Organizational Learning Professional and Career Development courses are conducted by numerous presenters possessing a broad range of backgrounds and diverse skills. A brief profile of each presenter follows.
April Callis Birchmeier has more than 10 years experience developing and teaching educational programs for colleges, universities, and corporations. She previously served on the M-Pathways Change Management team, where she trained units, facilitated trainers, and worked with units to prepare them for workplace change. April specializes in training and development, and has expertise in presentation, interviewing, and communications skills. She earned her M.A. in communications from Eastern Michigan University.
Joanna Sabo is a consultant and trainer in both the public and private sectors. She specializes in programs that help people plan and achieve new goals. She is well known for her award-winning participatory approach to training and designs her programs to be focused on objectives, as well as to be fun and inspiring. Joanna is a full-time tenured professor of political science and business management at Monroe County Community College where she was formerly chair of the business division. She has also held various management positions in her professional career. She holds a Ph.D. in political science and public administration from Wayne State University with minors in public law and business management.
Dima has over 18 years of experience in project management and leadership spanning the Automotive, Retail, Medical, and Higher Education industries. After earning her bachelor degrees in Business Administration, Dima started her career as a consultant with Price Waterhouse Coopers where she focused on System Audits in the automotive industry. After earning her master's degree in Information Systems she joined she joined Domino’s Pizza LLC., where she managed the global point-of-sale deployment across Australia, Europe, Latin America and the United States. She joined the University of Michigan in 2007 as a senior project manager in the Health System (MCIT) and later transitioned to ITS where she successfully lead multiple Campus-wide initiatives. Currently, she is Managing the ITS Program & Project Management Office.
Dyan Jenkins-Ali is a senior project manager for University HR Strategy and Planning, managing administrative and operational projects that impact the development of goals and initiatives designed to enhance multiple student, staff, patient and faculty health benefits and experiences. Her healthcare career spans more than 20 years, in which time she has worked in an executive capacity with M-CARE, Dental Dental, Providence Hospital and Health Alliance Plan. Dyan holds a State of Michigan Agent//Producer License in Life, Health and Disability, and is a certified phlebotomist. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Executives and National Association of Health Service Executives, treasurer of U-M's Letterwinners M Club Board, and a diplomat with the U-M Credit Union. Dyan received a Bachelor of Arts in psychology and a Master's degree in health services administration, both from the University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
Geraldine Markel, Ph.D. is principal of Managing Your Mind Coaching & Seminars. An educational psychologist, Dr. Markel serves as a coach for those seeking to enhance their performance in the professional or academic realm. She is the author of Defeating the 8 Demons of Distraction: Increasing Productivity and Decreasing Stress and is coauthor of Finding Your Focus: Practical Strategies for the Everyday Challenges Facing Adults with ADD. Geri served as faculty in the School of Education, University of Michigan and is a seminar leader for Fortune 500 companies.
Glen Fayolle is the co-founder and lead change guide for Vertex Innovation and is no stranger to looking at situations through a kaleidoscope of perspectives. Having spent his formative years in East Africa, before moving to the UK to attend University, start his career and ultimately move to the United States, Glen’s approach to change is unflappable.
Designing transformative processes crafted to deliver overall optimization of organizational performance, while building teams of motivated change ready ambassadors from your staff, is a passion for Glen.
On top of his unrelenting business pursuits, Glen also makes time to be instrumental in the strategic foresight and development of several non-profit organizations focused on positive change for all.
Glen holds an MBA from the Cranfield School of Management, a Bachelor of Arts degree in business administration and French from Loughborough University and is currently working on a second Master’s degree in creativity from the International Center of Studies. In addition, Glen is a certified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) and Kirton Adaptation-Innovation Instrument (KAI) practitioner.
Glenda Haskell is certified as an associate certified coach by the International Coach Federation (ICF) and works as a career and retirement coach. Before starting her coaching career, Glenda worked for the University of Michigan in various capacities for over 25 years, her last position was Assistant Vice Provost for Academic and Faculty Affairs. She teaches Achieving Success Through Effective Goal Setting for LPD and helps others to fulfill their career and life goals through her coaching business. Glenda received her B.A. in English from Johnson State College and her M.S. in counseling from the University of Oregon.
Jacqueline has more than 20 years of experience in the field of human resource development including serving as an executive director of a non-profit agency, as a program developer of programs and courses on life skills as well as a consultant. Specifically, Jacqueline has over 15 years of experience as a training specialist specializing in staff development and organizational behavior. Her interests include communication skills, personal leadership, conflict resolution and teamwork effectiveness. She has worked for both private and public sectors in government, corporate, and educational environments; including facilitating workshops through LPD since 1985. In addition to training, she has been on faculty with Washtenaw Community College and a guest lecturer with the School of Social Work. Jacqueline earned an M.A. in education and an M.S.W. in social work, both from the University of Michigan. In addition to being on the faculty of Washtenaw Community College, she is a psychotherapist in private practice with The Ann Arbor Center for Groups.
Jane is the leadership development manager for Michigan Medicine. In her role, she provides the vision for senior leadership development. Jane also teaches and consults in her areas of specialty which include team development, retreat facilitation, communication, change management and work-style assessment. In addition, Jane serves as a master coach, assisting leaders in developing coaching skills. Jane’s recent focus has been on the use of the Enneagram® instrument and its use as a tool for understanding one’s workplace preferences. Jane has a B.A. in psychology from Kalamazoo College, an M.S. in education from the University of Michigan and over 25 years of experience in the university environment.
Jennifer Evans, M.Ed., is an educator who has managed programs and developed people throughout her varied career. On two college campuses, one as academic dean with DeVry University and one as faculty manager for Pima Medical Institute, she managed teachers, enhanced teaching, and improved student outcomes. While a trainer with The Joyce Institute, she developed ergonomics training programs for organizations nationwide and trained managers and staff who became healthier, happier and more empowered. As a member of the academic team for the innovative Organizational Psychology Program in the Center for Creative Change at Antioch University, Jennifer contributed to program development and advised graduate students. While a special education teacher at Boyer Children’s Clinic, she customized education programs to support families and nurture the growth of young handicapped children.
In her current position at the University of Michigan Ross School of Business, Jennifer supports faculty. True to her positive deviant nature, she contributes beyond the boundaries of her role and brings the principles of positive organizational psychology to life. Jennifer has initiated a Mindfulness program now in its third year, launched a series called “Third Place Events,” and developed a number of workshops based in the research of Ross scholars that she facilitates for staff both at Ross and across the U-M campus.
Kristen provides the overall vision, direction and leadership to align LPD’s services to the U-M community’s professional and career development needs. She has held many roles within LPD over the years, the majority as a training and organizational development consultant prior to taking over leadership of LPD. Kristen consistently works to create a stronger integration of LPD services through formal, traditional learning and informal, collaborative approaches leveraging technology and social media. Kristen’s current focus is on building multi-level leadership development opportunities for U-M leaders. Kristen holds an M.A. in adult instruction and performance technology from the University of Michigan-Dearborn and a B.S. in education from Western Michigan University.
Mary Ceccanese is a trainer affiliate with the Center for Positive Organizations (CPO) at the Ross School of Business, as well as the coordinator of the Office of Tax Policy Research. Celebrating over twenty years of professional experience working with all levels of staff within higher education, she offers dynamic and informative theory-to-practice tools and exercises developed by the faculty of CPO. Presenting positive and empowering interactive presentations, Mary engages attendees with research-based practices applied to work-life scenarios that can be immediately applied to their day-to-day life. She has a BA in human resource administration and has worked at the University of Michigan for more than 28 years. In 2010, she received the University of Michigan’s highest award given to staff—the Candace J. Johnson Award for Excellence. In 2015, she was voted “Woman of the Year” by the Ann Arbor Chapter of the American Business Women’s Association.
Pam Wyess is president of Workplace Results LLC, a training firm specializing in communication, leadership and customer service. As a former lieutenant with the Ann Arbor Police Department, she has expertise in the effective de-escalation of difficult situations and upset customers, leading and building strong teams, and creating a culture of accountability at work. Pam earned her B.A from the University of Michigan and an M.A. from Madonna University.
Patrice is a Corporate Leadership Development Consultant at McLaren Health Care Corporation in Flint, Michigan. She is a Registered Medical Technologist and worked in the clinical laboratory at McLaren for 11 years. Pat joined the Educational Resources and Development Department in 1995 where she worked with staff and leadership development. In 2002 she moved into the Leadership Development Department. Pat has earned a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from the University of Michigan – Flint, a secondary teaching certificate in Biology and Chemistry from UM-F and a Master’s in Health Service Administration from Central Michigan University. In 2008 Pat became board certified in Healthcare Management and a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives. She is a certified facilitator for the 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, The Oz Principle of Accountability, Crucial Conversations, Crucial Accountability, Influencer, Change Anything, Project Management Essentials, Situational Leadership and Inspiring Trust. These are all programs offered by the Leadership Development Department at McLaren Health Care. In 2013, 14 & 15 she was awarded Platinum status in the Elite Trainer program from VitalSmarts. Pat serves as President for the Board of Education for the Carman-Ainsworth Community Schools and on several School District Committees. She has received Master Platinum Award from the Michigan Association of School Boards. Patrice is a Lecturer for the University of Michigan-Flint and an adjunct faculty for Michigan Association of School Board Members. She also serves on the Board of the Great Lakes Chapter of the American College of Healthcare Executives and as the Education Chair.
Randall Dean, the “Totally Obsessed” time management/e-mail guy, is a professional speaker, author, and expert on time and e-mail management, effective organization, and the related use of technology. For more than 18 years, Randy has been leading training and speaking programs and presentations for corporate, academic, and association audiences. Obsessed with time management and personal productivity, he left a successful career as a graduate program admissions director, professional marketer, and manager to become a leading speaker and trainer. Randy is the author of two books on time and e-mail.
Robin Sober has over 25 years of experience helping organizations, teams, leaders and individuals be their best. She has led organizational effectiveness, learning and change management initiatives for financial, technology and retail organizations in Canada and the US, as well as for six years at the University of Michigan Office of University Development. For the past two years, Robin has divided her time between family and bringing her expertise to a broader audience through her consulting business.
Ron is the curriculum lead for University of Michigan Learning & Professional Development (LPD) and also provides support to the advancement of career development at U-M. His areas of expertise are instructional design, learning and e-learning development, facilitation, strategic planning and change management. Ron has expert knowledge of instructional technologies and how to apply those technologies in support of the learning function. His 20 years as a learning professional in the private and public sectors have provided a wealth of experience to draw from allowing him to easily partner with those who are interested in the development of learning strategies.
Svetla is a Project Management Professional (PMP)® with over 15 years of project management experience in Information Technology. Her career spans Fortune 500 companies in the consumer goods, wholesale, retail, and finance sectors. She is passionate about project management and has been facilitating training for graduate students, supervisors, and junior project managers for the last three years. Svetla is currently a Senior Project Manager at the University of Michigan.
Todd Brockdorf is not an astronaut, a professional athlete, or a reality TV star (yet). The only Wheaties box he’ll ever be on is the one where he glued his own picture! He is simply someone who discovered how to excel beyond the ordinary and find what moves him in life. He is a professional speaker, author, and Better than Average guy. Todd is an expert in being better than average-exceeding what is the typically accepted “normal” in a given field. He has more than 10 years experience leading speaking programs and training for colleges and universities, corporations, and non-profit associations. He has served in leadership positions in worldwide non-profits, sales engineering at a major telecommunications company, and regularly consults with small businesses on technology. This varied background helps him to bring practical field knowledge to organizations across the spectrum.
Tonya is an education technology, design, and multimedia communications leader with over 20 years of experience in training, human performance support, productivity/effectiveness consulting, project management, Lean/Six Sigma process improvement, and leadership development. A certified project manager (APRM) and Microsoft Certified Innovative Educator (MIE,) she is currently the system admin for the WSU Accelerate eLearning platform. She specializes in creating innovative learning and effectiveness solutions for 21st Century learners.
She earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Instructional Design and Technology from Walden University; has completed undergraduate coursework in psychology and nursing at Wayne State University, Detroit; and is currently finalizing a graduate degree in educational technology at The University of Michigan – Dearborn. She is currently formalizing her Six Sigma Black Belt credential, and has completed additional education in Influencer, Senn-Delaney, DiSC, GTD, Covey, and StrengthsFinder tools and productivity frameworks. She is also adjunct faculty, IT/Business Administration, at Macomb Community College, and principal of her own design and consulting practice, EduTechDiva Enterprises, LLC.
Wendy Shepherd is a professional speaker and trainer who specializes in stress management, time management, leadership development, communication, parent education, and balancing work and life issues. Wendy holds a degree in education from the University of Michigan and has extensive training in human development and relationships. Her background is eclectic, including stints as a work-family coordinator, public policy consultant, fundraiser-outreach manager, event planner, campaign coordinator, executive secretary, office manager, advertising director, wife, mom and grandma! Currently, Wendy is the executive director of Mittens for Detroit, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. This varied background—along with her optimistic and resilient attitude—gives her the real-life experience that adds depth to her positive approach to real-life issues. Wendy's upbeat presentation style creates an easy learning environment, even when dealing with difficult issues.
Z. Christopher Delk has been a member of the Cleveland Police Department in Cleveland, Ohio since 1993, working as a Domestic Violence Unit detective for 13 years. During this time he has investigated over 3,500 cases involving all forms of abuse and has dedicated his life to the pursuit of ending domestic violence, ultimately broadening his scope of expertise to include conflict resolution and verbal communication safety techniques.
Detective Delk is a certified domestic violence instructor and has received certifications from the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center’s Department of Homeland Security and the Ohio Peace Officer’s Training Academy. He holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in Christian counseling/psychology.
In addition to his extensive professional development training for the Marriott Hotel brands, he has also taught domestic violence courses and facilitated verbal judo/conflict resolution workshops at many schools, women’s shelters and citizen’s police academies.
Chris’ passion for the continued success of students has led him to serve as vice-president on the school board of trustees for the Cleveland Arts and Social Sciences Academy and the Arts and Sciences Preparatory Academy.