Archive for February, 2012

Career Building – A New Skill Set – The Start-up of You

February 27, 2012

The Book

I am in the middle of reading a brand new book and I highly recommend everyone grab it and give it a read. The book is called The Start-up of You. It was written by Reid Hoffman, the co-founder and chairman of the professional networking site, LinkedIn. The focus of the book is to teach you how to re-envision your career development. The end result is to think like an entrepreneur, rather than a job-seeker.

A New Skill-Set

Because there is a huge shift in how we need to be building our careers, there is a new skill set we need to develop. For many of us, our career enhancement will no longer be vertical, up the corporate ladder. It will become horizontal, across our network.

The skills needed to bring this reality into your life include:

  • Developing your competitive advantage. This comes from a combination of your assets (what you have going for you RIGHT NOW), your aspirations (your deepest wishes, ideas, goals, and vision of the future), and the market realities (what the market wants or needs…and is willing to pay for).
  • An ABZ plan. Plan A is based on your competitive advantage. Plan B is what you pivot to if Plan A has a problem. Plan Z is your absolute fallback position, should you need to take a step back and regroup.
  • Build real and lasting relationships that create a professional network.
  • Learn how to successfully tap your network for opportunities and expand your knowledge.
  • Learn how to accurately appraise and take on risk to pursue professional opportunities.

A New Article Series

Over a series of articles, I plan to outline these skills and dig a little deeper with them so you can start developing your own professional network and reaping the benefits of doing so.

Start-up of You Web site

If you are interested in this book, their web site is They have a few videos and a blog for you to learn a little more.


Orlando Economy – Bill Clinton & WUCF Discuss UCF Simulation Tech Cluster

February 15, 2012

President Bill Clinton on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” discussing the University of Central Florida and its role in the computer simulation tech cluster in Orlando. WUCF TV’s Metro Center Outlook with guest William Holstein discussing the Orlando/UCF simulation tech cluster. 2011

Orlando Economy – UCF Metro Center Update – Simulation Industry

February 14, 2012

For those of you in Orlando or are interested in what Orlando has to offer, this video will be of interest. This is a show that is created by UCF and they discuss different issues around the city.

This one happens to talk about the local economy and how the simulation industry is helping to build the city up. This industry covers everything from video games at EA Sports (in Maitland) to defense at Lockeed (Sandlake near International Drive) and CAE and others in the middle of Reaserch Park, by the University of Central Florida. The newest growth area in the simulation market is in medical training which is starting to take hold as well, because of the new focus of learning happening at the local colleges.

This video is an interview with Tom Baptiste, the Executive Director for the National Center For Simulation. This is a regional trade association. The National Center for Simulation (NCS) was formed as the link among the defense industry, government, and academia on behalf of the entire simulation, training, and modeling community.

By the way, did you know there were over 180 training and simulation companies here, in Orlando, FL?

To learn more about his organization, here is a link to the National Center for Simulation.

Meet Your Chapter – Mike Reardon

February 14, 2012

 What organization do you work for? What do they do?

Walt Disney Parks and Resorts, Disney institute. DI provides professional development training and benchmarking for clients all over the world.

What is your role in that organization?

I am a Senior Facilitator. I work to build a relationship with clients and gain an understanding of their culture and their specific needs and challenges, then create tailored solutions for them drawing on the entire catalog of Disney Institute content

How did you get to that role? What jobs that led to your current role?

I started with Disney in the Merchandise Line of Business and, after seven years, was looking for a new challenge. I auditioned for the role of Traditions Assistant, welcoming new Cast Members to the organization on their first day of employment. It was in this role that I discovered my passion for Learning and Development. Following Traditions I had the opportunity to join the Operations Learning & Development Team which eventually led to my current role in Disney institute.


Meet Your Chapter – Barry Nadler

February 2, 2012

What organization do you work for? What do they do?

I currently work for FIS. I have been there for about six years. I have actually had three stints with this company in those three years. They are the largest provider of banking and payment technology solutions. They are a mixture of two large companies – Fidelity and Metavante (formerly Kirchman Corporation). They currently serve 14,000 institutions internationally. They are a Fortune 500, Barron’s 500, and on the S&P 500 list.

What is your role in that organization?

I am currently an Instructional Designer for the Community Banking Solutions business unit. This covers two core banking products – Bankway and HORIZON. My role is to develop eLearning courses, assist in supporting our Learning Management System (a customer-facing tool), and help our trainers develop the best training solutions they can – including virtual and traditional classroom training. One of the interesting aspects of my role is that I am what I like to call the “experimenter”.


Meet Your Chapter – Rene Ledford

February 2, 2012

What organization do you work for and what do they do?

 Children’s Home Society of Florida (CHS). It is one of the oldest and largest not-for-profit private organizations with 1900 employees and programs throughout the State of Florida.  CHS’ many services are designed to protect children at risk of abuse, neglect or abandonment; to strengthen and stabilize families; to help young people break the cycle of abuse and neglect; and to find safe, loving homes for children.  These services include case management, counseling, shelter care, adoptions, foster care, early intervention and more.

 What is your role in that organization?

 Director of Curriculum Development and Training.

 I develop e-learning and ILT curricula, oversee all activities associated with the learning management system, facilitate training program and workgroups, develop training plans, and provide consultation and support to our operations and functional teams.  In the last year I have also taken a more active role in quality management and innovations including chairing a state-wide clinical practices workgroup.