The ATD TalentNext speakers are at the forefront of the industry. They are the trailblazers 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.


Michael Burns

Michael Burns is a partner at Koppett and 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.

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. Kat 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. She has taught and spoken at RPI’s Lally School of Business Stanford and 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 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.”

Jenn Labin

Jenn Labin is the owner of TERP Associates, a team that seeks to grow talent and ignite potential. For 15 years, Jenn has had success working with a wide spectrum of organizations, including large private sector businesses, government and military operations, and higher education institutions. Jenn is the author of Real World Training Design, a visual quick guide for creating exceptional results within tight budgets and timelines. Her second book on mentoring is expected in 2016. Jenn co-authored a chapter in the ASTD Handbook, 2nd edition, and has been published in the Pfeiffer Annual: Consulting journal three times. Jenn’s work can also be found in 101 Ways to Make Training Active, How to Write Terrific Training Materials, and the ASTD Trainer’s Toolkit app. Jenn has a BA from the University of Maryland Baltimore County in digital art, and an MA in instructional systems design

Shavon Lindley

Shavon Lindley co-founded Women Evolution in 2012 after a difficult and frustrating search to find her own female mentor. After years of sacrificing her health and happiness at the altar of success, she knew she needed to take control of her own career. Connecting with a female mentor who could relate to her career and personal aspirations, offer candid advice, and act as a sounding board was exactly what she needed. Today, Shavon is a nationally recognized career and mentorship expert specializing in the advancement of women in typically male-dominated fields and the founder and CEO of Mentoring Method. Shavon grew up in Tulsa, Oklahoma and received a BS in mathematics from the University of Texas at Austin. She is an avid music lover with a ridiculously loud laugh, and you can always find her at Coachella Music Festival. Currently, she lives in Del Mar, California with her husband, daughter, and two rescue dogs.

Patrick Malone

Patrick Malone is the director of Key Executive Leadership Programs in the School of Public Affairs, Department of Public Administration and Policy, at American University. He is a frequent guest lecturer on leadership and organizational dynamics in state and federal agencies, professional associations, and universities, including the Fulbright Scholars Program and the Visiting Scholars program at Yale. He has extensive experience working with federal sector leaders both domestically and internationally. His research and teaching interests include public service motivation, adult learning theory, leadership, ethics, and organizational behavior. He is one of few researchers in the country certified to score the Subject/Object qualitative research methodology developed at Harvard University. Patrick is a retired Navy Captain, having spent 22 years in the Medical Service Corps. While in the Navy, he served in a number of senior leadership and policy roles, including as a professor at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, academic director, and dean of academics for Navy Medicine. His most recent publications include “Thinking Up,” “Selfies in the Workplace: Narcissists and the Public Manager,” “Go Ahead, Laugh—Why Humor Makes for a Better Workplace,” and “VulnerABILITY—Can Managers Benefit from Extreme Exposure?” His TED Talk, “Thinking About Time,” is available online and his co-edited book, The Handbook of Federal Leadership and Administration, was published in November 2016.

Lou Russell

Lou Russell is president and CEO of Russell Martin & Associates. She is the author of the ATD Press books Project Management for Trainers, Leadership Training and 10 Steps to Successful Project Management, among other titles. In addition to her many books, she contributes frequently to Computer World, Cutter Executive Reports, and Network World, among others, and publishes Learning Flash, an electronic newsletter. Lou speaks at several national and international conferences, such as the Project Management Institute, Project World, and LotuSphere. She holds a bachelor's degree in computer science from Purdue University, where she taught database and programming classes, and a master's degree in instructional technology from Indiana University.