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Minnesota Career Development Association

MCDA 2010 Fall Newsletter

Inside this issue:

  • The President’s Corner
  • Interview with Sally Gelardin
  • Save the Date for the Fall Event
  • Opportunity to Mentor Youth
  • SIG Spotlight
  • Congrats to MCDA Newly Elected Board Members 
  • Book Review
  • Member Spotlight
  • The Career Counselor as Change Agent; The August RoundTable
  • Welcome New Members

President’s Corner by Carmen Croonquist

Greetings! I hope you have all been enjoying a wonderful, relaxing summer.  

It is official: During our June Board Meeting, the “gavel” was handed over to me. Serving as MCDA’s President for the 2010-2011 year is truly a unique honor. It is a pleasure to serve a vibrant organization that has benefitted me so much personally and professionally. In 1993 I became a member of MCDA. At that time, I was a graduate student. I credit MCDA for helping me launch my career in this profession. I value the wonderful people I have met through this organization, and am grateful for the exceptional programs and events MCDA has offered over the years.  

First, kudos and thanks to Irene Rossman for serving as President last year. I could not have had a more positive experience as President-Elect under Irene. Her contributions to our organization are too numerous to mention in this short column. Irene is a “class act” in every respect who handled her leadership role with professionalism and enthusiasm! On the Board we affectionately refer to Irene as the “Treat Lady” because our meetings were enhanced by her spirit of hospitality, which meant great food was always involved 🙂  

In addition to Irene, my appreciation goes out to the members of our Board who will be leaving us.  Thank you, Barb Laporte, Scot Simpson, and Bill Baldus for your service to our organization. We will miss you!  

Looking ahead to my year as President, some of my overall goals are as follows: 1) to ensure that the MCDA continues to provide solid value to our membership; 2) to build upon the great programs, conferences, and events offered by our organization; 3) to form strategic alliances with other organizations that will result in greater attendance at our events; and 4) to maintain and enhance sponsorship.  

The goal to build upon our programming is already being realized. Through our new partnership with Careerwell, we will be able to offer 3-4 teleclasses per month to our members on a wide array of career-related topics and leading-edge speakers. And – on October 26th we are co-sponsoring an event with the Minnesota Coaches Association. There are articles in this edition of the newsletter to provide more in-depth details on these upcoming professional development opportunities. In addition, you will find information about our monthly RoundTable sessions.  

In closing, I value your ideas about ways in which MCDA could serve you better.  Feel free to get in touch with me. I look forward to an exciting year for our organization!  

Carmen Croonquist, MCDA President  

Interview with Sally Gelardin of Careerwell by Carmen Croonquist  

Recently our new MCDA President, Carmen Croonquist, had the opportunity to interview Sally Gelardin and portions of the interview have been captured below to share with our membership.  If you’d like to hear the whole interview, check it out at  

1. Since some of our members are not acquainted with you, please tell us a little bit about you and some highlights of your career/life background.  

I am interested in people and in continual learning.  I’ve written a few books but after authoring my first book, I invited others to contribute their wisdom because I believe the books are richer with diverse ideas. The first book was based on my doctoral thesis on mother-daughter influences on lifework success.  The second two books were on entrepreneurship and career and caregiving.  

Most career practitioners enjoy collegiality, socializing and learning with their peers.  However, most of us are isolated from our peers.  We love professional conferences, but most of us only attend them once or twice a year and many of us live far away from each other.  The tele-interviews bring us together, and in contact with wonderful speakers from around the world, crossing time and space boundaries.   

2. Tell us about “Careerwell.” What is “Careerwell” and what inspired you to launch this program?  

Careerwell is a convenient way for career professionals and educators to keep up-to-date with current career issues and trends. It is a distance-delivered educational service offering live and recorded interviews with industry experts.  I originated the title, blending the concepts of “career” and “wellness” because I’m very into health and wellness, both inner (body, mind, and spirit), as well as outer (social, environmental, economical), locally and globally.  My mission is to bring industry experts into the “listeners’ living room.”     

3. What are the primary benefits that state organizations such as ours (MCDA) gain from subscribing to “Careerwell”?  

Having served as president of the California Career Development Association I am aware of the challenges of state career development associations to recruit new members, retain current members, and reactivate lapsed members.  The tele-interviews are an added benefit, offered two to four times a month, to provide continual education and training.  Members can listen for free, except for the cost of their distance provider. Listeners can receive continuing education hours, offered by the Career Planning and Adult Development Network and through me, as an approved Center for Credentialing and Education GCDF provider.  

4. What are some trends in our industry you are noticing from individuals you have recently interviewed?  

According to the Herman Trend Report for 2010, there will be more layoffs, which is a problem because 54% of employees are ready to jump ship and find another job as soon as the opportunity arises. Employers need to give more flex-time and flex-place to high-demand workers who have skill sets that are difficult to find.  As older employees retire or are laid off, employers will hire them back on a part-time, temporary, or seasonal basis. Employers will reward innovative ideas to add value for their top talent. Dan Pink, whom I have interviewed twice, talks about the need to move beyond the informational age and the current demand for creative workers with heart, those who are interested in making the world a better place for all.  

Career professionals and other service professionals have become drained from listening to their clients’ tales of woe in this challenging economy. We are hungry for new techniques, new strategies and approaches to career advising. We want to learn about what’s happening around the country and around the world, not just in our immediate work setting. Therefore, I bring in speakers such as Dr. Lynn Joseph who talks about guided visualization for job loss recovery and care giving and Carmen Croonquist and Mary Jacobsen, who introduce positive psychology and happiness insights.   

5. What gives you the greatest satisfaction in your career and life? What kind of legacy are you hoping to leave behind?  

I recently participated in the Leavelight training program on end-of-life planning and leaving your legacy. My (self-composed) epitaph would say:  

Sally Gelardin believed in the immense potential of all human beings to contribute their unique strengths to the world, no matter how old they are, their level of education, background, and challenges.  

Save the Date for the Fall Event! 

Mark your calendars for this year’s Fall Event on Thursday, November 18th in the afternoon.  More details will be provided shortly.  

SIG Highlight – Second Half of Life by Jean Tollefson 

The Second Half of Life SIG was born a year and a half ago as we began to notice that more and more of our clients are in the phase of life that has come to be known as “midlife and beyond”, “the second half of life” or “the third age“, just to name a few.  Regardless of what we call it, one thing is certain – it is a life phase characterized by evolving notions of aging, work and retirement.  

Clients in the second half may come through our doors looking for something very different than their parents did.  Research indicates that the majority of Americans over the age of 50 plan to work well into their later years, and define “retirement” in very different ways.  Whether they will work because they want to, or because they have to, people in this phase of life are often looking for work that is meaningful, socially responsible, and allows them to make a difference.  

Some of these clients may be yearning for something more and be very open to new options in the second half.  Others may come to us having been thrust into change due to career lay-offs, involuntary early retirement, health or financial reasons, divorce, death of a significant other, or by becoming an empty-nester, and have more resistance to what lies ahead.  

As career development professionals, it is important for us to be aware of the key issues that affect clients in the second half and understand how to help them navigate later work and life transitions effectively.  Our vision for the Second Half of Life SIG is to accomplish just that.   

We have experienced a bit of a struggle finding a time and format that works for everyone who has expressed interest in this SIG.  Based on in-person meetings, conference call discussions, and round table discussions at the MCDA Conference, we have come to a consensus regarding how to move forward.  The Second Half of Life SIG will be offering quarterly meetings with a speaker, content and networking in an attempt to fulfill our goal in an interesting, practical and rewarding manner.  

We are thrilled to announce our first quarterly Second Half of Life SIG event!  Please mark your calendars for Tuesday, October 26th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm, when we will partner with the Minnesota Coaches Association and use their regular meeting time and facilities to host life change artist extraordinaire, Fred Mandell!  Dr. Mandell will be offering us a provocative session based on his exciting new book, “Becoming a Life Change Artist: 7 Creative Skills to Reinvent Yourself at Any Stage of Life” that both compliments and challenges existing coaching paradigms and inspires fresh insights into navigating change at midlife and beyond.  

Fred Mandell, Ph.D. ( has earned a reputation as a highly innovative business leader, author, widely collected sculptor and painter, and catalyst for personal change.  Fred’s life and work has been featured in the Public Television Series “Boomers; Redefining Life After 50.” He was also one of the key people who started the Life Planning Network, a professional group for people working with clients in the second half of life (   

More information about this exciting event will be available soon.  

Opportunity to Mentor Youth by Marcia Soto 

Guadalupe Alternative Programs (GAP), an alternative high school and long-time leader in providing opportunities for underserved youth, is launching a new mentoring program. GAP YouthBuild students, ages 16-18, will be matched with caring adults in the community. GAP is currently looking for mentor volunteers.  

Students in the mentoring program will be offered the chance to make connections beyond the school as mentors can provide access to people, places, and things outside the mentee’s daily environment. Youth need positive adult role models in their lives and the mentoring program will serve that need. Allen Selinski, Executive Director at GAP explains, “The mentoring program will offer our students more positive role models and a chance to form a relationship with a reliable and caring adult.”  

Volunteer mentors will take the lead in supporting their mentee through a one-to-one relationship. Students and adults will be provided on-going training and support throughout the duration of the program. Mentors and mentees can engage in a variety of activities together such as job shadowing, going to a museum, or completing a service project.  

Through GAP’s mentoring program, mentees will gain a positive role model and increase their social network. Mentors will experience the fulfillment of watching a young adult grow and develop skill. Both members of a match will gain a friend and the chance to learn from someone they may not normally have interacted with. For more information on the mentoring program or becoming a mentor contact Marcia Soto at 651-222-0757 ext. 318 or  

Congrats to MCDA Newly Elected Board Members 

Please take a moment to congratulate our newest Board members and to thank them for their commitment to MCDA:  

  • Carmen Croonquist, President
  • Janet Pribyl, President Elect
  • Bridget Kenadjian, Secretary
  • Denise Felder, Board Member
  • Kate Southwick, Board Member
  • Suzie Karsnia, Board Member
  • Marcia Soto, Board Member
  • Kim Bartels, Board Member
  • Paul Timmins, Board Member

Book Review – Love It Don’t Leave It: 26 Ways to Get What You Want at Work by Beverly Kaye and Sharon Jordan-Evans  Article Written by Lisa Cook 

In tight economic times, sometimes the best career management move is maximizing opportunities in our current professional role and workplace rather than moving on to a new job. In this powerful A to Z guide, our authors give us 26 valuable tools to find satisfaction in our current workplaces.   

Several strategies are especially useful in our current economy.  Goals, for example – the authors propose that “up” is not the only way to progress in your career.  If the promotion you want isn’t available or the career ladder has only a few rungs, how do you grow in your current organization without moving on?   

They name 5 options: the lateral move, the enrichment option (growing in place), the exploratory option (a temporary move to research other options), the realignment option (moving downward) and the vertical option (moving to the next rung of the ladder).   

Lateral moves can be terrific learning opportunities to expand your skills or shift from a slow-growing part of the organization to a faster-growing one. The enrichment option can be utilized by expanding your job, refining your expertise or drilling deeper into an area you enjoy.  A temporary assignment to a new role gives you a glimpse into another area of your organization.  The realignment option might lead out of management to a lower-level position with better work, more life balance, more fun, and eventually more money.  

Another valuable strategy is “Linking” with other employees, i.e., teamwork, collaboration, networking, interacting, sharing information, and coordination.  Employees may feel disconnected if they are the only ones performing or understanding a task, they work with documents or computers more than people, they don’t have much in common with other team members and their organization is competitive and non-collaborative. You can link into your current organization better by reading annual reports, newsletters and company policies, asking your colleagues about recent work history, finding a  cross-functional committee or task force, attending interdepartmental meetings, and engaging in “water cooler talk” with people both inside and outside your unit.  They also suggest that you report your findings from a professional conference to your manager and join the regional group or “practice area” of your professional association.  Of course volunteering and professional associations are also great resources as well.  In order to gain a link, be a link – pay it forward in your networking efforts.  

There are numerous other strategies discussed by our authors including finding a mentor, understanding the various generations in the workplace now and charting your career course.   

I highly recommend this book.  It offers something for everyone – including those staying in the same job, those staying in the same organization and making a transfer, and those transitioning to a new career or job in a new workplace as it offers success strategies for their new work environment.  

Member Spotlight on Irene Rossman 

Editor:  Irene, tell us about your background.  

Irene:  I grew up in North Dakota and graduated from the University of North Dakota with a major in Elementary Education.  I taught 5th and 6th grade for a few years but discovered teaching young children was not my calling.  I worked many years for Personnel Decisions International (PDI) in the Career Management Division and in 1998 went back to school to pursue a Master’s Degree in Counseling/Psychology at St. Mary’s University of Minnesota.  While in graduate school and during my practicum at PDI, I realized career counseling was my true calling. My current employer, Career Partners International Twin Cities (formerly PDI), provides a great work environment. I work with wonderful colleagues and terrific clients. I love my work and am proud to be part of the career counseling profession and community.  

Editor:  What do you feel are your greatest accomplishments and why?  

Irene:  My greatest career accomplishment is obtaining my Master’s Degree and working full time while I did that.  My graduate work was a life-altering experience for me.  I realized how unfulfilled my career had been up to that point. Going back to school boosted my self-confidence and led to an exciting and fulfilling new career for me. I wasn’t young when I started this path, so I always tell my clients that it is never too late to change careers. I am testimony to changing careers in later life.  Another accomplishment is becoming President of MCDA. I was so proud to represent our membership and I learned so much from this experience. My MCDA colleagues are absolutely the best people!!!  

Editor:  What do you like the most about being a Career Counselor?  

Irene:  I love meeting new and interesting people and hearing about their jobs and lives. I enjoy making a difference in people’s lives.  It is such a privilege to be witness to clients’ stories and journeys and I appreciate the opportunity to be part of the process of career transition.  I enjoy watching people evolve as they discover new and meaningful work.  

Editor:  You’ve had a close-up look at MCDA.  Please share the benefits of membership in MCDA.  

Irene:  MCDA is an amazing organization.  I have learned so much from the conferences, seminars, and interaction with MCDA colleagues and board members.  Minnesota is such a leader in career development.  When I attended the National Career Development Conference in 2009, I was blown away by the response to MCDA’s activities by the other attendees.  Our members are extremely committed, smart, and knowledgeable.   

Editor:  Do you have any advice or tips to share with others in the field?  

Irene:  I recommend networking with other professionals, joining groups like MCDA, and being open to learning new things.  The world is changing so fast and it benefits all of us and our clients to continue to update skills, techniques, and world of work knowledge.  It can be a bit daunting at times, but collaborating with colleagues makes such a difference….and it is so much fun!!!  

Editor:  Irene, thank you for sharing yourself with us and even more importantly – thank you for serving as our MCDA President for the last year!  We appreciate the time and effort you put into making our association even better.   

Do You Love to Write Articles?  Have Interesting Ideas to Share? 

The MCDA Newsletter welcomes contributions from all members.  If you have an idea for an article to include in the next newsletter, please contact Kim Marrone at  

Calling All Writers & Web-Savvy MCDA’ers! 

The Tech Committee is looking for writers, website helpers and others interested in helping MCDA to better communicate with our members and the public. Consider volunteering to write or help coordinate newspaper articles, blogs and social media discussions about career development. We’re also looking for help to launch MCDA webinars and virtual roundtables. If any of this sounds interesting to you or you want to learn more, please contact Denise Felder at  

The Career Counselor as Change Agent; The August RoundTable by Meghan Schwartz 

The Minnesota Career Development Association (MCDA) offers monthly RoundTable meetings that focus on career development related topics to help us become better career counselors. The RoundTables also serve as a time to network with colleagues working in a variety of sectors.  

This month’s August RoundTable discussion focused on change and transition.  Our discussion leader, Bernice Hillukka, started by talking about what the old-employee relationship was like; it was based on job security and promotion. These days, employees are constantly being challenged with high expectations and fast-paced learning, and it is not uncommon for an individual to have many different jobs in his or her adult life.  

Bernice referenced the book Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change by William Bridges. According to Bridges, the three transition zones of change are the Ending, the Neutral Zone, and New Beginnings.  The focus of the discussion was around the Neutral Zone and New Beginnings and highlights are captured below.
The Neutral Zone is a difficult time of uncertainty. This time begins shortly after a client has experienced the ending of a job, and he or she may feel confused and overwhelmed. Our group discussed that the neutral zone of change is a crucial time for the career counselor to help the client. However, it is important not to push the client too much because he or she may still be grieving about the ending. In order to help the client move forward, it is important to help the client build bridges between the old and the new. According to William Bridges, once the client has stopped grieving, the career counselor can “provide training in the techniques of discovery and innovation, as well as help look for opportunities to brainstorm new answers to old problems.”  

The last zone of change is New Beginnings, and this zone is made up of three factors: ambivalence, timing, and reinforcement. In this zone of change, the client is still afraid of leaving the old to search for the new because of fear  that the “new” will not work. Our group at the RoundTable discussed the importance of timing, and this includes helping the client paint a picture of the possible outcomes and creating a step-by-step plan to achieve this outcome. After the planning, it is crucial to reinforce the client by encouraging him or her throughout the process. Last but not least, success should be celebrated!  

Welcome New Members

The following people joined MCDA from July throught August 2010:

John Merladet, VA Medical Center

Angie Rivera, University of Minnesota

Thomas Melander, Self-employed

Ramona Redig, Workforce Development, Inc.

Amanda Moores, Rasmussen College

Gina Quinn, DeVry University

Connie Hauer, CareerPro Services


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