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


President’s Message

Like many of you, I frequently get asked questions like “How did you enter into the training field?” “What are the biggest hurdles around learning these days?” “What LMS do you use? Or maybe “What technology do you use at your organization to foster informal learning?” Then there is usually another question … “So you are a geek?”

I am not offended when they ask this; in fact I am rather flattered. Only in the learning field would I be considered a geek.  I love technology, but see it as a means to an end. It is only part of the solution for good learning.

In my day, I used to teach classes such as Effective Time Management, Introduction to HR, Behavioral Interviewing, Critical Change Management, Trainer and Facilitation Certifications, and a handful of other soft skills classes. I have since found a niche in technology training, elearning production and other technology related learning activities.

The expertise I gained in the days of soft skills training has helped me guide my customers when they ask my team to build training for things like legal training with elearning, or putting customer scenarios in technical training, and for helping to build blended learning solutions.

In an age where technology surrounds us, we should remember to put the learner first. I believe we can utilize the technology in such a way that enhances the learning and can even inspire people. I hope we all strive to learn a lifetime, to teach many and to be inspired by those around us.

“We cannot become what we want to be by remaining the way we are.” - Max DePree 

“I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn.” - Albert Einstein 

“Life's most urgent question is: What are you doing for others?" - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Keep learning!

Darren Nerland

ASTDps President 2012

The Research Corner: Desperately Seeking Innovation

Are you desperately seeking innovation? This month we focus on some phenomenal resources you can tap to learn even more.

Here are six free podcasts available on the Center for Creative Leadership website.

o       Be Ready: Senior Execs Weigh in on Five Trends undefined Understand these five trends, and you might become ready to adapt to them quicker than most of your peers.

o       Bob Rosenfeld: Making the Invisible Visible undefined Learn to recognize barriers to innovation.

o       Creating an Environment for Innovation undefined Use these three principles to figure out where innovation is headed in your organization.

o       Desperately Seeking Innovation undefined Today's companies want employees with critical and creative thinking skills, a willingness to adapt, and the capacity to innovate. But the reality is that much of daily work life is routine and geared toward clearing to-do lists. There often isn't time or flexibility for much creativity. However, by applying a few simple strategies, you may find that you're able to get your people excited and more innovative in the workplace.

o       Needed: A New Way to See - Explore five approaches for increasing the level of innovation in your organization.

o       The Essence of Innovation: 5 Principles -Focus on these 5 principles to give life to the process of innovation in your organization.

Want to learn more about creativity? Attend our next ASTDps Creativity & Innovation Special Interest Group. Open to anyone with a passion for innovation! Register here.

May 17, 2012 ~ 8-9:30 am

Helpfulness: Innovation’s "Secret Fuel”

Dr. William “Bud” Wurtz

For innovation to become a pervasive reality of an organization's culture, many factors must be present and operating. Yet of these many factors, one of the most important and powerful that is frequently overlooked is ... helpfulness.
In this dynamic session you will:

  • Why helpfulness is the "secret fuel" of organizational creativity and innovation
  • How to recognize and assess the helpfulness in your organization
  • How to foster more helpfulness, and thus more innovation in your organization

Help yourself and your organization by learning the secrets of helpfulness.

About the Presenter

William "Bud" Wurtz, PhD, is a senior learning consultant with the AK Group, who also has his own creativity coaching practice. He has been a manager of learning in four different Fortune 500 companies and, as an external consultant, has consulted with dozens of other for-profit, government and non-profit organizations, large and small.

Bud has been a thought leader in performance improvement, intervention research evaluation, and organizational creativity and innovation. He is two-term past president of the American Creativity Association and a current member of the Board of Directors of the American Creativity Association -- Austin Global. He is also a past president of the Kansas City ASTD Chapter, past vice-president of research and learning sciences with ASTDps, and the Chapter's current director of government affairs.

Bud earned a PhD in educational psychology in 2008 from Texas A&M University and was inducted into the National Phi Kappa Phi Honorary Society, signifying that he was in the top ten percent of his graduating class.

May Chapter Meeting (5/15/12)

From ILT to VILT: Lessons Learned with Marlaina Capes of Sound Leadership

This experiential presentation will share best practices for developing and delivering a Virtual Training Workshop.  We have all participated in the painful and drawn out Virtual sessions where learning does NOT take place.  This presentation will share based on real experience, how Virtual Training can be brought to life, how participants can be engaged and how effective learning can take place. 

About the Presenter

Marlaina Capes is a seasoned Learning and Development professional with over 20 years experience in developing and delivering training.  Marlaina is Principal and Sr. Facilitator of Sound Leadership.  She also serves as Director of Client Services for the Sales Readiness Group where she has delivered Virtual training for over 3 years.  Marlaina spent 9 years of her career at Microsoft in various Learning and Development functions.


7:30-8:00 a.m. Registration, refreshments, networking

8:00-9:15 a.m. Announcements and presentation

9:15-9:30 a.m. Networking


South Bellevue Community Center

14509 SE Newport Way, Bellevue, WA 98009


Register Now!

Member Spotlight on Victoria Wentz

By Kathy Englert

Victoria Wentz has been a member of the ASTD Puget Sound Chapter for a mere five months, yet she is already deeply involved in helping plan the fantastic programs we enjoy each month. At the first ASTDps meeting she attended (last September’s evening event with Tony Bingham), she struck up a conversation with Karen Thornton and within a few months began helping Karen on the Program Committee. She loves the work so far, especially the coaching she does with upcoming speakers to ensure their presentation content is interactive and valuable for our members.

Victoria has a fascinating and varied career background (she calls it “colorful!”). With two degrees from the University of Oregon in Exercise and Movement Science, she worked for many years as an athletic trainer for high school and collegiate athletes in Boise, Idaho and then in Seattle. Victoria describes the role of an athletic trainer as “a cross between a physical therapist, an emergency medical technician, and a strength and conditioning coach.” She absolutely loved working with the athletes, but after years of working nights and weekends decided to pursue other interests.

After careful introspection and evaluation, Victoria realized that what she loved most about her career as an athletic trainer was teaching, coaching, and education – which led her to take a position at a local career college. After working for five years as the college’s Director of Education, she knew without a doubt that teaching and education is where she wants to focus her career.

Victoria is now pursuing work in the instructional design field and is in the process of completing the E-Learning Certificate program at the University of Washington. In her more distant future, she envisions working in education leadership and is considering additional graduate studies in this discipline. Her primary interest is in “educational psychology and what motivates people to change behaviors – and how we design curriculum to make that happen.” She recognizes that technology is a big part of education today and wants to play a role in making sure this technology is used as effectively as possible.

In addition to her current graduate studies (and her volunteer work for ASTDps), Victoria also serves as a volunteer on the Seattle School District’s Health Occupations Advisory Committee and as a Program Committee member with Expanding Your Horizons. And to top it off, she’s just begun taking an Improvisation class and has gotten involved with Toastmasters. Victoria is one busy woman – and loving every minute of it! We’re lucky that she’s decided to share some of her energy with ASTD Puget Sound!

The Creative Trainer: Strategies to Make Your Learning Events Sizzle, presented by Bob Lucas, Are you ready to make your learning events sizzle? Join us for this engaging one-day workshop! Wednesday, May 23, 2012,
9:00 am - 5:00 pm at Cornish College of the Arts, Seattle WA

The human mind is capable of fantastic things. Once new material or skills are learned and the mind is changed, it never goes back to its original shape. The challenge for trainers is to create an environment that taps into the full potential of a learner’s brain. This can be done through novelty, change, and many other concepts that brain-based researchers have found enhances the ability to acquire, retain and recall information. In this program, participants will explore many ideas, concepts and techniques that can be used to enhance virtually any training program or presentation topic. You will be introduced to a concept or technique, see it demonstrated, then discuss the methodology behind it.

Register now.

Introducing … Effective Networking Retreat

Taught by Diane Darling, this is half-day, focused program for people who want to invest in themselves by organizing and strengthening their networking strategies and skills.

Why call it a retreat? It's a retreat from your daily work, be it doing sales calls, attending meetings, running your own business, or looking for a job -- it’s time just for you!

Weds, June 20th, 8:30am - 12 noon, 2100 Building.
Click here for more information and register today!

“Ignite Your Mojo” Announcing a Regional Conference. The call for proposals for the 2012 ASTD Puget Sound conference, “Ignite Your Mojo,” is open and proposals will be accepted through June 15, 2012. The conference will be held Friday, October 5 at the Renton Community Center in Renton, Washington. The theme for this year’s conference points to the importance of mojo to both individual and organizational learning, development, and performance. How do you keep your mojo alive? How do you ignite the mojo of individuals and teams in your organization? What role does social media play in innovative learning and organizational performance? What other tools are effective for today’s learning environment?

If you would like to submit a proposal, please send an to email Sherry Johnson Metz, VP Professional Development, at prodev@astdps.org to receive an RFP form or click here.

Thinking about your professional development?  Visit our chapter events webpage to see a full schedule of upcoming events.  With so many coming up, you’re sure to find something you need.

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