ATD-LA News

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  • 05/17/2019 11:29 AM | Grant Skakun (Administrator)

    Member since:

    I have been a member of ATD since 2008 and a member of the local chapter for 5+ years, although not continuously.

    Professional role/position:

    Professionally, I work for Landmark Theatres as their Director of Training. This is a one person department which I have held for the last decade, although I have worked for Landmark for 30 years total.

    ATD-LA volunteer role/position:

    I volunteer as the chair for the Westside GIG, and I have volunteered in this capacity since the beginning of 2018, taking it over from Rachel Karu who did it for more than a decade.

    Why do you volunteer for ATD-LA?

    I volunteer because I need the community. Being a one person department and not having a budget for developing myself, I rely on the networking and friendships I have made along the way through this organization to keep me grounded and inspired.

    Favorite ATD-LA memory:

    It would be hard to pick one memory. I enjoy the chapter meetings and being inspired by listening to the stories of others the most.

  • 04/11/2019 8:17 AM | Grant Skakun (Administrator)

    Member since: October 2018

    ATD-LA volunteer role/position: Interim Secretary

    Why do you volunteer for ATD-LA?: I think that it's a great organization with people who truly care about the profession and the impact that they are making in their careers. I noticed a strong familial energy at the ATD-LA events and wanted to be a part of that welcoming experience. Volunteering was just the icing on the cake.

    Favorite ATD-LA memory:  At the last chapter meeting, the former presidents and board members attended, and it was so great to hear about their experiences, their journeys, and where they are now in their lives and careers. 

  • 03/21/2019 12:00 AM | Grant Skakun (Administrator)

    Member Since: June 2018

    Professional Role/Position:  I'm an Instructional Designer at Dine Brands Global where I develop training for IHOP restaurants.

    ATD-LA Volunteer Role/Position: I've been helping out on the ATD-LA chapter meeting planning team.

    Why Do You Volunteer for ATD-LA? When I moved to Los Angeles, not only was I looking for a new job, I was in search of a professional community to connect with and invest in. From the first chapter meeting I attended, I was struck by the welcome I received and the timely and relevant content shared from the front. I knew I'd be back! I've received so much from this group in the short time I've been involved and wanted to contribute in some way. Luckily for me there were lots of ways to get involved and I found there was a place for me on the chapter planning team. I've enjoyed working with Kavita to help plan ahead for future chapter meetings and am excited for what's on the calendar!

    Favorite ATD-LA Memory: The Brain Exchange chapter meeting in January was one of my favorites so far. I love the spirit of generosity in this group and I enjoyed hearing everyone's gems of wisdom at the event. One thing that stuck with me from that evening was when Fred Stevens shared about giving empathetic thought to the commute someone faced in order to get to a training event. Simply acknowledging someone's commute can go a long way to set them at ease and create a space that helps them learn. I love that! And living in Los Angeles, I think we can all relate to the struggle. I've thought of that so many times since he said it. And that was just one of about fifty things I came away with that night. Can't wait for the next one of those!

  • 03/19/2019 9:27 AM | Grant Skakun (Administrator)

    On March 13, 2019, ATD Los Angeles’ newest Community of Practice launched to a standing-room-only crowd in Chatsworth. The Nonprofit Trainers and Instructional Designers SIG caters to learning professionals working in Los Angeles’ many nonprofit organizations, and was founded by a group of nonprofit talent development professionals led by Esther Ramirios, M.Ed., M.A.

    The first meeting of the Nonprofit SIG featured a presentation titled “Tips and Tricks for Quick and Dirty Training” led by Melody Lam, Learning Consultant at Farmers Insurance. Attendees were enthralled, with one participant sharing:

    "My staff loved it all! It was excellent and just enough info. [My colleague] is excited to use what was shared on her upcoming presentation … Can't wait for the next meeting!"

    “Melody had a great presentation that was engaging, relevant, and informative,” shared Nonprofit SIG founder Esther Ramirios. “All and all, [the event was] a great meet and greet with valuable information...in traditional ATD style!”

    ATD Los Angeles’ Communities of Practice are subgroups established to help the chapter better serve our diverse member community, which spans three counties and members working in a multitude of roles and professional specializations. The Communities of Practice (COPs) may be regional – our Geographic Interest Groups (GIG) – or topical – our Special Interest Groups (SIG) – and offer our members another way to network with peers, connect with the Chapter, and gain valuable knowledge and skills. 

    The Nonprofit Trainers and Instructional Designers SIG will meet 2nd Tuesday of every other month from 8am-9:30am in Chatsworth. For more information on this group and ATD-LA’s other communities of practice, click here. A complete calendar of upcoming community of practice events can be found here.

  • 03/19/2019 9:13 AM | Grant Skakun (Administrator)

    On Friday, March 15, The Los Angeles Chapter of the Association for Talent Development (ATD) was recognized for its submission to the ATD “Sharing Our Success” (SOS) program. The national SOS program identifies best practices among local ATD chapters and uses them as models for other chapters.

    The SOS submission was prepared by Kavita Gupta, Director of Chapter Meetings, and documented the program for the ATD-LA’s January Chapter meeting. The program, titled “Brain Exchange and New Year Networking Mixer,” was a hit among attendees and Kavita’s SOS submission detailed the event and how other ATD chapters can program a similar event for their membership.

    Elizabeth Beckham, Chair of ATD’s Chapter Recognition Committee said, "This recognition honors the Los Angeles Chapter’s best practice that demonstrates its commitment to managing a successful organization as well as advancing the talent development profession at the local level. We are honored to recognize the chapter with ATD's SOS recognition."

    Kavita and ATD-LA will be honored at the 2019 ATD Chapter Leaders Conference, and the SOS submission will also be featured in an upcoming edition of ATD’s Leader Connection Newsletter.

    This latest recognition reflects the first SOS recognition for ATD-LA in over two and a half years and the fifth SOS recognition overall for the chapter. ATD-LA was first recognized by the SOS program in 2003.

    To learn more about other awards and recognition ATD-LA has received, click here. For more information about opportunities to volunteer with the chapter, click here.

  • 03/11/2019 9:19 AM | Grant Skakun (Administrator)

    In March 2019, the Association for Talent Development, parent organization of ATD-LA, informed the chapter that it had reached two important milestones:

    • The chapter was recertified for 2019 as meeting all 18 elements of CARE, ATD’s set of affiliation requirements for local chapters. ATD-LA has proudly maintained this annual certification for many years and has always remained compliant with ATD’s affiliation requirements and programs.
    • In addition, the chapter was recognized as a 2019 Membership Star for maintaining a 45-50% Power Membership percentage, a metric which reflects how many ATD-LA members also maintain an active ATD membership.

    The ATD-LA board was informed of this recertification and recognition by a letter from the President of ATD, Tony Bingham, in which he congratulated and thanked the chapter leadership team. “ATD recognizes that the value you provide to your members through well-run chapter programs, services, and exceptional operations,” wrote Bingham, “is the result of the individual time, resources, innovation, thought, and dedication you and your team contribute.”

    ATD-LA is proud to affiliate with the international ATD organization, and this latest recognition reflects the chapter’s commitment to representing the greater Los Angeles area’s talent development professionals locally, nationally, and globally.

    For more information on Power Membership, click here. For information on opportunities to support the chapter as a volunteer, visit atdla.org/Volunteer.

  • 03/04/2019 8:44 AM | Grant Skakun (Administrator)



    From left to right: Kavita Gupta (current President-Elect and Director of Chapter Meetings), Troy Achong (Past President 2006), Grant Skakun (current Office Administrator), Michael Baroff (Past President 1992), Jo Lynn Feinstein (Past President 1996, Los Padres Chapter), Michael Thompson (former Community of Practice leader), Susan Friedman, Ed.D. (former board member), Ben Sieke (current President), Annette Shaked (Past President 2000), Sean Bloch (Past President 2012), Peter Bechtel, Ph.D. (Past President 2003), Janie Honeycutt (former board member), Anthony Lewis (Past President 2016), Laurie Siedelman (former board member), G. Fred Stevens (former board member), Danielle Jenkins, Ed.D (current Co-Director of Learning), Carol Ring (current Co-Director of Learning) Not pictured but also in attendance: Margeaux Sullivan (current Director of Marketing), Andrea Proctor (current Manager of Social Media), Denise Ross (current Association Manager), Angela Anable (current Westside GIG leader)

    At its monthly chapter meeting on February 21, 2019, ATD-LA recognized and heard from more than 25 years of past chapter leaders, including past presidents, board members, and communities of practice leaders. These leaders were asked to share a few words about their time leading the chapter and the impact that ATD-LA has had on their personal and professional lives.

    “I was moved to hear stories from so many longtime members and former leaders about how ATD-LA has been the genesis of their careers and many lasting relationships,” said Ben Sieke, President of ATD-LA. “Tonight’s event is a testament to our chapter’s 73-year history of peer leadership and service to our members and community and a great reminder of why we join and volunteer with ATD-LA.”

    The chapter meeting, produced by President-Elect and Director of Chapter Meetings Kavita Gupta, was titled “The Habits of Great Leaders” and featured a keynote presentation by Dr. Peter Cardon of the USC Marshall School of Business. The event sold out and was attended by more than 50 members and guests.

    For more information on ATD-LA Chapter Meetings, including upcoming events, click here. For more information on ATD-LA's leadership team, click here.

  • 12/12/2018 3:20 PM | Grant Skakun (Administrator)

    Vince Budrovich, a leader of the South Bay GIG, won a free registration to an ATD Education certificate program, compliments of ATD-Los Angeles! In a gesture of appreciation for the chapter's volunteers, Ben Sieke, ATD-LA President, conducted a random drawing for the free registration that included all of ATD-LA's board members, leaders, and managers.  

    Vince will be attending the live online Articulate Storyline Certificate course from January 10 to February 7, 2019.

    Please join the chapter in congratulating Vince! And if you are interested in learning more about the benefits of volunteering with ATD-LA, be sure to check out the volunteer page.


  • 11/02/2018 2:31 PM | Grant Skakun (Administrator)
    Kavita was appointed director of chapter meetings in October by the president with the approval of a majority of the members of the board of directors.


    Kavita has over 20 years of experience in education and training. She was a former corporate trainer, consultant and adjunct and has expertise in needs assessment and the design, delivery and management of training programs for the private and public sector. Kavita has been involved with ATD for over 8 years, previously served on two ATD boards and is the original author of A Practical Guide to Needs Assessment (Wiley, 2014 co-published by ASTD). She has worked with over 2,000 professionals and volunteers, served on eight boards and chaired over twenty-five committees. She is very actively involved at USC and currently chairs the Rossier School of Education Learning Design and Technology Advisory Board. Kavita holds a Masters in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University (Magna Cum Laude), and Masters in Sociology from Rajasthan University and Bachelors in Economics from Delhi University in India.


    Click here to learn more about the ATD-LA leadership team.

  • 10/14/2018 12:00 AM | Grant Skakun (Administrator)

    Grant Skakun, office administrator of ATD Los Angeles Chapter, attended ATD’s Chapter Leaders Conference (ALC) in Washington D.C. on Oct. 11–13.


    ALC is an annual conference for leaders of ATD chapters across the U.S. to network, share best practices, and learn about resources to support their chapters.

    Grant met with fellow chapter board members, volunteers, and talent development professionals to discuss strategies, tactics, and solutions for running an ATD chapter. He attended sessions on leveraging chapter partnerships, marketing and communication, building a culture of recruiting, and developing a sustainable chapter. 

    Tony Bingham, president of ATD, announced that ATD-LA was one of the top 10 chapters in the country to participate in the Chapter Incentive Program, a revenue sharing program with ATD.

    Grant intends to utilize the strategies he learned and the connections he made at ALC to better serve members and support ATD-LA volunteers.

    We invite you to become an ATD-LA member or volunteer to build your professional network and achieve your career goals.

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ATD-Los Angeles Chapter
9852 W. Katella Ave. #187
Anaheim, CA 92804
office@atdla.org
562-908-3020
Chapter Code: CH8028

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