Dr. Esther Jackson

Esther is a Project Manager and Instructional Designer with over 10 years of experience in managing projects and talent development. She has worked in various capacities to provide training and consulting services to various levels of the organizational hierarchy. She has a background in creating training materials, facilitating more than 30 course topics for soft skills and technology courses, presenting at conferences, designing curricula for professional development, HR analytics, and managing projects based on project management principles. Esther currently works at Innovative Learning Group.

She has a passion for sharing knowledge and providing skill development which she demonstrates in her volunteer work and presentations at national conferences.

Esther holds a Bachelor of Science Degree and a Master of Arts Degree from Wayne State University. She received her doctoral degree from Walden University.

President Elect

Michael Haynes

Michael Haynes is a licensed attorney in Michigan and an experienced HR and employee relations professional. His specialty areas are training and development, employment law, and health insurance. He also teaches Employee Benefits courses at Oakland University.

Michael has spent hundreds of hours organizing and delivering trainings and presentations, and has served individual clients in a multitude of legal areas, including labor relations, employment contract negotiation, and benefit brokerage and explanation.

In addition to years of practical experience, Haynes holds academic credentials from Eastern Michigan University (B.S. Public Administration; MSHROD) and Penn State University (J.D.). He also is a Certified Nonprofit Professional (CNP) as credentialed by the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance.

Past President

Larry Gelfund

Larry is a talent management/improvement and organizational development professional in the retail, customer service, supply chain, financial services and manufacturing industries. He has held top performance management 7 different companies, both in in the public and private sectors. He is recognized for his in-depth knowledge and broad expertise including: domestic and international leadership development, organizational development, talent management, performance management, training, human resources, classroom instruction, motivational speaking, team building, strategic planning, staff management, operations, video scripting, production and acting.
                                         Larry offers a total of over 35+ years of professional management experience.

Beyond his employment history Larry also is Principal of Laredo Learning LLC, his private consulting and coaching practice that specializes in talent/performance management, organizational development, coaching, mentoring and strategic planning.

Larry holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Communications Arts and Business Psychology from Western Michigan University.

Vice President of Technology

Johnnie Thayer

After working for many years in the legal field, and frequently finding herself in the position of helping others, Johnnie realized that she really loved the feeling of helping others succeed.

She returned to college to get a degree that will allow her to fulfill her goal of supporting the learning and talent development of others.

She currently works at Sun Communities Inc. as a Learning & Development Coordinator. Johnnie holds a Bachelor's Degree in Human Resource Development/Training and Development from Oakland University.

Vice President of Finance

Albina Ortiz

Albina Ortiz has nearly 20 years of experience in instructional design, human resource development, and labor relations. She currently works for GP Strategies as a Training Project Manager supporting the Rockwell Automation account.

Some of her accomplishments have included: designing, developing, and deploying training materials in the areas of Project Management, Lean Manufacturing, Craft skills, Automation, Leadership Development, and Executive Coaching.

She has performed training needs, course adaptability, and knowledge transfer and deliverance assessments, written case studies and proposals, and developed train-the-trainer participant and instructor guides for various clients in the manufacturing, food and beverage, and Health Care fields.

Albina holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Resource Development from Oakland University, an MBA from the University of Phoenix, and is currently attending Grand Canyon University to obtain her Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership.

Vice President of Marketing and Communications

Tom Petro

Tom Petro is a business development director for Innovative Learning Group. He has 30 years of experience in marketing and business development for complex B2B services, including learning and performance support solutions.

Tom joined ILG after a more than 10-year career at J.D. Power in Troy. Most recently, Tom was the senior director of marketing where he was responsible for B2B product marketing and events. Previously, he was a founding member and senior director of business development for the company’s financial services and insurance division.

Tom joined J.D. Power in 2004 as the director of learning and performance systems from the former Farmington Hills-based Triad Performance Technologies. At Triad, Tom served as the director of business development, where he led the sales of learning projects and long-term relationships to support key client initiatives in the areas of quality, brand management, and systems implementation.

Tom has a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Wayne State University in Detroit.

Vice President of Programs and Events

Kimberly Randall

Kimberly Randall is a Human Resources professional and an experienced Learning and Development expert who holds a Master of Arts in Instructional Design from Wayne state University.

Prior to joining the City of Detroit, Kimberly worked in hospitality, automotive, education and government designing, developing and facilitating training. She is a ten-year veteran at the City of Detroit. Reporting to the Chief Learning Officer, Kimberly currently serves as the Learning and Development Training Manager and supports the Human Resources Director's team collaboration    initiatives.

Kimberly manages City training program operations for over 9,000 employees, and designs, develops, and facilitates customized workshops for several City departments including Public Safety.

Vice President of Administration

Vice President of Career Development

Shonna Amos

Shonna Amos is passionate about all things people development. She has worked in both the corporate and non-profit sectors including Manufacturing, Senior Care and Banking industries.

Shonna has 13 years of HR experience including roles as HR Business Partner, Leadership Coach, and Talent Acquisition Specialist and she's currently Manager, Learning and Development at Meritor where she and her team develop and facilitate learning programs focused on building the organization's professional and leadership skills. She believes in making an impact through coaching to help people realize and reach their full potential, connecting others with the right resources and opportunities, and operating with compassion.

Shonna holds a Bachelor's Degree in Human Resource Management from Grand Valley State University and a Master's Degree in Training and Development from Oakland University. 

Vice President of Membership

Joan Allesee

Joan Allesee is a learning and development professional with over twenty-five years of experience in helping clients close performance gaps. She currently works as a learning and development specialist at US Medical Management (USMM). Before joining USMM, she was a project manager and instructional designer at Innovative Learning Group.

Since 2014, Joan has been volunteering at the Oakland Literacy Council as a tutor for adult literacy students, a facilitator, and instructional designer as well as holding a seat on the board. Joan also enjoys being a member of the Association of Women in Communication and Inforum.

Joan earned a master’s degree in instructional design from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut, and a bachelor’s degree in communications from the University of Michigan.

Member at Large

Tamara Freeman

Tamara Freeman is a certified Human Resources professional who is passionate about learning and development. She is skilled in creating highly interactive learning solutions, course development, project management, talent acquisition, training, conducting investigations, employee engagement, performance management, and software implementation.

Tamara holds a BA Degree from the University of Michigan and an MBA from University of Phoenix.

Director of Membership Outreach

Denyale Cameron Key

Denyale is an experienced Learning and Development professional with a diverse background and skill set. For more than a decade, she has worked in a variety of industries and served in various roles such as facilitator, course developer, curriculum designer and sales trainer.

Although Denyale has spent a great deal of her career in the corporate sector, she has a passion for helping those who are under-served. To that end, she became a certified Adult Literacy Instructor, dedicating her time to helping adults learn to read and prepare for their GED exams. Denyale has also set her sights on a new initiative, which is to help disadvantaged millennials prepare to enter the workforce and continue their education.

Denyale has a BA in Journalism and Public Relations from Madonna University, an MA in Organizational Management from the University of Phoenix and will earn her M.Ed. in Learning Design and Technology at Wayne State University in December 2018.

Director of Membership Recruitment

Amy Morrisey

Amy is the president of Artisan E-Learning, a custom e-learning development firm passionate about serving the learning needs of organizations all over the world. Prior to stepping into e-learning, Amy was most likely found at the front of a training room. She spent 17 years training, coaching, and consulting all over North America on topics ranging from business writing to advocacy skills targeted to STEM employees to strategic and critical thinking. She also wrote and delivered keynotes for several large clients.

A passion for learners is what drives Amy every day. She loves instructional design and creating courses that put the learner at the forefront of the design. She is also a professional actor, you may catch her playing make-believe at a theatre near you! This love of the arts and all things creative comes through in the courses she works on.

Amy is a graduate of the University of California, Los Angeles' School of Theatre, Film and Television.

ATD Detroit Account Manager

Kelli Knotts, Treeline Associates, Inc.

Kelli has over 20 years of experience in accounting, customer service and event planning. Her favorite position was working with a non-profit organization called Essentially Women where she was employed for six years. She was responsible for membership management and growth, communications regarding critical industry updates, growing vendor profiles and planning/executing the annual three-day industry tradeshow and education conference.

Kelli lives in Oxford, MI with her husband, four kids, and four rescue cats - two of whom are three-l egged.  She enjoys watching her kids play their various sports and relaxing around a bonfire with her family and friends.

Kelli is employed with Treeline Associates, Inc. which has been contracted as the ATD Detroit management company. Treeline specializes in helping non-profit organizations grow.


Email :

Address: 2206 Village West South, Lapeer, MI 48446

Phone : 248-814-7151  ext. 5



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