The ATD TalentNext speakers are at the forefront of the industry. They are the trendsetters who are forging new paths; you’ll learn how today’s trends are being implemented, and find out what’s on the horizon for tomorrow.


Ben Bisbee

Ben Bisbee is a nonprofit professional with more than 18 years of experience in hands-on program development, corporate engagement, fundraising, and professional writing on the subject of corporate and nonprofit engagement and relationships. He is founder and principal at Rhinocorn Consulting, a nonprofit advancement consultancy focused on the industry of corporate social responsibility (CSR) and how it can benefit nonprofits.

Ben is passionate about how CSR works for nonprofits and for-profits alike, creatively developing lifelong relationships and financial partnerships. Ben has worked for or been contracted with several local and national nonprofits, such as Realized Worth, the American Red Cross, First Book, City Year, the National Football Hall of Fame, and AmeriCorps. He is a founding member of IMPACT 2030, the only business-led effort designed to marshal the power of human capital investments to address UN Post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals in developed and developing nations.

Michael Burns

Michael Burns is a Partner at Koppett and the the Artistic Director and Founder of the Mopco Improv Theatre, Koppett’s sister company, a performing improv company and theatrical venue. As an executive coach and facilitator for Koppett, Michael has worked with clients such as GE Research , MVP Health, Ellis Hospital, the Workforce Development Institute, CapCom, SUNY, and many more. Michael studied theatre at SUNY Purchase, and then improv with David Shepherd in New York, where he directed for the American Modern Dance Theatre and the American Folk Theatre. He was a member of The Big Apple Experience, a short-lived but cleverly named improv troupe. He is the author of First You Sit on the Floor: A Guide to Developing a Youth Theatre Troupe.

Louis Carter

Louis Carter is the author of more than 10 books on best practices in leadership and management, including Change Champion's Field Guide and Best Practices in Talent Management. He is one of the top advisers to C-level executives, helping them transform their organizations into an environment where employees love where they work and want to produce the best results for the company. Carter is the recipient of ELearning! Magazine's Trailblazer Award, HR Tech Conference's Top Products Award, and Leadership Excellence Magazine's Best in Leadership Development for his work as founder and CEO of Best Practice Institute and the creator of the first social anytime 360-degree feedback tool, skillrater.

He received an MA in social and organizational psychology from Columbia University. His newest books are Best Practices in Organization Transformation and Loving Work: How to Create a Most Loved Workplace, to be published in 2017. He has spoken for the prime minister of the United Arab Emirates' HR Lighthouse Initiative, Pentagon and UN officials, and various international conferences on his work and research.

Norma Davila

Norma Davila has dedicated her career to developing others in industries as diverse as banking, technology, pharmaceuticals, retail, utilities, automotive, and education. She is a hands-on consultant in organization development and training, who designs and implements change management and capacity building strategies. She prepares internal organizational capacity for different roles through coaching. Norma provides outplacement support, designs employee handbooks, and challenges operational processes among other services. Her consulting practice also includes leadership development and talent management programs. Norma is certified as a Project Management Professional, and Senior Professional in Human Resources. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology at Yale University and master’s and doctoral degrees in psychology at the University of Chicago.

Kathy Glynn

Kathy Glynn is the owner and principal consultant for Blue Sky Thinking. She is a design thinking facilitator, coach and trainer.  She equips individuals, teams and organizations to find creative ways to solve problems and explore new opportunities. Her consulting approach is rooted in a human-centered methodology designed to uncover insights that result in innovative, actionable solutions. 

Prior to forming Blue Sky Thinking, Kathy was a senior performance consultant for Steelcase Inc. As a performance consultant she designed, developed and implemented human-centered learning solutions for optimal organizational performance and business outcomes.

Kathy is the co-author of ATD’s TD at Work “Design Thinking Meets ADDIE.” She teaches design thinking at Kendall College of Art and Design in Grand Rapids, Michigan, where she resides.

Beverly Kaye

Dr. Beverly Kaye, Founder of Career Systems International, is recognized internationally as one of the most knowledgeable professionals in the areas of career development, employee engagement & retention. She was named a “Legend” by ASTD, a designation given to “pioneers and prophets in the field of workplace learning and performance” work. She has spent years researching corporate strategies for developing, retaining and engaging knowledge workers. Her book, Love 'Em or Lose 'Em: Getting Good People to Stay, co-authored with Sharon Jordan-Evans, has sold over 750,000 copies in 25 languages. Their companion book, Love It, Don't Leave It: 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work suggests that employee engagement is also the responsibility of the individual contributor. Help Them Grow or Watch Them Go: Career Conversations Employees Want, co-authored with Julie Winkle Giulioni, was published in 2012. Her newest book, coming in September 2017 is titled Up Is Not The Only Way: Rethinking Career Mobility.

Kat Koppett

Kat Koppett is the founder and President of Koppett, a consulting and training company specializing in the use of improvisation and storytelling to enhance workplace effectiveness. Koppett has worked with organizations as diverse as Apple, Prezi, GE, Havas Health, the URJ and the Clinton Global Initiative. She is the author of Training to Imagine: Practical Improvisational Theatre Techniques to Enhance Creativity, Teamwork, Leadership, and Learning, considered a seminal work in the field of Applied Improvisation. Kat has taught and spoke at RPI’s Lally School of Business Stanford, UC Berkeley as well as ATD, ISPI, the YPA, NASAGA, AIN and many other organizations with initials. She has given two TEDx talks on the use of improv to enhance non-theatrical performance. Kat Koppett is co-director of the Mopco Improv Theatre and the creator of the full-length musical improv format “Spontaneous Broadway” for which Theatreweek Magazine named her an “Unsung Hero of the Year”.

Sharlyn Lauby

Sharlyn Lauby is the president of ITM Group, South Florida’s premier management training and human resources consulting firm. ITM has implemented programs in organizations spanning a broad range of industries, including airlines, hospitality, cruise lines, education, engineering, real estate, and government agencies.

Sharlyn is an author, writer, speaker, and consultant. She has been named a Top HR Digital Influencer and is best known for her work on HR Bartender, a friendly place to talk about workplace issues. HR Bartender has been recognized as one of the top five blogs read by HR professionals by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Media outlets such as Reuters, the New York Times, ABC News, the Wall Street Journal, and Mashable have sought out her expertise on topics related to human resources and the workplace. Sharlyn is the author of Essential Meeting Blueprints for Managers, Manager Onboarding: 5 Steps for Setting New Leaders Up for Success, and the TD at Work issue “Motivating Employees in the Digital Age.”

Elad Levinson

Elad Levinson is an expert in applying neuroscience and cognitive sciences to leadership effectiveness, and has more than 40 years’ experience in leadership roles in various organizations. He held several senior management positions at Agilent Technologies, ICANN, and Stanford University. Elad is currently a senior adviser at 4128 Associates, and the head instructor for Praxis You’s Thriving on Change. Elad is the creator of Thriving on Change: The Evolving Leader's Toolkit, a great resource for leaders.

Pat McLagan

Pat McLagan’s life and career are all about helping people improve their performance and development. Her book On-the-Level: Performance Communication That Works focused on shared responsibility communication, Change Is Everybody’s Business helped readers learn about their role in change, The Age of Participation: New Governance for the Workplace and the World looked at the systemic issues of participation, and The Shadow Side of Power: Lessons for Leaders looked closely at leaders’ use of power. Her newest book, Unstoppable You: Adopt the New Learning 4.0 Mindset and Change Your Life (ATD Press, 2017), aims to help empower learners in all learning situations. She has received awards for thought leadership, worked all around the world, and served in professional leadership roles. Her focus has been helping people unleash their power and work toward a higher purpose at work and in life.

Rodney Napier

Rod Napier has spent most of his adult life helping organizations and leadership teams increase the quality of their performance, deal with conflict more effectively and, in the process, increase trust. He co-authored the seminal text in the field of group dynamics Groups: Theory and Experience (now in its 7th edition). Along the way, he has authored or co-authored ten other books including Measuring What Matters, and The Courage to Act. In addition to being a popular teacher in Penn’s graduate program of Organizational Dynamics for more than a decade, he has consulted with the likes of Exxon, CBS, Wellesley College, The Army Corps of Engineers, The Sisters of Mercy, and The University of Virginia Medical School. He is a teaching fellow of the Wharton Business School. His passion involves generating creative designs that reduce the identified dysfunctions in teams and organizations.

Michele Nevarez

Michele Nevarez brings over 20 years of HR Leadership and C-Suite experience working for industry leaders in healthcare (St. John’s Medical Center & Banner Health), investigative services, investment management (Janus Capital Group & American Funds), and management consulting (Booz Allen Hamilton). A founding member of Rangjung Yeshe Institute, an international university based in Kathmandu, Nepal, Michele has practiced mindfulness-based and contemplative training for the past 24 years. Michele received a B.A. in Religion from Bryn Mawr College and a Master of Science degree in Positive Organizational Development and Change from the Weatherhead School of Management, Case Western Reserve University.

Harry Paul

Harry Paul has over 30 years in business including running all aspects of a management training and consulting business, including sales, distribution, product development and international operations. He has served as a senior vice president for The Ken Blanchard Companies, where he personally managed the speaking career of Dr. Kenneth Blanchard, co-author of The One Minute Manager. Harry is co-author of six books including the internationally best selling business book FISH! A Proven Way to Boost Morale and Improve Results. FISH! has been on the best seller lists of: The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Business Week, Amazon.com and Publisher’s Weekly and is one of the best selling business books of all time. Harry brings the messages in his books to life in each of his presentations, sharing his message with hundreds of organizations motivating and exciting audiences world wide about going to work and working hard; where their decisions are based on the mission, vision, and values of the organization.

Wanda Piña-Ramírez

Wanda Piña-Ramírez is an enthusiastic advocate of selecting and developing talent for business success, who has held various roles in industries such as hospitality, tourism, telecommunications, restaurants, petrochemicals, retail, waterworks, and government in the continental United States, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico. Wanda is certified as Coach (CCC) from the University of Puerto Rico at Río Piedras, as Practitioner in Neurolinguistic Programming and Applied Kinesiology by the International NLP Trainers Association, and as Human Resources Administrator by the Escuela Avanzada de Administración de Recursos Humanos y Legislación Laboral de Puerto Rico. She serves as advisory board member of the School of Business Administration of the University of Puerto Rico at Bayamón. Wanda received the Training and Development Professional Award of the Puerto Rico Chapter of ATD in 2011.

Eli Sharp

Eli Sharp is a recognized expert in Japanese lean and six sigma methodologies. She analyzes and improves business, manufacturing and transactional processes; helps groups to work more effectively together; teaches and facilitates teams and provides coaching to senior leaders. Integrating process and systems optimization, group and leadership development, Eli provides a holistic strategy to her clients. Eli holds her first Masters in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Exeter, and is a Chartered Mechanical Engineer. She has an MBA, specializing in Operations Management from the University of Plymouth, and also a Masters in Organization Dynamics (Organizational Consulting and Executive Coaching) from the University of Pennsylvania.

Kevin Sheridan

Kevin Sheridan is an internationally recognized keynote speaker, a New York Times bestselling author, and one of the most sought after voices in the world on the topic of employee engagement. He spent 30 years as a high-level human capital management consultant helping some of the world’s largest corporations rebuild a culture that fosters productive engagement, which earned him several distinctive awards and honors. Kevin’s premier creation, PEER, has been consistently recognized as a long-overdue, industry-changing innovation in the field of employee engagement. His book Building a Magnetic Culture made six bestseller lists, including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and USA Today. He also wrote The Virtual Manager, which explores how to more effectively manage remote workers. Kevin received a master of business administration with a concentration in strategy, human resources management, and organizational behavior from Harvard Business School.

Michelle Somerday

Michelle Somerday is an executive coach and leadership development consultant and the founder of Neo-Strategic LLC. She is an experienced speaker and lecturer who has taught at the university graduate level and spoken at international conferences, and she facilitates leadership and workplace skills training with a particular interest in the mindful leader. She spoke at the  ATD 2016 International Conference & EXPO on mindfulness at work, and she has written on mindfulness in the workplace for the ATD Human Capital blog. Michelle is a Certified Leadership Coach through Georgetown University and through the International Coach Federation (ICF). She has practiced mindfulness since 1999 and holds a PhD in materials science and engineering from the University of Virginia. Michelle’s complete bio is available at www.neo-strategic.com.

Michael Stallard

Michael Stallard is the co-founder and president of E Pluribus Partners. He is the author of Fired Up or Burned Out: How to Reignite Your Team’s Passion, Creativity and Productivity and Connection Culture: The Competitive Advantage of Shared Identity, Empathy and Understanding at Work, and a contributor to other books including The ASTD Management Development Handbook. Prior to founding E Pluribus Partners, Michael was Chief Marketing Officer for the private wealth management businesses of Morgan Stanley and Charles Schwab. The programs identified and implemented by the team he assembled and led at Morgan Stanley contributed to doubling the business unit’s revenues over a two-and-a-half year period. Michael’s hold a bachelor’s in marketing from Illinois State University, an M.B.A. from University of Texas Permian Basin, and a J.D. from DePaul University School of Law.

Leigh Stringer

Leigh Stringer is a workplace strategy expert and researcher whose work has been covered by BBC News, The Globe and Mail, Fortune, CNN, and Good Morning America. She works for EYP, an architecture, engineering, and building technology firm. She is the author of two bestselling books, The Green Workplace and The Healthy Workplace. Leigh is currently collaborating with Harvard University’s School of Public Health on a new health and human performance index. She is also working with the Center for Active Design in New York on its Fitwel building certification program to create new tools, connect like minds, and blur boundaries across industries to improve our well-being at work. Leigh is on the board of directors of a new nonprofit, Global Women for Wellbeing, an organization that gives women a voice to create better health and well-being for themselves, their businesses, and their communities.

Katy Tynan

Katy Tynan is an author, speaker, consultant, and coach, and an internationally recognized expert on how work is evolving. In a world where 70 percent of employees are disengaged, Katy helps organizations ditch out-of-date management practices and create an inspiring, engaging culture.

Over her 20-year career in IT and operations consulting, Katy has advised hundreds of organizations on how to find innovative solutions leveraging technology and human capital for competitive advantage. Katy has been part of multiple successful startup exits, including Winphoria Networks (acquired by Motorola in 2003) and Thrive Networks (acquired by Staples in 2007).

Katy is currently managing director of CoreAxis Consulting, a leading talent strategy consulting firm based in Southborough, Massachusetts.

Katy is the author of Survive Your Promotion! The 90 Day Success Plan for New Managers, and the upcoming book How Did I Not See This Coming? A New Manager’s Guide to Avoiding Total Disaster.