Join us at the USDLA Annual Conference for a ‘Must Hear’ Keynote!

By Dean Hoke, Managing Partner Edu Alliance Group – First published in USDLA blog March 13, 2019. In November of 2018 , I was invited to represent the United States Distance Learning Association in which I serve as a member of the Board of Directors, to be a panelist addressing the question “What is the Future? How do You Make it Happen” at Corporate Learning Week Conference held in Orlando, Florida. Rather than just participate in my panel I wanted to take advantage of the conference and listen to the many fine speakers addressing various training issues. One speaker particularly impressed me. At the USDLA Board Meeting when we were discussing potential keynote speakers for the upcoming Annual Conference on May 20-23 being held in Nashville, Tennessee. I recommended Dr. Trish Holliday. Dr. Holliday is the Chief Learning Officer for the state of Tennessee, and she spoke on “Preparing for the Future – How Learning Can Be a Cultural Divider.” What got my attention about Trish was her passion helping professionals reach their greatest potential.

The title of Chief Learning Officer (CLO) is popularly defined as the highest-ranking corporate officer in charge of learning management. The CLO instead of trying to solve individual problems is to take a bigger picture view of their organization. The CLO develops a vision of learning for the entire organization. In 1989 Jack Welch then CEO of General Electric was one of the first major corporations to name a CLO (Steve Kerr). Since then Corporate American has had a number of CLO’s but in higher education, there are very few, and in government there are none.


Dr. Trish Holliday Keynote Speaker USDLA Annual Meeting

That changed in April 2012 when the state of Tennessee set a new priority for learning for its approximately 43,500 employees in the three branches of government by naming Dr. Holliday its first Chief Learning Officer (CLO). She was not only the first person named CLO for the state of Tennessee but the first CLO for any state government. Trish had been a member of state government working in various positions since 2005. She started as a Training Officer for the Human Resources then named in 2010 the Director of Strategic Learning Solutions in 2010 and in 2012 has appointed to her current post as Assistant Commissioner of Human Resources and CLO.

I believe why she was appointed to her post, besides her obvious talent and experience, is Trish brings enthusiasm and passion for training, coaching, and retention. She is a true believer. You can see and hear this when she speaks. Trish has a passion for lifelong learning, and she has been successful in mentoring and coaching many leaders in engagement, goal setting, competency, and strategic development. She puts her heart and soul into educating adults and helping them become the best they can be.

Trish has a Bachelor of Science Degree from Tennessee Tech University, her Masters of Arts from Scarritt Graduate College and her Doctor of Education from Lipscomb University with an Emphasis in Learning Organizations and Strategic Change.

I think attending the USDLA Annual Conference in Nashville May 20-23, 2019 is well worth your time and investment. I will be attending and speaking on Distance Learning International Partnerships. You can additionally learn many new ideas in the field of online learning no matter the industry, get the opportunity to meet new people, network, and while attending. I would also highly encourage to hear Dr. Holliday as she talks about learning.  I was impressed, and I believe you will be as well.

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