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President's Letters

  • Fri, May 31, 2013 1:35 PM | Grace Judson

    Greetings once again from your ASTD San Diego chapter!

    If you read nothing else in this newsletter, please read this:

    The Ultimate HR Marketplace, a joint event between your ASTD Chapter and SD-SHRM, is being held on June 12th at SeaWorld San Diego.

    This event is your opportunity to confer with 30 of our area's top consultants and vendors in training and development, HR, leadership development, and much more.  

    The full list of exhibitors is here:

    When you register (members: $30; nonmembers: $50), you'll book your appointments with the consultants you want to meet and talk with.  This is your chance to ask real questions about issues, problems, and challenges you're dealing with today - and get real, actionable answers.  

    Parking, lunch, and a day at SeaWorld is included in the price of your ticket.  

    Plus, our exhibitors have contributed to some amazing prizes - SHRM's HRCI Certification program, a DISC Certification, and a cash prize of over $500 are just a few of them.  And all you need to do to win is ... be there and meet with at least 7 exhibitors, including two 10-minute Forum presentations.  

    I'll see you there, right?  Just click here to register. 


    Also:  The award-winning Mentor-Protege program is open for your applications as a Mentor or as a Protege.  Positions for Lead Mentors are still available.  Click here to learn more.


    With all of that said, I want to take a moment now to introduce your ASTD-SD Board members.  It's only due to their dedication and hard work that you have these opportunities.

    I don't have space to express my appreciation to all of them in this newsletter, so I'll save the three Officers of the Board for next month.  (Yes, the privilege of rank strikes again!)


    Putting on each of our monthly Chapter meetings is a huge job, with many moving parts, a large Committee, and - as you might expect - a steep learning curve. That's why we have two Programs Directors, each serving two years, so that there's always one who knows the ropes and one who's learning.

    Carol Sheckler is our 2013 "senior" Programs Director, having been the rookie last year.  As Board President, I deeply appreciate Carol's dedication and determination. She is one of the best negotiators I have ever met, always seeming to know the right thing to say to encourage a speaker's generosity, or to help ease over a sticky spot in any collaborative effort.

    Liz Aitcheson is this year's "rookie" Programs Director, having stepped in when Michele Rubino moved to the East Coast early this year.  Liz has an amazing head for detail and is almost as nit-picky as I am about attending to and following up on all those details.  Liz also has a real concern for individuals, making sure (for example) that speakers are cared for and that the servers at our venues know we appreciate their efforts on our behalf.

    Professional Development

    Gaby Alvarez has been a real trooper on the ASTD-SD Board of  Directors, agreeing at the end of last year to extend her two-year term as Professional Development Director to a third year in an effort to better balance the Board tenure as a whole.

    Gaby is responsible for events such as PEAK, the Mentor-Protege program, and all the workshops we put on over the year.  Each of these events alone would be a big undertaking - and somehow Gaby pulls them all off.  I'm in awe of her organizational skills!


    Gregg Fasbinder has brought some innovative ideas to the Membership role, including the new-this-year Human Performance Alliance networking meetings. Gregg's view that we need to involve the wider San Diego Human Resources and leadership communities with our activities is right on target with how the industry as a whole is developing.  He's been a true champion of our learning and development field while also extending the reach of the Chapter into other areas.  

    Gregg attended our National conference, ICE, this month, so if you see him, ask him about the experience.


    Our Technology Director, Iswar Radhakrishnan, has resigned this month due to the time constraints of a very busy career.  The behind-the-scenes work of Technology is demanding, and can sometimes go unseen.  Iswar's dedication to detail and concern for effective, functional process and procedure set an example for us all.  And although you may not have explicitly noticed the website usability tweaks he made - well, that's actually a good thing, because a technical tool should never intrude itself upon the experience of using that tool to accomplish a task.

    Stay tuned next month to hear about our Board President-Elect, Secretary, CFO, and our Office Manager!

    Grace Judson
    2013 Chapter President

    Volunteer of the Month:  Meshell Zwicker

    Meshell is a member of our Membership Team, and has been instrumental in working to make our Human Performance Alliance (HPA) meetings a success. As a participant in other "sister" organizations, she's reached out to connect with them and invite their members to attend the HPA events - and she has been a vibrant, engaging host at several of the meetings.

    We appreciate Meshell's outgoing energy and commitment to helping people and organizations grow into their potential.

    Upcoming Events:

    June 12:  Marketplace Event at SeaWorld

    As I said above, we are SO excited about this event.  We have a stellar lineup of exhibitors waiting to help you solve your problems, and there are a limited number of consultations available.  

    And who wouldn't want to spend a June day at SeaWorld?

    Read the list of exhibitors here:

    and then register here:
    Marketplace Attendee Registration

    June 13:  Human Performance Alliance Mastermind
    Join members and guests of San Diego leadership organizations for an informal evening of conversation, networking, and masterminding.  Click here to learn more and register.

    September 24:  Your Turn to Learn Conference

    We are so close to releasing the calendar of speakers and breakout sessions!  The team has been huddling over the truly impressive RFPs we've received from Learning & Development experts from all over the county and the country.  I hear that the voting is remarkably consistent, which means that the standouts truly are standouts. I know I'm dying of curiosity to hear the final selection - and the list will be posted to the YTTL web page as soon as we have it.

    This is the link to check late next week and see if the final list has been posted.

    And be sure to mark September 24th on your calendar for this year's Your Turn to Learn conference.

  • Thu, April 25, 2013 10:30 AM | Grace Judson

    Greetings from your ASTD San Diego chapter!

    Did you attend the Articulate Storyline workshop earlier this month?

    How about the Coaching in Organizations certificate program?

    Or our Chapter meeting - which was sold out with a waiting list! - on the neuroscience of learning?

    April was a very busy month for our chapter, and we're looking forward to some equally exciting programs going forwards into the summer and later this year.

    First off, we have a tremendous opportunity for all our members at the Ultimate Marketplace event in June.  If you're one of our consulting or independent practitioner members, this is your opportunity to spend quality time, face-to-face, with attendees from our leading San Diego companies - people who have problems they want your help solving.  On the other hand, if you're an internal employee with challenges or questions you'd like to brainstorm, now's your chance to talk with experts in the field and get real, actionable answers.

    The event is on Wednesday June 12th at SeaWorld.  If you'd like to be an exhibitor, download the application form (click here).  For attendees - SAVE THE DATE! Registration information will be coming soon.  (Or feel free to download the exhibitor flyer; it has details you'll find interesting.)

    Our annual Your Turn to Learn Conference this year is on September 24th at the Hilton Doubletree in Mission Valley.  We're excited to report that our Keynote Speaker is Jim Smith Jr. of Jimpact!  And if you're interested in being a speaker, sponsor, or vendor at the conference, check out the links on the YTTL Info Page on our website.

    Of course we also have our regular Chapter meeting this month - and our Human Performance Alliance networking meeting. 

    Hope to see you at one of these events soon!

    Upcoming Events

    May 9th Human Performance Alliance Mastermind

    Join members and guests of San Diego leadership organizations for an informal evening of conversation, networking, and masterminding. Click here to learn more and register.

    May 29th Chapter Meeting: Let the Games Begin - Learning through Interactive Play

    Learning through play is both natural and effective. It's how we learn much of what we know. And yet, opportunities to learn through play are rare in most business settings. Interactive games fill this need and provide an alternate way for learners to master key objectives and new skills.

    On May 29th at 11:30 at the Handlery, Human Performance Improvement Consultant Barbara Greenstein joins Liz Herrick, Manager and Performance Consultant at CareFusion to discuss how games and play can be powerful tools for learning and development.
    Click here to read more and register.

    June 12th: Marketplace Event at SeaWorld

    This exciting opportunity for substantive conversations between consulting experts and attendees with challenges and questions for those experts is truly a not-to-be-missed event. Vendors/exhibitors and internal employees can meet, get to know each other, and solve problems in a low-key environment focused on real solutions. Exhibitors: download the application form here. Attendees - save the date and stay tuned!

    September 24th: Your Turn to Learn Conference

    Call for Speakers: download the Speaker RFP and submit your application by May 17th to be one of just nine breakout-session presenters at our conference this year.

    Call for Vendors & Sponsors: download the vendor/sponsor form and read all the details about opportunities to present your business to our conference attendees.

    Volunteer of the Month: Jacqueline Sirota

    If you attended the Articulate workshop, you know how much work went into putting it on and making it the seamlessly productive, worthwhile event that it was.

    Jacqueline Sirota was the lead magician behind that event, and she's been putting in time and effort on other technology-related programs this year as well. We're delighted that Jacqueline has such a commitment to and passion for training and development technology. Thank you, Jacqueline, our April 2013 Volunteer of the Month!

    ASTD-SD Banner Contest!

    Yes, we announced this last month ... and it hasn't quite happened yet. You may have noticed that we've been pretty busy!

    If you're interested in submitting your photo or graphic design for our website banner contest, stay tuned. More details will be forthcoming in the next month or so.

    How can your ASTD San Diego chapter help you?

    What one thing could we do as a chapter to support you in achieving your professional goals?

    Your Board is always ready to talk with you and is eager for your suggestions.

    Email me - or any of our Board - and let us know how you feel about your chapter. What's working, what's not, and what can we do to be the resource you need?

  • Fri, March 29, 2013 10:00 AM | Grace Judson
    Greetings, and happy Spring to you all!

    In all the years I've lived in San Diego, I have to say I can't remember a Spring this perfect - cool temperatures, a little overcase, so it's not too hot to be outside in the garden or to take a hike and admire the spring wildflowers.

    I hope you're enjoying the spring, and I also hope you've been enjoying the programs and other events that your ASTD San Diego chapter has been putting on. For me it's seemed as if each Chapter meeting has been better than the last.

    And I'm glad to say that we have a number of exciting events upcoming. Just below is a list of what's happening in April and May - as well as a preview of our plans for the annual Conference, Your Turn to Learn, which is tentatively scheduled for late September.

    And below that you'll see a link to a survey being conducted by one of our educational partners, UCSD Extension. I hope you'll take a moment to click through and respond.

    I hope the first quarter of 2013 was good to you, and that you're enjoying the Spring season - and that you're enjoying what your ASTD Chapter is doing for you. As always, please let any Board member know if you have any suggestions or questions for us.

    Upcoming Events

    April 11th Human Performance Alliance Mastermind

    Join members and guests of San Diego leadership organizations for an informal evening of conversation, networking, and masterminding. Click here to learn more and register.

    April 18 - 19: Coaching Certificate Program

    Presented by ASTD National, this two-day Coaching Certificate program helps you help others develop, take action, and make better decisions. Please remember to use our Chapter code CH8024 when you register on National's website so we get proper credit for your attendance! Click here to learn more and register.

    April 24th Chapter Meeting: Building a Magnetic Culture

    Bestselling author Kevin Sheridan discusses how to draw talented employees to your organization, and then how to keep them there by creating a magnetic environment that engages their interest and involvement. Click here to learn more and register.

    June 12th: Joint Event with SHRM

    I am very excited about this joint event with SHRM. Held at SeaWorld, this will be an opportunity for our consultants, service providers, and other vendors to meet in person with employees of local organizations to discuss specific issues they're having and offer substantive advice. This is a huge opportunity for both vendors and internal employees to meet and get to know each other in a non-sales-y environment where real value can be exchanged. STAY TUNED. An email announcement will be arriving shortly!

    Annual Your Turn to Learn Conference: Collaborate, Integrate, Engage!

    We have our theme and we're recruiting committee members and starting to select Keynote Speakers and Breakout topics! I met with the Co-Chairs, Jane Gredvig and Teresa Hanley, last week, and we are all sincerely excited about this conference.

    STAY TUNED for more information about the date, request for speakers, and vendor/sponsor opportunities.

    Help UCSD Extension: Take their survey

    UCSD Extension is collaborating on a Global Executive MBA program, designed for young executives and talents from all industries interested in receiving a global perspective on business practices and processes. Involving five schools in five countries, the program will include travel to each of the countries.

    To help us better serve the communiy, please answer a few questions. Click here to take the survey.

    Volunteer of the Month: Amy Osback

    Amy Osback joined the Programs team in early 2013. She's currently Registration Manager, overseeing a committee of volunteers who assist with registration at our monthly Chapter meetings. 

    One of the many things we appreciate about Amy is that she consistently looks for ways to do things more effectively and efficiently.

    With her strong work ethic and attention to detail, Amy is a huge asset to our Programs team and is a joy to work with. Next time you see her, thank her for her work!

    Photo Contest!

    We're conducting a photo contest to select an image representative of San Diego for our ASTD-SD website banner.

    All photographs submitted must be your work. No payment is involved, but you'll be credited as the photographer.

    Interested? Stay tuned. The web page with all the details will be up soon!
  • Fri, February 22, 2013 8:25 AM | Grace Judson

    Hello! from your ASTD San Diego chapter.

    With the holidays well behind us, the end of February is a great time to take stock of how your year has started out.  New Year’s resolutions have probably gone off their post-champagne fizz – I know I’m ready to be more realistic about what’s actually going to happen this year than I was on January 1st.

    We’re staying very focused on offering solid programs and events for our members and the San Diego Training & Development community as a whole.  In fact, I think I’m getting a bit of a reputation on our Board as a wet blanket, always asking questions about whether ideas are truly going to add value – and are truly achievable within the scope of available resources.  The result, though, is that we have a great lineup of speakers, workshops, and networking opportunities.

    Speaking of which, the hands-on portion of the Articulate Storyline workshop is sold out.  The one-day introduction is still open, though, so click through the check it out – and if you’re interested in the hands-on piece, be sure to put yourself on the waiting list.

    Our Human Performance Alliance networking events have been a lot of fun, welcoming members of many other organizations in San Diego – SHRM, NHRA, NCPA, ISPI – a whole bowlful of alphabet soup.  It’s a good way to meet people in the wider HR and T&D community in San Diego, while enjoying an evening of nibbles and good conversation with your fellow professionals.

    The March Chapter meeting is being held at Rady Children’s Hospital.  You’ll remember that they were our PEAK Awards Winners last year, and they’ve graciously agreed to host our program on learning and neuroscience called Your Brain on Learning.

    Finally, big thanks to those of you who emailed me after my President’s Letter last month to join the ranks of our volunteers.  I’m very happy with the way our various Committees are coming together – and of course we always have room for more people who’d like to get involved.  As I said last month, just drop me an email ( and we’ll see what opportunities we can offer that match your personal and professional goals.

    Speaking of volunteers, I’m delighted to acknowledge our January 2013 Volunteer of the Month, Liz Aitcheson.  Liz has been active in the chapter for some time now; she’s run the North County Meet & Mingle and HPA events for several years, and she’s participated as both a protégé and a mentor in our award-winning Mentor-Protégé program.  Please join me in thanking Liz for all her help!

    I hope to see you at an upcoming Chapter event, and as always, if you have any questions or suggestions about our Chapter, you’re welcome to reach out to any of our Board members.  We’re here to support you!

    Grace Judson

    ASTD-SD 2013 Chapter President

    Quick reminder:  I sent out an email earlier this month with a link to a survey being conducted for doctoral research.  If you ever did anything like this during your student days, you know how important it is to get as much input as possible.  The survey is still open for anyone who hasn’t yet taken it:

    Discounts for Members

    Are you a member of the San Diego ASTD Chapter?  If so – here are some opportunities you may be interested in.

    Stop Winging It:  Realistic Project Management and Project Team Triage

    ASTD Orange County is offering member rates to ASTD San Diego members at their February 27th Learning Event and February 28th workshop, led by international speaker and author Lou Russell, an acknowledged expert in leadership, project management, and individual learning.

    As my colleague on the ASTD-OC Board wrote to me, “Lou is awesome, and if anyone has experienced her programs I’m sure they would agree and would want to see her again.”

    To learn more, click through on the links above – they’ll take you to the program descriptions on the ASTD-OC website.

    It’s worth putting yourself on the ASTD-OC email list, by the way. They offer members’ rates for all their programs to us as a “sister” chapter.  If you scroll down on their home page (, you’ll see the sign-up button on the bottom right side of the screen.

  • Fri, February 01, 2013 10:42 AM | Grace Judson

    Greetings! and happy 2013 to you from all of us on the ASTD San Diego Board of Directors.

    We have so much planned for this year!  And I'm excited because our plans are focused on upgrading who we are as an ASTD Chapter so that we offer greater relevance and more value to all of you in the San Diego Training & Development community.

    We heard from many of you that you enjoy learning from panel discussions and case studies, so we'll be offering more of both in our Chapter programs this year.  We have our calendar of events already outlined, and we'll start putting it up on the website within the next few weeks.

    We're focusing on technology and e-learning this year (of course not exclusively; there will be plenty of other interesting material).  As you may have already seen, we have a one- or two-day (your choice) workshop on Articulate in April.  People are actually travelling from the East Coast to attend this workshop.  (Yes, that's a hint to book your spot early, because it's expected to fill up quickly.)

    We're upgrading our website to be more attractive, interesting, and useful, and we have a host of new communication and member engagement plans that will (we hope!) intrigue and inspire you to actively participate in your Chapter events.

    Speaking of actively participating, we have key volunteer opportunities available for our members.  If you’d like to help with our annual Your Turn to Learn conference, the award-winning Mentor-Protégé program, on the Programs Committee, or with our PEAK awards, just drop me an email at, and I'll make sure you get the information you need to know if our volunteer opportunities match up with your personal goals.  Volunteering within the Chapter is a fantastic way to gain professional experience that looks great on your resume, as well as broadening your network of personal friends and professional colleagues.

    We're finalizing sponsorship and advertising opportunities even as I type these words, making it much easier for corporations and individual practitioners to find a way to promote their businesses at a level that makes sense for who they are and what they offer while providing real value to our members.

    And from an internal Board perspective, we're defining repeatable processes so that future Board members will be able to jump right in at the deep end without needing to spend a lot of time figuring out what's happening.  This will include increased transparency with the Chapter as a whole about just what it is that your Board does to keep the Chapter running.

    Please know that all of us on the Board are open to your questions, comments, and suggestions at any time, so feel free to email or call us.  We are here to help you grow and develop within your careers and businesses, professionally and personally.  The only way for us to be effective is with your feedback – and yes, with your volunteer help as well.  This is a volunteer-run organization; we need you to participate!

    Best wishes for 2013, and I hope to see you soon at a Chapter meeting, Human Permance Alliance get-together, or other Chapter event!

    Grace Judson
    ASTD-SD 2013 Chapter President

  • Fri, October 26, 2012 7:35 PM | Anonymous

    An Unforgettable Open Space Technology ExperienceImagine 75 people collectively organizing 10 workshops, self managing the discussions, and leaving with dozens of strategies to successfully implement in their organizations, all within the span of an hour. Well, that’s exactly what happened this past week when the San Diego chapters of the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD) and the Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) joined forces to provide what turned out to be an unforgettable experience.

    The event, entitled “Why Culture Eats Strategy for Breakfast: an experiential approach to driving leadership change”, took place at the Sheraton Resort & Spa in Carlsbad and featured a candid and heartfelt keynote speech by Reid Carr, president and CEO of Red Door Interactive, about how creating a value driven culture has helped Red Door become a fast-growing and award-winning company. But this was only the beginning of the day’s events.     

    Following the keynote speech, ASTD board member and Sagatica COO Gregg Fasbinder instructed the audience to make their way to the back of the conference room, where two large circles of chairs, one within the other, had been arranged for an experiential learning activity. Once the participants settled in, Mr. Fasbinder stepped into the middle of the circle and explained how the group would be utilizing open space technology- a facilitation method that as has been developed for over 30 years and used around the world with groups of 5 to 500 members- to develop strategies for creating a culture of engagement. To explain the process, Fasbinder introduced facilitator Eric Kaufmann, an experienced executive coach and president of Sagatica.An Unforgettable Open Space Technology Experience

    Mr. Kaufmann explained the governing rule of open space technology, “the law of 2 feet. ” The rule urges participants to join group discussions for as long, or as little, as they’d like. “If you lose passion and excitement about the topic, move on,” explained Kaufmann. “As managers, how often do you get the chance to walk out in the middle of a meeting? Here it is not only allowed, it is encouraged.” There are also 4 principles of open space technology:

    • 1.        Whoever comes is the right people. This means that neither the number of participants nor the actual participants is as important as the quality of the interaction and conversation. For good conversation you only need one other person who shares your passion.
    • 2.       Whatever happens is the only thing that could have. Real learning and progress take place when we move beyond our original agendas and convention-bound expectations. If everything happened just the way we wanted it, life would be dull, and learning would be limited. It is in moments of surprise that we grow.
    • 3.       Whenever it starts is the right time. Creativity and spirit are critical for open space meetings and neither pays much attention to the clock. They appear in their own time, which by definition means the right time can be at any moment.
    • 4.       Whenever it's over, it's over. And conversely, when it's not over, it's not over. The time and space allocated is only as effective as the conversation and meaningful interaction that’s happening. Passion and content are the drivers for today's meeting, not the artificial boundaries of the calendar.

    After explaining the “rules” of the open space meeting, Kaufmann encouraged participants to write down the issue(s) they wanted to discuss, announce it to the group, and tape it to the wall. Participants proudly stepped into the center circle and stated their issues, which were then categorized by similarity in order to create discussion groups. Within minutes of establishing the discussion themes every participant had gathered around a table; it’s pretty amazing how quickly people can get organized when they are passionate about an issue!  

    Discussions were organized by sessions of 20 minutes with 5 issues being discussed per session. Even in the constraints of the morning, 10 meaningful conversations took place. As expected, the dynamics differed from one group to the next. Some groups started generating ideas immediately whereas others sat in silence for a few moments, avoiding eye contact while mustering up the courage to be the first to speak. Group roles were quickly established; some groups had dominant leaders who controlled the conversation while others elected to let everyone speak in turn. Some group members focused the discussion by asking clarifying question while others took notes and drew diagrams on large flipchart pages. At times there were even two or three conversations going on at the same time within one group. A few groups had as many as ten members while others had far less. In fact, there was even a group in the second session that had only two members and it generated as many meaningful ideas as the larger groups. What was that first principle of open space technology again? Most impressive however, was the excitement that filled the room. It’s hard to imagine that many engaged people in one place at the same time, each as passionate about a particular issue as the next.

    So what was the result of all these efforts? Well, one of the issues for creating a culture of engagement that emerged from the meeting was acknowledging employee contributions and encouraging an ownership mentality across all staff in all aspects of HR. Group members came up with multiple strategies to achieve this goal, such as establishing transparent conflict resolution processes, and developing an employee scorecard that uses a rubric in which not only facts but also interpersonal relationships are taken into consideration. Other groups discussed ideas such as the importance of promoting a culture that values and respects everyone’s perspectives, limiting company size to facilitate engagement, breaking down silos, and blocking off time on a regular basis for employees to consider new ways to create a culture of engagement. When asked what she took away from the experience, a participant explained that “it all boils down to focusing on the values of the company. If everything is aligned it sets the stage for engagement”.        

    As the sessions concluded, Sagatica interns collected the issues and ideas written on the flipchart pages and posted them on the wall. Participants regrouped within the original two circles and a representative from each group gave a brief overview of the main points discussed during their session. This debriefing session allowed every participant to hear the ideas generated by others and consider a wide range of strategies that they could implement within their own organization. As one participant put it, the overviews were “a good way to tap into the ideas of other experts.”

    Asked to reflect on the overall experience of open space technology, another participant expressed that she found it very rewarding to participate in a new group environment and that “this process allowed me to identify with topics I am passionate about.” She is now planning to implement open space technology in her own organization.

    Victor Levin

    Sagatica Consultant

  • Tue, October 16, 2012 8:58 PM | Anonymous
    ASTD San Diego invites you to join us at our Annual Chapter Event and Fundraiser on Saturday morning, Dec. 1, 2012, 8:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. at LEGOLAND's Sea Life Aquarium! Spend the morning with friends and family, enjoy breakfast, get a jump start on your holiday shopping by participating in our silent auction, and enjoy the Sea Life Aquarium! Proceeds from the silent auction will benefit the ASTD San Diego Chapter's Camp Pendleton Wounded Warriors Career Development Fund. Show your support  by registering  
  • Wed, September 19, 2012 6:15 PM | Grace Judson

    It's election season.

    No, no, not THOSE elections.  I mean your ASTD San Diego Board of Directors.

    If you're anything like me, you may be wondering why we have elections at all given that there's only one candidate put forward per position.  When I first saw that I thought, Huh???

    Here's the process in a nutshell.  (It may be a coconut shell rather than a walnut shell, but I'll do my best to be concise.)

    Board positions are all two-year terms, with the exception of President which is, in effect, three years (President-Elect, President, and Past President).  Ideally, about half the Board ends their term every year.

    At some point in June, the current President-Elect begins recruiting for his or her Board, with help from other Board members, especially the President and Past President.  This means identifying top candidates for each Board position that needs to be filled, as well as picking the Nominating Committee.

    The Nominating Committee is responsible for helping the President-Elect interview each of the candidates, and determining whether or not the candidate is qualified for the position in question.  The Nominating Committee (affectionately known as the NomCom) typically includes the current President and Past President, as well as WillaMae Heitman as our Executive Committee Chair and the first woman president to our chapter.  In addition, each President-Elect chooses two or three additional NomCom members to help in the process.

    So my nominating committee consisted of Catherine Mattice (2012 Past President), Alan Landers (2012 President), WillaMae Heitman, Jeff Toister (a long-term ASTD San Diego supporter and 2008 President), and Melanie Proschenko (another long-term supporter of our Chapter).

    The Nominating Committee's goal is to present a slate of candidates - one for each position - whom we feel are the most qualified of those who have applied. 

    Our Chapter Bylaws require that at least 10% of our membership must cast their ballot in order to do business - in this case, in order to elect our Board members. 

    Your vote is essential to confirm the Nominating Committee's choices.  You are free to vote "no" if you know of any reasons why a particular candidate should not be elected; this is not intended to be a "rubber stamp" vote.

    I hope this helps clarify the process we go through as a Chapter in order to have the strongest possible Board of Directors working to improve our offerings to our membership and to the San Diego community as a whole.

    And you'll see more "A Peek Behind the Scenes" posts throughout the upcoming year that I hope will help you understand a bit more about what's involved in running the Chapter - and I also hope will pique your interest in becoming more involved as a volunteer or even as a future Board member.

    Interested in reading the Chapter ByLaws?  You can find them - along with a rolling twelve months of Board meeting minutes - here: Bylaws & Minutes  (You do need to be a member to access that page.)

    Questions?  Comments?  Post them here and I'll be sure to reply. 

  • Wed, July 18, 2012 3:00 PM | Grace Judson

    After my post a few weeks ago promoting the Independent Consultants' SIG, I'm now writing - regretfully - to say that I'm closing the ICSIG down.

    In observing what's happened over the last year, and in talking with several past attendees, it's clear that for many reasons we're just not getting the traction we need - primarily consistent attendance at the meetings - to make the kind of difference and offer the sorts of support that I had hoped.

    Everyone is very busy (yay!), and San Diego is a very large county, both factors that make travelling to meetings challenging.

    So the SIG as such will not be meeting any more.

    HOWEVER, I do plan to work with different resources to present a varied selection of webinars and teleclasses - such as the September "Inspired Time Management" teleclass - that I hope will be of benefit to ASTD-San Diego's Consultant membership as well as to the membership as a whole.

    Please let me know (just post in the comments here) what sorts of topics you'd like to learn more about, and we'll get them on the calendar if at all possible. 

    And of course show your support by signing up for the teleclasses/webinars as we offer them ... and then (ahem!) coming to them as well!

  • Tue, July 03, 2012 4:19 PM | Grace Judson

    The other day, I heard a small business owner who's also an ASTD-SD member say, "But I already do enough ASTD stuff.  I don't need to attend another ASTD meeting!"

    She was referring to my question about why she doesn't come to the ASTD Independent Consultants' Special Interest Group (ICSIG) meetings.

    I can only conclude that I haven't done a very good job explaining what the ICSIG is about, because it's not "just" another ASTD event.

    It's about growing your business.  It's about talking with other experienced business owners about the challenges we all face in being in business - especially those of us who are sole practitioners, handling all aspects of our businesses from marketing to bookkeeping to actually delivering our product or service.

    It's about collaborating with colleagues who understand the challenges we all face, helping each other find resources and answers to questions, and in some cases just saying, Yes - we understand - we get it - we've been there, dealt with that.

    And of course it's about celebrating each others' victories and successes as well!

    Up till now, the meetings have been informal, structured so that each person attending has an opportunity to describe a current question or challenge they're working on and receive the group's help.

    At the request of the members, things are changing a little bit, and as the founder and facilitator of the group, I'm excited about the new direction.

    Here's an outline of our approach, principles, and guidelines.

    1.  We are a group of ASTD-SD members who are experienced business owners, and we enjoy helping each other with the challenges that arise after we've been in business for a few years (not just a few weeks or months). We enjoy going deep into the questions of how to take our businesses to the next level. 

    2.  We agree to maintain confidentiality about each others' business goals, challenges, and practices.

    3.  We welcome new business owners and people exploring whether they want to go into business to attend our meetings and listen to what we're working on, but we respectfully request that they seek other avenues for answering their start-up questions.  Options include the Small Business Development Center ( and SCORE (

    4.  We meet monthly, on the third Tuesday of the month, from 3:30 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at a member company, CRM Learning, 2218 Faraday Avenue, Suite 110, Carlsbad.  (With many thanks for their sponsorship!)

    5.  Our meetings are not networking or referral meetings; they're working mastermind/problemsolving meetings.

    5.  At one meeting each quarter, we have a speaker on a topic relevant to small business (not training & development; we get that information through other Chapter events).  Topics may include business formats (sole proprietorship, LLC, etc.); taxes; organization and follow-up techniques; social media; etc. 

    6.  At the quarterly meeting-with-speaker, we also open the floor to new business owners and those exploring whether being in business is right for them, for Q&A sessions.

    Please check the ASTD-SD Calendar for information about meetings with speakers (which meeting, what speaker).  Because of the challenges inherent in scheduling an outside speaker, these meetings may not be consistently the same month of each quarter.

    I welcome your questions, comments, and feedback, especially if you have suggestions about speakers, speaker topics, and other ideas for us.

    And if you're a business owner - please come join us!

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