Facilitation Center Wins Impact Award

Published on February 12, 2021

Eastern Kentucky University’s Facilitation Center recently accepted the Kentuckiana Impact Award for “Facilitating Virtual Meetings” training from the Association for Talent Development. The 2020 Impact Award focused on rewarding organizations who were able to transition and thrive throughout the hectic year, highlighting resilience, creativity and adaptive leadership in the face of COVID-19. 

EKU secured the award over numerous talented competitors, including the University of Louisville, Humana Healthcare and the United States Army. A national panel of judges deemed EKU’s work as having the most impactful talent-development initiative in response to workplace challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. One judge shared, “This program is important and well-done as a positive use of the COVID-19 pandemic!” while another stated, “I want to attend this training!”

“We are so honored to receive this award and to be recognized for the work we did to better serve our clients. We listened and adapted to better meet their needs. We were very in tune with the changes and struggles they were facing  due to the pandemic and we built the training around those challenges,” said  Stefanie Ashley, Director of EKU’s Facilitation Center. “We tapped into their immediate needs and embraced their differing skill levels for a very personalized training that allowed them to immediately use their new skills to facilitate more engaging virtual meetings.”

“Key components of the training included a comprehensive needs assessment that drove the training design, individual pre-meetings with each participant, and keeping the size of each training group small,” said Sarah Gilbert, EKU Facilitation Specialist.

“EKU did a great job documenting the pivot made from providing meeting facilitation training in person to a completely virtual environment. All this in response to the most challenging health crisis in our history,” said Mitzi Pendergrass, Chair of the 2020 Impact Awards. “[The Facilitation Center’s] participation is a big contributor to our goal of elevating the IMPACT Awards program and expanding it to a regional audience.” 

ATD is a global association with a vision to “Create a World That Works Better.” The Kentuckiana Chapter is made up of professionals and students from the Kentucky Indiana region including Fortune 500 businesses, medium and small-sized businesses, nonprofit organizations, government, educational institutions, consulting firms, and product and service suppliers. This specific chapter has a mission to “connect people, learning and performance to create a better workforce and deliver results.” 

The Facilitation Center at EKU provides professional facilitation services to groups of all sizes from a variety of regional, national, and international organizations. Their mission is to promote the use of a facilitative process for information collection, group decision making, and planning by providing meeting facilitation services, training, and job analysis to clients throughout the country.