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SIG Leaders

TBD, Co-Lead | ?@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

TBD, Co-Lead | ?@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Diane Dean, Co-Lead diane.dean@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Diane is a lifelong tech enthusiast, learner and information connoisseur who coaches, consults and trains nonprofit/non-governmental and academic leaders in the respective sectors in which she honed her career. As Founder and Principal of The Dean Consulting Group (TM) she has been at the helm of this firm since 1996. In this role, she provides life transition, executive and ethical leadership development coaching in addition to client-centered organization counsel and outcomes-based training. Diane has a Master's degree from Indiana University-Bloomington and was inducted into Pi Lambda Theta educational honorary. She holds a Bachelors degree with honors from North Carolina A&T State University. In addition, she acquired a certificate in management development from Cornell University's School of Industrial and Labor Relations and received course credits from Harvard Graduate School of Education. Believing that learning, professional and personal development are ongoing pursuits, Diane has learned how to code, having completed phases 1 & 2 of the NY Public Library's Project Program.  This is in addition to completing courses, workshops, and certificate programs in order to remain current with professional best practices and standards. Diane is an avid reader, global citizen (4 continents and 46 states), amateur photographer, mentor and engager in informed thought and discourse.

Kathy LaMarr-Bines, Co-Lead  |  kathy_lamarrbines@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Kathy LaMarr-Bines has been dedicated to the development of individuals, teams and organizations, for more than 20 years, providing interventions and facilitated workshops that enable people to be more effective in their work environment. She currently serves as Vice President, Organization Development, with Chubb Insurance Company, focused on talent identification, talent development, performance management, organization design and change management. Kathy has worked for companies of all types and sizes, including Helen of Troy, Sabra Dipping Company, Dr Pepper Snapple Group, Cadbury Schweppes and J.P. Morgan Chase. She also provides consulting in organization development, succession management, coaching, and team effectiveness. Kathy earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology from the City University of New York at Baruch College and isearning a Master of Science degree in Organizational Management and HR Development from Manhattanville College.

Kimberly Plue, Co-Lead | kimberly.plue@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Kim is currently a Director of Learning and Development at Omnicom Media Group (OMG) where she has grown the learning program from its infancy over the course of her 10+ year tenure. She manages their Learn Management System, works with internal and external vendors and stakeholders to develop custom content to fit a range of needs across management and leadership development, technical skills, communication and more. She has a personal passion for the intersection between technology and learning, specializing in learning metrics and evaluation, as well as customizing user experience and leveraging technology platforms for training impact. She's also an active volunteer with her Sorority, serving as an Alumni Advisory Chair working with undergraduate collegians to oversee chapter operations and member experience. 

She holds a BA in Communications and Psychology from the University of Connecticut, and a Master's in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from the University of New Haven. When not working, she enjoys spending time with her two French Bulldogs at home in Connecticut.

Yelena Mammadova, Co-Lead | yelena.mammadova@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Yelena Mammadova is a Learning & Organization Development Professional with a deep understanding of formulating innovative learning and capability-building strategies and interventions that directly impact business performance. Yelena has 15+ years of experience working in North America, Europe, and the Middle East across various industries, including oil & gas, consumer goods, and high-tech. Her expertise is in leading change initiatives within a complex business environment and ensuring vision and strategy alignment with the key stakeholders. In her current role, Yelena is leading Learning & Development function within Amazon Robotics. 

Yelena is pursuing her Doctoral degree in Organizational Change & Leadership with a dissertation focus on upskilling and reskilling of the global workforce with technology-enhanced learning.

Learning LAb (One-off Events)

Kate Gerasimova, Co-Lead | kate.gerasimova@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Kate is an associate at gothamCulture and is passionate about aligning organizational culture with business strategy and finding creative solutions to today’s organizational development challenges. Kate embraces heading down to unknowns and partnering with clients who are being challenged with day to day complexities and politics. She has over 6 years of consulting experience, has been helping clients improve their business performance through strategy and organizational development, change management, and process improvement. Her interests include looking at how cultures, skillsets, backgrounds, different environments impact diversity of thought in organizations as well as how cognitive group outcomes become affected by biases and perceptions of inclusion. Kate holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with the concentration in consulting. She is a Russian-native, lived, studied and worked in Russia prior to moving to the U.S., and brings a diverse cultural experience to gothamCulture.  Kate spends her free time playing tennis in Central Park or discovering a new art exhibition in the city.  She enjoys volunteering and has worked with the Lighthouse Guild, Big Brothers Big Sisters, Year Up, City Harvest, and Food Bank for New York City.

TBD, Co-Lead  |  ?@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn


Sy Islam, Ph.D., Co-Lead  |  sy.islam@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Sy has over 10 years of experience in a variety of corporate, academic, and applied settings. He completed his Bachelors in Economics from Rutgers University, his MBA in Human Resource Management and a Master’s of Arts in Industrial-Organizational Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. He completed his PhD in Applied Organizational Psychology from Hofstra University. Sy has served in management, consultant and research roles in a variety of organizations. He is currently an Assistant Professor of Industrial Organizational Psychology at Farmingdale State College. In addition to his role as a professor, he is a co-founder and a Principal Consultant with Talent Metrics. In his role at Talent Metrics, he collaborates with organizations through consulting engagements in his areas of expertise (training and development, selection, survey design, performance management, and team building). He is a passionate advocate for the fields of I-O Psychology and training. He currently serves as the President of the Long Island Chapter of the Association for Talent Development. When he’s not teaching or consulting, Sy and his wife enjoy films, sports, and music. Follow him on Twitter (@IOSyIslam) and LinkedIn.

Lyndon Llanes, MS, SHRM-SCP, Co-Lead | lyndon.llanes@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Lyndon Llanes is a high performing, data-driven Industrial-Organizational Psychology professional with exponential scope in human capital management and strategy. He posses a comprehensive perspective of HR analytics, selection, organizational design, and talent management. He has been credited with: driving initiatives impacting 42,000+ employees; supporting Fortune 500 clients’ organizational objectives; and maximizing the use of technological resources to improve training, performance, and profit. Currently, Lyndon is an HR Consultant on Verizon’s Selection and Assessment Strategy Team. Here he utilitises data and science-based practices to: get talent into the right roles; manage talent/labor market research projects; and develop the team’s knowledge and capabilities around assessment data.Lyndon completed his bachelor’s in Psychology from Rutgers University and a Master’s in Industrial Organizational Psychology from Touro College. Follow him on LinkedIn.

Hal Christensen, Advisor and Practicum Lead  |  hal.christensen@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Hal Christensen, President of QuickCompetence, provides strategic guidance and solutions to organizations that seek to accelerate their employees' Time to Competence and to sustain that competence over time. For over 30 years, Hal has been providing performance improvement solutions to organizations of different sizes in the New York Metropolitan area. He has been an advocate for the innovative use of computer technology to augment learning and working, spearheading the initial introduction and growth of both eLearning and Performance Support technologies. His Performance Support solutions have won several awards, and he has frequently been asked to share his Performance Support, eLearning, and instructional design knowledge and experience at national professional conferences. Hal spent many years as the co-lead of the ATD NYC Special Interest Group on Performance Support/Informal Learning which he founded in 2012 before moving into this new advisor role.

Malu Schloss, Co-Lead  |  malu.schloss@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Malu Schloss is a Relationship Manager with TrainingPros, Inc and a Learning Consultant. She is delighted to serve with Hal as co-chair of the Performance Support SIG. As a Relationship Manager for TrainingPros, Malu collaborates with managers in organizations to identify the best talent for their staffing needs in the areas of learning and technical communication. As a learning consultant, Malu specializes in instructional and content strategy, design and delivery of custom training, eLearning, performance support and communications, all focused on improving the user or client experience.  Sample engagements include OTG Management, Success Factors, Bank of America, US Trust, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, Merrill Lynch, Marsh, Inc., Thomson Reuters/Lipper, Prudential Insurance and Fordham University.  Previously, Malu was Training/CBT Manager at Dreyfus Corporation and Training Director at Rizal Bank (RCBC) in Makati, Philippines. Malu has a B.S. in Psychology from the University of the Philippines, M.A. in Social-Industrial Psychology from Ateneo de Manila University and advanced M.S. courses in Instructional Technology from New York Institute of Technology.

Will Nassau, Co-Lead  will.nassau@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Will is a longtime trainer and facilitator with a deep background inconflict resolution. He is a certified mediator, and for six years, served as Training Director at New York Peace Institute, the nation’s largest community dispute resolution center.

Will has trained scores of clients in conflict resolution skills, including the U.N, UNICEF, Open Society Foundations, The New York Times, Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman, Safe Horizon, NYU, CUNY, the Center for Court Innovation, the NYC Department of Education, GreenThumb, Brooklyn Botanic Gardens, and Harlem Children’s Zone, among others.

Will also led New York Peace Institute’s Police Mediation Partnership, where he was the head facilitator for an intensive, monthly, four-day de-escalation training reaching hundreds of officers each year.

Will holds a BA in Politics from Ithaca College and an MA in International Studies from the University of Exeter. He currently provides trainings and facilitations as a private consultant.

Other Key Roles

Matthew Figler, AVP, Programs |  matthew.figler@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Matt Figler currently serves as Learning and Development Manager at Omnicom Health Group (OHG). At OHG, the world’s largest fully integrated global healthcare communications company, Matt is responsible for the design and delivery of learning and talent development initiatives for the group’s network of 30+ companies. Matt leads a team responsible for end-to-end management of the organization’s corporate university which provides access to to a full curriculum of offerings around management, leadership, professional and personal development across multiple modalities.

In his role, Matt also serves as lead talent development consultant for 8 global companies. Working closely with leadership and HR partners to analyze needs not addressed through the corporate university offerings and iteratively design, develop, implement, and evaluate strategic training and development solutions.

Matt is a lifelong learner passionate about talent development, instructional design, facilitation, and measurement. He holds a B.A. in Psychology and Criminal Justice from the State University of New York at Albany and a M.S. in Industrial/Organizational Psychology from Baruch College.

Maggie Nelson, AVP, Programs |  maggie.nelson@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Maggie Nelson is a Senior Vice President at Lazard Freres and Co., a boutique investment bank, focused on Learning and Development. She has 10 years of experience in L&D, having spent a majority of those years at Goldman Sachs as a training lead for the Investment Management Division and select Corporate functions. She is passionate about meeting learners ‘where they are’ and designing curricula around their needs and learning styles. She graduated from Rutgers University in 2010 where she studied Sociology, Human Resources, and Education as a social science. Her credentials include: completion of Langevin’s Instructional Design and Facilitation Skills courses; DiSC Certification; HBDI Certification (pending). Maggie is passionate about animal rescue organizations and has a rescue pup from Animal Lighthouse Rescue, and stays involved (as best she can!) in non-partisan voter participation campaigns with Headcount.

Emily Crouch, AVP, Technology | emily.crouch@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Emily Crouch is a tech training strategist and developer, end-user adoption expert, and change management champion.  She serves as an in-house learning consultant for all systems-related training programs and creates and develops enterprise-wide systems training solutions for a privately held real estate company with a premier portfolio of multi-family, industrial, and mixed-use development space.  For the past decade, she has overseen 25+ enterprise- wide technology rollouts and trainings.  Her roles have spanned Vendor Management, Project Management, Software Support, Upgrade Testing and Software Training. Emily's areas of technological expertise pairs well with her passion to educate, motivate and inspire learners to be fully engaged in the corporate vision and achieve success in their own personal career development.

 Jane M. Evancie, AVP, Technology | jane.evancie@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Mary SarkissianAVP of Talent Management | mary.sarkissian@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Mary is a Learning Experience Designer (LXD) at Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (VHB) with over a decade of professional experience varying in K-12, Higher Education, and corporate settings. Mary has supported organizations in varying sizes in educating and developing target audiences through tailored instructor-led training (ILT), computer-based training (CBT), and leadership development programs. An enthusiast for education, Mary has recently earned her Master of Science in Instructional Design and has passed the Associate Professional of Talent Development (APTD) Certification. 

Kari RussellAVP of Special Interest Groups kari.russell@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Kari is a Talent Development Specialist and certified coach. Her expertise is in Talent Review and building out training materials, procedures, and strategies to transition HR processes to new innovative systems. She earned her bachelor’s degree in Theatre from Bowling Green State University and moved to New York City to pursue an acting career. She realized that her true fascination with acting was the psychology behind it. This led her to getting her coaching certification at the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (iPEC) and starting her path in Talent Development. Kari is driven by finding innovative solutions that optimize processes, understanding the motivation and purpose in our actions and translating that purpose into a meaningful work environment.

David Marx, Lead, Webinar Committee |  david.marx@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

David Marx is a learning and development professional who has designed and led workshops for organizations such as Walmart, WIX.com, Motorola, Provident Loan, the ATD NYC, and Dress for Success. His passion for productive communication has also led him to become a volunteer mediator for the New York Peace Institute. He teaches improv regularly for ANDTheatre Company. As a performer with multiple stage and film credits, he believes in the power of performing arts techniques to transform the way we connect and communicate.

Nikki Cannon, AVP, Marketing |  nikki.cannon@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Nikki Cannon brings a decade of experience in the talent arena, specializing in strategic leadership, employee engagement, team development, and diversity and inclusion. Guided by cutting edge research and positive psychology, her approach is to energize and inspire through life-enriching, connected learning experiences that offer new perspectives and new possibilities. She has an M.A. in Positive Organizational Psychology from Claremont Graduate University and extensive experience in the Fortune 500 retail, luxury retail and healthcare sectors in New York City. She is currently the Senior Manager for Learning and Development at Burberry. 

Elicia Banks-Gabriel, AVP, Marketing |  elicia.banks-gabriel@atdnyc.org | LinkedIn

Elicia Banks-Gabriel once was told she is a creator of joy by a stranger on the streets of New York City. From that day forward, she has dedicated her career and life to exploring how to cultivate a culture of joy in the advertising industry. Elicia applies strategic frameworks she learned as a creative strategist at agencies like Anomaly (MDC Partners) and The Cloudbreak Group, and she applies her client-care approach she developed as an account lead at Berlin Cameron United (WPP) and Octane AI, to talent and culture. Her work focuses on supporting talented teams on an individual level, creating unique solutions for modern day dispersed work and team challenges. Most importantly, Elicia focuses on implementing systemic change for a more diverse, equitable and inclusive workplace for all. Currently, Elicia serves as VP of Talent & Culture for One & All, an Omnicom agency.

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