Maddie’s professional experience spans over 15 years in Human Resources including Employee Relations, Talent Acquisition, Talent Management, Talent Development, and general oversight of the Human Resources function. She is currently the head of Human Resources for a multi-unit Financial Services company with locations throughout the state of Georgia. Maddie believes in contributing to the business partnership through innovative recommendations, providing executable candid and empathetic feedback aligned with the company’s strategy in order to effectively impact the bottom line.
Director, VOLunteers & Talent Management
Karla Byrd is passionate about learning. It has been a huge part of both her professional and personal life. She has over 20+ years’ experience developing and conducting classes in various types of computer software. Certified by both Langevin Learning Services and Smart Technologies. Having been with a large manufacturing company for 32 years and training many people throughout her career she had dreamed of starting her own company “Karla’s Computer Café”. Her vision of helping others to grow their computer skills and become confident in their ability to learn new software applications is finally being realized. Her training is designed to dispel the fear, focus on the topic and methodically navigate the learning process “one step at a time”. Karla has a loving husband and amazing family that she is helping to prepare and guide through their own life journeys. She has served as President, Past-President, Director of Programs, Director of Membership on this ATD Chattanooga Board and has many years being a National Member of a great organization.
Sandra never dreamed she’d end up working in the construction industry. But in 2010 she was drawn to EMJ Corporation’s servant leadership culture. Five years later, after completing her MBA at the University of Tennessee, Sandra began her journey into the L&D space and facilitated EMJ’s mentoring, career mapping, and learning programs.
In 2018 Sandra joined ACS Technologies, where she helped launch a new client training portal. Sandra's expertise is in learning platforms, learner engagement strategies, and informal knowledge sharing.
Robin Nunley is an experienced Human Resources professional who has a demonstrated history of working in the fast moving consumer packaged goods industry. Robin has 15+ years of experience working in manufacturing for companies ranging from a small one site operation to a global multi-site, multi-segment, Fortune 500 company. Robin is passionate about helping organizations realize their full potential through continuous improvement, employee engagement and employee development.
Robin is currently the Workforce Development Specialist for Chattanooga Bakery, Inc., and her education includes a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from The College of Charleston.
Robin is a Sustainer of the Junior League of Chattanooga, and serves and volunteers in numerous other capacities through her church and other community organizations. She is committed to using her gifts and talents to positively impact others, both in her professional life and her personal life.
Mary’s experience lies in years of problems solving which stems from her engineering education. She also possesses a results-oriented customer caring background. During her career she has experienced opportunities including manufacturing engineering; training and consulting in engineering principles for civilian and military personnel; teaching engineering courses in higher education; day to day facilities operation and planning; and economic development with specific attention to starting and growing women owned businesses.
Holly works for Shaw Industries as a Business Development/Training Manager. She is currently on a stretch assignment working with the Shaw Learning Academy as an Innovation Coach where she facilitates Design Thinking classes. Holly has been with Shaw Industries almost 12 years. Outside of work, Holly enjoys spending her time with her wonderful husband of 17 years, Chris; and two children, Canaan and Ashton, a foster son, Ashton #2, as well as her dog named Kiah and a cat named Tippy.
Doug had his first exposure to training as a Naval Instructor, facilitating courses in communications and Naval Rights and Responsibilities. While working at Shaw Industries Inc, for over 20 years, Doug earned an AAT degree Computer Support Specialist and a BSBA degree in Marketing. Doug has had the opportunity to travel throughout the United States and Canada to facilitate courses focused on all forms of technology and Salesforce.com. For the last six years, Doug has worked in the Shaw Learning Academy. Doug is passionate about incorporating technologies to design, develop and deploy online training content.
When not at work, Doug enjoys spending time with his family, biking, and continuously learning new skills.
As a Learning and Development Professional, Vita has experience in multiple industries including construction and health and wellness. Vita’s passion for leadership, facilitation & mentorship goes far beyond the conference room. She is the founder/director of Vita-Prana Yoga School since 2010. She is a strategic HR business partner/thought leader with strong facilitation skills, project management skills & interpersonal skills. Her education includes a Bachelor of Science from Everglades University. She is a Certified Instructional Designer, Certified trainer through DDI, Vital Smarts and Extended DiSC.
Vita resides in Chattanooga with her husband and dog Beau, who may make an appearance on video calls from time to time.
Director, Marketing & Communications
Erica Thurman is a dynamic and collaborative leader with over 15 years of human resources experience spanning utilities, government, healthcare, retail, and manufacturing industries. She has partnered closely with both represented and non-represented employee populations at all levels of organizations, and she is known for quickly understanding business objectives and obstacles while providing guidance, challenges, and coaching, driving success through an array of customized and benchmarked initiatives. Her education includes a Master of Science in Industrial / Organizational Psychology from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga and a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Emory & Henry College. Erica is a Human Resources Business Partner and Employee Relations Business Partner for American Water. In these roles, Erica serves as a strategic partner to the Tennessee and Kentucky management teams, anticipating needs and implementing smart solutions to integrate human resource functions within the business model and lead efforts without compromising productivity or efficiency. Erica supports a committed team of water professionals whose daily operations provide the most precious of life's critical needs: clean, safe water for families, public health, businesses, and fire protection.
Erica is passionate about education, volunteering as a Future Ready Institute Advisory Council Member for our public schools, providing industry guidance to the program focusing on engaging instruction, partnerships beyond school, and providing students with a postsecondary jump start on their career. She is also a sister of Chi Omega fraternity. Erica resides in Chattanooga with her husband, their two children, and their two Goldendoodles, who make frequent appearances on video calls.
Cori works at Unum as a Learning Solutions Developer. She is currently utilizing her instructional design skills to deliver learner centric eLearning, blended learning, and performance support tools that broaden the skills and knowledge of users and improve operational effectiveness. She started at Unum working in their Leave Management Center and quickly transitioned to training employees to administer FMLA and State leave as well. From there, she leveraged her education and learning background to move into Unum’s HR organization to support the entire enterprise. She has a BS in Education from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Cori enjoys using her technical acumen to provide performance support to her business partners.
In her free time she enjoys spending time with her husband, Daniel; and son, Alex, as well as her pets Walt and Rigby. The Barbers love to travel and show Alex the world.
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