2023 Board of Directors

Lara Azcona


Danielle Eisenach-Reichel



  Susan Wines

  VP Programs

  LinkedIn Profile

Sharon Duong

VP Membership

Sandy Robinson

VP Professional Development and Mentoring

LinkedIn Profile

Blanche Allen

VP Marketing

Zohra Samji

VP Communications

Vera Wallace

VP Hospitality

Volunteer Team

We couldn't do what we do without volunteers!

Your Name Here


If you would like to volunteer, please contact our 2023 President, President Lara Azcona or any of our board members.


2023 Board Member Profiles

2023 President - Lara Azcona

My purpose in my career is to help others to expand their vision of what is possible so that they may reach their fullest potential. My career has allowed me to teach algebra at the University of Kansas, enable manufacturing as a software engineer at National Semiconductor, develop quality systems and train consultants at Ernst & Young, teach math, computer science and business to teenagers, and most recently to prepare employees of a Fortune 500 energy company to embrace progress in the form of a major technology upgrade.

Last year as I prepared to return to my corporate career, leaving the public-school classroom, I found ATD. Because I live midway between Dallas and Fort Worth, I chose to join both ATD Dallas and ATD Fort Worth/Mid-Cities. I met fantastic people in both organizations and had the opportunity to co-chair SWLS, the ATD Dallas conference for learning professionals. At ATD Fort Worth/Mid-Cities, I attended every chapter meeting and special interest group (SIG) meeting that was offered from the time I joined in January through October and was never disappointed. The speakers at this group are among the absolute best of any professional organization in the metroplex. As a continuous learner, I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next year at ATD Fort Worth/Mid-Cities!


President Elect - Danielle Eisenach-Reichel



Past President - Samuel Apata

Samuel Apata is a creative thinker with passion for creating motivational, meaningful, and memorable learning that deeply engages learners, develops skills, and inspires better performance. He has a bachelor’s degree in Animation and an M.A. in Instructional Systems Design, both from the University of Maryland Baltimore County (UMBC).

In his current role as the President of the ATD Fort Worth/Mid-Cities Chapter, he works with a dedicated board of directors to create value for members and the larger community through effective talent development programs. Samuel is also a Senior Instructional Designer with over seven years of experience developing and retaining talent for global organizations like T-Mobile, American Airlines, GM Financial, and currently Fossil Group. Prior to these roles, Samuel worked in advertising as a Copywriter, and Branding Consultant.

He is a regular contributor to the Articulate E-Learning Heroes Community where his projects have been featured multiple times. He currently leads the Special Interest Group (SIG) on e-learning. You can check out his website and portfolio at http://samuelapata.com/.


Director/VP of Finance - Open



VP of Hospitality - Vera Wallace

Vera Wallace is a Senior Technical Writer and Trainer with over 18 years’ experience. She has a background of improving operations by developing. informative documentation and training materials. She strives to share information, whether in written, verbal, or digital format, in a manner that others can receive, retain, and implement.

As the daughter of a career Army officer, she lived in and traveled to a variety of states and countries. She credits these experiences with instilling in her an appreciation for meeting new people and learning about different cultures and customs. Being comfortable meeting new people and respecting diversity helps her research programming ideas from a myriad of people and sources.

Vera has been a member of ATD for over seven years. She has been involved in our local ATD chapter, ATD Fort Worth/Mid-Cities, for more than four years. She appreciates how the resources provided by the local and national organizations helped her to enhance her facilitation skills and adult learning knowledge.

She has created and/or facilitated over 900 training classes on numerous topics including computer training, soft skills, and mortgage industry topics. Her soft skills course “Keeping It Professional,” while originally developed for one division, was deemed so useful it was changed to required training for the entire company in all three divisions.

Vera graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BA degree. In her free time, Vera enjoys playing the piano and singing (especially with choirs and Praise teams). She is an avid reader and movie fan. She enjoys being outdoors and appreciating the beauty of nature.


VP of Programs - Susan Wines

Susan Wines has worked at Thomson Reuters for almost 25 years and is aligned with the product brand, Checkpoint Learning, which is one of the leading providers of continuing professional education (CPE) for certified professional accountants (CPAs) and enrolled agents (EAs). One of the most exciting aspects of working at Thomson Reuters is the opportunity to innovate. A self-admitted geek, Susan is often researching or implementing process changes that simplify workflow or adapt to new technology. She is the sole or co-author and the instructional designer for five courses are currently for sale on their website, cl.tr.com. The titles reveal the passion that Susan has for learning and has shared in her 6+ years involvement with ATD Fort Worth / Mid-Cities chapter.


  1. Branding Your Firm with LinkedIn
  2. Retention and Career Development Go Hand-in-Hand
  3. Trends in Performance Management
  4. Technology Add-ons to Increase Productivity
  5. The Internet of Things and Its Impact on Business


VP of Marketing - Blanche Allen 



VP of Communications - Zohra Samji

Zohra is an Instructional Designer, Educator, and Graphic Designer based in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. She is a public school teacher and presenter with over 9 years of experience in both K-12 and adult learning environments.

Zohra is currently pursuing a Master's degree in Learning Technologies from the University of North Texas and transitioning out of the classroom and into instructional design. Before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, Zohra was creating videos for her students and utilizing different online platforms to incorporate them into her student's toolbox. She has been fortunate enough to establish her own YouTube channel for these instructional videos on mathematics. They're currently used at different campuses in multiple districts. Learners say they are appreciative of the effective teaching style incorporated into the videos.


VP of Membership - Sharon Duong



VP of Technology - Lorie Brown 

I came to Texas to go to college and spent many years in the fashion industry in Dallas, Seattle, Florida and New York. Training and mentoring co-workers was a running theme in all aspects of my career. After working in New York City for 10 years, I moved to northern California to officially begin my career in Talent Development at Williams-Sonoma, Inc. I learned so much and found my calling. I am doing what I am supposed to be doing.

I love being back in Texas. I joined ATD Fort Worth/Mid-Cities in 2018 and joined the board in 2019 as the VP of Technology. I am a lifelong learner and continue to learn in my current role as the Chief Learning Officer of Simple Leadership Strategies based in Fort Worth. My passion is instructional design and eLearning development. Giving back to our community of Talent Development continues to be my mission.


VP of Cultivate Conference - Ann Hartlieb



VP of University Relations and Student Mentoring - Sandy Robinson

Sandy Robinson is a Global Human Resources Leader, Speaker, Coach and Consultant with experience at multiple Fortune 500 corporations and mission-critical nonprofit organizations.  Sandy has significant experience propelling individuals, teams, and organizations to success. Her passions include developing empathetic and empowering leaders, cultivating talent and driving talent initiatives, and fostering a diverse, equitable and inclusive culture where everyone thrives.

Sandy is currently a Human Resources Consultant with Thomson Reuters and has previously held HR Leadership roles with American Express, Honeywell and major nonprofits.  A few highlights of Sandy's background include coaching and consulting senior leaders on strategy achievement through people initiatives, organization design and transformation, optimizing business models, leading mergers and acquisitions, and leading the development of a comprehensive eLearning curriculum for leaders.

Sandy holds a Bachelor's in Business from Indiana State University and a Master's in Human Resources Management from Concordia St. Paul University.  She is a Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) Certified Practitioner and holds the Senior Professional Human Resources (SPHR) designation.  She has also been a long-time member of the Society of Human Resources Management (SHRM), National Association of African-Americans in Human Resources (NAAAHR) and is a member of DallasHR. 

Sandy loves nature, and enjoys biking, hiking, public speaking, and book clubs.


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For any general inquires please email: president@atdfortworth.org

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Fort Worth/Mid-Cities ATD is a 501(c) non-profit organization

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