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Qualcomm Executive Named CLO of the Year

Tamar Elkeles, vice president of Qualcomm Learning Center, was named 2010 CLO of the Year on Tuesday by Chief Learning Officer magazine during the Learning In Practice Awards ceremony at the Fall 2010 Chief Learning Officer Symposium.

The three-day symposium, taking place this week at The Ritz-Carlton, Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, Calif., brought together 400 senior learning and development practitioners. Speakers included management expert and author Ken Blanchard, New York Times best-selling author Keith Ferrazzi, USC professor and founding chairman of the European Corporate Learning Forum Roland Deiser, and David Vance, former president of Caterpillar University.

A panel of six judges, consisting of past award recipients, recognized Elkeles as the 2010 CLO of the Year for her work in building the Qualcomm Learning Center into a source of innovation and development for the wireless technology company’s 16,000 employees worldwide.

Elkeles partnered with executives to define the company’s leadership brand and create a business-driven development model that provides dynamic leaders to fuel Qualcomm’s continued growth and innovation. Recognizing the integral connection between learning and communication, Elkeles also directs all internal communication and has established the learning organization as a knowledge and information hub for employees.

“Since she began with the company in 1992, Tamar Elkeles has built the Qualcomm Learning Center from a one-person operation into a sophisticated, integrated and innovative strategic resource for the organization,” said Norm Kamikow, president and editor in chief of Chief Learning Officer magazine. “It was an incredibly competitive category, but Tamar’s achievements stood out as truly groundbreaking and industry-leading work.”

Elkeles received the award from Cedric Coco, senior vice president of learning and organizational effectiveness for Lowe’s Companies Inc. and the 2009 CLO of the Year.

“I’ve learned a tremendous amout from my colleagues over the years and I’m here because of them,” Elkeles said in accepting the award from Coco, along with 2007 CLO of the Year Kevin Wilde of General Mills and 2006 CLO of the Year David Vance, former president of Caterpillar University.

The Fall 2010 CLO Symposium wraps up Wednesday with a keynote address from Annette Thompson, senior vice president and chief learning officer for Farmers Insurance.