Speaker Bios

Teresa Allen

Teresa Allen is owner of Common Sense Solutions, a national training and consulting firm which was named the 2015 Customer Service Training Practice of the Year Award by the International Stevie Awards for Sales and Customer Service.

Ranked #1 on GlobalGurus.org list of the world’s top customer service experts, Teresa has presented her highly acclaimed customer service keynotes and training programs across the U.S. and abroad for over twenty years.

She is currently listed as one of the Top 10 U.S. speakers by Speaking.com and is a two time recipient of the ASTD Professional Trainer of the Year Award. She is also a very popular webinar presenter for the banking industry.

She is the author of Common Sense Service: Close Encounters on the Front Lines and is co-author of The Service Path: Your Roadmap for Building Strong Customer Loyalty. Teresa is a graduate of Miami University in Oxford, Ohio where she earned her B.S. in Business Administration with a degree in Marketing.


Jeffrey Bassett

Jeffrey Bassett is a Regional Training Manager at SunTrust Banks, Inc.

Jeffrey has  28 years of experience in Banking and Learning Delivery including Consumer, Small Business  and Wholesale sales and management.   He has spent the last decade immersed in Training Delivery as an instructor and training manager at SunTrust.

Jeffrey holds multiple certifications from companies such as The Center for Leadership Studies, Blessing White, as well as a Master Trainer Certification from The Richardson Company.

He attended Flagler College for an undergraduate in Education and the University of South Florida for graduate studies in English.

Jacquie Beck

Jacquie Beck is an expert on instructional design and live virtual training with over 8,000 hours logged as a virtual instructor and over 2,000 virtual events delivered with Fortune 500 companies worldwide. Jacqueline is a master trainer on Adobe Connect, she manages an engagement and gamification platform for Adobe Connect called EduGameCloud. Jacquie is a published author on virtual training best practices and national speaker for ASTD, eLearning Guild, Adobe and SALT. She is an eLearning & virtual training consultant with 20+ years’ experience designing & developing software training applications, simulators, testing portals, designing content for virtual delivery and integrating content with various learning management systems.  She is currently Director of Client Training for Vitalyst.

Also, she designed and developed the DCO portal for Adobe systems that supported over 800 million minutes per year for virtual learning with the DoD. She also wrote, narrated and produced all the learning content on ADOBE TV called “Learn Connect” – a MOOC with over 500,000 views.

Jacqueline has written featured articles on virtual training for the eLearning Guild and Learning Solutions Magazine.

Robyn Benincasa

New York Times best-selling author and world champion adventure racer Robyn Benincasa accepts full responsibility for inspiring people to do insane things like climb Mount Kilimanjaro, run their first triathlon, start their own adventure racing teams, or launch their own businesses. After all, that is who she is and what she does: an adventurer who inspires people to do amazing things.

In her 15-year career as a professional adventure racer, Benincasa has competed in close to 40 expedition-length events – gnarly, multiday, multisport killers such as Primal Quest and Eco-Challenge. She has biked through jungles in Borneo, climbed Himalayan giants in Nepal, trekked across lava fields in Fiji, rafted rapids in Chile – and racked up multiple world championship titles along the way. In her spare time, she is a full-time firefighter in San Diego on the nation’s first all-female crew.

Her latest book, How Winning Works: 8 Essential Leadership Lessons from the Toughest Teams on Earth, hit the shelves in May 2012 and was quickly dubbed a New York Timesbestseller.

Benincasa launched World Class Teams and its sister company Flashover Seminars to bring her unique and inspiring perspective on teamwork to the corporate world via keynotes, seminars, and team-building programs. Starbucks, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Aramark, Honda/Acura, Tony Robbins, Allianz, Wal-Mart, Timberland, Napster, AT&T, and Earthlink all rely on her presentations. Her unforgettable keynotes have taught countless high-performance leaders all over the world about building world-class teams and the “followership” skills necessary for dynamic role shifting and true teamwork.

Robyn Benincasa founded the Project Athena Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to helping women who have endured medical setbacks achieve their athletic dreams, whether it means climbing Mount Kilimanjaro or running a local 10K. The goal? To encourage survivors not just to survive but to thrive in the wake of their diagnoses.

Cynthia Clay

Cynthia Clay is the CEO of NetSpeed Learning Solutions (based in Seattle Washington) and the author of Great Webinars: How to Create Interactive Learning that is Captivating, Informative, and Fun! Her company works with clients who are making the transition from the face-to-face classroom to high-energy, interactive virtual blended learning. Cynthia’s clients include Navy Federal Credit Union, Citi Group, Heritage Bank, Butterfield Bank in Bermuda, and Marriott International.

She is a passionate advocate of brain-based learning and works with instructional designers and virtual facilitators to develop stellar practices in the virtual classroom.


Alex Draginis

Alex joined Accent Learning and Consulting in 2015, bringing a fresh, Millennial perspective on the workforce. Her experience working across generations and with diverse teams helps groups appreciate seen and unseen strengths as we work toward common goals.

Her transition to Accent allows her to use her experience working across generations in a public service role and combines it with her passion for education. Alex has a degree in Educational Policy from UW-Milwaukee.




Eric Eaton

Eric Eaton has 12 years of retail banking experience under his belt, with 7 of those from the customer service and branch management side and 5 from the education and development side. He manages the Education Department for BankPlus, a $2.6 billion bank located throughout the state of Mississippi.

This is Eric’s 4th Trainer’s conference to attend and he is thrilled to have been asked to participate as a co-presenter with his friend, Honey Shelton.

When he’s not training for BankPlus, he can often be found performing in a professional regional theatre, or working on a voiceover spot for television or radio. You may even get to enjoy his talents at a nearby karaoke bar in San Diego this June!

Eric holds a Bachelors of Arts in History from Ole Miss and a Master’s in Communications from Mississippi College.

Mike Fisher

Mike Fisher began his 25+ year career in sales as a college student, selling books door-to-door in the summers. He was consistently a top salesperson among several thousand students. Since that time, he has spent his entire career in direct sales, sales management and most recently, sales training and consulting. His energetic and engaging facilitation style is filled with practical insights and ideas drawn from personal and professional experiences “in the trenches.” Since joining Integrity Services in 2003, he has conducted sales and coaching training for a diverse group of clients, including Abbott Laboratories, Sanofi-Aventis, Johnson & Johnson, Coca-Cola Corporation, Gerber Life, Enterprise, First Bank of NC, BCBS-Alabama, Comcast Spotlight, Wyndham, Career Builder, Comdata, Tractor Supply Company, Embassy Suites and Cendant Corporation. Mike resides in Spring Hill, TN with his wife and two children. He enjoys golfing, motorcycle riding and running.


Phily Hayes

Phily Hayes is the Senior Account Manager at LearnUpon.  He resides in Dublin, Ireland.  Before joining LearnUpon in 2014, he was employed by Deloitte Ireland as a Technology Analyst.  He received his Masters Degree in E-Commerce/Electronic Commerce from Dublin City University.  His undergrad degree was at the University of Limerick.   In 2012, he was named Ireland’s Top Technology Talent by Deloitte & Touche.




Maria Ho

Maria Ho is the research manager for the Association for Talent Development. She authors research reports and other research products, analyzes data, and develops research plans and quantitative models. She also promotes and presents ATD’s research by blogging, posting on social media, and giving presentations. Maria is especially interested in performance measurement and evaluation and the impact of new technologies on training.

Prior to joining ATD, Maria was a public policy researcher, data analyst, and writer at the Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C.  Maria holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from Harvard University and a master’s degree in economics from Johns Hopkins University.


Jeff Kelly

Jeff Kelly, Vice President of Governance, Risk and Compliance at OnCourse Learning has experience working with banks in roles including Compliance Officer, Senior Regulatory Examiner, and Vice President of Compliance and Risk Management. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Business and an MBA from University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.






Larry Lipman

Larry is a certified trainer and Success Coach.  He works with small, medium, and large companies, corporations, teachers, educators, banks, hospitals, lawyers, variety of groups and organizations.

Larry graduated from Westminster High School in Atlanta Georgia. He earned his B.A. at the University of Virginia and M.Ed. at the University of San Diego. Along the way, Larry has been a Bailiff in Traffic Court, Algebra and Geometry Teacher, Basketball and Tennis Coach, Director of Summer Camp Aquatics Programs, Director of Sales, an Actor in T.V. and T.V. Commercials, and a Team Building Success Coach for the past 24 years. Larry specializes in teamwork, team building, and bringing out the best in TEAMS. Larry was also an actor on the TV Show, “Dallas” in the 80’s.


Kathlynn McConnell, CPLP, CRO


Kathlynn McConnell holds a B.A.Sc Degree from the University of MN Duluth, is a Certified Professional in Learning and Performance (CPLP), full time Director of Training for Members Cooperative Credit Union , and the Chief Refueling Officer (CRO)/president /owner of Lifestyle Consulting Services.

Focusing on the “human side of business”, Kathlynn works with her MCCU team members and partners with businesses and organizations of all sizes, giving them tools to get their staff inspired and engaged so they can provide fabulous customer service, communicate well and play nicely with each other in the sandbox (which we call the workplace).

Kathlynn has partnered with clients such as the Mayo Medical Clinic, Toro, Land O’Lakes, Public Works Association, Bank Trainer’s Conference, the Association for Talent Development, Society for Human Resource Management, hospitals, universities, financials, non-profit organizations…well, you get the idea.

In addition, Kathlynn also is the Past President for the American Society for Training and Development- Lake Superior Chapter, Vice President of the Professional Women’s Network, and serves in a variety of capacities in many other community, church and professional organizations.

Barbara Opyt

After several years of being an “accidental bank trainer,” Barbara Opyt took a train-the-trainer course, which exposed her to adult learning theory for the first time and opened her eyes to the complexities of adult learners and best practices of training facilitation.

Barbara went on to earn an M.Ed. in curriculum and instruction from the University of Texas at Austin.

She is now a Learning Solutions Manager for Caveo Learning, a role that involves providing oversight and support for a team of instructional designers who create learning and performance solutions aligned with client business objectives and performance measures.

Her Crash Course in Adult Learning Theory and Practices is sure to be a hit at this year’s conference!

Matt Pierce

Matt Pierce, from TechSmith Corp., a software company that provides practical business and academic solutions that change how people communicate and collaborate across devices. For seven years, he directly managed the training and user assistance teams for TechSmith, and has experience leading the social media, video, and technical support teams. Matt is a regular contributor to several online publications, and has published articles in various training publications in the United Kingdom and United States. He has spoken multiple times at national and international conferences including TechKnowledge, the Society for Technical Communication Summit, Technical Communication UK, and Online Educa Berlin. A graduate of Indiana University’s School of Education’s Department of Instructional Systems Technology, Matt has 10 plus years’ experience working in learning and development with a focus on visual instruction.


Honey Shelton

honey-shelton-cropped.jpgHoney Shelton brings the best of both worlds to her speaking and training engagements. She has 25 years of experience as a training and quality improvement consultant for banks and banking associations across the country. Her banking background includes spending three years as Executive Vice President/Chief Retail Banking Officer with First Victoria National Bank. Nationally recognized as an outstanding speaker, over a half million bankers have participated in programs Honey has presented. Her depth of knowledge, enthusiasm, and compelling personality has left her lasting mark on InterAction Training, the firm she founded in 1983. As a graduate of the School of Bank Marketing from the University of Colorado, she realizes the value of quality education. Honey invests time as a faculty member for banking schools around the country. She is a repeat presenter for most of the state banking associations. Honey continues in her own personal pursuit of excellence and is a member of the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD). Currently she is pursuing a self study program on Six Sigma. She has obtained certification in Reality Therapy from the William Glasser Institute as well as certification from the Training and Development Program at Texas A & M.

Kevin Siegel

Kevin Siegel is the founder and president of IconLogic, Inc. He has written hundreds of books about applications such as Adobe Captivate, Articulate Storyline, TechSmith Camtasia Studio, Adobe Presenter, Adobe RoboHelp, Adobe Dreamweaver, Adobe InDesign, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and QuarkXPress.

Kevin spent five years in the U.S. Coast Guard as an award-winning photojournalist and has nearly three decades experience as a print publisher, technical writer, instructional designer, and eLearning developer. He is a certified technical trainer, a veteran classroom instructor, and a frequent speaker at trade shows and conventions.

Kevin holds multiple certifications from companies such as Adobe, CompTIA, and the International Council of Certified Online Training Professionals.


Charles Tames

Charles has developed and taught sales and negotiation training in four continents. While doing so he has worked with a variety of clients over the course of his career including: Bank of America, M&T Bank, First Citizens Bank, Wells Fargo, Sherwin Williams, PwC, Sanofi-aventis, Verizon, ESPN, Cleveland Indians, and Ecolab. Prior to SNI, Chip was Northwestern Mutual Insurance working in sales and a Sales Manager at Dale Carnegie. During his time at the latter, his talent for teaching was recognized as he became one of the most sought-after trainers in the organization and received the “Excellence in Instruction” award.



Mark Trinkle

After graduating from Ohio Northern University with a BSBA, Mark spent the first 20 years of his career as a property & casualty insurance underwriter and broker. During this time, he realized that his real passion is for sales coaching.

He joined Anthony Cole Training Group in 2007 as a Sales Development Expert where he helps salespeople identify, chase and catch their dreams. He is now the President and Chief Sales Officer.  Mark has had great success helping salespeople simplify the sales process into three steps: hunting, qualifying and closing. And those three steps are manifested in the three most critical moments of the evolution of an opportunity: the first phone call, the first appointment and the close.

Mark would tell you that: “I have been blessed twice in my career: 1) I get to do what I love and 2) I get to do it with people that I love. There is no doubt that is where my passion for this business comes from.” Great passion usually leads to great success and earned Mark the Chief Sales Officer title for the company in 2015. Mark was named President of Anthony Cole Training Group in January 2017.

Mark was born in Middletown, Ohio and now lives in Cincinnati with his wife Kim and daughter Madison. He is also passionate about golf and his beloved Ohio State Buckeyes.

Brian Walker

Brian Walker is Vice President of Client Revenue Consulting for Learning Dynamics. In this role, he works directly with clients to identify and capitalize on revenue growth opportunities within those clients’ businesses. He brings over 30 years of consulting, training, process improvement, and strategy development experience to this practice area. During this time, he owned a successful international training organization for 18 years and served on its International Leadership Board.

Brian has worked with Fortune 500 companies, as well as small and medium businesses, throughout his career and has helped clients realize significant improvements in revenue, customer retention, and other key result areas. Accomplishments in his deep portfolio include helping a major telecommunications company increase sales per representative by 9.4%, and a training and development initiative for a leading financial services firm that realized improved advisor retention and increased revenue.

Brian serves as a Director on the board of Junior Achievement. He holds a BS from Northeastern University in Boston, MA.

Wayne Zitsch

zitschWayne Zitsch is the Senior Manager of Learning Operations and Delivery at SunTrust Banks, Inc. Wayne has over 20 years of experience in teaching, learning technologies, and management. His early career was spent with IBM providing Instructional design and LMS technology consulting. The last 10 years he has spent with banking institutions Bank of America and SunTrust focusing on compliance/risk training, outsourcing of training, and training organization design. Wayne is a passionate systems thinker and problem solver. He holds a BA from Clemson University, MS in Instructional Technology from Georgia State University, and MBA from Mercer University.