Please comment below or email us at

    • How you are building and sustaining your resilience through these challenging times?
    • What skills are you working on building?
    • How can we better serve you?

    Please share your thoughts with us and your colleagues! We hope to also “see” you soon at one of our upcoming events. Check here for more information:

    Be Well, Stay Safe, Flatten the Curve!

    Ina Heffner

    President, ATD Valley of the Sun

  • 04/07/2020 4:47 PM | Deleted user

    Thank you for planning to be a part of the ATD 2020 International Conference & Exposition. After many weeks of carefully monitoring COVID-19 developments, including guidance from public health authorities and our partners in Denver, Colorado, it has become clear that ATD 2020, which had been scheduled for May 17-20, 2020, must be cancelled. message from ATD’s CEO, Tony Bingham is available for review, and we recommend reading several new frequently asked questions (FAQs).

    If you have additional questions or concerns or need assistance with a refund, please reach out to  

  • 04/06/2020 5:00 PM | Deleted user

    Hello, ATD Valley of the Sun members, friends, and colleagues!

    These are certainly different and challenging times for all of us, individually and collectively. There are dark spots in the scenario as we see and hear daily if we try to keep up with the ever-changing information in any and all media avenues. However, there are also bright spots that are breaking through the dark clouds like rays of sun on an inspirational poster: people ARE recovering from the COVID-19 virus; people in all areas of life are coming together to help others in ways we never imagined we’d do or need to do; there are insights coming into view about both the blessings we have and the improvements we need to pursue; many of us are finding joy in little things through this pause from “life as usual” that we’d neglected in our busyness of go, go, go…. I sincerely hope that you can focus more on the bright spots than the clouds and take advantage of this pause to reconnect with the joys and priorities of your life!

    Our chapter Board members are all facing the same types of challenges during this time as many of you. Yet, we are endeavoring, in the background, to find new ways to serve the needs of our chapter and community. One of those was to quickly put together a webinar on Learning & COVID-19, which was presented on March 19th, to provide an opportunity to discuss how this global health emergency is affecting and will affect our field of Talent Development. Martyn Whitby, Director of Membership, led the charge to create and facilitate this webinar in just days. During the webinar, he shared resources being offered for free to provide virtual learning & development. Participants of the webinars added to that list and Martyn compiled those in the final slide deck. That deck, along with recordings of the two webinars offered, are posted at the top of our chapter website homepage,, and are available for anyone to download.

    Because of the call for social distancing to mitigate the spread of the virus, we postponed our March program and are looking at virtual options for April and months to come. We are so thankful for friends and allies in this work, like Bob Pike, Dr. Tyrone Holmes, OpenSesame, and others who have reached out to offer virtual facilitation. Our Professional Development Director, Lori Bond, and her volunteer are working with them to get programs on our slate, as well as with the April program facilitator to determine ways to present that program virtually. The Mar-Comm and Technology Directors, Brittney Helt and Bre White are working hard to get information and updates posted for you on our various communications channels, as well as schedule virtual coffee breaks for us to network! The rest of our Board also continues to work on supporting these efforts through seeking sponsorships, community relations, volunteer coordination, and managing the chapter finances and projects. We are all in this together!

    As you can see, part of the silver lining for our chapter is that we are working toward more learning opportunities being made available for a wider audience. That is our strategy and plan to continue, even after we begin to settle into the “new normal” after this crisis. We invite you to share with us what will be most impactful for you and your organizations during this time. You can do so by emailing us at and by following the chapter on and connecting with us through our social media channels on LinkedIn and Facebook.

    Please stay tuned for more announcements as we finalize plans for  activities and offerings and, in the meantime, please stay well, stay safe, and stay home as much as possible!

    My very best wishes,

    Ina Heffner, ATD-VOS President

  • 07/18/2019 7:36 PM | Anonymous

    Recreational Entrepreneur. Man With Laptop In The Morning On The


    How to Fix Our Broken Relationship With Time Off

    Summer is here and vacation season is upon us! But if you are employed in the United States, evidence suggests that you won’t catch much R&R this summer. Various studies show that year after year, roughly half of those who are employed full-time in the States don’t use all of their allotted annual vacation time.

    As if this statistic weren’t startling enough, it is worth mentioning that American workers are granted some of the least generous paid-time-off policies in the industrialized world. With an average of just 10 days of vacation time per annum, the United States trails far behind other GDP powerhouses like China (16 days), Japan (18 days), Germany (29 days), and the UK (28 days).

    Some may be inclined to view this phenomenon as a testament to the unwavering American work ethic. But science says that Americans’ reluctance to take time off could have massive and negative consequences for their productivity, health, and engagement.

    Why We Just Can’t Seem to Get Away

    America has a complicated relationship with vacation, a dysfunction with roots in law and culture.

    The United States is the world’s only advanced economy that does not guarantee its workers any paid leave—not for federal holidays, sick days, parental leave, or vacation time. This means workers are beholden to the generosity of their employer when it comes to time off. And as surveys suggest, U.S. employers are quite miserly about PTO, at least by the rest of the world’s standards.

    But petitioning the U.S. Department of Labor to upend the laws, even if successful, may only amount to a drop in the bucket. After all, even sanctioned vacation days are going unused, suggesting that workplace culture may be the biggest culprit in robbing employees of their time off.

    Employees cite numerous reasons for surrendering their vacation time. Project: Time-Off found that, in 2018, fear of looking replaceable, a stressful workload, and a sense that everything would fall apart in their absence made workers significantly more likely to leave vacation days on the table.

    But even for those who do manage to get away, the office is never far from their minds. A 2017 study found that just 27 percent of employees were able to completely unplug during their vacations. Another study found that 66 percent were actively working during their PTO.

    Too Busy for a Vacation? Take a Workcation!

    In a culture so preoccupied with work performance and self-optimization, it would seem to be the natural course of things that “ workcati ons” are catching on among a growing number of companies in a wide range of industries. Though not yet part of the mainstream, the concept has its fair share of vocal supporters and promises to be part of the solution to America’s vacation dilemma.

    Workcations take many forms, but the fundamental principle stays constant: Rather than begrudgingly (or, rather, with the helpless enthusiasm of a martyr) tending to workplace duties while on vacation, proactively make the decision to travel while working remotely.


    For some, workcationing is a semi-permanent lifestyle. Kari DePhillips and Kelly Chase of The Content Factory, for instance, travel and work full time, running their PR company remotely as digital nomads.

    “Workcationing is about fully immersing yourself in your work while also building in ways to pamper yourself and unwind so you can be even more effective and productive,” Chase told Fast Company. The pair cited the potential for travel to thrust them out of their routines as an effective way to keep their goals in check.

    But workcationing doesn’t need to mean full-time globe-trotting. Some companies find that workcations can be especially useful when an important deadline is looming. Technology development company Kwamecorp, for instance, once flew part of its team to Bali for three weeks, where they focused intensively on a demanding project.

    “Clearing our heads from regular worries filled our bodies with energy and bliss that allowed our minds to be more open,” writes design director Pedro Cardoso. “Any barriers to creative thinking were broken.”

    Workcations are also compatible with the increasing popularity of flexible PTO policies. Under such policies, employees are free to be out of the office as often as they like, so long as they are responsibly meeting their deadlines and performance goals. This may mean taking two weeks off instead of one but calling in for an important meeting and cranking out a few reports while poolside.

    Workcation: All I Ever Wanted?

    Despite its supporters, the workcation model evokes skepticism, even hostility, in many. The phenomenon has been called “ the saddest sign of our times” and “ an anxiety trade-off,” and the charge isn’t unjustified. After all, when our vacation days are already so preciously few, the thought of choosing to work during vacation can seem like a symptom of workaholic Stockholm Syndrome.

    But as Millennials begin to comprise a larger portion of the American workforce, the concept of employer-sponsored workcations is gaining traction. Project: Time-Off reports that only 18 percent of Baby Boomers find the idea of a workcation appealing whereas 39 percent of Millennials are interested.

    Furthermore, studies suggest that blurring the boundaries between work and travel is especially appealing for those who feel that work is already encroaching upon their free time. Employees who forfeited vacation days for fear of appearing less dedicated to the job were significantly more likely to feel positively about the prospect of a working vacation than those who didn’t feel this way (37 percent versus 27 percent).

    There is a fine line between workcation as a mental health and productivity hack and workcation as another shove toward chronic burnout. Researcher Kenneth Matos framed it concisely when speaking with the Wall Street Journal: “Is the workcation detracting from the vacation you were going to have, or is it enabling the vacation you otherwise wouldn’t have had?”

    Having dedicated time to completely unplug from the demands of working life is important, no doubt. But in a nation where two-thirds of people are working during their vacations anyway, the time is ripe to consider how employers can foster a workplace culture that acknowledges this fact and empowers their workforce to take the time they need.

  • 06/26/2019 11:00 AM | Anonymous


    team lead being updated on plan


    Things That Leaders and Coaches—and the Rest of Us—Tend to Forget

    By Craig Corsini

    Wednesday, June 26, 2019

    As a young man preparing to become a public school teacher in Northern California in the 1970s, I was fortunate enough to accidentally choose a credential program the faculty of which was steeped in the philosophy of Carl Rogers, a noted American psychologist and one of the founders of the humanistic (meaning client-oriented) school of psychology.

    For me one vivid passage of Rogers’ book, On Becoming a Person: A Therapist’s View of Psychotherapy, published in 1954, was all I needed to build a personal philosophy for teaching and later for being a manager and coach. According to Rogers, the key question most new therapists think they should ask a new client is: “What do I have to do to change this person so that he or she can better function?” For more experienced therapists, however, that question changes to: “What kind of relationship must I develop with this individual to enable him or her to flourish?”

    Rogers made it a point to create an atmosphere of unconditional positive regard, another of his hallmark beliefs, for his client and himself. In doing so, he removed the stigma of affliction that infects so many therapeutic situations, as well as other developmental endeavors such as teaching and coaching, and replaced it with one of respect and wholeness. That underlying attitude on the part of the expert—the therapist, teacher, coach, or parent—can make all the difference in the life of the client, the student, the player, and the child.

    If attitude is everything when it comes to getting things done, which assumes that some sort of productive change has to take place, then the attitude of the leader has to be the most critical.

    A side benefit of removing the stigma of affliction is that it places a level of responsibility on the client or learner to play a substantial role in her own wellness and development. And this concept brings about a fresh sense of wholeness to the relationship, in which there is joint ownership of the processes of healing and learning. In essence, it creates a team approach—and teams are hard to beat, and good teams can be invincible over periods of time.

    Indeed, Rogers’ classic work on the human potential for growth and creativity has underpinned my entire professional and personal life. It colors my judgment about people and the situations we get ourselves into almost entirely. It has helped me better evaluate and work with leaders, managers, and co-workers.

    In my experience, many leaders and managers, including teachers and coaches, either misunderstand or misapply team concepts, even those of who willingly acknowledge that team-building is their primary function. Part of the reason for this is that graduate and professional schools, as well as public and private organizations, do not introduce many team-building experiences into their curricula. In other words, they do not practice what they preach.

    Another reason is that leaders, particularly in the private sector, are most often compensated based on the attainment of financial results, instead of the achievement of the mission of the organization. This unbalanced emphasis on quantity over quality also shows up when we compare the compensation of a CEO versus an entry-level employee. In some organizations, the disproportion multiple can be as much as 500 times or more. This structural and economic dysfunction has broad and deep consequences in business and education—or anywhere people assemble to create change and progress. Just imagine the productivity gains of having competent leaders that we could enjoy were things done differently.

    About the Author

    Craig Corsini

    Craig J. "Skip" Corsini is a writer, consultant, guest speaker, home chef, and grandfather who lives in Northern California. He worked for more than 40 years in sales, marketing, communications, professional development, and non-profit program management in a variety of industries that included high tech, commercial real estate, and banking. He paid piercingly close attention to how leaders and organizations succeed and fail, and has written extensively about it. For the past 12 years he was worked in retail. He likes retail best.

  • 06/24/2019 11:56 AM | Anonymous

    Join us with Steve Hicks tonight as he leads a session on Defining Coaching Skills for Leaders.  There is still time to sign up, check our Events page! 

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