Announcing Our Preconference Workshops


Looking for a way to enhance your Annual Institute experience? Join us early on Sunday, April 28 to participate in one of our exciting preconference workshops! Read below to learn more about the options. Don’t forget to register for the Annual Institute!

2024 Annual Institute preconference workshops, Sunday April 28, 1-4pm
Human-Centered Design with Gary Powell“What’s Love Got to Do with It” with Mike Powell

How to ‘Wow’ Your Customers with Human-Centered Design
Presenter Gary C. Powell, EdD

Do you have a challenge that needs a little LOVE? Have you ever had a bad experience with a product and reflected, “whoever designed this thing clearly did not consult with any actual customers!” Or have you experienced a service (hotel, restaurant, or even a training conference) and felt that whoever designed it missed several opportunities to leave you feeling full of joy and delight?

Well, you came to the right place! During this session, the group will explore Human-Centered Design and how to have real people at the focal point of the solution. Too often, solutions fail because they don’t fulfill the needs of the customer.

Sometimes the best way to understand and learn something new, is to just dive in and experience it! We will do just that: dig into human-centered design. We won’t simply talk about what design is, rather we will do some design together. If you’ve been curious about how HCD works, then this is the place for you. We will sprint through design challenges together, and all you need is a pen, a few blank pieces of paper, and the person seated beside you. 

By the end of this session, you will have been exposed to a medley of human-centered design tools, methods, and especially mindsets. You will be able to start doing HCD today to “wow” your customers, solve wicked problems, and make impactful changes in your life and in the world.

About Gary
Gary C. Powell, EdD
– Human-Centered Design (HCD) & Customer Experience (CX) Thought Leader
– Training Officer, FEMA
– Deputy Chief CX Officer, TOC
– Distinguished Service Award Program Chair, TOC

Dr. Gary C. Powell is the Training Officer for the Resilience organization within the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  In this role, Gary plans and manages a broad spectrum of innovative capability-building, succession planning and professional development activities and services. 

Dr. Powell is best described as a creative and passionate ‘guru’ of Learning & Development, Customer Experience, Design Thinking and Human-Centered Design.  As a consultant, Gary leverages his expertise in a variety of human-centered design approaches to elevate the customer experience.  Whether renting a car, applying for a farm loan, or shopping online — all customers deserve positive, memorable, and even “wow!” interactions.  This ultimately will lead to greater customer-centric business practices, increased customer loyalty and significant business growth.

Gary will help ensure your organization provides a positive and seamless experience to your customers, using a variety of HCD/CX techniques such as:

1. Customer feedback analysis
2. Customer journey mapping (to identify both emotional highs and lows)
3. Monitoring customer metrics
4. Customer empathy and advocacy
5. Competitor analysis
6. Customer surveys, interviews, and focus groups
7. Ethnographic research
8. Root cause analysis

And if that wasn’t enough, Dr. Gary C. Powell is:
* Executive Board member of the Training Officers Consortium (Deputy Chief CX Officer)
* President of the FEMA Chapter Blacks in Government
* Member of the Advisory Committee for the Customer Experience Certificate Program at the University of Richmond
* Executive Board member of the Drew University College Alumni Association
* Executive Board member of the OKK Foundation, Inc. (a 501c3 organization)
* Chair of the Drew University Alumni Club of Washington, DC

What’s Love Got to Do with It? Building a Compassionate and Inclusive Workplace by Integrating Equity, Equality, and Love 
Presented by Mike Powell

As a result of today’s evolving professional landscape, organizations are increasingly recognizing the importance of workplace culture.  In an interconnected world, the integration of love, equity, and equality has emerged as a powerful framework for driving positive change within organizations. This dynamic session equips leaders with the knowledge, skills, and strategies needed to harness the transformative potential of these principles and create more compassionate, equitable, and inclusive workplaces.

Throughout this course, participants will explore the interconnected nature of love, equity, and equality and their profound impact on organizational culture, employee engagement, performance, and success. Drawing on insights from psychology, sociology, and organizational behavior, participants will delve into the following key objectives:
* Understanding Love in Leadership
* Advancing Equity in Organizational Structures
* Fostering Equality through Inclusive Practices

By embracing the principles of equity, equality, and love, Training Officers can not only drive greater employee engagement and satisfaction but also contribute to building a more just and equitable society. Join us on this transformative journey towards creating workplaces where everyone can thrive.

About Mike
Mike Powell, MBA, is a leadership consultant and business coach who ignites passion, growth, and energy for positive change in people and organizations in every sector. A dynamic speaker and trainer, Mike draws upon the lessons learned from his unique life experiences to help individuals, teams, and organizations improve their performance and achieve success. With over 20 years of experience, Mike has delivered keynote speeches, facilitated engaging workshops, and led large-scale consulting initiatives for organizations nationwide.

As Vice President of the Powell Consulting Group, a management consulting firm in Hyattesville, MD, Mike has worked with leaders in some of the nation’s leading organizations and federal agencies, including Johnson & Johnson, The Department of Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), The National Education Association, NASA, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA). He is a certified executive coach and is certified in Myer’s Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI), Emotional Intelligence, Situational Leadership ™, and The Human Element.

Mike is a past Board member of the Training Officers Consortium of Washington, DC. was recognized as one of the top “40 under 40” leaders in the state of Maryland by the Prince George’s Social Innovation Fund in 2016. Mike believes leadership is about service. He looks forward to continuing to use his gifts, talents, skills, and resources to serve people worldwide.

In addition to his professional work, Mike is passionate about using coaching, training, and leadership development for social impact. He is a founding member of the Lifting As We Climb Foundation, a 501©3 non-profit organization dedicated to empowering young men in Washington, DC., Maryland, Virginia, and Detroit, Michigan since 2003.  

These sessions are included in the registration for any TOC Annual Institute registered participants (including those with 2023-2024 registrants and Annual Institute-only registrants). Not registered for the Annual Institute yet? Don’t delay! Register here: