Past GCEA Conference Speakers


GCEA conferences are held annually and will help your organization better prepare for a successful future. Our conferences provide an opportunity for you to gain assistance in solving problems through networking, identifying valuable instructional materials and resources, and sharing new programs and ideas that have been proven to succeed. Each year, topics for the GCEA annual conference are selected by the Conference Program Committee, so the content is always fresh and relevant to your interests and challenges.


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Elevating Employee Engagement

Dima is the founder of a global talent development company with a primary mission for advancing individuals in leadership. Through keynote speeches, workshops, training programs, and executive coaching, Dima has empowered thousands of professionals across the globe to develop critical business skills and expand their leadership potential. In addition, she has provided guidance to business executives to help them understand the value of gender-diverse leadership and to develop a multi-year plan for advancing quality leaders from within the organization. Dima draws from two decades of corporate experience leading global teams and developing future leaders worldwide. She has worked across the United States, Europe, Asia, Middle East, and Africa for several Fortune 100 companies including IBM, Merrill Lynch, and Intuit. Through her work, she has honed a keen expertise in developing leaders to meet the demands of the global workforce. For more information, visit and



Best Practices & Hacks for Busy Leaders to Take Control of Their Time

Dr. Deborah “Dr. DJ” Johnson-Blake is the CEO of The Writing Pad, LLC, a writing, editing, and consulting firm focusing on proofreading, editing, customized writing, personal and professional development training time management coaching. She is an award-winning assistant professor, dissertation research chair, and a leadership subject matter expert at Liberty University. Dr. DJ is a corporate trainer and speaker, helping participants improve relations and achieving personal and professional goals in the workplace and beyond is a corporate trainer.

Dr. DJ is a member and former board member of the GCEA and a member of the Georgia Association for Women in Higher Education. She also serves on several boards and committees including the Partners in Education of Douglas County Board, a nominating committee of the Junior League of Douglas County. Dr. DJ is a Douglas County Chamber of Commerce Diplomat. She is the 2021 American Business Woman and a 2021 Top Ten Business Woman of the American Business Women's Association. Dr. DJ is the Immediate Past of the American Business Women’s Association Douglas County Charter Chapter in Douglasville, Georgia. She is a time management and life coach, best-selling author, and her most recent publications are entitled 52 Time Management H.A.C.K.S.: Hacking Actions to Conquer and Kick Time Setbacks and Being the Best You: Intentional Journaling and Planning to Take Back Your Time. Dr. Johnson-Blake provides weekly time management tips every Tuesday on social media. You can follow Dr. Deborah Johnson-Blake on social at @djohnsonblake. Visit to order your autographed copy of her new book and ways she can help you become more time-efficient.

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What We Learned in 2020 So That We Can Thrive in 2021

Karen holds an engineering degree from Georgia Tech and a Masters and Doctorate in Adult Education from the University of Georgia. Her work experience includes eight years with the College of Continuing and Professional Education at Kennesaw State University. For two years, she was an internal auditor for the Board of Regents with the University System of Georgia. Because she missed being on the college campus, she moved to the Clayton State University Continuing and Professional Education and became the Executive Director. Her most recent position was as a Professional Education Portfolio Manager at Georgia Tech. She served as the Chair of the University System of Georgia Board of Regents Administrative Committee on Public Service and Continuing Education for three years. With the Georgia Adult Education Association, she held the offices of Vice President for Programs, President, Past President, and Member-at-Large. As a staunch advocate for quality adult continuing and professional education, Karen was a commissioner with the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET) for 16 years and served as the Chair of the Commission. She has facilitated national workshops to help applicants successfully establish solid policies and procedures to meet compliance standards. Her passion is creating excellent educational experiences for adults to help them achieve their professional goals!

To stay relevant on current workforce and economic development issues, she served on the Atlanta Regional Commission Workforce Development Board and chaired the ARC NextGen (Youth) Committee. She also participated on committees with the Metro Atlanta Chamber, MAX, HDCI, One Henry Workforce, and Clayton County Schools CTAE.

She is now serving as the Director for Accreditation and Training for IACET and believes that all her previous experience has prepared her for the work she is doing globally to improve the quality of continuing education and training through accreditation.

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Leading and Succeeding in Times of Change

Jackie Martin is a professional trainer, speaker, and coach with a passion for equipping teams and business leaders all over the world with the change resiliency, communication, and leadership skills needed in the workplace. For more than 20 years Jackie has been providing powerful, energetic, training to help individuals and leaders understand the Change Cycle and better adapt to the changing work environment. Jackie believes that just like all skills, it takes intention and practice to learn to think, behave, and lead through these changing times! Not that we’ve been experiencing much change lately. Jackie’s worked with professionals all over the country to help them deal with the ever-changing marketplace, and is so happy to be with us today to walk us through First Things First; Best Skills and Strategies for Managing Change.

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Making Virtual Education Successful

Rose Proctor serves as the Associate Director for Ethics and Compliance within
the Office of Organizational Effectiveness at the University System of Georgiaand Director of the BB&T Center for Ethical Leadership (BB&T CEL) within theMike Cottrell College of Business at the University of North Georgia. She has served in higher education for over 20 years, formerly serving at KennesawStateUniversity and the University of Missouri-Columbia. Mrs. Procter is currently enrolledin her Doctor of Education in Higher Education Leadership, having alreadygraduated with honors from Park University with a Bachelor’s of Science Degreein Organizational Social Psychology and her Masters of Business Administrationfrom Kennesaw State University. Rose also holds an Executive Certificate in Leadership from the University of Notre Dame. Her research is focused on institutional integrity as defined and required within the SACSCOC reaffirmation process. She is married, with four children, and lives in Dahlonega, Georgia.

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Re-Imagining Continuing Education Using Principles of Universal Design

Dr. Kimberly Tanner served 20+ years in the field of disability services in higher education. She received her Ed.D. in Adult and Career Education at Valdosta State University in 2008. She completed her B.S. in Marine Affairs and her M.S. inHuman Development and Family Studies: College Student Personnel at the University of Rhode Island in 1993 and 1996, respectively. She has been trained as a Diversity Trainer through the National Multicultural Institute and as a University System of Georgia Campus Mediator and Conflict Coach through the Consortium on Negotiation and Conflict Resolution program. Kimberly is an instructor of Adult and Career Education at VSU and owner of Tanner Training Group, LLC. She often trains with the departments of Employee and Organizational Development and the Office of Professional and Community Education at VSU. Kimberly also works as a Local Coordinator for the Council on International Educational Exchange. Kimberly lives in Naylor, Georgia with her husband, Douglas, son, Ryan, host son, Simone, on International exchange from Italy, and a Boston Terrier named Brady.



The Power of Positive Influence

Kevin is a master educator, facilitator, and coach with expertise in leadership, organizational change, and conflict management. He has developed leaders and organizations for over 25 years in education, government, and private industry. He also brings experience in public speaking, strategic planning, process improvement, and operations management.

Kevin is the Director of the Center for University Learning at Kennesaw State University where he leads professional and organizational development for faculty and staff, and for the University System of Georgia’s Professional Development Consortium. He serves on the KSU Staff Senate, and as a USG Service Excellence Ambassador. He advises on conflict management coaching and training as a Senior Associate with Care Full Conflict, LLC.

Previously, he led statewide organizational change, training, and employee engagement efforts for the Georgia Governor’s Office of Customer Service. He also led training and organization development for Colony Homes, the Georgia-Pacific Corporation and as an independent consultant for a variety of private and public service organizations.



Dan is the Assistant Dean for Strategic Partnerships and also an award-winning instructor for the College of Professional Education at Kennesaw State University. He has 35 years of experience researching, teaching, and designing professional development programs. Dan will share his insights on the major industry trends that will dramatically impact the future of professional and continuing education--and how we can do a better job helping people reach their full potential in both their professional life and their personal life.



Lasting Trends in Digital Marketing ​5 Marketing Automation Strategies That Will Help You Close More Leads

Benji  is the Marketing Director at Greenstone Media. As a StoryBrand Certified Guide with five years of HubSpot experience, he’s successfully found ways to help clients expand their digital presence, improve their visitor-to-lead conversion rates, and drive more sales for their organizations. When away from his desk, you'll likely find him watching a Clemson football game or hiking in the Great Smoky Mountains.



Multi-Generational Marketing Lessons from Bob Dylan 5 Marketing Automation Strategies That Will Help You Close More Leads

Blake is the Creative Director at Greenstone Media. He helps companies tell the story their customers need to hear. When he isn't working, Blake enjoys hiking, playing guitar, and writing songs.



​​Inclusion Matters in Continuing Education Too!

Cher is the Director of Green Technologies at Gwinnett Technical College. She has been at Gwinnett Tech since 2006 and has worked as an Instructor, Program Coordinator and Program Director. She not only manages the Building Operator Certification Program for the state of Georgia, but she is also responsible for Continuing Education and Business and Industry training in the North Fulton service area. In addition to her role on the Board of Directors for GCEA, she serves on the board for Amana Academy in Alpharetta and Atlanta Recycles.



Latest Trends in Contract Training ​Non-Credit to Credit Pathways: Partnering to Grow Enrollment

Rusty began working at Piedmont Technical College on August 9, 2010 as Associate Vice President of Economic Development & Continuing Education. Since coming on board at Piedmont Tech, he has implemented several new programs in Continuing Education and expanded course offerings in the seven county service delivery area. His unique approach in the business and industry field has led to an increased awareness of business needs and opened the doors to innovative customized programs. Rusty took both his Bachelors and Masters Coursework at Georgia Southern University in Business Administration and Public Administration respectively. He also has a Masters in Leadership and Management from Western Governors University.

Before coming to Piedmont Technical College, he served as Director of Business and Industry services at Ogeechee Technical College in Statesboro, Georgia. He has over 14 years of robust experience in the Technical College System of Georgia in the areas of continuing education, economic development, and customized business and industry training programs.



Creating a Brand Message and Story Your Customers Will Love How to Market to Corporate Clients

Chase is a North Carolina native proud to call Asheville home. Chase works directly with clients to deliver premium products for their business needs. This includes innovative marketing and tech solutions, state-of-the-art websites and SEO marketing strategies. Chase enjoys meeting with new clients, carefully listening to their businesses needs and goals, and championing their vision. Since 2014, Chase has helped over a 100 businesses meet and surpass their web marketing goals, and redefine their social media and SEO initiatives. When he's not crushing it for his clients, he enjoys hiking with his wife, and golfing with his buddies. Chase attended Warner University under a Dean and Golf Scholarship and received a Business in Finance Degree.



A Sector Partnership in Action Creating a Pipeline of Talent Through Discovery

Kathleen is the Director for Continuing Education and Industry Training at Ogeechee Technical College. In this role, Ms. Kosmoski is responsible for all non-credit programs and training for the college including public classes as well as customized training with private entities. Over the past six years, she has worked with local businesses and industries to identify, develop, implement, and evaluate their training needs. Ms. Kosmoski has developed numerous partnerships throughout the region to maximize resources for developing the local workforce.
Ms Kosmoski has a bachelor’s degree and a Master’s of Science degree from Purdue University. She currently serves as the President for the Georgia Adult Education Association, which is tasked with promoting and developing adult and continuing education to create a more educated and trained workforce in Georgia.

July 2018. Con Ed headshots. Shannon Chandler.


Continuing Education as a Visable, Vibrant, & Valuable Asset

Shannon Chandler is a Program Coordinator at the University or North Georgia where she programs both professional development and personal enrichment courses for a 30 county service region. Shannon also facilitates community use of the University through facility rentals. With over 15 years in continuing education experience Shannon has seen the vast changes in courses and training needs within the region.  Shannon lives in Flowery Branch with her husband Chris and son Ian.



Creating a Pipeline of Talent Through Discovery

Dr. Julie Chance is currently serving as the Executive Director of Program Improvement for Bulloch County Schools. Dr. Chance is responsible for overseeing federal programs, pre-kindergarten, gifted, literacy, STEM, Dual Enrollment, Career Counseling, and CTAE. She is proud to be a Georgia Southern University “Quad Eagle” receiving all four of her educational degrees from GSU.  In her current and past work, Dr. Chance developed, implemented, monitored, and evaluated local, state, and federally funded programs. Much of her work has focused on developing leaders through the implementation of distributed leadership models that allow her to mentor and coach new educational leaders.

July 2018. Con Ed headshots. Brooke Smith


Continuing Education as a Visible, Vibrant, & Valuable Asset

Brooke Smith is the Associate Director of Continuing Education at the University or North Georgia where she focuses on professional development and contract training. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Marketing from the University of North Georgia along with a Master’s Degree in Higher Education Administration from Georgia Southern University.  Brooke lives in Dahlonega with her husband Matthew and 2 sons. UNG’s Continuing Education serves 6,000 students a year and conducts approximately 600 courses.



Hot Topics Roundtable

Jackie Veuleman is the Director of Economic Development for Wiregrass Georgia Technical College in Valdosta, GA.  In this capacity, she oversees the Continuing Education program for WGTC’s four campuses as well as contract training for the southern region of the school’s zone, while being the AHA Training Center Coordinator. Jackie builds and delivers several trainings in her purview from Lean Six Sigma to Leadership to ServSafe, and in between.

After graduating from Western Illinois University, Jackie joined the Air Force to work in Mental Health, ultimately becoming a Mental Health Technician School Master Instructor. After leaving the Air Force, while raising her three kids, she went on to study Masters in Management and PhD studies in Industrial/Organizational Leadership. Before becoming the Director of Economic Development at Wiregrass, she was the Associate Dean for Business Education and Arts & Sciences departments.



Inclusion Matters in Continuing Education Too!

Juan Wilson is the Coordinator of Support Services at Gwinnett Technical College. He has been with Gwinnett Tech since 2016 where he manages Disability Services; along with Special Population for the Alpharetta North-Fulton Campus.

Prior to joining Gwinnett Technical College, Juan spent 13 years as a Special Education teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District.  After a successful career in education, Juan transitioned to the Non-Profit sector where he was Team Lead at Big Brothers Big Sisters, Los Angeles working in tandem with the VP of Programs to guide the African-American Mentoring initiatives. Juan serves on Gwinnett Tech’s Behavior Intervention team and is Board Chair for CamandMadisPromise, Inc.

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At GCEA (Georgia Continuing Education Association), we know that you want to be equipped to provide the best continuing education possible. It is beneficial then to belong to a Georgia-based association that can provide relationships and resources for superior continuing education. We’re the only association of our kind in the state. If you’re struggling in your role and you want years of distilled wisdom at your disposal, we recommend joining our group! It makes the work much easier.


Here’s How You Start Providing Even Better Continuing Education:


1. Become a
GCEA Member


2. Get Connected to
the GCEA Community
& Resources


3. Be Empowered
& Equipped for
Continuing Education


“I was looking for professional development
opportunities and a way to meet others in the same
field. GCEA provides great conferences each year and
an opportunity to network and learn what others are
doing in the field of continuing education.”

- GCEA Member


“GCEA has helped me grow in my profession by
offering programming that increased my knowledge about
profitable programs. My experience with GCEA has been positive
and rewarding. After becoming a member of GCEA, I felt better
about developing viable courses and training
opportunities for my community.”

- GCEA Member