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Member Spotlight - November 2018: Marilyn Zwissler

Each month, SEWI-ATD turns the spotlight on an active member who has been visible in the chapter by attending events and participating in other ATD functions. We are proud to acknowledge the important work of our members, provide additional career exposure within the Talent Development community, and help you to get to know a colleague just a little bit better! If you are interested in nominating another member for the spotlight, contact Lovina Akowuah at Lovina.Akowuah@gmail.com  or Meica Hatters at meicahatters@gmail.com

Marilyn Zwissler
Title: President

Company: Zwissler & Associates, LLC

This month, we are pleased to feature

Marilyn Zwissler

Tell us a little about yourself.

I entered this career 30 years ago. I worked as a sales trainer for a Marketing group, helping to roll out new product lines for retailers and software companies – Microsoft was one of them. When we moved to Milwaukee for my husband’s job, I joined Rockwell Automation on an ERP implementation that took me all over Europe and the Mideast. After leaving Rockwell, I started my own consultancy and have enjoyed various projects around the US. I am now an Adjunct Professor of New Media at Alverno College and a speaker for Balance Life Issues. I have a few projects of my own in the wings, and just need some time to work on them!

My interests include photography, and I hope to expand that as a business this next year.

You may wonder, why do I have an LLC? It’s practical and provides the framework for my projects. It also keeps my personal and business life separate.

What is your motto / mantra / personal philosophy / favorite quote?

I have three:

  • Be a catalyst for change or a victim of it.
  • The greatest joy is seeing someone you mentored become successful.
  • Always be learning. Knowledge is a journey, and there is always something else around the corner that will intrigue you and add a new dimension to who you are.

What do you wish people knew about your role or field?

People do not realize how long it takes to design and develop an effective learning program. Learning and development is a science. We know so much more about how and why people learn. This isn’t an instant career: it takes study and discipline to master. In fact, we are in a learning revolution, with so many options and ways to help people and organizations learn. I wish leadership would take another read of Peter Senge’s, The Learning Organization.

Before working at your current job, what was the most unusual or interesting job you’ve ever had?

As a recent graduate from college, I worked for a team at the School of Public Health, researching models for national health care. We decided to publish the book using a computer. I worked alongside David Packard, Jr, to program the text. It was one of the first computer published books. I’m sorry I didn’t keep my copy! I gave it to a friend and never got it back.

Why do you enjoy being a member of SEWI-ATD?

I enjoy the stimulation of finding out what other professionals and organizations are doing in the field of talent development. I have met such talented and forward-thinking people who challenge me to expand my knowledge and develop new skills. There is nothing like going to a program and sharing experiences and learning about what others are doing. The Association of Talent Development resources are like gold. Where else can one make contacts with leaders who are the most advanced practitioners in this profession?

What do you love about the Greater Milwaukee Area?

I am a Californian, and we have lived all over the Midwest. I never thought about Milwaukee, ever. Then when we moved here, I was amazed and delighted with the Arts scene. There is theater, music, art and galleries that are so alive with everything from classics to avant-garde. I also love the variety. You can go to a baseball game, the zoo, the symphony, Shakespeare in the Park, drive out to an organic farm, go hiking along the shore, and go fishing…all within 20 minutes of Milwaukee. You can’t do that in Los Angeles.

What's a question I didn't ask that you wished I had?

What are the challenges in Talent Development?

  • Keeping up with the research and technological advances. The only way to do that is through organizations like SEWI-ATD.
  • Change is hard. And you will find organizations at all levels of the technological spectrum. In our business, we need to take time to learn about those we serve and meet them where they are before we can help them move forward.

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