Event Detail


Join us for the Virtual Spring Conference 2021: Transformative Tuesdays

Hosted by the Minnesota Career Development Association and Normandale Community College

This past year has been one of transformation and transition for us all. To accommodate the many changes in work, life, and our world, we're introducing this new format for the conference and centering around the theme:

Transforming ourselves and those we serve 
while learning to thrive through personal and professional transition

Instead of a traditional full-day format, these virtual sessions will be:

  • Offered in 90-minute sessions 

  • Once a week on four consecutive Tuesdays* 

  • Available to register for the full series, or simply choose one 

  • Worth 1.25 Continuing Education credit

*Recordings will be available for all registered participants

We welcome you to register for all four webinars to receive the full benefit of the conference!** If you would prefer to register for only specific webinars, please be aware that your registration cannot be changed to the full conference after Monday, March 15. 

** If you are an MCDA Member who registered for the 2020 conference and opted to have your registration held for this event, please look for an email from Joy Stephansen at MinnCareerDevelopment@gmail.com. Your registration will be created automatically for the entire conference (four webinars). Please do NOT register for the event. 


Member rates:

  • $39 per session/$99 for all four sessions

Non-member rates (outside CDA rate)

  • $49 per session/$125 or all four sessions





Spring Conference Session 1: Thriving While Cultivating an Improvisational Attitude 

Date: April 6, 2021 
Time: 9:30-11 a.m. 

Description: Michelle Hutchinson utilizes the skill of improvisation as participants learn the importance of building trust and competency as they go outside of the daily norm and experience how to be in the moment, listen to each other, work together, and trust the outcome. This 90-minute improvisational workshop will guide the participant through a series of improvisational exercises crafted to break down barriers of communication, build awareness of individual strengths, develop new tools to improve work/life flow, see potential in perceived conflicts, open up new avenues of thinking, abolish blocks and negative outcomes, boost morale, and develop a nimble and fresh outlook.

Presenter bio: Michelle Hutchinson is a veteran of film, television and the stage. Her accomplished career as an actress, writer, and producer has lent a unique insight to her position as a trainer, consultant and coach for corporations. Michelle’s company, Skilled Expressions, has designed workshops for groups and individuals in the craft of presentation skills, authentic communication, executive speaking, teambuilding, and effective collaboration. Her ability to discern key issues and find accessible solutions has made her an industry favorite and return guest.

She is a resident Teaching Artist for the Guthrie Theater and Hennepin Theatre Trust. Michelle continues to thrive as a professional actress as she can be seen in iconic films such as the Coen Brother’s film Fargo, My Best Friend’s Wedding, Thin Ice, Factotum, Into Temptation, The Public Domain, and television shows such as ABC’s In An Instant and most recently, Netflix’s Lady Dynamite. Classically trained in theatre, her keen comedy chops landed her in the world of improvisation performing with comedy troupes in Minneapolis, Chicago, and Los Angeles.



Spring Conference Session 2: Thriving as We Listen and Learn from the Stories of Others

Date: April 13, 2021 
Time: 2:30-4 p.m.

Description: Kevin Kling is a storyteller and playwright who was born with a shorter left arm, four fingers and no thumb.  His life changed dramatically in 2001 when, at age 44, a motorcycle accident took the use of his right arm. Looking at life as a story has helped him to heal and to create a path of ongoing employment that includes helping others to find and hone their own stories. In developing a writing practice using several writing and meditative exercises, Kevin was able to identify patterns, find direction, and gain new footing in his professional life. Participants will be led through these exercises individually, then regroup for questions and processing.

Presenter bio: Storyteller and playwright Kevin Kling graduated from Gustavus Adolphus College in 1979, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theater. He has performed his plays in Sweden, Australia, Scotland and Czech Republic.  His plays have been produced at The Goodman Theater, The Jungle Theater, the Denver Center Theater, Seattle Rep, the Cincinnati Playhouse, Interact, the Guthrie and regional theaters throughout the country.  He has been awarded fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, The McKnight Foundation, The Minnesota State Arts Board, The Bush Foundation, The Jerome Foundation.  He is a McDowell Fellow and has received the Whiting Award, the A.P. Anderson Award, the VSA Jeahny, and the Eric Peterson Award. Kevin was named the Minneapolis Story Laureate by Mayor RT Rybak in 2014.

He appears often at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough, Tennessee, has been a frequent commentator for National Public Radio’s “All Things Considered” and TPT's "Almanac." He has authored five books: The Dog Says How, Holiday Inn, Big Little Brother, Big Little Mother and On Stage with Kevin Kling.  His book, Come and Get It, was chosen as the 2012 Minnesota Center for Books Arts “Winter Book.” 


Spring Conference Session 3:  Thriving Through Culturally Specific Coaching 

Date: April 20, 2021 
Time: 9:30-11 a.m.

Description: This session seeks to transform your coaching practice into a culturally responsive environment for your diverse clients. Through collaborative inquiry, this session will work towards a clear description of cultural responsiveness, the value of personal narrative, building trust in cross-cultural partnerships between coach and client, and a neuroscience-based approach to developing new skill-sets.  

Presenter bio: John Parker-Der Boghossian serves as Normandale Community College’s Equity and Inclusion Officer. Previously he was the Equity and Inclusion Education Manager for Rainbow Health Initiative and the Chief Diversity Officer for Saint Paul College. A keynote speaker, aspiring writer, and founder of the Queer Armenian Library, John is the President of the Armenian Cultural Organization of Minnesota and a board member of the International Armenian Literary Alliance. He has a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Minnesota and is a Qualified Administrator of the Intercultural Development Inventory. He uses he/him and they/them pronouns.


Spring Conference Session 4: Thriving Through Stress; Embracing the Power of a Growth Mindset

Date: April 27, 2021 
Time: 2:30-4 p.m.

Description: Our thoughts have incredible power over our actions, next steps, and our futures. The great news is we can develop a growth mindset so we achieve our goal and inspire others to achieve theirs. Participants will learn how our brains are wired and how we can rewire the brain through awareness, practice, and targeted exercises. Participants will gain practical tips and tricks they can begin to use with clients and also personally. We all experience stress. A growth mindset helps us move through stress to success. 

Presenter bioSarah Ciavarri, M.Div. PCC, BCC, CDWF-C, CDTLF, loves seeing people get excited about their lives and futures. Sarah is a Certified Daring Way Facilitator-Consultant, Certified Dare to Lead Facilitator, and a Professional Certified Coach through the International Coach Federation. For nine years, Sarah has traveled nationally keynoting and facilitating workshops on resiliency, mindset, vulnerability, and shame. Sarah is a faculty member with Coaching4Today’s Leaders and trains coaches.  Sarah is the author of Find Our Way to Truth: Seven Lies Leaders Believe and How to Let Them Go. Sarah has been the Director of Spiritual Care at Augustana Care in Apple Valley, MN for over twelve years.