Board of Directors
* Denotes executive committee member
Karen Thornton, 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.
Darren Nerland, Past President *
Darren oversees the rollout and sustainment of blending learning, E-learning, LMS, and technology learning for the bill and Melinda Gates foundation employees.
Prior to joining the foundation, Darren worked as a learning consultant with companies such as Russell Financial, City of Seattle, Adobe, HP, and Cingular. Prior to consulting, Darren was a National Learning Program manager for eight years at Fortune 500 Company - FedEx (formerly Kinko's), where he was responsible for managing developer and vendor training, developing and implementing training strategies and trainer certifications.
Jackie Hallstrom, Secretary*
Jackie has been in the learning field for many years in many capacities and has a certificate from UW in Adult Learning and Training Development. Some of her talents include LMS administration, needs analysis, instructional design, facilitation, and measuring and evaluating learning.
Jackie has worked in both non-profit and for-profit companies and is currently working for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She is also on the board for several other non-profit organizations.
Jeane Daley, Director of Financial Services*
Jeane Daley is the AVP/Retail Training Manager for Sterling Savings Bank. Jeane has 30 years of banking experience in both the production area and training and development. She has held positions including Operations Officer, Branch Manager, and Sales Program Administrator.
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.
Magic Johnson, Director of Technology
Magic is President and CEO of LearningDeveloper.com, which specializes in developing custom interactive multimedia (eLearning) and instructor-led training materials for organizations around the world. From interactive HTML-based content for mobile devices to high impact audio/visual content created as rich media, Learning Developer creates eye catching visuals supported by rock solid instructional design and content writing. Magic is also a contributing author to The eLearning Network.
Magic has extensive experience in leading organizations through the acquisition and intelligent adoption of new and emerging technologies to improve organizational communication, training, and effectiveness. As VP of Technology, Magic is committed to helping ASTD make appropriate use of technology in furtherance of its mission and in support of the community it serves.
Nicole Forward, Director of Communications
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.
Lisa Roy, Director of Professional Development
Lisa‘s experience is in the non-profit and food industries where she has worked for twenty years. She is currently CEO of LKR Coaching. In this role she empowers people to bring their full selves to any situation, mentors people to pass the first level certification exam with the International Coaches Federation (ICF), and facilitates groups on coaching skills to unitize on their jobs according to ICF standards. She has a passion for lifelong learning.
Her goal as Director of Professional Development is to provide opportunities to ASTD’s members where they hone their skills and knowledge which will enhance their personal development and career advancement. She is eager to connect with the members to find out the areas that are important to sharpen in order to advance their lives.
Lisa is pursuing her Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership from Bainbridge Graduate Institute. She got her undergraduate degree from Hartwick College in New York with a dual major in Psychology and Sociology. She is certified through the ICF as an Associate Certified Coach.
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 Services
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.
Jeff Tillett, Director of Interest Groups
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: firstname.lastname@example.org