2022 Executive Board
Allison has more than ten years of experience in Learning & Development and is an Associate Instructional Designer at the Home Depot. She is an emerging leader in Talent & Development with a focus in developing great learning experiences for a variety of audiences, and supporting working parents through her blog, sweetserenitymom.com.
Allison started off her career in Talent & Development as an LMS Administrator, and over the years supported several companies by managing content in their learning systems. She progressed her career into Instructional Design, and currently writes content for mobile platforms, and designs and develops projects through an Agile process.
Allison is a graduate of Kennesaw State University, with a Bachelor's Degree Communications.
David Brill is the Senior Manager of Learning and Development for Rollins Inc., think Orkin Pest Control, along with 16 other pest control companies spanning the globe. It doesn’t sound like cutting edge stuff, but he and his team have their moments. Twenty years experience in L&D has taught him one important lesson: Focus on solutions that align with business strategy and drive operational goals.
David has hosted several ATD Atlanta events over the years at Rollins. He served as a mentor in the 2021 ATD Atlanta Mentorship Program.
David and his wife share three wonderful children. They all report to their benevolent poodle overlord. Every day, David endeavors to be true to his family motto..."suck less."
Chief Financial Officer
Stephanie is an experienced learning and development leader with a strong focus on innovative approaches to learner-centric training solutions including simulations, role-playing, microlearning, responsive and computer-based training, and engaging instructor-led sessions using a variety of multimedia and mobile technologies. She has created learning experiences for role-based onboarding, nationwide product launches, operational processes and guest experience initiatives for sales, service, operations, and HR teams.
Stephanie started her professional career as a high school mathematics teacher and transitioned into corporate instructional design. She has worked at multiple Fortune 500 companies and other large organizations supporting various training departments, including UPS, Asbury Automotive Group, and Cox Automotive. She is currently a Sales Enablement Curriculum Manager at Cardlytics.
Most recently, Stephanie decided to use her passion for numbers and start a bookkeeping business, AIO Bookkeeping, LLC. She works with coaches, consultants, and other small business owners to better understand where their money is coming from, where it goes, and help identify ways to improve profitability. By doing this, she helps these busy business owners get back to spend in their zone of genius instead of in their books.
She holds a Master of Education in Learning, Design & Technology, as well as a Bachelor of Science in Mathematics and a Bachelor of Science in Education for Mathematics Education from the University of Georgia. She is also a QuickBooks Online Certified ProAdvisor through Intuit.
Carol Smith has been working with management teams in the field of Training/Organizational Development and Consulting for more than 15 years creating and delivering custom-designed training and communication programs that align specific tools and resources with organizational needs and closing training gaps. She is certified in DISC, and Caliper Assessments and has been a certified facilitator (leadership & customer service) through DDI and Achieve Global since January 2008. Her specialties include teambuilding, leadership, curriculum development and relationship building. Carol holds a B. S. from Mississippi State University and a Master’s Degree from Auburn University Montgomery.
Carol works with clients to facilitate long-lasting changes that impact training effectiveness, employee productivity and customer satisfaction through a thoughtful blend of accelerated learning techniques. Through engaging, interactive approaches and stimulating creative learning experiences, she establishes excellent rapport with participants.
Committed to professional development, Carol remains knowledgeable about best practices in organizational development and training through the ATD Greater Atlanta Chapter where she’s served for 2 years as Co-Manager and Director of Organizational Membership. When she isn’t working she loves attending Spin Class and working out with her teammates.
VP Chapter Programs, Professional Development & CPTD/APTD
Shermaine Perry-Knights is the Founder and Chief Learning Officer at Innovation Consultants of DeKalb. She is an author and workforce development coach with a passion for creating a-ha moments and learning solutions.
Shermaine wears a strategic business partner hat, offering advice to executives for process improvement and employee development in her combined roles of instructional designer, project manager, senior trainer and facilitator.
She has experience designing and delivering nationally-recognized management and workforce development programs. Shermaine has delivered content on topics including career pivots, employee experience, accountability, communicating across generations, leadership, project management, and conflict resolution.
She is a contributor to the ATD community both locally and nationally, volunteering time for ATD initiatives and presenting at workshops. Shermaine is recognized by ATD as the 2020 One To Watch.
VP Strategic Partnerships
Jennifer has over 15 years of progressive experience in the Talent Development field in roles spanning from facilitator and trainer to Manager, Talent Development. She holds an MBA from Stetson University and will graduate with a Master of Arts degree in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from the University of Georgia in 2022.
Jennifer is the Founder of Sapphire Compass, which focuses on leadership development, coaching, and talent development strategy. She is certified in Hogan, SLII, and Everything DiSC and holds credentials from ATD and ICF. She is known for her ability to develop leaders, build and implement scalable processes, and leverage data-driven solutions for her clients.
She has been a member of ATD since 2013 and joined the Greater Atlanta Chapter in 2020 after she and her husband relocated to Georgia. Previously, she served as the Director of University Partnerships with our chapter. In her free time Jenn enjoys traveling with her husband, hiking with her 2 dogs, yoga, and reading. She and her husband are also baseball fans and can often be found at the Battery – Go Braves!
Rhonda spent 10 years working as a trainer and facilitator at a major standardized testing company. Then she transitioned to become an Adult Education Instructor at a technical college, while completing her Master of Instructional Design. Now she works as Lead Instructional Designer with a Building Products company and loves every day of her job!
After joining the ATD Greater Atlanta chapter in 2020, she became a very active member and volunteer, taking on the role of Newsletter Chair, completing the mentoring program, and creating the Onboarding course for the Executive Leadership team. Rhonda has been putting her bachelor's degree in Psychology to good use as she merges it with the learning sciences to create and curate content for learners everywhere.
When Rhonda is not operating in her L&D role, she enjoys reading science-fiction novels, painting with friends and family, and just about any board or card game she can find.
VP Community Relations
Daphne has seven years of experience in Learning and Development with duties in training, facilitation, onboarding specialist, and learning consultant. She joined ATD Greater Atlanta chapter in 2019 and in 2021 began volunteering with the VP of Community Relations.
Prior to becoming a Learning and Development professional, Daphne was in insurance sales where she owned an insurance agency in Chicago, Illinois for over 15 years. Daphne has always had a passion for helping people. Be it educating and helping families design insurance programs to meet their family’s needs or helping others achieve their personal or professional development goals brings her joy.
She enjoys traveling with her husband, gardening, cycling, community volunteering, and reading in her spare time.
VP Marketing and Communications
Tashana Thompson, Ph.D., MBA embodies many passions – she’s a motivational coach, a business enthusiast, and a visibility expert. For nearly two decades, though, Tashana has leveraged her knack for entrepreneurship to help business owners establish their brands and increase their incomes.
A graduate of Georgia State University, Tashana is a thought-leader and marketing strategist who is enthusiastic about helping entrepreneurs increase their revenue with personalized blueprints. Using tactical marketing plans, Tashana helps business owners’ products and services thrive online and propel to the next level.
Tashana honed into her own entrepreneurial and relationship-building skills at an early age, selling toys and candy to friends in her Indianapolis neighborhood. In 2007, she launched Beyond Business Solutions to help small businesses, corporations, and nonprofits grow. Through her tailored solutions and focus on business education, she's been able to develop authentic partnerships with dozens of business owners. With a focus on client-centered consulting, building quality connections, and expert marketing, Tashana continues to evolve as a leader to deliver tailored solutions to her clients.
Tashana's background in hospitality, project management, marketing, and human resources makes her a unique business resource. She has executed strategies to generate millions of dollars in revenue, positioning herself as a marketing authority. Tashana has also provided training and certification to thousands of professionals while serving as Director of Education & Training for the Georgia & Alabama Restaurant Associations.
Tashana wears a lot of hats, but probably the ones she’s most proud of are her roles as a wife, mother, and daughter. She currently resides in Atlanta with her husband, Brian, and their daughter, Addisyn.
Associate VP Special Events
LaQuita Bell is a Leadership Development professional who is educating the next generation of leaders. She equips leaders to build better, more resilient workplaces by developing relevant training programs that enhance their skills and help advance their careers.
As the founder of That Good Energy, she helps leaders foster the interpersonal skills essential to thrive in today’s increasingly collaborative organizations. Many companies are struggling with workplace culture challenges that lead to pressing burnout and turnover. LaQuita brings deep expertise to help leaders apply the soft skills they’ve learned through customized training programs that lead to real behavior change.
When she’s not busy helping others be their best selves, you can find her hanging out with family and friends, doing something artsy, or binge-watching a new show.
Administrator for Process and Progress
Nora began volunteering with ATD in 2017. She has a master’s degree from the University of Georgia in Instructional Design and Development. She believes being an Instructional Designer is the perfect career for her because she loves being creative and learning about new things. So, every project is a new learning experience that she gets to create! In her spare time, Nora loves to travel, photograph and experience the history of the places she visits. She is also an avid reader. Nora enjoys sharing her journeys with her husband, John.
Nora would like to encourage all members of ATD to volunteer with the chapter. She believes the best engagement experiences come while volunteering. There are opportunities available at all levels! Visit the Volunteer page to learn more.
In 1978, Glenda began providing secretarial services from her home office under the name Hinz Word Processing. Today, she provides much more than word processing in a professional, solutions-oriented business environment as HINZtime Virtual Assistance. Although she has worked extensively for small businesses, associations and educational organizations, her skills and services are adaptable to any industry, in any location worldwide. Glenda provides exceptional secretarial and organizational skills, with relentless attention to detail, accuracy and confident efficiency. She has worked with several ATD chapters over the past 25 years.
2022 Board of Directors
In addition to the current President (Allison Baldwin) and President-Elect (David Brill), the chapter's Board of Directors is comprised of the following elected Senior Advisors, an appointed Senior Advisor, and the immediate Past President.
Cornelius “Neil” Dowdell is a sought after high potential professional focusing on Talent Development, Human Capital Management and Operational Efficiency. He has more than 20 years’ experience consulting and supporting small to large organizations.
Cornelius is renowned for his ability to develop potential leaders, streamline operational processes and create value within organizations. He believes that we all have inspired strengths and gifts that we should maximize in our life’s work, which led him to become an entrepreneur and start The Nelius Strategy LC.
Cornelius earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Louisiana State University and a MBA from Capella University. He is certified in Everything DiSC, Problem Solving, Leadership and Management Development, Lean Six Sigma and Communication.
Melissa is a business transformation leader who is passionate about building people – their skills, their confidence and their professional presence. Over the past 25+ years, Melissa’s own career has led her from corporate trainer to learning leader and to her current role of change management director for Georgia Pacific’s Consumer Products Digital Core program.
Melissa partners with organization leaders to uncover performance and skills gaps and develops strategies that ultimately improve team effectiveness.
Melissa is passionate about mentoring, especially for those just starting out in their careers and those who are preparing to lead for the first time. She believes that everyone has something special to impact those around them and she works to link people to purpose. Melissa’s ultimate wish is that she will inspire others to discover that the world is filled with endless possibilities… if only we are open to pursue them.
Melissa holds a Master of Education in Adult Learning from the University of Arkansas and a Bachelor of Science in Management from the University of Phoenix. She is a certified change practitioner (CCP) through Prosci and certified as a 360 Feedback Coach through Developmental Dimensions International (DDI).
Melissa and her family reside in Fayetteville, Georgia where she commits to her community via volunteerism with organizations like Growing Leaders (board member from 2019-2021), Pathbuilders, Women in Technology (WIT) and Association for Talent Development (ATD) - Atlanta Chapter.
A leader in the Learning and Development (L&D) field for more than 29 years, Leighanne, a three-time Telly Award winner, started her career as an instructional design consultant. Working for companies such as GE, ADP and the Federal Reserve System, she specialized in building blended learning and custom eLearning solutions.
Most recently she worked as a Relationship Manager and now owner and President of TrainingPros, an award-winning staffing agency. Named one of Atlanta’s “Best Places to Work,'' her company connects large organizations with specialized L&D contract professionals offering custom eLearning development, training and consulting services.
Under Leighanne’s leadership TrainingPros was named to Training Industry’s Training Outsourcing Watchlist and most recently one of their Top 20 Custom Content Development companies. They also won a Training Magazine Choice Award and received national certification as a Women’s Business Enterprise by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC).
A longtime advocate for volunteering, Leighanne believes education and community service are the best ways to engage with people and help others.
Her experience with ATD includes CoP volunteer, CoP leader, ELW Chairperson, VP of Marketing, VP of Member Services, VP of Marketing & Communications, and a three-year term on the Board of Directors. In addition, she has presented for several ATD Chapters as well as at the ATD Chapter Leaders Conference (ALC).
Leighanne has an M.S. in Human Resource Development from Georgia State University where she won an Outstanding Contribution award and a B.B.A. from West Georgia University.
David Adelman has more than 30 years of experience as a Training Leader, Instructional Designer, Facilitator, e-Learning Designer, Key Note Speaker, and Project Manager with world-class companies including Disney, Merck, and is currently the Director of Training Services for Leadership Strategies. He is an experienced consultant to senior leadership with deep experience in assessing training needs, identifying performance improvement opportunities, and delivering performance improvement interventions.
Dave's experience includes creating comprehensive, branded, measurable training processes for the organization that are integrated with the talent management process, address performance gaps, and minimize costs while maximizing return on investment. Dave’s experience with Greater Atlanta ATD include Past-President, Director of Employee Learning Week, VP of Community Relations, and several other roles.
Dave is a Brother with the Knights of Columbus, Third Degree, was a member of the 2018 Catholic Charities Atlanta Leadership Class, is a Certified Beer Judge and award winning homebrewer. His hobbies include hiking, travel, disc golf, and reading.
Special Senior Advisor - Appointed
John Torres is the Learning Executive for the control functions at Bank of America. In this role John drives the learning strategy and plans for each control function in alignment with business and the enterprise learning strategy.
Additionally, he is the Executive Champion of the measurement strategy for the bank and Executive Sponsor for the Atlanta Chapter of the Hispanic/Latino Organization for Leadership & Advancement. With over 28 years of experience in learning and organization development, John is a passionate leader who is deliberate about aligning management, operations, strategy and culture to drive results.