Letter from the ATD Buffalo Niagara President, O. Deborah Pratt

As I step into the role of President in the upcoming weeks, I find myself reflecting upon all that was accomplished by the 2020-21 Board Members. From the start of the pandemic, which coincided almost seamlessly with my ascendency to ATD Buffalo executive leadership, I held fast to words from the early civil rights leader and author, James Baldwin: “Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it faced.” As the leading Talent Development professional association in the region, the Buffalo Niagara Chapter faced historic tumult, and rapidly changed our in-person membership programming to a virtual format without missing a step. We remained optimistic during the lockdown and launched a new peer mentoring program in May 2021 and started planning for our first hybrid regional conference in December 2021. I would like to express my deepest gratitude to the outgoing and returning ATD Buffalo Niagara Board members for your extraordinary fortitude and creativity navigating unpredictable events over the last twelve months:

Usha Sahadeo, Kim Stahl, Sarah Collins, Kelly Glosser, Katie Marchese, Diane Roesch,
Stan Skrabut, Kim Welborn, and Yang Zhao

It is with resilience, wisdom, and hope for the future that the new Board starts the 2021-22 year. Allow me to introduce our talented new leaders:

Shantey Brown, President-Elect

Christa Meer, Vice President of Chapter Services

Joal Pappas, Vice President of Membership

Nick Koziol, Vice President of Sponsorships


Kelly Glosser, Vice President of Communications

Kim Welborn, Vice President of Marketing

Katie Marchese, Vice President of Programming

Yang Zhao, Vice President of Finance

Kim Stahl, Past President

With the new and returning Board Members, we will envision solutions to the question: Where do we go from here from here? Collectively, we will create and implement a strategy that will power our membership and sustain important membership benefits that include monthly professional events, a peer mentoring program, and an annual regional Buffalo Niagara conference.

We are fortunate to have so many inspiring talent development professionals and leaders within the Buffalo Niagara area, and I would like to invite you to contribute to this year’s visioning and help our membership connect to the resources that move your organizations forward. Please feel free to send me your thoughts and ideas at or join your fellow Buffalo Niagara professionals at a monthly Coffee Connections to share your thought leadership.

Sincerely yours,

Deborah Pratt, President

ATD Buffalo Niagara

ATD Buffalo Niagara | Chapter Code (CHip) 2043

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ATD Buffalo | 716.648.0972 | PO Box 888 | Hamburg, New York 14075-0888

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