2021 Emerging Training Leader Winners

Training magazine announces the 25 winners of its 2021 Emerging Training Leaders Awards.


Lorri Freifeld


Minneapolis (September 17, 2021)Training magazine named the winners of its 2021 Emerging Training Leaders awards, recognizing 25 training professionals who inspired and engaged their organizations with exceptional leadership skills, business acumen, and innovation. The winners have been in the industry for two to 10 years and have demonstrated stellar leadership skills, business savvy, and training instincts.

These professionals will be profiled in the March 2022 issue of Training magazine and online at www.trainingmag.com. They also will be honored at an awards ceremony on March 1, 2022, at Disney World’s Coronado Springs Resort during the Training 2022 Conference & Expo in Orlando, FL.

All Emerging Training Leader candidates had to be nominated by co-workers or industry peers. Training Editorial Advisory Board members and the editor/publisher judged the 65 nominations and chose the 25 winners based on the following factors:

  • Has been in the training industry for a minimum of two years but no more than 10 years
  • Took on at least one new responsibility in the last year
  • Successfully led a large-scale training/learning and development initiative within the last year that required management/leadership of a group of people and resulted in the achievement of a business/business unit goal (with results provided for Kirkpatrick Levels 3 and 4)
  • Demonstrates specific leadership qualities
  • Has the potential to lead the Training or Learning and Development (L&D) function at an organization in the next one to 10 years

In addition, Training created an “Emerging Training Leaders to Watch” list, which features five up-and-coming professionals who didn’t receive an award this year, but who are well on their way to becoming future Emerging Training Leaders.

The judges included:

  • Diane August, Chief Learning Architect, Nationwide
  • Brent Bloom, former VP, Service Central Operations & Training, Applied Materials
  • Douglas Bryant, VP, Training Sonic Automotive
  • Tina Claure, Senior Learning Strategist and Curriculum Manager, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Jessica Edgerton, VP, Operations/Corporate Counsel, Leading Real Estate Companies of the World
  • Daniel J. Goepp, Managing Director, Learning & Development, PwC
  • Vicente Gonzalez, CLO/Director, Enterprise L&D, Lockheed Martin Corporation
  • Jim Harwood, former VP, University of Farmers, Farmers Insurance
  • Glenn Hughes, Senior Director, Learning & Development, KLA Corporation
  • Graham Johnston, Leader, Talent Development Strategy & Innovation, Deloitte LP
  • Bruce I. Jones, former Senior Cast Development and QA Director, Disney Institute
  • Mary Kay LaBrie, Professional Development Specialist, SCC Soft Computer
  • Hanna Lewin, Learning Project Specialist, Americas Learning, EY
  • Meredith Maples, Director, Training, Keller Williams University, Keller Williams Realty, Inc.
  • Maureen Nash, VP, Talent Management & Organizational Development, Capital Blue Cross
  • Michael Orth, Senior Director, KPMG Business School – U.S.
  • Robin Renschen, Director, Learning and Development, McCarthy Building Companies, Inc.
  • Debra Ross, AVP, Learning & Development, BNSF Railway
  • Ross Tartell, Ph.D., former Manager, Learning & Development – North America, GE Capital Real Estate
  • Catherine Rickelman, Manager, IBM Learning
  • Lou Tedrick, Vice President, Global Learning & Development, Verizon
  • Amanda Worrell, Senior Manager, Training and Development, Dollar General Corporation
  • Lorri Freifeld, Editor/Publisher, Training magazine

“The 2021 Emerging Training Leaders orchestrated innovative, results-driven training programs during these continued challenging times characterized by tremendous change and uncertainty,” says Lorri Freifeld, editor/publisher of Trainingmagazine. “They serve as strong role models for their teams, provide direction for their organizations, and help their learners grow and succeed. We salute these dedicated leaders who continue to step up and out of their comfort zone for the good of their organizations and their people.”

Training magazine’s 2021 Emerging Training Leaders are:


Samer Aleem, Global New Hire Experience Curriculum Manager, Booz Allen Hamilton

Jacob Belakonis, Manager, Training, AAA Northeast

Kim Dupont, Manager, Enterprise Learning & Personal Development – Revenue Systems & Services, SCL Health

Ajmal Hussain, People Development, Quality Assurance and Service Culture Transformation, Dialog Axiata PLC

Jennifer Painter, Associate Chief Learning Officer and Vice President, Nursing Professional Development and Education, ChristianaCare


2021 20 WINNERS

Ashley Aptt, Vice President, Learning and Development, 3Q Digital

June Brickwood, Instructional Design Manager, Prime Therapeutics

Bob Clark, Senior Manager, L&D Training Team, AutoNation

Crystal Dukes Clark, Director, Education and Training, RealSource Management

Krysten D’Amato, Manager, Learning & Development, Indeed

Vesela Daskalova, Learning Specialist, PPD

Yvan Francois, Global Training Leader, MD Global Training (Quality), J&J

Megan Humphries, Manager, Learning & Development, Holiday Retirement

Michael Karabacz, Team Lead, Sales Training Leader, United Wholesale Mortgage

Cecilia Luu, Director, Global Education and Enablement, Pure Storage

Kat McBride, Instructional Design Supervisor, Keller Williams Realty International

Devon Metzger McDonald, Talent Development Program Specialist, Transworld Systems Incorporated

Jason McKarge, Vice President, Visualize, Inc.

Dawn Ott, Manager, Learning & Development, Herc Rentals

Katie Partain, Education Manager, Navient

Ralph Remy, Director, Client Digital Experience, National MI

Tara Rhodes, Director, Leadership Development, Leaders@Scale

Charity Santiago, Director, Training, World Travel Holdings

Taylor Stenneche, Sales and Integration Trainer, Medical Solutions

Vince Tripi, Manager, Revenue Cycle Instructional Design, Advocate Aurora Health



Marielle Carroll, Manager, Training, Huntington Learning Centers, Inc.

Mandie Craver, Senior HR Manager, Corporate Learning, State Compensation Insurance Fund

Scott Schreiter, Learning and Development Supervisor – Tech and Systems Team, Medical Solutions

Ashley Wheeler, Director, Training and Education, Coast Professional, Inc.

Morgan Yeargan, Client Solutions Partner, North America, WDHB, Inc.


About Training magazine

Training is a 57-year-old professional development magazine written for training, human resources and business management professionals in all industries that advocate training and workforce development as a business tool. Trainingalso produces world-class conferences, expositions, and digital products that focus on job-related, employer-sponsored training and education in the working world. Training is published by Lakewood Media Group.

Lorri Freifeld
Lorri Freifeld is the editor/publisher of Training magazine. She writes on a number of topics, including talent management, training technology, and leadership development. She spearheads two awards programs: the Training APEX Awards and Emerging Training Leaders. A writer/editor for the last 30 years, she has held editing positions at a variety of publications and holds a Master’s degree in journalism from New York University.