Learning In Practice 2014: Technology Division 1 Winners

From left: Geoff Stead, Helen Zarba and Rachel Robertson of Bright Horizons (accepting the award for Linda Whitehead) and Alan Gray


Geoff Stead

Senior Director of Mobile Learning, Qualcomm Inc.

Qualcomm has gone mobile.

In 2012 the San Diego-based company began developing an employee mobile app store to address three big issues: staying competitive, preparing for a new generation of digital native workers poised to enter the workforce and accommodating a growing preference of all employees to use their own mobile devices for work. The initiative was launched in 2013.

As a global wireless technology and services company, Qualcomm Inc. needs engineers and developers to continuously adapt skills and methods to keep the company relevant and ahead of the competition.

Its app store offers internally and third-party developed learning content, enabling Qualcomm to quickly provide up-to-date training for its global workforce regardless of geographical location. Examples of available app content include employee orientation, leadership development and engineering technology support.

After the first year of its launch, Qualcomm executives have been pleased. The majority of visits to the app store have come directly from mobile devices, which the company interprets as a growing confidence in employees using mobile technology to get their work done. The app store was initially intended to appeal to younger workers, but Qualcomm said users of all ages are engaged with the initiative.

“I’m honored to have won this award. These are exciting times. Mobile technology has woven itself into all of our lives. My mission is to harness these innovations for good, to help our employees work smarter, learn more and enjoy a mobile, flexible workplace,” said Geoff Stead, Qualcomm’s senior director of mobile learning.



Linda Whitehead

Vice Presidentof Education and Development, Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc.

After a decade with the same e-learning system, Bright Horizons Family Solutions Inc. decided to give its training strategy a face-lift. Last year the Watertown, Massachusetts-based child care and education company rebuilt its training platform for new teachers, including a shorter, more targeted video- and competency-based program.

After so many years with the old training model, the decision to develop a new e-learning platform was difficult to make but necessary. The company’s previous e-learning platform for its more than 850 locations was decentralized, and companywide completion rates for the 22-hour training program never went above 50 percent.

The new program was designed to present content through a skills- and competency-focused format rather than a thematic presentation. The program was jointly created by two departments under the supervision of Linda Whitehead, Bright Horizon’s vice president of education and development, and Helen Zarba, the company’s vice president of organizational development and learning services. 



Alan Gray

Head of Instructional Design, Bank of New York Mellon Corp.

To go along with its New to Management training program, Alan Gray of the Bank of New York Mellon Corp.’s university launched EmpowerTheUser, an e-learning initiative to assess how well students retain information, provide an environment for students to practice newly learned skills and offeradditional coaching if necessary. 

Learning content was designed to conform to BNY Mellon’s Manager Standards of Excellence program.