Archive for Past Events

PathFinder Meeting – April 28: Mary Louise (ML) Dubay

CDA PathFinder Meeting – Confectionary Entrepreneur Mary Louise (ML) Dubay

ML_Toffee BiteCDA’s Pathfinder for the Future series is designed to help people move forward in their future careers. Our April speaker is Plano small business owner Mary Louise Dubay, founder of Toffee Treats. Mary Louise is an example of someone who made a 180-degree-shift, leaving the corporate world to volunteer in a non-profit and found her own business. Her story is based on a family tradition. The holiday season always found Mary Louise with her Grandmother watching the pot as the secret family recipe toffee cooked away. Throughout the years she continued the family tradition of making holiday toffee, adding a few of her own special ingredients to the golden, buttery candy along the way. Out of this experience – and with inspiration from those who tasted her holiday treat – a business was born. ML talked about leaving the corporate world after more than 20 years as a senior executive at a Fortune 500 hi-tech company to found Toffee Treats, a largely mail-order business. The candy is made in small handcrafted batches, without additives, preservatives, or fillers. In addition to her entrepreneurial wisdom, ML has promised to bring treats! Thursday, April 28 at 6:30 p.m. Please RSVP to attend, just so we have a head count, or call 972-278-4701. Click here to get directions from various locations in the metroplex. On a personal note, ML is a cancer survivor and a portion of Toffee Treats proceeds go toward a non-profit foundation that supports others who are fighting cancer.

A Woman’s Story of Survival and Sweet Success (a DFW 5 – NBC Newstory)

Sara Agritelley Discusses Re-engaging Her Career at Midlife

Sara Agritelley to Present at CDA Pathfinders Meeting

Helen-SaraA1300Former CDA client Sara Agritelley currently serves as a Supervisor of Benefits Service Center at Milliman – an international actuarial consulting firm specializing in employee benefits.

Sara is using her knowledge of – and passion for – the investment & financial planning fields to coach & inspire others to do the same. She started as a Benefits Representative assisting individuals with their 401k accounts & quickly moved through the ranks to be promoted to a leadership role within the division.

Sara spent 12 years raising her family, and was able to utilize Dr. Harkness’ knowledge and services to relaunch her career. Prior to taking time off to raise her family, Sara spent 17 years in the financial services industry.

Presentation: Re-engaging Your Career at Midlife

Date: Saturday, March 19, 2016

Please RSVP to attend, just so we have a head count.

Click here to get directions from various locations in the metroplex.

NOTE: When using Google Maps/Apple Maps, be certain to type in Career Design Associates Inc. Typing in the address has taken several clients to the wrong place!!

HR Expert and Coach Dr. William H. Behrendt to Present

Behrendt_2011_3307Our February speaker is noted human resource executive and coach Bill Behrendt, who joins us to talk about re-careering in his own life. He’ll also talk about futures in the health care field. Dr. Harkness met Bill when he took her Career Coaching class at UTD.  He has completed this certification and moved to a very high level in the field. He is now planning the next step in his career.

Bill most recently served as Vice President for Human Resources at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, Texas, where he was responsible for all “people” issues at the Medical School, and its University Hospitals and Clinics.

Bill’s recent accolades include the 2015 “Talent Development Champion of the Year” by Skillsoft, and the “Top 10 Breakaway HR Leadership” Award from the Global HR Summit in 2011. He also received the 2014 Strategic HR Leadership Award from Strategic HR Excellence, and was winner of the 2012 “PRISM” award for Excellence in Coaching from the International Coach Federation – N. Texas Chapter.

Prior to coming to Dallas in 2003, Dr. Behrendt served as Vice President for Human Resources for CareGroup Health System and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston Massachusetts. He previously held the role of Senior Vice President for Human Resources at the BJC Healthcare System in St. Louis, Missouri. He also served as President of Barnes-Jewish West County Hospital in St. Louis. In these positions, Dr. Behrendt gained extensive knowledge and experience in Organization Development, Mergers and Acquisitions, Change Management, Strategic Planning and Executive Coaching.

Dr. Behrendt began his career in retailing with the May Department Stores Company headquartered in St. Louis, where he held positions in consumer research, strategic planning, executive development and human resources. He earned a B.S. in Psychology from Tulane University in New Orleans, and his PhD in Clinical Psychology from Washington University in St. Louis, and completed a psychology internship at UT Southwestern in Dallas. He is also a graduate of the Certificate in Executive Coaching Program at University of Texas at Dallas, and an Professional Certified Coach member of the International Coach Federation. Dr. Behrendt has held faculty positions at Simmons College in Boston, UT Southwestern, and UT Dallas, and has served as a board member for the Barnes and Jewish Colleges of Nursing, the Picker Institute, LaunchAbility, and HealthPartners of the Midwest.

Date: February 18, 2016

Please RSVP to attend, just so we have a head count.

Anne Barr: Expert in Franchising and Business Ownership

Anne-Barr-modDate & Time: Thursday, January 7th, 6:30 pm

Location: CDA Offices in Garland

All are invited at NO CHARGE to gain this very timely information!

Anne Barr presents a seminar called “Business Ownership Options”, and Anne believes her seminar would be of benefit to anyone looking to explore business ownership and how to go about it. In addition, it is educational in nature and not sales oriented.

The seminar is jam-packed with information on all three options, and Anne will go over questions to ask – do’s and don’ts, how to find the right fit for your personality, personal and financial goals and your available funds. She’ll also talk about how to find funding for the acquisition.

Her seminar details the difference between:

  • independently owned businesses
  • start-ups
  • franchises

Anne has more than 30 years experience in sales and marketing, with six years as a franchisee. In her career, she has assisted more than 475 business owners and purchasers to achieve their goals in career change, transition and exit strategy.

She is a Certified Business Intermediary (CBI), a Certified Broker, a Certified Franchise Executive (CFE) and is a Texas Licensed Real Estate Broker, a Registered Business Broker and a Franchise Consultant Broker.

Anne assures us that she always leave some time at the end of the presentation for Q & A.

Entrepreneurship: Do You Have What It Takes?

A CDA PathFinder For Your Future Event on Entrepreneurship

By 2020, forty percent of American’s are predicted to become freelancers, self-employed, part-time workers or work in portfolio career. Is this for you?

Want to know more? Attend this CDA PathFinder Meeting!

Hear the details of becoming a Tiny House entrepreneur from BA Norrgard who created A Bed Over my Head. You’ll also meet Leigh Ellen Key, who with Matt Warmuth, founded Jigsaw Ticket, LLC, designed for young adults to achieve a satisfying career and avoid overwhelming college debt!

Career Design PathFinder for Your Future
Thursday, November 12, 2015 at 6:30 pm
Location: 2818 S. Country Club Road
Garland, Texas 75043

Attendees may choose to take the “Traits of an Entrepreneur” quiz created in 1995 by Dr. Harkness for the World Future Society all day seminar. You can view the 100 Characteristics test here.

Open to the public at no charge! RSVP NOW!

A Bed Over My Head with BA Norrgard

BANorrgard-ABOMHB.A. Norrgard of A Bed Over My Head is a trailblazer and a tiny house luminary. In 2012 she decided to overhaul her life – not from a fail, but to find out what really made her happy. Bucking societal expectations and following her inner guidance, she shed her paralegal costume after 26 years in a downtown Dallas high-rise. She hand built (in Dr. Harkness’ back field) her own 112 square foot tiny house on wheels to be her full-time permanent residence. She is a passionate advocate for others following their dream of letting go of societal conditioning and being free to live a larger life in a smaller space.

Since August 2014 she has traveled over 7,000 miles with her house, exhibiting, speaking, teaching workshops and consulting on living small. She strives to live a sustainable lifestyle and blogs regularly about her lifestyle and transition on her website, A Bed Over My Head.

She has been featured in the Dallas Morning News, KRLD Radio, Al Jazeera America Cable News Network, ABC, NBC, FOX news, Buzzfeed, Yahoo, GreenSource DFW, The Maureen Anderson Show and has been a contributing author in Tiny House Magazine. B.A. is a doer. She lives by example and loves to travel in her tiny house.

Jigsaw Ticket LLC and Leigh Ellen Key

jigsawticket-LLCLeigh Ellen Key is an entrepreneur and self-development advocate. She founded Jigsaw Ticket, LLC in 2015 with her business partner, Matthew Warmuth, to help teens and young adults find their direction and make better choices as they evaluate their future educational and career options.

Only recently, Leigh Ellen realized that her first career truly started at age 12 working as a concession stand attendant at a local pool. This was her first experience as an intrapreneur. She then continued as an entrepreneur in the energy industry and in the health, wellness, and self-development industry.

After successfully testing its first programs and services for teens using Lean Startup methods, Jigsaw Ticket just began offering programs and services to the public in October at their downtown Dallas office. A full schedule of programs and services for teens and young adults will be offered starting in January. Jigsaw Ticket also offers free informal talks full of tips for parents of teenagers. These talks are typically hosted by a local parent in their home for their invited friends.

Now, fifteen years after starting her journey into the nature of human self-development, she’s still just as passionate about lifting the human spirit. Understanding what internally energizes and motivates you and then directing that energy in your life and work is what gives each of us the sense of purpose, confidence, and connection that can change our world for the better.

Todd Wagner – From Lawyer to Yahoo to Philanthropist

Former Client Todd Wagner and CDA

Todd Wagner has presented at Career Design Associates a number of times since he was client of Dr. Harkness’ in the early 1990s. Todd is a great example of a client who has reinvented himself a number of times – from Lawyer to High-tech Entrepreneur to Investor and Philanthropist. Todd has made his efforts and his investments count in a variety of ways, often for the benefit of society. He is committed to being a change agent.

Phase One – Running From The Law

Harkness_Wagner_lowres-7029Like a lot of lawyers, Todd Wagner is bright and articulate, and the law seemed like a good fit for him.

However, as he said in a Dallas Morning News story in 2004, he describes people trapped in jobs as doing “the walk of the living dead.” He’s experienced it twice, and both times, career counselor Helen Harkness came to his rescue. Dr. Harkness and Mr. Wagner first crossed paths in 1991, when he took her informal course at Southern Methodist University called “Running from the Law” – a sort of group therapy for disgruntled lawyers. At 30, he fit the bill. He’d gone to law school for lack of anything better to do and graduated from the University of Virginia in 1986.

At first he liked carrying a briefcase, acting like an adult and driving to the downtown Dallas office of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. But that was fleeting. After switching to another law firm, Todd said “I discovered that had nothing to do with it. I just wasn’t cut out to be a lawyer,” he says. “But like so many people, I still didn’t do anything about it.”

By 1992, he was a partner, pulling down $200,000 or so, but he was miserable. Dr. Harkness hounded him about escaping. The warning that finally stuck was: “If you don’t quit, you’re going to be dead of a heart attack or something by the time you’re 45.” He realized she was right. “When the pain becomes greater than the fear of the unknown, that’s when you go,” Mr. Wagner says. “Finally the pain was so great, I didn’t care if I swept floors or bartended, I just wasn’t going to do that anymore.”

Phase Two – Yahoo

Harkness_Wagner_med-7020When he resigned to explore “this thing called the “Internet”,” the senior partner of the law firm told Mr. Wagner he’d never make it as an entrepreneur.

“I was scared because I didn’t know what I was going to do next,” Mr. Wagner recalls. “But you know what, I was really exhilarated, too. It was the happiest time maybe of my whole life.” Well, perhaps the second happiest. When he and his college-buddy-turned-partner Mark Cuban sold to Yahoo, they pocketed more money than either could spend in two lifetimes. Ironically, this good fortune led to his second career crisis. In a remarkable move, Mr. Wagner turned down Yahoo’s offer to stay on as chief operating officer. He also turned down Mr. Cuban’s offer to go halfsies in buying the Dallas Mavericks. He needed soul renewal, not to jump into another business inferno.

Phase Three – Philanthropy

Harkness_Wagner_lowres-7018Instead of returning to business immediately, Todd started his charitable foundation. He has made a substantial commitment of his time, energy and resources to giving back through the Todd Wagner Foundation. For more than a decade, the Foundation has implemented Wagner’s vision of venture philanthropy and invested millions in cutting-edge programs that empower underserved communities and at-risk youth.

The Foundation’s signature program is MIRACLES®, a structured after-school program focusing on technology, education and life skills for children grades 6-12. In 2007 the Foundation made a substantial grant that united the MIRACLES® curriculum with The Boys & Girls Clubs of America’s (BGCA) technology program “Club Tech.”

One of the Foundation’s first initiatives was the Minority Technology Fund, which provided resources, mentoring and training to help entrepreneurs in Dallas’ inner city compete in today’s technology-driven world. The Fund made important early investments in several companies who continue to thrive more than a decade later.

In 2003, the Todd Wagner Foundation partnered with the nationally renowned Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP) to bring KIPP’s first college preparatory public school to Dallas. KIPP TRUTH currently has more than 350 students enrolled in grades five through eight, and KIPP recently announced ambitious expansion plans for the Dallas/Ft. Worth area with hopes of having 10 KIPP schools serving 5,000 students in the region by 2025.

Phase Four – Business and Philanthropy

Later, Todd Wagner fused his passion for entertainment with his business portfolio to build the Wagner/Cuban Companies, which spans content creation, distribution and exhibition: 2929 Entertainment, 2929 Productions, Magnolia Pictures, Landmark Theatres and AXS TV. He has provided artistic vision and business acumen critical to such important films as the Oscar®-nominated Good Night, and Good Luck and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, as well as Akeelah and the Bee and The Road. Wagner currently is developing The Flyer, a film about the Wright brothers’ invention of flight.

Wagner continues to invest in and nurture a variety of technology and media start-ups.