President's Letters

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  • Sun, June 09, 2019 11:02 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi ATD San Diego!

    As we enter into the summer months and rain becomes a distant memory, I thought this would be a good time to overview what we have in store for you this summer.

    As of the time you receive this letter, our new website should be up and running. I cannot say enough about all of the effort that went into this project. Please take some time to review the sight. We are looking for your feedback and suggestions. You can contact Christine, our Technology Director at with your comments.

    The 20th anniversary of our award winning Mentor/Protégé program kicked off with the matching event on May 18. Pairs will be meeting throughout the summer into the fall moving their goals forward. Good luck to everyone. I hope you have a great experience.

    Our June chapter meeting will be held on June 13 at Alliant University, “Branding Yourself with Social Media.” I love the topic! This should be a great session for all of us.

    Your board of directors meet on the second Tuesday of each month, virtually and in-person (we meet in person once a quarter). Our next in person board meeting will be held in July and we would like to invite our members to join us. More details will be forthcoming, but you can hold the date of July 9 from 6:00 – 8:00PM. The location and agenda will be published on our website towards the end of June. Most likely we will ask for registration so we can accurately account for dinner.

    In August we are planning a learning and development career discussion chapter meeting. We are in the process of planning and the date has not yet been set, but more details should be available within the next month. Also in August we will be starting our election of our 2020 board members.

    And last but certainly not least, we will have both our La Jolla and North County HPA events.

    I hope to see you at our June chapter meeting. Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out at

    Best Regards,

    Mary Jane Riccardi
    Chapter President
  • Thu, May 02, 2019 7:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi ATD San Diego!

    We have an exciting May coming up. We have several events taking place and I hope you are able to take advantage of at least one of these great learning opportunities. The May chapter meeting is taking place on May 2, our next workshop takes place on May 21, and the Mentor/Protégé program starts up with a new group on May 18. The application deadline is Friday, May 3.

    I want to provide an update from the February chapter meeting where we received some great feedback from our members and guests. We received feedback on issues we need to address as well as ideas we can consider moving forward. By far, the greatest opportunity for improvement is in welcoming new members. Quite honestly, this did not come as a big surprise. We have been without a Membership Director for quite some time. We are working on forming a membership committee to help fill this gap. We also received several ideas including partnering with local colleges, ideas for creative collaboration, a new onboarding process, a new website, using our skills to give back to other non-profits, and holding workshops where members can share experiences. Although we may not be able to take action on every idea, we are making progress on a few: new member orientation, partnering with local colleges and a new website. Thank you to those who provided feedback on social media regarding the update of our website. We hope to launch in May.

    Looking forward, we will be starting our search for new board members in the next few months. We are in need of several volunteers to take on numerous roles. These include Membership Director, Co-Programs Directors, Technology Director, CFO, Secretary, and President-Elect. As you can see, we have several roles to fill. Please consider these leadership opportunities. I know it can sound overwhelming, scary and time consuming. It doesn’t need to be if we have a full board and work together. It can actually be rewarding, fun and meaningful to your career development. Feel free to reach out to any of our board members or myself for additional information.

    I hope to see you at our May chapter meeting. Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out at

    Best Regards,

    Mary Jane Riccardi
    Chapter President

  • Tue, April 02, 2019 7:49 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi ATD San Diego!

    Happy spring everyone! This month I have a few items to highlight including our April chapter meeting, chapter projects and a study group opportunity.

    You don’t have to work in L&D very long to realize the importance that technology has had and will continue to have in our world. I know many of you work with all types of technology to deliver learning for the advancement of human performance for your employers or your own businesses.

    I hope to see you at our April chapter meeting where we will learn what three fellow chapter members are doing with technology, and gain insights, tips and best practices. This “mini conference” will provide you the opportunity to discuss some of the hottest topics like eLearning, emerging technologies, games and simulations, mobile and social learning, platform and tools, technology strategies for leaders, and virtual classrooms. We will also have the opportunity to meet vendors who offer learning technologies and tools to help you achieve your goals.

    Be sure to register for this much anticipated event. It will take place on Saturday, April 13 from 2:30 – 5:30 at the Scripps Miramar Ranch Library. If you are available to assist in set-up, breakdown or registration, please let Chelsea know at

    You received an email last week regarding our project to link ATD National membership with the chapter. This process will help streamline our membership application process. If you are a Power Member, this change will make renewal much easier.

    Are you considering or currently working on obtaining your CPLP certification? If you are, let me know. One of our members, Gwen Franco, is preparing for the exam and is interested in pulling together a study group. Please let me know if you are interested. You can email me at

    Also coming soon, is a new website design. Our Technology Director Christine and her team are working diligently on this project which should be ready to test shortly.

    I hope to see you at our April event. Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out at

    Best Regards,

    Mary Jane Riccardi
    Chapter President

  • Mon, March 04, 2019 7:53 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi ATD San Diego!

    First, I want to give a huge shout out to everyone who attended our February chapter meeting. We had over 50 registrations and quite a few guests. As I write this letter, next to me I have several posters full of Post-its with your input. My next step is to summarize. There is a lot, so it will take a bit of time, but time well spent. At the March and April board meetings, the Board of Directors will discuss on which ideas we are able to take action.

    Spring is right around the corner and we have so many great programs in store. In addition to our monthly HPA happy hours, Chelsea and Bridget have been hard at work organizing our upcoming workshops and chapter meetings. Here’s just a taste of a few, so check out our website for details for these as well as locally held ATD certificate programs. It is a great time to be a member of ATD San Diego! And if you are not already a Power Member, you may want to consider adding ATD to your chapter membership.

    March 21
    Coaching to Strengths Workshop

    Research shows us that building cultures that lean into strengths rather than weaknesses foster teams that are collaborative, communicative and more enjoyable to be a part of. If you want to learn more about your strengths and how to leverage them, or you’d like to begin the journey of fostering a strengths-focused culture, this 2-part workshop is for you!

    April 13
    Chapter Meeting - Mini Conference: Technology Showcase

    As a member of ATD San Diego, you have the opportunity to participate in highly interactive monthly chapter events that will explore current learning theories, models, and training technology. Share insights and experiences with colleagues while you learn from professionals throughout the nation as well as from our local community of training and development experts.

    May 21
    Team Effectiveness – the “IT” Factor Workshop

    In this hands-on, participant-centered workshop, you will be exposed to multiple team frameworks, leading practices, and consulting skills so that you can effectively influence and support the team’s performance!

    I hope to see you at an upcoming event soon. Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out at

    Best Regards,

    Mary Jane Riccardi
    Chapter President

  • Sun, February 03, 2019 10:50 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi ATD San Diego!

    I hope everyone is having a great start to 2019. At ATD San Diego, we are working diligently to get our next six months planned and up on our website. Check it out!

    We had a great start to the year with our January kick-off event. This event had two purposes; to celebrate our members and volunteers and to provide an update on business from 2018 and plans for 2019. Without our volunteers, we would not be able to do what we do. A BIG thank you to the following volunteers:

    • Chapter Meetings: Beverly Barr and Tom Valeasquez
    • HPA: John Alexander and Karen Radzinski
    • Mentor/Protégé Program: Genaro Torres and Monica Miller
    • ATD International Conference: Rebecca Everett and Nancy McMonigal
    • Marketing: Markala Comfort
    • OD Special Interest Group: Alan Landers and Kevin Mayfield

    Special recognition went to Rebecca and Nancy as Volunteers of the Year for their Herculean efforts in coordinating and leading our ATD International Conference volunteers. The President’s Choice award went to Markala for sharing her marketing and social media expertise with us.

    I provided details of our February chapter meeting last month. I am so excited about this event. Please join us on February 20th. You will learn about Human-Centered Design, how it can be used, and engage in the use of a Human-Centered Design tool intended specifically to focus on ATD’s “end user”, our members. More details can be found on our website.

    I have another call out for volunteers. Our Director of Technology, Christine Pascual is looking for help with our website. Here are some examples of the work that needs to be done.

    • Post President's monthly blog on website
    • Post upcoming events and update if needed
    • Work with other Board of Directors to keep website content current
    • Review Google Analytics and provide suggestions to improve website
    • Download all past SurveyMonkey survey results and move them to Google Drive

    If you have expertise or an interest in web support, please reach out to Christine directly at

    I hope to see you soon at our February events. Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out at

    Best Regards,

    Mary Jane Riccardi

    Chapter President

  • Thu, January 03, 2019 3:37 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Happy New Year ATD San Diego!

    I hope everyone had a great holiday and is looking forward to 2019. Can you believe it! And 2020 will be here in a wink of an eye.

    First, I would like to introduce your Board of Directors for 2019:

    • Mary Jane Riccardi - President
    • Annette Weinstein – Past President
    • Mario Reina – CFO
    • Norma Hernandez – Secretary
    • Bridget Randall – Co-programs Director
    • Chelsea Logan – Co-programs Director
    • Christine Pascual – Technology Director
    • Sharon Lo – Marketing Director

    Our newest member for 2019 is Sharon Lo. Sharon is the Corporate Digital Learning Manager at Welk Resorts, where she leads the digital learning strategy of the organization. Day-to-day, Sharon designs and develops blended learning solutions on topics including new hire, compliance, product, software, and management training. Her passion is to integrate instructional design, graphic design, UI/UX, technology, and neuroscience to create a fluid and immersive learning experience. Sharon holds a double BS and BA degrees in neurobiology and psychology from the University of Washington. Please join me in welcoming Sharon to our Board.

    Our Board of Directors held a 2019 planning meeting a few weeks ago and I am pleased to report that we have made great progress in planning our events for 2019. We will be sharing our plans at our Kick-off event on January 15. I hope many of you will be able to join us for a look back at 2018, our plans for 2019, and celebrating with our many members and volunteers.

    Our February chapter meeting will help us ensure we provide meaningful and relevant events for our members. You will learn about Human-Centered Design, how it can be used, and engage in the use of a Human-Centered Design tool intended specifically to focus on ATD’s “end user”, our members. Through this process, you will share your interests and needs with ATD San Diego leadership, which will be used to help direct future events in 2019 and beyond, AND you will leave with a tool you can use within your organizations to put people at the center of what you do. Details are being finalized and the event will be on our calendar shortly.

    Our OD SIG (special interest group) had their last meeting in October. We are looking for an OD professional who would be willing to lead this effort and build off the great work of Alan Landers who started this group. Also, if you have an interest or passion in any area of talent development and would like to consider starting a new SIG, please let us know.

    I hope to see you at our January event. Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out at

    Best Regards,

    Mary Jane Riccardi

    Chapter President

  • Tue, December 04, 2018 8:02 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi ATD San Diego,

    It is hard to believe we are almost at the end of 2018. I will have been in the role of chapter president for six months by the end of the year. The chapter has a great board of directors who are dedicated to providing leadership to our chapter and its members. Our December chapter meeting will feature ATD San Diego member and past president, Catherine Mattice. The topic of sexual harassment prevention is a very important topic for organizations and we as talent development professionals are often tasked with providing the necessary training to our organizations. Catherine is an expert in her field, providing programs on harassment and bullying. I hope to see you there.

    In 2019 we will be holding our first chapter meeting in January. We will review the state of the chapter, our plans for 2019, and celebrate our members and volunteers. Details are currently being worked out and will be announced on our website and via social media shortly.

    On December 8, the board will be participating in a 2019 planning and budgeting event. One idea we had for 2019 is to highlight a few members via video who have had success utilizing their ATD San Diego membership. This could be in the form of key partnerships, new jobs, idea generation, etc. If you are interested in sharing your story please let me know so we can plan the details.

    Also, going into 2019, we have the opportunity to connect our systems with the ATD National store so members can easily join both ATD as well as our chapter at the same time. Many chapters have already completed this process and have had great success in new members joining their chapter. To accomplish this, we need to have addresses in our system. This is not something we have required in the past. I am asking everyone to review your profile on our website and add/update not only your address, but also any other fields. Especially phone numbers and email addresses that may have changed over time.

    I hope to see you soon at the December chapter meeting. Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out at

    Best Regards,

    Mary Jane Riccardi

    Chapter President

  • Tue, October 30, 2018 12:09 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi ATD San Diego,

    As the holidays are fast approaching, we are also building forward momentum with chapter meetings, workshops and other events. We had a great turnout for our October chapter meeting at Alliant International University (a big thank you to Alliant for hosting us). I want to thank our speaker Jeff Toister for an informative, interactive and fun session. I want to give a big shout out to our Co-programs Director, Chelsea Logan and her team for making it such a success. Our next chapter meeting will be in December during Employee Learning Week, December 3 – 7.

    Bridget Randall, our other Co-programs Director, has been working on planning a workshop for November 14, “Thereby Hangs a Tale: Creating Compelling Stories.” We all tell stories, through our conversations with our clients and customers, facilitating our learning programs, and in developing eLearning solutions. Story telling is a key skill we can all develop. This workshop is a great opportunity to learn more about how you can create your own impactful stories.

    As we gain momentum in providing more programs to our members, our Programs Directors are looking for a few members who could be part of a pool of events volunteers. Not everyone will be needed for every event. By having several volunteers willing and able, we can best plan and know we have the resources needed to execute a great event. You can contact me directly, or feel free to reach out to Chelsea and Bridget directly.

    We have been fortunate to find meeting space by partnering with some of the local universities, like Alliant. We would also like to know if there are any members who work at companies who would be willing to host an occasional event. This is a great opportunity to share what you do with the chapter and expose more people you work with to ATD. Typically, we are looking for a central location, free parking, enough room for 30 – 40 people, and both formal and informal venues could be considered based on the event. You can contact me with any ideas/interest. 

    Our call for leaders to join our board of directors for 2019 is coming to an end on November 2. If you have been considering joining us, now is the time to complete and submit your application. Should you have any questions, please feel free to reach out to me, or any of our current board members. Click here for a list of our current chapter leader contact information.

    I hope to see you soon at an upcoming event. Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out at

    Best Regards,

    Mary Jane Riccardi

    Chapter President

  • Sun, September 30, 2018 10:04 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi ATD San Diego,

    As we get closer to the end of the year, I am happy to say that our programs team has been hard at work scheduling programs for this year and getting started on ideas for 2019. I hope to see you at our October 23 chapter meeting at Alliant International University. Alliant is a new partner for us and we hope you enjoy the location as well as our guest speaker, Jeff Toister. Be sure to check out our website for more information and to register for this great event. A possible workshop for November is being worked on as well. Stay tuned!

    I mentioned last month that our annual campaign to identify board members for 2019 would be kicking off soon and I am happy to say we are making progress. The announcement is on the front page of our website along with links to the job descriptions and application. Critical roles for next year are:

    •  President-elect
    •  Membership Director
    •  Co-programs Director
    •  Marketing Director
    Please seriously consider the contribution you can make to our Chapter and to your own professional development by becoming a board member. Requirements are detailed on the website. Applications will be taken through November 2nd.

    I want to give a big thanks to those who responded to my volunteer requests last month. I am happy to say we could be seeing a north county HPA soon!

    Thank you all for your support!

    Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out at

    Best Regards,

    Mary Jane Riccardi
    Chapter President

  • Thu, September 06, 2018 1:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Hi ATD San Diego,

    Wow!!! What an incredibly hot August! It’s nice to see the hot summer weather get back to being more normal for San Diego. One thing the hot weather did do, is get me an air conditioner for my office. I guess there was some good that came from the seemingly endless 90+ degree days.

    Looking towards the fall, I have a couple updates and a few requests. Let’s start with the updates. First, the board completed our first task of updating our vision/mission/values. You will find these on our website as the first listing in the About menu. These statements will help guide us in the leadership of this chapter. Whatever your role is in ATD I hope you will be able to connect to these and know that as a leadership team, we will do our best to fulfill the expectations that have been set.

    Next, I would like to welcome Chelsea Logan to the board as Programs Co-Director, working with Bridget Randall. They are both in the process of identifying a couple programs for the remainder of the year. I hope to get these on the calendar within the next few weeks. Thank you for your patience. I know we have been lacking events and working hard to turn that around.

    Now for the requests. As an organization that is run primarily by volunteers, from time-to-time we need to reach out for help. It is important for us to identify our volunteer needs and be clear when reaching out. Here are three immediate needs:

    1. North County HPA – our central HPA led by John Alexander is a great success. In August we had 20 people attend. This is a great way for people to get together informally to discuss the topic of the hour. However, we know it can be difficult for north county residents to attend a meeting in La Jolla on a regular basis. So, we are looking for a volunteer to pilot a meeting in the north county. If it works out, it could also become a monthly event. Responsibilities would include selecting a venue, greeting attendees, purchasing food, and managing logistics. If interested or would like more details, please reach out to me at
    2. Social Media Volunteer – for the past few months Bridget, our Co-Programs director, has been posting chapter information on our LinkedIn and Facebook pages. We are looking for someone who could take over that responsibility. Content would mostly be program announcements, and other chapter events and needed communications. If you are fans of both social media platforms and could help out, please reach out to me at
    3. Board Positions – within the next couple months we will be launching our annual board member elections. If you have served a minimum of six months in a volunteer capacity you are eligible to apply for all positions except President-elect, which requires having served in a Director or Committee Chair position within the last three years. More info along with open positions will be posted on our website soon. Please consider a leadership role with ATD San Diego. It is a great opportunity to learn new skills and engage with your fellow members.

    Thank you all for your support and please give these volunteer opportunities some thought. I am happy to meet with you to talk it through, no commitments.

    Should you have any questions or comments, please feel free to reach out at

    Best Regards,

    Mary Jane Riccardi
    Chapter President

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