We are thrilled to welcome Jessica Dulle, Account Executive, to CARA!

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The CARA Group is pleased to announce the hiring of Jessica Dulle to the position of Account Executive. Jessica reports to CARA’s Vice President of Sales and Solutions, Mike Mazur.

“I’m thrilled to have Jessica as part of our team! Her ability to build relationships with her clients to truly understand their business needs and strategic initiatives sets her apart from others in the industry. She has a great reputation for building trust and a commitment to developing solutions and is highly collaborative as she does so!” said Vice President of Sales and Solutions, Mike Mazur.

Jessica Dulle is a business advisor and strategic thinker with expertise in crafting project solutions to solve talent/skill gaps. As an Account Executive at The CARA Group Inc., she is committed to working with our clients to understand their business challenges and to partnering with them to build the perfect human performance solution that helps them to accomplish their goals.

Prior to joining CARA, Jessica spent over 20 years at Accenture and Experis working extensively with organizations across industries from the Fortune 500 to startups. Her Accenture experience spans the program lifecycle, including time spent supporting clients in various roles on Enterprise wide SAP Implementations, leading HR and Subcontractor Management for a large scale government program, and running Transition and Transformation for US Contractor Procurement within Accenture’s internal procurement organization. While at Experis (formerly COMSYS), she worked primarily in the IT vertical to build project and talent solutions in areas including Development Solutions, Infrastructure Services, Business Intelligence and Analytics, and Content Management.

She holds BA in Economics from Vanderbilt University and is a past recipient of several performance based awards including ‘COMSYS’ Rookie of the Year’ 2007 and ‘Experis 20’ 2016. Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.

We’re thrilled to welcome Deanna Claerhout, Senior Learning Strategist and Engagement Manager, to CARA!

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The CARA Group is pleased to announce the hiring of Deanna Claerhout to the position of Senior Learning Strategist and Engagement Manager effective June, 2019. Deanna reports to CARA’s Vice President of Talent Management, Allyson Carter. In this role, she is responsible for designing and scoping learning solutions, staffing projects, and managing engagements to a successful end.

“We are continuing to build a strong team at The CARA Group. Deanna brings a breadth of experience and an innovative approach to designing learning solutions to enable business success. She is also known for being a coach and mentor to others in the learning and development field elevating individual’s contribution and impact. I’m excited to be able to ideate with someone as talented as Deanna as we help solve tough performance challenges for our clients.” said Vice President of Talent Management, Allyson Carter.

Deanna is passionate about the learning & development field and designing custom learning solutions that have business impact.

She has over 15 years’ experience in the field, and comes to CARA with a broad learning background. She has experience in learning architecture, design, development, needs analysis, project and program management, consulting, and coaching. She has created enterprise-wide learning programs as well as programs designed for individual business units and specific roles. Throughout her career, she has ideated and developed several custom learning interventions, including onboarding programs, sales enablement programs, certification programs, micro-learning curriculums, simulations, and more, all of which were aimed at improving business outcomes and performance.

Most recently, she held learning roles in the startup tech world, working with companies in Chicago; Silicon Valley; and Vancouver, Canada.

Deanna has an MA in Training & Development from Roosevelt University and has achieved the respected Certified Professional in Learning & Performance (CPLP) certification from ATD.

Deanna serves her community by participating on the Association for Talent Development – Chicagoland Chapter (ATDChi) Board as Manager of Events.

Announcing our 2019 Q1 PURE Award Winners!

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We are pleased to announce our 2019 first quarter winners of the PURE Service Award! The following CARA consultants are the recipients of the PURE award.

Paul Chironna is a program management professional, senior learning consultant, and learning operations manager with over twenty years of business experience. Paul is a two-time PURE Winner and has worked with CARA on multiple engagements. On his most recent project, he has spent a little over one year at a multinational professional services organization. While on this engagement, Paul worked as a program and project manager. He partnered with L&D and business leaders to define a program approach and plan for learning components related to among other things, increasing sales. Additionally, he is managing a team of consultants assigned to multiple workstreams.

Paul’s recent Project Manager shared the following comments:

“Paul has been instrumental in critically analyzing our stakeholder’s business goals and aligning our L&D strategy to best achieve those goal. Paul is extremely skilled at managing the team processes and products. He has put in place effective processes to ensure high quality deliverables that meet both learner and stakeholder needs. One of the things we admire about Paul is his ability to remain unflappable in the face of an ever-changing array of opinions, sponsors, stakeholders, SMSs, and L&D staff. He continues to flex accordingly and adjusts to the needs of the business without missing a beat! Paul is a model of professionalism on the team. He has been a true consultant and partner with us.”

Dara Moore is Dara Moore is a Learning and Development professional with over eighteen years of business experience. Dara has extensive experience in fostering learning, setting learning strategy, and impacting organizational productivity and growth. She has worked with CARA on several engagements, her most recent project being with a multinational professional services organization. During her time with CARA, Dara worked as a part of the Solutions L&D team. She employed detailed analysis methodologies leveraging highly-effective stakeholder management and collaboration, as well as conducted in-depth content assessment and synthesis as inputs to developing multiple micro learning solutions that she too developed. Dara fosters strong relationships, quickly assesses the clients’ needs, and provides quick wins.

Dara’s recent Project Manager shared the following comments:

“Dara is doing great! I am so impressed with her skill set and she is wonderful to work with!”

“Dara Moore is doing an exceptional job for the Phoenix team. I am thrilled to have her on our team! She is a rock star!”

Colleen Roop is Colleen Roop is a Learning and Performance professional with over thirty years of business experience. Colleen is a seasoned consultant with the ability to assess business and performance requirements, design, develop and customize solutions for diverse groups, geographies, industries, business units, and staff levels, as well as develop and refine work processes to deliver quality products and procedures. She has worked with CARA for about four years at a multinational professional services. During her time with CARA, she worked as a Program/Project Lead and Lead Designer. She led the re-design and building of a new curriculum, worked with procurement to manage faculty requirements, and worked with leaders to create global workshops. Her ability to build relationships, manage large-scale programs, and lead global teams has enabled the growth capabilities of several programs for her client.

Colleen’s recent Project Manager shared the following comments:

“Colleen was the key lead driving all of our program activities from design to implementation. She has demonstrated strong commitment and resolve. During her time on the program she established a wide network across stakeholders, subject matter experts and course faculty that has been invaluable to the success of the program. She also has an eye toward ensuring everyone’s best interests were kept at the forefront. Her blend of program management expertise and learning development expertise has added tremendous value to the program.”

Emma King is Emma King is a Learning and Development professional with over seventeen years of business experience. Emma is an innovative thought partner, project management business consultant, and mentor. Her views on the status and future of technology-based learning has been published in several magazines, she has taught at conferences, and delivered several webinars. Emma is a two-time PURE Award winner. She has worked with CARA on several engagements. During her time with CARA, she developed effective engagement practices for video and learning content, designed and developed cutting-edge content and innovative gamification strategies, and has worked with clients on choosing the best set of technologies for their needs.

Emma’s recent Project Manager shared the following comments:

“Emma represents PURE in every way as a consultant. She is always a professional and builds credibility and demonstrates a trusted partnership every time with her client. She displays grace under fire, the most recent project had really tight deadlines. She was responsible for creating documentation to support a system that was being built as she created the materials. She exceeded expectations and worked in an agile manner to create scripts, record audio and manage another consultant without missing any deadlines.”

Jim Heininger is Jim Heininger is an organizational change management and strategic communications professional with more than twenty-five years of business experience. Jim is able to coach executives through change requirements of business transformation while designing and executing “best practices” based change management solutions tailored to each client’s unique culture and environment. He has worked with CARA for about four years for a national banking client. During his time with CARA, he has served as the change management lead on three high-profile projects where he was responsible for all people impact work streams. He ensured that the projects were successfully launched with stakeholders prepared, and delivered against business expectations.

Jim’s recent Project Manager shared the following comments:

“There is no way that we would’ve been able to get to end of job without all of your efforts. The countless hours you put into ensuring that all tasks were on track and completed were greatly appreciated. You were a tremendous asset to the project team and went above and beyond all of my expectations”.

THANK YOU Paul, Dara, Colleen, Emma, and Jim for consistently demonstrating CARA’s PURE values, delivering the highest quality of service and exceeding our clients’ expectations.

CARA’s PURE Service Program provides a unique way to measure success and evaluate how well our consultants’ service delivery meets our clients’ needs. CARA’s service delivery process is based on the PURE service philosophy and consultants are reviewed quarterly based on how well they demonstrate our PURE values: Professionalism, Understanding, Responsibility and Excellence. CARA’s consultants are nominated based on client feedback, PURE evaluations, and team interaction with the consultants. After careful consideration of each candidate, CARA selects the PURE award recipients. The PURE award program is the foundation of CARA’s culture, aligning us with our clients’ and consultants’ values in service excellence.

We’re thrilled to welcome Allyson Carter, VP of Talent Management, to CARA!

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The CARA Group is pleased to announce the hiring of Allyson Carter to the position of Vice President of Talent Management, effective April, 2019. Allyson reports to CARA’s President and CEO, Michelle Reid-Powell. In this role, she is responsible for ensuring CARA consultants and employees achieve their full potential and deliver innovative human-centered solutions to their Fortune 500 clients.

“CARA is committed to building the workforce of the future, and that starts with the CARA team. I am beyond thrilled that Allyson is leading our Talent Management efforts. She possesses a rare combination of leadership capability, functional expertise, future focus, creativity, and most of all heart. She is exactly the woman we need to take our firm to the next level.” said CARA’s President and CEO, Michelle Reid-Powell.

Allyson is passionate about powering performance and careers through innovative talent solutions. Her career has enabled her to lead and create learning, development, talent management and education strategies for companies large and small, for profit and not for profit.

Prior to joining CARA as a member of the Senior Leadership team, she was the Vice President of Learning & Development for Cooper’s Hawk Winery & Restaurants where she was responsible for development of the leadership pipeline through a period of rapid growth. As a learning leader at McDonald’s Corporation for 15 years she set the vision and enabled the creation of learning and performance solutions for millions of crew and managers leading the US Training, Learning and Development team to earn the distinction as a CLO LearningElite and a Training Magazine Top 125 (#2) organization. She developed global leadership programs for Lions Clubs International and onboarding, management development and guest service programs for hospitality companies in Florida and Illinois.

She is a past recipient of the prestigious McDonald’s President’s Award. Allyson holds a M.A. degree in Human Resource Development and Administration from Barry University, and a B.S. degree in Hotel Administration from the University of New Hampshire.

Allyson serves as a mentor for Women Unlimited and a judge for the CLO LearningElite.

When not learning and developing others she enjoys spending time with her husband, Jim, and daughters, Juliana and Rachel.

Nicole Chiscon promoted to Engagement Director

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CARA is thrilled to announce the promotion of Nicole Chiscon to Engagement Director! Nicole joined the company six years ago as a Service Delivery Manager, where she has been instrumental in supporting our consultants on a variety of client engagements.

She has also played a key role in our consultant community efforts by establishing our Consultant Advisory Board, and by leading and promoting our consultant education efforts through our webinar series, our week-long “Change Learn and Grow” event, and the Dan King Scholarship.

Nicole has made a tremendous impact on our organization, and we just can’t wait to see what she’ll do next!

CARA Springs Forward

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Welcome, spring! It always strikes me as a miracle of alignment that each March, in honor of “daylight saving,” almost everyone in the United States fast-forwards themselves exactly one hour into the future. We all arrive at the same place at new time. Wouldn’t it be great if we could synchronize every move toward the future with such precision?

Spring time travel aside, the future does seem to be coming toward us at an accelerated pace, especially in the workplace. As artificial intelligence, robotics, and digitalization become pervasive, organizations are redesigning jobs, reorganizing work, and implementing new technology. At CARA, we are fortunate to count many of the Fortune 500 among our clients. Leaders in these organizations use words like “uncertain,” “disruptive,” and “volatile” to describe the challenges they face as they strive to support the needs of the existing organization while simultaneously building a path to the future.

How can we thoughtfully and proactively build a future that embraces technology but also celebrates humanity? We do so by taking deliberate and coordinated action. At CARA, we work with our clients to develop creative, collaborative change management, learning, and communications solutions that enable employees to adapt to relentless change and embrace the future of work. For example, recent projects include developing a skill building program for those whose jobs are shifting due to AI, creating training for uniquely human skills such as leadership and critical thinking, implementing and ensuring adoption of enterprise-wide technology, and enabling a national sales team to become consultative, value-based relationship builders. Our goal is to help “team human” get a little bit closer to being miraculously transported to the places they need to go.

When CARA was founded almost twenty years ago, the talent of our team, our values, and our unprecedented commitment to the success of our clients and consultants made us unique. They still do. But we’ve also adapted and evolved into a full-scale solutions-focused professional services firm, and it’s about time we told our story. Our new brand messaging, “committed to your future” captures what sets CARA apart – our deep-seated commitment to going the extra mile for our clients. It also highlights our ability to navigate complex organizational challenges and provide future-centric approaches and solutions to help “team human” succeed.

Today, we are launching a new website to share what so many clients already know about us. I hope you like what you see, that you’ll want to learn more, and you’ll give us a call. I can’t think of a better way to spring forward.