"With every speaker, I asked myself, 'Can it get better than this?' Each time, I was impressed more."
—2016 Attendee

"I really enjoyed Karen Hough and how interactive it was as well as informative."
—2016 Attendee

September Keynotes

Kimo Kippen

Kimo Kippen

Vice President of Global Workforce Initiatives, Hilton Worldwide

Kimo Kippen, former chief learning officer and now vice president of global workforce initiatives at Hilton Worldwide, is responsible for creating lifelong learning alternatives for Hilton's hundreds of thousands of team members. For his accomplishments as a learning leader, CLO Magazine named Kimo 2015 Chief Learning Officer of the Year. He was recently selected as the chairman of the board of directors for the Asian & Pacific Islander American Scholarship Fund, of which Hilton is a founding member. Kimo served as the chairman of the board of the Association for Talent Development in 2007. He also sits on the board for the Council for Adult and Experiential Learning and is actively involved with Business Champions as a representative for Hilton Worldwide.

Prior to joining Hilton, Kimo worked for Marriott International for 21 years. In his last position there, he was responsible for the Center of Excellence for Learning. Before this, he led management engagement for the enterprise. Kimo also has served as vice president of human resources for Renaissance Hotels and Resorts, North America. He is an adjunct professor at The Catholic University of America. Kimo holds an MS in career and human resource development from Rochester Institute of Technology and a BS from the University of Hawaii. He is a graduate of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland's Post Graduate Program.

Thursday: 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.
Think Differently: Lessons From a Learning Leader That Will Change How You Think!

In this session, Kimo Kippen, learning leader and vice president of global workforce initiatives at Hilton, will use personal accounts to illustrate 10 lessons he has learned throughout his life. Kimo will tell these stories from multiple perspectives: student, corporate trainer, learning executive for the hospitality industry, chief learning officer for a global and ever-expanding company, and advocate for lifelong learning. Each lesson will be told through stories that span across the diverse workforce population, regions throughout the world, and technological advancements. You will leave this session with 10 stories to share with others and 10 new ways to approach your role as a talent development and learning professional.

Sardek Love

Sardek Love

Founder, Infinity Consulting and Training Solutions Inc.

Sardek Love is the President and Founder of Infinity Consulting and Training Solutions (ICTS), a global performance consulting and training organization. Sardek has proudly worked in 31 countries inspiring, developing, and educating leaders in Fortune 100 companies, high tech organizations, local / state / federal government agencies, non-profits, and global brands on how to become more effective leaders in their workplace.

Prior to establishing ICTS, Sardek was a Program Manager for Booz Allen Hamilton (a leading global technology and strategy consulting firm) and a Field Underwriting Manager for MetLife Insurance Company (a Fortune 40 company). His expertise in training, leadership, and consulting are highly regarded as he is a regular contributor to a variety of ATD publications and frequent Keynote speaker internationally. He currently serves on the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC) Graduate Instructional Systems Development Board. When he is not traveling the world equipping leaders and trainers, Sardek can be found spending time with his family and cheering on his beloved Virginia Tech Hokies.

Friday 8:30 a.m. - 9:30 a.m.

Great by Choice: 3 Simple Secrets the World’s Top Trainers Use to Create Raving Fans

Studies consistently show getting and maintaining high levels of participant engagement is one of the top challenges trainers encounter. Good news: Overcoming this pervasive problem is quite easy if you know how. Compared with ordinary trainers, the world’s top trainers get 10x greater levels of participant engagement by using three simple techniques. In this session, international keynote speaker and ATD Master Trainer Sardek Love will equip you with the tools that will make great facilitation nearly automatic. After attending this session, you will be able to:

  • Apply three memory-anchoring techniques that guarantee your training sticks long after training is completed.
  • Use a fast-action activity to transform boring training into an unforgettable, mind-blowing learning experience.
  • Get instant, next-day success by implementing the secrets into your existing training courses.

Karen Hough

Karen Hough

Founder and CEO, ImprovEdge

Karen Hough is the founder and CEO of ImprovEdge (Improv-Edge), a number 1 Amazon bestselling author, a contributor to the Huffington Post, and a recipient of the Stevie Silver International Award for Most Innovative Company of the Year 2012 and the Athena PowerLink Award for outstanding woman-owned business. Karen’s award-winning books include The Improvisation Edge: Secrets to Building Trust and Radical Collaboration at Work and Be the Best Bad Presenter Ever: Break the Rules, Make Mistakes and Win Them Over. Her new book on innovation and improvisation will be published by ATD Press in 2017.

Karen’s first life was as a professional improviser and actor. She trained with Chicago’s legendary Second City, did more than 100 theatrical productions, and was featured in radio, TV, and film. She lived a second life as a successful executive in network engineering. Finally, she became an entrepreneur. She is a Certified Speaking Professional and has presented to audiences of thousands both in the United States and internationally.

Her firm helps companies transform behavior through interactive training with a presence in four cities and a varied client list that includes Becton Dickinson, Cardinal Health, NBCU, ESPN, JPMorgan Chase, Nationwide, Coach, and AstraZeneca. Karen is a graduate of Yale University and La Sorbonne, Paris IV. She holds board positions, volunteers extensively, and lives with her husband and three children in Ohio.

Friday 3 p.m. - 4  p.m.
Go With It: Embrace the Unexpected to Drive Change

Change is difficult. It demands flexible and innovative behavior and can feel overwhelming. Where to start? In this session, improvisation will be your guide. Why? Improv is an interactive and proven model for behavioral innovation and change. Improvisers collaborate, play, think upside-down, and brainstorm more efficiently. Leveraging these behaviors in organizations propels both people and ideas forward.

Join Karen Hough for a session on the improv cycle of change and innovation, which can radically improve collaboration, creativity, and your ability to manage change. Improvisers think on their feet and manage extremely well in risky situations. The surprise is that the little-known techniques of improvisers can create incredible performance for your team and organization.

This session will provide clear techniques for creating more collaborative, innovative interactions; use case studies and exercises to demonstrate how to change behavior; and offer a new way to manage change while being creative and innovative. You will explore key improv behaviors, each critical to a good improv show and to driving better organizational performance.

Elaine Biech

Elaine Biech is president of ebb associates inc, a strategic implementation, leadership development, and experiential learning consulting firm. She has been in the field for 30 years, helping organizations work through large-scale change. She has presented at numerous national and international conferences and has been featured in dozens of publications, including the Wall Street Journal, Harvard Management Update, and Fortune. She is the author and editor of more than 70 books, including the ASTD Handbook, Training and Development for Dummies, and 101 Ways to Make Learning Active Beyond the Classroom. Elaine is the recipient of numerous awards, including ATD’s Bliss Award, Torch Award, and Staff Partnership Award. She served on ATD’s board of directors. She is currently a member of the Center for Creative Leadership Board of Governors and is Berrett-Koehler's curator for Advances in Leadership and Management. She was the 1995 Wisconsin Women Entrepreneur’s Mentor Award recipient and, in 2012, the inaugural CPLP Fellow Honoree from ATD's Certification Institute.

Wendy Gates Corbett speaker headshot

Wendy Gates Corbett has designed & delivered over 1,200 presentations in her 20 years in the field. She’s on a mission to rid the world of bad presentations and bad presenters (by helping them get better). She designs vivid, high-impact materials that engage, inform, and influence audiences. She serves professional speakers and trainers by refreshing their materials using crisp, vibrant approaches that amplify their messages and providing delivery coaching so they present with confidence. Wendy earned CPLP in 2009. She's delivered several ATD webcasts and conference sessions on visualizing slides. Her article, See Your Point, was featured in the May 2015 TD Magazine. She’s the co-author of two ATD Infolines and the author of one TD@Work. She's a co-author of “SCORE! Super Closers, Openers, Reviews, & Energizers for Virtual Instructor Led Training” published by the Bob Pike Group, and is a contributing author for “101 Ways to Make Learning Active beyond the Classroom” and “101 More Ways to Make Training Active”, published by Wiley. She served her local ATD chapter board for 9 years and currently serves as Chair of ATD’s National Advisors for Chapters team and on the ATD Board of Directors.

Stephanie Daul

Stephanie Daul has worked in all facets of learning, including the design and development for learning solutions life cycle. Currently she leads the learning research and development efforts at Grainger. In her role, she facilitated, gained the acceptance of, and implemented mobile learning, knowledge management strategy, and gamification initiatives. Stephanie converted instructor-led training courses to virtual classrooms and incorporated QR codes in delivering information to learners; she also educates and facilitates teaching techniques that use new technologies. Stephanie has a master of art degree from Roosevelt University in training and development and a BA from Northern Illinois University.

JD Dillion

JD Dillon has spent 15 years designing and implementing learning and performance strategies for respected global organizations, including the Walt Disney Company, Kaplan, Brambles, and AMC Theatres. With his practical approach and unique ability to integrate science, technology, storytelling, and pure common sense, JD delivers modern solutions that enable employees, improve organizational performance, and drive business results. In his current role with Axonify, JD works with an award-winning team to boost employee knowledge and performance for leading organizations through the application of modern learning practices and cutting-edge technology. JD is a popular conference speaker who is known for his high-energy, humor-filled delivery style as well as his relatable stories and practical examples. He also shares ongoing insights on his Just Curious Learning + Performance blog. You can find JD on Twitter @JD_Dillon or online at www.jddillon.com.

Diane ElkinsDiane Elkins is the co-owner of E-Learning Uncovered, which provides tools and resources to e-learning developers, and Artisan E-Learning, a custom e-learning development company specializing in Articulate Studio, Storyline, Lectora, and Captivate. She’s built a reputation as a national e-learning expert and is frequent speaker at major industry events, such as the ATD Internationals Conference & Exposition, ATD TechKnowledge, DevLearn, and Learning Solutions. She’s also the co-author of the popular E-Learning Uncovered book series and E-Learning Fundamentals: A Practical Guide. She’s a past board member of the Northeast Florida and Metro DC chapters of ATD.

Jennifer Hofmann

Jennifer Hofmann, a recognized thought leader in the field of virtual classrooms, is the president of InSync Training, a consulting firm that specializes in the design and delivery of virtual and blended learning. As a New England Women Business Leader, she led InSync Training to the Inc. 5000 as the 10th Fastest Growing Education Company in the United States in 2013.



Cindy Hugget

Cindy Huggett is an independent consultant, speaker, instructional designer, classroom facilitator, and author who specializes in technology, leadership, and learning. She’s the author of three books on virtual training: Virtual Training Tools & Templates: An Action Guide to Live Online Learning, The Virtual Training Guidebook: How to Design, Deliver, and Implement Live Online Learning, and Virtual Training Basics. She helps organizations and training professionals move to the virtual classroom. Cindy is also a past member of the ATD National board of directors and was one of the first to earn the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) designation. You can find Cindy sharing tips on Twitter @cindyhugg or on her website, www.cindyhuggett.com.

Jim KirkpatrickJim Kirkpatrick is the senior consultant for Kirkpatrick Partners. He is a thought leader in training evaluation and the creator of the New World Kirkpatrick Model. Using his 15 years of corporate experience, Jim trains and consults for organizations around the world. He is passionate about assisting learning professionals in redefining themselves as strategic business partners. Jim delivers keynote addresses and conducts workshops on topics including maximizing business results, creating powerful training and evaluation strategies, and building and leveraging business partnerships. Jim co-authored three books with his father, Don Kirkpatrick, the creator of the Kirkpatrick Model, and four books with his wife, Wendy, including Kirkpatrick’s Four Levels of Training Evaluation. Jim and Wendy also served as the subject matter experts for the United States Office of Personnel Management’s Training Evaluation Field Guide.

Alex Keay

Alex Keay is head of global inside sales and indirect channels at Insights Learning & Development. He joined Insights in 2013 and holds P&L responsibilities in the organization’s U.S. and U.K. regions. Before Insights, Alex set up the global training division for banking technology company Temenos. He also spent 10 years with Microsoft, where he ran Microsoft’s learning division in Western Europe. Alex is accredited in Insights Discovery and Deeper Discovery, and is a previous Learning Performance Institute fellow. He is passionate about learning, both from a trainer’s perspective to raise learning quality standards and from an executive’s perspective to deliver demonstrable business value. 

Tanveer Makhani

Tanveer Makhani is a senior solutions consultant with Kineo. He specializes in the strategy and design of learning, professional development, and learning management. As a director, policy adviser, professor, and consultant, Tanveer has helped numerous clients develop successful learning environments and processes. He has directed learning management system implementations for small and large corporations, government entities, and academic institutions, and routinely advises on how to effectively serve today’s learner. Tanveer has been in the online learning space for 15 years, and speaks regularly at various conferences, seminars, and leader events.

Erik Palmer

Erik Palmer is an author, speaker, and consultant from Denver. His work history includes trading on the floor of a Chicago commodity exchange, managing an office for a prominent Chicago commodity brokerage firm, and teaching in one of Colorado’s premier school districts. In his current career, he focuses on improving oral communication, whether one-to-one, in a small or large group, informally or formally, or in-person or digitally. Erik shares practical, understandable ideas that enable all adults to design effective presentations and deliver them with dynamic speaking skills. Erik’s new book about speaking skills, Own Any Occasion, will be available from ATD Press in October 2017, and is available for pre-order now. Previous books include Well-Spoken: Teaching Speaking to All Students, Digitally Speaking: How to Improve Student Presentations With Technology, Teaching the Core Skills of Listening & Speaking, Researching in a Digital World, and Good Thinking: Teaching Argument, Persuasion, and Reasoning. His educational background includes Oberlin College, the University of Denver Law School, and the University of Colorado.


Julie PatrickJulie Patrick is a learning and performance consultant with JP Learning Associates. Julie has been a trainer, facilitator, and instructional designer since 1992. As a former manager of a corporate university, Julie was responsible for new employee orientation, leadership and management, sales, client training, systems, and administrative training programs. She holds numerous certifications, including DDI, AchieveGlobal, and the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator assessment, and designs and implements training and development solutions that help clients achieve their desired business results. Julie also serves as an in-person and online facilitator for several ATD programs: ATD Master Trainer, Training Certificate, Designing Learning Certificate, and Creating New Manager Training Programs Certificate. She wrote the Infoline issues “Creating Training Manuals” and “Creative Facilitation Techniques for Training.” Julie has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and a master’s degree in organization development.


Bob PikeBob Pike is known globally as the “trainer's trainer.” He has written more than 30 books and created a dozen video systems on designing and delivering training. His Master Trainer's Handbook is the bestselling train-the-trainer book ever published, with more than 333,000 copies in print in four editions. He has designed more than 600 training programs of one day or longer since 1969. He has presented at every ATD International Conference & Exposition since 1977, and is a regular keynoter at global training and performance conferences. He has worked in more than 25 countries during his career, and his works have been translated into Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and Spanish. 

Ken PhillipsKen Phillips is founder and CEO of Phillips Associates, a consulting and publishing company with expertise in measurement and evaluation of learning and performance management. He has more than 30 years’ experience designing learning instruments and assessments and has authored more than a dozen published learning instruments. He regularly speaks to professional associations, university classes and corporate learning and development groups. In addition, since 2008, he has spoken at the annual Association for Talent Development (ATD) International Conference & Exposition on topics related to the measurement and evaluation of learning. Prior to pursuing a PhD in the combined fields of organization behavior and educational administration at Northwestern University, Ken held management positions with two colleges and two national corporations. In addition, he has written articles that have appeared in TD magazine and Training Today and on HR.com and is a contributing author to four books in the learning and development field. Ken earned the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) credential from ATD in 2006 as a pilot pioneer and was recertified in 2009, 2012, and again in 2015. 

Lou RussellLou Russell is the CEO of Russell Martin & Associates and an executive consultant, speaker, and author whose passion is to create growth in companies by guiding the growth of their people. In her speaking, training, and writing, Lou draws on 30 years of experience helping organizations achieve their full potential. She inspires improvement in leadership, project management, and individual learning. 

Lou is the author of seven popular and practical books: IT Leadership Alchemy, The Accelerated Learning Fieldbook, Training Triage, Leadership Training, Project Management for Trainers, 10 Steps to Successful Project Management, and Managing Projects. As a sought-after international speaker, Lou blends her humorous stories with her on-the-ground experience to speak to the real problems of the people in the room. Encouraged by Lou’s upbeat and practical style, learners leave with new enthusiasm and tools to improve their bottom line. 

Trina Rimmer

Trina Rimmer

Trina Rimmer is a community manager with Articulate and uses her many years of e-learning design and development expertise to nurture and grow the E-Learning Heroes community. Before joining Articulate, she worked as a designer, e-learning developer, and writer focused on delivered engaging, effective learning and performance solutions to various companies, from global aid organizations to Fortune 500s.


Doug Stevenson

Doug Stevenson is a gifted storyteller. But it’s his ability to help others be gifted storytellers that sets him apart. He is the author of Doug Stevenson’s Story Theater Method and has delivered storytelling programs for leadership, sales, marketing, and HR teams, as well as train-the-trainer programs. His storytelling technology for business communication helps you choose, craft, and deliver stories that make a point, teach a lesson, or sell a product or service. This innovative training program includes acting skills, storytelling form and structure, and message-branding skills. Doug conducts workshops for emerging leaders, train-the-trainer programs, and story-selling workshops. He also delivers customized webinars and e-learning programs. Doug works with executives, salespeople, entrepreneurs, and organizations to write, brand, and deliver customized speeches and training. He has presented keynotes and training programs in 16 countries and is a sought-after coach for leaders who need to be as powerful when they speak as they are in the boardroom.

Shannon Tipton

Shannon Tipton, owner of Learning Rebels, is a skilled learning strategist and facilitator with 20 years of experience developing successful learning strategies and development programs for learning departments within organizations. Her focus is to work with organizations to lift workplace learning to new heights using social learning, content curation, and team collaboration as the keys to success. Shannon is recognized as bringing real-world expertise into the learning field by using current technologies and tools to strengthen learning connectivity, creating teams of active learners within businesses today. Shannon is an ATD facilitator for the Designing Learning, Social Media Tools for Learning, and Blended Learning Certificate Programs. She was also recently ranked as one of the top 100 L&D influencers on Twitter, and is the author of Disruptive Learning: Discover Your Own Learning Rebel.

Sharon WingronSharon Wingron measures success by your PEOPLE: personal excellence, organizational performance, and leadership effectiveness. As president of Wings of Success LLC, Sharon has been helping clients achieve success by providing assessment-based solutions that develop their PEOPLE since 2002. She is a dynamic, authentic professional who delivers engaging presentations, skillful facilitation, insightful coaching, and relevant resources. Sharon has demonstrated leadership in the talent development profession as a CPLP Pilot Pioneer, and was the first member of the ATD board of directors to achieve the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance designation. She is a facilitator of the ATD Master Trainer Program, a leading Wiley Everything DiSC Authorized Partner, and a Certified DiSC Solutions Provider. Sharon's success is built on continuous learning and contributing through multiple roles in diverse industries while traveling the world.