Our Team

Board of Directors


A strategic and accomplished talent development leader with extensive experience in creating global workforce development strategies, Brandon Carson currently leads global and domestic learning programs at Starbucks. He is a popular speaker, delivering a wide variety of engaging presentations and workshops at industry events.

Brandon has been honored with several industry awards, including the ATD BEST Award, the Learning Guild People's Choice Award, and three Brandon Hall Awards for Best Custom Learning Design. Brandon is the author of Learning In The Age of Immediacy: Five Factors For How We Connect, Communicate, and Get Work Done and L&D's Playbook for the Digital Age, both from ATD Press. He has also served on the board of the North American Simulation and Gaming Association (NASAGA) and the ATD TK conference committee.

Learn more about Brandon at his website.

Founding Director, Marketing Lead

Dawn Baron founded Passion Profits Consulting in 2008 to focus on helping businesses and learning professionals alike find solutions to overcoming obstacles in the corporate learning space. She is a strategic and creative problem solver, marketer, facilitator and speaker with a special interest in working with companies and organizations to focus on Talent, Learning, Wellness, and D&I strategies. Before starting her own consultancy, Dawn served as the Vice President of Marketing for the Association for Talent Development (ATD). Today, she focuses on elevating the messaging for learning opportunities, strategies and technologies to support a future workforce that is appreciative of diversity, efficiently includes learning for continuous skill development, and balances the needs of people with the needs of the business.

Dawn has Master degrees in Business with a focus on Organizational Development and a Public Management with a focus on Social Policy from the University of Maryland.


Debbie Richards, president of Creative Interactive Ideas, supports talent development clients with technology challenges. She updates her job knowledge by researching new technologies and software products; participating in educational opportunities (such as speaking at learning conferences and webinars); and participating in professional organizations.

Passionate about working with and mentoring other learning professionals, Debbie is the past president of the ATD Houston chapter and a past National Advisor for Chapters. She was the ATD Technology Conference Advisory Council chairperson for 2019. Debbie is the author of “Seeing the Possibilities With Augmented Reality,” an ATD TD at Work publication.

She was also awarded the title of "Guild Master" by the Learning Guild in 2022. The purpose of the Guild Master Award is to recognize those members who have consistently contributed to the community in terms of both quantity and quality of content—and thus helped make the community a vibrant center for learning.

Founding Director

Kimo Kippen is a native of Hawaii, and currently alternates between Warsaw, Poland and Honolulu. Kimo is a thought leader, speaker, and advocate for learning, a former executive at Hilton and Marriott, and was recognized by CLO Magazine as the 2015 CLO of the Year. He's a former chairman of ATD (2007), chairman of APIA Scholars, and a board member for the Center for Talent Reporting (CTR) and CTDO Next.

Kimo serves as advisory board member at CAEL, CLO advisor at the Defense Acquisition University, Advisory Board member for Strategic Education Inc. (SEI), Gnowbe, Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), World Institute for Action Learning (WIAL), and GP Strategies. He is a Program Director for The Conference Board Talent & Organizational Development Executive Council, USA and the Learning & Development Council, Europe. He is also an adjunct professor/advisor at Catholic University of America (CUA), George Mason University (GMU).

Kimo has an MS from RIT, a BS from the University of Hawai’i, and is a graduate of the Gestalt Institute of Cleveland's Post Graduate Program.

Founding Director

Over the last 20 years, Michelle Lentz has become a recognized leader in learning strategy within the corporate space and has frequently presented at industry events. Michelle is currently a Learning and AI Strategist at ELB Learning.  She  previously modernized the training strategy for UPS global call centers and led the HR Custom Learning team for Oracle. Michelle ran Write Technology consulting focusing on technical writing and instructional design, and helped create and launch the original Lectora development tool at Trivantis. She holds certifications in Synchronous Training, Integrated Talent Management, Hogan Assessments, 360 Feedback, and is pursuing her ICF coaching certification. Michelle has contributed to several books, including ATD Press’s Ready, Set, Curate: 8 Learning Experts Tell You How and L&D's Playbook for the Digital Age

Michelle happens to be a certified sommelier and currently lives in Seattle, WA, with her nutty dachshund, Ringo.

Founding Director

Penny leads the learning design and development team for Meta’s Global Sales Learning. Prior to Meta, Penny was at NetApp where her charter was to implement agile learning design methodologies and transform the design and development process by integrating dynamic, next generation learning methods. The breadth of her talent development work focuses on the intersection of strategy, leadership and culture, and organizational transformation.

Penny joined the L&D Cares team to advocate for the individuals that make up our profession and to help build capability in others to assist them in achieving their career goals.

Founding Director

Tina Bjork has previously led Global Learning for IT and Integrated Services at The Coca-Cola Company, Learning Experience Design at Wayfair,  created a guidebook for Upskilling and reskilling at scale with i4cp, and is currently leading learning and performance strategy at Edward Jones. She is focused on defining and building the people capabilities needed to help organizations execute their ever-evolving strategies.

Tina has been leading, designing, deploying and measuring learning solutions for the last 16+ years, and has led the transformation of onboarding and continuous development programs for numerous functional areas. 

Having recently relocated from Atlanta, Georgia, to Southern California, Tina is now a member of the ATD Orange County chapter. She is Luma Design Thinking Practitioner Certified, and highly skilled in integrating human-centered design throughout the learning process to creatively and collaboratively discover new ways to engage the modern learner.

Tina has a Master of Education with a focus on Instructional Technology, from the University of South Florida.