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Tales from the Top: Talent Leader Panel

  • 18 Aug 2020
  • 8:30 AM - 10:00 AM


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Tales from the TOp: Talent Leader Panel

The talent development world has evolved greatly over the last several years, with accelerated change and evolution this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In this session, we'll hear from renown talent leaders on their career journeys, lessons learned along the way, and where they see us going as a field. 

About the Panelists:

Diana Thomas, Executive Coach, Author, and Talent Champions Podcast host

As an executive coach, Diana partners with great people and helps them be better leaders and find more happiness in their lives. As a proven successful executive, Diana brings decades of experience, expertise, and education to her coaching with business executives, teams, and learning/talent leaders to increase their impact; inspire committed followership and engagement; and build diverse teams that pull together to achieve Winning Results.

In addition to coaching, Diana is the host of the Talent Champions podcast, a bi-weekly discussion of issues facing HR and talent development. She is the co-author of the 2018 strategic leadership book, Be More Strategic in Business: How to win through Stronger Leadership and Smarter Decisions.

Diana began her career as a McDonald’s restaurant crew member in 1979 and rose to become Vice President of Training, Learning & Development for McDonald’s USA. In this role, she led all aspects of training and development, including the restaurant training curriculum at Hamburger University, McDonald’s global training center of excellence.

Diana is an editorial advisory board member for Chief Learning Officer magazine, a faculty member for Media Tec’s CLO Accelerator Class, a board member for the National Diversity Council, and a past Advisory Board Member for the American Council on Education. She is a Certified Marshall Goldsmith’s stakeholder Executive & Team Coach and a certified coach with ICF (International Coaching Federation). She holds an MBA, a master’s degree in Human Resources Development and Business Management, and a BA in Education and Economics

Martha Soehren, PhD, Chief Talent Development Officer, Comcast

Martha spent 25 years with the Defense Industry, 13 years as an adjunct professor, and 20 years at Comcast where she served as CTDO her last 15 years. She is the past Chair of the Board of Directors for Women in Cable and Telecommunications (WICT), is on the Board Selection Committee for the Association of Talent Development (ATD), was the 2014 Chair of ATD’s Board, and is a member of ATD’s Chief Talent Development Officer Board. Martha also serves as a Learning and Development expert to the Board of Directors for the Society of Cable Telecommunications Engineers (SCTE) and serves on CTAM’s Educational Foundation Board. She is a Learning Leader with the Elliott Masie Consortium and served as an Executive Champion for Comcast’s Veteran’s Employee Resource Group from inception. WICT recently established the Martha Soehren Women Veterans Fellowship in her honor.

Mary Francone, EdD, Principal, Edward Jones

Mary Francone was named a principal with Edward Jones in 2016 and is responsible for shaping the direction of learning and development for financial advisors, branch office administrators and branch teams.

She joined Edward Jones in 2014, with extensive experience in the financial industry having worked for Kemper Mutual Funds and Goldman Sachs. Francone then spent more than 16 years with the Federal Reserve System: the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, Federal Reserve Board of Governors in Washington, D.C., and the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.

A native of Sherman, Ill., Francone attended the University of Illinois in Urbana- Champaign, where she earned a degree in economics. She also earned a master’s in human resources from Loyola University in Chicago and a master’s and doctorate of education from the University of Pennsylvania.

Moderated by: Mary McNevin, EdD, Director of Talent Management at U.S. Venture, Inc.


8:15 - 8:30 am Log in to Zoom
8:30 - 10:00 am






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Cancellation Policy:  Registrants may cancel and receive a full refund prior to two working days before a program.  Registrants who cancel within the two-day period will be charged.  No-shows will be charged.

Questions?  Contact Cristi Burrill at program@newatd.org. 

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