Congratulations 2016 ATD Austin Leader in Learning Winner

Instructor Development Program for Texas Department of Transportation submitted by Chris Young

TXDOT uses their own employees to provide training within the organization. What many people don't realize is that training delivery requires specialized skills and those skills don't come naturally to most people. Chris Young's team created three courses to improve overall effectiveness of TXDOT training:

  • Training Basics
  • Curriculum Design
  • Curriculum Development

Development was limited to internal resources of the workforce development section and implementation was done by their training specialist. The outcome of this initiative has been fewer complaints about TXDOT training and increased satisfaction with training as measured by evaluations upon course completion.

Jennifer Caruso, one of the Leader in Learning judges summarized the impact of this program, “Training subject matter experts is common, but Chris’ team went above and beyond what is common. They developed an internal Instructor Development Program and certification process that is closing the knowledge and resource gap. They gained employee buy-in, partnered with customers, increased the value of training at TXDOT and saved $314,510 in FY2016 compared with using a third party for the training.” 

2016 ATD Austin Leader in Learning Honorable Mention

Dell Onboarding submitted by Tracei Goddard and Jill Margos 

Austin ATD Leader in Learning Award

Award Description

In recognition of workplace learning and performance improvement as essential components of high performing organizations, the Austin chapter of the Association for Talent Development (ATD) created the Leader in Learning Award to highlight initiatives that enhance organizational achievement. This award will be given to an individual, group, or organization that demonstrates exemplary use of training to improve organizational performance.


Entries are accepted from individuals or training teams based in the Austin area (Bastrop, Bell, Burnet, Caldwell, Hays, Travis, and Williamson counties). The training can be implemented anywhere in the world. It can be for employee training or for an external audience. The training must have been created within the previous three years.


The 2017 application will be available May 1. There is no application fee.


A team of learning and development professionals led by individuals who have the Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP) credential will judge entries.

Award Presentation

Presentation of the Leader in Learning Award will be the highlight of Austin’s participation in ATD’s Employee Learning Week. The winner will be announced at Austin ATD’s year-end awards banquet in December. All applicants are encouraged to attend the award banquet where they will have the opportunity to share information about their training initiatives with banquet attendees.

If you have any questions about the award or making a submission, please contact Sallia Bandy at

2013 Award Winner

CommUNITY Care

Award Recipient:
Bella Kirchner, Training Manager
Title: New Nurse and Medical Assistant Orientation
Industry Sector: Health/Medicine
Training Duration: 3 Weeks
Delivery format: Blended
Target Audience: Nurses and Medical Assistants
Project Description: Fully prepare new nurses and medical assistants to provide excellent clinical care and customer services while consistently adhering to CommUnity Care’s standards and policies.

2014 Award Winner

Dell Global Technical Account

Managers (TAM) Services Award

Recipient: Sallia Bandy and Gina Cano

Title: Drive Your Development and Your GTS Champions
Industry Sector: Technology

Project Description: 

This project aligned the training initiative with three business goals:

  1. Deliver Life Cycle Management to customers
  2. Improve the relationship between the TAM and the customer and grow the business.
  3. Advise and train customers how to use and integrate tools and technology to minimize downtime and maximize performance.
Honorable Mention Recipient
  • Entry Title: RMN Leadership Academy
  • Organization: RetailMeNot, Inc.
  • Applicant: Marjorie Edwards

2015 Award Winner

Two Winners in 2015

Recipient: Anthony Cacek

Title: Novitex Enterprise Solutions New Hire Training Initiative
Industry Sector: Technology

Recipient: Sallia Bandy and Pamela DeBeer

Title: Virtual Technical Coaching in a Global Environment
Industry Sector: Technology

Direct questions about the Leader in Learning to the creator, Linda Warren at or Sallia Bandy at

Read about the 2015 Leader in Learning Award in the Austin-American Statesman. Click here.

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