Board of Directors

MICHELLE KELLY, President

Michelle has been a PACT member since 2014 and is always excited to connect with other members and guests. She is President and CEO of Empowering Performance, Inc. (EPI), which she founded in 2002 with a passion for helping companies develop and retain their most valuable assets: people. Under Michelle’s leadership, EPI is a go-to partner for national and global organizations that believe ongoing learning and development is a key strategic driver in individual, team, and organizational performance. Her vision for her clients, and for PACT, is to make learning fun, focused, and engaging so every learning experience is meaningful.

Michelle and her family make their home on 40 acres just outside the eclectic town of Northfield. She enjoys traveling, gardening, hiking, skiing, and off-leash walks with her dog, Edison. When Minnesota weather keeps her inside, she turns her focus to reading, puzzles, and artistic pursuits with her daughter. Come the holiday season, ask to try her homemade lefse.

Sara Rice, Vice President

To be added.

JANNA DORMAN, PAST President

Janna Dorman is a team leader of instructional designers at Allina Health. The team helps create eLearning, instructor-led, and just-in-time training for the entire organization. 

She loves learning new skills, techniques, and topics, which is probably why she loves learning and development! She is especially interested in content management strategies and writing content for reuse. In her free time, you can find her with her two corgis or at a restaurant, trying new food.

Paula Anderson, Communications Chair

Paula is new to PACT and to the industry. In her role as a Learning Consultant with Allianz Life, she is creating learning modules on an Agile team. Paula is taking advantage of a variety of professional development opportunities that include being OPEX Blue Belt trained and becoming a Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) through the Scrum Alliance, along with the completion of many courses and webinars. She looks forward to getting to know many of you and learning from and with you.

Paula holds a Master of Arts degree in Counseling and Psychotherapy and was formerly a school counselor in a small private school. In her current work she finds volunteer opportunities that connect her with youth and families.

In her free time, she enjoys bicycling, breweries and travel, including visiting her adult daughters in Chicago and La Crosse.

Michelle casper, VICE Communications Chair

Michelle has been a member of PACT since 2017 and decided it was time to give back to this valuable organization by volunteering with the PACT Board. Michelle has a breadth of industry and business experience working in a variety of roles related to adult learning including: instructional design, technical writing, user experience, change management, program management and learning technology strategy. Outside of the office Michelle recharges by spending time in nature and in books, dabbling in music, and attending theater productions.

Karl Noot, Membership Chair

Karl has been a PACT member since 2016 and joined by invitation of a member. He is currently working as an instructional designer for Baxter, Inc. on a team of learning professionals solving learning challenges at medical manufacturing plants worldwide.  He is passionate about increasing learner engagement in his learning solutions and being able to demonstrate learning effectiveness using data.  He holds a Master of Science degree in Psychology from St. Cloud State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Music from Gustavus Adolphus College.  

Anu joshi, vice Membership Chair

Anu has been a PACT member since 2014 and enjoys meeting new people. She has worked in L&D as an Instructional Designer and eLearning Developer for 10+ years. She holds a Master’s degree in Education from Capella University with an emphasis in Training and Performance Improvement. Currently, she is working as Senior Technical Trainer for SPS Commerce, helping to improve performance and develop learning strategies. Her role involves creating an interactive learning experience that drives performance improvement and learning strategy for the audience. Anu values knowledge sharing and giving back to the community, and she cherishes collaboration and teamwork and seeks new experiences and opportunities.

 

Aside from her professional interest, Anu is a mother of two and actively engages in her children’s activities, volunteering, and chaperoning at their school or soccer club. She enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking, doing crafts such as painting and jewelry making with her daughter, watching movies, and spending quality time with her family.

Sarah Driver, Program Chair

Sarah is a newer member of PACT and has experience working in non-profit, education, and corporate settings. After teaching Spanish for 12 years, Sarah is now working as a Learning Experience Facilitator for WEX Health, where she designs and facilitates learning experiences for new employees.

 

Sarah received her BA degrees in Business Management and Spanish Language and Literature from Taylor University in Indiana. She has a Master’s degree in Education from Bethel University, and acquired her Instructional Design certification from the University of Wisconsin, Stout.  

 

Sarah loves to travel, and has spent time living in Mexico, Costa Rica, Spain, and China. In her spare time, she also enjoys singing, baking, yoga, biking, and spending time with friends and family. 

steve semler, Vice Program Chair

Steve Semler is a certified FocalPoint Business & Executive Coach. He blends training, coaching, and Positive Intelligence mental fitness work to help leaders create productive, effective, and humane workplaces. He specializes in turning techies into leaders, helping technical professionals make their people leadership skills as strong as their technical specialties.

Steve is a U.S. Army veteran and an expert in human resources, leadership, management, and technology. With more than 30 years’ experience in leadership development across more than 60 companies, he understands and supports technical leaders with research-supported solutions proven through real-world practice.

He is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin, where he earned a degree in Psychology, Chapman University, where he earned a master’s degree in Human Resource Management & Development, and is a doctoral candidate at the University of Minnesota. He has published academic research on a variety of business topics, as well as six science-fiction and fantasy novels.

Charissa Tjon Affo, Technology Chair

Charissa joined PACT after she relocated to Minneapolis from the Netherlands. She is a Manager Talent Programs and Development at Beckman Coulter Diagnostics and works to facilitate her colleagues’ career development and maximizing the potential of teams.

Charissa is passionate about learning to drive impactful performance. Much of her work links to delivering experiences at scale, using technology and tools as enablers.

She loves experiencing the world through travel, food, new technologies, and connecting with others in her free time.

Luke lasecke, vice Technology Chair

Luke joined the L&D world in 2018 and became a PACT member in 2019. He is the Technology Manager and a Learning Experience Developer at Fredrickson Learning. Luke brings his love of building things into both roles, from setting up a company-wide data infrastructure to developing an interactive and interweaving Storyline course.
 
In his free time, Luke loves spending time outside with his wife and daughter, engaging in complicated board games with his friends, and getting lost in the fantastical worlds of fiction novels and video games.

Mark Cunningham, Treasury Chair

Mark is currently Fredrickson Learning’s project management lead, and has contributed to project management, business development, and sales and marketing functions for small businesses for the last ten years. He believes that empathy is the key to productive partnerships, that maintaining a healthy sense of paranoia is critical to managing work, and that spreadsheets can solve most problems (but understands that those solutions won’t work for everyone).

Mark has a degree in Chemical Engineering from the University of Minnesota, and is happy to have found the Learning & Development industry and the people in it.

Walt Jones, VICE Treasury Chair

Walt has over two decades of experience working on elearning, technical writing, user experience, and accessibility projects for Fredrickson Learning. He has previously served on the PACT board twice in the Treasury roles and before that in the Communications roles. Outside of work, he fills his time with car repair, home improvement, and outdoor activities (the first two seldom by choice).

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