Learning & Development SIG

The Learning and Development Special Interest Group mission is Share, Learn, Grow. We are a learning community for training professionals to collaboratively develop their skills. Our goal is to share best practices that improve talent and skills of our learners.

Join L&D specialists and other professionals who want to:


  • Share ideas, knowledge and experiences with designing, developing, training and coaching.
  • Learn about industry trends and best practices.
  • Grow performance improvement personally and within your organization.

SIG Contacts:

Julie Mitchell – juliemitchelle@gmail.com

Amanda Preston – amandapreston@dcccd.edu


SIG Hosts:

Lisa Bevington – drlBevington@gmail.com

Tonya Knox - tknox034@my.amberton.edu

Linda Gasaway – lindagasaway@gmail.com

Vicki Lauter – vicki@strategichumaninsights.com


2 monthly opportunities to connect:

1st Mondays from 6 to 7 at Higher Education campuses

1st Fridays from noon to 1 at Girls Scouts of North Texas.


The Lunch & Learn SIG Celebrates 20 years in 2015!

The Dallas Chapter of ATD would like to acknowledge Mary Anne (Wihbey) Davis, host of the Lunch & Learn Special Interest Group for her two decade contribution to our organization. 

Twenty years ago, Mary Anne created the Lunch & Learn Special Interest Group (SIG). Envisioned as an informal learning community for training professionals to collaboratively develop their basic training skills. The monthly programming continues to fulfill its original mission: Share, Learn and Grow!


The Lunch & Learn SIG is the quintessential for both new to training and experienced trainers looking to expand their knowledge. It focuses on a variety of topics and sessions tend to be interactive. Past topics include: Fundamentals of Instructional Design, Games Trainers Play, Employee Engagement, Securing Audience Buy-In and so many more. 

SIG Team Lead, Kelly McLean, recently interview Mary Anne to learn more about the Lunch & Learn SIGs history. 


Q: The Lunch & Learn SIG is celebrating its 20th anniversary. How did you get started?


Once I joined ATD, I felt it was important to contribute and get involved. I’ll never forget the Executive Director saying, “You can work with a gentleman on his SIG group”. Well, I never met him as he moved away immediately after I signed up. I didn’t know where to begin. Then a long time ATD member, Eileen (Spotts) Cosby, moved to Dallas. We connected at her first chapter meeting and together we planned the SIG group based on some of her experiences in another chapter. We created a curriculum and promoted it within the organization. We laid the foundation for a Training Basics Skill Building SIG where members could truly, “Share, Learn and Grow.”

Q: To what do you credit the SIG’s two decade long success? 

Three things:

  • Commitment from other members who have walked along side me with the programming, facilitation and attendance, especially when I cannot due to travel. Patricia Mejia jumped in for years after Eileen moved. Kelly McLean, Michelle Newhouse, Julie Chance, Kathy Murphy, Bob Livingston and others have owned this SIG as much as I have in recent years.
  • Interaction. We make it clear to our guest “facilitators” that this is not a speaking engagement. That it truly is designed to be interactive and they are to facilitate a topic with discussion. This sets our meetings apart from traditional chapter meetings.
  • Promotion.“If you build it they will come.” Not so! Marketing is key to any successful event. We try to market it using captivating content and titles, thought provoking questions and a short commercial about what participants get from attendance.

Q: How important is Dallas ATD volunteerism to you?

I have always tried to serve my professional associations. I guess you could say it is how I was raised in business. I have received so much from ATD, more than the time I have given; specifically in friendships that are lasting a lifetime. My background was sales when I came to ATD. Mostly everything I learned about training came from members and meetings. My time is the least I can do to pay it forward.

Q: What do you love about the training profession?

People who are hungry to learn. I get as much energy from training an experienced high performing sales professional who comes to a training with an open mind as I do from a front line supervisor who barely speaks English.  My tag line has always been, “Moving Individuals to Action” and people who enter with an open mind always get something from our training. Knowing I make a difference in people’s lives, their business, how they treat others at home or in the workplace is truly what keeps me going. 

Q: What advice would you give to someone starting their career in Training & Development?

The same advice I keep telling myself today. Knowledge is power and now more than ever it is important to keep up with all the trends in training and technology. I am amazed at the variety of training opportunities available by leveraging technology: virtual classroom, webinar, mobile app, on-line quizzes/surveys and so much more. There are so many tools to enhance traditional training. Training is often a first budget cut in an organization, so by leveraging technology, it is possible to keep training relevant during lean times. There are so many ways to keep training alive after what many call, “a training event”. That’s why I think the Software and Technology SIG, which launched in 2013 is so important and relevant.



14070 Proton Rd. - Suite 100
Dallas, TX 75244

Email: info@tddallas.org

Phone: 972-233-9107 ex. 224

Fax: 972-490-4219

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