Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2009 - (Page 34)

MEET TERRI DORSEY t’s certainly not unusual to see professionals undergo shifts in their career landscapes, with new opportunities and new interests helping to create new challenges. Sometimes those changes can be drastic, but in some cases, like Terri Dorsey’s, old careers and new challenges blended together perfectly. Dorsey, director of organizational development for Boys & Girls Clubs of America, started her professional life as a middle school teacher before transitioning into corporate education in the healthcare industry. Eventually, life brought her full circle, to where she’s leading professional development for an organization devoted to the needs of children. “How perfect is that?” Dorsey said. “It blended two very different careers into one.” As a middle school teacher, Dorsey spent 14 years in the public school systems, with the last two focused on starting a dropout prevention program (which perhaps not coincidentally is also a focus for the Boys & Girls Clubs). But the energy required to create such programs in such environments can have a price, and Dorsey, in one phrase common to public education, was headed for burnout. “I thought when I can no longer say that I would be happy to have me as my child’s teacher, then it was time to do something different,” she said. As fate would have it, Dorsey’s husband was currently spending time in his job leading training for a restaurant chain. With her background in education, Dorsey found herself fascinated by the work of workforce development. She augmented her master’s in education with a master’s in HR development, and took PEER REVIEW I a position in training for a local hospital. “I hoped a lot of the skills that I had learned through school and through teaching would perhaps transfer over, which they do,” Dorsey said. “Teaching adults is not all that different from teaching middle school anyway.” Dorsey spent 10 years working in healthcare training, at hospitals in the Chicago, Denver and Atlanta areas before hearing about the training leadership position with Boys & Girls Clubs of America, headquartered in Atlanta. Dorsey was attracted to both the organizational development aspects of the position and the chance to once again support youths in need. Reporting to the senior vice president of HR, Dorsey now provides executive development, leadership training and training for the national staff working in offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, New York City and Washington, D.C. She also provides training for the directors and staffs running 4,300 Boys & Girls Clubs across the United States and on U.S. military bases. The local clubs are part of a federated network where the headquarters staff provides certain services, though the clubs themselves are locally operated. Like any learning leader, Dorsey is spending her days thinking about things like succession planning, performance management and organizational improvement. She’s fortunate to have a strong connection to the organizational agenda. “It feels really good to work for an organization where it’s easy to get excited about the mission,” Dorsey said. “It also makes you work very hard. I’ve never worked harder anywhere my entire life than I’ve worked here.” 34 Training Industry Quarterly, Winter 2009 / A Training Industry, Inc. ezine /

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2009

Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2009
At the Editor’s Desk
Winning Organizations Through People
Before You Buy…
Learning Technologies
Coaching & Mentoring Your L&D Legacy
Training’s Performance Support Imperative
Beyond Learning Objectives
Targeting Training With Limited Budgets
Meet Deborah Masten
Meet Terri Dorsey
ADP: Supporting Succession Planning Through Training
Closing Arguments

Training Industry Quarterly - Winter 2009