Kavita Gupta has over 20 years of experience in education and training. She was a former corporate trainer, consultant and adjunct, and has expertise in needs assessment and the design, delivery and management of training programs for universities, the private and public sector. Kavita was actively involved with ATD Global for over a decade and is the original author of A Practical Guide to Needs Assessment (Wiley, 2014 co-published by ASTD). She is also the recipient of the LA chapter Volunteer of the Month and two ATD Global Share Our Success awards. Kavita has worked with over 2,000 professionals and volunteers, served on numerous boards and chaired over 25 committees. She currently chairs the USC Rossier School of Education Online Master’s Learning Design and Technology Advisory Board. Kavita graduated Magna Cum Laude with an MS in Instructional Systems Technology from Indiana University and holds an MA in Sociology from Rajasthan University and a BA in Economics from Delhi University in India.
Chief Financial Officer
Anna Halbur currently works for the Foundation for Affordable Housing (FFAH) as the Controller and head of the accounting department. Anna oversees all accounting activities and financial reporting for the FFAH. Prior to joining FFAH, Anna worked in the auditing and assurance practice for KPMG, a Big Four accounting firm. While working in public accounting, she specialized in real estate, asset management, and not-for-profit clients. Anna is a Certified Public Accountant and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Accounting from Chapman University.
Sara has over 25 years of experience in the Human Resources industry, from recruiting to benefits administration. She currently oversees the design and development of learning programs for the University of Southern California’s Human Resources Administration division. In this pivotal role, she collaborates with program sponsors, stakeholders, and subject-matter experts to create and promote efficiency through innovative and creative solutions. As a Workday HCM expert, she is the go-to person for, and liaison to the HR community throughout the university in matters related to system implementation, configuration, and enhancements. Sara previously served as the Operations Manager for the Community Outreach department of the Los Angeles Unified School District where she oversaw day-to-day operations and also developed training programs for the department’s Community Outreach Organizers. Sara holds a B.S. in Business Management and certifications in Human Resources (PHR, SHRM-CP) and Change Management (PCCP).
Member-At-Large, Director of Communities of Practice
Anupa Naik is a veteran Learning & Development professional with a comprehensive background in a variety of leadership and consulting roles, industries, and Fortune 500 companies such as AIG, L‘Oreal USA, United Airlines, and more. A Chicago native, she earned a Master’s degree in Adult Education from Loyola University Chicago, then moved to New York City where she lived, worked and also served on the Board of ATD New York. Now a new resident of the Southern California area, Anupa is excited to collaborate with the local L&D community, share experiences and explore opportunities to build our collective expertise and grow in our careers.
Mariam is an early career professional with combined experience in HR, talent acquisition, research & analysis, events, marketing and communications. Her experience spans across companies including Fortune 500, startups, and non-profits. Currently she is an HR Specialist at Aramark Uniform Services. Prior to that she was an Associate Partner at Proven Recruiting. Mariam’s professional interests include leadership and talent development, corporate communications, change management, organizational psychology and strategic data analysis. Mariam holds a bachelor's degree in Communication Studies with a double minor in Entrepreneurship and Digital Humanities from UCLA. In her free time, she practices competitive ballroom dancing and gives lessons to students of all ages.
Director of Volunteers
Valerie Quezada has 20 years of experience in the pharmaceutical industry ranging from clinical to commercial manufacturing with a variety of responsibilities. Her current role at Takeda Los Angeles is Instructional System Designer, supporting multiple business units. In this capacity she develops eLearning, designs various curricula, and facilitates training sessions. She recently obtained her M.S. in Instructional Design and Technology from California State College, Fullerton and in addition holds a B.S. in Animal Science from California State Polytechnic, San Luis Obispo. In her spare time, she explores the local trails with her horse Cowgirl.
Director of Workshops & Webinars
Princess Walsh has over a decade of experience in adult education, organizational development, psychology and instructional design. Princess earned a doctorate degree in Organizational Psychology from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University and a master’s degree in clinical psychology from Pepperdine University. As a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) and clinical counselor (LPCC), Princess is the owner of Resonate Growth. At this private practice, she applies behavioral change techniques to promote effective interpersonal reflection and development. Students and clients rave about Princess’ unique blend of integrating mental health techniques with organizational development programs, and you will too.
Nonprofit Trainers and Instructional Designers SIG
Esther Ramirios-Mathews has over 18 years’ experience as a learning strategist. She has worked as a learning and development leader in academia, the franchise industry, healthcare, and the non-profit field. She founded Adult Learning & Workplace Education Group LLC, and helped healthcare clients engage in change management initiatives to comply with the Affordable Care Act requirements and served clients including Manhattan Physicians Group, LAC-USC Medical Center, and Kaiser Permanente. She has helped organizations develop Coaching Academies for Front Line Supervisors, institutionalized Professional Development Systems, and developed SME Training Workgroups. Esther holds a Master’s Degree in Organizational Management and a second Master’s Degree in Education with a specialization in Adult Learning and Curriculum Development.
South Bay GIG
Sue Gabriele is an innovator and consultant in systemic school and workplace renewal. After a twenty-year career as a high school teacher and university instructor, she returned to graduate school seeking answers to problems in public education and urban workplaces. In 2002, she earned her PhD in Human Science: Social and Institutional Change. Over the last twenty years, Dr. Gabriele and associates have been exploring a new super power tool, the “GEMS RoundTable,” excellent for enriching, transforming, and increasing communication in workplaces, schools, and professional societies. She continues writing, working and consulting in her expertise.
SoCal Young Professionals SIG
Michelle Yang is a talent development professional with over 5 years of experience in higher education. She spent the early parts of her career helping to develop college students into their best selves. Michelle now works in the tech industry as a Talent Development Specialist at DISQO, where she supports various People Ops functions such as onboarding, training, and team development. Michelle earned an M.A. in Educational Studies from The Ohio State University and a B.A. in Psychology from California State University, Fullerton. As a leader for the SoCal Young Professionals SIG, Michelle is excited to create inclusive spaces in which young professionals can connect, learn, and thrive together.
SoCal Young Professionals SIG
Nairee Bedikian is an early career learning & talent development professional and story-teller at heart. She currently works at The Walt Disney Company supporting learning, inclusion, and talent development. As a young professional, she is most interested in Learning & Organizational Development across media entertainment and technology industries. Her passion is to drive high value impacts alongside unique learning opportunities for employees at all levels in an organization. She received her master's degree in Organizational Psychology from Alliant International University - Los Angeles and bachelor's degree in Psychology from California State University, Northridge.
Social Media Manager
John Zupancic lives on the edge—the cutting edge of learning modalities and technologies, that is. With over 20 years of experience as an instructional designer, learning strategist, and writer, he knows how to help companies ideate solutions that improve performance. This is thanks to his unique mix of experience and creative thinking. Over the years, John has won numerous awards for his work with Fortune 500 companies. He also owns his own small business, Golden Dog Creative, Inc., which he named after his second passion in life: Golden Retrievers.
Guy Morgenshtern is an Instructional Designer and Facilitator with a background in organizational consulting. He has worked with all types of companies, ranging from high tech start-ups to those in the airline industry. He also enjoys giving lectures and workshops on a variety of topics including career empowerment with mindfulness. Guy discovered ATD when he moved to Los Angeles in 2018 and found a community that inspires passion and creativity in talent development. Volunteering with ATD gives him the opportunity to help others and be involved in activities nurturing the field.
Denise is the ATD-LA Association Manager and has been with the chapter since 2008. She handles the day-to-day operations, reporting, and compliances; and is your contact through email and phone. Her business, More than Just Words, is an association management and virtual assistance company. She also manages the ATD-Orange County Chapter and serves as a bridge for the two chapters.
Grant Skakun is a freelance copyeditor and business writing trainer. He is the founder of Eucrest Writing where he designs and delivers writing training seminars, writes and edits business documents, and coaches professionals on improving their writing performance. He also proofreads resumes, cover letters, and graduate and undergraduate writing. He earned his bachelor’s degree in history at the College of William & Mary. As the ATD-LA office administrator, Grant is responsible for managing email communication, updating website content, and assisting the board of directors with chapter initiatives.