About

The Business Learning Institute (BLI) is the strategic learning partner and talent management consultancy for organizations worldwide. BLI is a center facilitating the development and sharing of competencies and strategic knowledge required for leadership in today’s rapidly-changing business environment. BLI delivers competency-based curriculum, courses, content, and community to maximize career trajectories and grow intellectual capital for organizational and executive leadership.

Our more than 60+ instructors offer over 600+ learning programs in all formats (including on-site training, live events and seminars, keynotes, and online formats like webcasts, webinars, and on-demand learning). Each BLI program can be tailored to the needs of your organization.

The future is here, and it will continue to come with increased speed and complexity. We hope you will continue to learn more about how BLI can help align your organization’s learning strategy and guide the momentum of your staff’s career growth.

History

The Business Learning Institute was founded in 1999 by the Maryland Association of CPAs. Our launch team researched the competencies needed for the future of business and the CPA profession, looking out to 2025 in 1999 and again in 2011.

Our main finding: To be successful in a rapidly changing and complex world, a professional’s rate of learning must be faster than the business environment’s rate of change and faster than their competition (L>C2).

Each of us must not only rapidly learn technical skills, but we also must grow our leadership and strategy skills. These high-level competencies propel individual careers and help organizations thrive over the long-term.

The BLI Team

Author name, Course Author

Tom Hood, CPA, CITP, CGMA

CEO

Described as “relentlessly forward-thinking,” Tom is the founding CEO of The Business Learning Institute, co-developer of the i2a: Insights to Action Strategic Planning Process, and i2a Leadership Academy. A nationally recognized author, speaker, and consultant, Tom is committed to helping individuals and companies shape their future. It’s no surprise that Tom is also one of BLI’s most highly sought after presenters, facilitators, and learning experts.

Author name, Course Author

Jackie Brown, MBA

COO

A key contributor to the development of The Business Learning Institute, Jackie continues to provide thought leadership that enriches the experience and value for every client. She is certified in BLI’s i2a: Strategic Planning Process and has used her facilitation skills to benefit companies and non-profits nationwide.

Author name, Course Author

Skip Falatko, CPA, CGMA

CFO

For more than 12 years, Skip has been directing the financial affairs of The Business Learning Institute. He has expertise leading firms, companies, and associations. Skip is a founding partner of The Center for Transparency, Performance Management, and Accountability Using XBRL. He is also a training facilitator of the i2a: Insights to Action Strategic Planning Process.

Author name, Course Author

Pam Devine,

Manager, Professional Development & Customized Learning Consultant, Certified i2a Facilitator

Pam has been with MACPA for 12 years and leads a team of 5 sales professionals. She is best known for her role in developing the On-Site training division of MACPA and the Business Learning Institute (BLI).

Pam consults with the on-site sales teams of the AICPA and other State Societies. As the manager of the Customized Learning Consultant team, she assists learning directors in designing comprehensive curriculum plans that combine technical (CPE compliance) topics with business performance (soft) skills and technology. The key to the success of BLI has been its customer focus and its relationships with clients.

Pam is a certified facilitator in BLI’s i2a: Insights to Action Strategic Planning System and has used her facilitation skills to benefit many MACPA members and clients. She, along with the BLI team, has facilitated and taught the Major Firms Group (top 100 CPA firms) for the AICPA, the AICPA Leadership Academy, and many other firms, corporations and Non-profits. Pam is currently involved on several State Society, AICPA/CPA committees, and many others.

While she still considers Maine her home, she currently resides in Hunt Valley, Maryland, where she raised two daughters and has lived for 20 years. Pam enjoys being active and also loves the outdoors, skiing, running, and biking, and is currently training to run her first marathon.

Author name, Course Author

Laura Dorsey-Shaner,

Manager, BLI Key Accounts & Operations, Certified i2a Facilitator

Laura Dorsey-Shaner wants to craft the easiest and most cost effective learning solutions tailored to your firm.

With 20 years of experience at the Maryland Association of CPAs (MACPA), Laura Dorsey-Shaner is currently putting her extensive knowledge of the accounting profession to work as a Customized Learning Consultant / Firm Specialist and Certified i2a Facilitator for the Business Learning Institute (BLI).

As a Customized Learning Consultant, Laura focuses on the needs of accounting firms as she assists learning directors and teams to create effective, relevant and timely curriculum plans that combine a variety of learning essentials.

Laura assists firms by researching and assessing current CPE practices, develops curriculum plans to meet the needs of an organization, and recommends learning topics and deep training formats, continually proving to be an invaluable resource.

Laura earned her BS degree in communication and speech from Towson University. She has significant experience in the profession, most recently as the manager of the MACPA’s Member Service Center and as the Resource Liaison to its Maryland chapter groups, working with volunteers across the state. In addition, Laura was one of the founders of the MACPA’s New / Young Professional Network (NYPN).

Author name, Course Author

Chris Dougherty,

Liaison, Professional Development / Customized Learning Solutions Event Specialist

Chris is the client liaison for all Customized Learning Solutions programs. She seamlessly coordinates events with the instructor and the client. It’s Chris’s passion to make sure that every event goes off without a hitch, so that everyone involved gets the most out of the experience.

 Chris calls MACPA and BLI her “happy place,” and enjoys every day of creating and coordinating events that bring valuable learning to our clients.
Author name, Course Author

Emily Trott,

Coordinator, Professional Development / Webcast and Program Material Specialist

Emily has been with us for 12 amazing years, and currently works as the Professional Development Instructor Liaison. Emily helps instructors by uncovering the teaching and mentoring opportunities best suited to them throughout the broad range of offerings of the MACPA and BLI.

Author name, Course Author

Jennifer Stevens,

Customized Learning Consultant: Corporate Specialist

Jennifer is new to BLI, but she has been helping finance professionals manage their continuing education and licensing requirements for over 10 years. As a Customized Learning Consultant, Jennifer focuses on the needs of corporate clients.

She guides finance teams and learning directors in designing effective, comprehensive, relevant and timely curriculum plans that combine a variety of learning essentials, including CPE and compliance, management, and performance skills. Jennifer also serves as the liaison to the MACPA Business and Industry committee, working with them to develop the annual Business and Industry Conference and strengthen the involvement of the MACPA industry members.

Author name, Course Author

Terri Smith,

Senior Customized Learning Consultant: Firm Specialist

Terri puts her extensive working knowledge of the accounting profession to work as a Customized Learning Consultant/Firm Specialist and Certified i2a Facilitator, focusing on key accounts and larger accounting firms.

In her role as a Customized Learning Consultant, Terri assists learning directors and teams in designing effective, comprehensive, relevant, and timely curriculum plans that combine a variety of learning essentials, including CPE compliance, executive leadership, management, performance skills development (soft skills), and technology. Terri assists firms by researching and assessing current CPE practices, assisting in curriculum planning to meet the needs of all staff, and recommending learning topics and training formats.

Author name, Course Author

Amy Stumme,

Certified Coactive Coach

Amy Stumme is a Certified Professional Coactive Coach with The Business Learning Institute. As a coach, Amy partners with clients in a thought-provoking and creative process that inspires them to maximize their personal and professional potential. As a strategic planning facilitator, Amy helps teams and businesses collaborate, think strategically and create both a bold vision for the future and a roadmap of actionable goals.

Certified in the I2A strategic planning process and Grove trained, Amy has facilitated strategic planning for both Maryland firms (Smith Elliott Kearns & Co., DeLeon & Stang, bgr CPAs) and national firms (Moss Adams LLP, Melanson Heath & Co., Horne LLC). Her strategic planning experience also includes nonprofits and associations (AICPA, ICCIFP, Colorado Society of CPAs) and businesses like CPA.com. Most recently, Amy has led Vision & Strategy Workshops for Sage NA in Nevada, California, Canada and here in Maryland.

Amy is well-versed in the use of the Clifton StrengthsFinder and the VIA Character Strengths assessments with individuals and teams. Amy helps others to understand, apply, and integrate their unique blend of strengths and values into their lives and organized roles. There are many ways to collaborate and ThinkTank™, a leading edge collaborative technology, utilized by governments, industry, and the scientific community, is one of the best. Amy is trained and certified through the ThinkTankTM Elite Collaboration Program. She has designed and implemented ThinkTankTM events for Sage NA, Smith Elliott Kearns & Co., Melanson Heath & Co. and an Economic Summit to create a shared vision for the future of Maryland as part of the Maryland Chamber of Commerce’s Maryland Competitiveness Coalition.

Amy holds a Bachelors of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh.