2018 Board members

President - Jean Eckhoff

Jean Eckhoff is the Sales Enablement Training Specialist for Four Winds Interactive (FWI). FWI is a software company specializing in transforming data into visually creative signage to engage employees and customers that drives business results. Her career path has taken her may places including Italy to teach English as a foreign language, Florida where she started her own language school and Boulder, Colorado where she worked for President Benson at the University of Colorado. 

Jean holds a BA in Communication with a minor in Italian from the University of Colorado Boulder and an MBA in Marketing from Lynn University in Florida. Jean specializes in creating and teaching products and service knowledge curriculum as well as using a blend of coaching and training for new and seasoned sales executives to increase their efficiency and effectiveness. 

Jean joined the ATD Rocky Mountain Chapter board because she wants to collaborate with and support others on their journey to enhance their careers and and develop their unique skills. She looks forward to contributing to members' development by providing innovative programming that enhances knowledge, cultivates curiosity and stretches the imagination. 

I believe that there is always some new piece of knowledge to acquire, a fresh idea to incorporate in one's life, or a question that needs to be asked and answered. I always felt the best way to find these things is by sharing our life's experiences with each other. 

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Past President - Yvonne Bogard, CPLP

Yvonne has served on the Board of Rocky Mountain Chapter in Denver since 2011 in various roles such as Technology and Virtual Programs. She earned her certification as a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) in 2014. To build on that success, she has co-developed a sustainable CPLP Study Group model in 2015 to continue the momentum of developing talent professionals located across the USA and internationally. 

Additionally, Yvonne is passionate about eLearning, and emerging technologies and trends. Yvonne joined Regis University in 2009 as an Instructional Designer now working primarily with the new College of Computer and Information Sciences (CC&IS). Prior to joining Regis University, Yvonne served as the Director of Technology and Distance Education for University of Colorado at Colorado Springs (UCCS), College of Education. Additionally, she has taught as an adjunct online and in the classroom for the Linguistically Diverse Education (LDE) master's program for eight years. She likes the fact that she has been on both sides of the virtual desk.

In 2007, Yvonne earned her second Master’s degree in the fully online Information Learning Technologies (ILT) program with an emphasis in Instructional Design and Adult Learning from University of Colorado at Denver (UCD). In 2002, Yvonne earned her first Master’s degree in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Northern Arizona University (NAU) and went on to teach western business culture and language to Samsung managers in South Korea. With Yvonne's background in technology, teaching and instructional design, she says she finally found her niche.

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Vice President of Certifications - Shannon Wzientek, CPLP

Shannon earned the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) certification in 2016. While preparing for the CPLP Exam, she was an active member in the Virtual CPLP Study Group and attributes much of her success throughout her CPLP journey to her participation in the group. She is now involved in overseeing and managing this program to give back and propel this sustainable model. 

Shannon is the Learning and Development Manager for a large accounting firm, CohnReznick. She is responsible for designing, developing and administering training for the entire firm in a variety of formats including online, blended and instructor led formats. Shannon is responsible for and managed the firm's leadership and professional skills curriculum. Her previous roles include Instructional Designer II for a non-profit organization and a consultant focusing on organizational process development and improvement for an insurance company. 

Shannon earned her Master's Degree in Instructional Systems Development from the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, and has a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration from Colorado State University.

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Vice President of Community Engagement - Sue Fody

Sue Fody is the owner of GOT IT! Learning Designs, LLC. Sue creates amazing learning experiences using her expertise in instructional design and training delivery. She has a passion for helping visual learners comprehend complex concepts using graphic recordings and illustrations that enhance course material. As a visual communicator, Sue draws maps and illustrations of brainstorming sessions, strategic plans, training agendas and content, and visioning sessions. This magic happens either in front of a live audience or in the studio to be revealed at an event. Before opening GOT IT!, Sue worked in corporations for over 18 years in industries such as healthcare, data storage, and yellow pages. Sue earned a BA in Art and Education, and has her MA in instructional design. 

Sue has been an active ATD leader in a variety of capacities for over 10 years. This includes three years as President of the ATD Northern Rockies Chapter where, in addition to leading the chapter, increasing membership, and creating organizational structure, she brought the Disney Institute to Northern Colorado. This fundraising event produced enough profit to sustain the chapter for over six years. After moving to Denver, Sue joined the ATD Rocky Mountain Chapter Board. 

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Vice President of Communications - Lisa Gillard

Lisa GillardLisa is a Sales Training Specialist with Warner Pacific Insurance, helping insurance brokers navigate the world of Medicare Insurance contracting, quoting, and selling.  She earned her Master's Degree in Training and Development from Regis University.  Lisa has enjoyed being able to share her knowledge with speaking opportunities at Community College of Denver.  In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family (2 grown kids), her dogs, skiing and hiking.  

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Vice President of Finance - Lisa Vallad, CPA, CPLP

Lisa Suzanne Vallad is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP), which she earned in 2014. Lisa’s commitment to managing the learning function is demonstrated through her most recent position as the CORE Operations Training and User Support Manager with the State of Colorado, and prior to that as the Continuing Professional Education Program Manager at the University of Colorado. As an advocate for the learning community, Lisa shares her experiences and knowledge through frequent presentations with organizations such as Training Magazine’s Online Learning Conference, the Colorado Learning and Teaching with Technology Conference, and the Colorado Fiscal Managers’ Association Conference.

In 2011, Lisa earned her Master’s in Education degree, in Training and Development, from North Carolina State University. While Lisa’s career first began in accounting and finance when she earned her Bachelor’s in Business Administration in Accountancy from Western Michigan University, and continued when she earned her CPA licenses in both the states of Michigan and Colorado, it was ultimately her love for teaching that shifted her career focus. Lisa has been able to leverage the skills she obtained as a CPA, and bring those with her as she focuses on managing the learning functions in finance and accounting environments.

When Lisa is not indulging her natural curiosity by exploring new ideas, you can find her indulging in one of her many pursuits as an avid Colorado outdoor enthusiast, such as hiking, camping, and snowboarding.

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Vice President of Membership - Shawn Evans

Shawn Evans is a learning solutions management professional with over 20 years of experience in corporate learning, business development and program management supporting large scale learning initiatives. He began his learning and development career in 1992 focused on technical training covering Cisco Systems and Nortel before transitioning to corporate wide initiatives in 2001 spanning clients in Banking, Energy, Aviation, Technology, Consumer Products and Healthcare. 

Client support has primarily focused on developing customized blended learning, performance support, facilitation and e-learning.   He enjoys working with clients to understand their underlying business and performance goals to ensure solutions are aligned with a client’s vision of success, value drivers and implementation requirements. Two of his client projects won the Operational Program Excellence and Vendor Innovation in Learning and Talent Management awards from Bersin and Associates.  

In 1992 Shawn obtained a B.S. Degree in Business Administration with an emphasis on Finance and Marketing from the University of Colorado.  

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Co-Vice President of Programming - Marla Whipple

Marla has over ten years designing in-person and online learning experiences, including over six years in supervisory roles with six collective years in leadership development, including leadership enrichment programming, career counseling, advising and coaching diverse populations, and succession planning. She is a self-starter who enjoys the challenge of translating concepts and theories into executable practices to impact organizational success; extensive experience with project management.  

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Co-Vice PResident of Programming - Onna O'MeAra

Onna has many skills in planning events from her experience running internship programs and leading the talent development charge at the West Division of Comcast. Her strengths are driving for results and embracing innovation and change. She will add value by helping develop succession planning for the board and supporting a results driven organization where we measure success and define why we take the actions that we do. She hopes that her involvement on the board will develop her leadership skills, network and also support her goal of becoming an expert in the Learning and Development field. 


Vice President of Sponsorships - Open

Contact the President for more information. 

Vice President of Special Events - Sandi Ruther

Sandi is the owner of ProGold Consulting, which specializes in building bridges between people, processes, and IT systems through training, communications, documentation, and change management. She has supported software implementations for startups to Fortune 500 companies in industries ranging from Oil & Gas, Mining, Software, Food & Bev, Telecom, to Non Profits.

Sandi has served on the Board of Rocky Mountain Chapter in Denver since 2008 in various roles such as Programs, Membership, and President. In 2015, she was selected for ATD’s National Advisors for Chapters where she served for three years coaching and mentoring chapter leaders. Sandi is delighted to be involved again with the chapter and supporting Special Events.

Additionally, Sandi is passionate about human motivation, learning, and leadership.  Recently she has been diving into gamification and artificial intelligence as it relates to improving training and performance.

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Vice President of Technology - Ginger Nichols

Ginger Nichols is an Instructional Designer, eLearning Developer and owner of Ginger Nichols Design Group, LLC. In the past, Ginger developed traditional training and eLearning primarily in the financial services sector at companies including Janus Capital Group, TD Ameritrade Institutional and Wells Fargo and in the health care sector at ClearChoice Management Services, LLC.

She is involved in designing many different types of training, her favorite training to build typically leverages technology. Ginger has been working with web and eLearning technologies for 9 years and enjoys programming web based learning experiences. She currently administers several WordPress blogs, including her own at www.gingernichols.com.

Ginger earned her Master’s Degree in Information and Learning Technologies with emphasis in Adult Learning and Instructional Design from the University of Colorado Denver. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Athletic Training/Exercise Science with minors in coaching and health from Ithaca College. 


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2018 Directors and LEadership

Chapter Administrator - Ann Baus

Ann Baus provides a variety of virtual office administration and member service functions and supports the leadership team.  She is also a friend to Board members and the goes-the-extra-mile person who makes many ATD events the successes they are. 

Ann is the front line contact for members, potential members and the public seeking information about chapter events and services. She contractually provides services through her own firm, KD Business Services. Ann's passion is Association Management - "I love working with small to medium membership-based associations. Nearly 15 years in this field have provided me with a unique perspective in helping associations and their boards." She has been a key player of the ATD Rocky Mountain Chapter since 2017. 

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Director of Volunteer Engagement - Jeannie Clinkenbeard

Jeannie ClinkenbeardJeannie Clinkenbeard is the founder of Inside-Out Leadership. She helps new and experienced leaders: create their vision, succeed on business goals, and partner with their team. Jeannie also facilitates team Innovation Tournaments so businesses can generate and evaluate ideas for growth and improvement. With certifications in: Achieve Global, Blanchard, DDI, Franklin Covey, Inside - Out Development, Leadership Challenge, and Vital Smarts. Jeannie loves the energy, ideas and outcomes of a well facilitated session. 

 Jeannie designs and delivers virtual and classing learning solutions with a focus on supervisor to mid-level leadership development. On weekends, you can find Jeannie walking dogs at the Denver Dumb Friends League, hiking with Bill (boyfriend) and Lilly (terrier companion), or making mosaic art

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Director of eCommunications - Jennifer Smith

Jennifer SmithJennifer is a Talent Management Coordinator at Comcast as well as an Affiliate Faculty member at Colorado Christian University. Jennifer has backgrounds in higher education, customer service and non-profit industries and is passionate about delivering creative talent management solutions for dynamic workforces. 

Jennifer earned her MBA with an emphasis in Corporate Training from Colorado Christian University and is thrives on taking organizations to the next level by maximizing their greatest strength-their people.

Jennifer is a native to Colorado and enjoys all things outdoors from hiking to camping to snowshoeing-especially when her canine buddy, Oreo, joins in the fun. She is passionate about learning and exploration and has visited 16 countries across five continents over the last 15 years. This explains her love of authentic ethnic foods-especially those from Latin America, Africa, and the Middle East!

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Student Liaison - Dena Fatemeh Rezaei

Dena Rezaei

Dena is a PhD Candidate in Human Resource Development (HRD) program at Texas A&M University. She holds two master's degrees in International Marketing and HRD. She worked as a business consultant and researcher before coming to the United States in 2012. She is currently working on her dissertation “The Role of Social Media in Talent Development”. Dena cares about people and is fascinated by their unique and inspirational stories. As an HRD researcher and future practitioner, she is passionate about finding cost-effective and innovative methods of learning and development for individual teams and organizations that would unleash employees’ inner talents and improve each organization's productivity and effectiveness. 

She believes every person possesses unique qualities and talents; by including all people, extraordinary powerful teams will be built full of outstanding, creative, and happy people who can make all their dreams come true! She recently moved to Denver to join her husband. They love hiking, traveling, and exploring beautiful Colorado in their spare time. 

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