August, 2020

Quarterly Newsletter

Personal DevelopmentThrough Board Leadership


As I reflected on my career journey a few years ago, I recognized that I needed a more purposeful approach to my personal development. Although I felt satisfied and dare I say, even proud of my professional accomplishments, I’d also become a bit stagnant in my pursuit of learning and engagement outside of my comfort zone. This was highlighted in my struggle to successfully network as a Human Resources Professional for a Financial Services organization in a department of one.

Realizing that need, I set out to find content and resources that would help me stretch beyond what I was comfortable in and with folks completely new to me. This is how I found ATD Chattanooga. More appropriately stated, ATD Chattanooga found me!

When I began my search, I did not know ATD had a local Chapter. Initially, I sought to become a member of our international ATD organization. Upon reviewing the benefits of POWER Membership, I scrolled to see if there were any Chapters nearby. Lo and behold! ATD Chattanooga. I joined both and Karla Byrd almost immediately welcomed me by telephone. As they say, “The rest is history.”

Once I became acquainted with the Chapter, it was clear that I made the right decision. Early on, I was embraced by many folks on the Board offering to help me meet my individual goals. It wasn’t just Board members who made me feel welcomed; many of our members also welcomed me and exchanged any knowledge and resources they thought may be of interest. This assisted me greatly in improving my networking skills and engaging with folks I had not previously met.

Having such a great member experience inspired me to give back to the Chapter. With that in mind, I first joined the Board as a Member-At-Large working on special projects. With the full support of my employer, I later served as Treasurer. The Treasurer position was definitely a stretch assignment for me which has personally helped me in my role and in my organization.

Why do I share this? I share because our Chapter wants to help and support you in your professional development. ATD provides opportunities for professionals like you to learn about the latest research, tools, technology, and best practices that are being applied around the world. In tandem, the ATD Chattanooga Chapter delivers targeted programming in our area, develops connections between local organizations and individuals, and provides regional career and business development opportunities.

Serving as a Chapter leader will allow you to further hone your talents as a strategic thinker and leader and help you become even more effective in your role.

If I’ve piqued your interest in learning more about upcoming Board leadership opportunities, please reach out to me directly.

I look forward to hearing from you.


ATD Chattanooga recently partnered with Mobile SHRM to host a group of panelists

on Erasing Barriers To Success & Creating Inclusive Organizations. Kashun Parks, an ATD Chattanooga member and past president was one of those panelists, and speaks on that discussion here.

Leading the Discussion

Through Partnerships

If you are living and breathing in the world today, you know that there are several challenges facing the business world. Not only are we dealing with an unprecedented pandemic, but we are also battling social injustices. This is a sensitive topic that has been an issue for a long time, but has begun to retake the limelight in the United States. Should we discuss this and other barriers in the workplace? It is my opinion that we can and we should.

On July 23rd, I had the honor of sharing the virtual stage with a very talented group of professionals at the Mobile SHRM Town Hall to discuss racial and social unrest and how to erase barriers to success and create inclusive organizations. This 2-hour town hall touched on topics such as defining racism, breaking down barriers, diversity programs, and communicating about diversity. Each panelist had an opportunity to discuss

their presented topic and share from their expertise and experience how they have navigated these conversations in their businesses.

I couldn’t begin to recount to you the many vital insights and knowledge gained from this panel. Still, I can tell you this was the beginning of some much-needed conversations about how professionals like you can—and should—handle these topics in your business and even in your personal lives. Adrien Cordero, Director of Safety & Compliance for White-Spunner Construction, started our time off discussing all of the “isms” and how do we talk about these things in the workplace. I had the pleasure of leading a conversation around breaking down barriers and how to begin these tough conversations safely in the workplace. Our next panelist, Dr. Jamie Franco- Zamudio, professor at Spring Hill College, led a fascinating discussion around diversity programs and what to do to make them work within your organization. Mike Bruce, President and CEO of Sirius Technical Services, gave us insight and thought-provoking ideas around having positive conversations about diversity. Our final panelist, Travis Cummings, Reporter with WCRB TV (Channel 3) in Chattanooga,

finished our time discussing his experiences, and the influence it has had on his work.

We also had the opportunity to answer some challenging, well thought out questions from the audience.

Listening to others, having empathy, and 

giving others a safe space to share their feelings
is a healthy start to breaking down barriers and
creating inclusive organizations.

This experience was beneficial to me, as I navigate these conversations in my own business and professional life. One of the resounding themes of the 2 hours we spend together was the idea around empathy. To understand how someone is feeling about an experience they have dealt with, we must learn how to relate to how they feel without the benefit of having that experience ourselves. This is so important not only in our places of employment but in everyday life. Listening to others, having empathy, and giving others a safe space to share their feelings is a healthy start to breaking down barriers and creating inclusive organizations.

Kashun Parks

President and Founder 

Propel Higher Consulting

ATD Chattanooga: Volunteer Spotlight

Robin Nunley

"Volunteers are essential for any nonprofit to achieve the organization's mission.  I am passionate about ATD's mission of connecting talent and resources, investing in skills development, and working to build Chattanooga area's workforce, and I felt this was a small way that I could give back to an organization that has already given so much to me."

Krantzsy Boursiquot

"I choose to volunteer because of its dualistic benefits: it helps my skill sets as well as I am helping answer a need."

A Financial Review

Like for many all across America, COVID-19 significantly impacted the operations of ATD Chattanooga.  As an organization built around networking and eductaional in-person speaker presentations, ATD Chattanooga had to pivot and do so quickly.  Part of this adjustment was, of course, bumpy.  No events, in-person or virtual, occurred during the month March. The financial review, scheduled to take place in take place in the first Quarter, was not completed until the second Quarter. Without scheduled events, incoming streams of revenue decreased. However, the Financial Review was successfully completed in July and found our Chapter remains stable.

ATD Chattanooga adapted to the change and embraced the strange new  normal that is the year 2020. ATD Chattanooga continues to host virtual events, open to both members and guests. Many of these events are in partnership with Mobile SHRM, allowing the organizations and their members to expand and strengthen their professional relationships and skills. In general, ATD Chattanooga continues to offer programs to its members in an effort to continue to fulfill the mission promised to its members.

Throughout the next part of 2020, ATD Chattanooga promises to continue this effort, and embraces the change and adaptation that this year has compelled. It recognizes the challenges that each of its members—and the community at large— faces during these trying times. ATD Chattanooga will continue to connect talent and resources, invest in skills development, and work to build the Chattanooga area's workforce.


Why you need this toolkit!

Get support for your professional development through Content and Thought Leadership

  • Inform and empower your work with our digital collection of tools and resources.

Career Growth and Educational Opportunities

  • Build your skills and develop your career with our courses and resources.

Networking and Events

  • Connect with and learn from like- minded peers to build your community.

Upcoming Events

The 1-2-3 Punch of Impactful Presentations | Tuesday, August 18, 2020 (11:30AM)

Leading Through Crisis & Ambiguity | Tuesday, August 25, 2020 (11:30AM)

Emerging Strategically: Growing into a New Normal | Thursday, September 17, 2020 (11:30AM)

Engineered to Speak | Thursday, October 8, 2020 (11:30AM EDT)

Design Thinking Sprint - "Mini-Hackathon" | Thursday, October 15, 2020 (11:30AM)

Build Social Capital & Creating Success by Abundance | Thursday, November 12, 2020 (11:30AM)

Flip The Script Concept Clarity | Tuesday, December 8, 2020 (11:30AM)

Framing for Relevance: How to Design for Skill Transfer | Thursday, December 10, 2020 (11:30)

In partnership with Mobile SHRM, all programs have been submitted to SHRM-PDC AND HRCI recertification credit.


PayPro is a local Human Capital Management Provider. Our emphasis in supporting our clients are in the three key areas that every business needs. Hiring employees with Applicant tracking tools, Managing employees through payroll, time and attendance, HRIS and benefit enrollment and Growing employees through collaborative tools and learning management.

Like ATD, we believe that employees who receive a great on-boarding experience and are shown a path to improve their skills in a positive learning environment will be more valuable in the work place and it will increase employee retention. - Mike Steele, Chief Development Officer

Connect with Us:

©2021 ATD of Chattanooga

Chattanooga Area Chapter of ATD
P.O. Box 28214
Chattanooga, TN 37424

In appreciation of our Chapter Sponsors:

Thanks to the generosity of QuestionPro and its Survey Software we are able to track new and exciting data for our stakeholders. QuestionPro's advanced features allow us to collect responses and distribute vital information to participants.
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