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The top 20 US influencers in L&D right now

As THRIVE gets accustomed to the US market, it’s always good to know who the big players and tastemakers are. We compiled a list of the 20 biggest L&D influencers in the US right now.

Cassie Gasson Chief Marketing Officer

Top 20 US influencers right now

Catherine Lombardozzi

Current role - Learning and Development Consultant at Learning 4 Learning Professionals

With a 30 year background in corporate training and development, Catherine brings a wealth of experience to the L&D game. A passionate and practical thought leader, make sure you check out Catherine's book Learning Environments by Design to get more insights into how to sculpt your learning culture to address specific knowledge needs. 

Trish Uhl

Current role - Independent Associate at LegalShield

Energetic and future focused, Trish specializes in using data and cutting edge tech to help organizations develop their talent sustainably and effectively. Follow her on LinkedIn to hear more about the latest tech and how it can apply to your L&D strategy!

Guy W Wallace

Current role - President at EPPIC Inc.

Working with huge brands like General Motors, AT&T and Motorola, Guy Wallace has won a laundry list of amazing L&D awards over his illustrious career. Make sure to go to his site to get more info on his over 250 projects and a huge library of free Performance Improvement resources!

Kevin M. Yates

Current role - Learning Measurement Principal at Facebook

Currently employed at a little company called Facebook, Kevin’s focus is on proving the efficacy of global learning campaigns (much like our Data Lab service does). If learning science is your thing, then make sure you give Kevin a follow to stay at the cutting edge with one of the biggest companies in the world.

Cara North

Current role - Operations Training Manager at Silfex, Inc

Unfiltered and determined to cut through the ever present L&D noise, Cara North gets straight to the point. Boasting a really impressive network of connections and specializing in “facilitation, instructor-led training, curriculum design, workforce development, assessment, and eLearning”, make sure you keep track of Cara’s ever growing list of upcoming speaking gigs through her LinkedIn page!

Kason Morris

Current role - Head of Employee Learning and Enablement at UserZoom

With a decade of fast-paced experience working with startups and giant conglomerates alike, Kason also walks the walk, having changed his career path 6 times over 15 years. Focusing on helping you “redesign” your career through upskilling and reskilling, you can discover some incredible content on Kason’s LinkedIn feed, delivered in an exciting and direct manner. Another fantastic aspect of following Kason is the great engagement he drives on LinkedIn, so join in on the conversation in his comments and pick up some additional insights from his expansive network.

Yolanda Fraction

Current role - Founder at The L&D Lounge & Owner of Lumière Learning Experiences

Focusing mainly on developing leaders who develop leaders, Yolanda is a must follow if you are looking to impact your learning community in a fun and personable way. Developing the L&D Lounge podcast as a lockdown hobby, Yolanda is constantly innovating and draws inspiration from her “mosaic of a career journey” to influence her current content. A personal favorite is her appearance on the Shift Podcast on developing your inner leader.

David Kelly

Current role -  Executive Vice President & Executive Director at The Learning Guild

Covering vast topics such as the language we use and SNL sketches, David can draw valuable learning insights from any and all mediums. David works at The Learning Guild who our American followers will recognize as the creators of the huge Devlearn conference (which we will be attending, booth #301!) so David is definitely a person to know within the industry! 

Elliott Masie

Current role - President and CEO at The MASIE Center

Acting as the President and CEO of the MASIE Center for over 35 years, Elliott is one of the most decorated L&D influencers in the world. Operating one of the only fully dedicated research center in L&D, Elliott’s LinkedIn contains updates from a variety of the who’s who of the business world and his “Empathy Concert” is such a fresh way to focus on empathy in the workplace so definitely reserve your spot through LinkedIn for the next one! 

John Leh

Current role - CEO and Lead Analyst at Talented Learning

An expert analyst who has $125 million worth of experience with buying and implementing learning platforms, John is your man for all things learn-tech, with an expert ability to help organizations define exactly what they want and get the crucial piece of technology to achieve that outcome. He also promotes his amazing webinars through LinkedIn, so be sure to connect with him there to reserve your spot on the next one!

Patti Shank

Current role - Founder at Learning Peaks

A regular at the top of elearning top influencer lists, Patti is an unapologetically intense and passionate influencer who is dead set on helping organizations prove the efficacy of their learning strategies. With a mind boggling amount of writing output, Patti keeps her finger on the pulse of all things L&D, her writing is essential reading for any L&D professionals looking to level up their game.

David Verhaag

Current role - US Head of Implementation and Customer Success at THRIVE

In a tradition carried over from our first influencer blog post, we have snuck a member of the THRIVE tribe in! David’s passion and belief in reaching your potential is contagious, and his direct and fun outlook on LinkedIn combined with his expansive network make him a must follow for the US L&D market, especially as THRIVE begins to expand!

Mike Buffington

Current role - Learning and Development Consultant at Buffington Communications

Mike has worked for some of the hottest companies in the world, including Pinterest, Google and Apple, so you know he knows what he is talking about. Incredibly disruptive and always at the cutting edge of learning tech, follow him for his open and engaging insights into the wide world of business, not just limited to L&D.

Amber Cabral

Current role - Founder and Principal Consultant at Cabral Co.

Ever wished there was someone to guide you how to disrupt the status quo, challenge convention and create a more diverse and inclusive environment for your workers? Then you need to connect to Amber Cabral. Authentic and prolific, Amber has worked with a huge array of clients to shift narratives and drive meaningful change.

Lori Niles-Hofmann

Current role - Senior EdTech Transformation Strategist at NilesNolen

Being liberal with the geographical limitations here, as Lori Niles-Hofmann is a Toronto based learning expert with the specific expertise of how to implement large-scale digital learning transformations in some of the biggest companies in the world. Follow Lori for some fascinating insights into how she and Niles Nolen uses data to change behemoth companies' learning strategy.

Naphtali Bryant

Current role - Director of Learning & Organization Development at Netflix

Not much more can be said about Naphtali than is covered in his awesome and innovative demo reel, but I’ll try! Working at the behemoth that is Netflix, Naphtali’s natural ability to identify learning gaps and impact profitability has shot him right to the top, and he openly shares successes and learnings constantly on his LinkedIn page.

Daniel Goleman

Current role - Co-Director at Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations and Host at First Person Plural

Author of the groundbreaking book “Emotional Intelligence”, Daniel brings his psychology background (having a Ph.D. in clinical psychology) to L&D and combines this with his science journalism experience to deliver incredibly engaging content and books.

Brandon Carson

Current role - Vice President of Learning and Leadership at Walmart

An award winning influencer, Brandon has a list of accolades, Brandon is another influencer on this list who works for a massive company, as he is currently working at Walmart to increase the potential of their staff. But Brandon is also founder of L&D Cares, which is specifically designed to help L&D professionals thrive and flourish so follow Brandon on social media to find out more about it’s progress.

Paul Petrone

Current role - Senior Product Marketing Manager at LinkedIn Learning

With a stated aim to help create meritocracy in the global economy, Paul is nothing if not motivated! I won’t spoil it here, but Paul’s journey to working at LinkedIn is really an incredible one, and his expert writing style makes his content unique and engaging!

Korbyn Behl

Current role - Learning Specialist Lead at Cash App

You only have to look at the recommendations tab of Korbyn’s LinkedIn profile to see the impact he has on people. Refreshingly honest and undeviating in his mission, Korbyn is truly people focused and his article on Medium titled “The Power of the Passenger Seat” really sums up his outlook and is well worth a read if you have a spare 5 minutes.

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