Chapter History

Below you will find an outline of the Chapter's history going back all the way to 1947.


In 1947, a charter was issued to begin the Oregon Chapter of ASTD. Before 1980, our Chapter had about 100 members and held its meetings in Portland. Many members came from Tektronix and the high-tech industry.

In 1979, Dave Morrison as President recruited leaders from outside the high-tech field. He increased diversity and raised the Chapter's sights. We expanded our services and multiplied in size. In 1980, the first "Designing and Implementing Effective Training Programs" series was held and has continued to be a success.

The 1980's

In 1981, the Board, under Pat Hudson's leadership, developed a shared vision, focused on customers, involved the stakeholders, and measured our outcomes. The results were immediate. By 1982, meeting attendance and membership had doubled. Due to such innovations as community consulting, the membership directory, a job referral service, and professional development workshops, our Chapter began receiving several awards from National ASTD each year.

Starting in 1984, the first of three past presidents was elected as a regional officer to consult with National ASTD and develop leaders from other Western chapters.

In 1986, that regional leadership brought 400+ people to the Region VIII Conference. Several leaders who made that event a success include: past Presidents (Dave Morrison, Glen Fahs, Lis Cooper, Rob Russell), President (Steve Hanamura) and future Presidents (Jack Kondrasuk and Tom Fahey).

During that time, Eugene held monthly meetings and planned to become a separate chapter. So, it seemed more appropriate to change our name to the Portland Metropolitan Chapter.

The 1990's

In 1990, President Marsha Willard hired OSU to provide office services. Before this, volunteers had assumed all administrative and financial functions. In 1991, the Oregon Training & Development Association merged with our Chapter. This increased membership to almost 600, started Salem meetings, and expanded services into the mid-Willamette Valley.

Presidents Ed Warnock, Marsha Willard, Paul Oler, Diana Larsen, and Ben Altman kept our Chapter strong, adding a staffed office and resource library. The job hotline, membership directory, newsletter, and program meetings were improved. With its services, the Chapter influenced non-profit, government, and private sectors.

In 1994, with Margaret Jennings’ leadership, we developed a mission statement. In 1995, with the leadership of David Drake, our Chapter was one of the first ASTD chapters to create a web page. David chaired a committee, which later created the successful Visions in Learning Conference.

The 1996 Board, President Katherine Stevens and VP of Finance, Judy Otto, streamlined Chapter finances. We reduced expenses, raised dues, and emphasized fiscal accountability.

In 1997, the Board expanded its horizons to serve all Oregon and southwest Washington, thus becoming the Cascadia Chapter. The Board, with the leadership of Linda Crafts, managed the crisis of two changes in office services vendors in one year.

In early 1998, email and the web site became the key components in how our Chapter communicated with members. Members could now access up-to-date information online anytime. Leading this visionary change was Bonnie McCombs, 1998 Chapter President.

In 1999, Mary Brunette strengthened our financial operations. By slashing expenses, scrutinizing our budget and focusing on generating revenues, Mary positioned our chapter for the new millennium. Mary's emphasis on excellence in chapter management led to our wining all three national awards for local chapters.

Early 2000s

During 2000, Leslie Davis led the chapter in the three key areas of increasing volunteerism, offering excellent programs and maintaining fiscal responsibility. Two new board positions were established: The VP of Volunteers (to recruit and manage volunteers) and the VP of Professional Development (to oversee Adventures in Training, Special Interest Groups and other programs designed to develop professional skills).

Accomplishments during the year 2001 included great programs featuring national speakers (Bob Pike, Stephen Lundin, development of a new SIG (New Trainers), a cutting edge program on eLearning and continued oversight of streamlined operations. President Linda Bergquist finished the year with the Chapter being in great shape financially and poised to continue to meet the needs of its members.

The year 2002 saw the Chapter increase the number of programs, Special Interest Groups and affiliated organizations. New initiatives included programs for senior-level training professionals, marketing and technology. Additional benefits such as Office Depot discounts and web site hosting were provided. All these services were provided within budget and the Chapter continued to operated efficiently and with no drain on financial resources.

2003 was a very busy year with a larger Board than ever and several new initiatives. The most successful was the Senior Initiative, developed in response to the perception that the Chapter catered exclusively to new trainers. Another new project was setting up the CascadiaForum, an online discussion group designed to reach the far corners of our service area. The Chapter also remained solvent and ensured that best practices were used in maintaining accountability. Additionally, the national organization recognized the Chapter by awarding all three national awards for chapter operations, special programs and quality in leadership.

The year 2004 continued the successful work of past boards. Focus areas included several programs geared specifically to the senior level training professional, building more networking time into our programs, renewing contacts with members outside the metro area, promote great cross-utilization with our affiliated groups, and, perhaps, most significant of all, develop and host a regional conference with participants from all over the nation and even Canada!

As 2005 came and went, the chapter grew to its largest active membership ever, becoming the sixth-largest ASTD chapter internationally -- our annual budget even crossed $100,000! Key initiatives like the annual regional conference and the Central Oregon geographic interest group grew, along with consolidation and improvement in operations and administration. Volunteerism hit an all-time high, and new programs and professional development series were highlights.

Late 2000s

2006 and 2007 saw continued growth with over 600 members and increased number of events and programs, including a regional conference and national speakers. In 2007, the chapter celebrated its 60th year of providing services to those in the profession.

In 2008, the chapter developed four focus areas for future goal development. These areas include Business Development, Professional Development, Networking and Giving Back. However, late 2008 hit everyone hard economically and many companies were unable to provide membership for their employees. The Chapter devised ways to streamline but still provide quality programs and services. The next few years would see the Chapter determine to remain fiscally solvent while still offering quality programs, including a Regional Conference, the Transitions SIG, GIGs in Eugene and Vancouver, and monthly programs. We continued to offer free networking events during touch economic times and focused outreach and marketing to underserved communities.

In 2009, the economy hit everyone hard and the Chapter devised ways to streamline but still provide quality programs and services. In 2010, we continued to streamline the board while still offering quality programs, including a Regional Conference, the Transitions SIG, GIGs in Eugene and Vancouver, and monthly programs. We continued to offer free networking events during tough economic times and focused outreach and marketing to underserved communities. In 2011, the chapter's primary focus was on its members and being a more welcoming organization. A volunteer manager was recruited and the volunteer management system took shape.

In 2012, the chapter leadership focused on adding new types of programs like free webinars for members and a special event with Tom Kuhlman. In October, we had our most successful conference ever and already had the 2013 in the works. The chapter is financially stable after a rocky few years. By 2013, the economy had improved and membership was once again at pre-2008 levels. The Chapter focused on outreach to partner organizations and the business community as well as membership and volunteers.

The years 2013 and 2014 saw continued growth with the increasing success of the annual conference and programming, The Chapter continued to enjoy fiscal health. Focus during these years was on programming.

In 2015, the parent association changed their name to Association for Talent Development (ATD). Lots of conversations ensued around the value of the name change and the purpose of the organization.

2016 was a difficult year financially for the chapter. There was a perfect storm of decreased membership, decreased program revenue and costs associated with the rebranding. With the help of past presidents and active volunteers, however, the chapter continued to provide great benefits and services, including virtual member meeting, virtual instructor led training and more.

2017 was a year where the small board continued to offer content-rich programs and our Annual Conference. We formed partnerships with Brandlive and UMU to provide streaming programs and polling software to our members. The board structure was updated to consolidate board responsibility for programs.

In 2018, the chapter continued to maximize virtual platforms with Brandlive and Zoom. The conference continued to be a success.

Past Presidents

2019 Diane Gilmore, Ann Sacks

2018 D.J. Netz, GP Strategies

2017 D.J. Netz, GP Strategies

2016 Grant Axtell, State of Oregon

2015 Susan Van de Water

2014 Pamela Moore, Compass Human Resources

2013 Pamela Moore, Compass Human Resources

2012 Grant Axtell, State of Oregon

2011 Suzanne Bader, Mosaic Consulting

2010 Melinda Laubscher, Standard Insurance

2009 Kelly Orehovec, Aisle 7

2008 Liza Greene, Providence

2007 Theme Grenz, State of Oregon

2006 Sheryl Alstrin, NW Core Collection

2004 Larry Ferguson, Compass Consulting

2003 Dan Vetter, Vetter Solutions

2002 Jim Maddock, PLS

2001 Linda Bergquist, Nationwide Insurance

2000 Leslie Davis

1999 Mary Brunette

1998 Bonnie McCombs, Cumulus Consulting

1997 Linda Crafts, SAIF Corporation

1996 Katherine Stevens, Creative Media

1995 David Drake, Catalyst Communications

1994 Margaret Jennings, The Jennings Company

1993 Ben Altman, City of Wilsonville

1992 Diana Larsen, FutureWorks Consulting

1991 Paul Oler, Sage Development

1990 Marsha Willard, Training Consultant

1989 Ed Warnock, The Cumulus Group / Time Systems

1988 Tom C. Fahey, OKI Semiconductor

1987 Jack Kondrasuk, University of Portland

1986 Steve Hanamura, Hanamura Consulting

1985 Rob Russell, Results with Resources

1984 Lis Cooper, Bonneville Power Administration

1983 Glen Fahs, Portland State University

1982 Sarah Aiken-Kintz, St Vincent Hospital

1981 Pat Hudson, Pacific Power & Light

1980 Peggy Boerger, Pacific Northwest Bell

1979 Dave Morrison, Tektronix

1978 Alvenice Brown, Pacific Northwest Bell

1976 Gary Mahone, Deluxe Check Printers

1975 Cliff Philips, Northwest Natural Gas

1974 Elmer Keith, Freightliner Corporation

1973 Les Jenkins, Omark Industries

1972 Bill Schenk

1959 Dale Johnson, Northwest Natural Gas

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