Blog Updates

Here is where we'll share periodic news and updates on the chapter, its activities, and some of the most intriguing things we're hearing about in the L & D industry. We may even have some of our industry leaders and friends share with us an update or two.

Check back often and see what's happening at any time.
  • 29 Aug 2015 10:08 AM | Molly Leonard (Administrator)

    Fellow member of the A2ATD Community,

    It is time again to let us know your thoughts about A2ATD. The 2015 A2ATD Member Survey is now open. Please take the survey so we can gather your feedback on upcoming programs and how we have been doing. As an added bonus for your participation, anyone who takes this survey can choose to be entered in a drawing for a free chapter meeting (more details in the survey).

    Click here to complete the survey!

    Two items that we would like to draw your attention to in this survey are the CPLP and ATD Power Membership.

    • ATD Power Membership allows you to combine registration as a member to both your local ATD Chapter and ATD at a discounted rate.This will give you the benefits of local networking as well as the ATD online resources at a lower price. More information about ATD Power Membership can be found here.

    • The CPLP is the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance certification and it is the only credential covering the whole Talent Development (TD) profession. This certification gives you the ability to prove your expertise to employers and to be confident in your knowledge of the field. More information about the CPLP can be found here.

    Thanks again for taking your time to complete the survey.

    - The A2ATD Board

  • 29 Aug 2015 10:00 AM | Molly Leonard (Administrator)

    Communication is an important element to all team work, and even more important to us “trainers.” It is the method upon how all our content and work is delivered to our consumers. But we can’t think of our own personal communication as something that can be invested in once and it will stay valuable. If communication were an investment, it is less of an asset and more of an account. It is something that must be invested in continuously for it to improve and stay valuable.

    Summer is the perfect time to work on this skill, because getting away from the office is the right time to improve what is in the office. Your training team should look forward to an outing where you can work on your communication between each other with different activities. Do not get me wrong, I enjoy the usual outings of “team building”- Golf outings, baseball games, and car races. These are great for getting out, taking it easy, and just talking with your friends from work. But, they do not really help in communicating better. An afternoon barbeque from the office at a nearby park or outdoor venue is a great change to work on this with team members. This will get everyone away from the conference rooms and computer, but still together to work this skill.

    The event should start with eating and socializing of course, to get everyone comfortable and building a team rapport. But then the event should move into some communication building games as follows:

    • ·       “Draw it Out”- A game where someone is challenged to draw the obvious, will become obviously hard to do. A set of slips of paper must be assembled with words of everyday home objects on them. A large vertical drawing board is also needed. Everyone will be broken up into teams of 2, with each team going one at a time. Each team will then need to pick a drawer and describer. When it is time for the team to go, the describer will be given a slip of paper. The describer will then need to tell the drawer what to draw, using every word they have but the word on the slip. Each team will be timed, and the team with the shortest time taken will be the winner.
    • “Sell that Survival Tool”- Sometimes the best means of survival, is how well you can sell it. Everyone imagines they are on a deserted island and there is a pile of items available to the
    • m. The pile of items will be a stack of envelopes. Each envelope will contain a card with one survival item written on it, a piece of paper, and a pen. Everyone is given one of these envelopes at random. Each person must then write down for the next 5 minutes of time why that item is the most important survival item to have with them on the deserted island. When the time is up, each person must pass the paper to someone else. The next person then reads and presents from the notes, why that item is the most important for survival. Votes for each item are given. A roundtable discussion should occur while voting takes place to discuss the best item and best argument. The winning pair (writer and presenter) gets a prize.

    Each of these activities is great for practicing communication. The first makes you focus clearly on the directions you are giving your team mate. When taken into a training setting, this will help clarify your training directions. The second activity will help each team member focus on their own enthusiasm and persuasion on the benefit of an idea. Sometimes the trickiest part of training is not presenting the new material, but really focusing on how to make it interesting for the audience. This activity will make each team member focus on that power.

    To end, each of these activities is easy and affordable. The price and logistics of the food will be harder to tackle then putting these activities together. But, I believe each will yield benefits bigger than the effort of trying it out. Please try these activities out at your next summer team building event, and I hope you see better communication come the fall.

    ~ Joshua Jones, A2ATD Member at Large

  • 12 Dec 2014 4:00 PM | John Newman

    You asked for it and we listened. Nearly 2/3 of A2ATD members voted to move our monthly meetings to 5:30 and we are starting in January.

    Join us January 8, 2015 for guest facilitator Kathy Waltz Miller's Managing Transitions - Making the Most of Change. See the events page for registration.

  • 13 Jun 2014 4:30 PM | John Newman
    This month we celebrate the 35th anniversary of the Ann Arbor Chapter of ASTD. Thanks to Mary Ellen Dolan and Deb Nystrom for finding this wonderful picture from the 25th anniversary.

  • 23 Oct 2013 9:01 AM | Tonya V. Thomas (Administrator)
    We've created a new Job Postings page for Members only where members can create and share their own job postings to the chapter membership audience. This is an exclusive benefit of chapter membership and puts your job opening in front of the eyes of qualified and seasoned professionals who have already demonstrated their career commitment and engagement as a learning and development professional by joining our chapter.

    Check the page out now and add your posting today!

  • 04 Aug 2013 7:49 PM | Tonya V. Thomas (Administrator)
    Dear A2ASTD Members and Guests,

    It has been said that variety is the spice of life, so variety is what you will see offered in the 2013-2014 A2ASTD programs starting this September!

    Your A2ASTD Board of Directors has been busy over the summer planning our next year of development events and activities for the coming program year. Here's a preview of what we have in store for you!
    • Monthly meeting times will rotate to give you more options to attend:
      • Morning (7:30 – 9:30 a.m.)
      • Lunch (Noon – 2:00 p.m.)
      • Dinner (5:00 – 7:00 p.m.)
    • You will experience new delivery formats, such as:
      • Panels
      • Workshops
      • Hands-on demonstrations 
      • On-site business visits
      • Web events
      • Social gatherings
    • Valuable and exciting new programs, including:
      • Using Gamification and Social Media in Instructional Design
      • Overcoming Training Obstacles
      • Learning Technologies Review (with hands-on demonstrations)
      • How to Get Leadership Buy-In
    Another change we want to make you aware of is to our monthly event pricing. To better steward our chapter resources and encourage earlier registration, we are instituting a tiered pricing model that includes a slightly higher registration fee for those registering within only 48 hours of each month's chapter gathering. More details on this are coming with the September 5th chapter event announcement coming to your email inbox in the next couple of weeks.

    We are excited for this upcoming year and look forward to offering you new learning and networking experiences! Look for the September 5 meeting announcement coming your way soon!


    Jodi Kruse, CPLP
    VP of Programs
  • 03 May 2013 7:00 PM | Tonya V. Thomas (Administrator)
    At the May 2 chapter meeting, membership voted in favor of the following updates to the A2ASTD By-Laws:

    The primary change is to meet growing and emerging needs of the chapter in the areas of marketing and technology -- agreement of membership was confirmed to split the current role of Vice President of Communications into the following two (2) separate roles:
    • Vice President of Marketing/Communications
      • This position is currently open and voting will occur during the month of May for the 2013-2015 term; membership will receive the slate of candidates within the next couple of days and will be able to submit their votes at that time.
    • Vice President of Technology/Operations
      • This role is being assumed by former VP Communications, Tonya Thomas.
    The second change is to the total number of concurrent Members-at-Large, which will be elected based on chapter needs for the following year as determined by the Board prior to the election.

    Thank you to our membership for their forward-thinking support of these chapter changes.

    Your A2ASTD
  • 02 Apr 2013 9:00 AM | Tonya V. Thomas (Administrator)


    On behalf of your Chapter Board of Directors, let me thank you for being a member of A2ASTD and share how excited we are with the state of our chapter! You have heard me say at monthly events that it is an honor and a privilege to serve as your president and I would like to reiterate that here. If I have not had the chance to meet you in person, please introduce yourself at an upcoming  monthly event.

    Chapter Programming

    Programming has been phenomenal, capitalizing on topics that align with the ASTD Competency Model. Nationally known speakers Bill Wilson and Jim Knight come instantly to mind as well as great local presenters such as Sharon Cloke and Judy Ravin. Watch and plan to join us for monthly meetings and special events.

    Chapter Financial Performance

    Financially, our chapter is in very good shape with our assets increasing in the last year by over 15 percent to $22K+ which, among other things, allows us to bring in nationally known speakers and ensure Board members can develop as chapter leaders by attending conferences such as the ASTD Leadership Conference.

    Chapter Membership

    Our membership has grown to 84 members (increased over 10 percent since June, 2012) and joint membership with ASTD National is at 42 percent. If you are not a joint member, I encourage you to learn more. ASTD National has amazing resources for members including lots of free materials and discounted prices for classes, books and more. When you join both A2ASTD and ASTD National as a Power Member, you also get a discounted national membership. Watch our website for more information on membership.

    Chapter Operations

    As you may be aware, CORE (Chapter Operating Requirements) are performance guidelines set by ASTD National that each chapter must meet in order to maintain status as an ASTD chapter. Our 2012 CORE paperwork was submitted well ahead of the deadline and I have just been informed that once again we will achieve 100 percent CORE compliance!

    The Board continues to look at the best ways to position our chapter for the future including great programming, scheduling exciting presenters and attracting new members to grow our chapter. If you have any ideas or would like to volunteer to help us, please contact a board member. Our email addresses are available on the Chapter Leadership webpage. To make it easy, we now have A2ASTD email addresses. You can reach any of us by addressing your email to <first initial, lastname> (ex. ).

    Again, thank you for being a member of A2ASTD. We very much appreciate your support, and as your partner in career development, we wish you continued growth and success in your career as a workplace learning professional.

    All the best,


    Debb Hibbs

    A2ASTD Chapter President


  • 18 Mar 2013 7:58 AM | Tonya V. Thomas (Administrator)

    2013 ASTD ICE Volunteer Opportunity

    As 2013 ASTD International Conference and Exposition gets closer, we are still looking for another 200+ volunteers. Some key information:
    • You don't have to be a member of ASTD to volunteer at the conference
    • The conference volunteers are needed Sunday, 19 May through Wednesday, 22 May
    • For each day you volunteer, you will get a free day at the conference
    • You will not need to register for the conference
    • If you only volunteer for one day, you will have an opportunity to purchase additional days at a volunteer discounted rate
    • You will meet other professionals and develop collaborative relationships
    • You will have fun at the $75 networking event getting to know your peers
    When you are truly passionate about something, it is contagious. Volunteering for your professional association demonstrates your passion. Let it be contagious and help us recruit more volunteers.

    Please help us forwarding the registration link:

    By Barbara Ashbaugh, Gloria Ortiz and Sinai Rosales
    2013 ASTD ICE Volunteer Committee
  • 10 Jan 2013 1:00 PM | Tonya V. Thomas (Administrator)
    So the world didn't end like folks thought it might.

    What that means to us is that there is a whole lot of learning still yet to be done, and we're excited about that as we rev up for another year of growth, development and innovation. With the feedback we received from our membership during the recent Impact & Communication Survey, and through the talents of a very progressive Board of Directors, we're doing a lot of new things with programming, with our website and more, including providing you with this feed of running chapter updates via our new A2ASTD blog (easily found at

    We've just recently moved all the links to the chapter board meeting agendas, minutes, budget, reports and more to the Members-Only page so you are better kept in the loop in regards to the chapter's planning, activities and operations. You're the reason we are here and why we do what we do, so it's the LEAST we can do with your continued support.

    As many of you may have noticed, many of the emails you receive from A2ASTD carry a more consistent branded appearance. We're becoming a more well-oiled learning machine every day and we want that to show, too!

    Lastly, there is a very active LinkedIn networking group for our members and friends and we are certainly leveraging that space, so join us there as well and revel in the juicy tidbits of learning goodness that are shared there every day. Likewise, we're hoping you'll follow our very active Twitter feed, bringing to you the best of L & D in 140 characters or less every day.

    We're looking forward to a great 2013 -- because we know that, with our wonderful members, we're going to get there together.


    - tvt -
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