Jody Gardei, APTD

I have a passion for maximizing potential in people and solving real problems.

My Journey

My career path has been one of discovery. Long before uncovering my passion for training and development, I enlisted in the military. The ASVAB score reported that I have strong mechanical skills, yet I chose a different path. Low and behold, several years into my enlistment, the Air Force added computer technician skills to my career field and my responsibilities. Training was provided to become A+ certified through CompTIA. After being honorably discharged I used this certification to continue working as a computer technician.

As a computer technician, I found myself training people on how to use technology to achieve their goals. Helping people learn and grow became my passion and it drove me to continue my education and earn a Master's in Career and Technical Education. This degree and my experience with technology training opened the door to a career in training and development.

My Strengths

After taking the StrengthsFinder 2.0 assessment, I learned a few things about my talents and what drives me. My top five strengths are Ideation, Arranger, Maximizer, Relator, and Futuristic.

Taking a deep dive into a problem and mapping out where the issues lie (Relator, Arranger), then making recommendations to help solve the problem (Ideation, Maximizer) is key to being a problem solver. And, when training is the solution, designing a training solution (Ideation, Arranger), developing it into a deliverable product (Arranger, Ideation), delivering that product (Relator, Maximizer), and evaluating its effectiveness (Maximizer, Futuristic) is the icing on the cake. It's Plan, Do, Check, Act (PDCA) in action!

Furthering My Education

Staying informed and engaged in the training and development community is important to me. In 2014, I joined the Association for Talent Development (ATD) because I feel it is important to stay informed of the latest trends and research in talent development and it feeds my strengths of Ideation, Relator, Maximizer, and Futuristic. I became a VP of Technology for the West Michigan ATD chapter in January 2021. I earned the APTD (Associate Professional in Talent Development) certification in 2019. I also play a leading role in the Michigan Universities HR Organizational Development Round Table group.