Conference Daily

Celebrating the Talent Development Profession

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Monday night, during its invitation-only awards ceremony at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, ATD celebrated individuals and companies that help make the world work better.

Among those recognized were the 2018 Excellence in Practice Award winners—62 awards presented in 16 categories; two ATD One to Watch Award winners, Keith Lillico of Horace Mann Companies and Stacey Young Rivers of Warner Media; ATD Certification Institute Champion Award winner AutoNation; ATD Dissertation Award winner Shinhee Jeong; and Innovation in Talent Development Award winner Tyson Foods.

Also hailed were Champion of Talent Development Award winner Daniel H. Pink and Distinguished Contribution to Talent Development Award winner Karl Kapp, both lifelong learners. The Champion of Talent Development Award is given to an individual from outside the profession in support of talent development; the Distinguished Contribution to Talent Development Award is awarded in recognition of an exceptional contribution that has had a sustained impact on the profession.

Karl Kapp Award Winner ATD2019
Of all the winners, ATD President and CEO Tony Bingham noted that “These winners’ accomplishments advance knowledge in the talent development profession and contribute to increasing workforce capability and organizational competitiveness.”


Pink, a best-selling author of six provocative books, explains that “Learning isn’t passive. It’s not something that’s done to people. It’s something people do for themselves.” Rather than expecting to be taught, he continues, “If you adopt a different mindset—that learning is both critical to surviving in the modern workplace and one of the most exhilarating things human beings do—you’ll find yourself on the right path.”

Daniel Pink ATD2019 Award Winner
Pink has a passion for exploring ideas and is an astute observer of human nature. He recommends taking more risks and being open to fail, rather than settling for mediocrity. He admits to, while in school, being driven by performance goals rather than by learning goals. “The better approach is to focus on learning for learning’s sake,” he notes.

Karl Kapp, an instructional technology graduate professor at Bloomsburg University, consultant, author, and entrepreneur, learns much from his students. For example, early on and well before professionals widely utilized blogging, a student introduced Kapp to the practice. As learning professionals began blogging, Kapp said he saw the value and remembered his student, Waleed Jameel, having explained what blogging was about. Today, “Kapp Notes” consistently appears on lists of the top L&D blogs.

Kapp also gives back to his students, introducing them not only to the profession but to the world, such as bringing them to the ATD International Conference and EXPO. His work in the talent development profession extends around the world. “People really are the same everywhere,” he says. “I find internationally that companies and leaders tend to focus on the human aspects of work rather than just the financial or productivity outcomes … I think that’s refreshing.”

About the Author

The Association for Talent Development (ATD) is a professional membership organization supporting those who develop the knowledge and skills of employees in organizations around the world. The ATD Staff, along with a worldwide network of volunteers work to empower professionals to develop talent in the workplace.

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Congratulations both Karl Kapp and Daniel Pink!
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