Panel Discussion: Transitioning into Learning and Development (Leslie Early, Katie Caffrey, Heidi Gordon and MARY TEXER)

Join Heidi Gordon, Katie Caffrey and Leslie Early as they discuss their transitions into Learning and Development from other fields. Mary Texer will guide a conversation that will include transferable traits and skills, strategies for a successful transition and each panelist’s own path into a rewarding career in Learning and Development.

Intended Audience: Anyone interested in learning more about transitioning into learning and development from other career fields.

About the Presenters:

Leslie Early, Instructional Designer & E-Learning Developer at Fredrickson Learning

I’m an instructional designer focused on developing engaging digital content that incorporates the best of storytelling, graphic design, and adult learning theory. Currently, I’m also the host of the That’s Awesome ID! podcast. In my past life, I taught ESL and elementary education for 10+ years. Lessons I learned there include the value of project-based learning, and how to make lessons rewarding, self-directed, and fun.

Leslie Early


Heidi Gordon is currently an Instructional Designer for Children Story Time, a start-up ed-tech company. Heidi has a degree in Music Education and a background in teaching and management. She has led the professional development programs for large and small organizations; updating onboarding, compliance, and upskilling training. 

Heidi Gordon


Katie Caffrey is a second-time member of the PACT board, having served previously as the Vice Membership Chair and Communications Chair. She currently works as an Instructional Designer for RSM US LLP.

Katie received her BA in Psychology from St. Olaf College and her graduate certificate in Instructional Design from the University of Wisconsin-Stout. She began her post-college career as a teacher, working in the field of international education in France, Chicago, and most recently Saint Louis Park. Katie is also a member of the Junior League of Minneapolis and the Minnesota Pocket Pet Rescue, where she volunteers on a regular basis.

Katie Caffrey

Mary Texer is a strategic and results-oriented organizational leader dedicated to the development of a strong, future-focused organization and workforce. While concentrating on learning and development, she has significant experience in organizational communications, change management, technical training and professional development.

Mary has managed teams from 3 to 17 both co-located and across multiple states. She has led teams in manufacturing, banking, insurance, retail, healthcare, IT consulting, academic assessment and higher education.

Mary has been an active PACT member since 1983.

Mary Texer


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