The ATD Hawkeye Chapter supports the learning community throughout Eastern Iowa by providing educational resources, networking opportunities, and other support to professionals in our field.
Membership in the ATD Hawkeye Chapter is a convenient way to access general meetings, peer professionals, conferences, professional development events and educational publications locally in your field. Power Membership combines local, ATD Hawkeye Chapter membership, with National ATD membership. Through Power Membership you receive access to ATD’s industry leading content, career-advancing educational programs, and publications from the field’s leading authors and thought leaders.
You may join the ATD Hawkeye Chapter at any time. All you have to do is go to our Application for Membership page and complete the membership registration process.
ATD Hawkeye Chapter Member Spotlight
Name: Jay Lash
Position and Employer: I am currently changing careers and am just starting to look for a position in L&D
How long have you been a member of ATD Hawkeye Chapter?
About 9 months
What is a typical workday like for you?
My typical day is spent doing professional development – reading, watching L&D webinars and creating elearning sessions to learn the various tools and have examples of my work.
What do you enjoy most about ATD Hawkeye Chapter?
I enjoy the monthly chapter meetings for the networking opportunities and speakers. The chapter does a great job at getting local speakers to present on a wide range of topics. And the members I meet are wonderful – so willing to share their insights about the field and information about their companies.
Name a professional challenge you have experienced, and share how ATD Hawkeye has helped you overcome it.
When I began the journey to change careers, one of the challenges I knew I would face in landing a job is not having traditional experience in the field. The key was going to be meeting the right people and telling a solid story of the value I can bring. I thought the ATD Hawkeye chapter would help as I got to know people and got more involved with the group. I didn’t expect that to come at the second meeting I attended.
I was chatting with the woman at the next table. Being a new face in the room she asked about my work etc. She was interested in the type of work I wanted to do and told me about an opening at her company. At the end of the meeting, she gave me her email and phone number. She said I could use her name if I decided to apply, and to let her know if I did so she could have her manager watch for my application.
I was not ready to start applying for positions yet but the willingness to help someone she had known for an hour really said a lot about the people in the group.
Are you an ATD Power Member? What has helped you most about being part of both the local and national ATD groups?
Yes, I am a power member. I think local and national memberships provide complementing benefits. The local programming and networking is great to build a community of friends, and resources that can really help with day-to-day challenges.
The national organization provides resources and opportunities that are not practical at the local level. One of the first things I did after joining is attend a 3-day “train the trainer” workshop in Minneapolis. It was a great experience to meet people from a wide range of business. Some were in HR and most of the training the did was employee onboarding. Some were in training for professional field such as pharmaceutical manufacturing, and a couple were in traditional manufacturing – they trained new welders. It helped me to really broaden my idea of what is “training” and also to think about how you have to really know your audience when you design training.
What piece of advice related to talent and development has made a significant impact on you and your work?
Ive been a self-taught trainer for many years. When I decided to change careers and go into the L&D field, I began studying the theories and best practices. Something I read early on really resonated with me – in the context of a business, training is merely a tool and learning is a means to an end. Performance improvement is the goal. This helps remind me why Im doing what Im doing.
What is your favorite part of the learning and development field?
There are aspects of creating eLearning that I enjoy but delivering Instructor Led Training is definitely my favorite. I love to help people have light bulb moments, especially about the role they play in helping the organization reach its goals.
Please share a favorite story related to learning and development.
When I was first starting out as a trainer, I was helping with a 6-day leadership course. At the end of the course, participants had to define a project that they would complete after they went home. The participants were given a worksheet to help them define their goal and break it down to steps with a timeline. I was coaching one participant that was really struggling with the process. He could explain what he wanted to do for his project but just could not get the worksheet filled out.
One of my coaches helped me understand the difference between “content” and “process”. The participant was not having difficulty with his idea (the content) he was having difficulty with the worksheet (the process). When I changed my approach to have him tell me what he wanted to do, and I filled out the worksheet – it was amazing. At the time, I had never heard the phrase “meet people where they are” but that is just what we did.
What are your greatest strengths, and what are your current development goals?
The term “strengths” (and “weaknesses”) is very subjective and context dependent. I prefer to think about skills and attributes that I am good at, and that I enjoy.
The skills that I am best at, and that I enjoy most, are organization and planning. This applies to both coordinating a training event and to designing a training module – planning the objectives and organizing the activities.
My development goals are focused on becoming more well-rounded within the training field so that I can find a job with an organization that I believe in. Two specific areas that Im working on are learning how to use several common eLearning development tools, and learning how to create good learner evaluations.
Who is currently one of your favorite speakers or authors, and why?
There are many who I read frequently, and many who I enjoy their style. One of my favorites right now is Dan and Chip Heath. Their books are very science-based but easy to read. “The Power of Moments: Why Certain Experiences Have Extraordinary Impact” really resonated with me and gave me great insights about how to make training better.
What are your hobbies or favorite things to do with your time?
I enjoy traveling with my wife, browsing through second-hand stores and touring wineries.
I also enjoy spending time outdoors – hiking, canoeing and geocaching with friends or my Scout Troop.