Dr. Valerie Whitcomb serves as the Executive Director of Global Training Foundation, a non-profit 501c3 devoted to providing micro-entrepreneurship training to individuals incapable of participating in a traditional work setting. She serves on the board of Final Salute, Inc. a non-profit that helps prevent homelessness among female veterans. She is an academic instructional program designer at Salisbury University in Maryland currently working to deliver the MBA and other masters programs to students in an online format. She is conducting research with the American Society of Association Executives Foundation (ASAE) to determine critical success factors of eLearning program implementations among membership associations, most of which provide continuing professional education in a variety of industries.
Whitcomb is a micro-entrepreneur serving as a management consultant with a broad background in online learning. She also has extensive experience in business process reengineering and operations analysis and management, which enables her to bring online learning to a variety of organizations. She started her online learning journey in 2003 while working as a management consultant at a large law firm in Washington DC. At that time, she purchased her first learning management system (LMS) to bring skills and compliance training to the operations team. The LMS was instrumental in transforming the department and the employees themselves, who were able to participate in enrichment courses online. These courses would never have been available for these employees in a traditional setting because of the cost. Online learning transformed the lives of many in the department and caused her to subsequently employ online learning as a mechanism for growth and change in many types of organizations.
She has an MBA that provides a broad background in business which she uses to gauge the effectiveness of online programs in a variety of terms including value of knowledge transfer, evaluation of learning outcomes, and return on investment when the learning program is a profit center, as is the case with universities and membership associations providing continuing education. She has a wealth of change-management experience in the areas of people and processes and has worked with dozens of organizations to achieve major transformation primarily through learning and knowledge management initiatives.
Valerie’s Ph.D. is in Applied Management and Decision Sciences with a specialty in Learning Management. Her research to date includes a strong technology component and her research concerning critical success factors for learning management systems (LMSs) implementations earned her a grant to expand the research to include factors that contribute to online learning program success (of which technology is a part). She works with membership associations in her research, higher education in her full-time job, and a variety of other types of companies on a consulting basis. The breadth of her background includes training volunteers, employees, members and students. She has worked as a project manager for both course and program development and has transformed curriculum for online use from a wide variety of formats.
Having been a consultant for many years, she decided that there had to be a better way to help launch micro-businesses than one-on-one consulting, which is expensive and time consuming – especially for a non-profit. With first-hand experience launching dozens of programs for others, she decided to bring online learning to Global Training Foundation’s micro-entrepreneurship program.