If you need to contact any of the board members, please send an email to admin@detroitatd.org and your inquiry will be redirected to the appropriate board member. 


President - 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 curriculums 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.

Contact Esther at President@DetroitATD.org.

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.

Contact Michael at Presidentelect@DetroitATD.org

Past President  - Larry Gelfund


Contact Larry at PastPresident@DetroitATD.org


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.

                                              Contact Johnnie at VPTechnology@DetroitATD.org.

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.

Contact Albina at VPFinance@DetroitATD.org.


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.

Contact Tom at VPMarketing@DetroitATD.org.

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.

Contact Kim at VPPrograms@DetroitATD.org

Vice President of Administration - Kastasha Harris 

Kastasha Haris has served in the Customer Service and Healthcare Service field for six years. Kastasha has worked with EverythingHR since 2012, she started out as an Executive Administrative Assistant and transitioned to an Operations Supervisor.

Previously she worked as a Team Lead at Molina Healthcare of Michigan, which is where she found her love of training. As a Team Lead, Kastasha assisted with new hire training, WebEx training and
      SharePoint projects.

Kastasha holds an Associates Degree in Human Services and has received her training certificate through ATD.

Contact Kastasha at VPAdmin@DetroitATD.org.

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 an instructional designer at Innovative Learning Group. Before joining ILG, Joan was a freelance instructional designer designing e-learning solutions for ILG’s healthcare and government clients. She has created courses on topics such as government credit card policies, industrial hygiene sampling protocols, and patient-care monitoring.

Joan spent 10 years at Kelly Services where she worked as a senior account representative and supervisor at its Austin, Texas, branch office, and as a human resources development manager at the company’s corporate headquarters in Troy. In this role, Joan designed, implemented, and facilitated training initiatives based on client consultation and performance analysis.

Since 2014, Joan has been volunteering at the Oakland Literacy Council in Bloomfield Hills as an instructional designer, tutor, and facilitator

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.

Contact Joan at VPMembership@DetroitATD.org. 

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

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 anddelivered 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.

Director of Programming and Engagement - Jennifer Sutherland
As Director of the Training and Development team for KellyConnect, Jennifer Sutherland is a seasoned training professional with more than 15 years' experience. In addition to her extensive training experience, Jennifer also has substantial sales and sales management expertise in a variety of industries (banking, healthcare, insurance, IT training, educational software and non-profit). Jennifer leads a training team of 75+ remote training professionals and 25+ remote nesting/ramp professionals which support our internal training and our client training needs. As strong advocates for design thinking and adult learning principles, Jennifer's team is responsible for preparing contact center agents and leaders to exceed customer and client expectations. Through a variety of training delivery methods (virtual ILT, eLearning, blended approach, live classroom, leader's playbook), her team provides engaging and interactive learning experiences which align with business objectives and meet high performance standards.
Jennifer directs the training initiatives for a division of 6,000+ employees, including onboarding, LMS administration and leadership development. In addition, she is a critical member of the team related to potential and new client engagement.

Jennifer has an Executive MBA from Davenport University, and is a member of ATD (Association for Talent Development), SOCAP and Kelly Service's own Leadership in Action network. She is actively involved with Inforum - Jennifer chairs an Affinity Group and is a member of the steering committee for Inforum's TechnologyNEXT industry group. Jennifer is also active in the community, including being an honored Senator with Junior Chamber International and as a Winning Futures mentor at Harper Woods High School.

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.

Contact Kelli at admin@detroitatd.org

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