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More Challenges Lead to More Opportunities!

07/01/2020 9:15 PM | Ina Heffner

Hello, ATD Valley of the Sun Members and Friends.

Can you believe it is July already?! A part of me feels disbelief that half the year is behind us. Another part of me feels like this year has lasted an eternity!

What a world we’ve seen unfolding in 2020! I’ve felt the need to communicate my thoughts on current events for several weeks; however, I have been struggling with what thoughts and emotions to convey. We all have so many messages coming at us from all different directions these days and I do not want to just add to the white noise.

First, I hope that you and those you care about are well. Many of us, including myself, have been taxed physically, emotionally, mentally, and psychologically over these past few months. News from around the globe this year has been exhausting, in and of itself: impeachment trials; Brexit; Australian and Brazilian, and now US, wildfires; the on-going fallout of the “Me Too” movement; primaries and politics; etc. Then came COVID-19 to show us just how much more we must be concerned about. Consequently, life as we knew it literally ground to a halt, we were instructed to change our behavior to protect ourselves and those around us, and the economy took a nose-dive. We’ve not yet made it to the safety of the other side of this pandemic and there are only question marks about when that might happen; and, now, there is a major social movement underway in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd and many others that is leading to even more uncomfortable, yet necessary, conversations and situations. The common denominators in all the above are change and uncertainty!

The doomsday recap above is not intended to discourage us, though; it is merely intended to acknowledge that there are many challenges impacting us all, to one extent or another, in this current environment. The silver lining to challenges is they offer us opportunities to grow - personally, professionally, nationally, and as a global community.

In response to the COVID and remote work challenges, ATD Valley of the Sun rallied to quickly offer virtual programs on how these conditions impact our work in the Talent Development arena. We also gathered and publicized free development resources being made available during this time. I am so proud of Martyn Whitby’s efforts, our Director of Membership, and those who helped him pull those sessions together so expediently and efficiently. We have held, and plan to continue offering, virtual networking breaks at various times of day to give us an opportunity to have social and professional interaction while still practicing social distancing. Many thanks to Brittney Helt, Director of Marketing & Communications, for scheduling and managing the platforms to hold these events! Our Director of Professional Development and Programs, Lori Bond, pivoted quickly to virtual formats for programs during this time and arranged for one of our faithful chapter friends, Dr. Tyrone Holmes, to present a Healthy Living for Busy Professionals session with many valuable tips for managing stress and sustaining balance in this new world we are experiencing.

Our entire Board has pulled together to regroup and adjust to the changing needs of our members. Yet, we realize we have much still to do! We’d very much appreciate your help in identifying what our to-do list and priorities should be going forward.

The chapter leadership and I would like to hear from you on how we might better help you find the opportunities in these challenging times! Please comment below or email us at

  • How you are building and sustaining your resilience through these challenging times?
  • What skills are you working on building?
  • How can we better serve you?

Please share your thoughts with us and your colleagues! We hope to also “see” you soon at one of our upcoming events. Check here for more information:

Be Well, Stay Safe, Flatten the Curve!

Ina Heffner

President, ATD Valley of the Sun

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