All of ATD comes together to put on the ATD International Conference & EXPO. Meet the team directly responsible for making this event happen. Look for us at ATD21!

Apryl Savino

Apryl Savino

Director, Conferences and Events

Tell us a little bit about your role at ATD.

I serve as the director of conferences and events. I lead a phenomenal team in the creation and execution our conferences.

How are you preparing for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

Oh goodness! 2021 will be a year like no other. We are doing so many new things on-site to minimize touchpoints and deliver a compelling experience in a COVID-19 world, and we are also creating so many opportunities for people to join us from around the globe as part of our Regional and @Home events. Right now I’m focusing on how we want everyone to feel at the conclusion of the event and looking at what steps we need to take to deliver that feeling across all the modalities.

What is your favorite part about working on ATD International Conference & EXPO?

We dream big! When we have a goal, the international conference is the place we bring it to life. Whether that’s big-name keynotes or impactful networking events, we are never afraid to do what it takes to deliver a better experience to our community year after year.

Any behind-the-scenes stories from ATD International Conference & EXPO?

I started with ATD at the end of 2018 to transition the role from Steve Earnest, who had been with ATD for more than 25 years. ATD 2019 in DC was his last and my first ATD International Conference & EXPO. The Walter E. Washington Convention Center was so nice and wanted to celebrate his retirement, so, at his behest, we planned this surprise champagne toast with a cake for the last day of the conference. We had to work out a plan to get Steve out of the office then back to the office at the right time. Except catering rolled everything in an hour early (not ideal for a surprise). We asked them to bring it back closer to the time, which they did, but it was just sitting in the hallway outside of the room. Sure enough, Steve spotted it in the hallway. When it was finally time for us to all celebrate, his only reaction was, “I was wondering why there was a cake in the hallway.”

What are you excited about for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

So many things. We have a tremendous opportunity to reimagine the experience, and we have taken that to heart. I’m excited about our keynotes. I’m excited for Networking Night. I’m excited by some of the cool tech we’re going to deploy to support health and safety initiatives with the building. And the #EventNerd in me is even super excited to think through how we eliminate lines. 

Bridget Dunn

Bridget Dunn

Associate Director, Conference Programming

Tell us a little bit about your role at ATD.

If it’s related to sessions and speakers, you can bet I worked on it. From education sessions to keynotes, I develop the education programming for our attendees. My goal is to create outstanding educational content that will create learning long after the event has ended. I have been with ATD since April 2013.

How are you preparing for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

My work always begins about a year out. I have the privilege of working with a program advisory committee of amazing industry experts—all volunteers—to review and vet all the speaking proposals that are submitted, typically in excess of 1,000 submissions but more depending on the year. This year is no different except that we held our committee meeting via Zoom. I produce an RFP for speaking submissions, manage the committee process and oversee it from proposal submission to delivery on-site at the event. Putting together the massive four-day education session schedule is one of the biggest challenges. I work to find a balance of speaker mix, content tracks, and topics across more than 300 sessions. I am also working on an outstanding keynote lineup.

What is your favorite part about working with ATD International Conference & EXPO?

I love seeing the work we’ve done behind the scenes for more than 12 months come to life in a few short days, both the physical structures (think a bookstore or registration area where there used to be nothing) and “the life” that the event yields; it is both exhausting and exhilarating. I have been doing this type of work for more than 25 years, and it’s just as new and exciting year over year. I also love meeting and working with people from across the globe.

Any behind-the-scenes stories from ATD International Conference & EXPO?

My main role at the event is dealing with speakers and making sure they have what they need to deliver the best content to our attendees—everyone from a new speaker making their first foray on a bigger stage to former astronauts and presidents to rock-star authors and thought-leaders. I have had some hilarious backstage conversations and exchanges as well as some situations that have left me speechless with a few more gray hairs and wrinkles. I have crawled under head tables on stages to troubleshoot tech issues. I’ve run to and from hotels and convention centers to find missing keynotes. I have retrieved a missing cell phone from the green room of one our bigger-named speakers. I once had to escort Arianna Huffington around the Washington Convention Center on foot because she was delayed and the walkway to get her into the general session room was so full of attendees, she would not have survived the mob. When the wind picked up and caused her some distress, I figured I should probably get my resume in order. I’ve been yelled at in elevators by generals and folks that just missed a keynote book signing, but in the end, it’s always a labor of love. If our attendees have a memorable experience from our speakers and sessions, then I’ve done my job.

What are you excited about for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

Getting back together in person! I cannot wait to feel the human energy that only comes from in- person events.

Jennifer Broering

Jennifer Broering

Senior Event Manager

Tell us a little bit about your role at ATD.

As senior event manager, my focus is on the logistics for our large conferences: ATD International Conference & EXPO and TechKnowledge. My responsibilities include space layout, food and beverage, room sets, buildouts and structures, signage, transportation, special events, and community service. I also plan events for our CTDO Next network.

How are you preparing for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

ATD21 has been the ultimate pivot, and this conference will look and feel different from years past. This year, in addition to the usual planning we do to ensure that attendees have a seamless experience, I have been very focused on establishing plans that will ensure attendees’ feel comfortable throughout the event. I have spent countless hours learning and collaborating with other planners to figure out what events look like in this new world. We hope to have thought through every detail by the time we meet in August, but we encourage attendees to speak up if we have missed something. We are all learning through this together and we want to make sure everyone has the best experience while attending ATD 2021!.

What is your favorite part about working on ATD International Conference & EXPO?   

My favorite part is making everything fit. Each year, the conference seems to grow and grow, yet convention centers stay the same size. Internally, I have playfully been awarded the title of “Chief Space Architect” because I love the puzzle of making all the events fit into the building. This year, I have had the (unfortunate) opportunity to rework our 2021 conference three times: a pre-COVID-19 Los Angeles ATD conference, a socially distanced Los Angeles conference, and a Salt Lake City conference. One would think I would grow weary of this, but I love the challenge.

What are you excited about for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

Meeting in person! The expression “You don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone” has certainly had new meaning for me this past year. My love for conference planning and seeing it all come together has never been more evident to me than when it was all taken away. Although this year will be different, I am excited to contribute to this experience and welcome everyone back to a live event. Virtual conferences have had their place, but I truly do not think we can ever replace the impact of live events.

Bianca Clivio

Bianca Clivio

Event Manager

Tell us a little bit about your role at ATD.

I have the pleasure of working alongside the group of incredibly talented and passionate people in the ATD Conferences team on a variety of conferences and events. For the ATD International Conference & EXPO in particular, my top focus is on the experience of our sponsors and exhibitors, as well as our volunteers; these groups are major stakeholders and their success lends greatly to the overall success of the conference!

How are you preparing for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

The months leading up to ATD 2021 will be filled with lots of communication with our sponsors, exhibitors and volunteers regarding their schedules, deliverables and deadlines!

What is your favorite part about working on ATD International Conference & EXPO?

How can I choose just one?! I’ll have to go with fostering so many relationships with so many brilliant people. From our experienced vendor partners, to our notable sponsors, to our determined volunteers, and of course to our attendees who are so eager to learn, my role allows me so many opportunities to connect with others.

Any behind the scenes story from ATD International Conference & EXPO?

This is not so much behind the scenes as it is out in the open for all to see, but I cry (and laugh!) during the closing keynote every year. I chalk it up to a combination of happiness for a successful conference, sadness that the experience is over, and sheer exhaustion after all the long days!  

What are you excited about for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

I think we can all agree that we’re excited about having a live, in-person event! #amiright Personally I am so excited to feel the rush I get being onsite as I watch the blank canvas of the convention center transform into the incredible attendee experience that my team and I have worked so hard on delivering!

Jodi Van Woerkom 

Jodi Van Woerkom 

Event Manager

Tell us a little bit about your role at ATD.

I am an Event Manager at ATD. I am responsible for the event technology including AV, the hybrid event program, and the mobile app/platform.

How are you preparing for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

I am participating in training and education sessions on virtual events, hybrid event programming, and audience engagement.

What is your favorite part about working on ATD International Conference & EXPO?

I enjoy the opportunity to meet new people and share in the excitement of the event!

Any behind the scenes story from ATD International Conference & EXPO?

I had only been an employee at ATD for about two days when I went onsite for ATD International Conference & EXPO. I enjoyed walking around the conference and interacting with attendees. I was even stationed at the Balloon Wall for a while taking attendees' pictures! I had a lot of fun convincing attendees to act silly or pose in different ways to create Instagram-worthy photos.

What are you excited about for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

I am excited to be back in-person and to visit Salt Lake. I've never been there before and I'm excited to go!

Niranjani Chidamber Papavaritis

Niranjani Chidamber Papavaritis

Manager, Conferences Programming

Tell us a little bit about your role at ATD.

I’ve been the project manager for ATD’s Healthcare industry vertical, responsible for content and product developing and working with SMEs, practitioners and trainers to create learning & development resources (such as blogs, webinars, books, and panels). I recently became the Manager for Conferences Programming and I am looking forward in continuing working with Learning & Development professionals through ATD’s conferences and events.

How are you preparing for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

I want this year’s conference to be a robust and enjoyable attendee experience. I’ve been collaborating with SMEs across topic areas to ensure we can showcase their best insights.

What is your favorite part about working on ATD International Conference & EXPO?

Creating an event where L&D worlds can collide is fun! I get to strategize interdepartmentally with my wonderful colleagues here at ATD, as well as with talent development professionals from various industries.

What are you excited about for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

After the wild ride that 2020 was, it will be nice to gather and spend time with folks in-person this year!

Teona McCutchen

Teona McCutchen

Speaker and Conference Programming Specialist

Tell us a little bit about your role at ATD.

I work directly with the speakers for TechKnowledge, ATD International Conference & EXPO, and Core 4.

How are you preparing for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

Creating the speaker center and preparing resources for the speakers.

What is your favorite part about working on ATD International Conference & EXPO?

Traveling and getting to see the speakers in person and see all the work we did come alive.

What are you excited about for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

The hybrid event and what that will look like for attendees.

Joong Kim

Joong Kim

Conferences Specialist

Tell us a little bit about your role at ATD.

First, my role here at ATD is to support my teammates. I support my teammates as needed, but for ATD21, my biggest project is managing the registration process.

How are you preparing for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

Honestly, if 2020 taught me anything, it’s that you can’t fully prepare for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO. I like to take it one day at a time.

What is your favorite part about working on ATD International Conference & EXPO?

It has to be the outcome. Going on-site and seeing everything we’ve worked on flourish gives me a huge sense of accomplishment.

Any behind-the-scenes stories from ATD International Conference & EXPO?

What happens at the conference stays at conference . . . lol.

What are you excited about for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

Literally ALL THE ABOVE. 

Natasha Porter

Natasha Porter

Customer Project Manager

Tell us a little bit about your role at ATD.

I assist with the day-to-day operations in the Customer Care department.

How are you preparing for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

I am preparing for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO by assisting with the on-site registration process.

What is your favorite part about working on ATD International Conference & EXPO?

My favorite part is the people. The attendees, the volunteers, the facilitators, and bureau staff.

What are you excited about for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

I am excited about being around people and having an unforgettable experience.

Jess Hammett

Jess Hammett

Senior Marketing Manager, Conferences & Events

Tell us a little bit about your role at ATD.

I manage the conference marketing team at ATD. My team is responsible for promotion and communications for seven conferences and events each year, including ATD21.

How are you preparing for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

With all of the changes we’ve been through, it’s been a whirlwind of a year. A central part of my work now is finding ways to communicate all of the unique aspects of our events. ATD21 is an event unlike any we’ve done in the past, so I’m focused on making sure that everyone is aware of their options and knows what to expect from this new hybrid conference.

What is your favorite part about working on ATD International Conference & EXPO?

I get to work with a smart, imaginative, fun team and bring a vision to life. There is an incredible feeling that comes along with creating something that brings a lot of joy and inspiration to people.

Any behind the scenes story from ATD International Conference & EXPO?

People attend conferences to form connections. Behind the scenes, it’s the same for us! This event is where a lot of my friendships at ATD really grew. We bonded over waking up at 4am to direct traffic for the keynote sessions, sharing funny stories over a quick meal in the staff lounge, celebrating the end of a successful event while packing up the bookstore together. It’s something you don’t get day to day in the office and I can’t wait to have that experience again – even the 14-hour days!

What are you excited about for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

In my role, I just communicate all of the exciting plans for an event to attendees; the real fun part for me is seeing how the team makes it happen onsite. We have so much planned for ATD21 and I can’t wait to see it come together in person in August!

Adely Gomez

Adely Gomez

Senior Marketing Specialist, Conferences and Events

Tell us a little bit about your role at ATD.

I work on everything related to marketing for our conferences and events as well as transforming the information for events ready for the public, which includes emails, website content, social media content, and more.

How are you preparing for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

It’s all about planning and thinking ahead for all the possibilities. With the changes to ATD21, it has been hectic, to say the least, ensuring that everything gets covered and is presented in an easy way. It is a new challenge that I’m enjoying working through.

What is your favorite part about working on ATD International Conference & EXPO?

I’m a visual person and want to present that in each project I work on. After multiple changes and going back and forth with graphics, colors, and layouts, seeing the results is so rewarding. Then working on the next piece, I am always trying to do something different than the last one.

What are you excited about for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

I started at ATD just two weeks before ATD 2019 International Conference & EXPO in Washington, DC, and it was so much more than I expected. I loved the atmosphere of the conference and even got to know some of the attendees throughout those few days. I’m excited to experience that again and have that translated in all three ways of attending ATD21.

Sabrina Armorer

Sabrina Armorer

Coordinator, ATD Global

Tell us a little bit about your role at ATD.

My role as a coordinator consists of managing delegation groups, providing customer service, and supporting regional managers.

How are you preparing for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

I support delegation leaders and register international attendees.

What is your favorite part about working on ATD International Conference & EXPO?

The amount of engagement between ATD and conference attendees. The team effort.

Any behind-the-scenes stories from ATD International Conference & EXPO?

I wish! I just completed my first full year with ATD.

What are you excited about for ATD 2021 International Conference & EXPO?

I am excited to see the number of individuals who registered and are committed to learning and advancing within their professions.

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