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President's Letters

  • Mon, May 03, 2021 8:57 PM | Anonymous member

     Hi ATD San Diego, 

    It's May and we have lots of exciting things to talk about. 

    Last month we recognized National Volunteer Week. Why? Because our chapter only exists because of volunteers. I want to personally thank each and every one of you who volunteers your time and talent to make our chapter great.  

    If you’re not currently involved, and you have a few hours available during the month, please check the Volunteer Opportunities posted on our website. Volunteering is a great way to share your skills and talents and a great way to new ones. If you don’t see something that fits your interests, please ping me on LinkedIn, if you’d like to chat about an idea that you have on how you would like to support our chapter. 

    So what are we up to these days? Well one collaboration that we are really excited about is the newly formed Young Professionals Special Interest Group (SIG). Our chapter has partnered with the Orange County and Los Angeles chapters to connect talent development professionals who are 35 years old and under. Last week they gathered for their second virtual event and plan to calendar another in the coming weeks. Stay tuned for the next opportunity to connect with them. 

    Speaking of events, on August 29th, the annual ATD International Conference & Exposition hosted by ATD National starts in Salt Lake City. Are you planning to attend? There are options to attend both in person and online. If you plan to register for either option, please email before submitting your payment. Why? Because if 5 or more members from our chapter register we will receive a discounted registration cost. This is always a robust program and a highlight of the year for talent development professionals. 

    How can you connect us this month? This week the membership committee will host a lunch and learn “Discover the Benefits of Membership” at noon on Wednesday May 5th. This is a casual way to learn more about ATD San Diego and how to maximize your membership benefits. Did you know that one of the benefits of your membership is attendance at most events for free? That’s right, you can attend most chapter meetings, Professional mixers and more at no cost above your annual membership dues. We think that’s a great value. 

    On Wednesday the 12th we’ll host our chapter meeting where we will discuss Building Trust in Remote Teams. Join us to hear from positive psychology expert doctor Tina Hallis on how to optimize connection, cooperation and collaboration. 

    If you enjoy meeting other members in a relaxed and highly interactive way, register for our next Virtual Mixer on Thursday the 20th from 6:00 - 7:00 p.m. Sit back with a beverage from home, introduce yourself, mingle and make new friends. 

    Remember to follow us on LinkedIn for reminders of upcoming events. Please note that if you are a member of the San Diego ATD LinkedIn group we will be sunsetting that group soon. So make sure you're connected with us here.

    I look forward to connecting with you. 

    All my Best, 


  • Mon, April 05, 2021 7:43 PM | Anonymous member

    Happy Spring ATD San Diego, 

    We’ve made it through the first quarter of 2021, can you believe it? As they say, time flies when you’re having fun. I hope you’ve been having fun enjoying our programming so far this year. What’s coming up next? 

    One of our main focuses this year as a board is getting you involved in our chapter. We love meeting you at our virtual events and when you ping us on LinkedIn. Thanks to everyone who has joined us for an event this year or connected with us on LinkedIn

    Have you wondered how you can learn about who we are as a chapter and develop new skills? Well, I’d like to highlight two ways to do just that. First, Melissa Esten and the membership committee have put together a session called “Discover the Benefits of Membership” that launches at noon on Wednesday April 7th. This is an informal interactive time set aside for you to learn more about ATD San Diego, our purpose, and mission. Join us this Wednesday to learn how to maximize your membership or why becoming a member may be a good fit for you. 

    Next, we need your help to keep our chapter running strong. ATD San Diego is 100% volunteer led. As volunteers we give a portion of our time to develop our professional skills while strengthening and growing our talent development network. Currently our Finance Director is looking for help with several responsibilities. If you want to develop your skills in reporting, creating visuals to show data trends, track our income, or reach out to members to renew please reach out to me directly. There are six other volunteer opportunities to partner with our board directors to share your talent and develop your skills. Check our Volunteer Opportunities on our website often, as it is updated regularly. 

    How can you connect this month? Join us for our virtual Professional Mixer the third Thursday of the month at 6:00p.m. Bring your own beverage or snack, introduce yourself, mingle and make new friends. On the 14th, we’re hosting a session on Performance Consulting and our Zoom Like a Boss session moved to the 28th of this month.  

    Here’s looking forward to seeing you soon. 

    All my Best, 

  • Tue, March 02, 2021 7:02 PM | Anonymous member

    ATD San Diego, 

    Happy almost spring! This month we transition into the season of spring and mark one year of doing life in the midst of the global pandemic. While our country and communities around the globe are working to distribute vaccines in hopes of herd immunity, as a chapter we are moving forward with programming to keep us connected and develop professionally.  

    This month we will meet virtually to discuss How to Navigate Your Career Path, network at our monthly Professional Mixer, and learn how to Zoom Like A Boss when presenting virtually. 

    Did you know that COVID 19 has not stopped ATD National from offering certificate programs? With online learning the new reality, you don’t need to wait for a certificate course to come to San Diego. To keep you aware of the robust list of upcoming classes, we’ve linked them on our website home page under Featured Announcements.

    Are you looking to enhance your skill set in 2021? Then check our volunteer opportunities. ATD San Diego is a collective of learning and development practitioners who volunteer to make our chapter great. We are adding a new area on our webpage where you can find a list of opportunities to partner with a board member to keep our chapter running smoothly. Many of our members contribute a small portion of their “free” time which adds to the richness and diversity of our team while developing new professional skills. We welcome your contributions. 

    Follow our LinkedIn account to be sure to stay up to date with all that is happening. 

    I look forward to seeing you at an upcoming event. 

    All my Best,

  • Tue, February 02, 2021 8:56 PM | Anonymous member

    ATD San Diego, 

    2021 kicked off on a high note! Our first chapter meeting was full of interaction including new members, first time visitors, and long-standing volunteers. It was a fun night with great energy. 

    We were delighted with the positive response to our Charting New Territory 2021 graphical layout of events for 2021. Our Program Directors, David  and Sylvia, really appreciated hearing your ideas about what you would like to see for future events. Check our website regularly for new opportunities to connect with one another. 

    Our Professional Mixer was equally fun. If you missed it, or want to do it again, be sure to mark your calendars for our next Professional Mixer on Thursday February 18th at 6:00p.m.

    Are strong relationships important to you? Our RQ: Results Through Relationship Intelligence session focuses on developing and sustaining relationships in the workplace. Register today to secure your spot. The Strengths Deployment Inventory 2.0 is included, so be sure to complete it before the session on Wednesday February 10th at 5:30p.m.

    If you’re looking to increase employee engagement while working remotely, then check out our webinar on Thursday February 25th, Building a Coaching Culture.  

    As a board we are encouraged by your responses to our call for volunteers. If you recently completed our volunteer form, expect to be contacted by me or another board member very soon. We welcome everyone’s contributions to the chapter. ATD San Diego is our chapter collectively, so why not join us and contribute to making our chapter great? We welcome your thoughts, ideas, and contributions. Watch for a new area on our website where we'll post volunteer opportunities. 

    Cheers to continuing the fun, networking, and professional growth in 2021. 

    All my best,

  • Tue, January 12, 2021 6:30 PM | Anonymous member

    Happy New Year ATD San Diego!

    I am thrilled to volunteer alongside an incredibly talented group of professionals who will serve as your 2021 Board of Directors. Please help me in welcoming:

    • Melanie Chin  – Marketing Director
    • Melissa Esten – Membership Director
    • Sylvia Melena – Programs Co-Director
    • David Berke – Programs Co-Director
    • Karen Radzinski - Secretary
    • Gwen Franco – President-elect
    • Mary Jane Riccardi – Past President
    • Norma Hernandez – Chief Financial Officer
    • Tom Velasquez – Technology Director

    One of our top priorities is to continue providing safe programming as we navigate the global pandemic. Last year you proved that even though we couldn’t meet in person, you still wanted to connect. We promise to offer opportunities for you to continue to connect with your learning and development peers and develop your skills. Watch our website for the new infographic “Charting New Territory” guiding you along our year of programming. We’ll continue to watch the updates on the pandemic and wait to host in-person gatherings until it is safe to do so.  

    Join us on Wednesday January 20th for our virtual Kick-off event. I’ll share a chapter update and we’ll provide time for you to engage with one another. We will host a virtual Professional Mixer on Thursday January 28th - be sure to register for one or both. 

    We know that you all bring creativity and talent to our chapter. I encourage you to consider sharing your strengths with our community. You are why we exist. The more we get to know each other, the more our chapter reflects you and is able to meet your “why” for being a member. Connect with us so we can learn more about you and add your fingerprints to our chapter. 

    I can’t wait to see you at an upcoming event. Please connect with meour chapter, and board of directors on LinkedIn. 

    Cheers to a great year ahead,

  • Mon, November 30, 2020 5:18 PM | Anonymous member

    Hi ATD San Diego

    As 2020 winds down, I couldn’t help but think of my time as president of this magnificent chapter. It is very true… this chapter is great because of its members, volunteers, and guests. I have had the opportunity to work with so many of you over the past couple years and every encounter has added to my experience as a chapter leader.

    So, what has been accomplished? This is a perfect time to reflect back:

    • Re-establishment of our vision, mission, values
    • Website redesign
    • Email notifications of open positions
    • Sponsors and partnerships
    • Chapter membership availability on the ATD Store
    • Increased LinkedIn social media presence
    • Increased use of our YouTube channel
    • 20th and 21st anniversary of our Mentor/Protégé Program
    • Great chapter meetings, workshops and other programs
    • OK... there are too many to list them all here!

    Right before I finished writing this letter, I received an email from ATD National. We were named ATD’s December 2020 Chapter of the Month. How exciting!!!

    All this gets done through the work of our volunteers. Our marketing Director, Sharon Lo, is completing her responsibilities as a board member this year. Sharon and her team have worked diligently establishing our different levels of sponsorships and enhancing our social media presence. Sharon, thank you for all you have done in this role for ATD San Diego.

    The new board will be meeting this month to determine the budget and do some strategic planning for next year, but 2020 is not over yet. Keep an eye on our events calendar.

    • You will find an opportunity to obtain OD and training material at no cost. Retired OD and training professional, Mary Kay Lahey, will be donating all her materials to our members and guests. On December 5, 9:00 – 12:00 you will be able to visit her home and take what you want. First come, first served. Registration is required, so be sure to do that before 6:00 PM on Friday, December 4.
    • You will also find our ATD Virtual Mixer on December 15.

    ATD is offering one virtual certificate program in December:

    December 7 – 11 is Employee Learning Week. This week is an opportunity for companies to demonstrate their commitment to talent development. During the week, remind employees about all of the learning and talent development opportunities they can access. It is also a great opportunity to think about how you can enhance learning and development for your customers going into 2021. Keep an eye out for our LinkedIn messages during the week.

    It has been a privilege and an honor to be president of this chapter.  You'll hear from your new 2021 president, Bridget Randall starting in January.  The chapter is definitely in good hands.

    I hope you all have a great holiday.  Please stay safe and healthy.

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

    Best Regards,

    Mary Jane Riccardi                                                                                    Chapter President

  • Mon, November 02, 2020 7:46 PM | Anonymous member

    Welcome to November ATD San Diego!

    Let me begin by announcing our continuing and newly elected board of directors for 2021:

    The new board will be meeting this month to start planning and budgeting for 2021. With such great members in these critical leadership positions, I know we will have a great year.

    As 2020 starts to wind down, please consider one of the following learning options.

    ATD San Diego’s upcoming events for November include:

    Webinar – Action Based Change – Overcoming Resistance

    Nov. 5

    3:00 – 4:00 PM

    Webinar – Solutions for Three Top Review-Succession Challenges

    Nov. 10

    10:00 – 11:00 AM

    Webinar – Gamification for Talent Development: Deconstructing the Psychology of Games to Entice, Engage, and Encourage Learners Nov. 13
    10:00 - 11:00 AM
    ATD Professional Virtual Mixer
    Nov. 17
     6:00 - 7:00 PM

    Affiliate Event – The Courage to Go Together: Three Questions to Change How You Work, Live and Lead

    Nov. 18

    6:00 – 7:30 PM


    ATD is offering one virtual certificate program in November:

    • Designing Visuals for Learning Certificate: November 16 – 17 

    As we get closer to the end of the year, and what a year it has been, I want to thank all of our members, guests, volunteers, board members and ATD support staff. In March, everything we did got turned upside down, but we hardly skipped a beat. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!! Hopefully going into 2021 we will be able to meet together again and enjoy each other’s company and insights. Virtual has been great, but a little balance would make things even better.

    Have a great Thanksgiving. Please stay safe and healthy.

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

    Best Regards,

    Mary Jane Riccardi

    Chapter President

  • Wed, September 30, 2020 8:48 PM | Anonymous member

    Hi ATD San Diego!

    Fall is always a busy time for the ATD San Diego board. With elections in progress and preparing for next year’s events, it is truly a busy but exciting time. Please take this time during our elections to make your choice for our 2021 ATD San Diego leadership team. Voting is open through October 2nd. This is an import part of our bylaws and we encourage all members to participate.

    After elections you will receive an email asking for your input for our chapter. Annually, we solicit your response for what you are looking for from your ATD San Diego membership. Please take a few minutes to share your thoughts with us. We use your suggestions to develop our programs for next year!

    As you consider your October activity, please consider one or more of these options from ATD and DISCcert Inc.

    ATD San Diego’s upcoming events for October include:

    Webinar – Are You Developing Your High Potentials Fast Enough

    Oct. 6

    11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

    Coffee & Conversation – Frontiers & Careers in the Talent Development Field

    Oct. 16

    10:00 – 11:00 AM

    ATD Southern California Chapters Virtual Networking Event

    Oct. 17

    6:00 – 7:00 PM

    Webinar – Lunch & Learn:  Engaging Learners with a Simple Online Simulation Game

    Oct. 28

    12:00 – 1:00 PM

    ATD is offering two virtual certificate programs in October:

    • ATD Master Trainer Program: October 13 – 16 
    • ATD Master E-Learning Instructional Designer Program: October 26 – 29 

    This month I am happy to share with our members the opportunity to become DISC Certified at a significant discount. DISCcert Inc. wants to help you get officially DISC Certified!  Become the DISC Expert that knows how to facilitate and inspire real communication success. In this five live weekly online program, you'll learn and practice using DISC tools and strategies for immediate results. ATD San Diego members who register by Thursday, October 15th for the October Live Online DISC Certification Program, can register for only $995 (savings of $2500).  Click here to register with promo code “OCTOBERDISCPROMO”

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

    Best Regards,

    Mary Jane Riccardi

    Chapter President

  • Sun, August 30, 2020 9:16 AM | Anonymous member

    Hi ATD San Diego!

    Wow! Summer just flew by… COVID and all. As we roll into the fall months and heading toward 2021, we have several events taking place I would like to highlight.

    Our upcoming events for September include:

    Webinar – Give your Brain a Boost by Improving your Brain Fitness!

    Sept. 2

    9:00 – 10:00 AM

    Virtual – Lunch & Learn: Storyline in Less Time

    Sept. 14

    12:00 – 1:00 PM

    Mixer – Celebrating Membership (members only event)

    Sept. 17

    6:00 – 7:00 PM

    Webinar – How to Create a 360 Feedback Assessment

    Sept. 29

    3:00 – 4:00 PM

    ATD is offering two virtual certificate programs in September:

    • ATD Master Performance Consultant Program: September 8 – 11 
    • Consulting Skills Certificate: September 10 – 11 

    Also in September, we will be launching the election process for new board members. A huge thank you to all who expressed interest in our open positions. You will be able to find information on each candidate on our website as we get closer to the opening of the election. Voting will run from September 11 through October 2. Members will need to login in order to vote. Voting is an important part of how we run our business, so please take a few minutes to cast your vote for our new leaders for 2021.

    September 14th through the 18th is ATD Member Week. Throughout this week, you will be able to save 10% on your both ATD national and San Diego memberships. ATD national members will have access to daily, exclusive sales on the most popular ATD products and services. Additionally, ATD Professional and Professional Plus memberships will be available at 10 percent off standard rates. Discounts will be automatically applied at checkout. Don’t miss this opportunity! We will also be holding a members only event with some great give-a-ways. Keep an eye on the events calendar for updates.

    Have a wonderful September and I hope to see you 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

  • Tue, July 28, 2020 9:37 PM | Anonymous member

    Hi ATD San Diego!

    Last month I talked about the importance of chapter leadership and encouraged all of our volunteers to consider a leadership role in the chapter. This is an exciting opportunity to continue to develop and demonstrate your leadership skills. I encourage you to apply or speak to any of the current board members to learn more about these opportunities. Applications will be taken through August 7. Board members should have six months of volunteer experience with ATD San Diego. The board positions open for 2021 are:

    • President-elect
    • Secretary
    • Program Co-directors
    • Marketing Director
    • Membership Director

    If you are interested in a board position but have not volunteered, please speak to any of the current board members so we can help you put a plan together. Job descriptions and the application are available on our website under Get Involved/Lead the Chapter.

    We have several opportunities for you to focus on your continued development. Our programs teams are working on events for the remainder of this year and into next year. Our upcoming events for August include:

    Webinar – Through the Looking Glass: A Conversation about Bias, Perception and Social Change

    July 29

    3:00 – 4:00 PM

    Sponsor Event – Future Focus: Careers in Digital Marketing

    July 30

    4:00 PM

    Webinar – From Ideas to Actions: Ten Strategies to Increase Belonging, Inclusion and Equity

    August 5

    3:00 – 4:00 PM

    Virtual – Going Beyond Adult Learning Theory

    August 11

    11:00 AM – 12:30 PM

    Sponsor Event – Future Focus: Careers in IT Management

    August 13

    4:00 PM

    ATD Professional Virtual Mixer

    August 20

    6:00 – 7:00 PM

    Sponsor Event – Future Focus: Careers in Healthcare Technology and Analytics

    August 27

    4:00 PM

    Coffee & Conversation – ATD Capability Model

    August 28

    9:00 – 10:00 AM

    ATD is offering several certificate programs in August:

    • Training Certificate: August 4 – 6
    • Training Design and Delivery Certificate: August 17 – 21
    • ATD Expert Coach Program: August 24 – 27
    Our partner, Alliant International University, is offering a 33-unit Master of Arts in Organizational Psychology degree on their four campuses, including Online, San Diego, Los Angeles, and Fresno. This improved program can be completed in one year, with two courses taken each 8-week term. Our on-ground, hybrid, and online formats allow working students to attend school while maintaining their work commitments. Through hands-on training our students are prepared for a variety of careers and are adept not only at influencing positive change and creating a more innovative, inclusive and healthy workplace but also at developing leaders, managing and motivating talent, and inspiring teams in organizations. Alliant is proud to partner with the ATD San Diego Chapter. Members of ATD San Diego are eligible for preferred pricing which includes a 10% tuition savings plus Application Fee Waiver. Alliant is accepting applications for Fall 2020. ATD San Diego members can apply via this Link. For more information or to schedule an Alliant information session for your organization, please contact

    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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