Who We Are
Gillespie Associates senior team members share core beliefs about adult learners, evidence-based training methodologies, and the importance of teamwork. This foundation means we can count on each other, and you can count on us.
Joan: Senior Instructional Designer, Editorial Chief, and eLearning Development Specialist
Degree in Instructional Technology
Joan had never heard the term “instructional designer” until one evening, over sushi, she reconnected with Margie, a high school chum. Margie knew Joan was at a career crossroads, and described her own occupation in glowing terms. Joan doubted that she could do it, but Margie exclaimed, “Joan, you’d be perfect! You love to ask questions!”
And it was that credential—expert nosiness—that drove Joan to enroll in a master’s degree program that incorporated Dr. Robert Mager’s Criterion Referenced Instruction and Instructional Module Development.
Joan’s career trajectory looks something like this: journalism degree/newspaper investigative researcher/typographer/ editor/indexer. She’s worked for publications as diverse as Good Housekeeping and Penthouse Forum.
Some common themes emerge here. Yes, there’s that question-asking thing that Margie identified, but there’s also the ability to ferret out the essence of a story or graphical layout or article. And then taking that essence, paring it down further, and translating it into something understandable and relevant.
So what began as world-class inquisitiveness led Joan to become a senior instructional designer, editorial chief, elearning development specialist, and an integral part of the Gillespie team!
Nancy: Consultant, Client Manager, Project Manager, and Senior Designer and Developer
Degree in Electrical Engineering; former Systems Engineer
Her engineering background taught Nancy how to analyze a problem, seek a solution, and quickly learn difficult-to-grasp information. And her experience working for a large company gave her insight to glean the real issue behind a client request. When taking network engineer certification classes, she noticed that the training company employees looked like they loved their jobs and were having fun and Nancy was fascinated by the learning process. That’s when she was approached by the facilitator and asked if she ever considered training people. Making a gut decision, she took the job and never looked back.
Nancy’s rare ability to see beyond a client's immediate issues and perceive the bigger picture plays no small part in all the roles she holds today at Gillespie—consultant, client manager, project manager, and senior designer and developer.
Michelle: Developer of People, Expertise, and the Gillespie Brand
Degrees in Graphic Communications, Humanities, Women’s Studies, African American Studies, and Communication& Media Technology; former Air Force PFC, copy shop and college print shop manager turned Certified Professional in Learning and Performance
Michelle loves to learn. As you can see by her list of degrees, she hasn’t met an educational opportunity that she didn’t like!
But it was her job managing the Kinkos computer service department that made her realize how much she also loveshelping others learn—how to make an aesthetically pleasing poster or explain a ten-year gap in employment history on a resume.
At the time, she “didn’t know the language around instructional design.” But she did know she loved “helping people do something—use a particular tool, make a resume. Helping people better themselves.”
She took that love of helping others better themselves and ran with it right into a career in instructional design and professional development. From there Michelle launched herself into leadership at Gillespie Associates. As Chief Development Officer, Michelle develops people through the creation of great learning objects, develops expertise through learning all she can and sharing that knowledge with colleagues (and really anyone who will listen), and develops the Gillespie brand by promoting our expertise in learning and performance.
Geoff: Co-owner and CEO of Gillespie Associates
Degree in Biochemistry; former Research Biochemist and Quality Improvement Manager
Working as a quality improvement manager got Geoff thinking about human performance, its role in quality, and training as a solution. He began running classes to improve quality and safety, fueled by the desire to help people grow and be good at their jobs.
He soon found this was the part of his job where he was deriving the most satisfaction: helping people grow their skill set. That is, when he started thinking about the best way to help people move forward, as opposed to “just checking a box that indicated training had been completed.”
And when the opportunity presented itself to run a company devoted to helping other businesses grow and succeed, Geoff jumped on it. Which is how he eventually wound up becoming CEO of Gillespie Associates.
Karen: Co-owner and President of Gillespie Associates
Degree in Organizational Development
As an OD consultant, Karen has over 30 years of corporate experience in group dynamics, culture change, leadership development, strategic planning and consulting with executive women. She saw a clear connection between her work in OD and the work we were doing at Gillespie Associates. Together we’ve been able to address performance issues from multiple directions. An artist at heart, Karen applies her creativity to helping people and organizations grow and change.
Nikki: Director of Finance and Manager of All Things Office-Related
Degree in Business Management with concentration in Accounting
It was during her first college accounting class for her business/pre-law track, that Nikki decided accounting was her passion. Her love of how numbers tell a story made her the perfect fit for Gillespie Associates and our love of stories to drive learning. For Nikki, numbers describe the past, present, and future of a company through the reports that she finds such fun in analyzing. A career path that included billing clerk, accounting manager, and accounting analyst led her to Gillespie Associates when she wanted to find an organization that would embrace her passion for accounting and provide her with the work/life balance she desired. Nikki’s work analyzes and organizes the story that is Gillespie Associates, so the rest of us can keep writing stories to reach new learners.
Angie – Technical Writer
Degree in Professional and Technical Communication
Five years ago, Geoff reached out to a smart and savvy writer for an eight-month engagement. Angie was such a great fit for the team and the work was such a great fit for Angie, that she’s been with us ever since! Angie loves technical writing because it presents her with the opportunity to learn new things. She now knows all about blood analyzers, blood typing, and chemistry, among other things. Once she’s learned something new, she likes the challenge of taking that information and turning it into documentation that a user can understand. And she is very good at doing just that!