• January 12, 2022 3:00 PM | Colin Hahn (Administrator)

    Our fields faces many challenges, from the ongoing pandemic to the “Great Resignation.” In the midst of these challenges, our chapter is stronger than ever.

    I am extremely proud of the work of our chapter volunteers and board members. Over the last year, our accomplishments include:

    • Growing chapter membership from 211 to 283 members, with a further 64 national ATD members exploring what our chapter has to offer;
    • Hosting a record 29 professional development events, including the creation of an Organizational Development PDN and Inclusive Leadership PDN;
    • Making strides in diversity, equity, and inclusion by growing our partnership with NAAAHR and addressing the diversity implications of TD topics in nearly half of our events (which earned a “Sharing Our Success” award from ATD National);
    • Improving our financial sustainability by generating a net income of over $8,000, which grew our operating reserve to roughly 110% of annual revenue;
    • Defining our chapter’s three strategic pillars: to provide world-class talent development upskilling, to create a feeling of belonging to our professional community for all our members, and to offer leadership opportunities at all career levels (which earned an additional “Sharing Our Success” award from National).


    Building on Our Great Member Experience

    In our annual member survey, you gave us a 76% net promoter score, which is a world class score according to most benchmarks. You cited our monthly PD events, networking opportunities, and learning about industry best practices as the top benefits of your membership.

    We will continue to strengthen our member experience. With our pillar to provide world-class talent development upskilling, we are exploring how to improve our professional development opportunities. And we are committed to making our professional community feel even more inclusive, in line with our pillar to create a feeling of belonging in our community.

    Strengthening Professional Development Opportunities

    As we look into the new year, we appreciate your feedback on how to offer professional development opportunities. We were forced to deliver all virtual programming from the start of the pandemic into October of 2021. Going forward, you shared that you would like us to provide a relatively even mix of in-person and virtual events.

    We also heard your feedback about event times. Some of you expressed a desire to return to our traditional Friday AM sessions, while others requested a wider variety of schedules. In the upcoming year, we will attempt to meet everyone’s needs by offering events at various times, while including many events in the Friday AM timeslot.

    Thank You to Our Volunteers

    None of these successes would be possible without the amazing people leading the chapter. I am thrilled to welcome Patrick Aleshire, Kristin Derwinski, Lora Haines, and Camille Parham to our board. I also want to thank our departing board members for their service: Annette Caraulia, Matt Meuleners, Rebecca Reindl, and Eric Waters. Finally, I want to thank all of the chapter committee members, PDN leaders, and other volunteers who have helped us thrive under these challenging conditions.

    I want to give special recognition to two people who have had an outsized impact on our chapter’s success. Matt Meuleners, our departing Past President, did an amazing job in leading our chapter through the transition to virtual programming in 2020 and has continued to support the chapter this year by organizing our chapter socials, setting up a mentoring program for board members, coordinating logistics for our annual Talent Development Forum, and too many other things to name.

    Nikki Palmer-Quade, our incoming President, likewise was active in every facet of the chapter, from spearheading our Talent Development Forum to supporting our sponsors to recruiting board members and building relationships with our community partners. This chapter would not be as strong as it is today without their leadership.

    To the New Year

    Our chapter is in great hands. With our incoming board members, our current volunteers, and Nikki Palmer-Quade stepping into the President role, I know this chapter will continue to thrive.

    It has been an honor serving as your chapter president. Let's continue to make a world where people can do their best work!

    Colin J. Hahn, Ph.D.
    2021 SEWI-ATD President

  • November 22, 2021 8:49 PM | Anonymous

    Research by the Association for Talent Development found that organizations that offer professional development opportunities to their trainers are more likely to be top business performers relative to their competitors. 

    Your organization can join the likes of Kohl’s, Northwestern Mutual, Childrens of Wisconsin, and Rogers Behavioral Health who invest in the professional development of their Talent Development teams with membership in SEWI-ATD. 

    Among the many benefits of organizational membership, your colleagues can:

    • Stay up-to-date on relevant industry trends

    • Coordinate teach-back sessions after chapter learning sessions

    • Learn from other members’ experiences

    • Explore certification opportunities

    • Engage in valuable stretch assignments with chapter volunteering/leadership experiences

    • Save up to 45% on membership fees


    Do you have 9 or more professionals in L&D, OD, and/or HR? Would you like to take advantage of special pricing? Check out our website, email Nathan Sheets - VP of Membership, or contact our office at admin@sewi-atd.org or call 608-204-9815 to learn more!


  • November 22, 2021 2:02 PM | Anonymous


    By Genevieve Daniels, VP Finance

    As I mingled around SEWI-ATD’s signature event, our annual Talent Development Forum, as asked and was asked about what is top of mind.  As if the response was a record player, I heard:

    • Transformation
    • Upskilling/Reskilling
    • Technology
    • Flexible work culture

    It was good to be together with people who had a shared understanding of these critical needs.  And Shout Out to TEMPO Milwaukee for hosting the venue. 


    I was looking forward to what our moderator of the event would have to say, and she did not disappoint.   Michelle Reid-Powell, President and CEO of The CARA Group, led us through an engaging overview of 2021 Workforce Trends.  

    “Is this a huge deal?”, she asked, as she guided us through stats, stories, and trends.  “YES, it is!” she exclaimed, and by the end of her presentation, she had us all convinced on the importance we as Talent Development professionals must place to proactively serve our employees’ needs.   One point that struck me: Fewer people are willing to work for a company that doesn’t align with their values.  From the organizational perspective, this equates to churn being high if the organizational values don’t match those of their employees.

    Hearing the importance of this and other top needs provided the perfect transition to hear from our panelists.  They provided examples of the deliberate focus and meaningful work they are doing and all I can say was the time was too short.  Thankfully, we collected questions from the audience and we look forward to using these to develop our programming for 2022.

     Although each panelist brought diverse approaches and unique illustrations, the importance of balancing both the functional and the emotional needs of employees was a consistent message throughout.


    A special thank you to our panelists:

    ·       Linda Evans, Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Douglas Dynamics

    ·       Christine Hass, Senior Director of Learning Strategy, Northwestern Mutual

    ·       Stacey Mueller, Executive Director of Experience Management, Froedtert Health

    ·       Jeff Jara, Assistant Vice President Sr. Talent Development Consultant, Baird

    And to Michelle Reid-Powell, our moderator for the event.  As a bonus, Michelle provided each participant with a copy of her Workplace Trends report. I was able to reference data that same day in preparation of a senior leadership presentation.

    As we wrap up 2021 and head into 2022, SEWI-ATD looks forward to the continued conversation & professional development on meeting workforce demands; it’s full speed ahead!



  • August 23, 2021 4:00 PM | Colin Hahn (Administrator)

    The responsibility for building inclusive workplaces where employees experience equity and belonging sits with each person. Talent development professionals are often expected to lead the way in cultivating diversity by teaching leaders to be inclusive.

    To support your work in building inclusive workplaces, SEWI-ATD is proud to announce a four-part learning series focused on the 6 Cs of Inclusive Leadership:

    • Commitment
    • Curiosity
    • Cognizant of Bias
    • Cultural Intelligence
    • Collaboration
    • Courage

    Sessions will occur the second Friday of the month, from September through December. Through these sessions, participants will explore the 6 Cs and share ideas to incorporate them into your talent and learning development plans.

    Cultural awareness and inclusion are skillsets in the Building Personal Capability arm of the ATD Talent Development Model.

    Mary Balistreri, The Mindful Business Coach, will host each session featuring a different leader in the DEIB (Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Belonging) space each month.

    Through MBT – More Business Today, Mary Balistreri supports clients to reach their potential as individuals, teams, and organizations. She brings mindfulness to coaching, training, and facilitation services focusing on Conversational Intelligence (CIQ), emotional intelligence, and belonging to improve relationship building, business development skills, and leadership.

  • August 13, 2021 2:00 PM | Colin Hahn (Administrator)

    We are thrilled to officially welcome our three incoming board members. All three nominees were approved by our chapter membership and will begin to transition into their roles:

    • Kristin Derwinski will serve a three year term in our President track, starting with the President Elect role in 2022
    • Tami Martin will serve as our VP of Technology Services, which she has been filling on an interim basis
    • Rebecca Reindl will serve another term as our VP of Marketing and Communications
    Congratulations to our newly elected board members! You are a critical part of our success as a chapter.


  • July 27, 2021 9:00 AM | Colin Hahn (Administrator)

    It's time for our annual board elections!

    Chapter members will be receiving a direct email invitation to vote for open Board of Director roles. There are three open positions, including President Elect, VP-Technology Services, and VP-Marketing and Communications, with terms beginning January 1, 2022.  

    Candidates have been approved by the Nominating Committee for presentation to membership. These nominees include Kristin Derwinski (President Elect), Tami Martin (Vice President – Technology Services), and Rebecca Reindl (Vice President – Marketing and Communications).

    Voting will open Wednesday, July 28th and end August 11th. All members in good standing are eligible to vote. Renew or join to be eligible to vote. If you do not receive a direct election invitation email, or experience any difficulties while submitting your vote, please contact our chapter administrator at admin@sewi-atd.org or via phone at 608-204-9815.

    Are you interested in serving on the board? Or do you have a colleague who would thrive in a volunteer leader role? There is an interim opening for our Vice President of Professional Development. Nominate yourself or a colleague here.

    The VP of Professional Development plays a key role in our chapter's success. This person will plan, organize, and host quality professional development programs and services for Chapter members and professionals of talent development, organizational development, human resources and managers who have talent development as a part of their positions, in the form of issue-focused and special interest programming, skill development workshops, presentations, forums, and events.

    Nikki Palmer-Quade
    President-Elect

  • July 15, 2021 8:46 AM | Anonymous

    Through our membership in MMAC, SEWI-ATD members can attend a series being offered through Fuel Milwaukee.


    Race Bridge offers monthly, 60-minute conversations intended to help Milwaukeeans better understand the nuances of race and racism - while feeling empowered to speak openly them. The goal is also to equip program participants with the language and tools to identify racial inequity and challenge it in a productive way.

    More details about this specific Race Bridge conversation to come, but register now to reserve your spot.


  • July 11, 2021 10:00 AM | Colin Hahn (Administrator)

    As talent development professionals, we know how much people matter to companies and organizations. So, it's no surprise to me that our chapter membership is what makes SEWI-ATD special.

    Many people join SEWI-ATD to build their network. I'm always impressed by the caliber of professionals in our community. For me, access to this community is one of the greatest strengths of our chapter.

    Did you know that you can use our Member Directory to help grow your network and strengthen your connections? You can:

    • Ask for career advice from people with the job titles you want
    • Learn from people with expertise in specific skills
    • Connect with people at particular companies or industries
    • ...and more!

    If you haven't explored our Member Directory yet—now is the time to find out what you've been missing! Connect with each other, and discover how our people make our community so exceptional.

    Want your network to work for you? Take a moment to update your member profile. You'll help others in our community find you for the right reasons, and you'll help your chapter leaders understand our membership so we can provide the right kind of professional development opportunities for you!

  • June 14, 2021 8:56 PM | Anonymous

    by Daniel Stewart, President of Stewart Leadership


    How is your organization developing leaders for the future? This is what we asked when we surveyed over 300 Human Resource leaders across 15+ industries within the US in April of 2021. We wanted to know how organizations wrestling with a tight labor market, remote work, social justice issues, mental health challenges, increasing digitization, and political unrest view and develop their leaders. 

    Current leadership development trends inform our expectations of leaders today and how we anticipate leadership evolving in the coming years. To understand this, we wanted to know how are organizations answering these key questions:

    • What skills and mindsets do leaders need as they rally their teams for the future? 

    • How are we defining leadership success? 

    • What development approaches are working (or not)?

    • What strategies and approaches will help us prepare future leaders?

    With our partner, From Day One, we surveyed 310 respondents who collectively represented five levels in their organizations - with 80% at the manager level or above. The participants worked in more than 15 industries with most working for companies with more than $50 million in revenues. Each generation currently in the workforce was represented in the survey with Gen X being the most numerous at 55% followed by Baby Boomers (23%) and Millennials (21%). Gen Z came in at 1% of the survey respondents. We looked at the overall data as well as the data in context with the demographic information above. From that research, here are the top five trends in developing leaders in 2021

    Leadership Development Priorities

    Companies of all sizes are putting a higher priority on cohort programs rather than targeted, individual approaches. Smaller companies were more likely to focus on getting back to the basics of leadership development, and managers at all levels in the organization are focused on development conversations backed with individual action plans. 

    78% of respondents, when asked to choose among several priorities for the next 18 months selected one of these four options:

    • Promote development conversations and action plans (22%)

    • Acquire micro-learnings and virtual tools for all levels (20%)

    • Create cohort development programs for specific audiences (18%)

    • Get back to basics of leadership development (17%)

    Leadership Preparation 

    Of all the generations. Baby Boomers expressed the most confidence that the leaders in their organization are prepared to deliver results, while the largest companies represented in the survey were most optimistic about the preparedness of their leaders.  A concerning 40% of respondents from organizations with revenues of $500 million - $1 billion or more were neutral or pessimistic about their leaders being prepared for the future.  Overall 65% of respondents agree or strongly agree that their leaders are prepared, leaving 35% of respondents unsure that their leaders can deliver both business results and people results. 

    Leadership Development Investment by Level in Organization 

    Organizations of all levels reported that Managers (28%) and Directors (23%) are being targeted with the highest level of leadership development investment reflecting the ongoing trend of focusing on developing strong managers. Investing in Individual Contributors (22%) proved a higher priority than focusing investment dollars on Vice Presidents (10%), Senior Leaders (11%), and C-Suite Executives (96%).

    Desired Future Leadership Style

    More than 88% of respondents expressed a strong preference for leadership styles that demonstrate trust and confidence in employees exemplified by supporting the employee’s work by providing feedback, recognition, and support. A micromanagement approach of driving an employee’s work by providing detailed day-to-day directions and guidance was strongly rejected. 

    Respondents also wanted a collaborative approach to problem-solving, expressing a desire for leaders who influence results by breaking down silos, collaborating across functions, and overcoming obstacles through clever approaches. While 76% of respondents preferred the collaborative approach, only 24% of respondents expressed a preference for leaders who would drive results through a focus on leading function priorities and goals. 

    Top Leadership Development Approaches

    When asked to choose from a range of leadership development approaches, respondents tended to select development approaches that could be conducted in a virtual environment. The top approach selected by survey participants was, “Development through projects, assignments, and job positions.” All levels in the organization and all company sizes favored this approach. Workshops, webinars, and formal cohort programs conducted virtually also rose to the top of the list, with Baby Boomers expressing a strong preference for virtual workshops. 

    Top Strategic Priorities and Critical Leadership Skills

    HR leaders have been highly motivated to proactively respond to the challenges of conducting business today. A slim majority will place their primary focus on engaging and retaining employees (19%) while 18% of respondents will focus on building an inclusive culture. Millennials, in particular, ranked building an inclusive culture as their top priority, as did the majority of directors and senior managers. Other top priorities include aligning strategic direction and goals (15%), finding the right balance of in-person, remote, and hybrid (12%), and upskilling managers to lead change and transformation (10%)

    The critical leadership skills included aligning strategic priorities with building the employee experience. The most commonly selected skills noted for leadership investment were communication (12%), building an engaging experience (11%), connection (8%), and inclusion and belonging (8%). 

    Want to Know More?

    You can read our full research report by visiting StewartLeadership.com/Research

    Also, to see our webinar detailing the full report and our recommended next steps, visit Stewartleadership.com/Webinar


  • May 18, 2021 9:22 AM | Anonymous


    What are the pros and cons of internal programs vs external programs?

    You know you want to create a leadership development program for your organization. Now you need to decide if you should take on that development work internally or utilize the expertise of an external consultant or program. Below, we will discuss a few factors to consider to help you make the best choice for your organization.


    Size- First, consider size, both in what you want to accomplish and who you can accomplish it with. If you are a “training team of one” with a large scope, you may not have the bandwidth to tackle a project of this size. However, if you have an established and sizable talent development team, this can be a great opportunity to tap into the expertise of multiple individuals to build a program.  


    Additionally, consider how many individuals you would like to develop through this program. Are you rolling this out organization-wide or starting with a small group? Knowing the total number of learners you hope to connect with can provide some valuable data as you consider additional factors.


    Timing- How quickly do you need your learners to complete your training? If you need to train a large number of individuals quickly, it may be best to do this work internally provided that you have a team large enough to support that endeavor (or bring in external partners to assist in this process). If you have a smaller group of intended learners or can pace this development over time, utilizing an external partner or program can allow individuals the flexibility to learn as their calendars allow.


    Competencies- Consider what competencies you are hoping to strengthen with a leadership development program. Do you or others on your team possess the subject matter expertise to train in these areas? Are these skills aligned with the current needs and future projections for what your leaders will need? Can these competencies be fulfilled by a hybrid approach, where you can tap into internal expertise while partnering with outside resources for additional needs?


    You may find that your answers to these questions about size, timing and competencies fall in a combination of internal and external needs. Perhaps you have an influx of leaders to onboard in the near term followed by the need for a sustainability model for future leaders. This type of scenario provides a unique opportunity to partner with an external vendor that can seamlessly align with your needs and make training provided outside of your organization feel like an extension of your brand.



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Phone: 608-204-9815

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