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The CARA Group Named to Training Industry, Inc. 2022 Custom Content Development Watch List

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The CARA Group is honored to be named to Training Industry, Inc’s 2022 Custom Content Development Watch List.

“We are proud to be recognized by Training Industry, Inc., as we believe this award speaks to our ability to understand the unique needs of each client, and design, manage, and deliver best-in-class solutions to drive workforce performance,” said Michelle Reid-Powell, CARA President and CEO.

Tom Whelan, Director of corporate research at Training Industry, Inc. had this to say regarding these Watch Lists1: “The emerging companies chosen for our Custom Content Development Watch List create a learning environment with their comprehensive solutions to align with business objectives,” said Tom Whelan, director of corporate research at Training Industry, Inc. “These companies create this learning environment through developing engaging content with the latest learning technologies in gamification, eLearning and virtual training.”

Contact us to learn more how CARA can partner with you to help you achieve your learning goals.

 

About The CARA Group

The CARA Group is a consulting firm focused on change management, learning, and communications solutions that enable the workforce of the future. Our unparalleled commitment to the success of our clients and consultants makes CARA solutions unique. https://www.thecaragroup.com.

About Training Industry, Inc.

Training Industry (https://trainingindustry.com) is the most trusted source of information on the business of learning. Our authority is built on deep ties with more than 450 expert contributors who share insights and actionable information with their peers. Training Industry’s courses, live events, articles, magazine, webinars, podcast, research and reports generate more than 10 million industry interactions each year, while the Top 20 Training Companies Lists help business leaders find the right training partners.

Footnotes:

  1. Training Industry 2022 Custom Content Development award press release

 

 

 

We Are Thrilled to Welcome Maureen Heideman and Gary Krukar to CARA!

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The CARA Group is pleased to announce the addition of two new members to the Project Solutions team: Maureen Heideman, Senior Solutions Consultant, and Gary Krukar, Engagement Manager, effective March 2022. Maureen and Gary will report to Melissa Noonan, Senior Director, Project Solutions.

“I am excited that both Maureen and Gary are officially part of the broader CARA team”, said Melissa. “Their skills, expertise and contributions will be critical to positioning CARA for continued growth and our ability to offer increased value to our clients through CARA’s project solutions.”

Maureen Heideman

Maureen is a solutions consultant and instructional designer who has worked with Fortune 500 clients and government agencies to create interactive training solutions that balance training, performance support, assessment, coaching, critical thinking, and refection to encourage high-level transfer of learning.

As a learning lead in instructional design, Maureen has been recognized with four Brandon Hall awards.

Gary Krukar

Gary is a hands-on practitioner, consultant, and manager with over 25 years of experience. He has provided instructional analysis, design and development, project management, and process improvement consulting services to a variety of clients in many industries, embracing change and encouraging growth through knowledge sharing along the way.

Throughout his career, Gary has successfully managed, coached, and led others to design, develop, and implement learning solutions that drive human performance and successful business outcomes.

Announcing Our 2022 Q1 PURE Award Winner

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We are pleased to announce our latest winner of the PURE Service Award: Mike Schroer.

Mike, an Organizational Change Management Strategist, has been working with his current client since November 2020 and was brought in to work with the change management team during the company’s largest acquisition to date.

The client had this to say about Mike: Mike is a vital resource on my Change Management team. His incredible work ethic, diligent note taking, and depth of change management skill have been a key asset to the team for several global projects. Mike is the definition of a team player and keeps me and the other Change Management team members on track. We have been fortunate to have Mike on our team for the past several years and he is the “PM to the CM Team”. He is responsible for helping to execute our end-to-end Change Management strategies across two global projects: Journey to [S4]Hana and now Operating Model Integration. These strategic projects require the highest level of Change Management diligence, impacting thousands of employees, and many core processes and systems. It’s good that Mike grew up with sisters because, being one of the few male team members, he always brings a new perspective and a bit of humor. Not only is Mike helping to execute the Change Management strategies, he also stepped up when one of my team members left the organization. Mike did double duty by also leading Change Management for Manufacturing and Quality Assurance global process areas. Mike is so deserving of the CARA PURE award and exemplifies each of the values. His work is invaluable to our team.

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 are Thrilled to Welcome Melissa Noonan, Senior Director, Project Solutions to CARA!

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The CARA Group is pleased to announce the hiring of Melissa Noonan to the position of Senior Director, Project Solutions. Melissa is a member of the Executive Leadership Team and reports to CARA’s SVP, Talent Management, Allyson Carter. In this role, she will focus on ensuring CARA effectively delivers high-impact, client-focused solutions that consider each unique individual organization and their needs.

“CARA is committed to ensuring we design, manage, and deliver best-in-class solutions and that starts with ensuring a deep understanding of our client needs and an exceptional team to deliver beyond expectations. I am excited about the addition of Melissa to our CARA team as she has the passion, experience and expertise to ensure we deliver on our promise!” Allyson Carter, SVP Talent Management

Prior to joining CARA, Melissa held several strategic leadership roles in broader Talent Management, Learning and Change at companies including Andersen Consulting / Accenture, Hewitt & Associates (Aon) and ULTA. In these roles, she was instrumental in re-engineering key practices and programs, helping to commercialize services and position organizations for long-term, profitable growth. She also led high-performing teams acknowledged by Brandon Hall. Additionally, she has served in key leadership roles helping small to mid-tier consulting companies prepare to scale and grow through client-centric business development practices, restructuring, and implementation of repeatable methodologies and offerings. In these roles she had the privilege of applying her extensive experience and expertise using structured consulting methodologies to scope, frame, and deliver consulting engagements that delight various clients across industries spanning the mid-market to the Fortune 500.

Melissa holds a Master of Arts in Learning Sciences from Northwestern University and a Bachelor of Arts in English from Northern Illinois University. She is a trained CTI Coach and a consummate learner. She is forever reading articles, listening to podcasts, or enrolled in training. To evolve as a person and a leader, she believes in personal development and margin; she makes it a practice to preserve time for both. She enjoys attending, serving, and volunteering in her church. When the weather is warm, you can find her enjoying time with her husband John and their four children, Evelyn, Kennedi, Olivia and Bennett boating in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Allyson Carter Promoted to Senior Vice President, Talent Management

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The CARA Group is excited to announce the promotion of Allyson Carter to Senior Vice President, Talent Management.

Allyson joined our leadership team in 2019 with the goal of positioning CARA for exponential growth. During her tenure, she has led the transformation of every aspect of CARA’s talent lifecycle, managing large-scale internal change while supporting both our team and our Fortune 500 clients through the disruption of a global pandemic.

Allyson works passionately to ensure each CARA team member is supported in achieving their full potential as we deliver innovative, human-centered solutions to our clients. She has not only honored and fortified our strong, values-based culture, she is a role model of Professionalism, Understanding, Responsibility, and Excellence.

Please congratulate Allyson on this well-deserved promotion.

In celebration and gratitude,

Your Friends at CARA

Announcing Our 2021 Q4 PURE Award Winner

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We are pleased to announce our latest winner of the PURE Service Award: Cathy Hosek.

Cathy, an Instructional Design consultant, was initially brought in to assist our Office of the CIO client in developing a return to office plan. Due to COVID-19, however, that project was delayed and Cathy was charged with overseeing a software training project and supporting change management communications for a single sign-on framework initiative between and among the client and partner organizations. Cathy’s responsibilities ranged from content outline to finalization to rollout of training.

The client had this to day about Cathy: “Cathy is a calm, reassuring and knowledgeable facilitator. Even better, she has become the system expert, helping our end users work with the vendor and our internal tech lead to answer questions and to make sure changes make it into the training right away. Thank you Cathy! We really appreciate your hard work.”

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 Are Thrilled to Welcome Sheryl James to CARA!

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The CARA Group is pleased to announce the hiring of Sheryl James to the position of Account Executive. In this role, Sheryl is responsible for creating customized learning, change management, and communications solutions for her client portfolio.

“Sheryl’s extensive sales background will be a valuable asset as she integrates her professional expertise into our Account Executive team”, said Barry Larson, Director, Sales and Solutions. “We are very excited to have her join CARA to help us expand our footprint across the Midwest.”

Sheryl, with a passion for consultative sales and performance management, has built her career on developing exceptional client relationships and creating customized solutions to consistently exceed client expectations. She comes to CARA with over 20 years of global management consulting, learning and development, and performance improvement experience at Accenture (Andersen Consulting), Baxter, Ceridian, and MB Financial Bank. As a strategic advisor, she has partnered with senior executives to create custom solutions to reduce cost, improve efficiencies, increase employee effectiveness, and catapult customer service levels.

Sheryl is a published author, motivational speaker, and Certified Professional Coach. She has an International MBA from the American Graduate School of International Management (Thunderbird), studied in Paris at the Sorbonne, and lived/worked in nine different countries in Western Europe. Sheryl’s personal passions are family, faith, travel, and cooking.

 

We Are Thrilled to Welcome Alisha Blanchard to CARA!

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The CARA Group is pleased to announce the hiring of Alisha Blanchard to the position of Account Executive. In this role, Alisha will support clients by providing customized learning, change management, and communications solutions.

“Alisha brings to CARA a rich background as a learning practitioner, which provides a solid foundation to support her new Account Executive role,” said Barry Larson, Director, Sales and Solutions. “We are thrilled to have her join our growing team and put her expertise to work as she develops client partnerships.”

Alisha comes to CARA with an M.Ed. in Instructional Design and 15 years in learning and development customizing learning solutions for clients in the higher education, corporate, nonprofit, and healthcare spaces. Most recently, Alisha served as Senior Manager, Learning Experience Design, where she led and managed teams of instructional designers and technologists who developed custom learning solutions for a variety of clients.

Q3 PURE Award winners four winners names three photos

Announcing Our 2021 Q3 PURE Award Winners

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We are pleased to announce our latest winners of the PURE Service Award: Laura Antos, Teresa Pappas, Jackie Sullivan, and Mike Zimmerman.

Laura Antos and Teresa Pappas

Laura, an Instructional Design Consultant and Teresa, a Senior Instructional Design Consultant, were recognized by our client for their work both individually and as a team. Their meticulous preparation for client meetings, combined with their ability to leverage previous leadership development experience and tailor it to the current audience was greatly appreciated by the client. Teri and Laura were also able to gather and assimilate all feedback so that everyone’s perspective was included in this best-in-class leadership program. Teresa designed the program and Laura implemented the design by developing the over 40 deliverables. Each consultant went above and beyond the basic objectives of the project plan. One example of taking the work to the next level included the design and development of a digital LinkedIn badge that the program graduates can add to their LinkedIn profiles.

The client had this to say about Teresa (Teri) and Laura: “Working with Teri and Laura could not have been a more positive experience. Teri brought so much care and attention – it was obvious the pride she takes in the creative process and resulting outcome. Both Laura and Teri took the time to understand our goals and our vision, and took an obvious investment in the work. Teri’s work incorporated a thoughtful innovative approach to the design – and exceeded our expectations. Teri also brought a lot of thought partnership when it came to problem solving. Critiques led to improvements that hit exactly the mark on many occasions. Laura also exhibited the same level of attention and investment in the project. She brought the work to life – she has a talent for design and captured the look and feel that we hoped to achieve. And she went above and beyond when we asked for additional creative deliverables. Both Teri and Laura were reliable and a pleasure to work with. It made collaboration easy!”

Jackie Sullivan

Jackie, a Senior Organizational Change Management and Communications Consultant, was asked to step into an internal role during a leave of absence and was able to quickly make an impact. She worked across multiple campaigns and supported several groups in HR with a large volume of communications. She put in the hours and got the job done while remaining calm and composed, often dealing with conflicting priorities. Finally, she provided a thorough transition plan for the returning employee. The client stated at the end of the project: “… We will miss you. … You were able to work independently and manage expectations correctly…with no glitches.”

Mike Zimmerman

As an LMS Admin, Mike assisted our client with their move from a legacy LMS to a new, SumTotal LMS. His exemplary commitment to the complex implementation required him to collaborate with various business units to determine the best way to meet the needs of the overall business. Our client, recognizing Mike was a true thought partner, respected his contributions and realized without his participation and guidance, the implementation would not have been successful.

The client had this to say about Mike: “Mike was brought on-board in the middle of our project and hit the ground running from day one. He quickly became our subject matter expert on the system and through listening and asking questions he applied the best solution to meet our business needs. He has been a trusted consultant for us. There were many challenges that we faced throughout this project and Mike has responded with professionalism and patience in problem solving and implementing resolution. I am truly impressed with Mike’s commitment to the success of our project, and I can honestly say our system would not be implemented today without the efforts and expertise that Mike has provided.”

 

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.

Barry Larson Promoted to Director, Sales & Solutions!

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The CARA Group is excited to announce the promotion of Barry Larson to Director, Sales & Solutions.

During Barry’s 13 years with CARA, he has partnered with our F500 clients to address their learning, change management, and communications needs. He has also been a collaborative colleague and thought partner to the internal CARA team.

“Barry brings a perfect blend of how CARA has historically delivered a high level of client satisfaction in Learning and Change Management Solutions, while having an eye to the future as we continue to evolve to support the ever-changing needs of the businesses that count on us to enable their workforce of the future,” said Mike Mazur, CARA’s Vice President of Sales & Solutions. “In addition, Barry is a great thought partner when it comes to creating scalable, repeatable sales processes and best practices that help us to efficiently serve the needs of our clients, and often supports the company beyond his job description.”

In his new role, Barry will continue to create customized learning, change management, and communications solutions for his client portfolio, as well as serve as a leader and coach to new team members.