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Introducing our speakers

Lei Comerford

Executive Coach, Master Facilitator, Speaker and Consultant at Lei Comerford Consulting, LLC

Lei partners with individuals, teams, and organizations amplifying and elevating their communication skills, relationships, and leadership effectiveness.

Lei is a highly effective Leadership & Executive Coach, Facilitator, Speaker, and Learning & Development Consultant with over 20 years of strategic and operational experience in healthcare as well as over 5 years in hospitality. She has held many internal leadership roles in corporate settings as well as is the founder of her own consulting firm.

Lei is a master facilitator certified in a variety of assessment tools, holds the ACC accreditation through the International Coaching Federation (ICF), and is a Maxwell Leadership Team Certified Speaker, Coach, and Trainer.

She is known for being a thought partner and has a passion for helping others reach beyond their goals through increased self-awareness with an objective to empower effectiveness and engagement with each client!

Lei currently volunteers with the ATD Nashville Chapter as a Board Member, mentors through The Vanderbilt University Women In Business program, and gives back via coaching services through the Humanitarian Coaches Network. She resides in the Nashville, TN area.

Liz Wool

President, Virtual Training Whiz, a Division of Wool Consulting Group

Liz is a certified instructional designer and master trainer, virtual training instructional designer, and training director. She volunteers with ATD Nashville as the Director of Virtual Forums. She has over 30 years of healthcare experience, with 25 years+ of corporate and non-profit experience in education and training (in-person, hybrid, and virtual training), and is a recognized subject matter expert (virtual training/design, workforce development) and international speaker.

In Liz's first career as a nurse, she loved educating patients, their families and loved ones to care for themselves after their hospital discharge. Liz is a natural helper, encourager, coach and passionately brings these personal attributes to her training programs with JOY and ENTHUSIASM.

Liz Wool is founder of ""Rock the Virtual Training Stage"" a training and coaching program that equips speakers, coaches, entrepreneurs, trainers and consultants to captivate their clients to boost retention and create raving fans based in Nashville.

Samuel Apata

Senior E-Learning Developer at Starbucks

Samuel is a dedicated instructional designer and eLearning developer with over eight years of experience developing and retaining talent for organizations like T-Mobile, GM Financial, Fossil, and Starbucks. Samuel has a graduate degree in Instructional Systems Design from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC). He is well-versed in creating meaningful, and memorable learning that deeply engage learners, develop skills, and inspire better performance.

Samuel currently hosts Special Interest Group (SIG) workshops for ATD Fort Worth Mid-Cities where he also volunteers as Past-President.

Lisa Ellen Williams

Learning Consultant and Quality Assurance Editor, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Lisa Ellen Williams is Learning Consultant and Quality Assurance Editor in HR Learning and Development at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. With over 15 years of experience teaching writing and research, she ensures that VUMC courses and materials for staff are clear and accessible to learners and that they uphold VUMC’s commitment to providing quality health care.

April Saunders

Learning Consultant in Specialized Training Solutions; Vanderbilt University Medical Center

April Saunders is a Learning Consultant for the Operations Improvement department at Vanderbilt Health. In her career, she has presented training and facilitated workshops in every state but Alaska. In her current role, she provides the tools and guides to empower workforce members to solve problems and continuously improve processes. The training and coaching she provides enhances Vanderbilt Health patients’ experience and improves their health outcomes.

Julie O'Bryant

Learning Consultant, Workforce Development, Human Resources; Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Julie Walter O’Bryant is a Learning Consultant for Workforce Development, a part of HR Learning and Development at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Julie teaches and develops leadership skill classes, orients new employees, and works to celebrate elevated performance from individual contributors, leaders and teams. She is committed to bringing the joy of learning to each Vanderbilt University Medical Center employee.


Ed.D., M.Ed., Learning Manager, eStar Training and Delivery; Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Laura Pinsky-Meyer is Learning Manager for eStar Training and Delivery and works for Vanderbilt University Medical Center within Human Resources Learning and Development. Laura currently manages 19 clinical trainers, who support newly hired staff by conducting training sessions on the clinical charting application at VUMC. Additionally, Laura has over 30 years of management and leadership experience ranging from retail and operational roles, as well as over 10 years’ experience working with nonprofit organizations in leadership and training development. Laura has a master’s degree in Adult Education and Training, and a doctorate in Education- Performance Improvement Leadership.

Steve Woodruff

President, Impactiviti

Steve Woodruff is known in the corporate training world as the King of Clarity. Thirty-seven years in the front lines of sales, marketing, consulting, and entrepreneurship has uniquely equipped Steve to guide others in the principles and practices of effective messaging. Steve is the author the business book Clarity Wins (2018), the the upcoming book The Point (October 2023)

Danielle "Dani" Picard

Learning Manager, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Danielle “Dani” Picard is a learning manager at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. She oversees a team of talented learning consultants who design engaging and accessible training on Revenue Cycle business systems and processes. She holds a doctorate from Vanderbilt University where she teaches courses on the effects of technologies like artificial intelligence and automation on medicine.

Kelly Knowles

Owner - Kelly K. Consulting

Kelly L. Knowles is an Inner Leadership Coach, Facilitator & Speaker | Certified Color Code Personality Profile Trainer and Training Manager.

She works to advance the success of professionals and teams by helping them discover, develop and dig-in to their full potential. With a special heart for first generation professionals, Kelly knows the experience of moving forward from an honorable working class setting into a corporate professional setting.

Kelly K Consulting began in 2019 when she realized that she wanted to work with other organizations and individuals to help them solve key needs in professional development that have a key impact on their bottom line.

She guides this through one/one and group coaching as well as through interdepartmental team training. Kelly knows that when someone discovers their inner leadership they will begin to maximize their life in a satisfying and authentic way.

With more than 20 years of speaking (keynotes, webinars, conferences and more), training and instructional (delivery and design) experience Kelly is equipped to lead you and your team in strengthening your interpersonal skills and increasing your leadership effectiveness.

Kelly also works as the Training Manager for an AmLaw 110 law firm where she develops and provides technical and business skill training to all levels of the organization. She works on projects with SMEs to be able to deliver training and development for the 11-office firm.

She is skilled at taking complicated information and making it understandable and applicable to everyday processes and life. She gets to the details of what people must know while also giving them the bigger picture.

Kelly is the author of Chin Hairs and Other Things Mama Didn’t Tell You: From Surviving to Thriving In Your 20s and 30s which rated as an Amazon #1 New Release in Fall 2022.


Senior Manager of Learning and Development

Luke is an L&D senior manager at Evernorth, a Cigna Group company. Luke's team oversees enterprise-wide instructional design and technical writing content that supports specialty pharmacy operations, in addition to learning data and analytics across the L&D function. An instructional designer by trade, Luke has developed content for higher education, non-profit, and corporate audiences for almost two decades. He has a Camtasia certification and specializes in educational technologies.

Luke is an ATD Nashville past president and has a long history serving the chapter.


Strategic Team Consultant, Interactive Speaker, Author, Podcast Host

Mark Kenny works with leaders to build highly functional and aligned teams and organizations that thrive together through change and disruption.

Mark brings three decades of experience, first in IT and operations, followed by founding and running a software company, and later in keynote speaking and consulting. Mark’s clients span multiple industries including public sector, technology, healthcare, manufacturing, engineering, financial services, and retail and include organizations such as Nissan, Mars, State of Tennessee, Ohio State University, HCA, Vanderbilt, and the US Army.

Mark is the author of The Hippo Solution: Eliminate Territorial Thinking and Unleash the Power of Teams, the host of the Becoming Unassailable podcast, and a part-time basketball coach.

Mark currently lives outside of Nashville, Tennessee with his wife, daughter, and three sons.

You can learn more about Mark’s work at MarkKennySpeaks.com.

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