Our mission is to promote excellence in learning and
performance improvement; ASTDps professionals
together create a world that works better.


Board of Directors

* denotes a member of the Executive Committee

Jeane Daley, President 2014*

Jeane Daley is the VP/Training Manager for Umpqua Bank.  Jeane has over 30 years of banking experience in both the production area and training and development.  In her current position, she manages a team of Trainers and Training Partners in the development and delivery of training programs.  In addition, she facilitates sales and sales management training programs and has implemented an impact tracking system to measure ROI for all training programs. Jeane has completed coursework in concurrent Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree programs in Management. She is a certified instructor for NetSpeed Leadership and Clarity Advantage.



Karen Thornton, Past President*

Whether designing curriculum or leading a nonprofit board, Karen Thornton enjoys helping others draw connections, build understanding, and practice the skills they need for success. From her early career in outdoor and experiential education to today, she has honed an individual approach to education in which relationship building is first and fundamental and a sense of adventure prevails. Her career no longer involves sending people along a zip line, but she maintains an emphasis on relationships while engaging learners in timely training programs and interactive courses.

A natural facilitator and collaborator, Karen takes on a variety of professional and volunteer roles. In addition to serving as president of the Puget Sound chapter of the American Society of Training and Development, she is an instructional designer and a learning consultant for Intrepid Learning. She is certified as a training specialist through the University of Washington and has more than fifteen years of experience in curriculum design and leadership development.

Karen never balks at a personal or professional challenge, even if that’s trekking the ninety-plus miles of Mount Rainier’s Wonderland Trail. Her past and current employers have recognized her for her drive and collaborative spirit, and her dynamic, energizing curriculum has earned praise from employers and training participants alike.


Carol Melby, Director of Finance *

Carol Melby is an independent consultant specializing in workforce development, employee learning, and group facilitation.  She draws on over 20 of years of experience in consulting, designing, and delivering workforce development solutions, and she currently specializes in workplace communications, supervisory skills, leadership, and her latest interest, learning agility.

As past administrator of Washington’s Job Skills Program and the Customized Training Program, Carol became familiar with Washington’s workforce and economic development systems.  She administered over $3 million annually in employee training funds to eligible Washington businesses.  Hence it was an easy decision to agree to be the chapter’s first Workforce Development Liaison. In this role she represents ASTDps at workforce related meetings and events to help foster connections and alignment between public workforce initiatives and the needs and interests of ASTDps members.
In addition to client and ASTD work, Carol serves on the Workforce Development committee of the Washington Technology Industry Association, a group that is working to address the technology talent gap.

As Carol relays, “My professional goals and passions all relate to helping people and organizations achieve success through ever-higher levels of personal growth and development.  And serving in the ASTD Puget Sound chapter is a great way for each of us to support our local learning communities.” 


Nicole Forward, President Elect 2014*

Nicole in 50 words or less:
- Pepperdine University, B.A. in Communication
- Colorado State University, Masters in Human Development, summa cum laude
- Published author and trained mediator
- Spelunker and choreographer

Nicole certainly has earned her stripes as a trainer. She holds an e-learning certificate in instructional design (from the American Society for Training & Development), she’s a qualified Myers-Briggs Type Indicator instructor, and she has spoken at more than 25 conferences across the country on diverse topics. At Vigilant, she teaches more than 15 classes in leadership development and interpersonal skills, and she is dedicated to not only talking the talk but walking the walk. The skills she teaches are evident in all of her human interactions.

Nicole seems to have tried everything at least once. She has lived in Germany and Costa Rica, performed in a choir on a cruise ship, spelunked in 15 caverns across the world, traveled to more than 20 countries, and choreographed an award-winning show. Her assigned prop for the show: a toilet plunger. Talk about making the most of what you’ve got.


Kati O'Brien, Director of Communications

Kati O’Brien has been in business operations for nearly fifteen years, having been employed as Director of Product Development and Director of Participant Services for companies involved in pharmaceutical research, human resource management, and grant management. Her roles have consistently held an element of event/meeting planning. She is currently the Director of Education & Training for The Geneva Foundation, in Tacoma, Washington and the owner of Hyacinth Blue Events an organization specializing in planning life celebration events.  Ms. O’Brien is a graduate of Pacific Lutheran University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in International Business. She serves on the National Liver Conference Board of Directors, and is the Geneva Foundation’s HIPAA Privacy Officer.


Kelly Kirkland, Director of Programs

Kelly has worked on environmental and sustainability issues for more than a decade with a focus on education and outreach.  She is currently the Education Services Manager for O’Brien & Company, a green building consulting firm in Seattle.  In this role she has developed courses for government agencies, companies, colleges and non-profits on a variety of green building topics. 

Her goal as Director of Programs is to serve the ASTDps membership with engaging, relevant programming and meaningful networking opportunitiesundefinedand she’s always open to member’s suggestions.  She is fueled by making connections, facilitating “ah ha!” moments, collaborative problem solving and…chocolate.

Amanda Klein, Director of Membership

Amanda has kept one foot in business and one foot in education during the length of her career. With a degree in education and a master’s in business administration, she brings a business-driven perspective to workplace learning. She is a natural leader, a strong manager, and a talented coach. Amanda has a unique ability to tell people the real truth in a way that enables them to make real change and move forward in their careers. She has worked in a variety of industries and always enjoys blazing new trails.

Amanda lives in Bellevue with her 6’2” 8th grade son, her husband (also a talented manager) and their two 15-pound Cavalier King Charles Spaniels.

Rob McGowan, Director of Research

Rob McGowan is a Senior Curriculum Consultant at Avanade, where he manages the learning curriculum across all of company's core business services and runs executive leadership programs for high-potential staff. Prior to joining Avanade, Rob worked in both the public and private sectors, leading training initiatives, change management projects, and performance audits.

Rob is pursuing his Master's Degree in Instructional and Performance Technology at Boise State. He has a Master's Degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School at Syracuse and an undergraduate degree from St. Lawrence University. Rob holds certifications from ASTD in e-Learning, PMI in project management, and ASQ in Six Sigma


Ann Baus, Office Coordinator

Ann Baus provides a variety of office administration and member service functions to our Association and its leadership team.  She is also a friend to Board members and the goes-the-extra-mile person who makes many ASTD events the successes they are. 

She is the Chapter bookkeeper and the front line contact for members, potential members and the public seeking information about our Chapter events and services.  She contractually provides these services through her own firm, KDBusinessServices.

Ann’s passion is Association Management – “I love working for small to medium sized membership-based associations. Nearly 12 years in this field have provided me with a unique perspective in helping associations and their boards.”  She has been a key player of ASTD Puget Sound since 2002.

Interested in sharpening your skills and building your expertise in the training & development field?

Consider submitting your nomination for an ASTD Puget Sound Chapter Board position. Current and past ASTD Board members have said that participating as a Board member has helped them advance their career, develop significant professional relationships and build lasting friendships-all while serving their fellow chapter members in developing the profession of training and development.

Contact our president for more information: president@astdps.org

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