This month’s Member Spotlight features ALITA BLUFORD, Learning & Development Specialist, North American Bancard
by Guest Author & ATD Detroit Member, Joan Allesee
I recently had a chat with Alita Bluford at North American Bancard in Troy, MI. There’s so much to tell about Alita whose work as the Learning and Development Specialist touches over 1,000 employees across the U.S. and Canada. Here are some of the things I found out about this passionate life-long learner:
How did a dental hygienist become an L & D specialist?
“I am a Master of Development…of myself!” Alita explained. She has re-engineered her career five times. It started with her Bachelor of Science degree in Dental Hygiene from the University of Michigan. The first few years of her dental career were spent exploring the dental field including: dental software sales, clinic manager and then operations manager of multiple clinics. From this experience, Alita created her consulting company where she provided organizational development and training services. Next, she moved into a position at Comerica Bank where she managed a communications and software training group.
What’s your work like now?
Today, she teaches soft skills, provides coaching, develops people and provides internal consulting throughout the organization. No two days are alike and she loves the variety in her work. If you’re a new employee, Alita will take you through the orientation program. If you need help with the HRIS system, go see Alita. If you’re new to the industry, Alita’s got you covered with a training program for that too. And, if you want to know anything about training, she’s busy managing the LMS system. When she’s not developing training or initiating culture for new employees, she’s working on her master’s program through Eastern Michigan University. This December she will complete her Masters of Science of Human Resources in Organizational Development. And, recently, she became certified as a Speed of Trust Facilitator through Franklin Covey.
What are you doing in grad school?
“I’m finishing my last class then I start my thesis work.” Alita’s thesis is on multi-generations in the workplace, baby boomer to millennials, and the consequences of communication issues.
After helping everyone else to be the best they can be all day, how do you recharge your batteries?
“I like to garden. I also play the piano and accordion.” Turns out, Alita won the title of 1974 Classical State Champion accordion player. Other hobbies include knitting and reading.
How did you become interested in ATD and how does it benefit you?
“My association with SHRM led me to ATD”. She’s been an ATD Detroit member since 2011, and indicates that the educational content helps fill her life-long learner needs. And, she likes the people in the organization.
Click here to listen to Alita’s thoughts about some of the challenges we will face as learning experts in the near future.
Find Alita at our next ATD Detroit meeting to learn more about her work or click here to connect with her on LinkedIn.