Keynote Speaker: Matthew Kutz, Ph.D.

Dr. Matthew Kutz (Ph.D. in Global Leadership) is an Associate Professor at Bowling Green State University in the College of Education and Human Development. He is the award-winning author of Contextual Intelligence: How 3D Thinking Can Help Resolve Complexity, Uncertainty, and Ambiguity.

Matt is a Fulbright Scholar, Leadership Coach and Consultant to multinational and Fortune 500 companies, TEDx speaker, and an Adjunct Associate Professor at Griffith University School of Medicine in Brisbane, Australia. Matt's passion is to help develop leaders who can navigate their organizations and communities through the complexity and ambiguity of our global marketplace.

He is still crazy-in-love with his best friend and wife of 23 years, Angie, and despite the difficulties loves being a husband, father, and friend.

Closing Keynote Speaker: Rick Hicks 

Rick loves working with people with the ultimate goal of making a difference.

Rick has more than 25 years of experience in learning management and human resources, including as an executive of a global consulting and training company. He worked for large publicly traded companies, government, and private companies of various sizes. Rick has worked in the areas of workplace learning, human resources, leadership development, organizational development, safety and strategic planning in multiple industries. Rick also taught Human Resources at the University of Louisiana Lafayette

Rick has been actively involved with ATD both at the National and Chapter level. He was on the ATD International Board of Directors, served on the National Advisors for Chapters. He is a Past President and Director of the Dallas Chapter ATD. In 2003 Rick was awarded the Volunteer-Staff Partnership Award from ATD International.

Rick is proud to be the dad of two beautiful daughters, Alexandria and Natasha.

Breakout Speakers
  Carmen Alston, PhD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP
“Impacting Organizational Culture: The Leader’s Secret Weapon”

Carmen Alston, PhD, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, is a Sr. Talent Management Consultant for Right Management, one of the world’s foremost leaders in career management and talent development services, and an Adjunct Professor in the University of Houston’s Executive Masters in Human Resources Development program.

Carmen has over 20 years of experience in the design and administration of talent management initiatives to drive achievement of organizational strategy. Her capabilities run the full spectrum of individual and enterprise-wide improvement. She has concentrated her efforts on leadership development, succession planning, organizational effectiveness, performance management, change management, corporate communication and talent acquisition.

A lifelong Orioles fan from Baltimore, MD, Carmen has lived in Houston since the mid-1990s.

Debbie Christian, MSHRM, CPLP, SPHR
“The Coaching Habit”

Debbie Christian has an extensive background in learning and development, particularly facilitation. It is her joy and privilege to engage learners, share knowledge and see people thrive in their roles.

Debbie has worked for city government, private industry, and the U.S. Military. She is a lifelong member, and for the past 15 years, an employee of USAA. She specializes in Leadership and Professional Development and engages audiences of all levels in the organization.

Debbie is a qualified facilitator for the MBTI.  Debbie is a longtime member of ATD. She is a past President of the Southeastern Virginia (SEVA) ASTD Chapter and served as a Programs Chair for San Antonio ATD, also.

Jonathan Ellis, MBA, CPLP
“Cultivating High Potential Leaders”

Jonathan M. Ellis is an influential leader who has 12 years of comprehensive experience in talent and organizational development. He has worked with leaders at all levels (including C-suite) to create and maintain a competitive advantage for the organization by cultivating high potential leaders and ensuring a robust leadership pipeline for the organization. He is passionate about intentionally shaping company culture in order to dramatically improve an organization's ability to execute business objectives.

As a talent developer, Jonathan is a dynamic presenter with an exceptional ability to engage and inspire groups of all sizes. He is recognized as a leading expert in the art of gamification, the incorporation of innovative gaming techniques into everyday learning. He infuses creative techniques and gaming technology into his presentations and ignites positive energy.

Jonathan earned a Master's degree in Business Administration and a Bachelor's degree in Management from the University of Texas at San Antonio. Jonathan is a top performer in the talent development field evidenced by his earning of the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) credential from the Association for Talent Development Certification Institute.

Jeri L. George, SHRM-CP, PHR
“Mixing and Managing a Multigenerational Workforce”

Jeri L. George is a the Director of Human Resources for Analytic Focus, LLC., a national, expert consulting firm in statistics, finance, and economics. She is also an accomplished public speaker and has presented on an array of HR topics for the Texas Diversity Council, Association for Talent Development, San Antonio Human Resource Management Association, San Antonio Express News,, Uvalde Consolidated ISD, the South Texas Human Resource Symposium, and the University of Texas at San Antonio College of Business Conference.

Jeri currently serves as the President-Elect on the Board of Directors for the San Antonio Human Resources Management Association.

Jeri graduated magna cum laude from the University of Phoenix and Schreiner University and holds a graduate degree and multiple professional certifications. She is a certified Human Resources professional who specializes in compliance, employee relations, and talent development. 

  Roxanne Gruhlke, BS, CCT, CWE 
“Meeting Extraversion and Introversion Needs in the Classroom”

Roxanne G. Gruhlke is a Training Manager, Training Specialist, Curriculum Developer, and Facilitator with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) Training and Development Department. She has been employed with the TWC Human Dynamics Training Unit since May 2000. Roxanne specializes in leadership training, and she develops curriculum and continues to train related topics, including Insights into Personal Effectiveness, Presentation Skills, Maintaining Objectivity, and Supervisory Skills Development.

Roxanne obtained her Bachelor of Science in Education from Texas State University, her instructor certification for Training of Trainers from the National Institute of Corrections, and her Corporate Trainer certification from San Antonio College.
  Shelley Howell, PhD
“The A Word”

Shelley Howell, PhD, is currently a Teaching and Learning Consultant at The University of Texas at San Antonio. She works with UTSA faculty on instructional strategies and course design through one-on-one consultations, course observations, and faculty development sessions.

Shelley has more than 25 years of experience working with students and faculty from a variety of academic disciplines and settings. Her experience includes developing faculty training and orientation, redesigning courses and programs, coordinating events and programs, and teaching college students at all levels.

Shelley has an Associate of Arts from State Fair Community College in Missouri, a Bachelor of Science degree in training and development from Southern Illinois University, a Master of Education in adult education from the University of Oklahoma, and a doctorate in higher education administration from Oklahoma State University.

Mary Potts, BS    

“The Coaching Habit”

Mary Potts has over two decades of experience as facilitator and speaker. In that time she has earned a reputation as an engaging, fun, and effective professional who delivers results for USAA’s workforce.

She started her career in Financial Services providing her with an Industry foundation and soon moved into Corporate Training where she is currently today. As a Lead Facilitator she has extensive experience working with all organizational levels creating, promoting, and delivering training solutions designed to support USAA’s business plan.

Andrea Soriano, CPLP
“The Basics of Virtual Instructor-Led Training”

Andrea Soriano graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio and has about 8 years of a professional training background in the public and private sectors. She was a FranklinCovey certified facilitator for 6 years and earned the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) credential from ATD in 2015 with a "training delivery" area of expertise. She has delivered classroom training on topics such as Cornerstone onDemand LMS administration, technical software training, leadership development, time management, personal effectiveness and more.

Andrea also volunteers by serving on the Board of Directors for the Association for Talent Development San Antonio chapter that serves the learning and development/training community.

In her current role, she delivers primarily virtual instructor-led trainings (VILTs) to clients that use Blackbaud software. You're welcome to follow her on Twitter: @DreaLeann.
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